Thursday Night Football
1:25am Kick Off
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Texans surprised everyone by how badly they played against the Jags last week, and will really be in trouble if they start out 0-2. Luckily for them they're going up against a team that didn't score a single point on Sunday, and Bengals might need to win even more to keep up with the Steelers & Ravens in their division. This game should be really low scoring, as both teams have a good pass rush and terrible offensive lines. The Bengals defence isn't the same without Burfict, and their secondary isn't as strong as it used to be. The Texans will have to find another target outside of Deandre Hopkins, because of the injury to cj fiedorowicz last week. Offensively the Bengals have all the talent, except at the two most important positions: quarterback and offensive line. I think Deshaun Watson is the starter for the Texans, but I don't see him changing much. I've got the Bengals in an ugly game.
Prediction: Bengals by 6
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Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
The Cardinals have to win this game. They will now be without their best playmaker at least until December, after David Johnson injured his wrist last weekend. If Carson Palmer can avoid stupid turnovers they should be fine, I expect him to be a lot better in this one. Defensively the Cardinals should have an easy game, the Colts have nothing without Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brissett is now the starting quarterback, but he has only been with the team for a week or so. I think if the Cardinals get ahead early this game could get pretty ugly.
Prediction: Cardinals by 10
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
Both teams come into this after winning their season opener, but the Bills basically had a bye week as they played the Jets. The Bills weren't exactly convincing last week, and their only real bright spot as usual was Lesean McCoy. McCoy may have a hard time against an elite Panthers front seven, and I expect the Bills offence as a whole to struggle in this one. The Panthers didn't exactly put on an offensive clinic last week, but the 49ers actually played them relatively well. Cam Newton will be better, but I expect the Panthers will still run the ball a lot.
Prediction: Panthers by 10
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bears came so close to pulling off the upset last weekend against the Falcons but came up just short. The main take away from that game is their defence is going to be good all season, and they have two very talented running backs going forward. The Bucs will be looking to get off to a good start at home, with big expectations for this year. If Winston can avoid turnovers I don't see any reason why the Bucs should lose this game. Tampa Bay also have the ideal linebacker to deal with Tarik Cohen catching passes out of the backfield in Lavonte David, that will be a fun battle to watch.
Prediction: Bucs by 7
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The Browns played the Steelers really close last weekend, and if their early field goal attempt didn't get returned foe a touchdown they might of actually won that game. The Ravens absolutely pasted the Bengals last weekend, and looking at the spread the bookies seem to think they'll do the same to the Browns. The Ravens always seem to win ugly against the Browns, and I saw nothing from them offensively last weekend that makes me think this game will be any different. Fun matchup to watch that Ravens front 7 against the Browns offensive line though.
Prediction: Ravens by 3
Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Vikings offence looked really good against the Saints, and Sam Bradford had one of the most complete games of his career. That was against the Saints at home, now they have to travel to Pittsburgh and Bradford might not even be ready to play. I think even without Tuitt the Steelers have the players on defence to cause the Vikings offensive line problems, and their run defence is pretty good which doesn't bode well for Dalvin Cook. I think the Vikes defence will keep them in it for a while, but eventually Bell, Brown and Bryant are going to make plays that you can't do anything about and take over.
Prediction: Steelers by 4
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints
This will be the highest scoring game of the week, perhaps the year. Normally when that gets said about a matchup in the NFL almost next to no scoring happens, but with Brady vs. Brees, in the superdome, there's no way this isn't a shootout. The Patriots defence got torched by the Chiefs in the season opener, so the Saints should have no problem lighting them up too. On the other side the Vikings offence looked good against the Saints defence, which really doesn't bode well for them with Tom Brady coming in off a bad loss. Can't see the Patriots going 0-2, but either way this should be one hell of a game.
Prediction: Patriots by 3
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Eagles got a good win against a team they've struggled with over the last few years last weekend, so they should be full of confidence going into this one. The Chiefs put the entire league on notice when they demolished the Patriots, If the Eagles offensive line plays better than last week they have a chance to win this game, but that Kansas City defence is nasty. Missing Eric Berry is huge, so if Wentz gets time in the pocket he should be able to take advantage with some deep shots. The Chiefs offence should be a lot of quick passing to counter the Eagles pass rush, but they may struggle to force turnovers as Alex Smith rarely turns the ball over. If they get turnovers the Eagles win, but I can't see it happening. If anyone knows how to out-coach Doug Pederson (which isn't all that hard), it will be his mentor Andy Reid.
Prediction: Chiefs by 4
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans started out hot last week and collapsed a bit in the second half, they just couldn't move the ball in the second half. The worrying thing is that the Jags defence is a lot tougher than the Raiders, but I think they'll be better in this game. The Jags and Titans always split the season series regardless of how good either team is, so it should be a close one. The Titans offensive line will have to be better than last week, that Jags defensive line can really create some pressure. The Jags will stick with the same formula as last week, run Fournette pretty much every play. If the Titans get a lead they will win comfortably, if the Jags get a lead they'll just run the ball constantly. First score is key in this one.
Prediction: Titans by 4
Miami Dolphins @ LA Chargers
This is a great shout for under rated game of the week. The Dolphins have their first game of the season because of the hurricane last week, the Chargers lost in a nail-biter to the Broncos in the last seconds of the game. The Dolphins front with Suh and Wake should have a field day against the Chargers offensive line, but if Rivers can get time he'll be able to shred that Dolphins secondary. Jay Ajayi will get a lot of work in this game, as the Chargers are a lot better against the pass than they are at stopping the run. I think the Chargers will win, simply because Cutler is prone to making mistakes. Should be a fun game to watch though.
Prediction: Chargers by 4
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders
Not going to go into too much detail on this one, the Jets are atrocious, the Raiders should score 30+, I can't see any scenario where the Jets make a game of this. Derek Carr has one of the best offensive lines in the league, which will cancel out one of the few strengths the Jets have, their defensive line. Khalil Mack will be making plays all game, will be interesting to see how the Jets attempt to keep him off their quarterback.
Prediction: Raiders by 20
Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos
The Broncos looked good against a solid Chargers defence last week, so they should have plenty of success moving the ball against the Cowboys. CJ Anderson was a lot better than I was expecting, the Broncos should look to get him going early. Offensively the Cowboys are set up to score a lot of points in this game. The Broncos ranked one of the worst run defences in the league last season, and all the Cowboys will want to do is run the ball. They'll have to get pretty creative to give Dez Bryant chances to make plays against those Denver corners, expect a lot of play-action and throws to the tight ends, that's the way to beat the Broncos.
Prediction: Cowboys by 6
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
The Niners really struggle in Seattle in recent seasons, even when they were good. The Seahawks offence didn't look convincing at all against the Packers, but they're a different team at home. The Niners defence isn't terrible, but I think the Seahawks will struggle early, then run away with it. Brian Hoyer will be under a lot of pressure from that Seattle defensive line, and Sherman will probably be on Garcon all game. I don't think the Seahawks will score a lot, but I think the Niners will be lucky to get to double-digits in this one.
Prediction: Seahawks by 20
Washington Redskins @ LA Rams
The Rams were really good last week, and Jared Goff looked like the quarterback he was in college, but to be honest I could look like a serviceable quarterback against that Colts defence. A really neglected storyline for this game is Kirk Cousins going up against his old offensive co-ordinator, McVay will know how to attack him and make him uncomfortable. I think the Redskins defence will have plenty of success getting to Goff, they'll need Gurley to be more productive than he was last week to take some of the pressure off Goff. This could be a really good game, or it could be a defensive scrap. Should be a good watch regardless.
Prediction: Rams by 6
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
This along with the Saints/Patriots should be the game of the week. The Falcons are the favourites opening up their new stadium. The Packers front seven looked impressive last week, but the Falcons offensive line is significantly better than the group the Seahawks have. Defensively they will have been stressing all week about how to slow Aaron Rodgers down. The Falcons secondary will have their hands full, and I think Rodgers will have a lot more success in Atlanta than he did in the playoffs last season. Whoever built the Packers schedule is clearly a Bears fan, Seattle and Atlanta in back to back games to start the season, but I think they finish this weekend 2-0.
Prediction: Packers by 4
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