Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Hall of Fame

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New Season, New Reasons

This is a stand-alone page for the Hall of Fame game pick.

In weeks ahead, the pages will become more robust, with picks of every NFL game - preseason, regular season and playoffs - plus selected college picks.

This season, I'm offering a different perspective, employing early odds and two methodologies: coin flip against the spread and analysis straight up and against the spread. While that may sound like three methodologies, the latter is really the same because I'll be offering a final score, which covers both SU and ATS.

OK, this is a first shot. Hang in, because this is just preseason and there are plenty of roster changes, coaching decision and injuries with which to contend.

I am not one to feign powers of prognostication that would reveal a Super Bowl winner. That's for the so-called experts. I'd rather just take it one game at a time, which calculates out to something like 25 to 30 games a week coverage.

Most of my analysis is empirical, based on facts rather than assumptions. Thus, there's potential for reality-based outcomes rather than pie-in-the-sky cognitive dissonance.

I don't guarantee anything beyond the conceptual framework of visual and audial inputs, background knowledge (50 years of avid addiction) and an honest effort at pick correctness.

It's not easy, but it is also not hard to present this information, at least for me. Having been both very right and very wrong on too many occasions I wish to remember, I surely won't have a record much better (or even equal to) the random coin flip, so let's see how it goes.

Green Bay Packers (even, 36) vs. Indianapolis Colts

Here we have an excellent match-up of what should be considered two teams that will be still playing come January, playoff time.

Aaron Rogers leads a Packer squad that suffered last season from a lack of players, especially n their depleted receiving corps. For Indy, QB Andrew Luck will be looking to get his team to the post-season, after a disappointing, often frustrating, 8-8 season, missing the playoffs and relinquishing the AFC South to Houston (9-7).

Green Bay didn't win their division either, but they were 10-6, finishing a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North. The Packers won their wild card meeting with Washington in a rout, 35-18, but fell to the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round a week later, 26-20, in overtime.

While Rodgers and Luck will start the game, they probably won't be on the field for much more than a couple of series. The same goes for most other probably opening day starters, so this game is more about bench depth and desire.

The coin flip goes to the Colts.

Fearless Rick disagrees. The Packers were the better team last year and the Colts still have too many unresolved issues, including serious running game weakness.

Prediction: Packers 23 Colts 10


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