Thursday, 17 October 2013

NFL Week 7 Preview

Week 6 was a weird sort of weekend with some nail-biters and my begrudgingly losing out in my Eliminator Challenge. Last year I went all the way to week 12, this week I felt the Jets could be strong enough versus the winless Steelers; however Pittsburgh coming off a bye after losing at Wembley regained some composure and made Geno Smith look like the rookie he is in a 19-6 blowout if you can call 19-6 a blowout.

My Patriots came from the depths of despair to somehow win at home versus a very good New Orleans Saints to give them their first defeat of the season, as Tom Brady hooked up with Kenbrell Thompkins for an easy touchdown.  It was the atypical Tom Brady touchdown, less than two minutes left no timeouts, drops by receivers but when they caught it they got out of bounds before Thompkins TD grab with five seconds remaining to tie up a 30-27.

What must be said for this NFL season is how mediocre all these teams are apart from the top contenders of New Orleans, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.  The NFC is the better conference, the AFC is the Broncos to lose as the Patriots are suffering from terrible injuries - add Jerod Mayo to the list of Vince Wilfork along with continued absence of Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots need a redzone target which Gronk will be; whilst Thompkins elevation to number one target is refreshing.

People may say mediocre but everyone is due a bad game, the Broncos should have bulldozed the Jaguars at home yet they only won by 16 points due to two Manning fumbles and an interception.  Complacency, perhaps or more a notion of get through the game without injury to anyone. Yet considering the spread was 26.5, must be disappointing.

Bye weeks this week for Oakland (at least they cannot lose this week) and New Orleans, who after the injury to Jimmy Graham will welcome the break.

Week 7 Predictions
Seahawks (5-1) at Cardinals (3-3)
Home game on a Thursday for the Cardinals, who are undefeated at home thus far.  The Seahawks are a different team on the road which I have mentioned before; Palmer is being competent and forcing less turnovers however he is facing a superior secondary this week.  Watch out for Andre Ellington in the Cardinals backfield, he is getting more carries over veteran Mendenhall and getting decent production. This will be closer than people imagine.
Prediction: Seahawks by 3

Buccaneers (0-5) at Falcons (1-5)
Who'd have funk these teams would have one win between them. After the rest, the Falcons will welcome this match-up at home.  Mike Glennon is not the answer in Tampa, who after cutting Josh Freeman might be tanking for one of Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota. The Falcons still have Matt Ryan and need to get something from a receiver.
Prediction: Falcons by 7

Bengals (4-2) at Lions (4-2)
Two equal records and two equal teams go head-to-head. This might be a tale of the running backs; Reggie Bush has shaken off the left leg injury and is continuing to get good numbers, whilst the Bengals have the Law Firm and Bernard going equal and no-one getting ahead of the other.  The Bengals still have AJ Green who may have some luck against the Lions secondary, however, that depends upon if the Lions D-line get to Andy Dalton first.  Lions are on a roll, thanks to Kris Durham getting receptions due to Calvin Johnson's injury concerns and being double covered.
Prediction: Lions by 4

Bills (2-4) at Dolphins (3-2)
The Dolphins come off a bye week to face Thad Lewis who led the Bills to a close lose at the Bengals, who are not what we thought they were, the Bills miss the dual-option of EJ Manuel.  The Dolphins however, have a more settled quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, however, like Aaron Rodgers he is getting beat up due to a lack of offensive line.  The Bills may have some joy in that respect, however, I feel the Dolphins will be able to score more.
Prediction: Dolphins by 3

Patriots (5-1) at Jets (3-3)
The Patriots somehow got to 5-1 and now complete the season derby against the Jets on the road.  In a very much defensive battle summed up by Brady being unable to connect with his new receivers and three Geno Smith interceptions.  Whilst Brady can throw and the hope is Gronk returns, Belichick will scheme to unsettle Geno but with the absence of Wilfork and Mayo; the Jets should run, run, run.
Prediciton: Patriots by 3

Cowboys (3-3) at Eagles (3-3)
The Eagles defence worry me, as even Mike Glennon had some useful production against them. This week Tony Romo and his new offensive arsenal go up against the Chip Kelly machine.  Nick Foles showed some things last week with his arm, but if the Cowboys can bring pocket pressure Foles' lack of mobility will haunt him. The Cowboys should be in first place by the end of the day.
Prediction: Cowboys by 6

Bears (4-2) at Redskins (1-4)
For a quarterback with bad knees, why does RG3 persist in doing these scrambles to the out of bounds where he could get hit causing more injury.  The Redskins showed little offensive potential, whilst the Bears had half their offence last week thanks to Eli Manning's continued greatness of woefulness.
Prediction: Bears by 10

Rams (3-3) at Panthers (2-3)
Two hot and cold teams who both had huge road wins last week at Houston (where the Rams temporarily retired Matt Schaub) and Minnesota (grieving) respectively.  Cam Newton should be bossing each and every game he plays in, either by his arm or by his immense size out of the pocket on his feet. Yet this will be a game of consistent inconsistency between two inconsistent teams.
Prediction: Panthers by 4

Chargers (3-3) at Jaguars (0-6)
The Jaguars beat the spread last week, the Chargers beat the Colts, an actual opponent.  Philip Rivers seems rejuvenated and resurgent in a division that is on the up and up, and the way the AFC is playing out, the Chargers know they could make the playoffs with nine wins depending upon how the Dolphins, Ravens and Bengals end up. The Chargers should continue here and heap more misery on the worse team in the NFL, although Chad Henne is competent.
Prediction: Chargers by 10

49ers (4-2) at Titans (3-3)
The Titans desperately need Jake Locker to return, whilst the Niners are working the gameplan of Gore first and Kaepernick second.  The Titans are a tough defence, but can they hang with this defence which will target Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Prediction: 49ers by 7

Browns (3-3) at Packers (3-2)
If this was at the Dog Pound maybe, but I hope Aaron Rodgers will please have an enormous fantasy game in this one along with the ever impressive Eddie Lacy.
Prediction: Packers by 8

Texans (2-4) at Chiefs (6-0)
Do not be surprised if the Andy Reid mistake that all pundits are expecting, will occur in probably the most winnable game they have.  Saying that, the Chiefs defence sacked Tyrelle Pryor ten (10!) times last week and Pryor can move quickly.  Can TJ Yates move as quickly?
Prediction: Chiefs by 12

Ravens (3-3) at Steelers (1-4)
Never a good time for the Ravens to play the Steelers, but after two defeats on the trot and the Steelers buzzing after their first win.  The Steelers finally play at home after a month, if LeVeon Bell can stay healthy then the Steelers might be good for a W here.  The Ravens had many runs for negative yards and no gain; whilst Bernard Pierce got more yards receiving than rushing.
Prediction: Steelers by 3

Broncos (6-0) at Colts (4-2)
This could be a match of the season, as the surefire veteran future Hall of Fame quarterback takes on the second year surefire future Hall of Fame quarterback.  Only this time, the veteran returns to the ground he built; Lucas Oil Stadium should be called the Thank You Peyton Auditorium. The Colts lost to the Chargers, admittedly on the road, but they might have had one eye on this match.  Peyton has won one shootout with Romo two weeks ago, if it should succumb to a shootout again as it probably will, there is only one result.
Prediciton: Broncos by 5

Vikings (1-4) at Giants (0-6)
The Giants will finally get the great big winless monkey off their back, Eli Manning will throw for no interceptons and Brandon Jacobs will outrush Adrian Peterson.
Prediction: Giants by 7

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