Friday, October 23, 2009

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 7

The AFL Throwback program is making it's first big mistake of the season by having the Jets don their Titans throwbacks rather than allowing up to enjoy this tasty uniform match-up.

Is there anything worse than when your team is on a bye? I'll jealously watch this weekend as other NFL cities get to enjoy football, while the Broncos will be sitting at home and resting for their tilt with the Ravens the next week. Man, do I hate bye weeks. I understand the NFL uses them to make more money, but they stink. Anyway, on to the results of my gazing into the crystal ball this week...

Packers 26 Browns 10
– Cleveland can’t decide who to play at quarterback, which means they don’t really have one. I’m still wary of the Packers, as they were looking mediocre before blanking the Lions, but the Browns are dreadful, Packers win relatively easy.

Chargers 24 Chiefs 21
– The Chiefs aren’t great, but they always seem to give the Chargers a good game. Last year if they had just been able to recover an onside kick in this game, the Chargers would have missed the playoffs, the Broncos would have made it to the postseason, and perhaps Mike Shanahan would still be in Denver. That’s a lot of dominoes falling due to one successful San Diego onside kick. This game may not have as many lasting implications, but I feel like it comes down to the end, and the Chargers find a way to win it again.

Colts 38 Rams 3
– What a mismatch this game is. The Rams play a close game only once a month, and that game was last week when they made it all the way to overtime with the Jaguars before losing. This game shouldn’t take so long to be decided, as I have a feeling the outcome will be decided by midway through the second quarter at the latest.

Vikings 27 Steelers 24
– This game has the potential to be very good. The Vikings are undefeated right now and Favre is playing like a stud, but they are one missed 44 yard field goal and one successful last second toss to the end zone away from being 4-2. The Steelers are 4-2, but their losses are both by only three points, so if a few plays go their way, they could theoretically be undefeated. These two teams feel fairly closely matched, but because Favre just loves to play the game so much, I’m going to give the nod to the Steelers, and if you suspect that I am trying to sacrifice one of my picks in order to engineer a reverse jinx…I’m not saying you’re wrong.

Patriots 33 Buccaneers 13
- Off to London for the third annual, “Why the crap is the NFL playing a regular season in England game?” This year, it’s the Bucs who are sacrificing a home date so that the NFL can showcase it’s product overseas, and honestly, if you’re trying to showcase the NFL, what better matchup can you get than Tampa versus New England. The most interesting thing about this game will be how much conversation about Big Ben (the clock, not the Roethlisberger) and Fish and Chips the announcers can squeeze in between plays of the blowout as the third quarter drones on. Patriots win big.

Texans 26 49ers 24
– The Niners and Texans are both showing signs that they are a bit more frisky than they have historically been over the past few seasons. Michael Crabtree makes his first start, and with three catches he can already surpass the receiving totals of the man the Raiders took three sports before he went to the 49ers. The only difference is that Darrius Heyward-Bey has been playing all season and Crabtree hasn’t been with San Francisco for three weeks. Don’t sleep on Houston, either. Do you know who leads the NFL in passing touchdowns right now? If you said, “Matt Schaub” you are correct. Amazingly he has 14, which is more than anyone else right now.

Panthers 19 Bills 9
– After starting the season a miserable 0-3, Carolina is trying to resuscitate their year, and a win over the Bills is a must if they want the revival to continue. The Bills out uglied the Jets last week for an overtime win that they shouldn’t brag too loudly about. If they play that poorly at Carolina, I don’t believe that they can win, and I really believe that they will again play that badly. Cats win a game they really need.

Jets 21 Raiders 20
– I picked the Raiders to lose by 47 last week, and they won, so I may not be the most reliable prognosticator of Oakland’s fortune. However, I have a very hard time seeing them winning two consecutive games. Richard Seymour may be guaranteeing the Raiders make the playoffs, but I need to see more. A lot more. The Jets come to town needing a victory very badly. They jumped out to 3-0, and the bandwagon was overflowing, but three straight losses sent them spiraling back to .500, and the bandwagon now has plenty of good seats available. My guess is that Matt Sanchez rebounds from his dreadful performance last week against the Bills, and salvages a closely fought game with the Raiders. Incidentally, this game SHOULD HAVE featured one of the best possible NFL uniform pairings, as the road Jets uniform going into face Oakland’s home black jerseys is a glorious spectacle. Sadly, the Jets will be wearing their retro Titans garb, which will not look nearly as glorious.

Cowboys 30 Falcons 24
– The Cowboys picked up a half game on everyone in their division last week by doing nothing. Everyone else in the NFC East lost, and they got to enjoy a solid bye week. When last we saw the Cowboys, they were coming back from barely beating the Chiefs after getting caught from behind by the Broncos. I have a feeling they’ll be playing better after a week break. Even though I feel like the Falcons are the better team by a long shot, I’m just guessing the Cowboys catch them at just the right moment.

Bears 17 Bengals 13 – The Bengals have won some big games already this year, and perhaps they are a bit better of a team than they usually are, but I’m skeptical they can go to Soldier Field and beat down a pretty solid Bears team.

Dolphins 31 Saints 30
– The Dolphins love to take down undefeated teams, they’ve been doing it for as long as I’ve been watching football, and although I don’t think they are anywhere near as good a team as New Orleans, they are a strong team and a well coached team, and this trip down to Miami feels like a trap for the Saints. I think it’s very close, but I’m guessing the Dolphins get a huge win.

Giants 30 Cardinals 17
– The Cards have been on a bit of a roll of late, but I still believe that the Giants are one of the stronger teams in the league. New York is bound to be in a nasty mood after getting thumped in the Superdome last week, and I think they take it out on Arizona.

Eagles 16 Redskins 9
– The Redskins are falling apart, and the Eagles are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Raiders. Typically, the Eagles follow up embarrassing performances with solid ones, and I don’t know if anything can save Jim Zorn and the Redskins right now. Donovan McNabb will need to look better than he did in Oakland, and I think he looks good enough to beat the punchless Skins on a Monday Night in the Nation’s Capital.

My Picks Scorecard:

Last Week: 7-7

Season to Date: 58-32

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