Like anything in the NFL, home-field advantage is not a guarantee.
Look to last week for the perfect example. Home teams only managed an 8-7 record, once again proving that, outside of an anomaly, professional players in no way have an issue going on the road, adapting their strategy to a hostile environment and winning.
Unfortunately for a select few home teams in Week 7, a win in front of a friendly crowd is far from a sure thing. Here's why.
Seattle Crushes Arizona
First of all, Seattle has lost just one game this season.
Secondly, Arizona just isn't that good. Quarterback Carson Palmer has already been sacked 13 times and once again is a liability with just seven touchdowns to 11 interceptions. As Bleacher Report's Tyson Langland points out, it's even worse than usual:
Carson Palmer averaged 14 INT a season prior to 2013. He already has 11 in six weeks. #AZCardinals— Tyson Langland (@TysonNFL) October 15, 2013
So yes, the pairing of Palmer and Arizona is not as great as many thought this past offseason. The team also only musters 85.7 yards on the ground, with another newcomer in Rashard Mendenhall being an absolute disappointment with just 3.3 yards per carry.
If that's not convincing enough, Seattle touts the league's No. 2 overall defense as it allows just 290.2 yards per game.
While these two teams split their divisional series last year, expect this one to look more like the pair's second matchup of 2012 in which Seattle won 58-0. In other words, prepare for another Thursday Night Football snooze-fest.
Prediction: Seahawks 38, Cardinals 17
San Francisco Takes Advantage of Tennessee
This one is going to be ugly as well.
Tennessee has been nothing short of dreadful since quarterback Jake Locker went down with an injury, and as Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean points out, the Titans are stuck with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick this week:
Munchak said he won't officially rule Locker out, but admitted the odds aren't good. Best-case scenario still Rams game after bye #Titans— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) October 14, 2013
In his past two starts, Fitzpatrick has failed to complete 60 percent of his passes and has thrown a pair of interceptions in both losses.
The ineffective Fitzpatrick will have little room to operate against the 49ers' top-10 defense that allows just 206.3 passing yards per game. San Francisco is also back on track after winning three straight, as is quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who pulled out of his slump for 252 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Simply put, the Titans are horrific with Fitzpatrick under center. While he struggles to average six yards per completion and take care of the football, expect San Francisco to win big on the road.
Prediction: 49ers 34, Titans 13
Denver Silences Indianapolis
With all due respect, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay needs to know when to hold his tongue. This excerpt via Jarrett Bell of USA Today speaks for itself:
"We've changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these," Irsay says, flicking up his right hand to show his Super Bowl XLI championship ring.
"(Tom) Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these," Irsay adds. "Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.
"You make the playoffs 11 times, and you're out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie (Wayne). Mostly, you love this."
Then Irsay flicks up his right hand again.
Regardless of Irsay's ultimate intent behind the comments, now was not a great time to say something aloud that Denver quarterback Peyton Manning could take as a slight, pin on a bulletin board and use as motivation.
Irsay's Colts welcome Manning and the Broncos to Indianapolis for Sunday Night Football. Yes, the Broncos offense that is No. 1 in the league at 476 yards per game, 360.7 which come through the air via Manning's arm.
Manning has thrown for 2,179 yards, 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions while completing a jaw-dropping 74.2 percent of his passes.
Indianapolis has been great this season with marquee wins over San Francisco and Seattle, but the Colts are coming off a loss on a short week and Irsay just kicked the proverbial hornet's nest.
Prediction: Broncos 42, Colts 33
|Away Team||Home Team||Predicted Winner|
|Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||SEA|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||ATL|
|Chicago Bears||Washington Redskins||CHI|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||DAL|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets||NE|
|Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||MIA|
|San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SD|
|St. Louis Rams||Carolina Panthers||CAR|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||CIN|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||SF|
|Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||KC|
|Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||GB|
|Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||DEN|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||NYG|
Chris Roling's Predictions
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