Editor’s note: NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their NFL picks every Thursday of the season, and here’s who they like in the New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints Week 2 game, with the line from MyBookie.AG.
Chicago Bears at (-6.5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Mike: Bucs. Taking Atlanta to the wire was nice, but that was at home against an indoor team on grass. The Bears, already banged up, don’t have the talent to consistently hang around in every game. There will be games like Week 1 along the way, but they’re just not good enough to do that every week.
Ricky: Bucs. Admit it. You have the Mike Glennon Revenge Game circled on your calendar. … No? Well, that’s good. Because this game might stink. Anyway, take the well-rested Bucs, who have enough offensive firepower to make life difficult for the Bears’ secondary, especially with Tampa Bay adding veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard over the offseason. I also can’t stress enough how much losing linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who was historically good in 2016, hurts the Bears’ defense moving forward.
Andre: Bears. Losing Freeman is a tough blow for Chicago, but I still like its front seven, which was seventh in sack percentage last season. Aside from Austin Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown reception, the Bears did a relatively good job shutting down 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan. There’s also a lot to like about the Bears’ offensive line and running game, which logged 6.6 yards per carry last week.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images