NFL Week 8 Thursday Picks

Here are Will and Derek’s picks for the Week 8 Thursday night game. Picks for the remainder of the games will run on Friday.


(Home team in caps)

DENVER (-7.5) vs. San Diego

The Basics

Denver: 5-1, 1st AFC West, #4 total offense, #1 scoring offense, #6 total defense, #6 scoring defense

San Diego: 5-2, 2nd AFC West, #11 total offense, #9 scoring offense, #5 total defense, #3 scoring defense

Derek: Denver is at home, and Peyton Manning is almost automatic in night games. They just decimated the 49ers, while the Chargers were upset by the Chiefs. Seems like an easy pick, right? A little too easy. The Chargers could want this one more, as they’ll want vengeance after being eliminated from the playoffs by Denver last season. San Diego beat the Broncos in Denver on Thursday night last year, and Manning is just 8-8 against the Chargers in his career (including playoffs).

I’m going to take Denver because I don’t like taking road teams in Thursday night games and I don’t like picking against Manning in prime time.

Will: I agree with everything. I can’t think of the last time I flipped on a primetime game and Denver wasn’t up by 10.

Peyton is still slinging it and the Thomases are gigantic, fast humans. The Broncos’ pass rush has been great — they’re tied for third in sacks, sixth in sack percentage, and Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware are 1-2 in individual sacks. Something’s gotta give, as San Diego’s offensive line has been good, allowing 11 sacks in seven games. I think Denver will win the game.

The 7.5 number gives me pause, though. The Chargers have been quite good as well, their stinker against the Chiefs notwithstanding. Philip Rivers is as good an MVP candidate as anyone in the league. He leads the league in yards per attempt (a scant .01 ahead of Peyton), and he’s top-five in completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, and total QBR.

The number is just too big for me, so I’m going with San Diego in hopes that that Bolts will keep pace with the Horsies and make it a close game. I can’t wait until the Broncos are up by three touchdowns and I throw a brick at Peyton and Papa John on TV.

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