And we're back, football fans!
For the first time since a team that shall remain nameless beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, SB Nation Dallas will be bringing you picks for each and every NFL game. This year, though, I'll be picking against the spread -- as well as out right.
So, enough fanfare, let's get to the picks.
Colts at Bears (-10): So here we are, the beginning of the Andrew Luck era in Indianapolis. Gone is Peyton Manning. And it's a new era in Chicago too, as Brandon Marshall has been reunited with Jay Cutler.
I'll take the Bears to cover and win. Luck headed into a hostile environment for his first-ever NFL start? Yeah, that's not going to end well. Gimme Brian Urlacher and his womanly tattoo.
Eagles (-7) at Browns: I'm a little surprised that the Eagles have only been spotted seven points here. They're superior in every way, shape and form to the Browns, and the only thing they don't have going for them is home field advantage. Insert your own Dog Pound / Michael Vick joke here.
I'll take the Eagles to win, and cover.
Anyway, I think Sam Bradford being under another offensive coordinator will slow him down at first. The Lions will win, and cover -- though don't be surprised if the Rams show some fight here.
Patriots (-8.5) at Titans: Jake Locker against a Bill Belichick defense restocked with two first round draft picks? Tom Brady with yet another chip on his shoulder?
Pats. To win, and cover.
Falcons (-3) at Chiefs: Matt Ryan goes on the road for his first start of 2012, as the Falcons look to be a bit more airborne this year than in years past. With Tamba Hali being suspended, Ryan should be in a position to succeed. I think the Chiefs will surprise, but not this week.
Falcons to win, and cover.
I don't think the Vikings are good, and Adrian Peterson probably won't play too much. I'll take the Vikings to win at home, but the Jaguars to cover.
Redskins at Saints (-8): Another team with a chip on its collective shoulder. The New Orleans Saints are probably unhappy about Bounty Gate. And by probably, I mean definitely. RGIII has a tough assignment headed into the SuperDome and winning -- so don't count on it.
Drew Brees and the Saints will both win and cover.
The Bills aren't great, but they're going to head into New Jersey, cover, and win.
Dolphins at Texans (-13): On the surface, this one looks a bit difficult against the spread, but not really. The Dolphins are terrible, and are starting a rookie quarterback, with a first-year head coach.
Texans. In a laugher.
49ers at Packers (-5): I get it. San Francisco has a great defense. Cool. That's great. The offense is nowhere near on par as Green Bay's, though. Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC until proven otherwise, and you can't make much of an argument for another team.
Green Bay to win, and cover.
I'm really not sure who the better team is here, so I'll take the Cardinals at home -- to win, and cover.
Panthers (-3) at Buccaneers: Here's another tough one. Cam Newton was awesome, but are the Panthers actually good? I don't know. The Bucs should be better in 2012, especially after adding Vincent Jackson.
I'll take Tampa Bay at home, both to win, and cover.
Steelers at Broncos (-2): So the Broncos added Peyton Manning. Maybe you heard about that. That doesn't make them a Super Bowl team (ahem, ESPN, SI). In fact, Denver probably isn't even the best team in the AFC West.
Pittsburgh isn't happy about that Wild Card round loss last year. I'll take them in the "upset" to win, and cover.
Bengals at Ravens (-7): Is Andy Dalton good? He's probably alright. Is he good enough to go into Baltimore and win Monday Night Football? No. But are the Ravens good enough to win by more than a touchdown? Good question.
I'll take Baltimore to win, but the Bengals cover.
Chargers at Raiders (-1): Ah, the old -1. Might as well be a pick 'em game. With no Ryan Mathews, I think I'll avoid San Diego, as Phillip Rivers probably steals a little girl's lollipop in the stands, taunts her, and throws a pick six to lose the game.
Raiders win, and cover.