Editor’s Note: He doesn’t like to brag, but Steve Silverman has covered the NFL for three decades, worked for Pro Football Weekly and written four NFL books. He wrote the NFL Preview…in Haiku!, and every week this season, he’ll be supplying his survivor pool picks. Trust him—he knows what he’s doing.


It’s Week One and you have to get down. Maybe you’re in a pool at work or you have a guy you can call. We will take care of you with picks that we absolutely guarantee. At least until the ball is kicked off.


Straight Up

New England over MIAMI

The Patriots come into the 2011 season with a chip on their collective shoulders after losing to the Jets in the divisional playoffs. Tom Brady has a chance to start the season with a flashy Monday night display against a secondary that will quake at the sight of last year’s 36-4 TD-interception ratio. New receiver Chad Ochocinco will get into the end zone twice before halftime. On the other side, Chad Henne is not working out for the Dolphins. He simply makes too many mistakes, and the Dolphins may be looking for a new quarterback next year. Finally, Bill Belichick can coach circles around Tony Sparano. The Pats had a huge special teams edge in last year’s win at Miami, and it seems quite likely that will repeat here.

Patriots 34, Dolphins 17


Against the Spread

N.Y. Giants (-3 ½) over WASHINGTON

Don’t even hesitate on this one. Yes, the Giants are a volatile, injury-riddled team going on the road. But they’re playing the Redskins, and Rex Grossman is the starting quarterback. He is a nice guy and would make a good neighbor, but he doesn’t have the requisite zip on his fastball. You will see the fear all over his face as Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul bumrush him into submission. The Giants are simply much too physical for the Redskins, and Mike Shanahan will realize that after linebacker Brian Orakpo, he just doesn’t have enough defensive weapons. Ahmad Bradshaw opens the year with 100-plus yards on the ground and two TDs.

N.Y. Giants 27, Washington 13