As you already know, I'm tweeting my pick for the Thursday Night Football Games for this year. My twitter is @WilliamBotchway and here is my pick:
Bears (+5.5) over PACKERS.
I'm now 0-2 on early week games, and 7-10 on the season. I would like to thank the Chicago offensive line for doing this to me. I hate you too.
"UPSET ALERT" next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not only cover. Also, home team in CAPS.
Chiefs (+3) over BILLS. Why in the world was the opening line at -9.0? The Chiefs are a good team this year, and their defense was hit hard by injury and suspensions last week. They'll bounce back. The Bills looked so terrible last week that it's impossible to pick them to win until they show me more. UPSET ALERT.
BENGALS (-7) over Browns. How bad is Brandon Weeden? His Passer Rating was 5.1. Obviously Passer Rating doesn't mean everything, but when it is that bad, it means something. In fact, this was addressed in Bill Simmons's mailbag (the first three questions) this week. The Eagles played terribly last week and the Bengals should come out on fire after their loss against the Ravens.
COLTS (+3) over Vikings. Now that Christian Ponder doesn't look like a terrible QB, this matchup is better than I expected. The Vikings have a lot more talent that the Colts, but I'm going with the better QB. Especially because of the domed conditions, which always benefits the better signal caller. UPSET ALERT.
Raiders (+2) over DOLPHINS. The Dolphins are terrible. While Carson Palmer isn't very good anymore, Ryan Tannehill is so much worse. Hopefully the Raiders don't screw themselves over with special teams this week. UPSET ALERT.
PATRIOTS (-14) over Cardinals. The Cards have a much better defense than they are given credit for. While I don't want to bite on the gigantic blowout, this has all the makings of one. First of all, the Cardinals are a West Coast team playing a 1:00 game on the East Coast. I don't know the exact stats on this, but the road team usually gets demolished. The Patriots have so many offensive weapons, and last week they played physical up front on both sides of the ball. Yes, it looks like New England has a defense again, and that's a bad sign for (the savior?) Kevin Kolb.
Buccaneers (+7) over GIANTS. The Giants are a better team, obviously. The only issue is that I love the Bucs this year. They held the Panthers to 10 rushing yards last week, and let's just put out there that the combination or Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, and Mike Tolbert is better than Ahmad Bradshaw and the fumble-prone David Wilson. Offensively, I think this is Josh Freeman's year to make the jump and the Giants have an atrocious secondary. All of this said, Eli Manning has too many offensive weapons for me to pick against the boys in blue. It will be a close Giants win.
Ravens (+2.5) over EAGLES. Honestly, who is betting on this game? The line started at Eagles -1, and it actually went up! The Ravens are one of the best teams in the league, and while the Eagles are talented enough, did anyone see what they did last week? Yikes that was a terrible performance by the team and the coaching staff. LeSean McCoy was dominating the game, but of course they decided to keep throwing the ball, leading the all of Vick's interceptions. Would I be crazy if I told you that the Ravens have the best QB in this game? The answer is no, because Flacco took his play to another level on Monday in the trouncing of the Bengals. The Eagles are a mess. I can't believe I actually have to say it, but UPSET ALERT.
PANTHERS (+3) over Saints. The Saints looked so bad without their coach. The Panthers are getting a boost in their already strong backfield with Johnathan Stewart's return. The only problem is that they didn't do anything on the ground in Week 1. New Orleans can't stop anything on defense so the Panthers should feast. UPSET ALERT.
Texans (-7) over JAGUARS. Hmmm, why am I making this pick? The Texans showed last week that they know how to feast on bad teams, and the Jaguars just lost to Christian Ponder. There's no way that Houston loses this game, and they will dominate.
Redskins (-3.5) over RAMS. The Rams played tough against the Lions last week. With that said, I'm not picking against RGIII.
SEAHAWKS (+3.5) over Cowboys. The Boys have a tendency to bungle away games that they should win. This will be a perfect example of that. Seattle's defense is not too shabby and they are at home with the best home-field advantage in the sport.
Jets (+5.5) over STEELERS. Troy Polamalu and James Harrison are not going to play in this game. That takes the old and slow defense of Pitt and makes it worse. They still have some talent, but they are not nearly as good as they are given credit for. On the other side, Darrelle Revis isn't playing either, making Kyle Wilson the key player in this game. If he can deal with Antonio Brown, the Jets defense will be golden. Also, the Steelers' offensive line is a mess, and I expect to see a lot of Aaron Maybin and Quinton Coples chasing after Big Ben. On offense however, I still don't trust my Jets. Too many things went right for them last week, but the weak D lining up against them won't be much of an issue. Mark Sanchez played great and it looks like he finally gets it, so don't be surprised if he takes over. If the Jets do lose, like they always do in Heinz Field, it will be a close game. UPSET ALERT.
Titans (+7) over CHARGERS. The Chargers were the beneficiary of the Raiders playing like, well, the Raiders. Don't forget that this team is still being coached by Norv Turner. What does that mean? It means that they are not good until late October when they realize that being 1-5 won't get them anywhere, they go on a run and eventually fall short. The Titans are not as bad as they looked last week, but Chris Johnson is in fact, that bad. UPSET ALERT.
49ERS (-7) over Lions. The Niners could be that team this year. The team that I never pick against. Last year it was the Packers. The year before, it was the Patriots. I can't physically bring myself to pick against this team. They were just too good last week. Their defense was so physical and dominated the Packers, and the Lions were frustrated by the Rams defense last week. Detroit better step it up if they want to win this game.
FALCONS (-3) over Broncos. I'm ignoring one of my rules to observe another. "Never pick against Matt Ryan at home" is ursurping "Never pick against Peyton Manning in a dome" just for this week. Only because the Falcons have a better defense.
Last Week: 7-9
This Week: 0-1