Denny the Dog by Dennis Ball | Are you ready for some sizzling football?
Or, are you the type of person that would love nothing better than the Olympic flame to reignite?
Do you have a burning desire to see 38-year-old Brett Favre in action as a Jet? You might be curious how the Patriots might respond after winning every game last season with the exception of the one that mattered most. Or, are you the type of guy who seeks the riveting action of badminton matches?
Iím sure you must be anxious to see if Peyton Manning can make it back for opening day. You might be slightly curious how the rookie Matt Ryan will respond to the starting call in Atlanta. How will J.T. OíSullivan respond to the surprising decision of Mike Nolan, who decided it was time to sit high draft pick and big money Alex Smith in San Francisco.
Curiosity may have killed the cats and Bears with Kyle Orton being selected for the hot spot over Rex Grossman. Or, perhaps sailing is your game of choice. Maybe you would be more hyped awaiting the 2012 three-woman Yngling team with baited breath?
It seems like Week 1 becomes more of a crap shoot as the years go by. Itís time to start making my selections like I have for the last 30 years. Time to look for an edge.
Thursday, Sept. 4
Redskins + 4 at Giants: This line is not a real shocker. Washington was at New York in Week 15 last year and the G-Men were a 4 to 5 point favorite. The Skins won 22-10 with Todd Collins at QB. The Redskins have upgraded at that position with Jason Campbell back. The Giants now have five starters out from the defense. SKINS.
Sunday, Sept. 7
Bengals -1 at Ravens: The Ravens have an aging defense and an offense that committed 40 turnovers last year. The Bengals get wackier every day with Chad Johnson demanding to leave all preseason and then admitting that what he did made little sense. At least the Bengals have QB Carson Palmer. BENGALS.
Jets -3 at Dolphins: Brett Favre is either going to make the Packers look bad or the Jets look like geniuses. The Dolphins were a 1Ĺ-point fave in Week 13 when these two clubs last met in Miami. Both teams have upgraded their QB since then, but the Jets received a much bigger upgrade. JETS.
Chiefs +16 at Patriots: I hate to pass on two TDís plus, but I canít find anything positive to pull from the Chiefs. There is no replacement for Jared Allen. And is KC seriously sending Brodie Croyle onto the field as their QB? All bets are off if Brady doesnít start, but everything with Tom Terrific looks like a go right now. PATS.
Texans + 7 at Steelers: The Texans offensive line will be improved and give Matt Schaub a longer time to find Andre Johnson. The running back position has been bolstered with Steve Slaton plus three of their four defensive linemen are former No. 1 draft picks. Ben Rothlisberger has been running for his life in preseason. TEXANS.
Jags -3 at Titans: QB David Garrard had a breakout season last year and is much more careful with the football than Vince Young, who tossed the ball to the wrong colored jerseys nearly double the amount of times he threw TD passes last year. Young didnít even throw a TD pass the entire preseason. JAGS.
Lions -3 at Falcons: I know Matt Ryan is Arthur Blankís new face for the franchise. But to throw him in as the starter right out of Boston College is asking for that new face to be rearranged. Jon Kitna has looked as good as any QB so far this preseason. And RB Kevin Smith might be the sleeper of the 2008 draft. LIONS.
Seahawks -1 at Bills: Matt Hasselbeck has been dealing with a "balky" back, whatever that is. But something is not moving right on the body of the QB and that canít be a good thing. I donít think itís a great situation when the team and fans know that this will be the final year for the head coach. BILLS.
Bucs +3Ĺ at Saints: I think the clock is ticking for Jeff Garcia, especially since he knows the Bucs tried to pick up Favre. I will side here with Drew Brees over Garcia and McAllister and Bush over whoever the Bucs put in back of Garcia. SAINTS.
Rams +7 at Eagles: Brian Westbrook looks like heís ready to rumble, whether itís on foot or by air! Can the Rams overcome the injury bug that bit them big time last season? I canít answer that question and or pull the trigger at the betting window on St. Louis just yet. EAGLES.
Cowboys -4 at Browns: If you look strictly at preseason stats Dallas should be a 2 TD favorite. Cleveland is continuing to fight off several injuries, but should have enough healthy starters, including Braylon Edwards, to scare the heck out of the Joneses, whether itĎs Felix, Pacman or Jerry. BROWNS.
Panthers +9Ĺ at Chargers: The Panthers have a completely different look. John Fox tore his offensive and defensive lines apart and is trying to get back to a dominating running game. The new attitude and personnel changes like RB Jonathon Stewart should be enough to keep Carolina in the hunt. PANTHERS.
Cards -3 at 49ers: QB Matt Leinart was less than impressive in the preseason and must be looking over his shoulder at Kurt Warner. We might get Kurt Warner in this opener. One of the biggest shocks of the entire preseason was Mike Nolan naming J.T. OíSullivan as the starter and he deserves it. NINERS.
Bears +9 at Colts: I think Peyton Manningís knee will feel miraculously better as soon as he sees the Bears bus show up at the new stadium. How many years will this battle between Orton and Grossman go on? Probably until Chicago finds a solid QB and RB. Global warming may melt my freezer before that happens. COLTS.
Monday, Sept. 1
Vikings +2Ĺ at Packers: Let the second guessing begin! There will be a ton of pressure on Aaron Rodgers in this big opener. Not sure what will be tougher for him, the mental pressure of replacing a legend, or the physical pressure of being harassed by a tenacious defense. VIKINGS.
Broncos -3 at Raiders: I think Jay Cutler is poised for a much improved season after figuring out what was wrong with him physically and learning how to better manage his diabetes. JaMarcus Russellís second season at QB and the addition of RB Darren McFadden will make the Raiders better, but how much? BRONCOS.