In “Out-Pick Matt,” football fans try to predict the outcomes of National Football League games better than McDaniel Free Press Co-Sports Editor Matthew Arnold. In our first edition, the challenger is fellow Free Press sports writer Dan Lamond.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers:
Dan says: Saints. Cam Newton has been phenomenal his first couple games, but Drew Brees and the Saints will get the best of the Panthers.
Matt says: Panthers. The Panthers have an opportunity at a big division win, hosting the Saints in what is sure to be a banner day for both teams’ offenses.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings:
Dan says: Cardinals. Kevin Kolb is starting to get comfortable with the Cardinals offense and will lead his team to victory.
Matt says: Vikings. Something has got to give for the Vikings; they are much more talented than their three-loss opening implies. A chance to host an NFC West team in the Metrodome will give them a chance to inch back towards respectability
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Buffalo Bills:
Dan says: Eagles. Michael Vick and Desean Jackson will pick apart the Bills secondary and give the birds a win.
Matt says: Eagles. This is certainly a better game than everyone thought it would be at the beginning of the season. Don’t sleep on the Bills if Vick and company are still injured come Week 5.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants:
Dan says: Giants. The Giants run game will be too overwhelming for the Seahawks and give them the week five “W.”
Matt says: Giants. The Seahawks are as talented as their underwhelming opening suggests; a trip to New York will not cure what ails them.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Dan says: Jaguars. Maurice Jones-Drew will have a field day against the Bengals defense and lead the Jags to a victory.
Matt says: Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert vs. Andy Dalton might be a great quarterback battle someday, but Gabbert has more talent around him right now, and Cincinnati is in shambles.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts:
Dan says: Colts. The Peyton Manning-less Colts will escape with a victory over the Jamal Charles-less Chiefs.
Matt says: Indianapolis. Curtis Painter showed that he could someday be an NFL quarterback in leading the tying touchdown drive against Pittsburgh in Week three. Look for him to have a good game against Kansas City at home, sans Eric Berry.
Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Dan says: Steelers. The Steelers defense will be too much for the Titans to handle.
Matt says: Steelers. The Titans were expected to languish in mediocrity this season, and that was before they lost Kenny Britt, who was instrumental in the Baltimore game, for the rest of the year.
Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans:
Dan says: Texans. Andre Johnson will have a big game and help lead the Texans over the Raiders.
Matt says: Texans. The Raiders are much, much improved this season, but with Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Jacksonville all weakened and with quarterback issues, the Texans are on a mission to exit mediocrity and win their first South division title.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers:
Dan says: 49ers. In a tight game, the 49ers will squeak out with a victory over the Bucs.
Matt says: Buccaneers. A trip to the West Coast will not slow Josh Freeman and company, who need every win outside of the NFC South they can get.
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots:
Dan says: Patriots. Tom Brady will come up huge against the Jets despite their preparation for the Pats and their defensive effort.
Matt says: Patriots. The Jets couldn’t beat the Raiders in Oakland; I can’t see how they’re going to beat the Patriots in New England.
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos:
Dan says: Chargers. Phillip Rivers will put it together with Vincent Jackson and lead the Chargers to a heavily offensive game.
Matt says: Chargers. Denver is in the middle of a rebuilding year under new coach John Fox, while Phillip Rivers and Norv Turner are still helming the Chargers.
Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:
Dan says: Packers. The Packers defense will shut down Matt Ryan for most of the game, but it will still be a tight battle.
Matt says: Packers. It is hard to pick against the Packers in the Georgia Dome after the thrashing Aaron Rogers and friends put on the Falcons in the playoffs last year.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions:
Dan says: Lions. The Lions’ defense will give Jay Cutler nightmares for weeks but Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will come up big for the Lions.
Matt says: Lions. Ndamukong Suh against Jay Cutler? Give me the Lions, especially since the game is in Detroit, and not in the mud pit of Soldier Field.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons:
Dan says: Falcons
Matt says: Falcons
Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals:
Dan says: Colts
Matt says: Bengals
San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions:
Dan says: Lions
Matt says: Lions
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins:
Dan says: Eagles
Matt says: Redskins
St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers:
Dan says: Packers
Matt says: Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Dan says: Steelers
Matt says: Steelers
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants:
Dan says: Giants
Matt says: Giants
Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders:
Dan says: Raiders
Matt says: Raiders
Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens:
Dan says: Ravens
Matt says: Ravens
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Dan says: Saints
Matt says: Buccaneers
Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots:
Dan says: Patriots
Matt says: Patriots
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears:
Dan says: Bears
Matt says: Bears
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets:
Dan says: Jets
Matt says: Jets