15 October 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: Week 7

It should be a doozy in the Circle City on Sunday night. Peyton Manning will make his first trip to Indianapolis since he left the club in the offseason last year. And not only is it a delectable matchup between Manning and Andrew Luck, this may potentially be the ripest opportunity to hand the Broncos their first loss of 2013. Can the Colts pull it off or will the Broncos keep on rolling to 7-0? Here are my picks for week seven.

Last Week: 11-4
2013: 57-33
Locks: 5-1

Thursday, October 17th
Seattle Seahawks (5-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) - NFL Network, 8:25
Sometimes when you have an injured kicker, disasters can occur and this certainly qualifies as such. That said, while the Seahawls fought hard with the Titans, they were able to crank out a win in a defensive showdown at home. While the Cardinals look to be better than they were a year ago, they are too reliant on the passing game thanks to a nonexistent run game, and considering how good Seattle is in pass defense, that could create some problems.
Seahawks 24 Cardinals 14

Sunday, October 20th
San Diego Chargers (2-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) - CBS, 1:00
You know what? The Jaguars went into Denver with many expecting them to be slaughtered and while it ended up not being close, they played the Broncos hard and were competitive for much of the game. But I don't think they'll have the same sort of motivation this week against San Diego, who should torch Jacksonville through the air with Philip Rivers leading the brigade.
Chargers 28 Jaguars 14

St. Louis Rams (3-3) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-3) - Fox, 1:00
Both of these teams were dominant in their victories on Sunday (combined score: 73-23). For St. Louis, their defense took advantage of five Houston turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) and Sam Bradford was not asked to do a lot and he was very efficient with three of his 12 completions being touchdowns. For the Panthers, they also took advantage of turnovers by Minnesota and Cam Newton was electric. I do think Carolina has the edge if Newton is cranking and if the Rams offense looks as underwhelming as it has.
Panthers 27 Rams 20

Dallas Cowboys (3-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) - Fox, 1:00
Neither of these teams have really been that impressive, but they are playing for first place in the great division that is the NFC East. Both offenses looked very good on Sunday but neither were playing anybody that could stop anything. But, the Eagles did struggle to slow down Mike Glennon with their pitiful pass defense and thus I don't have high hopes they can slow down Tony Romo. Should be plenty of offense though, and we love that.
Cowboys 42 Eagles 35

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) vs. Detroit Lions (4-2) - CBS, 1:00
I was a proponent of the Bengals before the season but they have yet to put together one singular impressive performance this far. They should have had one against the Bills this past week but they were sloppy and lazy down the stretch and allowed the game to get to overtime. The Lions have been better than expected in 2013 and while they did take a while to put away the Browns, they pulled away when it counts behind an excellent game by Matthew Stafford. This is a tough pick for me but I think Cincy's defense is strong enough to slow down the Lions just enough.
Bengals 27 Lions 24

Buffalo Bills (2-4) vs. Miami Dolphins (3-2) - CBS, 1:00
Thad Lewis came off the practice squad and took the Bills to a loss in overtime against Cincinnati when they really had no business doing so. The Duke product was able to give the club a spark that Jeff Tuel was not able to do so, but can we really expect that to happen again? I am not sold he can pull off a strong performance again now that there is some tape of him, especially against a solid club in Miami.
Dolphins 27 Bills 17

Chicago Bears (4-2) vs. Washington (1-4) - Fox, 1:00
At least Robert Griffin showed flashes of himself from last year for Washington and that is important, and even the defense was not awful against a Dallas attack that was sensational the week prior. The special teams was a mess and that cost them. Meanwhile, Chicago was able to get by the Giants in the Thursday game, which does not really show that much considering how much of a disaster New York is right now. I like Matt Forte to carve up the Washington defense and the Bears will get a winning streak going.
Bears 27 Redskins 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) - Fox, 1:00
Mike Glennon actually showed a solid amount of game this past week against Philadelphia, but he was not able to get it done as they fell 31-20. Meanwhile, the Falcons lost a tight one to the Jets when we last saw them and then they lost Julio Jones for the year. The Falcons could really need a win to keep their season from plunging into darkness, and Tampa Bay looks like a good team to get one of those. Atlanta is my Lock of the Week.
Falcons 31 Buccaneers 23

New England Patriots (5-1) vs. New York Jets (3-3) - CBS, 1:00
The Jets have been hit-or-miss in 2013, as has their rookie quarterback Geno Smith as he followed up a strong performance at Atlanta with a subpar effort at home against Pittsburgh (I know we can't criticize him according to some, but the hell with that), but at least they have been better than many thought they would be. The Patriots looked dead to rights late but somehow Tom Brady uncorked a late drive that ended with a winning touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with seconds left. With how good the Pats have looked on defense, I think they will confound Smith once again and pull away with a tough but key victory.
Patriots 21 Jets 13

San Francisco 49ers (4-2) vs. Tennessee Titans (3-3) - Fox, 4:05
The Titans have lost a pair in a row since Jake Locker was injured against the Jets and I don't know many that are surprised, considering Ryan Fitzpatrick has been filling in and has been generally ineffective. Locker will be back this week but coming back from injury, I am just not certain how good he will look against a strong San Francisco defense, especially as Chris Johnson has been garbage. Their solid defense will keep them in it for a while.
49ers 23 Titans 12

Cleveland Browns (3-3) vs. Green Bay Packers (3-2) - CBS, 4:25
Have you seen this beauty by Brandon Weeden? I mean, of all the awful interceptions I have seen this year around the league, I think that takes the cake. That said, the Browns did control the first half and went into halftime leading by ten points, but they then got rolled by the Lions in the second. Green Bay now has shown that they can win sloppy, grinding games and while Cleveland will give it a shot, I like the Packers to extend their winning streak.
Packers 33 Browns 21

Houston Texans (2-4) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6-0) - CBS, 4:25
Well it is going downhill and it is going downhill fast for the Texans, and the core reason why that is is because of the quarterback play. Matt Schaub was ineffective yet again against St. Louis and after he injured his ankle (which was classlessly cheered by Houston fans, who are getting rightfully called out by Schaub's teammates), T.J. Yates came in and promptly threw a pick six. And bad quarterback play is not what you want to have against an excellent KC defense.
Chiefs 31 Texans 17

Baltimore Ravens (3-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) - CBS, 4:25
The Steelers finally got their first win in the Meadowlands and while it was not an impressive win, they did confound Geno Smith and was able to put up enough offense to get the victory. Can they keep their season alive a little longer and get a key divisional win? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend. Yes, the Ravens have been pretty disappointing offensively this year (although Joe Flacco looked much better in the loss to Green Bay), but they have been much more consistent than has Pittsburgh.
Ravens 19 Steelers 14

Denver Broncos (6-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) - NBC, 8:25
As I mentioned in the intro to this piece, this has all the storylines that make television executives quiver in their seats, and I'll tell you what, I think this is the week the Broncos will suffer their first loss. They have shown a weakness against the pass, which has been in part due to the fact they have been in shootouts seemingly every week, but also due to a second-rate secondary. I think Andrew Luck has the game and the weapons to outduel Peyton Manning and I think, with a chip on his shoulder, he will come out on top.
Colts 38 Broncos 35

Monday, October 21st
Minnesota Vikings (1-4) vs. New York Giants (0-6) - ESPN, 8:30
Quite frankly, it really could not get any worse if you are the Giants, I cannot think of any saving grace. Every part of the team has been a disaster. They can't run the ball. Eli Manning is a mess. The offensive line is missing in action. The defense is a fiasco. Meanwhile, the Vikings just got crushed by Carolina. Matt Cassel clearly is not the answer under center, they are done with Christian Ponder it looks like and Josh Freeman will probably start this week. Considering New York have not been unable to tackle anyone, looks like a good matchup for Adrian Peterson.
Vikings 21 Giants 17

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