Felger & Mazz

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  • OK, so here’s the idea: in this space, we’re going to pick every NFL game, every week. At the end of the season, we’ll see how we’ve measured up. But before you take out a second mortgage on your home, let’s make this clear:

    This isn’t a hardcore bettor’s column. It’s meant more for the casual … er … observer who is entering the office pool … or an elimination pool … or who likes to wager some extra cash here and there. You get the idea. You can pick with us or against us – and the latter might prove more successful. The proof, as always, will be in the pudding.

    All of that said, here are the inaugural selections of Pick It and Stick It for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season. For the purposes of this exercise, all picks are based on point spreads posted Thursday morning by our friends at Draft Kings.

  • Buffalo (-2.5) at LA Rams (Thursday)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills walks off the field after being defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills walks off the field after being defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    That’s right, you’re reading correctly. The defending Super Bowl champion Rams are opening at home as underdogs against the Bills, everybody’s darling. And you know why? Because the Bills are both talented and motivated. After dismantling the Patriots, the Bills lost at Kansas City largely because they lost a coin toss in overtime. Pick: Buffalo.

  • New England (+3.5) at Miami

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 19: Senior Football Advisor for the New England Patriots Matt Patricia on the sideline during the preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on August 19, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 19: Senior Football Advisor for the New England Patriots Matt Patricia on the sideline during the preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on August 19, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Now that Buffalo has passed the Patriots in the division, here’s the question: has Miami zipped by as well? The Dolphins have new weapons, a new coach and a new offensive scheme. The Pats have … um … what, exactly? Remember to keep telling yourself that September is an extension of the preseason.

    With that in mind, our first video selection of the season comes courtesy of Jim Murray, who needs to remember that video should be shot horizontally:

    Pick: Miami.

  • Cleveland (+1.5) at Carolina

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 26: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 26: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

    Ya, Mazz … it’s the Baykah Bowl. Deshaun Watson is suspended. Baker Mayfield is now the starting quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. The Browns could probably use Mayfield for this game because Jacoby Brissett blows. Personally, I think the Panthers will win in a rout and Mayfield has already been promising revenge. Pick: Carolina.

  • Baltimore (-7) at NY Jets

    BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 27: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on after the preseason game against the Washington Commanders at M&T Bank Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 27: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on after the preseason game against the Washington Commanders at M&T Bank Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    Some interesting angle here. The Ravens used to have the statuesque Joe Flacco, who will be starting this week for the Jets. The Ravens now have the athletic and dynamic Lamar Jackson, whom they have seemed reluctant to pay. The obvious question: what, exactly, do the Ravens want in their quarterback? As we ponder that, we know exactly what the Ravens want in an opponent: the Jets. Pick: Baltimore.

  • Indianapolis (-7) at Houston

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 27: Matt Ryan #2 and Nick Foles #9 of Indianapolis Colts talk on the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 27: Matt Ryan #2 and Nick Foles #9 of Indianapolis Colts talk on the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    OK, I like Houston quarterback Davis Mills, who threw for 1,258 yards, completed 68.4 percent of his passes and collected nine touchdown passes against two interceptions last season. But the Texans went 0-2 against Indy last year and were outscored 62-3. And this year, with Matt Ryan at quarterback instead of the incompetent Carson Wentz, the ponies could be horses. It’s called addition by subtraction. Pick: Indianapolis.

  • Philadelphia (-4) at Detroit

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts against the New York Jets in the second half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jets defeated the Eagles 24-21. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts against the New York Jets in the second half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jets defeated the Eagles 24-21. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    There’s an awful lot of hype surrounding the Eagles, but I’ll be honest: I don’t see it – at least not with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. (We’ll reevaluate if and when Gardner Minshew gets in there.) Among the 30 quarterbacks who attempted at least 300 passes last year, Hurts ranked 22nd in passer rating. The last time I checked, the quarterback’s job is to pass. Pick: Detroit.

  • San Francisco (-7) at Chicago

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 18: Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears watches on during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on August 18, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – AUGUST 18: Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears watches on during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on August 18, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    If you’re sensing a trend of road favorites so far, you’re not wrong. (As an aside, this should scare the life out of you if you’re in an elimination pool.) Now, a quick knowledge test: Who is the coach of the Bears? If you said Matt Eberflus, you get a gold star. And you’ll understand this selection. Pick: San Francisco.

  • Pittsburgh (+6.5) at Cincinnati

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on August 20, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – AUGUST 20: Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on August 20, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

    Call it intuition, but something tells me the Bengals aren’t as good as we think they are. Joe Burrow? Love him to death. But the Steelers had a sneaky good preseason, play defense and got better at quarterback purely with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, who had gotten fatter and more complacent by the day. In Mitchell Trubisky, at least the Steelers have a quarterback who cares and is in shape. And he just looks like a Steeler. Pick: Pittsburgh.

     

     

  • New Orleans (-5.5) at Atlanta

    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 27: Marcus Mariota #1 of the Atlanta Falcons looks over his tablet during the first half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 27: Marcus Mariota #1 of the Atlanta Falcons looks over his tablet during the first half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Dude, I wouldn’t bet this game with your money. Unfortunately, I have no choice. The only player on either team who interests me right now is quarterback Desmond Ridder, drafted by the Falcons out of the University of Cincinnati. The problem is he’s the backup to Marcus Mariota, who might be the most boring player in league history. His opposite number this week? Jameis Winston. Yuck. Pick: New Orleans.

  • Jacksonville (+2.5) at Washington

    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 27: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars leaves the field at halftime of the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 27: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars leaves the field at halftime of the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Welcome to the Suck Game of the Week, another affair you should avoid betting at any cost. That said, the Jaguars feel like they’re improving while the Commanders feel like they are stuck in a vortex of never-ending suckitude. Seriously. My heart is with the Jags because I’d like to see Trevor Lawrence actually get good. And he’s downright dreamy in this photo. Pick: Jacksonville.

  • NY Giants (+5.5) at Tennessee

    BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans holds his arm after an injury against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during the game at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans holds his arm after an injury against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during the game at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    Over the two last years, including playoffs, Tennessee has won more games than any team but Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Buffalo and the LA Rams, the hottest and best franchises in the league. So why does it feel like the window is now closing? Because Derrick Henry has taken a beating, that’s why. And because A.J. Brown is gone. And because Ryan Tannehill is still the quarterback. Pick: NY Giants.

  • Green Bay (-1.5) and Minnesota

    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 02: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on January 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Vikings 37-10. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 02: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on January 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Vikings 37-10. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

    Sniff … sniff, sniff. Anyone else smell a rat? Aaron Rodgers, indoors, Kirk Cousins on the other side. Feels like a layup. Feels like the number should be bigger. I don’t typically like doing this, but I’m taking the cheese. Go Pack, go. Pick: Green Bay.

  • Kansas City (-6) at Arizona

    CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    CINCINNATI, OHIO – JANUARY 02: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    Let me just get this out there: I have serious concerns about the Chiefs this year. But after watching Kyler Murray melt down in the playoffs like no quarterback I’ve ever witnessed, I may not be able to bring myself to ever pick his team again in a game of any consequence. And the Cardinals actually signed him. Bwahahahahahahahahaha…. Pick: Kansas City.

  • Las Vegas (+3.5) at LA Chargers

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: (L-R) Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders shake hands after their preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: (L-R) Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders shake hands after their preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    To those of you looking for a good bet, try this one: Over-52-1/2. Raiders coach Josh McDaniels will look to put on a show in his debut. Chargers coach Brandon Staley is allergic to punting. This might be the closest game of the week and potentially the most entertaining. I’ll take the points. Pick: Las Vegas. 

  • Tampa Bay (-2.5) at Dallas

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 27: Tom Brady #12 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 27: Tom Brady #12 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    Have you seen Tampa’s schedule to start the season? At Dallas, at New Orleans (against whom Tom Brady is just 4-5 in his career), Green Bay and Kansas City. Personally, I think the Brady in Decline show was well ahead of its time, even in 2009. Generally, anybody who has plastic surgery is old. Before long, Brady is going to look like Courtney Cox. Pick: Dallas.

  • Denver (-6.5) at Seattle

    DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 27: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High on August 27, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

    DENVER, COLORADO – AUGUST 27: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High on August 27, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

    See, the NFL gets it. Other leagues might downplay controversy. THE NFL pumps it up as if it were the WWE. Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl in Seattle and should have won two, but the Seahawks deteriorated and then he wanted out. In Week 1, the NFL is sending him back to Seattle to face the Seahawks, who smell like Pike Place. Pick: Denver.

  • You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program, and during baseball season from 6-7 p.m. on The Baseball Hour. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.