Carolina Panthers

NFL picks: Hoping for more good than bad

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a good guy and a terrible quote.

Journalists want to like Russell, and I think they even get past his blandness to eventually make it to actually liking him. But man is he a tough guy to quote.

I’ve known about it for years, going back to his days at N.C. State, but I was reminded of it again this week. Again, Russell is as nice as can be. And truthfully, he’s smart to say a lot without saying anything in order to avoid any controversy.

I mean, really. Have you ever heard of Russell getting in trouble for something he said?

Here’s a sampling of his quotes from this week’s teleconference with Charlotte reporters:

“We know it’s going to be loud and intense and come down to the end of the game where we are going to have to make plays.”

“I think for us, it is just about having that championship mindset and trying to go 1-0 every week.”

“I try not to pay attention. I try to ignore the noise. There are going to be some good days and some bad days, and hopefully I have a lot more great days than bad.”

I hope you all have a greater appreciation for journalists covering Wilson now.

Last week: 10-4

Season: 64-37-1

Lock: I bet against the Jaguars after making them my upset the week before and lost both times. I’ve only been to Jacksonville once before, and I don’t plan to return any time soon.

Season: 3-4

Upset: This is where I gloat about picking the Chiefs over the Chargers. Except I’ve been so bad picking upsets this year that my crowing ends at this period.

Season: 3-4

This week’s picks, with the home team in CAPS.

Seahawks 32, PANTHERS 17: This score isn’t indicative of how close the game will be. Seattle is the defending Super Bowl champs, on the road in a place they’ve won the past two seasons and trying not to lose three in a row this season. Wilson is the best in the game at extending plays and pump faking, and the Panthers have shown their defense is completely undisciplined in the past two weeks. I can’t trust these Panthers against a Seattle team that needs the win much worse considering their division is actually competitive.

Ravens 24, BENGALS 18: I don’t think I’ve picked against the Ravens this year and I’m not sure if I will for the duration of my time in this column space. I love what they do, but there’s another reason I’m taking Baltimore. The Bengals are 26-25 all-time in black jerseys and white pants. Guess what they’re wearing this week.

BROWNS 14, Raiders 13: In one of the ugliest games of the NFL season, the Browns eek out this terrible football game. You could play this game 100 times and it’ll be ugly every time.

The rest

Lions 22, FALCONS 19

CHIEFS 28, Rams 14

BUCCANEERS 24, Vikings 21

Dolphins 27, JAGUARS 12

PATRIOTS 38, Bears 24

JETS 18, Bills 14

CARDINALS 21, Eagles 17

Packers 35, SAINTS 24

COWBOYS 30, Washington 10

Upset of the week

STEELERS (plus-3) 28, Colts 27: The Colts have turned the ball over 11 times this season, and as good as Andrew Luck has been this year, I think he’s due for a letdown. The Steelers have been hot and cold, but Mike Tomlin knows he needs to win a few games like this if he wants to keep his job in 2015. Tomlin has the respect of the locker room, and his players need to deliver him a big win against the Colts if they want him to stick around next season.

Lock of the week

Texans (minus-2 1/2) 20, TITANS 7: The Texans are going up against the miserable Titans, who are starting a rookie quarterback. And not just any rookie quarterback, but Zach Mettenberger, who on Thursday sent a Snapchat to his friends that read “Ima starting nfl QB… Get some.”

Aside from how average I thought Mettenberger was coming out of college, and aside from what I think JJ Watt will do against Tennessee’s offensive line, how can you pick the Titans when that happens?

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