Hi, hello and welcome to Week 3 of the National Football League, I’m Steve Cook, and last week was another 9-7 week here with the Picks. So if you’re playing along and betting all of my suggestions, you’re coming out a bit ahead. Which is better than behind, but we’re going to try and step it up this week. This week’s Thursday night game features two teams that I figure will be in the playoffs, so let’s get right to it!

Thursday, September 22

Houston (-1) at New England

It’s been an interesting year for the quarterback position on top AFC teams. The Patriots were already going to be without Tom Brady for four games due to suspension, and now they’ll probably be without Jimmy Garoppolo for a little while. So who’s on the depth chart behind Jimmy G? Let’s find out…

NCAA Football: North Carolina at North Carolina State
Nov 28, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett (12) takes the field as he is honored for senior day prior to a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

-91st overall pick in 2016 NFL Draft

-Originally went to Florida, then transferred to NC State for his junior & senior seasons

-Last NC State QB to start in the NFL: Mike Glennon. Russell Wilson was also there his first three seasons, but some people there don’t like it when you mention that.

-Nicknamed “One Snap” by Bill Parcells since he would be one snap away from playing with Brady suspending and something happening to Garappolo

-Parcells served as a mentor to Brissett & other players from William T. Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, which has won multiple state titles in football & basketball

You read the name “Bill Parcells”. You remember who coaches the New England Patriots. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m buying into this Jacoby Brissett business for at least a couple of weeks. It seems too perfect. Too Patriots. Any other team would be in a tremendous amount of trouble if their superstar icon QB was suspended four weeks…not the Patriots. Any other team would be completely doomed if the backup QB also got hurt, leaving an untested rookie to try & carry the water. Not the Patriots. Oh, and any other team would be utterly ineffective if they were missing their top two quarterbacks, their superstar tight end, and the guy that was supposedly going to be their top running back this season. Not the Patriots. They just keep on trucking.

It’s a short week though, and they have some formidable competition making the trip up to Foxborough. The Houston Texans made relatively short work of the Kansas City Chiefs last week and judging from the rest of their AFC South competition, they’re a pretty safe bet to be playing multiple games in January. Some metrics are showing that their offense hasn’t been really good, but that should be expected when you’ve got a ton of new pieces in the mix. Lamar Miller will get it going eventually, and Brock Osweiler now has another good target in Will Fuller, which should make things easier for DeAndre Hopkins. If I was a Texans fan I’d feel pretty good about where the team is at & where its going.

Would I feel good about this week? No. I’d never feel good about going to New England. Bill Belichick taught Bill O’Brien & the other ex-Patriots in the Texan everything they know…but not everything he knows. Traveling on a short week is always more difficult. Oh…and Garoppolo might end up playing. Or he might not. Bill Belichick’s not saying anything about it. Gronk? Maybe!

I’ve already bet against the Patriots twice this season & lost. I can’t do it again, no matter who’s throwing the ball.

Week 2 Results: 9-7

2016 Results: 18-14 (2-0 on Thursday)