New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and rookie quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers put up big numbers and both performances were fun to watch along with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans’ Drew Brees. While the lockout may have a major effect on the overall big picture of health in the National Football League this year because of the lack of mini-camps, and OTAs (organized team activities), it has had no effect on the production side of the house.

The new kickoff rule changes have, to this point, prevented major collisions and catastrophic injuries during the preseason and the first of the regular season. Special teams coaches were like “mad scientists” during the offseason, working behind closed doors, burning the midnight oil to create returns for the kickoff segment of special teams, allowing the return man natural creases to hit. Week 1 had several kickoff returns for touchdowns, showing that the big play still exists and that the return men will take chances, bringing the ball out when they have an opportunity to or when their team is behind and a big play is needed.

Last year, I was 10-6 picking Rams games. In 2011, I’m 1-0 and picked Philadelphia over the Rams last week. I was encouraged to take a shot at the complete league by some friends and co-workers, so here it is. I will continue to do so through the remainder of the season. I base my predictions on personnel, scheme, injuries and home-field advantage. I’m not a professional at picking winners, so please don’t bet the farm on my predictions.

Monday Night Football

St. Louis @ New York Giants = Giants 23-17

Now let’s take a look at Week 2 matchups

Chicago @ New Orleans = Saints

Kansas City @ Detroit = Lions

Jacksonville @ New York Jets = Jets

Oakland @ Buffalo = Raiders

Arizona @ Washington = Cardinals

Baltimore @ Tennessee = Ravens

Seattle @ Pittsburgh = Steelers

Green Bay @ Carolina = Packers

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota = Buccaneers

Cleveland @ Indianapolis = Colts

Dallas @ San Francisco = Cowboys

Houston @ Miami = Texans

San Diego @ New England = Patriots

Cincinnati @ Denver = Broncos

Philadelphia @ Atlanta = Falcons