Lombardi Ave picks 2016: National Football League Week 1 roundup

Oct 19, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; A Green Bay Packers cheerleader carries a Packers flag prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; A Green Bay Packers cheerleader carries a Packers flag prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Hey there, Green Bay Packers fans!

As a way to further enjoy the 2016 season, a few of us here at Lombardi Ave have joined up for a pick ’em group.

Along with myself, my fellow writers Thomas Friesen, Brad Miller, and Josh McPeak have joined me in this fun little endeavor.

We’ll be competing each week to see who is able to prove themselves best at predicting how these games will go, giving us — and you — an idea of just how good of a feel we have on the league each week.

We start here with an exciting Week 1.

 – – – – – – – – – – – –

What we got right

All of us were spot-on with a few different picks, though the path to those victories was undoubtedly much different than we may have expected.

Obviously we all went with Green Bay to beat Jacksonville. Their improvements to their roster the past couple years have been nice, but expecting them to take a game against a perennial playoff team (one that was getting back a top-5 receiver to boot) seemed overly optimistic; ultimately that sentiment proved correct, but they made it as close as possible.

Kansas City beating San Diego seemed to be a solid pick, but then San Diego came out firing to take an early 21-3 lead. But after Keenan Allen went down with a torn ACL (this guy has not had any luck with injuries the past two years), San Diego couldn’t muster much else. Kansas City eventually woke up offensively, and eventually won in overtime to save the pick for us.

Oakland looked pretty bad to start their game against a New Orleans team that proved they’ll still be a great-offense/horrendous-defense team this season. After falling down 24-10 mid-way through the third quarter though, the team started making plays on offense and doing just enough on defense to take the game late with a surprising two-point conversion try to take an eventual 35-34 win.

Seattle was expected to wipe the floor with Miami, but what we saw Sunday maybe should have been easier to see; their offensive line is abysmal, and if Miami has a particular strength it would be their defensive line. A late touchdown drive led by Russell Wilson saved the Seahawks and our picks, but this should give some credence to the idea that it cannot be assumed that Seattle will be as good on offense as many thought.

Pittsburgh was really the only game we all were in agreement on that turned out about how it seemed like it should have. After some sloppiness early, the offense lit fire to whatever that is Washington calls a defense (Antonio Brown is gonna be twerking in Bashaud Breeland’s nightmares long after he retires) and blew out a Washington team that is further off than many of us may have been willing to believe.

What we got wrong

There was just one game we all got wrong this week: none of us saw Arizona losing to a New England to without Tom Brady AND Rob Gronkowski.

Despite how good the Cardinals’ defense is, the Patriots configured a gameplan that could take advantage of certain weak points (such as their #2 outside cornerback spot); defensively, New England forced Carson Palmer into some bad decisions that could have proved even more damaging to Arizona’s chances.

Still, we were a bad snap away from getting this one anyway. Goes to show you just how tiny these margins are with these football games; one little thing here or there can change everything.

There were a few different games where only one of us was right: I was correct in choosing Detroit  (I think they are better about them than most people, while I’m not that high on the lacking talent around Andrew Luck in Indianapolis) and Baltimore (Need to see more but are a sleeper team if they stay healthy, while I’ve become more and more convinced Buffalo could collapse fast and hard), while Thomas apparently saw San Francisco’s blowout of the Rams coming.

Who won the week?

Our pick leader for the week was Thomas. He paced us by going 11-5 while making a couple picks that went against the grain.

Brad and I weren’t far behind with a 10-6, with Josh bringing up the rear at 8-8.

Next: Why the Packers won

Week 1 Picks Records:

Thomas: 11-5
Brad: 10-6
Kenn: 10-6
Josh: 8-8

2016 Picks Records:

Thomas: 11-5
Brad: 10-6
Kenn: 10-6
Josh: 8-8