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September 6, 2006 @ 1:30 pm
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Pewter Report Staff Picks: Week 1

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Week 1 of the 2006 regular season begins on Thursday night, and Pewter Reporters Hugh MacArthur, Scott Reynolds and Jim Flynn have predicted the winners and losers of each of this week's games in this article. Which Pewter Reporters picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to down the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon? Get their picks and commentary for each game in this article.

PEWTERREPORT.COM STAFF STANDINGS

Jim Flynn 0-0

Hugh MacArthur

Scott Reynolds 0-0


LAST YEAR:

Scott Reynolds 168-77

Jim Flynn 165-80

Mark Lennox 161-84


Miami at Pittsburgh (Thursday 8:30 PM ET)

MacArthur - No Big Ben and no Jerome Bettis means no victory for the Steelers in game one. Take Nick Saban to find a way to stuff the run and get a key turnover to eke out the win. Miami

Reynolds - If Big Ben were the lineup, I'd go with the Steelers. Running game? Even. Defense? Even. Quarterbacks? It's not close. I'll take Daunte Culpepper and the Fish over Charlie Batch. Miami

Flynn - With Ben Roethlisberger recovering from surgery and Jerome Bettis in the broadcast booth, the confetti will stop falling in Pittsburgh when the defending Super Bowl champs come crashing back down to earth with a close loss to the Dolphins. Miami


Atlanta at Carolina (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Start up the "Vick is overrated" bandwagon for the 2006 season. The Falcons' run defense is still soft, and the Panthers will pound the ball inside and run effective play-action to Steve Smith and Keyshawn to win going away. Carolina

Reynolds - No one plays the Falcons better than the Panthers (well, maybe the Buccaneers, too). Michael Vick will be running for his life as Carolina wins its home opener. Carolina

Flynn - Carolina learned its lesson by losing its home opener to New Orleans last season. That loss proved to be the difference in Carolina finishing one game behind Tampa Bay in the NFC South division last year. The Panthers live up to the hype by spanking the sputtering Falcons at home. Carolina


Seattle at Detroit (1:00 Sunday ET)

MacArthur - The only upset in this game will be in Rod Marinelli's stomach afterwards. The best team in the NFC will lay a pounding on a hopelessly outmanned but high effort Detroit team. Seattle

Reynolds - I smell upset here. I could see Rod Marinelli rallying his troops for an inspired upset win at home. However, I don't think all the Lions have bought into him yet. I'll go with an experienced Seattle squad. Seattle

Flynn - Rod Marinelli is the right man for the job in Detroit, but that sentiment won't be supported in this contest as the Seahawks should roll over the rebuilding Lions. Seattle


Cincinnati at Kansas City (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Bengals defense shows why Larry Johnson should not be the first pick in this year's fantasy draft. Rudi Johnson shows why he should be a top 5 pick in any fantasy draft. Cincinnati

Reynolds - If Kansas City had its old offensive line this would be an exciting shootout. Because they don't, it will be a one-sided affair with Carson Palmer and Cincy scoring about 24 points on the Chiefs' weak defense - by halftime. Cincinnati

Flynn - Kansas City's defense looked shaky in preseason, and it won't get its act together in time for Cincinnati's potent offense. The Chiefs are a tough team to beat at home, which will make this one close, but the Bengals will escape with a win. Cincinnati


Denver at St. Louis (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Let's see, another good team visiting a terrible team. Rams will get behind early, and start throwing interceptions. Mike Shanahan is 12-3 in openers. Denver

Reynolds - Mike Shanahan versus Scott Linehan. I can't find any reason why the Rams would win this game. They are playing at home, but St. Louis would need to be plus-four in the turnover margin to get the "W." Denver

Flynn - The Rams are a team in the process of rebuilding while the Broncos enter this season as a team building on a playoff season in 2006. The Broncos should start the season 1-0 with a fairly easy win over the Rams. Denver


New York Jets at Tennessee (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - While Tennessee might not be the best team in its own state (see Vols), the Jets definitely aren't the best team in theirs. In fact, the Jets might be the worst team in the AFC. First of many headaches for Eric Mangini as he takes position for the Brady Quinn sweepstakes. Tennessee

Reynolds - Titans versus Jets ... the only other game that might rival the putrid stench of this one is Cleveland versus New Orleans. Double yuck. I'll go with the Titans at home ... if I have to. Tennessee

Flynn - Unless you live in New York or Tennessee, you should sue your local cable or satellite provider if this game is televissed in your area. This game will be a snoozer, but somebody has to win ... unless it ends in a tie in overtime (ugh!). Titans prevail in an ugly one. Tennessee


New Orleans at Cleveland (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - They have a revolving door at center, but Romeo Crennel just might have a quarterback with Charlie Frye, and he is building a solid defense. The Saints have a sore shouldered QB, some talented running backs, and entirely new systems on offense and defense. Cleveland

Reynolds - Yuck. What a mind-numbing affair this will be. Can I pass on this one? I'll give anyone who watches this one from start to finish - and stays awake - a round of applause. By the way, I like Bush. Reggie Bush, that is. New Orleans

Flynn - Both of these teams should be improved from last year and they match up well in a lot of different areas, which makes it difficult to pick a winner in this one. The difference will be the play at quarterback and running back, and that means the Saints will prevail in a close one thanks to Drew Brees and Reggie Bush. New Orleans


Philadelphia at Houston (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Houston will be better, but not this week. Jim Johnson plans for defensive huddle to be in Houston's backfield. Run David Run! Philadelphia

Reynolds - Houston is no match for Donovan McNabb and the Eagles defense. David Carr will get reacquainted with the turf at Reliant Stadium once again. Seems like old times, eh Dave? Philadelphia

Flynn - The Texans will do a better job of protecting David Carr, but Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will throw a variety of blitzes at him, which will lead to some sacks and turnovers. That will be the difference in this game, which will be closer than most expect. Philadelphia


Buffalo at New England (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Yawn.......wake me when the Patriots get to 12 wins. The Bills' defense will put up a fight, but the Pats' have way too much on every side of the ball. The march to Miami starts here. New England

Reynolds - Tom Brady doesn't need no stinking Deion Branch. He can beat the Bills with you, your brother and a couple of your neighbors. Buffalo doesn't impress me. The Patriots continue to impress me. New England

Flynn - The Bills are just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots, who will overcome some injuries and distractions to defeat Buffalo in convincing fashion. New England


Baltimore at Tampa Bay (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - This game has 13-10 written all over it. McNair isn't banged up yet, so he will be very dangerous. Both defenses are stout against the run. It says here that Cadillac runs it better than a slipping Jamal Lewis and that is enough for the Bucs to get the win on the foot of Matt Bryant. Tampa Bay

Reynolds - This game scares the crap out of me. I think Baltimore could be the dark horse team in the AFC this year with Steve McNair at the helm. The Bucs use the heat and their running game to grind out a close, close, close opening-day win. Tampa Bay

Flynn - This contest reeks of defense, and although Baltimore's is one of the league's best, Tampa Bay's defense was the league's No. 1-ranked unit last season and showed no signs of giving up those bragging rights in preseason. Steve McNair will help the Ravens keep this one close, but hot and humid temperatures in Tampa give the Bucs the homefield advantage. Tampa Bay


San Francisco at Arizona (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur - Well, I know who Kevan Barlow is picking in this one. Mike Nolan begins his run for the Brady Quinn sweepstakes (though he might opt out because of Alex Smith) by laying an egg in Arizona, where Dennis Green finally has an offense. Arizona

Reynolds - San Francisco will be the worst team in the NFL this year. Mark it down. Arizona might be pretty close with that suspect offensive line. I don't understand the Cards. They have all of these skill position players and a crappy O-line. Arizona

Flynn - The Cardinals' offensive weapons, which now include Edgerrin James, will be too much for the 49ers defense to handle on the road. The Cardinals should be one of the most improved teams in the NFC and will prove that with a win over the 49ers. Arizona


Chicago at Green Bay (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur - I'm not sure who the Bears' QB is, but I am sure that it won't matter for this game. Brett Favre begins his second straight season of 20-plus INTs in harried fashion as the Bears methodically grind out a win. Chicago

Reynolds - What a Week 1 gimme. Okay, maybe San Fran won't be the worst team. Maybe it will be Green Bay. I like the Bears in this one, even though I think the Lions will win the division. Chicago

Flynn - Chicago's defense will make Brett Favre wish he had retired during the offseason. Then again, Favre might be the only player that keeps the Packers in this game. The Bears still lack offense, but they shouldn't have a problem moving the ball on the Packers suspect defense. Chicago


Dallas at Jacksonville (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur - Usually I like good home teams in openers, but I think the Jags have half of a good team. The defense will be ferocious, but Dallas will take away the run and tee off on Byron Leftwich. Look for Jag turnovers to lead to Cowboy points as the Tuna - T.O. soap opera wins episode one. Dallas

Reynolds - Everyone loves Dallas this year. For some reason I don't. I do like Jacksonville at home - at least this week - as long as they can pass protect for Byron Leftwich. Jacksonville

Flynn - The Cowboys weren't a great road team last year, but Terrell Owens will help Dallas decorate the scoreboard while the defense gets after Byron Leftwich early and often. Dallas


Indianapolis at New York Giants (Sunday 8:15 PM ET)

MacArthur - This game will be close, as the Rutherford, NJ maniacs will pump up the volume and fuel the Giants' defense, but the better Manning will eventually have his team pulling away with the Colts' first win of 2006. Indianapolis

Reynolds - Great Sunday night game. You can bet my PewterReport.com stories will be filed early on Sunday night so I can catch this one. I wouldn't be surprised if the Giants win at home due to their running game (and the Colts' lack of one), but I think Peyton is more competitive than Eli and wants bragging rights. Indianapolis

Flynn - These days, very few games actually live up to the hype they receive, but this one should be an exception as the Colts vs. Giants contest likely will be the best game of the week. Eli Manning will do his part, but the Giants defense won't be able to stop the Peyton Manning-led Colts offense. Indianapolis


Minnesota at Washington (Monday 7:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Other than Seattle over Detroit this could be the lock of the week. The Skins will come out breathing fire and Brad Johnson will be lucky to be able to walk off after this game. Gibbs and Saunders will pound the ball on the ground and expose a weak Vikings defense with play-action passing down the middle and quick screens to Santana Moss. Washington

Reynolds - This game could go either way. How much do you trust the preseason? Minnesota looked pretty good, while Washington looked terrible. I'll take the 'Skins and their defense at home in a field goal fest over Brad "Checkdown" Johnson. Washington

Flynn - The Redskins are a tough team to beat at home, especially on Kickoff Weekend. Joe Gibbs will out-coach rookie head coach Brad Childress, which will give the 'Skins the edge in what should be a close game. Washington


San Diego at Oakland (Monday 9:00 PM ET)

MacArthur - Yet another good team on the road against a bad one. Yet I will take Art Shell and the underdog here. Phillip Rivers is still a rookie in my book, and he isn't ready for the Black Hole. The Raider defense gets stingy and Brooks finds Moss on a prayer or two to pull this one out. Oakland

Reynolds - I'll take any team that Aaron Brooks is playing. That means San Diego. If you have the Chargers defense in your fantasy football league - start 'em. Brooks will throw three picks - easy. San Diego

Flynn - The Raiders might be the worst team in the NFL this year, and they'll prove that on Monday night by losing to the Chargers, who should be one of the league's more balanced teams this year. San Diego

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