Patriots vs. Steelers: Week 1 Thursday Picks

NFL Picks

Here are Will and Derek’s picks for the Week 1 Thursday night game. Picks for the remainder of the games will run on Friday.

(Home team in caps. Line per consensus.)

NEW ENGLAND (-7) vs. Pittsburgh



Derek: FOOTBALLLLLL! FOOTBALL IS BACK! Let’s kick off the season with …


Folks, I won’t lie to you: this is not a game that will make Seahawks fans happy. I get to spend the whole time thinking back to that time Ben Roethlisberger went 9/21 for for 123 yards with two interceptions but the Steelers still won the Super Bowl thanks to Bill Leavy, who will soon have his own statue in the Steelers’ Great Hall.

And, well, let’s say I haven’t exactly forgotten what happened in last year’s Super Bowl. How could I? It was required that the Seahawks’ interception be shown at least three times per Seahawks preseason game. Football is stupid. I hate it. We should just stick to wrestling all year.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s talk about the game!

From what I’ve heard, the consensus is the Patriots will be back in F-U mode in response to the various cheating scandals they’ve dealt with over the past seven months. Brady will shake off his preseason struggles and throw for 500 yards and seven touchdowns en route to a 70 point Patriots win that features a tidal wave of middle fingers from the Patriots sideline.

I don’t buy it. This spread is slightly too high, and the Patriots are usually only a lock if everyone expects them to lose. No Le’Veon Bell hurts the Steelers, but the Patriots secondary took quite a hit this offseason. Roethlisberger should keep them in it, even if Brady does go off on the poor Steelers defense. I say the Pats win at home, but the Steelers cover.

Will: I am buying exactly what you are not buying. The Steelers are not the defensive stalwart they once were — I suppose they haven’t been for a while now — and I fully expect Brady, Belichick, and the boys to be out for blood. Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are fully capable of clapping back, but I reckon the absence of Bell will make the Steelers a bit too one-dimensional.

That said, a confession: I know next to nothing about non-Browns teams this year. I have not done my research, or even pretended to do my research. I went into two separate fantasy drafts cold, and my understanding of the NFL may be stuck in 2012. It hasn’t hurt me yet, so I’m going to stick with it.

And, if I’m being a bit more honest, I cannot pick the Steelers under any circumstances. I expect a shootout, which should favor the team getting the touchdown, but Pittsburgh can puck right off. Dean Wormer summed it up best:

Pats all day.

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