Pick Em Challenge
(Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)

The Vendetta pick-em challenge is about to get underway. This season Adam Krieger, and I will be competing for the bragging rights of the best handicapper at Vendetta. As well as winning our viewers a lot of money along the way. The NFL season is almost upon us and it’s time to get back to the tradition we all know and love.

Pick Em Challenge NFL Week One: Thursday Night Football

Krieger: Tampa Bay -8.5

Fontanello: Tampa Bay -8.5

The Dallas Cowboys go on the road to face the defending Super Bowl Champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa is returning all 22 starters from the Super Bowl-winning team and is looking to repeat. This should boil down to a good game between two prolific offenses.

Pick Em Challenge 1:00 PM Games

Krieger: Buffalo -6.5

Fontanello: Buffalo -6.5

Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Josh Allen is coming off his best year in the NFL and still has a lot to prove as a playoff performer. The Bills have been trending up for the past two years and this may be the year they breakthrough. While on the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been going in the opposite direction. Starting off the season 11-0, Pittsburgh lost its next 5 out of 6 games including a home playoff loss to Cleveland. If anybody can bounce back it’s the Steelers however, without TJ Watt and an aging Big Ben week one is shaping up to be a big letdown in Buffalo.

Krieger: Carolina -3.5

Fontanello: Carolina -3.5

The Carolina Panthers have revamped the QB position this season with the addition of Sam Darnold. Darnold going against his former team the New York Jets will shape up to be a great revenge game. The Jets are worlds away from being super competitive this year. Take Carolina at home.

Krieger: Jacksonville -3

Fontanello: Houston +3

Talk about a toss-up game. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a rookie QB in Trevor Lawrence, who I think will have a nice career just not this season, and a rookie head coach in Urban Meyer. Meanwhile, the Texans are in a totally messed up place. Deshaun Watson is still holding out and the team is completely depleted of talent.

Krieger: Arizona +3

Fontanello: Tennessee -3

This is a game I’m really looking forward to. Titans and the Cardinals in Tennessee. West coast team coming East I like the Titans here although this could be anyone’s game depending on who makes the most mistakes.

Krieger: Atlanta -3

Fontanello: Atlanta -3

The battle of the birds in Atlanta. The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons both do not look good on paper this season. However, in this case, the Eagles look worse and I just don’t see how they keep this game close. Take Atlanta and don’t look back.

Krieger: LA Chargers +2.5

Fontanello: Washington -2.5

The Chargers and the Washington Football Team are on the up and up with high hopes for the season. Krieger likes the Chargers in this one. However, I love me a home dog in Washington.

Krieger: San Francisco -8.5

Fontanello: San Francisco -8.5

The 49ers are traveling to the desolate wasteland known as Detriot to take on the Lions. San Fran is fully rested and healthy coming into this game. While the Lions are well the Lions, although, I normally love home underdogs but not with Jared Goff as the QB.

Krieger: Seattle -3

Fontanello: Indiannapolis +3

The Seahawks had a pretty disappointing end to the 2020-2021 season and are looking to make some noise. However, I absolutely love the Colts this year. They finally have a QB in Carson Wentz and that defense is scary good.

Krieger: Cinncinatti +3

Fontanello: Minnesota -3

The Vikings go on the road to take on the Bengals at home in what will be Joe Burrow’s first game since ripping his knee apart. I like the Bengals to improve with that offense. However, the Vikings still have Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.

Pick Em Challenge 4:25 PM Games

Krieger: Patriots -3.5

Fontanello: Miami +3.5

The Dolphins take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Historically, the Dolphins have had a ton of trouble winning here. However, with rookie Mac Jones under center for the Pats, I like Miami’s defense to make plays and find a way to win this game.

Krieger: Kansas City -5.5

Fontanello: Cleveland +5.5

The rematch of the AFC Divisional playoffs Browns visiting the Chiefs. The Browns came so close to pulling off the biggest win of Baker Mayfield’s career. However, they fell just short. I’m expecting more of the same in week one. Patrick Mahomes is going to playing with a chip on his shoulder after getting smacked in the Super Bowl. Still, I like the Browns to put up a good fight.

Krieger: New York Giants +3

Fontanello: New York Giants +3

The Denver Broncos travel to New York to take on the Giants. The Giants are real contenders for the NFC East while the Broncos are hoping to build their team. In what will be a battle of two really good defenses there’s just now Teddy Bridgewater puts up a ton of points. The Giants offense, mainly because of Daniel Jones, won’t be so great either. However, a home dog I’ll take that all day.

Krieger: Green Bay -3.5

Fontanello: Green Bay -3.5

The Green Bay Packers travel to play the New Orleans Saints in a relatively neutral site. Due to Hurricane Ida, the Saints will be hosting this game from TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville. However, even if it were at home I’m not sure if I’d fade the league reigning MVP. Aaron Rodgers is on his last ride with the Packers and he’s definitely starting the season off with a bang. In the post-Brees era, I expect some growing pains out of the gate from the Saints.

Sunday Night Football

Krieger: Chicago +7.5

Fontanello: Los Angeles Rams -7.5

New places new faces for both the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams both featuring new starting QB’s. This game mostly will come down to the strength of both these teams, defense. I expect a low-scoring affair with some sprinkle of Matthew Stafford’s deep-ball ability.

Monday Night Football

Krieger: Baltimore -4.5

Fontanello: Las Vegas +4.5

The Baltimore Ravens travel West to take on the Las Vegas Raiders. With J.K. Dobbins down for the year and a lot of question marks surrounding this Ravens team, I like the Raiders to start off hot, as they always do, and keep this game very close, maybe even outright win.

The picks are in may the best time of the year officially start. Best of luck to everyone and let’s take the book’s money because that’s what we truly want in the end. I don’t want your money I want your bookie’s money and don’t forget never make a Sunday pick on Tuesday.