Tonight at 8:30, the 2009-2010 NFL season will begin with the Titans visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers. Lots of analysts are predicting another trip to the Super Bowl for the Steelers; I'm not one of them. I think they'll still be solid and make the playoffs, but I don't see them getting all the way back to the Super Bowl, let alone repeating as champions. I have my reasons, but I'll get to those another time.
Anyway, here's a little site news: I'm going to post a picks write-up each week. It won't present the most in-depth or knowledgeable football information that anyone has ever read, but it will give some insight into how I view certain matchups and what I think of various teams. It should at least be interesting, especially when my picks end up being completely wrong.
But back to the Titans-Steelers game; here's my pick (home team is in caps):
Titans (+6) over STEELERS
When these two teams faced each other last year in Tennessee, the Titans won 31-17 and forced the Steelers to make plenty of mistakes. The Titans collected five sacks -- three and a half of them by rookie defensive lineman Jason Jones, who started in place of the injured Albert Haynesworth. Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions (one was returned for a touchdown), and he fumbled four times and lost two of them. The Titans, on the other hand, didn't commit any turnovers, and they moved the ball relatively well against the Pittsburgh defense.
But that was just one game, and it certainly didn't stop the Steelers from winning the Super Bowl. The Steelers defense looks to be just as good as it was last season, and Willie Parker is apparently healthy and ready to carry a full workload in the backfield. But the Titans return plenty of talent as well. If not for an injury to Chris Johnson and some mistakes of their own in a disappointing playoff loss to the Ravens, the Titans and Steelers would have faced each other in the playoffs. But, hey, that's how things go -- it's all about making plays at the right time.
If the Steelers win the turnover battle and protect Roethlisberger, they should be able to pull out a victory at home over a good team. But it will be close.
Steelers 20, Titans 17
I'll post the rest of my picks on either Friday or Saturday. Enjoy the game.