One of the interesting aspects of NFL opening day is how new coaches fare in their regular season debut.
Of the ten teams who have a different head coach from last season, seven clubs were headed up by rookies, two by “recycled coaches” and one by an escapee-from-coaching purgatory-only-to-return-twelve-years-after-being-fired coach.
Yes, one has to wonder what Art Shell was thinking in his decision to resume the helm as Raiders head guy. As if six years as coach of the Raiders franchise under the direction of the decrepit Al Davis didn’t finish off Shell, the re-emergence has the potential to be lethal.
When the Raiders visited Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a preseason game on August 14, Shell looked as strong and healthy as ever despite his 59-years. Just four weeks later after a pathetic showing in a 27-0 season opening at home loss to the San Diego Chargers? Shell looked as though he’s aged ten years!!
I guess it’s true what they say. A week coaching a team with Randy Moss will age you 2 ½ years.
Former Viking update: Jacksonville Jaguars CB Brian Williams has pleaded no contest to drunken-driving charges, opening himself up to possible sanctions from the NFL.
More evidence that you can take the player away from the Vikings…
…but you can’t take the Viking out of the player.
As always, these picks against the point spread are satirical in nature and should not be used as a basis to place bets.
Raiders (+11 ½) at Ravens: Last week, Raiders WR Jerry Porter was seen cheering on the sidelines when his team was losing. This week he’ll join Ravens LB Ray Lewis in his ritualistic pre-game dance.
Texans (+13) at Colts: With all of the TV commercials done by Colts QB Peyton Manning he has now requested to wear product decals on his uniform.
Browns (+10) at Bengals: After the opening kickoff, the game will be stopped and Browns TE Kellen Winslow, Jr. will be presented with the game ball. It will be the second consecutive game he’s played in, tying his career best! Congrats, K2!!
Bills (+6 ½) at Dolphins: With ten days off between games, Dolphins QB Daunte Culpepper wanted to prove his knee was sound by appearing on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars .” He later declined when learning his partner would be Rosie O’Donnell.
Lions (+9) at Bears: After his team lost to Seattle last week 9-6, Lions WR Roy Williams felt his club was very close to scoring 40 points. I just hope that kind of logic works for me if I ever receive a tax audit.
Panthers (-1) at Vikings: In last year’s match-up, Panthers WR Steve Smith abused Vikes CB Fred Smoot for 201 yards receiving. This Sunday, Smith is questionable with a bad hamstring. It’s no coincidence that Smoot has been seen carrying around rosary beads this week.
Giants (+3) at Eagles: Two seasons ago, Eagles stout coach Andy Reid promised to where stretch pants if his then WR Terrell Owens caught 15 touchdowns. So this year if QB Donovan McNabb throws for 30 TDs? Corn Rows, my man!
Buccaneers (+5 ½) at Falcons: After his Week 1 performance of 140 yards passing, Falcons QB Michael Vick needs to average only 330 yards per game to break Dan Marino’s single season yardage record.
Saints (-2 ½) at Packers: After Saints rookie phenom Reggie Bush has a great game Sunday, I would request that Monday’s Times-Picayune go with the following headline: BUSH GREAT FOR NEW ORLEANS.
Rams (-3) at 49ers: Jose Marti once said “Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some.”
He must have been a 49ers fan.
Cardinals (+7) at Seahawks: Since Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns the Seahawks, QB Matt Hasselbeck has eschewed the use of a wrist band with the offensive plays listed. He now uses a palm pilot.
Jets (+6) at Patriots: Pats LB Tedy Bruschi is listed as questionable with a broken wrist. Questionable? Wow, I feel like a complete wuss when I think of how many times I’ve stayed home with the flu.
Titans (+11) at Chargers: Titans QB Kerry Collins has completed the NFL quarterback cycle. From young phenom to playboy alcoholic to outcast to comeback player to solid veteran to wash-up with a non-descript team.
Chiefs (+10 ½) at Broncos: Watching the footage of Chiefs QB Trent Green on the receiving end of a vicious hit last week, It reminds me of all the times Wile E. Coyote was crushed by an anvil.
Redskins (+6) at Cowboys: I won’t say Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe is totally immobile but he does appear to move around like he’s wearing concrete shoes.
Steelers (+1) at Jaguars: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable after having an appendectomy. I wonder if an NFL player has ever been listed on the injury report due to a tonsillectomy.
Last Week: 8-8-0