- Child killed, 4 injured in Idaho elementary school bus crash
- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
Last 2 Super Bowl champs open schedule
The NFL looks for the biggest extravaganza it can find for its kickoff game. It found a doozy for Thursday night: New Orleans at Green Bay.
Look for lots of points at Lambeau Field as the two most recent Super Bowl champions, led by title game MVPs, go at it., Also expect a huge, perhaps record television audience for the season opener following those 4 1/2 months of legalese that only enhanced America's appetite for real football.
The Packers, 4-point favorites, get back several players who weren't even involved in the Super Bowl run. Most notable are tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ryan Grant, both potential starters and key contributors.
Add them to an offense led by Aaron Rodgers and the Pack will be formidable when it has the ball.
Same thing, though, for the Saints. Joining Drew Brees in the backfield are rookie Mark Ingram and explosive veteran Darren Sproles, each bringing their specialized touch to an already potent attack. Don't underestimate the importance of standout center Olin Kreutz being signed, too.
New Orleans also upgraded its defense, is not fearful of big road games, having won at Atlanta and Tampa a year ago, and won't have nearly as much pressure on it as the Packers. A successful trip to Titletown USA for the Saints.
Detroit (plus 2) at Tampa Bay
Looks like Lions have been made a fashionable pick to be 2011's rising team. Buccaneers are way ahead of them right now, however.
BEST BET: BUCCANEERS, 21-17
Pittsburgh (plus 2 1/2) at Baltimore
OK, not much of a gamble picking defending AFC champs to handle their archrivals and main divisional competition. But Steelers seem to be ahead of Ravens at this point, and any time they are underdogs, they are worth picking.
UPSET SPECIAL: STEELERS, 17-13
Atlanta (minus 3) at Chicago
Simple logic here: both teams won divisions last year, Falcons have improved, Bears have not.
Philadelphia (minus 5) at St. Louis
Rams are team to watch in NFC West. Eagles are team to watch in entire NFC. Still, this will be close.
Cincinnati (plus 6 1/2) at Cleveland
Even if Carson Palmer was quarterbacking Bengals, Cleveland would be the clear choice in this middling Ohio skirmish.
Dallas (plus 4 1/2) at N.Y. Jets
Cowboys began to right their ship somewhat with win over Giants in Meadowlands last midseason. Their revamped OL must deal with perplexing Rex Ryan blitzes.
New England (minus 7) at Miami
Seems like lots of people remember only Patriots' postseason flop, not their 14-2 record of 2011.
Indianapolis (plus 6 1/2) at Houston
Once a matchup of most predictable of franchises against least predictable. With Peyton Manning out, there's no certainty about Colts anymore.
Tennessee (plus 3) at Jacksonville
Jaguars are in third year of retooling, Titans in their first. But it was Jags who cut their starting quarterback, David Garrard, this week.
Buffalo (plus 6 1/2) at Kansas City
Questions about Chiefs QB Matt Cassel's health muddle this picture _ just not enough to pick Bills to pull off upset.
Carolina (plus 7) at Arizona
Big difference in QBs taking over these teams: rookie Cam Newton for Panthers versus experienced Kevin Kolb for Cardinals.
Minnesota (plus 9) at San Diego
After last year's turmoil, two teams expecting to turn it around. Count on Chargers to get early start toward that goal.
Seattle (plus 5 1/2) at San Francisco
Either of these teams could win NFC West _ at 7-9 like Seahawks did last year. Both could also finish last.
N.Y. Giants (minus 3) at Washington
Main thing to avoid in preseason is injuries. Giants did terrible job of that, but still are stronger than Redskins.
Oakland (plus 3) at Denver
Raiders went 6-0 in AFC West a year ago. That streak ends Monday night.
Against spread 132-109-19; straight up 172-102.
Best Bet: 8-11 against spread, 11-8 straight up.
Upset Special: 11-8 against spread, 11-8 straight up.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!