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 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)