Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL Week 7 predictions

One of these weeks I need to go back and figure out what my running tally is for these NFL picks. I sense it's not very good, but I'll stick with it anyway. Here are this week's predictions:

Packers at Browns: While I suppose it's possible that the Browns are making slow progress toward becoming a competitive team, I don't think they get it done this season. Green Bay has been solid this year, and I think they manage to put together a running game this week and trounce Cleveland.

49ers at Texans: Word has it the long-awaited premier of Michael Crabtree could be on for this week. For the Niners' sake, I hope it's just in time. Houston has had an up-and-down year so far, scoring on big plays but losing some close games. Although it's a home game, I think I'm going to give the edge to San Fran; coming off a bye week, they should be healthy and well-prepared.

Chargers at Chiefs: So, the Chiefs finally got in the win column last week. It's unfortunate they can't play the Redskins every Sunday. The Chargers continue to be a disappointment, losing their past two. I think they turn it around this week though. The Chiefs are struggling to score points this year, and, even in losses, that's something San Diego has been able to do.

Vikings at Steelers: This promises to be one of the better games of the week. Both teams have tough defenses, strong rushing attacks and QBs that have been very hot as of late. My concern with Pittsburgh is its fourth-quarter defense. The Steelers seem to play well through the first portion of the game and then somehow give teams a shot to win late. I don't know that that's a luxury they can afford against the balanced offensive attack of Minnesota. Still, Pittsburgh hasn't lost yet at home, and I think this is the week the Vikings drop from the ranks of the undefeated.

Colts at Rams: Historically, the Colts seem to come out flat after a break in their momentum (bye week, first-round playoff bye), so if they were playing any other team, I would say they should be very careful. But with a team as bad as the Rams have been, I think Indy can afford to start slow out of the gate and still stay in control. Hopefully it will be a better game than I anticipate, but I still say the Colts win.

Patriots vs. Buccaneers (in London): With a long road trip to a neutral field, I like to think that anything can happen. But after watching the smackdown the Pats put on Tennessee last week, I've got a pretty good idea I know what's in store for Tampa today. The Bucs have resorted back to their old days as the Yucks, and I don't think a trip across the pond is going to do anything for them. Pats win big.

Bills at Panthers: Had it not been for a pitiful showing by Mark Sanchez last week, the Bills would have zero momentum heading into this matchup. Still they don't have much, averaging just nine points a game over their past four. The Panthers, meanwhile, are still far from a complete team, but they've been looking better since their early bye. I think they continue their winning streak with a win against a lackluster Buffalo team. This is my eliminator pick of the week.

Jets at Raiders: Even though Sanchez has been reminding us that he is still a rookie during the past couple of games, Thomas Jones has been proving that he still has a lot left in the tank. The veteran rolled up over 200 rushing yards in last week's loss to the Bills, and I think New York rides him to a victory against Oakland this week. The Raiders are still bad despite some signs of life against the Eagles last week. They still haven't scored more than 13 points in a game since Week 1.

Bears at Bengals: This is one of those matchups that I think could either way. Neither one of these teams has really shown me that they have what it takes to make a good run, yet both are finding ways to win. Each is coming off a tough loss, so they'll both be very motivated. Despite hanging out with a huge Bears fan last night, I'm going to give the edge to the home team. I'm not sure the Bengals are better, but they seem to be running the ball well, and controlling the clock with the fans behind you I think can go a long way.

Falcons at Cowboys: Atlanta seems to heating up at the right time this season, and I think they need this victory if they want to be ready for next week when they face division-rival New Orleans. The Cowboys have had their moments so far this season, but they've shown just as much ineptitude. I don't think they have enough weapons to contain or keep up with the Falcons at this point.

Saints at Dolphins: At 5-0, and with only three more games on the schedule against teams that look to be bound for the playoffs, I'm convinced the Saints are the real deal this year. Drew Brees started the season looking absolutely unhuman, then they won a couple with defense and the running game, so they seem to be pretty well-rounded. The Dolphins have their upside, but I don't think the wildcat will fool teams forever. I say New Orleans keeps the streak alive, at least for one more week.

Cardinals at Giants: After running all over their first five opponents, the Giants were pretty much embarrassed last week by the Saints. The Cardinals are 2-0 on the road so far this season, but I think their games are won or lost on the performance of Kurt Warner. This week, with Anquan Boldin kind of banged up, I think New York will have his number. The G-Men still have a knack for rushing the passer, and without a consistent running game, I think the Cardinals will struggle in this one. I'll take the Giants at home.

Eagles at Redskins: I'm not sure exactly what happened to the Eagles last week, but for some reason they could muster only field goals against an Oakland team they should have destroyed. After coming off that head-scratching loss, the last thing they can afford to do is lose to the Skins, a team that appears to be in total disarray. Over their past five games, Washington is 2-3 against teams with a combined record of 4-25, so I have to wonder what's going on down there. In a division rivalry, anything can happen, but I really feel that Philly is a much better team. I'll go with my gut on this one.

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