I’m not going to preface this with anything other than oops. Last week was just atrocious and hopefully no one that reads this bet using my picks after going 5-9. If you did, and if I wasn’t a poor college student, I would pay you your losses, but alas I can’t. Last week dropped the overall record to 47-41 (.534) for the season. This is a big week for yours truly, so let’s take a look at the Week 7 picks.
49ers at Texans (-3): San Fran gets Frank Gore back, which is definitely good news for a team that was crippled offensively without him. However, we shouldn’t forget what the Falcons passing offense did to these guys two weeks ago and the Texans are even better at throwing the ball around. Houston seems like they’re on the verge of turning the corner after their typical slow start, and grabbing their first home win of the year this week would go a long way in helping them get into a muddled playoff picture.
Packers (-7) at Browns: One of the easiest picks of the week, considering the state of about half of the Cleveland players, who will be unavailable with the flu. That, and Cleveland stunk with all of their regular players as it was. The Pack in a yawner.
Chargers (-6) at Chiefs: After the loss to Denver at home on Monday Night, San Diego is at a crossroads in its season. A loss to Kansas City might be a deadly blow to a team that has underachieved so far this year, especially defensively where Shawne Merriman has only 13 tackles in five games. A win gets them back to 3-3 and keeps them in the playoff conversation in a congested AFC.
Colts (-14) at Rams: Unless Peyton Manning suffers a catastrophic injury during the course of this game, there is absolutely no way that the Colts are not going to blow the Rams away. The Colts have beaten several good teams by convincing margins. I wonder if Peyton will try and outscore Tom Brady and the Patriots from last week?
Vikings (+5) at Steelers: I think that everyone is kind of overstating how the Vikings’ D looked at the end of their game last week. It was a complete blowout, and the D just packed it in early, nothing else. Also, Pittsburgh almost never covers the spread and likes playing in ugly, close games. This game will come down to a late field goal, and that will be the final margin.
Patriots (-16) vs. Buccaneers (in London, England): I don’t see how a game this lopsided is going to make the Brits like our version of football. They send teams like Manchester United and Chelsea to the U.S. every summer. We’re sending them the Tampa Bay Bucs. The only thing that will even be entertaining about this game is to see how much New England can win by this week.
Jets at Raiders (+7): The Jets are beginning to play like the Jets again, which means that they’re due to throw up another stinker this week in Oakland. Not to mention, the Jets’ run defense just took a big hit with the loss of Kris Jenkins, and Mark Sanchez will have to beat a tough Raiders secondary, which might be the only part of Oakland’s team that’s competent this year. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Oakland pull the upset.
Bills at Panthers (-7): This game is definitely more of a pillow fight than a football game, but I think the Panthers are going to come out with a fire under their feet and play a very good game to get back to .500 for the year, if only by the grace of God, himself. I expect to see two very good things from the Carolina offense. First, they’re starting to run the ball again, which is absolutely necessary for them to do considering the quarterback play of Jake Delhomme. Second, the disgruntled Steve Smith will be a factor as a result of the success on the ground. That’s bad news for the Bills.
Bears (+1) at Bengals: The Bears are far more battle-tested than Cincy is and Jay Cutler is playing pretty well right now. The Bengals defense is a complete mess with injuries and they looked very vulnerable last week at home against Houston. In a game that’s basically a pick ‘em, I think the Bears will take it 27-24.
Falcons (+4) at Cowboys: I don’t know if anyone’s been paying attention to this team, but Atlanta is pretty good this year. Matt Ryan is showing that last year wasn’t a fluke and the Falcons could, very quietly, join the conversation for NFC’s best team if they go into Dallas and knock off the Cowboys, who it’s impossible to tell what you’ll get from them.
Saints (-7) at Dolphins: Until a team actually gives me a reason to not have 100 percent confidence in taking the Saints, I am picking them for the rest of the season. The Dolphins and the wildcat can’t keep up with Drew Brees & Co. on offense.
Cardinals at Giants (-7): The G-Men are coming into this one after being humbled a week ago in New Orleans, and they are not happy about that loss. The Cardinals have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL so far this year, and after a couple of good games in a row, head into New York, where they were beaten 56-35 by the Jets last year in a sequence of three blowout losses in the Northeast. I struggle to see ‘Zona play well in New York this time around, either.
Eagles (-7) at Redskins: Washington is a complete mess right now and couldn’t score on bad defenses before the most recent events surrounding Jim Zorn. The Eagles are embarrassed after losing in Oakland and I fully expect them to show up in a big way for this one. Philly should (note: SHOULD) win by a solid margin.