2013 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 1 NFL Picks

Yes! - Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a very disappointing picks record in 2012 by my standards, it feels good to start over with a clean slate as the 2013 NFL season kicks off tonight. Each week on Thursday, I will be bringing you my picks here on Dawgs By Nature. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section below.

Week 1 Games Explanation Pick
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Kicking Off the Season: This is one of the best games the league could have booked to open up the season, considering the dramatic overtime playoff game they had in 2012. Both teams have had their share of losses this offseason, but Baltimore's losses seem to far out-weigh Denver's. Broncos 28, Ravens 21

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Not Pretty, But Getting the Job Done: I am not very confident in the Steelers' chances this year, and I picked them to finish last in a competitive AFC North. The Steelers' run defense is always very tough to get yards against, although Chris Johnson did have 19 carries for 91 yards against them in an upset win last year.

My concern with Tennessee will continue to be my lack of confidence in Jake Locker, combined with the team not really specializing in a specific area. Ben Roethlisberger will get this week out of the way and hope that the team's easy schedule can continue propelling them upward. Steelers 20, Titans 16

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Can Manuel Deliver Rookie QB Mojo? So, it looks like E.J. Manuel is going to start for the Bills this week after all. This game is quite intriguing to me, because I think the proper utilization of C.J. Spiller can keep Buffalo competitive in a lot of games, and the Patriots are stuck with a completely new group of receivers for Tom Brady. I'll trust Brady to prevail, but won't be surprised if the Bills pull off an upset. Patriots 26, Bills 17

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Shootout of the Week: Having Sean Payton back for a full year, including all of the preparation that goes into the offseason, will make a world of a difference for the Saints in 2013. There major fault will be their defensive woes, but hasn't that been the story of this team for years now? The Falcons are poised to be the better team overall this year, but I'm going with the Saints to win a shootout opener. Saints 31, Falcons 28

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Revis Gets Some Revenge: I actually picked the Jets first, trying to out-think myself into some scenario in which the Jets, despite how screwed up of a team they are, would be triumphant in a Week 1 victory. Then, I reminded myself about the fact that the Jets have Geno Smith starting, no proven running backs, very little at receiver, and lost their best defensive player, Darrelle Revis, to these Buccaneers.

Also, the Buccaneers have solid offensive weapons in Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson. You should've seen how quickly I slapped myself back to reality and switched my pick back to the Buccaneers. Buccaneers 17, Jets 6

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Upset of the Week: This game could have the makings of a Chiefs blowout, but I'm going with the upset and taking the Jaguars. I'm not taking the Jaguars because of Blaine Gabbert; he is still by far the worst quarterback in the NFL. I'm taking the Jaguars because everyone seems to have forgotten about the impact that Maurice Jones-Drew can have on a game.

The Chiefs made some big changes in the offseason -- namely getting Andy Reid and Alex Smith -- and will be the better team in 2013 than Jacksonville. Every now and then, something goes haywire, and this will be one of those weeks. After being a laughingstock all offseason, the Jaguars will have at least one laugh this season. Jaguars 21, Chiefs 20

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Two Mobile Quarterbacks, 1.0: This is another intriguing match-up, in the sense that I thought Cameron Newton really rebounded toward the end of last season and could be poised for a very good junior season.

Seattle's dominance usually comes at home, too, and this came is being played in Carolina. When you look up and down the Seahawks' roster, though, it's just stacked with quality players on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks are one of those teams I just can't go against very often in 2013. Seahawks 24, Panthers 20

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Relied on Him For Too Long: In 2012, Adrian Peterson had one of the most remarkable seasons you could imagine and single-handedly carried the Vikings into the postseason. He might be the greatest running back of the current era of football, but there is no way he can reproduce that type of success a second year in a row, and understandably so. Besides Peterson, the Vikings are still horrible on offense, and that will bode well for the historically-inconsistent Lions. Lions 20, Vikings 13

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Blowout of the Week: The Raiders are my pick for being the worst team in the league, and although the Buckeye fan in me wants to root for Terrelle Pryor, I think he is going to look awful against the Colts' defense. Andrew Luck is going to have an outstanding sophomore season; he has that "it" factor when it comes to making all of the right throws. Colts 35, Raiders 14

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Establishing AFC Dominance: With Cincinnati being my pick to overtake the AFC North this year, I have them pulling out a tough victory over the Chicago Bears -- it would be the type of win that would establish the Bengals as a legitimate threat early in the season.

It's hard for me to get a pulse on the Bears. They started off so well last season, only to tank into oblivion. That sour taste is still left in my mouth, and they need to re-prove what they are capable of before my image of them changes. Bengals 27, Bears 20

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Thank Goodness the Preseason is Over: "What we've ran in the preseason is exactly what we're going to run in the game Those are the only plays that we've got in the playbook. Tell Arizona that."

That's what quarterback Sam Bradford said, jokingly of course, to reporters in anticipation for the regular season getting ready to start. The Rams' receivers looked pretty bad (and it wasn't just Bernie Kosar saying that), but they supposedly have some creative stuff in store for Tavon Austin, and I can't wait to see that. I've never had a lot of confidence in Sam Bradford, but I think he finally takes that next step forward in 2013.

The Cardinals interest me in case Carson Palmer just throws to Larry Fitzgerald 50 times per game. Other than that, I think they'll just really miss Ray Horton, including this week. Rams 24, Cardinals 16

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An Early NFC Highlight: This is another great playoff re-match, and I'm glad it won't interfere time-wise with the Browns game. Will teams have an answer for Colin Kaepernick and that style of offense in 2013? Can Aaron Rodgers light the world on fire against the 49ers' outrageously deep defense? The real key here is the 49ers' biggest acquisition of the offseason, Phil Dawson, who will put up several field goals en route to victory. 49ers 31, Packers 27

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Yesterday's News: I look at these two teams and almost think, "aren't these guys yesterday's news?" NFC teams like the Redskins, Seahawks, 49ers, Packers, and Falcons really overshadow both of them.

For the Cowboys, I get that Dez Bryant is a great receiver, but I think he's getting way too much hype heading into the season. The real hype should be going to the Giants' David Wilson. Ultimately, I took the Cowboys, but it's basically a true coin flip for me. Cowboys 20, Giants 16

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Two Mobile Quarterbacks, 2.0: This is a great way to start off Monday Night Football. Both teams have very compelling stories heading into the 2013 season. For the Eagles, what will Chip Kelly's offense look like, and can he bring Michael Vick back into the elite fold of quarterbacks? For the Redskins, is Robert Griffin III truly ready-to-go at 100%? Redskins 23, Eagles 21

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The Forgotten Team: Is it just me, or are the Texans almost a forgotten team of sorts, despite their incredibly good season in 2012? Fortunately for them, they can make an early statement in 2013 with an opponent like the Chargers. Is Mike McCoy capable of turning a ship around that has just tanked the past couple of years? The most important piece to the puzzle is Philip Rivers; I'm speechless when it comes to how much he's regressed. Texans 35, Chargers 13

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Something Has to Give: The Browns and Dolphins both made efforts to bolster their team and take the next step forward in 2013. Both fan bases think their team is poised for bright things this year, but at least for this week, one fan base will go into a shell and the other could start being amidst the talk of the league. Which side will Cleveland be on? Our full prediction will be posted on DBN this Saturday, so stay tuned!

TBD



Survivor Pick:
Why not just pick whoever goes against Oakland every week? That might be my strategy to kick off the season, so I'll go with the Colts this week.

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