They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I don’t think the temperature matters much, as long as the dish makes it to your table.
The 2013 NFL regular season kicks off Thursday night in Denver, a chance for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to avenge last season’s playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Green Bay gets a similar opportunity Sunday at San Francisco.
Those grudge matches highlight a great Week 1 slate:
RGIII returns from his gruesome knee injury to face Chip Kelly and the new-look Eagles.
Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson on the same field.
Darelle Revis returns to New York.
Take a deep breath, and stock up on chips. The NFL is back.
Thursday, Sept. 5
Baltimore at Denver, 6:30 p.m. (KOBF, KUSA; KRSJ 100.5 FM) – Even without Von Miller, the Broncos still have Peyton Manning and a deep receiving corps. They get payback. Pick: Broncos, 31-20. Odds: Broncos by 9.
Sunday, Sept. 8
Note: The FOX (KASA) doubleheader has yet to be determined.
Atlanta at New Orleans, 11 a.m. – This is Sean Peyton’s first game back after a suspension last year. The Saints don’t let him down, bringing some heat to melt Matty Ice. Pick: Saints, 37-35. Odds: Saints by 3.
Cincinnati at Chicago, 11 a.m. (KCNC, KREZ) – In a battle of big, talented receivers, A.J. Green and the Bengals young, talented defense earn their stripes. Pick: Bengals, 17-10. Odds: Cincinnati by 3.
New England at Buffalo, 11 a.m. – Buffalo has some optimism with rookie quarterback EJ Manuel starting. Tom Brady eats optimism for breakfast. Pick: Patriots, 37-10. Odds: Patriots by 10.
Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. – Steelers defense may be aging, but it still packs a punch. Pick: Steelers, 19-17. Odds: Steelers by 7.
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Jets, 11 a.m. – Darelle Revis’ first game is against his old team. The Bucs will plunder old Revis Island. Pick: Buccaneers, 24-10. Odds: Buccaneers by 3.
Kansas City at Jacksonville, 11 a.m. – Last season’s two worst teams. One has some hope, the other doesn’t. Sorry, Jacksonville. I hear Tim Tebow’s still looking for a job, though. Pick: Chiefs, 20-9. Odds: Chiefs by 3½.
Seattle at Carolina, 11 a.m. – Carolina’s defense played lights out in the preaseason. Cam Newton shocks the Seahawks. Pick: Carolina, 24-17. Odds: Seattle by 3.
Miami at Cleveland, 11 a.m. – New uniforms don’t help you tackle Trent Richardson. Pick: Browns, 16-13. Odds: Even.
Minnesota at Detroit, 11 a.m. – The best wide receiver in the league vs. the reigning MVP. Detroit’s supporting cast helps get it done. Pick: Lions, 29-27. Odds: Vikings by 4½.
Oakland at Indianapolis, 11 a.m. – Terrelle Pryor? Matt Flynn? It doesn’t matter for the Raiders. Indy’s Luck rolls. Pick: 27-13. Odds: Colts by 9½.
Green Bay at San Francisco, 2:25 p.m. – The other playoff rematch smells of déjà vu. Niners and Kaepernick will be too tough at home. Pick: 49ers, 30-28. Odds: 49ers by 4½.
Arizona at St. Louis, 2:25 p.m. – Carson Palmer brings stability back to the Cardinals’ passing attack. Larry Fitzgerald cries tears of joy as he scores. Pick: Cardinals, 20-13. Odds: Rams by 4½.
N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 6:30 p.m. (KOBF, KUSA) – Dez Bryant scares me, but not as much as Eli Manning. Pick: Giants, 31-27. Odds: Giants by 3.
Monday, Sept. 9
Philadelphia at Washington, 5:10 p.m. (ESPN) – RGIII gets back on the field and outpaces Chip Kelly’s blur. Pick: Redskins, 22-20. Odds: Redskins by 3½.
Houston at San Diego, 8:20 p.m. (ESPN) – Tough start for Mike McCoy in San Diego. Phillip Rivers still is the Bolts quarterback, and Houston’s defense forces a lot of turnovers. Pick: Texans, 27-16. Odds: Texans by 3½.