Week Seven Preview: NFC South Best Division in Football?

Mark RussoContributor IOctober 15, 2008

Week seven is on the horizon, and with the craziness of week six, a lot of people are nervous about either their favorite NFL team or their fantasy team.  Either way, I am here to help you all with a little input going into a big week of football.  Let’s first take a look at the big wins for teams last week.

How about the Atlanta Falcons' 11-second miracle?  Now if you ask me this was an unbelievable game and had everyone on the edge of their seats.  Matt Ryan surpassed the 300-yard mark for the first time this medicine and also added another TD to his season stats.

Roddy White had yet another big game, posting 112 receiving yards and a TD catch.  But you have to give it to the Bears in this game.  They were hanging with the Falcons, and if it wasn’t for an absolute joke at the end of the game, they would have come out on top.

But yet again, Orton brings his "A" game, and to me this guy is something to watch out for in that terrible NFC North.

Now we're looking at an NFC South that hasn’t been this strong since the late '90s and going into 2000.  Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Atlanta are all 4-2, and the Saints are not far behind with the 3-2 record, and they were everyone’s favorite coming into the year. 

If you ask me, this is the most intense division in football.  Yes, I know everyone thinks the NFC East is as well, but I think that division will separate more and more as the season continues. 

The other big win that comes to mind after this week’s crazy football weekend is the Cleveland Browns' victory over the undefeated New York Football Giants.  Well, as one of the Superfans used to say best, "was" undefeated.

The Browns' defense looked as good as any other D in the league.  Being a Cowboys fan, it’s always good to watch Eli get crushed by Shaun Rodgers, who weighs more than the whole Dallas secondary combined.  But I have to give it to Eli.  He got up every time and didn’t let the fact that his offensive line was terrible affect his gameplan.

Also, it was the first time Derek Anderson wasn’t being rushed and or sacked every play, which allowed him to be the Derek Anderson from last year, putting up 310 yards with two touchdowns.  This game really allowed the rest of the NFC East to relax a little bit, because the Giants being the only 6-0 team in their division would have made life very difficult for the Cowboys, Redskins, and Eagles. 

Now that I have broken down the two games which—in my mind—were the biggest games last week, I'm moving on to my game predictions for the upcoming week. 

49ers vs. Giants

I see this game being a bounce-back for the G-Men after last week's embarrassing loss.  Look for the Giants to run the ball a lot against a weak 'Niners defense.  Watch Eli turn that ugly face into a happy smile with over 300 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.  I am going with the Giants with this pick in a breeze victory at Giants Stadium.

Winner: Giants 31-10

Steelers vs. Bengals

After a decent outing last week for the Bengals they still ended up losing, and showed the fans that they still don’t have what it takes to win.  Having to face the Steelers' offense is not going to help that at all.  However, I do see this week bringing some surprises to the table, so I’m going with the Bengals in an upset. 

Winner: Bengals 21-17

Titans vs. Chiefs

I feel as though the Chiefs have a very good chance at winning this game, because in my mind Kerry Collins cannot hold this stability much longer.  Look for the Titans to run the ball a lot in this game, and if they can do that successfully they will win this game with ease. 

I also don't think there is any way the Chiefs' terrible offense can score on the No. 1 defense in the league.  The Titans are first in points allowed (11.2), fourth in total yards, and fifth in passing yards.  The Titans win in a close one. 

Winner: Titans 27-14

Vikings vs. Bears

I feel as though this is going to be a comeback week for the Bears.  After the last-second lost last week to the Falcons, look for the Bears to be extra aggressive in this game.

Kyle Orton had another solid performance and is really starting to understand this offense.  Look for the play action pass to play a big factor in this game with Forte running the ball for over 100 yards. 

Winner: Bears 27-14

Saints vs. Panthers

This is a must-win game for the New Orleans Saints.  This team was the favorite going into the season in the NFC South.  Now they are sitting at the bottom of the division because the Bucs, Panthers, and Falcons have all been playing outstanding football for the first six weeks.

Look for Brees to have a big game, because he is most likely going to get some of his receivers back.  I don’t’ see the Bucs' running game with Graham causing any trouble for the Saints defense. 

Winner: Saints 31-24

Chargers vs. Bills

This is another big game this week, because San Diego cannot afford to lose another game and the Bills have been unstoppable at home this season.  Look for the Chargers to attack early with the running game and watch LT come out on the flats and catch some passes.

I can’t deal with the Chargers' fans complaining any longer because they didn't realize that their division was a joke last year.  But with the 31st ranked offense in scoring, they should be okay.  I see this game being very close, however I think that Lynch and the Bills are going to run on the Chargers' defense and lead the way to victory. 

Winner: Bills 28-24

Ravens vs. Dolphins

This is going to be an interesting game because who knows what type of game the Ravens are going to play?  If you ask me, the Dolphins' offense has been causing a ruckus in the NFL and defenses don’t know how to deal with it.

They look like a high school football team out there because everyone knows that Chad’s limp noodle won’t make it 25+ yards.  I think after the embarrassing defeat by the Colts last week, the Ravens defense will be bringing their "A" game.  I see this one being a low-scoring game with a lot of Ray Lewis involved, but the Dolphins will hold on to win.

Winner: Dolphins 16-13

Cowboys vs. Rams

A week after the Cowboys lost their starting quarterback, people are wondering what the Cowboys will be able to do in these four weeks.  Well we all know that Romo will be resting his hand while getting Chicken of the Sea sandwiches from his girlfriend Jessica. 

Hopefully Roy Williams—the wide receiver, not the old defensive back—will be able to come in and make an immediate impact.  But all joking aside, this can be a make or break game for the boys.

They need to have the confidence in Brad Johnson to be able to perform under pressure.  I don’t see Marc Bulger having an outstanding game, but if the Rams can get a decent game out of Jackson, then maybe they have a chance.  But I don’t see that happening. 

Winner: Cowboys 27-17

Texans vs. Lions

Two of the bigger jokes in the league meet Sunday.  Someone has to win, right?  If this is an exciting game to you and you're not a fan of either team, I commend you, but I wouldn’t watch it if it were the only game on television. 

The Lions have been one of the biggest disappointments in the league.  They have been the absolute worst on offense with no production and a whopping 25.8 yards per game...total!

I will give it to the Texans.  Even though they are 1-4 they have been in involved with close games.  I think this is an easy win for the Texans.

Winner: Texans 31-17

Packers vs. Colts

I am going out on a limb saying this is going to be my game of the week.  After the absolute domination out of Peyton Manning last week against what I feel is the best defense in the league, I look for him to come out throwing big time. 

Also, the Packers see the urgency being tied for first in their division with the Vikings and Bears and are going to play hard nose defense, challenging Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne all day. This is going to be a tight game, but I don’t think the Packers' defense can stop the rolling Peyton Manning. 

Winner: Colts 31-28

Raiders vs. Jets

This should be a very interesting game, especially because the Raiders have been off to early leads all year long.  I think that if the Raiders can throw together a running game with Michael Bush, Darren McFadden, and Justin Fargas, then they will have a chance to take this away from the Jets.

Considering Favre can’t be on the field playing every position you have to look at their defense, which is only giving up 69 yards per game on the ground, which is third in the league.  So I’m going out on a limb right now.

Winner: Raiders 28-21

Redskins vs. Browns

This is must-win game for the Washington Redskins after an embarrassing loss at home last week to the Rams.  They need to win this game, and after a huge win for the Browns in Cleveland last week I see scoring being easy in this game.

Look for both teams to throw the ball with ease through these mediocre defensive cores.  The Redskins are in the top 10, but I don’t see the consistency.  Look for the Browns to come out of here with a possible upset.  But I don’t see it!

Winner: Redskins 35-28

Buccaneers vs. Seahawks

Hey, we're back to a team that is dealing with a must-win situation.  With a 1-4 record and one of the worst offenses in the league, look for the Seahawks to try to pass early.

They are 31st in the league in passing yards and 27th in the league in total yards.  They are fifth in the league with 137 yards on the ground per game.  Look for them to throw play action into the mix a lot in this game.

I said before that I don’t see the Bucs' running game being strong enough against this defense, which in my mind is one of the most talented in the league.

Winner: Seahawks 24-14

Broncos vs. Patriots

Monday Night Football couldn’t be any better.  With two teams that are as inconsistent as the stock market right now no one can pinpoint how this game is going to go.

Right when you think these teams are on a roll, they are a big favorite and lose.  I see this one being a close game but I give a slight advantage to the Patriots just because of the home field advantage.

Also, being at 3-2 they cannot afford to lose another game in the standings.  Look for Cassel to throw the ball a lot, and maybe we will finally see a running game out of the Patriots. 

Winner: Patriots 31-27

Overall, this is a big week in football.  With the Cowboys needing to bounce back after the horrible lost last week it’s going to be hard without Adam "I Can’t Behave Myself" Jones and Tony Romo, but they can’t afford more losses.

Also, with the NFC South being so close you will see the Bucs, Falcons, and Panthers try to be the sole owners of the top position.  Don’t forget the favorite in that division, the Saints, who would like to be up there with them as well.

Also, after the Patriots and the Broncos lost last week, look for Monday Night Football to bring us a great game that will most likely have little cold weather.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  A little high-30s would be a good temperature.  Can Kyle Orton show all the doubters that just because you love the Grateful Dead and your beard is bigger than Santa’s that you can throw a football?

Can the Raiders overcome Al’s stubbornness, or does the 79-year-old skeleton want to finally give up?  This isn’t the '70s or '80s, Al.  You can’t just say go deep when you want to and expect it to work.

Can the New York Football Giants bounce back from an embarrassing defeat or is Eli going to put that infamous pout face on and get frustrated?  Who knows what week seven is going to bring?  Who is willing to go the extra yard for their squad this week?


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