Updated: Sep 10
It’s time for what I know you’ve been itching for since February. The annual Blind Owl Blogs NFL picks have begun. In classic BO Blogs fashion, BrendawnoftheDead, Concret3Cowboy and I can’t agree on how we want to do this. So inevitably, I guarantee it will just be the same as always. We can never agree on anything really.
Anyway, let’s talk about 2023. We made some promises in 2022, and we didn’t follow through. This year, instead of setting the bar high for ourselves to come up short, we’ve decided to set the bar low so we can clear it easily. That’s the America we all know and love.
Before we dive into these picks, congratulations must go out to Concret3Cowboy for winning last year. It was close all year and he worked hard. So that just leaves Brendawn without a season win. I just hope his season goes better than his agility ladders have gone lately. (If you know, you know). I also predict that the Cowboy’s win percentage will be somewhere around 300.
All of my passive aggressive inside jokes aside, let’s dive into Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season:
DET @ KC: KC -4.5
Blind Owl: Traditionally, if you saw a Lions/Chiefs season opener, you’d have only one word on your mind. That word is blowout. But, what do we have here? A 4.5 point spread in KC? How weird is that? The lions are, dare I say, pretty good. The real question is, are they good enough to play with KC’s high flying offense? I think not. Even though the Chiefs will be without Chris Jones and possibly without Travis Kelce, I don’t think the Lions have the guns to keep up in what will inevitably be a shoutout. With that being said, it’ll be closer than a Lions/Chiefs game should be, but I say the Chiefs take it by 10.
Concret3Cpwboy: The champ is back… I mean me, but I suppose you can say KC too since this game is their banner drop… Do I get a banner drop? I should make the Owl and Brendawn come over just to watch me drop a piece of paper that says “2023 ATS Champ.” I did win both playoff series but now we’re onto year 3. I’m staying with what got me the W last year.. the Detroit Lions, they’ll cover. Remember KC started pretty slow last year and Detroit did have a top end offense. This should be a fun firework filled game to kick off the season.
BrendawnoftheDead: If Travis Kelce plays, I have zero doubt that the Chiefs will be able to score enough points to ultimately win decisively. Whether he is an effective offensive weapon or a convincing decoy, his presence forces opposing defenses into uncomfortable choices. Without Kelce, this gets infinitely more interesting. The Chief’s defense will be compromised even if Chris Jones decides to end his holdout. Even if he does play, he has not participated in training camp at all and will have zero gas tank. The Lions have good offensive talent and giving Goff more time to throw will only help their cause. The Lions had a good ground game as well, Jones not being there will benefit them greatly. I’m not saying the Lions win outright, I am saying the Chiefs won’t win comfortably without Kelce. If the Lions are able to stay in comfortable defensive packages, they might not give up 40 and with the absence of Chris Jones, they can put up some serious points and just maybe make this one interesting. Lions cover!
LV @ DEN: DEN -3.5
Blind Owl: I have to start the season with some confidence. I swung and missed on the Chiefs, but I’m feeling good about Sean Payton and the Broncos. I say they beat the Raiders by a TD.
Concret3Cowboy: The Broncos beat up Jimmy G last time they faced (while he was on the 49ers) … yes, the Broncos beat the 49ers last season. I have to take the Broncos and will only expect a good slap around. Denver hasn’t beaten the Raiders in 7 years ffs.
BrendawnoftheDead: Umm eww. I want McDaniels to be a good head coach but history tells me otherwise. I would love to see the broncos receivers do well but like always they are all hurt. I think I like the Raiders to lose by only a field goal? LV
PHI @ NE: PHI -4
Blind Owl: I had a discussion with a friend of mine yesterday about the Patriots. He said, and I agree with him, they aren’t that good, and they aren’t that bad. I believe that is what’s known as painfully average. In the NFL, being painfully average is worse than being really bad. The Patriots will get beat by good teams and beat bad teams. Unfortunately, they’ll get beat by the Eagles by double digits.
Concret3Cowboy: Patriots are going to stink this year. Mac Jones is garbage, don’t pretend like being a Pro Bowler means anything anymore. As long as you're not the bottom two at your position in the league you have a chance to go to the pro bowl. I do expect the Eagles to have a step back from their Super Bowl run last season, they have plenty to beat the brakes off the Pats.
BrendawnoftheDead: This hurts fellas but Philly wins and covers. New England has a better running back tandem but that's about it. Mac and the offense will look better this year but I don't see a path to victory. Running quarterbacks that can throw have ALWAYS given New England problems and Hurts is way better at it than most. The Patriots defense struggled vs top tier offense last year and that will continue. Philly wins by 10. PHI
HOU @ BAL: BAL -10
Blind Owl: You know my thoughts on Houston. Baltimore easily. I am looking forward to the inevitable OBJ meltdown that could tank the Ravens.
Concret3Cowboy: I don’t love this spread, I think Houston can be decent this year but I also don’t believe in Stroud. Baltimore is going to open up at home pretty good. The Ravens also have a much better coach staff and that’s really what matters in the NFL.
BrendawnoftheDead: That's a big boy spread but I dig it. The Texans are trash until they prove otherwise so Vegas is treating them accordingly. Baltimore is also pretty good, that Lamar guy seems to know what he's doing. Ravens will win in whatever manner they see fit. BAL
CIN @ CLE: CIN -2
Blind Owl: This spread seems really small honestly. I don’t think Cleveland is anything. Desean Watson will be better, but Cincy and Joe Burrow are just a different level. The Bengals will win and cover.
Concret3Cowboy: I like how Myles Garrett tried to kill a man with a helmet and then the NFL was like “Market that guy!” Browns stink, Watson is ass and Cleveland can’t make up its mind if it likes dogs or elves more. Cincy isn’t going to lose to the worst team in their division and will also cover here.
BrendawnoftheDead: Cleveland will Never be successful with DeShaun Watson. It's a deserved curse. It's now or never for the Bengals as they failed to extend Tee Higgins, so expect to see a bunch of points. Joe B One Kenobi gets it done. CIN
TB @ MIN: MIN -5
Blind Owl: Tampa Bay is bad. Like really bad. When your best QB option is a cast off Baker Mayfield, then you know you’ve got problems. Minnesota gets a soft opponent to start the year. Captain Kirk will have good numbers in this one. I’ll take the Vikings.
Concret3Cowboy: Let us not forget what Minnesota is. They’re disappointments, they love to fall short and on their face. I’ve been a Kirk fan since his bowl game with Michigan State. The Vikings are just cursed, no one knows why but they live to disappoint. To disappoint in the NFL, you need to start well and that’s what they do against the Bucs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t though.
BrendawnoftheDead: Minnesota will have a worse record this year versus last but Tampa is a dumpster fire. Justin Jefferson is going to have a Justin Jefferson day and there is nothing Tampa can do to stop him. They were a bad team with a much better quarterback last year, now they just suck. Sorry Baker, I was routing for you. Minnesota wins by a lot and covers easily. MIN
TEN @ NO: NO -3
Blind Owl: Again, this spread seems very off. Why is New Orleans favored? Tennessee is a good team. The addition of Hopkins makes the offense more of a threat. I get the Saints had a good defense last year, but I don’t think they can hang with the Titans offensively. I would have picked Tennessee if they were favored, but I’ll take the points too.
Concret3Cowboy: The Saints are the NFC’s Chargers. The media loves to hype them up. They took Carr out of the desert and into the bayou and the dude got jacked up.. weird how motivation works right? As much as I am a Patriots hater, I do like Vrabel. Tennessee wins.
BrendawnoftheDead: This entirely depends on Tennessee's offensive line. If they can get to the second level and get Demario Davis out of the way, king Henry will continue his reign of terror. If not, I guess they will have to rely on Ryan tannehill? Gross. On the flip side, New Orleans bet big on Derek Carr and I don't love the idea. He's fine, better than what they had last year, but he isn't winning anything by himself. I like the Titans to cover here, just don't expect big things from them this season. TEN
CAR @ ATL: ATL -3.5
Blind Owl: Hear me out here. I don’t think Atlanta is a great team. With that being said, I think they will finish in the NFC South (which is terrible). They’ve got good skill guys and could be fun to watch. They’ll start their quest for the division crown by comfortably beating the Panthers at home.
Concret3Cowboy: I like what Carolina did down the stretch last season, but they let Foreman go to Chicago and he was my dude. It will come down to the offensive and defensive lines and I like the Panthers more in that area. CAR covers.
BrendawnoftheDead: I still don't know who Desmond Ridder is… Bryce Young is also a rookie, so coin flip? I like Atlanta's weapons more than Carolina but that means very little if they can't get the ball. For some reason I think Frank Reich is going to get Carolina to play hard for him, I don't think that translates to many wins but they will cover the spread. CAR
JAX @ IND: JAX -4.5
Blind Owl: Now I’m not Peter King who picked the Jags to be the number seed in the AFC, but they will be a good team. They’re in a weak division and have a favorable schedule. They are road favorites here which is interesting for a historically abysmal franchise, but I think it’s well deserved. Jacksonville will win BIG here.
Concret3Cowboy: Jacksonville had a solid run last year. I don’t think they win their division or make it back to the playoffs this year.. but the Colts are definitely not going to either. Richardson is going to be a loose cannon and he is going to learn in the fire. The Colts had a guy as a rookie through a lot of interceptions while he learned the NFL game by trial of fire.. that worked out in the long run, that first season was bad bad though. The Colts are going to be bad bad this season, Jacksonville does well here.
BrendawnoftheDead: What in the seven Hells are the Colts doing? Rookie Quarterback who was raw in college, no stud receivers, line is nothing special, and oh yeah they pissed off Jonathan Taylor to the point that I think he's taken his last snap as a Colt. Good work Mr. Irsay, truly genius. The Jaguars actually appear to have a plan, so they won't by default. They should cover handily too, Lawrence showed why he was the top pick in 2021 last year and with Calvin Ridley returning, he should be even better. Jags win big to the surprise of no one. JAX
SF @ PIT: SF -2
Blind Owl: I’ve seen a lot of folks that are high on the Steelers this year. Save your jokes, but I don’t see it. San Fran is just so rich in talent that this game won’t be close. I’m hopeful for my fantasy team that Brock Purdy is going to have a good rebound off of his elbow injury. Go 9ers.
Concret3Cowboy: Two points? Just the handshake slap between Lynch and Bosa after the contract signing deserves more than that. SF covers.
BrendawnoftheDead: Can Pittsburgh's defense stop the 49ers? Yes, but for how long? Can the 49ers defense stop a marginally improved Steelers offense? Yes and for a longer time. San Francisco finds a way here, though the front office should be investigated for the Trey Lance pick…idiots. 49ers cover. SF
ARI @ WAS: WAS -7
Blind Owl: Ok. Arizona may be one of the worst teams in a long time. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that they go 0-17. Washington will be the first to put this to the test. They’ll start us off right on the quest to 0-17.
Concret3Cowboy: Washington favored by 7 points is wild to see. It makes me feel dirty. Will the Cardinals have a fire in their gut? No, everyone knows what's happening there.
BrendawnoftheDead: Washington is trying to win games, Arizona is not. Tank Bowl time! Washington wins in a blowout! WAS
MIA @ LAC: LAC -3
Blind Owl: This has game of the week potential. Two good offenses squaring off is never a bad thing. What will Tua be? Will the Chargers do Charger-like things? Lots of points going on here. It’s going to be close, so I’ll take Miami with the bonus of 3 points.
Concret3Cowboy: Charger hype train back at it. Miami has better weapons and the Chargers have a better QB. I feel like all the Chargers WR are 40 years old at this point. I do like the Chargers defense more than Miami’s. I don’t see the Chargers actually pulling out a win against this Miami team… Chargers, Miami. Miami, Chargers… Miamgers… Miami wins.
BrendawnoftheDead: Brendawn confused, the Dolphins were every expert's darling a year ago (until Tua got broken). Supposedly he's not broken and I don't know how the chargers are any better than they were a year ago. They still don't have anyone to keep up with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, so what is their path to victory? Miami covers. MIA
GB @ CHI: CHI -1.5
Blind Owl: When you hear who I’m picking, you’re going to think I’m a hypocrite. I have historically had nothing but bad things to say about Justin Fields. I still don’t have much to say about him other than he may be the best Ohio State QB to play in the pros. Which isn’t saying much by the way. I’m picking the Bears only because Jordan Love is worse than Justin Fields. At least Fields can run and be somewhat prolific. Gimme Da Bears.
Concret3Cowboy: The two worst starting QBs in the league? Possibly, I do like the weapons Chicago added. Foreman, Claypool and DJ Moore do give Fields some nice options… but it is Justin Fields. Jordan Love isn’t going to be good, I keep seeing media heads claiming he will be a HoFer… HOW!? How could you think that? Off of his awful performances so far? Right, anyways Chicago covers.
BrendawnoftheDead: I know Aaron Rodgers is gone but can we stop pretending Justin Fields is so talented that the team around him doesn't matter? He's 5-20 as a starter. Last time I checked, that's not great. He's exciting to watch but everyone seems to be carried away. GB still owns da Bears. GB
LAR @ SEA: SEA -5
Blind Owl: No Kupp. BO no pick. I hate the Hawks, but I’ll take ‘em.
Concret3Cowboy: The goal is to write less than the other two guys. LAR
BrendawnoftheDead: Is Cooper Kupp playing? No? Ok going with the other team. SEA
DAL @ NYG: DAL -3.5
Blind Owl: Oh boy. The wacky NFC East. Last year I picked Dallas to win the division, I still think they could but the Eagles will probably. I think Dallas will do what they always do. They’ll start hot, and all of the obnoxious Cowboy fans will be screaming Super Bowl from the rooftops. Then they’ll fall apart like always. But they start strong with a big win against the G-Men.
Concret3Cowboy: The Giants are on the cusp of being a really good team. Much like the media and its fanbase has thought of the Cowboys for the last 25 years. I hate how Twitter… X.. whatever thinks I am a Dallas fan.. I don’t make out with my mother, it’s a foolish assumption to think I am a Dallas fan. Giants win, thus they cover.
BrendawnoftheDead: I really don't want to pick them Boys but I don't think the Giants have enough offensively. Daniel Jones is still Daniel Jones and he still doesn't have receivers to make him look less like Daniel Jones. Dak atleast has Lamb, Pollard, and Cooks to make him seem better. I think Dallas wins on the Road. DAL
BUF @ NYJ: BUF -2.5
Blind Owl: I’m torn here. I want the Jets to both be good and beat the Patriots, but I also want them to be bad because Aaron Rodgers is a douche. What could really make this possible is if the Bills lay the absolute smackdown on the Jets to start the year. Then Rodgers can go on to do a stupid R-E-L-A-X press conference. He’ll find out that New York isn’t Green Bay. Then they can regroup and beat the Pats twice. The Bills will win by 14 and start their easy trek to winning the AFC East.
Concret3Cowboy: I am already over the Jets and their fans. Rodgers coming out his hidey hole to turn around and goto the biggest market in the country is funny. I do like Rodgers more now after he’s been on McAfee’s show but I have trauma caused by his coach Hackett. I’ve been to several NFL stadiums. Jets fans are by far the shittiest out there. I watched a Jets fan (about 40 years old) try to fight a 7 year old Broncos fan. As he pushed the kids dad I tried to jump into it but someone stopped me and as I turned around I saw about 50 people holding their phones up. Shit was wild. BUF better cover here.
BrendawnoftheDead: Can I route for both teams to irreparably beat the Hell out of each other? I think Buffalo wins this one, but gang green is going to figure out how to play together and will be a much different team when they meet again. This will be a defensive battle but Josh Allen will find a way in the end BUF