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NFL Pro Football 2010 Preseason Week 1 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preseason Week 1 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | August 8-14, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.



8:00 pm Cincinnati vs. Dallas (-1, 32 1/2) at Canton, Ohio - Here we go with the first pick of the preseason, and it's a doozy. Dallas and Cincy both have aspirations of reaching the Super Bowl this season and each team is loaded with talent.

The Cowboys will be a little disadvantaged on offense, being without prized rookie Dez Bryant, and the Bengals will be out to prove that they belong on the short list of SB contenders and may come into the game with a bit of a chip on their collective shoulders. Look for both Ochocinco and Terrell Owens to try to make an impact.

Coming from opposite conferences, these two teams don't meet all that often, but they are 2-2 since 1997, though the Bengals hold a 3-1 edge ATS. Not that it means much, but their last meeting, in October, 2008, resulted in a 31-22 Dallas home win, but the Cowboys were 16 1/2 point favorites and the Bengals were without Carson Palmer.

The stars won't see much more than a couple of drives, if that, but count on Cincy's offense to score a TD and their defense to deny the Cowboys an early tally. Should that occur, the Bengals will be off and flying, as Dallas will likely shrug any loss off, saying they were "evaluating talent."

PREDICTION: Bengals 17 Coyboys 10

Preseason Week 1

Thursday, Aug. 12

7:30 pm New Orleans at New England (-1 1/2, 35) - Don't expect to see much of the starters on either team, though New England will probably put some emphasis on getting Tom Brady on the same page as some of his receivers (though, notably, not Randy Moss). Backups will see the majority of playing time and New Orleans has an edge in experience, though the Patriots are likely to have better talent.

With the talent edge in the second half going to the Pats, plus home field, this one could turn out to be pretty boring as it winds down.

Prediction: Patriots 20 Saints 10

8:00 pm Carolina at Baltimore (-4, 34) - While the Baltimore defense is already well-established, the Panthers' offense is going through many changes and could result in turnovers, though starter Matt Moore and backup Jimmy Clausen are not likely to put the ball into too many precarious situations.

One should be looking for Carolina to plod along offensively, instead of forcing the ball downfield as they simply don't have the playmakers to match up well with the Ravens' secondary. Clausen especially will get a rude welcome to the NFL, because Baltimore's backups on the line - especially Trevor Price and Kelly Talavou - will be working on up-field rushing designed to crush opposing QBs.

Prediction: Ravens 20 Panthers 7

9:00 pm Oakland at Dallas (-3 1/2, 34) - After witnessing the play of the Dallas defense in their Hall of Fame game opener against Cincinnati, there's not much the Raiders can throw at them that they haven't seen before. If Carson Palmer (who played a lot more than expected) couldn't crack open the secondary, don't expect Jason Campbell or Bruce Gradkowski to make much headway.

The Cowboys should get a little more playing time out of Tony Romo, and that's good enough for two scores, plus, if Tashard Choice plays much of the second half, the Raiders will have their hands full on defense. Looks like a mismatch and a slaughter.

Prediction: Cowboys 31 Raiders 6

Friday, Aug. 13

7:30 pm Buffalo at Washington (-3 1/2, 32 1/2) - Redskin camp has been a no-nonsense affair with new head coach Mike Shanahan at the helm. With Donovan McNabb itching to throw some footballs and there will be an Albert Haynesworth sighting, though he's not expected to start.

For the Bills, also under a new coaching regime, that of Chan Gailey, they will be testing out their newest ultimate weapon, draft pick C.J. Spiller, who has the speed and quickness to terrorize most defenses, if the Bills are able to open some holes for him - a big issue.

Buffalo suffers from an identity crisis at QB, with "Captain Checkdown", Trent Edwards, vying for the job along with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm and Levi Brown. The starting job is up for grabs as are spots on the wings, where the Bills have lots of receivers, though only Lee Evans is assured of a starting position.

John Beck and Rex Grossman will take most of the second half snaps, so Buffalo may have an edge once the second and third units are on the field.

Prediction: Bills 24 Redskins 17

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7:30 pm Jacksonville at Philadelphia (-3, 33 1/2) - Philadelphia will unveil their new offense, which features Kevin Kolb and Mike Bell in place of Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook. Kolb is expected to play the entire first quarter, and the Eagles will rotate backs, with Leonard Weaver and LeSean McCoy getting some looks.

The Jags will do their early work with David Garrard at QB and Maurice Jones-Drew at RB, with wide receivers ranging from the obscure (Kassim Osgood) to the unknown (Mike Thomas). Truly, Jacksonville's aerial attack is up in the air and that should bode well for Philly corner Nate Allen, a rookie out of South Florida.

Both defenses are pretty solid, so there shouldn't be a wealth of scoring opportunities until the second half, but Philly should salvage a win.

Prediction: Eagles 17 Jaguars 9

8:00 pm Kansas City at Atlanta (-3, 34 1/2) - The Falcons are pretty well set at most skill positions on offense, but the Chiefs are another story. Matt Cassell bombed as the starting QB last season, but he'll take early snaps. After that, Brodie Croyle will get a turn, but look for an extended session for Tyler Palko, in his third year out of Pitt, who may be the best of the bunch. Sadly, Palko isn't very good, either; he'd probably be a third-stringer on most other teams, but the Chiefs are a bad bunch.

Atlanta will be looking at QBs Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson after starter Matt Ryan, and that group is world's away from the what the Chiefs offer. Unless Atlanta turns the ball over and KC's defense scores, this one looks like a blowout.

Prediction: Falcons 27 Chiefs 7

Saturday, Aug. 14

7:00 pm Tampa Bay at Miami (-3 1/2, 33 1/2) - The battle for the preseason state of Florida commences with this game, and even though there's nothing riding on it, there will be plenty of fireworks. The Buccaneers are coming off a 3-13 season and looking for positive changes, so Josh Freeman may get extended time as the starting QB. Following him are Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter, both of whom need experience and they'll get plenty in the second half.

For the Dolphins, there's a quarterback battle brewing. Chad Henne will probably start, but the other Chad - Pennington - wants his old job back. Add Tyler Thigpen and wildcat specialist Pat White to the mix and you have a situation in which nobody will be happy with the amount of playing time they're allotted.

Miami receivers will have to deal with Bucs' cornerback Aqib Talib, one of the best young DBs in the league. On the opposite side of the ball, look for either Arrelious Benn or Preston Parker to snatch a couple of balls. Both rookie receivers have impressed in camp. This could be a wild affair from start to finish, with lots of players looking to prove they belong.

Prediction: Buccaneers 30 Dolphins 27

7:30 pm Detroit at Pittsburgh (-3, 33 1/2) - What can you say about Ben Roethlisberger's off-season other than he needs to put it behind him? Big Ben had his usual out-of-uniform experiences involving young women and sex, so it will be interesting to see how he performs, even though it's just a preseason game. Pittsburgh missed out on the playoffs, so coach Mike Tomlin has laid down the law and expects 100% effort from everyone. If Roethlisberger isn't up to par, he'll be pushed by Byron Leftwich, the Steelers' new insurance policy.

Pittsburgh will rely on their running game (Rashard Mendenhall), but look for them to go early to Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El, two free agents signed in the off-season.

The Lions will be looking at Matthew Stafford and their offensive line, which needs to keep him safe, and testing out rookie RB Jahvid Best, while also giving the world a peek at defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Detroit is gung-ho about their prospects in 2010, and they may surprise the confident Steelers.

Prediction: Lions 17 Steelers 16

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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