NFL Week 12: Thursday Night Game Pick & Prediction

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Texans -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

The fight for the top of the AFC South is on tonight. Both teams come into this one 6-4 with the Titans on their heels at 5-5 and the Jags within striking distance at 4-6.

The Colts won the first meeting between the 2 at home which came off of a bye. Brissett threw over 300 yards and for 4 TD’s in the game. He has since slowed a bit while also going down during the Steelers game that next week, missing the dolphins game and had a mediocre game last week against the Jags. Marlon Mack went off last week to supplement Brissett as he only has 14 carries but for 109 yards and a touchdown, averaging over 7 yards per carry.

The Texans are coming off a week that saw them get blown out on the road against a red hot Ravens team who covets the top rated offense. The Texans were seen as a team that was going to get into a shootout with Lamar Jackson but they were duds. They’ve found their identity however with Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde splitting carries and keeping the balance of the offense while Watson finds those opportunities for chunk plays down field that can cut the field in half with 40-50 yard completions.

Short week tends to favor the home team and with the extra motivation after getting drubbed on the road, the Texans have the motivation despite how well the Colts have played on the road. Take the Texans to cover in the over, Texans 27-21.

Week 3: Thursday Night Football

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:25pm (49ers +3, O/U: 40)

Sheesh, what a matchup.  These Thursday night games seem to be one bad matchup after another.  Now, the Rams seem to have some things together on offense with their new coach, Sean McVay, but the faith in Goff still isn’t totally there.  The rise of a semi stable passing game has taken a bit of the burden off of Gurley, who is having a good start to his third year in the league.  This will be a battle of defenses all night.  I’m actually shocked the over/under is where it is at 40.  I’m hinting at half of my prediction.

The 49ers defense has been a surprising bright spot of this team.  Losing key players on their defense over the years as hurt them but others have stepped up and a healthy NaVarro Bowman is the piece that leads this defenses success.  Hoyer needs to settle in.  Give the guy a break, it’s rather hard to go from system to system and play against tough defenses to start the season.  If he can get consistent in the short passing game, Hyde can gash the defense, and the 49ers could push for a bounce back season, starting with this game.

Don’t let the Rams early success grab your faith just yet.  This game could really give you a sense as to the capabilities of the Goff.  Look for the 49ers to steal a win as a home dog in the under, because it’ll be an ugly one.  49ers win in the under, 17-16.

Monday Night Mashup: Eagles @ Falcons & Vikings @ 49ers

Monday night football is back, here’s a rundown of the Eagles and Falcons game.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons,
TV: ESPN @ 7:10 p.m.; LINE: Falcons +3.5 O/U 56:

Sam Bradford finally can get things started in Philly. The fans have been clamoring about the hopes all offseason long and get a great chance at a good start against the Falcons in Atlanta. Atlanta hasn’t really had the hottest of defenses in recent years, this year seems to be no exception. The offense is usually there with a great air attack with Jones and White on the outside but the running game has been suspect. Two young backs are looking to change that, second year back Freeman and rookie Coleman look to complement each other and share reps in the backfield to give another dimension to an already potent offense. The masterful Chip Kelly will once again look to make some magic with his fourth starting quarterback in 3 years. He’s been able to squeeze out great season no matter the man behind center, but with an actual number one guy who is healthy and has tons of experience, the sky is the limit. It also helps to have the 3 headed back of Murray, Sproles and Matthews in the backfield. Young guns like Agholor, Matthews and Huff look to be the future of the air attack for Bradford. Chip also revamped the defense with Alonso and Maxwell, so look for that side of the ball to improve as well. This one will be a shoot out! My Pick: Eagles 38-28.

Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers,
TV: ESPN @ 10:20 p.m.; LINE: 49ers +3 O/U 43:

New coach, tons of missing starters on defense and offense from a year ago make this one hard to evaluate. You can’t really see a sense of a teams losses in the preseason since most of the first team doesn’t play with each other and if they do it’s only for about a series or quarter at most. There just isn’t always enough time to establish rhythm in a meaningless game. They do have some studs in the backfield who proved they can replace Gore but Kaepernick hasn’t proven he’s worth the big contract the 49ers gave him. On the other hand, the Vikings were without their franchise guy in Peterson for the last 15 games of last season. Good or bad thing? Has it slowed him down or rested him immensely? A talent like Peterson only gets better with rest and doesn’t rust up like the tin man. He’s out to prove himself to everyone that he still has it and that he stuck around Minnesota and didn’t jet to Dallas for a reason. Peterson’s absence also gave Bridgewater more reign over the offense and really shinned late in the season on his way to winning rookie of the year in the NFC. Peterson will garnish about 25-28 carries and if Kaep struggles look for the same if not a few more touches for Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush, which all in all will slow the pace and scoring of this game. In all, the loss of Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Chris Borland will be too many losses to stop a rising offense in the Vikes. It’s always a bad sign when your defense from a year ago was ranked in the top 5 among the NFL to outside the top 12 in most preseason rankings in the next year, that’s no coincidence folks. Not to mention a lot of new pieces on the offensive side of the ball will more than likely contribute to more struggles for Kaep. Look forward to a new era of Vikings football in 2015 along with their new crib. My Pick: Vikings 21-17