“Pick ‘Em or Kick ‘Em”™: FGT vs. Urban Sports Scene Week 1 NFL Picks
By the Football Garbage Time StaffIf you followed last year, you won over 60% of your picks, and we aim to do even better this year.
And if you’ve been following us, you know that we here at Football Garbage Time have gone head to head against Wally, Will and Ray at Urban Sports Scene on our NFL Picks for the last 4 seasons. Why? Because they’re awesome competitors, they KNOW their sports, and, heck, they’re just good guys! This year we’ll have their picks up right HERE, so keep it tuned in, to both us and them, because we’ll be picking all season all long.
Without further to do, here we go:
Week 1 Games
Ha Kung Wong’s Picks
Ha Kung’s Thoughts:
Last year I ended up with a 64.7% record for the season, so that’s five years in a row with over a 60% pick rate. Plus, I had a 88.2% record on Locks of the Week and a 64.7% record on Upsets of the Week. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on stopping now!
So let’s see get to that Lock (for Survivor Leagues) and Upset for Week 1…
Lock of the Week ➡ Indianapolis Colts (-8.0) over Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s always tough to make picks in Week 1 without any real track record to rely on, but it’s particularly difficult this year without even any preseason games. So I really have no idea how Philip Rivers is jelling with his new teammates in Indianapolis. What I do know is that Rivers has a solid track over his 15 years as a starting QB, averaging out at a 64.7% completion percentage and an average passer rating of 95.1, which is the 5th highest and 7th highest, respectively, among active QBs in the league. And I know that the Colts offensive line includes one All-Pro (Quenton Nelson), two Pro Bowlers (Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly), a former first round pick who should be a Pro Bowler (Anthony Castonzo), and former second round pick and one of the top right tackles in football (Braden Smith). And I know the Colts drafted top offensive weapons in RB Jonathan Taylor and WR Michael Pittman Jr. to add to top target T.Y. Hilton. In other words, I like the upside of what the Colts have on offense as compared to a completely gutted Jaguars team that gave up on top offensive piece Leonard Fournette and lost top defensive piece Yannick Ngakoue this offseason. So, if I have to make a lock, why not go with the upside?
Upset of the Week ➡ Atlanta Falcons (+2.0) over Seattle Seahawks
This is not a knock on the Seattle Seahawks, as the one thing I’ve learned is that Russell Wilson can make it happen essentially on his own, and breakout sophomore receiver D.K. Metcalf is probably ready to take the next step along veteran Tyler Locket. But let’s not forget that we’re only 4 years separated from a Falcons team that essentially won 2 and half quarters of Super Bowl LI on the back of an near unstoppable offense against a near unstoppable New England Patriots. Matt Ryan is back with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, replacing Austin Hooper with Hayden Hurst and Devonta Freeman with Todd Gurley. Call this one a gut reaction, but I don’t think line makers are giving enough respect to Atlanta, and I can easily see them winning this.
Joanne Kong’s Picks
Week 1 is always the hardest week to make an accurate assessment of who will win. There are only two factors that can be considered and one of the those factors is hypothetical.
- Factor One, record of the previous season. If a team had a great season the previous year and made minimal changes in player positions and defense, you have some confidence that the team will be equally as good or bad in the current season.
- Which brings us to Factor Two, off season trades and draft picks. New rookies are unknown factors. Regardless of the hype, we don’t know if they will become superstars or bust. For instance, just look at the quarterback shell game. Tom Brady (formerly of the New England Patriots) is in Tampa Bay, and Cam Newton (formerly of the Carolina Panthers) is in New England. Plus, Teddy Bridgewater (formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints) is starting in Carolina. Andy Dalton (formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals) is a backup in Dallas, with rookie Joe Burrows taking his place in Cincinnati. The Chicago Bears has Nick Foles (formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars) at least temporarily behind Mitchell Trubisky. Tyrod Taylor (formerly in Baltimore, Buffalo and Cleveland) is starting for the Los Angeles Chargers, replacing Philip Rivers, who is now starting in Indianapolis. I think you get the point. Quarterbacks are the backbone of any NFL team, and its never clear how well a player will do with a new team, particularly a quarterback.
My week 1 picks consider these two factors and take into account home field advantage, although less than usual as there won’t be the typical fans in the stands. It’s a complicated equation that also, at least at this point of the season, involves a little bias, such as still hating Tom Brady and never liking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and still hating the New England Patriots but liking Cam Newton. From a personal standpoint, I’m all in on the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens, and am also hoping that the Kansas City Chiefs don’t win the Super Bowl for a second year in a row, because let’s face it, nobody liked the New England Patriots Era except New England fans.
Survivor Pick: Buffalo Bills
Scott King’s Picks
Week 1 without preseason, your guess is as good as mine. I’m trying to look at and consider what limited information we can pull from practices. My only stretch is the Rams over Cowboys. We’ll see how teams travel to the west coast during the current world. Good luck.
Ryan Whitfield’s Picks
Follow me on Twitter – @RyanWhitfieldNE
Check out Wally’s thoughts at the 45:20 minute mark of the most recent Urban Sports Scene Podcast!
— Wole USS (@UrbanSportScene) September 9, 2020
Check out Ray’s thoughts also at the 45:20 minute mark of the most recent Urban Sports Scene Podcast!
Survivor Pick: Dallas Cowboys
Check out Will’s thoughts also at the 45:20 minute mark of the most recent Urban Sports Scene Podcast!
Struggled against this crew last year but this year I will be better!
Upset: Chicago over Detroit. The pressure is on Matt Patricia and the signing of Adrian Peterson (late of the team formerly known as the Redskins) shows the difficulty they have in their running game. And yes the Bears aren’t very good and ludicrously went with Mitch Trubisky but they did somehow win 8 games last year. And they still have that great defense that will force Matthew Stafford into mistakes that will lead to points. And road teams may fare better this year with no fans in the stands.
Survivor pick: Dallas over the LA Rams. The Rams are going to be awful and Dallas is a Super Bowl contender with a lot of offensive firepower. Even with no preseason expect a lot of points and a big win.
Others: Minnesota makes a big state in the NFC North by beating the Packers at home. Teddy Bridgewater and Carolina spring a small surprise and Vegas. The Bengals beat the Chargers in Joe Burrow’s first start. The Saints give Tom Brady a rude awakening in the Big Easy and with no fans in the stands the Titans beat the Broncos with a late field goal.
Check back next week for our Week 1 results and Week 2 picks!