September 10, 2015

The Discipline Bowl kicks off the season

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

It’s not often that we get a season-opener between two teams each missing their starting running backs, one missing a good receiver and the other nearly having to play without its starting QB.

That’s the state of tonight’s game which might as well be named the Discipline Bowl.

No LeVeon Bell. No Martavis Bryant. No LeGarrette Blount. Almost no Tom Brady.

You really have to wonder if commissioner Roger Goodell would even dare to show up, especially in New England after the entire Deflategate mess. That would be like Sepp Blatter showing up in the States for the Gold Cup final after this summer’s massive FIFA corruption scandal.

But even without those players, this game should be full of offensive. Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are among the best players at their positions and Brady and Roethlisberger can certainly air it out.

The defences should take a pounding a real offensive showcase, but I’d trust the champions to fired up after the summer they went through. It’s also rare for the defending champs to lose the Thursday night opener at home and missing Bell will especially hurt the Steelers’ chances of controlling the game.

Pick: NEW ENGLAND -7 over Pittsburgh

Last season: 141-111-4

Last playoffs: 5-6

And, for safe keeping, here are my predictions for the season.

SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: Seattle Seahawks
AFC CHAMPION: Indianapolis Colts
NFC CHAMPION: Seattle Seahawks
AFC EAST: New England Patriots
AFC NORTH: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC SOUTH: Indianapolis Colts
AFC WEST: Denver Broncos
AFC WILDCARDS: San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins

NFC EAST: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC NORTH: Minnesota Vikings
NFC SOUTH: Atlanta Falcons
NFC WEST: Seattle Seahawks
NFC WILDCARDS: Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals
NFL MVP: Adrian Peterson, MIN
MOST PASSING YARDS: Andrew Luck, IND
MOST RUSHING YARDS: Adrian Peterson, MIN
MOST RECEIVING YARDS: Julio Jones, ATL
MOST SACKS: Robert Quinn, STL
NFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: J.J. Watt, Houston
NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DeVante Parker, MIA
LAST-PLACE TEAM: Tennessee Titans

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