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2014 Super Bowl winner revealed!

Posted: September 4, 2013 - 7:16pm  |  Updated: September 4, 2013 - 10:03pm

The “Sultan of Sides” is back for a second season of NFL pigskin prognosticating! After seventeen weeks of grueling NFL action we finished with a respectable 129-118-8 mark last year. For all you math majors out there that means 52 percent of my picks were correct over the duration of the season. Not great but we didn’t file for bankruptcy either. I anticipate bigger and better things now that I have a full season of experience under my belt. I’ve learned from mistakes and reveled in moments of brilliance. I return to you now, the loyal reader, in your greatest time of need, far more intelligent than before. Let your football heart rest easy, I will lead you to pay dirt in what promises to be a very entertaining 2013 season.

Before we get to the opening week selections let’s take a moment to preview the season ahead. The NFC is stacked like Grandma’s pancakes. One or more legitimate Super Bowl contenders are present in each division. The San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and Washington Redskins enter the year with championship-or-bust mentalities. There isn’t a single bottom feeder in the conference. The chasm between the haves and have nots in the AFC is much clearer. The Denver Broncos, despite getting pummeled worse than a piñata at an eight-year-olds birthday party against the Seattle Seahawks in the pre-season, enter the year as the AFC favorite. The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens are primed to join the Broncos once again as the top contenders in the conference.

As the “Emporer of Omnipresence” I’m obligated to warn you that I’m about to reveal the 2014 Super Bowl Champion. If you do not wish to know who wins the Lombardi Trophy this season please continue to the week one picks.

I’m all in, folks. The job, the girlfriend, the dog, even the golf clubs. The Seattle Seahawks are going to win it all. This is coming from the ultimate defeatist sports fan. Look at my teams! Baseball’s Seattle Mariners? Awful, they’re embarrassing and have been since Griffey Jr. roamed center field in the old King Dome. The Seattle Super Sonics? They no longer exist, stolen in the night by Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks, don’t drink their coffee!) and Clay “Rope-a-Dope” Bennett. My college team? I graduated from Oregon State University...Need I explain further? I’ve suffered through many seasons empty of optimism, and yet I just know that Seattle’s little quarterback that could, Russell Wilson, isn’t going to let me down. The kid is a winner, he’s spectacularly efficient, and he’s got kahunas a bull moose would be proud of. This is the year. I really believe that. Here are the picks. Same as last season, point spreads are from ESPN, my pick is in all caps. Let’s get started!

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ Denver Broncos -7.5

The defending Super Bowl Champions are more than a touchdown underdog to open their title defense? I’ll take the points. The Ravens may have lost their heart and soul on defense, Ray Lewis, but Denver will have to manage absences of their own. The Broncos will be without Von Miller, who will be serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy and Elvis Dumervil, who conveniently plays for Baltimore this season. Ravens win 27-24

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ Buffalo Bills +11

Is there a mercy rule in the NFL? Tom Brady squaring off against Jeff Tuel of Washington State Cougars fame? I’d lay three touchdowns and be confident in this spot. Jeff Tuel is awful. He stunk at WSU, why would he suddenly find success in his first professional start against a Bill Belichick defense? Editor’s note: Bills plan to start EJ Manuel at QB. Second editor’s note: It doesn’t matter...Patriots win 34-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ CHICAGO BEARS -3

I happen to find Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to be insufferable but I’m still siding with Chicago in this one. The Bengals for their part have a red-head at quarterback, how many good red-headed quarterbacks have there been in NFL history? Name one! I expect Andy Dalton to take a step backwards this season. Bears win 29-17

Miami Dolphins @ CLEVELAND BROWNS -1

Death, taxes, and the Cleveland Browns will be bad at football. Those are the few certainties in life. There’s no reason to suspect this year will be any different for the Brown-Baggers but I’m still siding with Cleveland at home in week one against a young Dolphins team. Browns win 24-17

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ Detroit Lions -5

The Lions won’t be near as bad as they were last year when just about everything that could go wrong did. They’re at home and they have Megatron, two nuggets which strongly favor Detroit, but Vikings super-human running back Adrian Peterson will run all over a porous Lions run defense keeping the score close late into the game. Lions win 30-27

Oakland Raiders @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -10.5

It’s not a stretch to believe that the Oakland Raiders are the worst team in the NFL. There are a select few that could potentially match their incompetence, but at this point of the season Oakland has a firm grasp on next year’s number one draft choice. The Colts have my fantasy football quarterback, Andrew Luck, and they’re playing at home. Colts win 34-13

Atlanta Falcons @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -3

I have been going back and forth on this match-up. The Saints are going to be much better this season. I expect them to challenge Atlanta in the NFC South. Sean Payton is back on the sidelines and New Orleans still has Drew Brees at quarterback. Atlanta has a powerful offense but their defense is shaky. The Saints aren’t a great defensive team either but at home they’ll get the job done. Saints win 31-27

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ New York Jets +3.5

I’m not high on Tampa’s chances this season. I just don’t buy into QB Josh Freeman being the type of player that can lead a team into the postseason. In week one though? With the Muscle Hamster in the backfield? How can you possibly go against the Bucs? The Jets are a disaster. Let the countdown to Rex Ryan’s firing begin. Bucs win 27-13

TENNESSEE TITANS @ Pittsburgh Steelers -7.5

This game may have the highest boredom rating of any week one match-up. Name a player you can be excited about in this game? Ben Roethlisberger? Ehh…Maybe a few years ago. Jake Locker? Nope, that didn’t do anything for me either. Steelers win 20-17

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ Carolina Panthers +3.5

Anti-jinx policy be damned. Those of you that read the column last year know, out of fear of losing the game for my beloved Seahawks I would never pick them to cover, Russell Wilson has changed all that. That dude can’t be jinxed. Beast Mode can’t be jinxed. The Legion of Boom can’t be jinxed. Seahawks win in a rout 33-14

Kansas City Chiefs @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +3.5

The Chiefs will improve immensely this season behind the additions of Andy Reid and Alex Smith but I expect things to get off to a bit of a slow start. Jacksonville is terrible and they will prove that 12-13 times this season. Week one though? The Jaggy-Wires keep things close at home. Chiefs 17-14

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ St. Louis Rams -4.5

A pair of underrated teams flying under the radar entering the 2013 season. The Cardinals were competitive last year despite possessing arguably the worst quarterback play in the NFL. That has to improve with Carson Palmer under center. The Rams have quietly accumulated a ton of talent in recent seasons and finally appear ready to compete for a spot in the playoffs. Sledding will be tough in a division occupied by the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks but these teams will be competitive. Rams win 23-20

Green Bay Packers @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -4.5

Aaron Rodgers versus Colin Kaepernick in week one? This feels like a NFC Championship game. Both defenses will have a hard time keeping points off the board with these two QB’s racing up and down the field. The 49ers handled Green Bay in the playoffs last season behind the running abilities of Kaepernick and I expect that to be the difference again this year. 49ers win 31-24

NEW YORK GIANTS @ Dallas Cowboys -3

I think the Giants stroll into Jerry World and win this football game. I’m not sold on Tony Romo “adjusting his throwing mechanics” this off-season and I’m not sold on Monte Kiffin successfully bringing the Tampa-2 defense to Dallas. The Giants are Jekyll and Hyde. I expect the good version to open the year. Giants win 27-24

Philadelphia Eagles @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS -3

How healthy is Robert Griffin III? This game is almost impossible to predict with the uncertainty surrounding the Redskins young star. I think he plays and I think he plays reasonable well against what I suspect will be an awful defense in Philadelphia. The Eagles will score points under new Head Coach Chip Kelly but can they stop anyone? Redskins win 30-20

HOUSTON TEXANS @ San Diego Chargers +4

I’m going against Philip Rivers as much as I’m backing the Houston Texans in the final tilt of week one. The Chargers quarterback is shell of himself and he doesn’t have a running game to bail the offense out. The Texans feel like a team that’s peaked as a good but not great squad. Capable of reaching the playoffs year after year but never winning anything of importance. Houston wins ugly 27-17

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