Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons, Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS4.
Not to say the Dolphins don't have some well-deserved swagger, but let's be real: Out of all the defending division champs, Fins fans' optimism might be the most muted. We knew last season's historic turnaround was thanks in no small part to two things: Tom Brady's busted knee and the surprising Wildcat. Well, Brady is back after a year off spent impregnating Gisele Bündchen, and the Wildcat might
be turning old hat. Add to that the fact that statistically they'll face the hardest schedule in the NFL. The idiotic new stadium name, b-list celeb part-owners, and crappy Britto art won't do much to change that.
But hey, don't be so down. It might not be another '08, but it sure as hell won't be '07. Probably.
So the Fins start off their season in Atlanta, which at least saves us one more week from facing the grim reality that they play in a stadium named for Jimmy Buffett's crappy Corona knockoff. Though we will have to face facts that it's the first of three games in a row against fellow 2008 playoff vets, with three more waiting for us later in the season, including the defending Super Bowl champs.
The standard betting line seems to be Atlanta by four, unless you're getting your picks from Deadspin
, which figures, "Chad Pennington has Dartmouth douchebag hair, and the Dolphins are going to mildly eat it. Though maybe Chad #2, the Henne, will come out and shave the Pennster's lame head for a HOT GAY UPSET!"