Thursday, October 18, 2012

NFL Game Predictions Week 7

While posting an impressive 10-4 record predicting last weeks games, I'm kind of kicking myself over two of the losses.  The Minnesota loss is just one of those go-figure cases.  I was pretty hot on the Redskins early this year, probably because I really like what RGIII has been doing, but after getting burnt by them a couple times I went away with them and they won.  The other game I'm a bit miffed about is the Cleveland game.  I mentioned it last week, but again, I had this game marked down as Cleveland's first win for weeks now, but because I overvalued the resolve of the Bengal players, I didn't take Cleveland and they won the game.  I really thought they would've taken the Miami loss a lot harder than they did, and to think they lost despite Trent Richardson sitting out most of the second half.  

Anyhow, that aside, 10-4 is pretty good and that brings my record for the season up to 57-34 now.  Slowly but surely, if I continue at this pace I may actually oust last years percentage. But, that said, the season is far from over, and with the parity in the league, anything can happen any week, so predicting is pretty tough.  This week is no exception.

That being, week 7, where Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on byes.  That's actually a lot of star power not playing this week, yet next week is even worse in that regards.  That's the nature of the bye week beast however.  But there are games this week, and we'll look at them now:

Thursday Night's Game

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49'ers

Niners let a lot of people down last week.  I had the feeling they'd lose and they did, but the manner they lost was a bit head-scratching, as was Seattle's win over New England, which they pulled out in the last few minutes in the 4th quarter.  Niners are at home though, where Seattle is not nearly as strong.  In fact, Seattle's almost unbeatable at home the past few years and so far this year they have not strayed the path at home either.  Seattle's flaws reside on offense and actually so do SF's, which makes me think this will be a close game, but one I feel relatively comfortable in picking San Francisco at home.  SF 19-13

Sunday's Games

Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings

Arizona's offensive line is a mess.  That's the worst kept secret in football.  John Skelton takes over QB for the injured Kevin Kolb.  Minnesota's solid on defense and I think Jared Allen is drooling over this matchup.  That said, I just don't see Arizona doing much here.  Good thing their defense is pretty good, otherwise this would have blowout written all over it.  I think they're best case scenario is to play stout defense all game and hopefully they'll be in position to either win late or tie and test their fate in overtime, which, outside of last week, has been very kind to the Cards the past few seasons.  But I'm taking Minnesota and would've done the same if they were on the road, but they're not, they're at home, which makes the call that much easier for me.  Minnesota 14-10

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers

I kind of want to take Carolina this week and I may wind up talking myself into it before Sunday.  Unfortunately I make the picks prior to the first game and as of right now, I think Dallas is the better team, despite their poor offensive line play and the injured RB's.  This should be a Romo to Bryant, Witten game.  I do like Cam this week though for Fantasy owners, but, if you have him you probably play him anyway, so no great insight there.  I'll go Dallas 24-17

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans got their win and Tampa isn't anything special.  Sure they took advantage of the hapless Chiefs but Drew Brees is not Brady Quinn by any drunken stretch of the imagination.  I like NO and big.  38-23

Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams

While St. Louis is getting some seriously respectable play from their defense and Bradford's been decent, there is a world of difference, talent-wise, between these two teams.  Is it possible St. Louis wins, sure, they're at home and maybe some of the Cardinal postseason magic will rub off on them, but not likely.  I think with what GB did to Houston, it shows they're back into contending mode, and that doesn't spell good news for Bradford and Co.  GB 37-18

Washington Redskins @ NY Giants

After writing about my regret not taking Washington in the intro here, you might have assumed I'd take them this week.  But, uh, NO.  With what the Giants did to the Niners last week and the way Bradshaw's been running the ball, I think they are quickly showing everyone what a SB champion looks like.  Giants big.  40-24

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Baltimore was dealt two deadly blows this week, losing CB Webb and LB Ray Lewis.  While Lewis could potentially return later in the year, it doesn't help them this week.  But they might be getting LB Suggs back, which is pretty huge.  Yet, I just think Houston has to be in a nasty mood after getting handled by GB last week and I think you can run on Baltimore, which, unfortunately for them, is something Houston does extremely well.  Houston 32-20

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

Huge game for both of these teams.  Each team is benefitting from a weak AFC this year, otherwise this game could've spelled the future for the loser.  Titans will still be without QB Locker, which they could've used.  But they did beat Pittsburgh last week and realistically Pittsburgh is better than my Bills.  However, Buffalo came together and fate intervened on their behalf, giving them the gift INT in overtime to set up the game winning FG, and I think that should give them some confidence.  But what will probably give them more, is how poorly Tennessee's scoring defense is.  So I look for big games out of both Jackson and Spiller and one of the WR's should have a nice game as well, which I'm hoping it'll be Stevie Johnson, as we really need to get him going.  For the Titans, I think, if you are a Chris Johnson owner, this could be the week he comes up big, but then again, the Bills have played quality run defense against bad teams.  In any case, I think Britt, Cook and Washington will put up decent games, unless the pressure is delivered by Mario Williams and Co.  Heck, we might even get to see Merriman get a sack in his return as a Bill.  I probably shouldn't be as confident as I am this week, but I see a good game with Buffalo pulling away midway through the third and getting a double digit win when it's all said and done.  Buffalo 37-27

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts

Browns got their first win and Indianapolis got a drubbing from the Jets.  For those surprised about the latter, remember Andrew Luck is great, but he's still a rookie on a bad team, these types of things will happen.  I want to throw a caveat in here, that I'll take Cleveland if Richardson plays and I'll take Indy if he doesn't.  But, that's not really up to par, at least as how I've been doing the picks, so I'll stick to the pick here.  I have to think Trent will play, therefore, I'll take the Browns for their second win.  Luck should do much better this week but Cleveland's defense is decent and very underrated, so I do think they'll be able to keep Weeden and Richardson in the game until Richardson can wear out a not that great of a Colts defense.  Cleveland 19-14

NY Jets @ New England Patriots

I don't know, these teams play each other well and something's just a bit off about the Patriots this year so far.  Ryan did his prediction thing this week, guess he couldn't stay out of the spotlight any longer.  I think he should've kept quiet.  NE is more talented and are at home, I really don't think this will be close at all.  Could be brutal if you're a Jets fan, or, at least that's how I think it'll go.  NE 28-7

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders

Neither team is very good.  Oakland is much more prolific offensively than Blaine Gabbert and the Jags are.  While MJD can do and does quite a bit each week, he can't play QB and WR too.  I can see the Jags pulling the upset, but I won't consider the pick as It's kind of a far fetched scenario, hinged upon numerous turnovers by the Raiders.  Oakland wins at home. 27-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers should get Mendenhall suited up, and that's a big deal for the Steeler offense.  Cincinnati's a decent team, and I do like the match up for the Bengal passing game, especially if Polamalu is out, but I think Big Ben gets this done.  Steelers 31-28

Monday Night Game

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

The Lions pulled off the win over the Eagles and got their DC fired in the process.  But, the Lions have been sputtering all year and their record shows it.  Chicago's defense may be tops in the league and I think they'll bring the heat and be in Stafford's face all game long.  I don't particularly love the Bears offense, not with rookie receiver Jeffrey still out, yeah, I know, he's a rookie that only plays in about half the snaps, but I think you can go deep against the Lions, and if he were here this week, could've been a nice game for him.  That said, Hester can get deep, and so can Marshall and I think he will.  Forte and Bush will handle the rest.  I'm hoping for a good game, but I just think it'll be more one-sided than some might even think.  Chicago big. 42-23

See you in Week 8

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