"It’s the same old Jay," said Charles Woodson after last night's game between the Packers and the Bears. "We don’t need luck. We just need to be in position. Jay will throw us the ball." And so went the Thursday night NFL network opener with Jay Cutler throwing four interceptions while only completing 11 of his 27 passes. He didn't get much help from Brandon Marshall (dropped pass in the end zone) and his offensive line (leaky for most of the game), but he still made a couple terrible decisions that led to turnovers. It's what Cutler does. Unlike an Eli Manning or even a Joe Flacco, Bears fans don't have the playoff resume from Cutler to accept his amusingly bad performances.
One just wonders if Cutler will ever mature into a leader. He spent a large portion of the game yelling at his offensive line. That can't be the most constructive way to help them improve. Keep it classy Jay. We’ll try to keep it classy as we do with the picks for the rest of the week. If you missed last week’s action, here’s a summary of what happened in Week 1.
Before we start, I want to give a shout out to Jonathan Colon for being the best in our BroBible Pick 'em Challenge last week. He got 12 out of 16 games correct. Nice job, Bro.
Locks of the Week:
NEW ENGLAND – 13.5 over Arizona
Our survivor pick of the week also shows up as one our locks. It's definitely one of those "they couldn't make the spread high enough" games.
ATLANTA -3 over Denver
Peyton Manning looked like his old self last week. As a football fan, that was a nice thing to see. But Matt Ryan's Atlanta offense looked quite prolific as well. The Falcons should have another field day against Denver's secondary. Most people will back Manning getting more than three points in a prime time game. I think Vegas knows what's up, so I'm going the other way.
Detroit +8 over SAN FRANCISCO
Oh, the handshake game was fun, wasn't it? Now it's back in prime time. NBC totally knew what they were doing airing this game on Sunday night. If the Lions have any respect for their head coach, they'll come out fired up for this one. They play like a team that likes their coach (example of otherwise is last year's Tampa Bay squad), so I'll take the points. Let’s just hope the Lions’ get their uniforms fixed.
Trap Game of the Week:
Baltimore +3 over PHILADELPHIA
I've been back and forth on this game, but it seems like a classic Week 1 overreaction game. The Eagles aren't as bad as they looked last week and the Ravens aren't as good as they looked last week.
Rest of the Picks:
Tampa Bay +8.5 over N.Y. Giants
The Giants have laid enough eggs at home in their day to always make you wonder about them covering a touchdown or more against a perceived much weaker team. The Bucs look focused under new coach Greg Schiano and their run defense is much stouter than last year with DT Gerald McCoy back.
New Orleans -2.5 over CAROLINA
Last week was too much for the Saints to handle. Their offense was stymied by an underrated Redskins’ defense, but they’ll be able to bounce back against a lesser quality Panthers’ unit this week. I know Carolina has Cam Newton, but aren’t they supposed to be a good running team? 6 carries for 1 yard from DeAngelo Williams?!? It’s not like the game was out of reach. WTF?
Oakland -1 over MIAMI
It pains me to take a west coast team playing the early start on the East Coast, but picking the Dolphins would mean I think they can actually win a game. I don’t think that’s possible with their offensive cast.
Minnesota -1.5 over INDIANAPOLIS +1.5
I liked the Colts in this game until I read up on how poorly their defense looked after Dwight Freeney left last week's game. With Freeney likely out for another week or two, that doesn't bode well for Luck grabbing his first win. The Colts also have a small front seven, which won't be able to handle Adrian Peterson, who looks like his old self, for four quarters.
CINCINNATI -7 over Cleveland
Who gives a crap about this game?!? Cleveland’s got a long way to before we take them seriously as a football team and it doesn’t help that shutdown corner Joe Haden is out. In other news, "The League" is back!
BUFFALO -3 over Kansas City
If you thought that Bengals vs. Browns game was going to be exciting, you'll love this one too. Watching the outtakes from the new John Clayton SportsCenter commercial would be a better use of your time. If you must watch the game, look for a bounce back effort from the Bills' defense after they were emasculated last week.
JACKSONVILLE +8 over Houston
Is it possible Blaine Gabbert isn’t as bad as we thought he was? He looked decent in preseason and held up against Minnesota last week. This won't be a game the Texans are motivated for and they didn't look so great on offense last week. Given that the spread is more than a touchdown, I like the opportunity that provides the Jags. If they weren't the Jags then I'd lock this up.
SEATTLE +3.5 over Dallas
Tony Romo returns to the field on which his career turned. We all remember his fumbled snap on the potential game-winning field goal. The Seahawks will look to bounce back after last week's disappointing loss to Arizona. I'm not ready to put my 100% faith in Dallas despite how strong they looked against the Giants. This looks like a potential letdown game and Seattle is a tough place to play.
ST. LOUIS +3.5 over Washington
I give the Rams credit for hanging in there with the Lions last week. It means the players are responding well to Jeff Fisher. They're defense is more sound than what RG3 faced in his first game, so I'll take the home team and the points.
Tennessee +6 over SAN DIEGO
The Chargers’ didn’t look that good last week. If only Oakland had a long-snapper then the Raiders might’ve actually won the game. As far as I know, the Titans don’t have the same problem. Ryan Mathews may be back, but he won’t be that effective without getting the preseason reps.
N.Y. Jets +5.5 over Pittsburgh
While the Jets' offense isn't as good as it looked last week, it's good enough to score a few point this weekend. Their defense should also keep this a game. Worst case scenario, maybe they can win the fights again this week.
This Week: 1-0
Survivor Pick: 1-0