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NFL Picks. Week 7, 2014
Not what I wanted.
Damn late games.
Back to 51-37-1.
New York (Jets) @ New England- New England.
This one's easy.
The Geno Smith experiment is over.
Despite how well the defense plays or how close the final score may look, the Jets are just not good enough.
The final scores of all of their games were closer than they looked, even against the powerhouse Broncos.
The Patriots aren't as good as we were made to believe they are either, but the Jets aren't a good enough team to push them, especially if Gronk is going to continue returning to his old self.
Atlanta @ Baltimore- Baltimore.
This is a tough game to call.
Eh. Not really.
In a battle of the two top QBs from the the 2008 draft, last week was a tale of two cities.
The Ravens were coasting by the end of the first quarter and the Falcons lost a game at home against the Bears.
The Falcons are god awful on the road and adversely, the Ravens awesome at home.
The Ravens win big at home.
Tennessee @ Washington- Washington.
The Titans should've lost to
Seattle @ St. Louis- Seattle.
Seattle is going to be pissed after dropping a game at home to the Cowboys.
And they get the Rams the week after.
Without Chris Long, or a long-term answer at Quarterback, the Rams aren't a real threat to anyone in the NFC West, and the Hawks can't afford to fall behind any further than they already have. The Seahawks get the running game back in shape and Russell Wilson goes nuts with play action passes.
Cleveland @ Jacksonville- Cleveland.
This is easy.
The Browns are finally finding traction and digging out of the cellar that the NFL has had them locked in since they returned to Cleveland and the Jags...
They're the Jags.
Blake Bortles' struggles continue, but he's still the target of Johnny Clipboard's envy as Hoyer proceeds to show how stupid the Browns front office is for wasting a pick.
Cincinnati @ Indianapolis- Indianapolis.
The Bengals are sliding.
If you had asked me about this game three weeks ago, I would've scoffed and ran with the Bengals because they looked like the most dominant team in the AFC.
But after getting embarrassed by the Pats on national television, they haven't bounced back.
They were stuck in a tie with the Panthers last week. and who knows when AJ Green will return to 100%.
Meanwhile Andrew Luck has arrived and is arguably playing as well as any QB in the NFL.
I'm taking a chance on the most explosive team in the NFL.
Minnesota @ Buffalo- Buffalo.
Kyle Orton lost that game for Buffalo last week.
It's that simple, the Bills probably should have won.
Meanwhile, the Vikings just couldn't seem to buy Teddy Bridgewater any time and his play showed why he was still around for the Vikings at 32.
I trust the base talent that the Bills have more than the potentially explosive talent that the Vikings have.
I'm rolling with Da Bills.
Miami @ Chicago- Chicago.
This one is easy.
The Dolphins offense is broken, and as inconsistent as they are, I just can't count Da Bears out.
Tannehill isn't going to get the help or the time that he needs to be the guy in Miami, and I can see this franchise falling apart pretty soon...
New Orleans @ Detroit- New Orleans.
The Lions have problems.
The Saints may be away, and the Lions may have Reggie Bush back, but they don't have Megatron, and the offense is noticeably worse without him.
The Saints should be well rested and ready to outscore a stagnant and beat up Lions team.
If only both teams were healthy, this game would've been high scoring and explosive.
Carolina @ Green Bay- Green Bay.
The Panthers are still struggling to find any consistency and they're running into a Packers offense that is just finding his stride.
As impressive as Kelvin Benjamin is, without stability at runningback or legitimate progress from the quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers offense is not one that will be able to outscore the elite teams.
Kansas City @ San Diego- San Diego.
The Chargers are beat up on defense.
They're extremely thin at cornerback.
And they're playing the perfect team to heal against.
The Chiefs are not a team that will win if Alex Smith throws more than 30 passes.
They need balance to be successful and despite giving up a rare good day to Darren McFadden last week, the Chargers front seven isn't going to lie down for Jamaal Charles.
I think the Chargers passing offense will put up plenty of points against a Chiefs defense that is a shadow of its former self.
Arizona @ Oakland- Arizona.
I wanted to pick Oakland.
I really did.
The offense had an incredible game last week.
And facing off against Carson Palmer should be a green light.
The Raiders secondary isn't stopping anybody, and despite Mack and Moore being extremely talented, they aren't getting to the passer.
And you're going up against a guy who's got a bit of a beef with his former team.
I don't doubt that Derek Carr will go after Patrick Peterson and have another game that gives the Raider Nation a reason to hope, but he won't be able to score as many points as Palmer will.
New York (Giants) @ Dallas- Dallas.
Hey New York, thanks for blowing my lead last week.
I can't completely blame Eli.
I mean, how do you blame a guy who can't blink without getting sacked?
That offensive line is garbage and the loss of Victor Cruz was enough for me to cross them off my list of NFC East contenders.
And the team they're playing?
Well, they just marched into Seattle and beat the defending champions.
Romo came through in the clutch and the defense that "experts" predicted to be "historically bad" took Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch out of the game.
Now they get to face a beat up Giants team that can't protect the passer or stop the pass?
Glad I'm starting Dez Bryant in fantasy this week.
San Francisco @ Denver- Denver.
Peyton Manning is on the verge of breaking the all-time NFL touchdown record?
And it's a marquee matchup?
And it lands on a Sunday night?
Well I'll be.
Well. This is a no-brainer.
I'm not sure if the 49ers were ever the class of the NFC West.
They had a year in 2011 where nobody else was good enough to compete, and then in 2012, it was all about the rise of the Seahawks.
And now it's over.
Colin Kaepernick has hit his ceiling, they've got a bunch of bona-fide number 2 receivers, and problematic, overrated defensive players.
Put a fork in em.
The Broncos put on a show offensively and Peyton breaks the record on primetime television, well deserved for one of the game's best.
Houston @ Pittsburgh- Houston.
This is technically an upset, but the Steelers are plain and simple, a bad team.
They lost to the Bucs, they barely beat the Jags, and then they got destroyed by the Browns.
and the Browns.
The Browns are on the way up, but those other two teams are baaaaad.
The Texans kept the game alive against arguably the best team in the AFC last thursday night, and this week we get a glimpse of the first overall pick.
I'm not a fan of Clowney, but last week I saw the Colts triple team J.J. Watt, and if Clowney is half as fast as advertised, he should be able to take advantage of mismatches ala Terrell Suggs.
Unfortunately, Fleegle read those late games a lot better than I did... He recaptured the lead.
Hey now, look who jumped into first place! Now, time to add to that lead.....
NY Jets @ New England: I'll give the Jets credit, they hung in there pretty well with Peyton and the Broncos last week. They made him feel uncomfortable there for a while, and for once Geno Smith wasn't terrible. However, New England has just looked like a completely different team these last 2 weeks after everybody in the national media was calling them out. I think Rex will have the Jets ready for this one, mainly because I think his job is on the line, but in the end Brady and Company will be too much. Patriots win.
Atlanta @ Baltimore: I called last week that the Falcons were going to choke one away at home to Da Bears. And sure enough, Jay Cutler shredded them for 370+ in a 2 TD defeat. I can't figure this team out, and it doesn't help that they are TERRIBLE the last 2 seasons away from the Georgia Dome. Meanwhile, in the time it takes you to read this pick, Joe Flacco will throw 3 more TD passes. Yes, I know Tampa Bay is one step away from losing a home game to the Miami Hurricanes, but the way that Flacco made it look easy last week was ridiculous. I don't expect the same from Flacco and Company this week by any means, but the Atlanta defense is god awful right now. If the Ravens secondary can keep "Matty Ice" (LOL by the way) in check, I think they cruise. Ravens win at home and the Falcons keep reeling.
Tennessee @ Washington: Does anybody care? There's a reason why you can currently buy seats to this game on StubHub for $14. Tennessee struggled last week to beat the Jaguars at home, while Washington continued to do what they do.....play terrible football in a loss at Arizona. I think predicting a 6-3 score for this game could be generous. I'll give Washington my pick for the win but honestly, does it matter?
Seattle @ St. Louis: Seattle lost at home to Dallas, and the defense gave up 30 at home. Two things that rarely happen separately, let alone in the same game. Meanwhile, the Rams were looking GREAT for a while, but that 80 yard bomb that Kaepernick threw at the end of the first half pretty much killed their chance to win that game. I think the Seahawks get back on track this week and pick up the win.
Cleveland @ Jacksonville: I'm really, really, REALLY tempted to pick the Jags this week. I mean, they're due for a win, right? Then I remembered that Cleveland is 3-2 but in reality could easily be 5-0. I never, ever thought I would heap praise on a Browns team, but damn if they haven't shown me something so far this year so far. I'll pick the Browns in this one, which means the Jags will probably eek out their first win of the year. But oh well.
Cincinnati @ Indianapolis: Easily one of the top 3-4 games of the weekend. Cincy got to kiss their sisters (or however that analogy goes) last week after tying the Panthers at home (good going Mike Nugent!), while Indy damn near let a 24-0 first quarter lead slip away at Houston but still found a way to win. I still have concerns with this Bengals team on one hand, and on the other hand, Andrew Luck is Andrew Luck. Close game here, but I'll take the Colts.
Minnesota @ Buffalo: Shoutout to the Vikings for making me look like an idiot in predicting a Detroit upset at home last week, but come on, you were playing against a team WITHOUT Calvin Johnson AND Reggie Bush AND a team with a god awful kicking game, and you STILL couldn't win? Meanwhile, Buffalo got their taste of their customary beatdown from Brady and the Patriots. Another non-compelling game to me, but one that I think the Bills will have no problem winning.
Miami @ Chicago: The Dolphins were THIS CLOSE to beating the Packers last week, and then Aaron Rodgers daggered them with 3 seconds left. Meanwhile, Chicago did exactly what I said they would do, and that's go to Atlanta and get a big W against the Falcons in their house. I look for that win to sort of kick start the rest of the season for Da Bears. They have a tough pair of games coming up after this week, so as long as they don't overlook the Dolphins, they'll win this one easily.
New Orleans @ Detroit: A pair of teams that for the life of me I just can't figure out. The Saints are so damn streaky from week to week, it's insane. Teams they should be beating, they either lose to or barely win. Same thing with the Lions. Another streaky team that I just don't get, yet their tied for first place in the NFC North with the Packers. For this matchup, I'm staying on the Drew Brees train until it crashes right off the tracks, which will come in week 12 ;). Saints go to the Dome and get the W.
Carolina @ Green Bay: This game has intrigue all over it. Carolina looked a lot better than I thought they would in their tie with the Bengals last week (it feels weird to say a tie, doesn't it?), while Green Bay all of a sudden has won 3 games in a row. The Packers statistically have the worst run defense in the league, but luckily for them Carolina can't run the ball worth a damn. The overall defense of the Panthers, combined with the fact that this game is in Cheesehead Country, makes me think that Rodgers and Company should get the W this weekend.
Kansas City @ San Diego: Welcome back from the bye week, Chiefs! Your reward? You get to play the 5-1, 5 game win streak, possible MVP led Chargers. Have fun! Seriously though, San Diego almost got beat by the Raiders last week, but then Rivers led them on a drive and forced a pick from Carr in the last minute to seal a close win. I think the Chiefs can keep this game interesting, but I still think Rivers and the Chargers will be too much in the end.
Arizona @ Oakland: THIS IS THE WEEK RAIDERS FANS!!!!! Yep, I'm calling it right now. The Raiders are going to win this game. I don't really have a distinct reason why, other than that I think Arizona is a very shaky/questionable team despite being 4-1. It's really just a gut feeling. Derek Carr showed me something last week when he damn near beat San Diego, and.....well, yeah, that's about it. I think Oakland wins. Yes, yes, I do. Rrrrrrraiders at home!
NY Giants @ Dallas: What the hell happened to the G-Men last week in Philly? I was expecting a shootout and the Eagles held their end of the bargain up, but the Giants sure didn't. 0 points? I couldn't believe it. And now they get to head to play Dallas, coming off of a league shaking win up in Seattle last week to get to 5-1. I think the Giants will put up a much better effort this week, but I think it won't be enough, and Dallas gets to 6-1 for the first time in a long time.
San Francisco @ Denver: Ready for the Peyton Manning lovefest? I mean my god, he's obviously gonna break Favre's record at some point, but this game is more compelling than that...or is it? San Fran didn't wake up for a while against the Rams last week, and they haven't looked that impressive this season. Meanwhile, Denver is...well, Denver. Great offense and a very solid defense. As for this game, I think the 49ers are going to have a tough time getting a whole lot going. Look for Peyton to break that TD record and for the Broncos to win.
Houston @ Pittsburgh: Another OUTSTANDING MNF game on the schedule!!! Zzzzzzzzz. But honestly, Houston dug themselves far too deep of a hole last week against the Colts to come back from, even though JJ Watt proved that he's still amazing. As for the Steelers, they got blown out in Cleveland. Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did. Their offense is still quite awful. I fully expect this game to be ugly, and I suspect I'll fall asleep at least once during it. But, the Steelers are at home, so, I guess I'll pick them.
Bring it on, Ryan!
Fleegle vs Ryan.
This week, we saw eye to eye on most of it, but there are a couple of discrepancies.
I picked the Cardinals to beat my Raiders, while Fleegle believes Derek Carr gives us a chance. (I almost hope I'm wrong... Almost).
And I'm taking JJ Swatt and the Texans while Conner is ringing the Bell of his Ravens' rival, the Steelers.