The League

David, Des and Matt

David, Des and Matt

Three Post editors who fearlessly preview each week's NFL games, and predict who'll win against the spread.

Post Gameday, Week 1


Welcome to the Post's Gameday. The three of us -- Desmond Bieler, Matt Bonesteel, and David Larimer -- are editors at the Washington Post. We'll be previewing each NFL game each week for The League, starting on Thursdays. By the weekend, we'll have posted every preview, picked who'll win each game against the spread, and chatted here about what's worth watching and why. Please join us and use the comment threads to explain how wrong we are. -- David, Des, and Matt

Week 1

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:38:39 AM): Ok, well first we should emphasize that these picks are strictly for bragging rights
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:39:25 AM): bragging rights which I hold as the two-time champion.
bielerd (9/5/2008 10:39:36 AM): right, we should introduce the bragging rights concept
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:40:16 AM): Yes, strictly bragging rights. No money involved whatsoever. No U.S. money, anyway. harharhar.

Cincinnati (-1 1/2) vs. BALTIMORE

bielerd (9/5/2008 10:50:07 AM): alright, let's plow ahead. I like Cincy -- waaaaayyyyy better quarterback, at least right now
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:50:28 AM): Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:51:58 AM): The Bengals are my lead-pipe, giant shoe-in of the week.
bielerd (9/5/2008 10:53:08 AM): well, it's not all about who's got the better offense, so I think it won't be a rout, but cincy should cover this
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:53:25 AM): I like the Bengals. I'd lock them, if we didn't have our warrior's code of one man, one lock

Detroit (-3) vs. ATLANTA

Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:54:33 AM): Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut. Rookie quarterback making NFL debut.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:54:41 AM): Ugh. Do I have to to? I'll take Detroit
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:54:49 AM): I'm taking the Lions, if you haven't guessed.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:55:28 AM): btw, has rudi johnson gotten his bags back?
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:56:14 AM): will Tatum Bell follow Ocho Cinco's lead and change his name to Tatum Bellhop?
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:56:28 AM): zing!
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 10:57:07 AM): it's a comedy chat room!
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 10:57:26 AM): it's like Evening at the Improv. Only not suicide-inducing.
bielerd (9/5/2008 10:57:37 AM): gotta luv how he was caught on camera, then sez, I ain't no thief. reminds me of that shaggy song. ah, shaggy, where ya been? anyway another road team, another consensus pick.

BUFFALO (-1) vs. Seattle

bielerd (9/5/2008 10:59:01 AM): yay, I get to pick an underdog! anyone who read my game preview at the league knows how I feel about the Holmgren-Jauron coaching matchup
bielerd (9/5/2008 10:59:37 AM): of course, I am taking another road team...
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:01:07 AM): I also like Seattle, for reasons that pertain more to not thinking the Bills are any good.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:01:35 AM): Well, then. I loves the teeny tiny spread, which gives me the illusion of a straight-up pick. And when the favorite in that teeny tiny spread is facing a team flying cross-country for an early kickoff, the iron bars close. Ka-CHUNK. That's the sound of a lock.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:02:02 AM): A Bills lock that is. I repeat, Ka-CHUNK.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:02:08 AM): wow, locking the Bills! an early swing one way or the other in bragging rights

N.Y. Jets (-3) vs. MIAMI

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:02:30 AM): ya know I'm taking gang green here
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:02:57 AM): remember when you could make Ka-CHUNK and other similar locking noises when the Dolphins played a home game in the first month?
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:03:04 AM): that's all road teams so far me. [sigh...]
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:03:56 AM): Everyone's all like, "Pennington knows the Jets inside and out, he's gonna pick them apart blahblahblah..." I find this laughable. Pennington can barely pick apart the individual sections of a navel orange. Jets, pls.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:04:24 AM): also all road teams for me. we're like soulmates!
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:05:50 AM): I can't make locking noises anymore for the Dolphins at home in 80-something degree weather. I can't even make Velcro noises. I'd like to take them, but I'm going Jets, too.

NEW ENGLAND (-16!) vs. Kansas City

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:06:54 AM): I hate this line.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:06:56 AM): I very nearly made the Pats my lock, but I have to admit the number is scary. But I finally get to go w/a home team

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:07:31 AM): I'm going with the Pats too, but they're daring me to take the Chiefs, which just seems stupid.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:08:08 AM): That's a big number. I think the Pats may come close to doubling it.

NEW ORLEANS (-3 1/2) vs. Tampa Bay

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:09:06 AM): taking N.O. for an answer is what I do
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:09:53 AM): The city rallies round the Saints again
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:11:05 AM): I'll take the Saints. I like the Saints this year. they could be saucy.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:11:38 AM): So we agree on pretty much everything.

PHILADELPHIA (-7 1/2) vs. St. Louis

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:11:55 AM): do we agree that the eagles will cover? I think so
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:12:38 AM): I think the Eagles have been a bit overrated, but the Rams will stink. I like the Eagles.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:13:15 AM): notsofastmyfriend. I'm taking the Rams in hopes that Bulger's frankenstein offensive line holds together. this number is too high for the eagles to top it.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:14:03 AM): steven jackson has to feel some effect from holding out all summer, doesn't he?

PITTSBURGH (-6 1/2) vs. Houston

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:15:11 AM): I like the Texans to keep this close
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:15:36 AM): As do I. Schaub + A. Johnson = mazumah in the bank.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:16:02 AM): dang, I thought this was where we would diverge. I like the texans' D-line against Pitt's shaky pass protection, too.
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:16:23 AM): stop agreeing with me!

Jacksonville (-3) vs. TENNESSEE

Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:16:33 AM): I wish we could take the under.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:17:12 AM): Why is everyone so high on the Jags this year?
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:17:46 AM): yeah, 3 points seems like a ton in this matchup. I'll take the titans, even if Vince Young has looked awful in the preseason
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:18:19 AM): his 2007 numbers weren't so great, either, but his team had a winning record
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:18:38 AM): I'll take the Jags, tho if I could I'd take the push
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:19:04 AM): I like the Titans (8-1 ATS in their last nine against the AFC South)
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:19:19 AM): ooh, defending bragging rights champ makes another move. watch him go!

Dallas (-5 1/2) vs. CLEVELAND

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:20:40 AM): I'll admit it, when I looked over the picks I made initially, I decided I had taken too many road teams. So I switched this one to the Browns. Now that's some reasoning to pin the college fund on!
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:21:03 AM): Another road favorite that I'm jumping on. But the Cowboys are significantly better. I think the Browns, maybe, just maybe will be a bit snake-bitten this year.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:21:34 AM): why, just b/c they are every year?
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:21:53 AM): Cowboys, just 'cause I feel sorry for Campo.

SAN DIEGO (-9) vs. Carolina

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:22:32 AM): no, no, no, too many points. I think the Panthers can keep it close
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:23:26 AM): I kinda like the Panthers this year. I think they cover.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:23:29 AM): 9 points seems steep for a team with Philip Rivers as its QB. I'm taking the Panthers.

Arizona (-2 1/2) vs. SAN FRANCISCO

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:24:52 AM): this was my lock. go Cards! Kurt Warner vs. Tipsy McStagger, er, J.T. O'Sullivan? come on.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:25:50 AM): not to mention Fitzgerald and Boldin vs. whatever has-beens and never-weres the Niners trot out at WR
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:26:21 AM): Cardinals I think win this by scads of points. Scads!
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:26:50 AM): why do you hate on the Irish so much, bieler?
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:27:28 AM): I hate myself, is that what you want to hear? fine -- I hate myself [sob, sob]
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:28:08 AM): I'm not nearly as confident about this as you two. It's still arizona, and it's still a road game. But I'll go along with it
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:28:29 AM): waaaayyy too much consensus here. not good

INDIANAPOLIS (-9 1/2) vs. Chicago

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:30:04 AM): the bears' offense is upholding its tradition of stinkiness, and now defense just might be headed that way, too. Colts, please.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:30:13 AM): this is one of those situations where everyone thinks Kyle Orton is so bad (including me), I think he'll be surprisingly effective in this game
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:30:29 AM): yes, I like to contradict myself
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:30:55 AM): yes, your self-loathing continues
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:31:04 AM): Pluses for the Colts: new stadium, tons of weapons, prime time. Pluses for the Bears: um........
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:31:16 AM): the colts have some real offensive line problems. give me the bears
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:31:47 AM): wow. now that's bold. I'm taking the colts.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:32:07 AM): count me among the bold and the beautiful

GREEN BAY (-2 1/2) vs. Minnesota

larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:32:49 AM): I like the Vikings
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:33:03 AM): I have faith in Aaron Rodgers's competence. Tarvaris Jackson's? not yet
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:33:55 AM): plus, I'm counting on Jared Allen to have a really bad hangover
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:34:05 AM): I think there's just gonna be something so off about a Monday night game in GB without Favre there, it's gonna throw the whole place out of whack. Like a rift in the space-time continuum. Which means I think Tavaris Jackson will have a good game and the Vikes will cover this.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:34:27 AM): no, I'm not on mushrooms.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:34:37 AM): I zig where others zag -- good!
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:35:07 AM): really, what else do we have to go on in Week 1 besides cockamamie theories?
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:35:32 AM): like the theory that we're in any position to pick nfl games?

Denver (-3) VS. OAKLAND

bielerd (9/5/2008 11:36:31 AM): I will again tip the balance sheet toward the home team and expect that McFadden can expose Denver's flimsy run D
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:37:26 AM): Cutler will miss Brandon Marshall, too
larimerd2000 (9/5/2008 11:38:51 AM): Oh no. Shanny does two things: lose in the playoffs without John Elway, and beat the Raiders.
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:39:01 AM): Shanahan still is holding a grudge against Al Davis. He'll try to run it up, which he won't be able to do, but it'll still be enough. Broncos.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:39:39 AM): what's he going to do, coach 'harder'? meh
Matt Bonesteel (9/5/2008 11:39:52 AM): he'll coach squintier.
bielerd (9/5/2008 11:40:06 AM): he'll purse his lips tighter

By David, Des and Matt  |  September 5, 2008; 3:59 PM ET  | Category:  Post Gameday Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Minnesota at Green Bay, Week One | Next: Week One Picks


Please email us to report offensive comments.

so very, very wrong. here's a cockamamie theory - home underdogs are consistently one of the best bets in all of sports. i'll take all 7 (yes, even SF - JTO is the truth!) and see how it goes.

also, i love the Bills lock pick. i'm supposed to believe in Seattle's offense with a weak running attack and no WRs to speak of?

Posted by: jamie | September 6, 2008 4:25 PM

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