We did this series last year only picking NFC South matchups each week, but this season we're expanding a bit. For 2013, we'll be making picks for NFC South games, plus the primetime games each week (Thursday, Sunday, Monday night). Our own Jeanna Thomas and Alec Shirkey are along for the ride as well, adding two more competitors into the mix in the quest for best record.
Thursday night's opener is not included in this round (my fault), but we had five games to choose winners from. Here are our picks for Week 1.
Dissent ensues! OK, this week's slate was not polarizing. Are we really supposed to pick the Chargers over the Texans? Geno Smith is starting ... for the Jets ... and it should be terrible. Hard to go against the Bucs.
Reasons why I picked the Saints:
1) The Falcons last win at the Superdome was in 2010, and it took Garrett Hartley missing a 29-yard field goal to give Atlanta a chance to win. That's the only victory in New Orleans for Matt Ryan and the Mike Smith regime.
2) Sean Payton is back, as much as we hate it. The crowd is going to be raucous, more so than usual. Football is an emotional sport. The Saints have this factor on their side for the opener.
3) Payton is 10-2 against the Falcons (6-2 vs. Smith).
4) Alec picked the Saints first, so I felt bad leaving him as the lone scapegoat.
All valid reasons. My prediction for the Falcons this year still stands at 11-5 overall. They're not going to win every game (sorry, unreasonably optimistic fans). I think Atlanta wins when NOLA visits the Georgia Dome later in the season.
So there you have it. I'll be keeping track of our picks throughout the season to see who knows the NFL best/is lucky. Let's hear your thoughts on these games.