Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Thursday, September 8, 2011
ESPN picks: Revoking disrespect card early

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

You know it's coming if and when NFC West teams win games in Week 1.

There's a decent chance winning head coaches will make reference to all the doubters out there. It's become the norm.

I can just hear Ken Whisenhunt following an Arizona Cardinals victory over Carolina with something along the lines of, "There's been a lot said and written about us, much of it negative, over the last year or so. As long as the 53 men in that locker room believe, that's all that matters."

Sorry, NFC West coaches. Someone needs to revoke your disrespect cards for Week 1.

All 10 ESPN predictors, eight human and two computerized, are taking the Cardinals over the Panthers in Week 1.

Nine of 10 are taking the San Francisco 49ers over the Seattle Seahawks, but Pete Carroll cannot say no one is picking his team. Chris Mortensen has Seattle's back this week. Carroll would be OK saying, "Not many people gave us a chance" or the equivalent if his team prevails. And he can certainly crow if Tarvaris Jackson, the most disrespected starting quarterback of the preseason, lights up the 49ers in victory.

The Philadelphia Eagles were a trendy pick for much of the offseason, but Mortensen, Merrill Hoge and Adam Schefter are picking the St. Louis Rams to beat them in the opener.

I'll run our weekly in-season "You called it" item later in the day Thursday.