NFL Week 7 Picks: Which Losing Teams Will Turn The Corner?
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After the season's first six weeks the murky waters of evaluation are beginning to clear. The good teams of the NFL are separating themselves from the pack while the bad clubs are starting to realize how terrible the next ten weeks of their lives are going to be.
That being said, predicting games is easier now than it was three weeks ago.
Injuries are taking their tole, coaches are proving they're incapable of doing their jobs and Jerry Jones is wondering how much money it will take to buy a win.
Here's a look at this weekend's crystal ball:
VH1's reality television duo takes its talents to Atlanta to face the Falcons, who are undefeated at home. Coming off a bye week, Cincinnati looks to right the ship after two straight losses to Cleveland and Tampa Bay.
At this point, Marvin Lewis may be coaching for his job. Expect a good effort from the road team, but Atlanta is too good at home and Carson Palmer will figure out a way to lose the game.
Falcons by six.
This heavyweight matchup should be as unwatchable as possible.
The 49ers have a turtles' momentum coming off their first win of the season against the Raiders. Alex Smith won't have to worry about a hostile home crowd and Frank Gore should have a nice day behind the team's improving offensive line.
No matter who the quarterback is for the Panthers, they should struggle against the somewhat hungry 49ers' defense.
San Francisco by 10.
The Skins' defense is giving up 420 yards a game. Expect the Bears to be throwing early and often while the offensive line struggles to create space for Matt Forte.
Donovan McNabb will be challenged by Chicago's defense and needs a solid ground attack to open things up. The winner of the turnover battle will come out the winner. If Jay Cutler avoids giving the ball up the Bears should have a nice day.
Chicago will win by seven.
In one of the day's most interesting games, the road savvy Eagles will be without it's most dangerous home run threat, Desean Jackson.
But the team is undefeated away from Philly and has proven it can win with either Kevin Kolb or Mike Vick at the helm.
The Titans will be running the ball a lot. Philadelphia is giving up 115 yards a game on the ground and Chris Johnson is wanting a big game to help him get to his goal of 2,500 rushing yards (yeah, right).
The Eagles will lose its first game on the road, but it won't be because they played poorly. Injuries to their offensive and defensive line will be too much to over come against a physical Tennessee squad.
Titans by four, in a barn burner.
Jacksonville is looking to come back after an awful showing at home on Monday night. Look for them to come out with a head of steam in Kansas City.
But the Chiefs have too much speed on offense and special teams for the Jags to overcome. K.C. is coming off two straight loses on the road and will be excited to be home amongst the aroma of delicious barbecue. The Chiefs are done stewing over loses and will take out their frustration on Jacksonville.
Chiefs in a blowout.
Miami is winless at home while the Pittsburgh is undefeated on the road. Big Ben is still feeling out the offense and may struggle against the Dolphin's solid D.
The Steelers have perhaps the best defense in the NFL and will force Chad Henne to beat them. The steel curtain is back as the team has only allowed 12 points a game. Look for the Dolphins to try to establish the running game in attempt to open things up. They will fail.
Steelers by 10 in a good game.
Browns (1-5) @ Saints (4-2)
The Super bowl champs finally showed that they can run the ball without Reggie Bush or Pierre Thomas. While it looks like Thomas still won't be able to play, New Orleans should have no problem taking care of the hapless Browns at the Super Dome.
If you like passing football, make sure you tune in when Cleveland's defense is on the field. An interesting sub-plot will be how Colt McCoy does in his second career start after an encouraging performance last week in Pittsburgh.
Saints in a blowout.
Rams (3-2) @ Buccaneers (3-2)
An interesting matchup of upstart teams will help shape the true identity of these 3-2 squads. It's tough to say whether these teams have been playing over their heads or not to this point.
Tampa Bay has been exposed in the running game, giving up 157 yards per game. Expect a big day from Steven Jackson and the Rams offense as Sam Bradford continues his impressive rookie campaign. It won't be enough however, as the Rams have yet to win on the road. Traveling east won't be easy for St. Louis.
Bucs by four.
It won't be pretty. Buffalo is the worst team in the NFL and will struggle to accomplish much of anything on offense. Ray Lewis and company will be looking to pitch a shutout while Ray Rice will have a field day.
The Bills' defense is giving up 182 yards per game on the ground. Someone will have to scrape Buffalo off the field following this one.
Ravens by 72349420.
Seattle and its 12th Man are happy to be hosting the critical NFC West match-up between two of the division's top teams.
Rookie quarterback Max Hall will have a tough time navigating his offense in one of the toughest road stadiums in the league.
Since 2001, these teams are 8-8 against one another. Expect a competitive game but Seattle and Matt Hasselbeck's to use its home field advantage to come out on top.
Seattle by three.
Raiders (2-4) @ Broncos (2-4)
The silver and black are winless on the road and can't be feeling too great after giving San Francisco its first win of the season. Denver has struggled to get anything going on the ground so far, but Oakland's defense is giving up 149 yards per game against the run. Look for Denver to try to finally establish the run early to set up Kyle Orton's explosive passing attack.
Broncos by 14.
San Diego is suffering the misfortune of having already played four road games of their first six. They haven't lost at home, yet.
New England is still going through the evolution process on offense with its young receiving core and getting Deion Branch back in the fold. The Chargers offensive and defensive units has proven their worth, but their special teams has had trouble getting to the stadium so far this year.
San Diego will be motivated to prove they are better than 2-4 and will look to make a big time statement against the Pats. It won't be enough however, as New England shows they belong in Super Bowl discussion.
Pats by one.
The latest installment of the Brett Favre bowl features an extremely banged up Green Bay team looking to avenge an overtime loss at home to Miami.
The Vikings are trying to build some momentum after an important win over Dallas last week.
Favre's competitive streak won't allow him to avoid throwing the ball all over the place, despite his elbow problems. If the recipients of his passes don't wear green, the Vikings should be able to score enough against the wounded Packers to come out with the win. Green Bay's maddening season continues.
Vikings by four.
Giants (4-2) @ Cowboys (1-4)
Jerry Jones spent too much money on his team and stadium to have Dallas be 0-2 at home. The pressure is growing like a tumor for "America's Team" and they need a win in the worst way.
New York's defense is playing better than expected and has the Giants in the race for the NFC East. But the Cowboys are too talented need a win too badly to let this one get away. The teams are nearly a wash statistically, but expect the hungry Cowboys to get the win they need to help change their perception.
Dallas by three.
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