NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 1 (Pt. 1)

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Dallas @ NY Giants (-4)

"It is on!" Or so says Eli Manning, whose dorky charisma makes him the one of the NFL's most likable fellows, albeit one everybody believes they could outsmart in a game of hide-and-seek. Manning and the Giants begin defense of last year's Super Bowl against the Cowboys in MetLife Stadium.

"There's no quarterback controversy on this New York team," Manning said. "Jesus loves me, and so do my coaches. And none of our wide receivers requires a babysitter, although they may need an escort from time to time. Dez Bryant has his problems, but as far as talent goes, well, he has physical gifts that make you wanna smack your momma."

On the other hand, which is bereft of Super Bowl rings, Tony Romo's charismatic dorkiness leads a Cowboy team looking to break through. Dallas has not won a Super Bowl since 1996, when Neil O'Donnell led the 'Boys to the title.

"Jerry Jones has dedicated much of his life to the search for 'glory holes,'" Romo said. "The way Jerry talks so glowingly of his team, you'd think he was the 'gusher.' Luckily for Jerry, we're playing in MetLife Stadium, where a glory hole comes standard in every restroom stall.

"I think we have the team to win this game and the NFC East. Personally, I would have loved to have seen Chad Johnson as a Cowboy. That would have silenced many of our critics, most of whom say we can't win a Super Bowl without a 'Johnson.'"

It's an unusual Wednesday night opener for the NFL, and on "Hump Day," you'd expect to see Antonio Cromartie. But the only "hump" to be seen on Wednesday is the one the Cowboys can't get over. The Giants beat the Cowboys, again, as Manning throws for three scores and the New York defensive front treats Romo like Jimmy Hoffa and plant him in the Stadium turf.

Giants win, 30-24.

After the game, a dejected Romo is mistaken for John Malkovich and pelted with Jason Witten's spleen from a passerby on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Atlanta @ Kansas City (+3)

The Falcons debut a retooled offense, one that eschews conservatism for a more dynamic approach, utilizing the big play skills of wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, and shifty running back Jacquizz Rodgers. A tough assignment at Arrowhead Stadium awaits the Falcons, who are favored by many to win the NFC South.

"Like the traffic," Mike Smith said, "excitement is rampant in Atlanta. We call our new offense the 'Go for it! … Just not on fourth down" offense. A more high-powered offense will also alleviate some pressure on our defense, such as the pressure of having to score all the team's points in a playoff game."

The Chiefs, one year removed from a playoff appearance, are excited for the return of playmaker Jamaal Charles, who was lost in Week 1 last year to a knee injury.

"We plan to give Jamaal 25 to 30 touches per game," head coach Romeo Crenel said. "Of course, that's something you never want to hear in a Penn State locker room, but in Arrowhead Stadium, it's music to our ears.

"I understand the Falcons are treating this like a playoff game. Well, it's on the road and they'll go home afterwards. Yep. That's a Falcon playoff game."

Crenel and the Chiefs defense have just the defense to confuse Ryan and the Falcons — it's called their base defense.

Charles rushes for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Ryan throws 2 interceptions.

Chiefs win, 26-23.

Philadelphia @ Cleveland (+8)

Can Michael Vick experience an injury-free season, something he hasn't done since Spring 2009 in the Sussex County, Virginia jail? The hopes of the Eagles ride on that unlikely possibility after an injury-filled preseason for Vick.

"To say Michael 'cracks under pressure' says nothing of his performance in big games," Andy Reid said. "His ribs are quite brittle. If God were to take one of Mike's ribs and create a woman, she'd damn sure let a serpent talk her into taking a calcium supplement."

The Philly defense will put all kinds of pressure on Browns 28-year-old rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who earned the starting job over incumbent Colt McCoy.

"You may see an NFL first," Pat Shurmur said, "and that's a team encouraging its players to 'Smoke Weed.'' But I think Brandon will be fine. He's a good five or six years older than most rookies. His maturity, much like his ERA as a minor league baseball player, is beyond his years."

Vick debuts his new protective gear, the "full metal flak jacket," which protects him well not only against hits from the Browns, but also from the various brands of barbecue sauce hurled his way be the rabid Dawg Pound, presumably for its tenderizing effects.

Vick survives, and LeSean McCoy scores on two touchdown jaunts.

Eagles win, 29-10.

Washington @ New Orleans (-9)

It's new versus old as rookie Robert Griffin III faces veteran superstar Drew Brees in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which has sheltered more dangerous hurricanes than former University Of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson. In all likelihood, by game's end, they'll be scoring it "Drew Brees I, Robert Griffin 0."

"I don't think so," Mike Shanahan said. "RG III will surprise people with his athleticism, smarts, and savvy, as well as his new Subway campaign, in which he shamelessly peddles subs by urging customers to 'Go Long' for the 12-inch sandwich or make it 'III and Inches" for the smaller version.

"RG has even hooked up Rex Grossman with a Subway endorsement deal. For those not hungry enough for a 12- or 6-inch sub, Rex suggests they eat a 'lesser sub.'"

Who's coaching the Saints this year, while Sean Payton sits in exile? It's none other than Aaron Cromer, named the interim head coach in the wake of Payton's and Joe Vitt's suspensions for their roles in the Saints' bounty scandal.

"It's too bad Payton got busted," Cromer said. "He himself was set to sign with Subway to tout their delicious subs with the catchy slogan, 'Take it in the Mouth.' But Roger Goodell doesn't take kindly to verbiage that could be interpreted in more than one way, unless it's testimony from an accused Saint."

The Saints have a statement to make, but unfortunately, no one will believe what they have to say. The Saints come after Griffin with everything, including the kitchen sink, which, when in need of a cleansing wipe down, can be done with "Bounty."

New Orleans wins, 34-17.

Indianapolis @ Chicago (-9)

With Peyton Manning, the Colts won with skill. Now, they hope to win with "Luck," as the Andrew Luck era begins for the Colts as they face the Bears at Soldier Field.

"I'm honored to be the quarterback to follow Peyton Manning," Luck said. "I realize I've got big shoes to fill. Of course, my feet feel tiny in Peyton's shoes. Indianapolis is now my home, and, like Peyton, I'm going to put my neck out for this team."

Brandon Marshall is back in Chicago, reunited with Jay Cutler, and Lovie Smith and the Bears hope that connection can serve as catalyst for the Bears 2012 campaign.

"I love reunions," Lovie Smith said. "Cutler and Kristin Cavallari's reunion resulted in a baby boy, 7-pound, 9-ounce Camden. Hopefully, Cutler and Marshall's reunion can result in another 'berth,' preferably one in the playoffs, although given Marshall's unpredictable nature, he'll likely outweigh baby Camden and be a 'bigger baby.'"

The Colts may have Luck on their side, but there's also a lot of Bears on their side, as the Chicago defense continually penetrates the Indy offensive line. Julius Peppers records a sack and a fumble recovery, and the Bears win, 30-13.

St. Louis @ Detroit (-8)

Expectations, like blood alcohol contents, are high in Detroit, as is the pitch of police sirens en route to the latest inebriated Lion. The Lions and their high-powered offense made the playoffs in 2011, and they appear primed to challenge for the NFC North.

"The season is in its infancy," Jim Schwartz said, "and we're sitting at 0-0. I'm going to say this while I can: 'Our record is clean.'

"Criminal history aside, we certainly don't lack 'offense.' Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are arguably the most formidable connection in the NFL. Calvin is unstoppable. I wonder why Citizen watches have yet to hire Calvin to appear in their 'Unstoppable' campaign. Maybe because it would lead to inevitable 'Doin' Time' jokes about my team."

Jeff Fisher is now in charge in St. Louis, and has his work cut out for him in the NFC West, where the Rams finish a lowly 2-14 last year. Fisher's hard-nosed mentality should serve him well in reversing the fortunes in St. Louis.

"We just want to be competitive," Fisher said. "As you know, I'm co-chairman of the NFL Competition Committee. Hopefully, I'll be able to practice what I preach."

Do the Rams have an answer for Johnson? Indeed they do. That answer is "No," to the question, "Any idea how to stop Megatron?"

Johnson grabs 9 passes for 145 yards and 2 scores.

Detroit wins, 34-24.

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