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I’m not sure when I’m going to feel like I have a proper routine back in my life, yet alone the blog, but after life events overtook writing at the end of last season we have been right through pre-season and whilst podcasting started, writing hasn’t. Until now, so whilst I’m sorting spreadsheets out and trying to get organised suddenly there’s picks to be made and a game tonight.

I mentioned it on the pod, and it is sort of my plan this season to take a leaf out of the Patriots/Rams’ approach and ramp up in September as we prepare for the long haul to the Super Bowl, which now includes an extra week in the regular season. There are other commitments kicking in next month too so I will have to sort out once again where I can find watching and writing time, but I want to keep this fun for me to write and hopefully for you to read. It’s also been far too long since I won a picks competition, so let’s see if I can get the year off to a good start, knowing that as ever, we are in for a marathon and not a sprint.

Cowboys @ Buccaneers (-6.5)

The first game of the season is a humdinger of a contest that as usual sees the Super Bowl champions opening up at home, and once more Tom Brady gets to open the season, this time welcoming the Cowboys to Tampa as Dak Prescott sees his first action since last season’s horrific ankle injury. I’m looking forward to the game, but it’s a strange one to pick because the Cowboys did not sparkle last season after Dak went down and the defence never looked right. All the skill position players are there on offence but will the offensive line be good enough for them to hum and can an awful defence be good enough for the team to be truly competitive. It’s not an easy task to go against a stacked Bucs team that brought all of its starters back and now have Brady well established in the offence after a slow start when he joined the Bucs last season. Interestingly, this is a good number looking at what is available online, but I’m feeling conservative, particularly given how little we’ve seen in the pre-season and I’m not ready to be handing out a touchdown’s worth of points given hope good a quartrback Dak is. The numbers are saying I’m wrong, but I was bitten too often last season and so I’m backing the Cowboys to at least keep it competitive. I just hope this isn’t Hard Knocks having too much of an influence on me.

Gee’s Pick:     Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:     Cowboys

Survivor Competition

Dan beat me in both competitions last season, and with his pick of the Jaguars I can see the starts of a similar tactic to what he had going last season in going against the Texans. I can see his logic, but there’s too many new parts in Jacksonville for my liking and so I’m looking at the 49ers and their experience against a Lions team who are starting a big rebuilding project as what I’m hoping is a solid survivor pick to start the season.

Week 1 Selection:

Gee:    49ers
Dan:    Jaguars