Just a reminder that the Ravens-Texans prediction will come Sunday morning. Here are the rest of the NFL picks for the week:
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
I'd have to think Andy Reid has had this game circled on his calendar since the 2013 NFL schedule came out. Reid would love nothing more than to beat his former team. The Chargers were able to move the ball through the air against the Eagles a week ago and that's how Kansas City gets Thursday's win on the road. Prediction: Chiefs 27, Eagles 24.
New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers (pick)
One of these two teams has to win. Naturally, it's got to be the team with the not-as-bad defense. The Giants have been poor through two games and now have to travel to Carolina. The Panthers' offense needs a spark and they get it this week with Ted Ginn, Jr. Prediction: Panthers 30, Giants 27.
Green Bay Packers (-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Packers are riding high after destroying the Redskins a week ago. They'll face a much tougher defense in Cincinnati, one that would love to get the best of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay wins, but is unable to cover the spread. Prediction: Packers 23, Bengals 21.
St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys (-4)
The Rams' running game has gotten off to a slow start and will need to get going this week if it wants a shot at beating Dallas. The Cowboys will be angry coming off a close loss to Kansas City, and will open the offense up to take shots downfield. Or at least you'd think. Prediction: Cowboys 28, Rams 17.
Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings (-7.5)
If the Browns are to defeat the Vikings, Trent Richardson will need to carry the load and wear out the Minnesota defensive front. They'll .. wait, what? The Browns traded Richardson? Their best player in 2013? Hm. OK. Well, they'll need to run ... never mind. Vikings win. Prediction: Vikings 24, Browns 3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New England Patriots (-8.5)
The Patriots have been a fortunate team thus far — a 2-0 team by a combined five points. Could that change this week? Possibly. If Rob Gronkowski can't come back this week then the Bucs defense could prove problematic against a Patriots offense that has zero weapons at the moment. Pats win, but don't cover. Prediction: Patriots 19, Buccaneers 13.
Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints (-8.5)
The Cardinals have gotten some solid contributions from their secondary, namely rookie Tyrann Mathieu. The Saints will find it surprisingly tough to throw the ball on the Cardinals, with the score lower than one would expect. The Saints still win, however. Prediction: Saints 23, Cardinals 17.
San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans (-3)
Coach Mike McCoy has the Chargers headed in the right direction, especially on offense. Against the Eagles, Philip Rivers exploded for a monster game, tossing three touchdowns to Eddie Royal. The Titans do have a tough secondary but will struggle to score points, even against a so-so San Diego defense. Prediction: Chargers, 31, Titans 20.
Detroit Lions vs. Washington Redskins (-1)
The Lions have the potential to blow Washington out on the road if Reggie Bush is in the lineup. Joique Bell is more than capable of carrying the Lions to a win if needed, though. It's surprising the Redskins were favored, even by just one point in an essential pick 'em game. Prediction: Lions 34, Redskins 27.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins (-1)
This game has the potential to be a shootout. The Falcons' offense is good enough to test any defense. Atlanta's defense has become brittle, with Miami's offense a well-balanced unit. Atlanta gets the edge due to Matt Ryan's presence under pressure. Prediction: Falcons 31, Dolphins 30.
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (-1)
This will be the first of many meetings between these rookie quarterbacks. Geno Smith will try to prove that the Bills should have taken him in the first round. But E.J. Manuel's performance through two games has already made it clear that Buffalo made the right call. Prediction: Bills 20, Jets 16.
Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)
OK, so the Colts got Trent Richardson. Can Richardson run block for himself? There are still too many issues for Richardson to make an immediate impact this week against a 49ers group humbled against Seattle last Sunday night. The 49ers have the potential to win big this week. Prediction: 49ers 34, Colts 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks (-19)
How about this spread? Nineteen freakin' points. Jacksonville has a chance to go 0-16 this year (as does Cleveland all of a sudden) and will further that mission in a bad loss this week against the Seahawks. Prediction: Seahawks 41, Jaguars 10.
Chicago Bears (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are beginning to unravel offensively, indicating the organization made a huge mistake in letting Bruce Arians go. The Todd Haley experiment is becoming a disaster as the Steelers may want to re-think their offensive strategy. Prediction: Bears 24, Steelers 14
Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos (-16.5)
Terrelle Pryor has been a feel-good story in that the Raiders have actually been competitive. However, it's been against a not-as-good-as-advertised Colts bunch and the Jaguars. This week, the Raiders are brought back down to Earth. This is really the Monday night game? Prediction: Broncos 38, Raiders 16
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