I’m going to do NFL picks just like I do SEC picks – lots of biting commentary and game predictions. The Panthers are my team, so I’ll list them last.

First-world problems, exhibit A – The NFL wisely called off the Bucs-Dolphins game, as it was scheduled to kick off right about the time the hurricane is expected to destroy South Florida. It just so happens that the teams have the same bye week this year, so the game is moved to week 11. Predictably, a few players are grumbling about having to play 16 weeks in a row. If either team misses the playoffs or makes the playoffs but doesn’t win the Super Bowl, you can expect that missed bye week to be offered as an excuse. Kids these days……

Game time!

Kansas City at New England – Patriot fans have replaced Cowboys fans as the most obnoxious in all of sports. But they are right in that the rest of us wish we had a team that is so good for so long. Week 1 is no different. Patriots 37, Chiefs 10

NY Jets at Buffalo – I’m rooting for the Bills – other than next week – because they have so many Panthers connections. A lot of people think they are tanking this year. Everyone knows the Jets ARE tanking. I feel sorry for Todd Bowles, who the team will be forced to fire after an 0-16 season. Bills 24, Jets 3

Philadelphia at Washington – A matchup of two teams no one is sure about. I think the stronger running game is the difference. Eagles 23, Redskins 21

Oakland at Tennessee – Both teams have their QB back from broken leg injuries. The Titans are the trendy pick. Yep, me too. Titans 27, Raiders 17

Jacksonville at Houston – If you’re going to go with no QB and give the ball to your rookie RB 500 times, you should spend big to have a good offensive line. Jax does not. Good defense, but not enough offense. Texans 24, Jaguars 10

Arizona at Detroit – One of the great mysteries of the 21st century is how Bruce Arians managed to grow an ego so far out of control. It’s not like he’s ever won anything. Detroit is expected to take a step back after all those 4th quarter comebacks, even though they just gave their QB a zillion dollars. Bruce’s Ego 34, Lions 17

Pittsburgh at Cleveland – Why do these teams play in week 1 every year? Is this Moneyball thing going to work? Is Antonio Brown doomed to failure because he’s the only player worth a crap on my fantasy football team? So many questions, so little time. Steelers 41, Browns 20

Atlanta at Chicago – I have adopted my home city’s Atlanta inferiority complex. So I really hate all their sports teams. Too bad their first game is against a JV team. Falcons 48, Bears 7

Baltimore at Cincinnati – Nobody knows what shape Joe Flacco is in. I don’t think even Joe Flacco knows. Can’t pick the unknown very easily. Bengals 31, Ravens 16

Indianapolis at LA Rams – You want constant laughs? Follow “Captain Andrew Luck” on Twitter. It’s not the real Andrew Luck, it’s some guy who portrays Luck as a Revolutionary or Civil War soldier. He tweets things like, “Dearest Mother, I still cannot participate as the squad goes to battle a herd of male sheep. We shall do our best to steer clear of their horns. Andrew.” It’s fabulous stuff. It’s also the closest thing anyone is going to see of the real Andrew Luck for some time. The Rams are no better. This one could be hard to watch. Colts 13, Rams 10

Seattle at Green Bay – Lots of people think the Pack is going to win 14 games. The ‘Hawks have a great D, as always. Given the political developments, I have begun calling their home city the USSR – Union of Seattle Socialist Republics. I expect a big game from Eddie Lacy, also known as Bread-y Cakes-y for his legendary appetite. But GB has too many weapons. Packers 40, Seahawks 27

NY Giants at Dallas – Ugh. Don’t like either of these teams. With Zeke able to play, that’s an edge for Dallas. Cowboys 28, NY Giants 21

New Orleans at Minnesota (Mon) – Big revenge game for AP, if he has anything left. His new team still has no defense. You can’t outscore everyone, although there’s not much firepower in the opponent. Saints 27, Vikings 17

LA Chargers at Denver (Mon) – The Donkeys are going to be terrible, especially if anyone on defense gets hurt. I’m counting on Rivers for some fantasy points. Clippers – er, uh, I mean, Chargers 30, Broncos 21

Carolina at San Francisco – Yes, there have been roster upgrades. But, to borrow a line from U of Texas coach Tom Herman, Lynch and Shannahan can’t just throw fairy dust on a 2-win team and expect them to beat a team with a defense like ours. Can’s shoulder is a real question, but the defense is not. And Brian Hoyer is not going to do well against this monster front 7. I have read numerous prognosticators call for a Frisco win. Hot garbage. And it won’t even be close. PANTHERS 35, 49ers 16