NFL Picks, Week 3: Thursday Night Football Is Cursed Forever

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 20: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates after a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Giants destroyed the Panthers Thursday, but of course they did. Now, let's get ready for the rest of the NFL weekend with picks and lines for all of Week 3's games, starring Jay Cutler, Chiefs sadness, the Football God, Trent Richardson, and more.

It's Week 3, and we're back with all the Week 3 lines, plus picks for each game. But first let's talk about Thursday Night Football. Does anyone remember the last time we had a good Thursday Night game? Doesn't anyone else see what's happening here?

Thursday Night Football is cursed.

Roger Goodell is trying to monopolize America's attention with the Thursday Night games all season long, and it's working because obviously we all watch, but without fail, the game is always awful. Just unwatchable, miserable stuff. It started with Bears-Packers last week, then we got the Giants-Panthers abortion of a game Thursday night, and next week we get Browns-Ravens.

GROSS.


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It feels wrong to skip out on meaningful NFL games, but it feels even worse when you schedule an entire night around watching a game that will almost certainly suck. It will always be like this, even when you have games like Panthers-Giants, which should've been pretty great.

There are real reasons these games are awful--each team has maybe a day-and-a-half of practice beforehand, and there also just aren't that many great matchups worthy of prime time each week--but I choose to believe it's just the Ginger Curse that's ruining everything. Even karma can't stop the NFL from making endless amounts of money and slowly taking over the world, but it can damn well ensure that Goodell's little pet projects will be an utter failure.

So let's all agree to boycott Thursday Night Football from here on out, and just be done with it. Really, you'll feel so great next week, when you get a text message during the third quarter about how the awful Browns-Ravens game. And with that in mind, all picks in BOLD.

Star-divide

Giants at Panthers (-2.5)

Well hey, ONE OF THOSE THINGS was awesome last night. The other:

Screen_shot_2012-09-21_at_8
via @BlkSportsOnline

Yeah. Let's just move forward.

Bucs at Cowboys (-8) -- Ah, Week 2 in Seattle. THOSE are the Cowboys I remember from the past three years. And hey it's always a good sign when the owner and coach are publicly feuding over whether to cut a former first round pick. Right? Which reminds me: Remember that time Jerry Jones drafted Felix Jones in the first round? Above Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Ray Rice? Owners should never ever be allowed to make draft picks.

We're picking the Cowboys here because I'm a Cowboys fan, but how is the line possibly this high? I have no faith in Dallas covering here, and yes, this is all an elaborate defense mechanism.

This is what it's come to for Cowboys fans.

Rams at Bears (-7.5) -- DOOOOONNNNTTT CAAAAAAAAAAAAREE. That's the best NFL anecdote of 2012 and probably beyond. I had friends at Vanderbilt who paint the exact same picture. Jay Cutler is the villain from every 80s high school movie, and he's my favorite player in the NFL.


NFL Advanced Power Rankings


Lions (-3.5) at Titans -- In June:

"I kinda put us in the same category. He gets a lot of criticism just like I do. I like how he bounced back the year after he got a lot of criticism. Came back, got MVP and hopefully can get his team a championship. He just gives me motivation to bounce back for this year, seeing the things that he came back and did, proving the naysayers wrong. I kind of look at him as a guy like me."

That's Chris Johnson comparing himself to LeBron James. This season Chris Johnson has 19 carries for 21 yards and no touchdowns. NOTE: Chris Johnson is nothing like LeBron James.

Chiefs at Saints (-9) -- The saddest football GIF of the season so far. Every time you watch a Chiefs game and wonder how this team could be this much of a mess, just remember that Scott Pioli is the absolute worst, and he deserves every little bit of humiliation that comes his way.

49ers (-7) at Vikings -- Aubrey Plaza is so perfect.

You know when you get lost in a YouTube black hole and just watch video after video of some celebrity and then slowly realize that this really isn't that different from stalking this person? Well, it's all fun and games until you're clicking on a Huffington Post story for 7 facts you didn't know about Aubrey Plaza. That's when you just have to shut the computer and move on.

Bengals (+3) at Redskins --

Dear Bristol: Stop forcing this stupid QB rating on America every week.

Nobody knows what it means, it's impossible to contextualize since nobody else on earth uses it, and the biggest problem: Nobody NEEDS to use it. QB rating is just a random formula that tells us in a general way how one quarterback's doing compared to everyone else. We don't need it to be more accurate. Nothing's going to be definitive either way. Just give us a number that we can compare to QBs from years past. Total QB rating is the dumbest thing ever.

By the way: RGIII's real QB rating is 111.3. So yeah, he's doing pretty well so far. Somebody on Twitter compared him to Kevin Durant last week, and it was pretty perfect. There's really nothing not to love about either one, and the sky is the limit for both. Also, KD went 20-62 in his first season.

Bills at Browns (+3) -- TRENT RICHARDSON DOING TRENT RICHARDSON THINGS.

152310383_medium
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Please enjoy the GIF of his second touchdown last week. Jim Brown said Richardson was "ordinary" back when Cleveland drafted him, but Sunday got his attention:

"I said, ‘well, they’ll tackle him now,’ but they didn’t. Then I said, ‘well, he will go down now,’ but he didn’t. He kept doing that. It was impressive."

Yes, yes it was. Impressive enough for me to pick the Browns this weekend!

Jets (-2.5) at Dolphins -- Is the AFC East the worst division in football? Maybe, right?

Jaguars (+3) at Colts -- Time for the Jags to make their comeback, y'all. Every few years the Jags go 9-7 out of nowhere, get everyone's hopes up for the following season, and then go 5-11 for the next two years. But this could be the 9-7 year!

Eagles (-3.5) at Cardinals -- Everyone has Eagles jokes, but remember, everyone has EVEN MORE Kevin Kolb jokes. Plus, the last two weeks were games that last year's Eagles DEFINITELY would've blown last year. Winning games where you play like crap is what separates the best teams in football from everybody else. Of course, at some point those "best teams" have to not play like crap. Maybe that happens this weekend?

Also, let's all pour out a little liquor for Jason Kelce this weekend, the Eagles lineman who suffered a season-ending injury last week. This is how he arrived to the Eagles game last Sunday.

Screen_shot_2012-09-21_at_10

If there's a Football God up in heaven, I bet he looks like Jason Kelce.

Falcons (+3) at Chargers -- One of my favorite moments of the offseason:

Those two deserve each other.

Poor San Diego. They have the most obnoxious G.M. in football (A.J. Smith), they have NORV patrolling the sidelines, and then they have Philip Rivers holding down the QB position. And Dean Spanos co-signs all of them, which... Well, that may make him worse than all of them.

I'd feel bad for Chargers fans if they didn't live in San Diego, the most perfect place on earth. As for the Falcons? Nothing brings a team together like a DUI arrest.

Texans (-2) at Broncos -- The Texans have murdered two terrible teams to kick things off this year, so this Broncos game should be a fun barometer for them. For now, we're rolling with Houston.


Watch: Bomani Jones Tackles Peyton Manning


Steelers (-4) at Raiders -- Tony Dungy on the replacement refs:

"They have room to improve, and haven’t gotten every call right, but they’ve done a great job and I’m proud of the way the season has started with players, coaches, and officials working together."

Tony Dungy is awful.

Patriots (+3) at Ravens -- The most terrifying family on earth:

In the annals of parents watching their kids play sports – from a 4-year-old’s soccer game where there are more daisies picked than goals scored to the final drive of a Super Bowl – there’s never quite been a 24-hour stretch like what’s coming for Arthur and Camille Jones.

On Saturday night, in Toronto, their middle child, Jon "Bones" Jones will defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight belt against Vitor Belfort. The next day, their eldest son, Arthur III, a defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, and their youngest, Chandler, a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots, will square off in NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Read the rest from Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports, but yeah, it's kinda hard not to love everyone involved after reading.

Also, Patriots-Ravens games are the best. They're always closer and tougher than you expect, but not miserable to watch, either. Not like Steelers-Ravens games, or Jets-Patriots games. We're picking New England here, but it should be pretty great regardless.

Packers at Seahawks (+3.5) -- Damn right we're rolling with the Seahawks here.

152248446_medium
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Enjoy the games this weekend, and remember, gambling is stupid.

LAST WEEK: 6-6-2

SEASON: 15-16-2

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