NFL Week 7 Picks: Can Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers Salvage Season?

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2010

NFL Week 7 Picks: Can Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers Salvage Season?

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    ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 17: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chargers 20-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    It's time for our NFL Week 7 picks and we're breaking down every game on the schedule, letting you know the favorites and what each team needs to do to win this week.

    There are a couple of huge games on the schedule, including San Diego taking on New England. The Chargers are desperate for a win to save their season and a loss could not only kill their playoff hopes but cost Norv Turner his job.

    Do I think the Patriots will end San Diego's season? You'll have to find out inside along with my predictions for the rest of the games on this week's schedule.

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Miami Dolphins

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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 17:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers thows a fourth quarter pass while playing the Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 28-10. (Photo by Gregory Sham
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Pittsburgh -3

    Why Pittsburgh Will Win

    The Steelers have been rolling this season and now have Ben Roethlisberger back under center and it's only a matter of time before he gets into game shape and starts clicking with his wideouts. Not only that, but Pittsburgh has a tenacious defense that is always swarming around the ball. The Steelers only have one loss on the year and that was the product of a last-second, game-winning drive by Joe Flacco and the Ravens.

    Why Miami Will Win

    The Dolphins also have a good defense with a solid pass rush. Cameron Wake has been a revelation for Miami this season and has harassed opposing quarterbacks all season long. Chad Henne is starting to come into his own under center and has established relationships with Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess.

    Prediction

    Pittsburgh 27, Miami 13

Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Atlanta Falcons

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons passes against  the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 17, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Atlanta -3.5

    Why Cincinnati Will Win

    The Bengals have become a passing team and Terrell Owens has led the way for Cincinnati. He's had a complete turnaround in his production since last year and has stepped up big for the Bengals this year. It's really just a matter of Carson Palmer getting him the ball without turning it over.

    Why Atlanta Will Win

    The Falcons can run the ball with great success and are seventh in the league in rushing. This has opened up the field for Matt Ryan who has made plenty of plays down the field this year, especially to his favorite target, Roddy White. Ryan has had a bounce back year and has the Falcons near the top of the NFC almost halfway through the year.

    Prediction

    Atlanta 31, Cincinnati 21

Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Kansas City Chiefs

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws down field as Antonio Smith #94 of the Houston Texans looks to apply pressure> at Reliant Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Kansas City -4.5

    Why Jacksonville Will Win

    Jacksonville's success really hinges on the health and play of David Garrard. If Garrard can play after suffering a concussion on Monday night, he will have to protect the ball and make plays down the field for the Jaguars to win. When he's playing well, the Jags win, if he struggles, they can't make enough plays to seal the deal.

    Why Kansas City Will Win

    The Chiefs have two good running backs in Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones and Matt Cassel has made plays from time-to-time in the passing game and had a big game last week. Jacksonville was torched in the passing game last week and for that matter, all season long. The Chiefs just need to buckle down on defense because they'll be able to make plays on offense.

    Prediction

    Kansas City 24, Jacksonville 13

Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Tennessee Titans

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 18:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on October 18, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Tennessee -3

    Why Philadelphia Will Win

    The Eagles will need to have success throwing the ball to win this game. The Titans give up a lot of passing yards and have players that can be exploited. Tennessee does a good job of defending the run and gets to the passer so Kevin Kolb will need to make quick decisions and accurate throws to keep the Eagles in the game.

    Why Tennessee Will Win

    The Titans have made huge strides on offense this year but need to do a better job of blocking for Chris Johnson. He struggled against Jacksonville until late in the game where he scored a late touchdown. If Vince Young is healthy, he'll need to make throws down the field to set up the running game.

    Prediction

    Tennessee 38, Philadelphia 27

Washington Redskins Vs. Chicago Bears

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after throwing a first quater touchdown pass against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim Mc
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Chicago -3

    Why Washington Will Win

    To win, Donovan McNabb will have to make plays in the passing game to give the Redskins a chance. Washington has struggled to run the ball this year but is in the top 10 in passing yards. If McNabb can be productive and not turn the ball over and the defense can get after Jay Cutler, it's a recipe for success.

    Why Chicago Will Win

    It starts and ends with protecting Jay Cutler. Cutler has been sacked 16 times over the last two games and he's going to get killed if something doesn't change and soon. It's not just the offensive line, Cutler has done a horrid job of picking up blitzes and making the proper adjustments at the line. If he can't stay upright, the Bears have no chance.

    Prediction

    Washington 24, Chicago 13

Cleveland Browns Vs. New Orleans Saints

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    TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands the ball off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    New Orleans -13

    Why Cleveland Will Win

    The Browns are a scrappy team that hangs around in a lot of the games they play but they'll have to run the ball and control the clock with Peyton Hillis to try and keep Drew Brees off of the field. If Cleveland can keep the Saints' high-powered offense off the field for as long as possible, it's going to give the Browns the best possible chance to win.

    Why New Orleans Will Win

    The Saints had a big statement game last week, beating up on Tampa Bay in a blowout. New Orleans hadn't done that all year long and to do that, especially with the big plays in the passing game, not to mention the great performance it got from Chris Ivory, is a big confidence boost. We'll see if the Saints can carry that momentum into this game.

    Prediction

    New Orleans 38, Cleveland 16

Buffalo Bills Vs. Baltimore Ravens

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    FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens takes a breather against the New England Patriots during a game at  at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Baltimore -13

    Why Buffalo Will Win

    You know, I tried to think of a reason, I really did, but I've got nothing. The Bills can't throw the ball, they can't run the ball and they can't stop the other team. This team has the first pick in the draft written all over them. Better luck next year Bills fans.

    Why Baltimore Will Win

    Ray Rice has finally started to produce for Baltimore and add that into Joe Flacco and his plethora of targets in the passing game and you've got a deadly combination for any team, let alone one that has major issues on defense, especially against the run. Look for Baltimore to pound the rock early and often against the Bills.

    Prediction

    Baltimore 35, Buffalo 13

San Francisco 49ers Vs. Carolina Panthers

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 10:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by Juqua Parker #75 of the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on October 10, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    San Francisco -3

    Why San Francisco Will Win

    The 49ers should be able to run the ball with Frank Gore all day long and find success with that plan. Alex Smith hasn't been great to say the least, but he'll make some plays in the passing game and get things done. It shouldn't be hard against this Carolina defensive unit.

    Why Carolina Will Win

    There aren't many reasons. Steve Smith is hurt, Matt Moore is back in at quarterback and the Panthers can't run the ball with the two most talented players on their team in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. It's a mess for the Panthers and it's only going to get worse as the year goes on. Can they just fire John Fox now?

    Prediction

    San Francisco 27, Carolina 10

St. Louis Rams Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 17: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams looks to pass against the San Diego Chargers at the Edward Jones Dome on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chargers 20-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Tampa Bay -3

    Why St. Louis Will Win

    The Rams have been in every game they've played minus the blowout against Detroit two weeks ago. Sam Bradford is the runaway favorite for rookie of the year and there's an energy that's around St. Louis that hasn't been there in years. Not only that, but Steven Jackson is still producing at a high level.

    Why Tampa Bay Will Win

    Josh Freeman has been more than solid under center for Tampa Bay this year and he's made plenty of clutch plays for the Buccaneers this season. Tampa Bay isn't spectacular in any facet of the game but find ways to win. The Bucs are a team that wins ugly.

    Prediction

    St. Louis 24, Tampa Bay 14

Arizona Cardinals Vs. Seattle Seahawks

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    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks looks for a receiver against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Seattle -5.5

    Why Arizona Will Win

    The Cardinals are 3-2 and to be honest, I couldn't tell you how. Arizona has struggled mightily on offense and the defense isn't much better either. It's just timely plays and a little bit of luck. It doesn't hurt that the Cardinals are in the NFC West either.

    Why Seattle Will Win

    The Seahawks always perform at home and are undefeated on their home turf this season. Seattle also stuffs the run and makes its opponents very one-dimensional. The Seahawks aren't a great team, but they'll fight you the entire way and we'll see if they can get their first division win.

    Prediction

    Seattle 24, Arizona 17

New England Patriots Vs. San Diego Chargers

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    FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    San Diego -3

    Why New England Will Win

    With Deion Branch back in the fold in New England, the Patriots didn't skip a beat as Branch registered as many catches in one game as Randy Moss did all year in a Patriots' uniform. The Patriots are 4-1 and rolling on the year and are trying to get the Super Bowl group back together again.

    Why San Diego Will Win

    Two things the Chargers do well is pass the ball and stop the pass. San Diego is tops in the NFL in both categories and Philip Rivers has put the team on his back and tried to lead the Chargers to victories but to no avail. Rivers will need to be big again this week in order to get a win.

    Prediction

    New England 31, San Diego 30

Oakland Raiders Vs. Denver Broncos

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos signals for a first down against the New York Jets at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 17, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Denver -7

    Why Oakland Will Win

    The Raiders win with big plays. Look at the San Diego game where Oakland made two huge special teams plays and an interception on defense to seal a win against the Chargers. The Raiders aren't the most talented team in the league, but they can make big plays when needed to during the course of a game.

    Why Denver Will Win

    It starts and ends with Kyle Orton. Orton is one of the top passers in the league this year and he can air it out on anyone. You can't really stop Orton and the Denver passing game, but you can slow them down and that's the best Oakland can hope for this week. Imagine how good the Broncos would be if they still had Brandon Marshall.

    Prediction

    Denver 42, Oakland 24

Minnesota Vikings Vs. Green Bay Packers

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Green Bay -2.5

    Why Minnesota Will Win

    The Vikings just need to hang on to the ball. Brett Favre has turned the ball over way too much this year and he's going to have to play like he did last week where he was more of a game manager and didn't try and force too much. If he can keep the turnovers down and make enough plays to unleash Adrian Peterson, the Vikings should be fine.

    Why Green Bay Will Win

    It certainly won't be running the ball. Green Bay is decimated by injuries right now and the Packers are going to rely on Aaron Rodgers to get the job done. He's going to be throwing a lot on Sunday night and he's going to have to find room to throw down the field against Minnesota. It won't be easy in the least, especially against that defense, but it needs to be done.

    Prediction

    Minnesota 24, Green Bay 20

NY Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Favorite/Line

    Dallas -3

    Why New York Will Win

    The Giants are a physical team who can beat you in a bunch of different ways. They can run over you with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, or they can throw it over the top with Eli Manning and company. Not only that, but the Giants have a top 10 defense against the run and the pass and it's going to be tough to move the ball against them.

    Why Dallas Will Win

    Really it comes down to desperation. The Cowboys need this in the worst way imaginable. Dallas has shot itself in the foot all year long and has cost itself a couple of wins they should have had. Tony Romo needs to make plays in the passing game to try and set up a running game that hasn't been there all season long. If Dallas wants this more, it will take this game. There needs to be urgency from the Cowboys.

    Prediction

    Dallas 27, New York 20

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