The Spotlight On The Biggest Game Of The Season For the New York Jets-Thursday Night Football Preview

Normally on Thursday afternoons, I post my Thursday Night Football Pick Against The Spread. Honestly it’s hard for me to do that today with the Jets involved and, well, with me having no confidence in this game whatsoever. Rex Ryan returns to MetLife Stadium for the first time since taking over as the coach of the Buffalo Bills to take on his old team, the New York Jets. If you don’t think that Rex has had week 10 circled on his calendar since his first day on the job, then I’m not sure what you’re thinking. I’ve been fired before and whenever I see my old employer, I want to make them look bad and look my best, it’s human nature. Rex hasn’t taken the high road either in naming IK Enemkpali a team captain for the Bills tonight for the sole reason of him breaking Geno Smith’s jaw.

Aside from Rex, this is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions in terms of health. The Bills had both Tyrod Taylor & Sammy Watkins return last week and they are just a different team with those two players healthy. It also appears that the Bills will have Lesean McCoy healthy for tonight’s game and if they can ever get Shady McCoy going, they can be one of the most explosive offenses in football. 

On the other side of the ball, the Jets seem completely ravaged by injuries everytime I turn on the TV. Our top three running backs are banged up (Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, & Stevan Ridley), both of our top wide recievers (Brandon Marshall & Eric Decker) are banged up & our quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is playing with a torn ligament in his non throwing hand. If that wasn’t bad enough, look at our defense: Dee Milliner- Out, Calvin Pryor- Doubtful, Antonio Cromartie- doubtful, Dion Bailey- Doubtful, Buster Skrine-Questionable. To make matters even worse the Jets will be without 2 cornerstones of their Offensive Line in Nick Mangold (who can’t stay healthy) and Willie Colon who was shut down for the season. The cherry on the top of this doom and gloom injury report is of course that the Jets will be without their Even Steven kicker, Nick Folk, and had to dust mothballs off of Randy Bullock with only four days to prepare. 

Looking at all of those injuries I’m pretty pessimistic about tonight’s game for the Jets. The 4-4 Bills are right there in the playoff race and the Jets are just barely ahead of this mishmash of mediocrity battling it out for wildcard spots in the AFC, with a 5-3 record. Now if the Jets can somehow ride that hometown crowd to a victory well then 6-3 looks a lot better then 5-3 and the Jets could be 10-3 before you can say “Merry Christmas”. After the Bills game tonight,  the Jets travel to Houston and then are back at MetLife to face the Dolphins, Giants and Titans. All four of those games are winnable and may have to be for the Jets to get that precious 5th seed as they end the season heading to Tony Romo & the Cowboys, welcoming the Patriots and at these Buffalo Bills. 

Thus, tonights game can really be season-defining for the Jets. Will gang green be able to give us fans a little breathing room? Or will Rex Ryan be the guy to ruin this promising season for Jets…just like he’s been for the last three years. 

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The Spotlight NFL Week 3 Picks Against The Spread- Thursday Night Football- Redskins at GiantsĀ 

Quicker than a hiccup Week 3 in the NFL kicks off later on tonight when the 1-1 Washington Redskins head to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants. We are 12-3 here on our spotlight picks against the spread through the first two weeks of the season including every prime time game of the year, but I’m not confident about this game whatsoever.

 If NFL games were only 59 minutes long instead of 60, the Giants would be 2-0 and looking pretty good with wins over the Cowboys in Dallas and over the exciting Falcons at home. Instead, the Giants have had back to back heart breaking losses and they were also bad because the Giants didn’t only lose at the last second but they blew 10 point fourth quarter leads in each of their first two games. At some point these type of losses have to effect a team’s psyche! Honestly for me the Giants woes stem from the play calling and the fact that the Giants have lacked that killer instinct. It’s almost as if Eli Manning’s interception woes the past few seasons have made the play callers for the Giants forget that Eli is an Elite quarterback in this league. The Giants O Line is stacked with talent and have only allowed Eli to get sacked 3 times thus far. Furthermore Eli now finally has the weapons around him to air it out, SO LET HIM DO IT!!! Instead the Giants continue to run the ball with lackluster backs and play not to lose instead of to win and you can’t do that with defense that’s as bad as theirs is right now. 

On the other side of th field you have the Washington Redskins who had about as low expectations as any team coming into the season but have actually look pretty good during the first two weeks, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Don’t be fooled by the loss to Miami, that was due to one bad special teams play, the Redskins dominated that entire game. Over the first two weeks the Redskins defense has only allowed 1 offensive touchdown per game and last week they stifled a Rams team, (who just beat the Seahawks) holding them to only 2 3rd down conversions the entire game. This has allowed Kirk Cousins and the offense to win the time of possession game in that the Redskins offense is averaging close to 38 minutes time of possession, which is really impressive and good for second in the league. Of course, last week the Redskins may have also found a force in rookie running back,Matt Jones who rushed for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. With he & Alfred Morris, the Redskins offense should be able to take some of the pressure off of Kirk Cousins. 

At the end of the day, with Tony Romo’s injury, this division game means that much more to both of these teams because the NFC East is wide open.  The Giants are definetely the more desperate team and need this win at home or the talk about this team is going to get even worse. Thus, I think the Giants will find a way to win this game but I’m not confident enough to say that they’ll win by much, so my pick for Thursday Night Football is The Washington Redskins (+4). Like I said with the Broncos & Jets last week, don’t be too surprised to see the Redskins win the game outright. 

That’s going to do it for right now but I will be back with my picks of the week tomorrow morning. I’ll be also back with my best knockout pool picks of the week so be sure to check those out as well. 

The Spotlight Picks Against The Spread- Thursday Night Football- Broncos At Chiefs

Week 2 in the NFL season will kick off in a bit over an hour with a clash of AFC West teams as Peyton Manning will lead the Denver Broncos into Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

This reads like a tale of two teams who fans feel completely different about this season.  Everywhere you look you see people jumping on the Chiefs bandwagon.  It seems like the only thing that Andy Reid’s team was missing last season was a wide receiver.  They have an elite running back in Jamaal Charles, a quarterback who has won in the playoffs, a rising tight end in Travis Kelce and a stud defense.  Well enter Jeremy Maclin and the Chiefs came out firing in Houston with seemingly all pieces in place.

On the other side of the dime you have the Denver Broncos, the four time division champions are seemingly finished accoridngly to the public.  Peyton Manning hasn’t looked good since last season and last week he averaged under 5 yards per pass.  Denver also got destroyed in the process…what’s that?  Denver won last week?  They beat the Baltimore Ravens?!?! You’d never that the Denver Broncos are currently 1-0 based on everything you’ve heard all week.

So what do we do tonight?   I’ll admit it, I cringe every time I see Peyton Manning go down and go down hard. It’s hard to watch knowing his injuries and, let’s face it, his age.  The Chiefs will be coming at him all night long but this year it’s a different Denver Bronco team.  After three years of the Broncos being carried by Peyton Manning, he is now being carried by them.  The Broncos have a great defense and have a good running game now that the Montee Ball experience is over.  I know Arrowhead will be loud tonight and I know the Chiefs are the consensus pick but I’m not willing to give up on Peyton Manning just yet.  This game reads more like a pickem and if I’m getting points with Peyton Manning I’ll take them gladly.

The Pick:  Broncos (+3, if you can wait it should drop to +3.5,  though don’t be too surprised if the Broncos win outright)