It’s time for my Week 7 picks. If you wonder how I’m doing with these, I can tell you I’m better than Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk, Mortenson at ESPN and Brinson over at CBS… but not quite as good as the Yahoo users! Of course, I’d have been better off not consistently picking the Vikings to win and the Packers to lose during the first 3 weeks of the season. If I’d been “picking for real” I’d have 6 more “rights” than I do now.
Redskins vs Panthers
Rex Grossman shares the same fate as Donovan McNabb this week: bench warming, with no Bob Lurtsema in sight to keep him company. So John Beck is going to jump in and lead those Redskins to a win, right? Maybe not since it’s been reported that some of the other players on the team think Grossman should still be at the helm. Cam Newton isn’t facing any of that drama, which is why I think the Panthers will win at home. Panthers 27, Redskins 17.
Seahawks vs Browns
This is a classic match up of Colt McCoy and …? Seattle has yet to name a QB for this game. Charlie Whitehurst is taking all of the 1st team snaps as T-Jack recovers from his pectoral injury, but Pete Carroll says the QB could be a game time decision. I don’t think any of that bodes well for the Seahawks. On the other hand, Mike Holmgren isn’t sure that Colt McCoy is a franchise guy. Seems like a lot of QB drama brewing with these teams. Browns 21, Seahawks 19.
Falcons vs Lions
Raptors vs land-bound predator. With questions around whether or not Jahvid Best will play this Sunday after suffering yet another concussion, the Falcons are prepping for the new reality of Ford Field: crowd noise. I know – I can’t believe I just wrote that either. Matt Ryan and his receivers haven’t produced this season. Matt Stafford, on the other hand, has been hanging tough – and isn’t even injured yet! Advantage: Megatron. Lions 24, Falcons 20.
Broncos vs Dolphins
With Kyle Orton having joined Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman on the “Thanks but No, Thanks” list of washed up (or under-appreciated, depending upon one’s perspective) QBs, Tim “Second Coming of the Christ” Tebow is leading the Broncos to… well that remains to be seen. He’s like the Pied Piper for those Floridians though. Sun Life Stadium in Miami is almost going to sell out on its own with Tebow’s arrival! Miami is in it to win it… the Suck for Luck Bowl, that is. Broncos 20, Dolphins 9.
Chargers vs Jets
With Rex Ryan stirring the pot by stating that had the Chargers given him the HC job, they’d have 2 SB titles under their belt by now, Philip Rivers (with HC Norv Turner) is headed to Meadowlands to face off against LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie, who, as it turns out, wasn’t happy with the Chargers. The Chargers are 5-1 while the 3-3 Jets are coming off a less than perfect performance. Neither team is performing to expectations, but I think the home team brings home a win. Jets 27, Chargers 20.
Bears vs Buccaneers
It’s London, baby! Having lived and traveled abroad, I have to think that the Buccaneers are taking the right approach with this game. They flew to London on Monday and had Tuesday off to see the sights and adjust to the time zone. Lovie Smith – who just called a time-out 2 minutes into my post – decided that the Bears won’t leave until tomorrow. Lovie – I disapprove. Buccaneers 31, Bears 21.
Texans vs Titans
In this divisional match up, Matt Schaub, whose hip checked out fine this week, will go up against a revitalized Matt Hasselbeck. Schaub will be missing Andre Johnson, who is out for 6 weeks, while Chris Johnson continues to struggle, averaging just 50 yards per game and 3.0 YPC. Adrian Peterson doesn’t have much to worry about there. This is a home game for the Titans, but that home field advantage isn’t as beneficial when it comes to defense, and the Texans have a better one, despite the Titans being one spot higher for Total Defense. Texans 24, Titans 17.
Steelers vs Cardinals
With Troy Polamalu (and his flowing locks) passing his concussion test, the Steelers’ defense will be back in full this week. Meanwhile, Kevin Kolb has a sorrowful receiver in Minnesota’s own Larry Fitzgerald Jr. The Cardinals certainly don’t want to lose this home game, taking their record to 1-5 (hmmm… that sounds familiar!), while the Steelers know they need to keep winning if they’re going to give the Bengals & Ravens a run for their money. Let’s face it: the Cardinals are worse than the Vikings. Steelers 21, Cardinals 13.
Chiefs vs Raiders
The Raiders are +2 in the win column, ahead of the Chiefs. However, they’ve got Carson Palmer starting at QB for the first time this season (with any team) while Matt Cassel has been a steady, if somewhat unreliable, presence for the Chiefs. With the “Just Win Baby” mantra echoing through the Black Hole in Oakland, I believe the Chiefs will get sucked right in. Raiders 28, Chiefs 10.
Rams vs Cowboys
The Rams showed a complete lack of horns last week at Lameblow while the Cowboys dropped yet another game – this time to the Patriots. Tony Romo didn’t win back any of his detractors with that performance, but he has a good chance this week to bring home a win – even if it is just against the Rams. I still don’t think that’s going to impress anyone in the house that Jerry built. Cowpokies 24, Rams 10.
Packers vs Vikings
Well – what to say about this? McNugget got his dipping sauce benched this week so rookie QB Christian “Dimples” Ponder is all set to take the helm. Or, at least will have 3 days of taking 1st team reps in his back pocket. Last week, Bernie Berrian more than doubled his number of catches for the season, but I don’t expect to see him Plank & Catch again any time soon. The good news here is that Clifton & Bulaga are out so the Pukers’ Michelin-Man O-Line isn’t at full strength. That should open the door for a plethora of delicious ARodg face plants as delivered by my favorite DEs: 69 & 96. Pukers 27, Vikings 19.
Colts vs Saints
A rematch of the Super Bowl that the Vikings should have won – minus a Manning. Curtis Painter hasn’t been able to lead the Colts to a win, and Kerry Collins wasn’t any better. The Colts are 0-6 while the Saints are 4-2, with a divisional loss putting them in 2nd place in the NFC South. I’m sorry to say for Indy fans that the Colts aren’t going to avoid 0-7. Saints 31, Colts 14.
Ravens vs Jaguars
Joe Flacco vs Blaine Gabbert. Another Bird/Cat match up (see: Falcons v Lions). The difference here is that, while the Big Cat team has the home field advantage in this game, too, the Ravens actually have proven they can consistently deliver a win. Not only that but they’ve got the #1 defense against the pass and the #3 defense against the rush – that doesn’t leave a lot for the Jaguars to do on offense. Ravens 28, Jaguars 7.
Those are my picks this week. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!