NFL Week 7 Predictions 2011-2012
A Look Back At Week 6
The playoff teams of last year came roaring back in Week 6 with big divisional wins as the Philadelphia Eagles topped the NFC East leading Washington Redskins, and the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers to improve to 3 and 3. The Cowboys were tasked with a tough team to play against coming off their bye week in playing New England in Foxboro. The Cowboys played pretty well, but Tom Brady led the team to a touchdown in the final minute of the game. The game of the week had to be the Niners playing the Detroit Lions in Ford Field. Surprisingly these two teams have managed to be playing on a very high level and did just that against one another. Alex Smith was able to convert on a crucial fourth down at the end of the game which also gave his team the lead as he threw a perfect pass to Delanie Walker on a slant pattern for a touchdown. Not only are the Niners leading their division but they are playing inspired football for their passionate rookie head coach.
The other surprise among the NFL has been the Cincinnati Bengals as they continue to win even though on the offensive side of the ball they have a new quarterback and new star wideout. The Bengals defense has been the story of their success as they rank in the top five in scoring defense. The defense has been great against the run and the pass all season, but it still remains to be seen if this young team can keep it up all year. The team will also have a hard time against division rival Ravens and Steelers.
Due to this week there may just be some quarterback controversy in Oakland and Washington. Rex Grossman threw four interceptions against the Philadelphia Eagles while John Beck came in and played decent. It may not be in the team's best interest however to change quarterbacks as they know what they will get with Grossman. It can't hurt them to badly to give Grossman one more chance, as Beck didn't show to much against the Eagles to warrant him being handed the job. Oakland lost their starting quarterback to injury and Kyle Boller didn't play exceptionally well in his shoes. It has been recently reported that the Raiders are considering signing David Garrard to step in to the job as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
Trade Winds Are Blowing
In recent news, the Denver Broncos are still rumored to move DJ Williams and Brian Dawkins in what seems to be a wholesale. The Broncos started that sale by trading away their best offensive weapon, Brandon Lloyd, to the St. Louis Rams. Lloyd gets the chance to play for Josh McDaniels once again as he revitalized Lloyd's career in Denver. Lloyd also gives quarterback Sam Bradford a legitimate number one receiver, but considering the Rams record it may be to little to late.
Palmer Doesn't Retire
In a shocking move, and probably one of the biggest trades in recent memory during an NFL season the Cincinnati Bengals sent disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a first round pick and a conditional future second round pick that could also become a first round pick. Palmer gives the Raiders a quarterback that they believe can get them into the playoffs and possibly make some noise in the playoffs. The Raiders did give up too much for the aging quarterback, but when you believe you are that close to being a contender you do what you can to push your team over the top. The Bengals also have to be happy with what they got for Palmer as the first round pick will help build this already talented young team. The Raiders also swooped in and grabbed the young talented outside linebacker Aaron Curry for a seventh round pick.
Ronnie Brown to Lions
The Eagles brought in Ronnie Brown to be the short yardage back this season and to help spell LeSean McCoy. This is a case of how things don't always work out the way you envision them to. Brown wasn't really used effectively either however as the Eagles do not have the kind of offensive line to push through a pile and they rely heavily on getting the running backs out to the edge. LeSean McCoy has emerged as a top running back in the league and has helped the Eagles faithful forget about Brian Westbrook as McCoy has surpassed him. McCoy has been amazing in the first five games of the season as he has racked up 569 yards on 105 carries while scoring six touchdowns on the ground and two in the air. Rookie running back Dion Lewis and Jerome Harrison who the Eagles picked up in the trade with the Lions will serve as McCoy's backup. However, don't expect Lewis or Harrison to ever get more than five carries a game as it seems McCoy is now a major part of the Eagles offense. McCoy had a career high in carries against the Redskins this past week with twenty-eight.
Green Bay Packers (6-0)
The rich keep getting richer. Aaron Rodgers embarrassed the St. Louis Rams this past weekend and the Packers defense is beginning to look better.
New England Patriots (5-1)
The Patriots were given a game by the Patriots, and the defense has to be a concern due to Mayo's injury. However, Tom Brady is still pretty good.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
When the Ravens offense is clicking, they are close to being unstoppable.
San Diego Chargers (4-1)
The Chargers are notoriously bad in the first half of the season, and then incredibly good in the second half. Starting the season 4-1 is going to benefit them greatly for the playoff picture.
San Francisco 49ers (5-1)
Jim Harbaugh deserves all the credit he is getting, even for being to passionate about beating the Detroit Lions.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
The loss of Troy Polamalu could greatly hurt the Steelers down the line. The severity of the injury is not known yet.
New York Giants (4-2)
Ahmad Bradshaw and Eli Manning are playing very well for the Giants right now. The second half of the season is always the problem for the Giants.
Detroit Lions (5-1)
The Lions lost in a slug fest to the Niners but should not be ashamed for how they played.
New Orleans Saints (4-2)
The loss of Sean Payton may hurt their chances the rest of the way...Just kidding.
Oakland Raiders (4-2)
The loss of Jason Campbell could hurt the team's chances but the play of Darren McFadden should help them remain competitive throughout the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
Tampa Bay is leading the NFC South and yet they have given up more points then they have scored on the year.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
The Bengals defense is ranked in the top five of every category. However, they have a tough road over the next few games.
Buffalo Bills (4-2)
The Bills played a tough game against the New York Giants and the defense needs to play better in the second half.
Washington Redskins (3-2)
When the running game of the Skins is stopped, Grossman or Beck cannot win games for the Skins.
Tennessee Titans (3-2)
The Titans got a well deserved bye week and look to face off against the lowly Colts this coming week.
Houston Texans (3-3)
The loss of Mario Williams and Andre Johnson may just be to much for the team to overcome, but they are also lucky that the division is down Peyton Manning.
Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
The loss of Julio Jones didn't stop the Falcons offense. The offense in fact got back on track and was more efficient.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)
After all the drama over the past four losses, the Eagles were able to pull it together and get a key division win. The Eagles get a bye week to re-focus and then have a favorable schedule over the next few weeks.
Chicago Bears (3-3)
The Bears ultimately will beat up on the slightly below average teams, but will not be able to beat the better teams in the league.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
Romo played well against the Patriots, but the team still played a little bit flat in the second half..
New York Jets (3-3)
Rex Ryan, get back to ground and pound. It'll do you some good.
Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Peyton Hillis needs to focus on playing, then the money will come.
Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Doug Baldwin has been the best thing out of Seattle this season.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
A bye week is just what the doctor ordered.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
The Jaguars played the Steelers tough, but they still lack the offensive weapons to match up against the top teams.
Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Cam Newton can't play offense and defense.
Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
I hate puns but, it might be time to ponder over a change at quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals (1-4)
A bye week may help them turn things around, but that's doubtful.
Denver Broncos (1-4)
The wholesale has started, Lloyd is now a Ram
St. Louis Rams (0-5)
Bradford now has a new toy to play with, but it's too little to late. A offensive line that protects him would be ideal.
Indianapolis Colts (0-6)
Painter has worked up quite the chemistry with Pierre Garcon
Miami Dolphins (0-5)
And one more time, maybe a little bit of Luck?
Predictions on Week 7
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
My Pick: Chargers
Any team that comes off of a bye week usually comes out strong against whatever team they are playing. It doesn't help that the Jets are playing on shorter rest seeing how they played the Dolphins on Monday Night. The Jets are an older team, and can use all the rest they can get. Rex Ryan's team desperately needs a win against a top team in the league, and defeating the Chargers would help their confidence greatly. However, the Chargers are a hot team with a solid offense that can run the ball and pass it, and all of that spells trouble for the New York Jets.
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
My Pick: Bucs
The Buccaneers could win this game in a easier fashion but they would need a healthy LaGarrette Blount. Blount was absent against the Saints and yet the Bucs were able to pull out the victory as Earnest Graham filled the void well. Josh Freeman should also be able to dissect the Bears secondary which has been struggling as of late. The Bears have benched their best defensive back, Chris Harris, and even now they are attempting to trade him. The Bears in order to win must protect Cutler, which has proved incredibly difficult and thus it seems impossible for this team to do so.
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers
My Pick: Redskins
If the Panthers could stop the run, then they would be able to top the Skins. The key to beating the Redskins is forcing them to throw as both quarterbacks have a propensity to throw to the wrong team. The loss of Jon Beason and Thomas Davis a few weeks back has made the Panthers susceptible to the run, and the Redskins will take advantage of that. Cam Newton should be able to have a solid game against the Redskins aggressive defense.
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions
My Pick: Lions
The Lions will be hungry this game as they look to bounce back from the loss the suffered to the Niners. They will have a hard time against the Falcons as they seem to be back on track offensively, but the Falcons Achilles heel has been their defense. The money they spent on Ray Edwards has not helped their pass rush and the injury to John Abraham has not helped. If Julio Jones is out again, then the Falcons will feature Michael Turner which will struggle to get going against the Lions tough front seven. The pressure the Lions are able to get with their defensive line will also be a nightmare for the struggling Falcons offensive line.
Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns
My Pick: Browns
The Seahawks are down their starting quarterback but coming off a bye week. Due to their struggles on offense, it seems likely that they could fall to the Browns. The Browns have a decent enough quarterback and a solid defense while they also have the benefit of playing at home. It doesn't seem likely either that Charlie Whitehurst could come into Cleveland and win in his first start of the season.
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins
My Pick: Broncos
It is what every Broncos fan wanted, Tebow time. Tebow will also be playing in familiar territory as he gets to play in Miami for his first start of the season. He is also benefiting from being able to practice with the starters for an extra week seeing how the Broncos had a bye week. The thing Tebow will have to do in this game in order to pull out the victory is to keep his emotions bottled up. It'll be an emotionally homecoming of sorts for him, but if he has his wits about him and plays his game then his team should come out with the win.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
My Pick: Titans
The Texans played a great first half against the Ravens, but then looked tired in the second half. Due to all the injuries that they team has suffered, it seems likely that will continue to happen. The Texans are asking rookies Brooks Reed and JJ Watt to contribute pressure to make up for the loss of the Mario Williams and without the two of them playing well than the defense isn't nearly as effective. The Titans get the benefit of preparing an extra week to face the Texans and playing in their backyard. The Titans passing attack has been impressive under Matt Hasselbeck and looks to continue upon the success that they have had in airing it out.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
My Pick: Raiders
The Raiders lost their starting quarterback, but they still have been playing incredibly well and have been on quite the hot streak. It doesn't seem likely that they will slow down against the banged up Chiefs, even though these divisional games are sometimes hard to guess. The Raiders will look to run the ball down the Chiefs throats and kill the clock forcing Matt Cassel to want to put up points quicker, which could lead to him throwing some interceptions.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals
My Pick: Steelers
The Steelers could be missing Troy Polamalu for this game, but even without him they should be able to top the Cardinals. The Cardinals with a new quarterback and a new defensive coordinator have not looked sharp week to week, while the Steelers have been looking better as the weeks go by. Kolb has been putting up decent numbers but has been put in long third downs to often, and that is the recipe for failure against a team like the Steelers.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
My Pick: Packers
The Packers are the best team in the NFL right now and will continue to embarrass teams this week. The Vikings have struggled to move the ball on offense, and they have struggled to stop offenses on the other side of the ball. The Vikings are old, and also not very good. It's a shame to see Donovan McNabb's career spiral out of control as he will likely be used as a scapegoat in this situation as he was last season with the Redskins.
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys
My Pick: Cowboys
The Cowboys played the Patriots surprisingly well last week, and considering how mightily the Rams have struggled this season the Cowboys should have an easy win here. The Rams have struggled to get a consistent pass rush against opposing teams, and have not been able to make consistent plays on the offensive side of the ball. The Rams offensive line also has not done a good job in protecting Sam Bradford, which could be a huge problem against the Cowboys come Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints
My Pick: Saints
They should really revise the Sunday Night football games for the season. The Colts seem to be televised almost every week and while they have been solid games, you know how the games will turn out due to Peyton Manning being injured on the sideline. Painter has done a decent job since stepping into the role of starting quarterback but the team still struggles when things break down or the game gets tight. The Saints will look to come out firing on all cylinders as they suffered a divisional loss to the Buccaneers last week.
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
My Pick: Ravens
The Jaguars showed some toughness against the Steelers last week as they never gave up, but it still remains that the Jags struggle to score points. Their defense will keep them in games, but the offense will not win them games. The Ravens on the other hand can be down right unbeatable when Cam Cameron calls a good game. The only problem is that is such a rare thing. Flacco continues to show that he has a full understanding of the offense now and continues to improve upon his leadership skills as he is in complete control of the teams offense. The defense is obviously just as good as it always has been, but the defense is lacking a pass rusher to go alongside Suggs. When they do find someone that can be that guy, the Ravens defense will be filthy.
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