We are now seven weeks into the regular season, and it's time to make predictions. Only three teams have one loss records, while 14 teams have lost just two games. For the first time in a long time, no one is unbeaten this deep into the season.
Through seven weeks, there is no clear cut number one, but it seems to be between the Patriots, the Jets and the Steelers. Last week, I predicted poorly, and now, like my beloved Broncos will be doing the next two weeks, I am fighting to get back to .500.
So, without further ado, I give you Week 7 Picks.
The Falcons return home pissed off after dropping their game in Philly last weekend and look to inflict pain on whoever tries to stand in their way. Cincinnati is coming off their bye-week, which they likely spent trying to fix their offensive woes.
Though the Bengals secondary has been playing well, expect Matt Ryan to come out slingin' the ball around as they jump out early on the Bengals and don't look back.
ATL 34 - CIN 17
The Bears host the Redskins this Sunday at Soldier Field. Both teams are coming off losses in games that went down to the wire. Chicago, however, has a serious Achilles Heel: they cannot protect Jay Cutler.
Maybe Cutler is holding on to the ball too long. Maybe Mike Martz needs to stop calling seven step drops for Cutler. Maybe it's a bit of both. Whatever it is, they will have little to no chance this Sunday against Washington's front seven unless they can find a way to keep defenders away from No. 6.
WAS 27 - CHI 21
I would like to pen this open letter to Kevin Kolb:
I am sorry I doubted your ability to win and whether or not the Eagles could still be productive over you. You have earned my respect after beating a very tough Falcons team. I will no longer doubt you.
Now that that's taken care of, the Titans travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Both teams have 4-2 records. The Eagles may be out Desaun Jackson, but the Titans will probably be missing Vince Young.
PHI 28 - TEN 20
Matt Cassel played his best game of the season last Sunday, yet his team still lost. This loss is going to sting for awhile. Luckily for the Chiefs, they have the Jaguars this week, who would normally be a threat, but due to Garrard's concussion, and the rumor that Trent Edwards is now hurt as well, who is going to take snaps for Jacksonville? Is Luke Mccown available?
KC 26 - JAX 10
Ben Roethlisberger threw for three touchdown passes last weekend. After the game he said he felt, "A lil rusty."
Are you kidding me? What kind of havoc is Ben going to wreak (on the field of course) when he's swinging in full gear? The Dolphins will make this a much closer game than most people anticipate, but look for the Steelers to make a statement that they are the best team in the NFL.
PIT 27 - MIA 21
If you read my predictions weekly, you know i always pick one outrageous upset. Most of the time, I'm actually correct. Going back to week 3 my outrageous upset picks include:
Rams over Redskins Wk 3
Seahawks over Chargers Wk 3
Browns over Bengals Wk 4
Rams over Seahawks Wk 4
Raiders over Chargers Wk 5
Rams over Chargers Wk 6
Every single one of these picks I made based soley on the fact that I had a gut feeling. Everything on paper suggests the Saints would kill the Browns, but I've got that feeling again, and I'm gonna go for it.
CLE 24 - NO 21
The Rams just came off a very impressive win over (statistically on both offense and defense) the number one team in the league. Tampa Bay fell hard to a resurged New Orleans team, primarily overpowered by defense. The Rams defense is exactly what gave the Chargers fits as they kept them out of the endzone enough to win the game. They say history repeats itself... look for the Rams to get after Josh Freeman early and never let up.
STL 34 - TB 24
Alex Smith and the Niners finally got their first win of the season and now travel to winless Carolina, who has handed the reigns back over to Matt Moore. Clausen plays to start the second half. John Fox is hired at the start of the fourth quarter. Just kidding. Sort of.
SF 32 - CAR 17
Joe Flacco is reportedly frustrated that his coach won't let him throw the ball around. The Ravens are coming off an OT loss to the Pats, and you got to believe they're pissed. Buffalo is just coming off their bye-week and will likely be ambushed by the intensity that the Ravens will bring to this game. Flacco will get his wish and air it out, while the defense will shut down Buffalo.
BAL 42 - BUF 12
Seattle and Arizona clash in this battle for first place in the NFC West. Arizona will be led by Rookie QB Max Hall, while Seattle will ride the legs of Marshawn Lynch. This game could get out of hand very quickly, and expect Seattle's front seven to try to get at the young QB and rattle him early and often.
SEA 38 - ARI 24
The Patriots made a statement on Sunday. They can hang with any team in this league. They battled back to beat a very tough Ravens team, and Deion Branch is filling Randy Moss' shoes quite nicely after one game. They, like the Steelers, are looking to show the league that they are not only still relevant, but that they are the best team in the NFL.
San Diego will likely be missing Tight End Antonio Gates, Phillip Rivers' favorite target. The Patriots are going to make a very strong case that they are numero uno by going into a hostile environment and routing a team that's better than its 2-4 record.
NE 49 - SD 30
Those of you who regularly read my picks know I normally don't guess this game. Well, I've changed my stance. Just because I am a Broncos fan does not mean I will be a homer. I try to keep my picks as unbiased as I can. So here we go:
The Oakland Raiders, fresh off a loss at the hands of a previously winless team, travel to the Mile High City to take on a Denver Broncos team who will likely still have a sour taste in their mouth. Last week, Denver was one pass interference call (whether you agree with the call or not, it was a call) from beating the New York Jets, a team who many people believe is the best in football. The Broncos have switched to a 4-3 defense, but it remains to be seen whether they will stick with this new look or not.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are currently looking at starting Kyle Boller at QB. Need I say more?
DEN 28 - OAK 20
GAME OF THE WEEK
Brett Favre. There's magic in the name alone. The Ageless Wonder, the Gunslinger, the Ironman, the Come Back King. The Living Legend. Sometimes, we get so frustrated with him because of his offseason antics, that we forget why it is that we loved him for so many years.
Now though, it seems Father Time has caught up with Favre, as he is now fumbling hand offs seemingly once a game. But Brett Favre is returning to the place where he feels young, the place he spent building his hall of fame resume.
Brett Favre won his homecoming last year, but this year the spot light will belong to his successor. Aaron Rodgers and a very beat up Green Bay team look to separate themselves in the standings from their rivals. Look for Clay Matthews to take advantage of any mistake Favre might make Sunday. This will come down to who has the ball last.
GB 24 - MIN 21
Monday Night brings with it a hard hitting NFC East matchup. The Dallas Cowboys, no matter what they are telling the media, are very much in panic mode. They have reached a crossroads in their season, where they must decide whether they want to fight a long uphill battle or rollover and accumulate a high draft pick. The Cowboys are going to fight. Absolutely nothing is more dangerous than a desperate team. They're going to pull out all the stops and fight and claw their way to a win. But it won't be easy.
DAL 31 - NYG 28
Teams with Byes:
New York [J]
Last week: 5-8