New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 28: Quarterback Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants warms up prior to the preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on August 28, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Greetings from the darkness! It is good to be back for another NFL season! Fans got quiet the introduction to the 2022 campaign when the Buffalo Bills annihilated the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 in what might amount to a huge statement for what could be to come for the Bills this season.

Meanwhile, back in the Tri-State area, things are not looking as bright for the Jets or Giants, at least right now.

The Giants are beginning a new era with Head Coach Brian Daboll and General Manager Joe Schoen taking over football operations from the likes of Joe Judge and David Gettleman. This is a transition year in many respects for Big Blue. Daniel Jones returns at quarterback, but everyone knows he is on a make it or break it clock right now. The Giants hope that Daboll’s offense, which helped launch the career of Bills quarterback Josh Allen can work wonders with Jones, who always had the potential, but has yet to truly put it together.

This is also a big year for Saquon Barkley, who enters his fifth season. After a breakout rookie year in 2018, it has been rough sledding for Barkley has battled injuries ever since. A healthy Barkley would be a huge boon to this offense.

On the other side of town, the Jets open the season with nothing but question marks.

Zach Wilson is out for three more weeks after Robert Saleh announced on Monday that there was a chance Wilson could play this week. That announcement marks the second time Saleh has had to backtrack on injury news this season. In camp, he announced that Meckhi Becton’s injury wasn’t serious, only days later to announce that Becton was lost for the year.

What is up with Wilson? We don’t really know beyond he is still recovering from a meniscus tear in his right knee.

As a result Joe Flacco will get the start under center for the Jets on Sunday when they take on the Ravens. It could get ugly. In fact it could be an ugly season for the Jets who will face the following quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Mac Jones (twice), Josh Allen (twice), and Russell Wilson. It could get rough early and often.

The one thing the Jets have going for them is the addition of promising young talent on both sides of the ball with wide receivers Garret Wilson and Elijah Moore stretching the field on the offense, and Sauce Gardner, Jermaine Johnson and Michael Clemens manning the defensive side of the ball.

  • Ravens (-6.5) at New York Jets

    Joe Flacco

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 28: Quarterback Joe Flacco #19 of the New York Jets passes during the 1st half of the preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 28, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


    The Ravens come into the opener with headlines revolving around quarterback Lamar Jackson who rejected a long term deal. He is going to take the gamble on himself. After an injury plagued year in 2021, the Ravens need Jackson to bounce back. It will also be fascinating to see how the Ravens Defense plays now that Don Martindale is calling the Giants defense. For the Jets, can Joe Flacco quiet some of the negativity coming from the New York media and defeat his former team? It would be a huge story. Flacco hasn’t started an opener since 2019. The Jets have a lot of young talent around him to help, but will it be enough?

    PICK: RAVENS 27 – JETS 10

  • New York Giants @ Titans (-5.5)

    Derrick Henry

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 16: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans gets past Curtis Riley #35 of the New York Giants on his way to a second half touchdown at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

    The Giants head to Tennessee looking to start a new era on the right foot. They face a stiff challenge against a Tennessee Titans team looking to put last year’s disappointing finish behind them where they lost to the Bengals in the divisional round. The key for Big Blue will be containing Titans running back Derrick Henry.  King Henry had a down year (for himself) averaging 4.3 yards per carry. The Giants gave up 111.4 yards per game on the ground last year. Something has to give. If the Giants slow down Henry, the focus will turn to forcing quarterback Ryan Tannehill into a mistake.

    PICK: Titans 23 – Giants 17. 

  • Eagles (-5.0) @ Lions

    Jalen Hurts

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


    This will be a strange game in a lot of ways.  Pundits love the Eagles coming into this season, and I still wonder why? Perhaps it has something to do with the Dallas Cowboys exit from the playoffs last year. The Eagles also made some nice moves adding receiver A.J. Brown, edge rusher Hasson Reddick, cornerback James Bradberry, and linebacker Kyzir White. But is that enought? The questions start with quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has to showcase he can be a top flight starter.  This is a wait and see situation. Tough spot in Detroit. The Lions are prickly, and they have some talent. Plus who doesn’t want to play for head coach Dan Campbell? The man oozes inspiration.

    PICK: EAGLES 24 – LIONS 23 

  • Browns (even) @ Panthers

    Baker Mayfield

    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)

    The Baker Mayfield revenge game.  This will mark the second straight year where the Panthers open the season with a quarterback facing his former team. Last year it was Sam Darnold against the Jets. This year it is Mayfield against the Cleveland Browns. The same Cleveland Browns who sold their collective souls to Deshaun Watson, who has been suspended for 11 games due to allegations of sexual contact against female massage therapists.  This is an easy one.

    PICK: PANTHERS 26 – BROWNS 11

  • Chiefs (-6.5) @ Cardinals

    For some reason people are counting out the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, KC lost Tyreek Hill via trade to the Miami Dolphins. But they did replace him with another top flight receiver in JuJu Smith Schuster.  Sure the Raiders, Broncos and Chargers made improvements, but the Chiefs still have the best quarterback in the AFC West in Patrick Mahomes, and the best coach in the AFC (not named Bill Belichick) in Andy Reid.

    As for the Cardinals, this is a huge year for quarterback Kyler Murray. He signed a $230 million deal over the summer, but there was concern over language in the deal that hinted that Murray wasn’t always focused on the play book. That’s not good. Couple that will the underwhelming finish and results since Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury has been in charge, it could be a make or break year for the red birds.

    PICK: CHIEFS 34 – CARDINALS 27. 

  • Buccaneers (-2.5) @ Cowboys

    Tom Brady vs. Giselle Bundchen. Oh wait, I mean Buccaneers vs. Cowboys! No, Tom vs. Giselle. No, Tampa vs. Dallas. The side plot is there and it’s as Jerry Seinfeld once said “a pretty big matzah ball out there,” as Brady vs. Bundchen will be the headline that the media will never stop talking about after word came down that Giselle is not happy that Tom un-retired last winter to play his 23rd season.

    Can Brady, who has always been great at winning games with the attention on off-field matters (see Spygate, deflategate) get the Bucs over the top? This is also ex-Jets head coach Todd Bowles first game as Bucs H.C.

    For the Boys this is a revenge game of sorts for two reasons. 1) Revenge for last year’s season opener where Tampa Bay beat Dallas, and 2) for the way the season ended against San Francisco. A lot of pressure on Dak Prescot, Mike McCarthy and company.  Gut feeling here: roll with the Boys.

    PICK: COWBOYS 31 – BUCCANEERS 24.