After Week 7 we learned a few things about several teams. New England returned to their 2007 form, the Jets may be overrated, and maybe the Raiders aren’t that bad. So with nearly one fifth of the league on bye and a game in London, let’s go on to Week 7.
Packers (+7.5) over BROWNS
Cleveland is a really bad team. Their former first-rounder now backup quarterback Brady Quinn can’t even regain the starting job from a guy who went 2-17 last week. Their only remaining offensive weapon, after trading tight end Kellen Winslow this off-season and Braylon Edwards a few weeks ago, is 30 year old runningback Jamal Lewis. The Pack has one of the top run defenses, so I don’t see this game staying within 10.
Chargers (-4.5) over CHIEFS
The Chargers have underperformed, yet again, this year while the Chiefs have played better than a one win team. However, the Bolts have too much talent to lose to the lowly Chiefs. Both teams have terrible run defenses, so aging runningbacks LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson may return to 2006 form. 4.5 points is too low for San Diego and they will have to show up against poor teams sooner rather than later.
TEXANS (-3.5) over 49ers
The number six scoring offense of the Texans will match up against the number nine scoring defense of the Niners. The Texans have underachieved on defense, even though they have stars across the board in Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, Dunta Robinson, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing and more. Watch out for a big game from Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree, but an even bigger one from Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, and Steve Slaton.
Colts (-13.5) over Rams
The Rams have played fantastic this year and have definitely been a top 2 team in the league. This is a huge spread, but Peyton Manning is by far the MVP of the season so far. He has turned a second year receiver from Mount Union, Pierre Garcon, into a miniature version of Reggie Wayne, and a rookie from BYU, Austin Collie, into Wes Welker. Steven Jackson should score his first touchdown of the year against the atrocious Indy run D, but it won’t be enough to keep the game within two TDs.
STEELERS (-4.5) over Vikings
The dome homed Vikings will get their first taste of cold weather and harsh away crowds in this game as Brett Favre returns to his type of weather. This is a must-win for the 4-2 Steelers who need to separate themselves from the Bengals and Ravens. The Vikings are a deceiving 6-0 with miracle 40+ yard throws to win the game vs. Minnesota and Baltimore, so I see a wake-up call coming to the Vikes.
Patriots (-14.5) over BUCCANEERS
The NFL should be ashamed to have this be the London game this year. The past two matchups (Giants vs. Dolphins and Chargers vs. Saints) but this will be a blowout. Last week, Tom Brady returned to true Tom Brady form as he and the Patriots put up 59 point on the winless Titans, including five in the second quarter. The Bucs are far less talented then the Titans, but don’t look for another 59 point win. London look out for a Boston Massacre…of the Bucs.
PANTHERS (-7.5) over Bills
Neither team is great and its hard to say that the Panthers are more than a touchdown better than Buffalo, but the Bills have the worst run defense in the NFL. With the combination of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers should run all over the Bills. Last week, Carolina ran for 267 yards against a Tampa defense that allows ten less yards rushing per game than the Bills. Buffalo will also be missing starting QB Trent Edwards so Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the nod. Not a good sign for aging wide outs Terrell Owens and Lee Evans.
RAIDERS (+6.5) over Jets
The Jets are way better than the Raiders, but some key stats say that this game should be a loss for the Jets and the Sanchize. Last season, the Jets had four West Coast games, and they lost all four of them. In the last 18 games versus the Raiders, the Jets are 3-14-1. Mark Sanchez is tied for first/last in interceptions, tied with JAKE DELHOMME!!! The Jets have lost three straight and and Raiders won a huge game against the Eagles. Therefore, I love the Raiders at home. So…who have the Jets actually beat? A winless Titans squad, an out-of-synch Patriots, and the .500 Texans. Not that impressive anymore.
BENGALS (-1.5) over Bears
This is going to be a game of revenge for the Bengals. Cedric Benson and Tank Johnson were cut by the Bears after underperforming and getting into legal trouble. Look for Benson to run angry for over 120 yards and two, yes two, touchdowns and Johnson to get at least one sack.
Falcons (+3.5) over COWBOYS
This is a ridiculous spread. The Falcons are better in every single way except for a home stadium. If not for the band of fans and media surrounding the Cowboys at all time, they would be considered a mediocre team, which they should be. Matty Ice is the best young quarterback in the league and Romo isn’t that good. What on earth has Tony Romo done? Fumbled away a playoff win? I like the Falcons to win the game so gimme the points because this is the Lock of the Week.
Saints (-6.5) over DOLPHINS
The Saints absolutely crushed the Giants number one ranked defense for 41 points. Their offense is so good, that they have the three more points then the second ranked Vikings with one less game played! The Dolphins had two weeks to prepare for the Saints, but it doesn’t really matter how much time their 18th ranked pass defense has, they’re going to lose. The Wildcat can only do so much to help you win.
Cardinals (+7.5) over GIANTS
As I just said, the Giants were trounced by the pass-heavy Saints offense for 41 points, and the Cards have a very similar offense with runningback by committee and lots of great receivers. The Cardinals will be missing second receiver Anquan Boldin, but Steve Breaston and Jeremy Urban will pick up the slack. The Giants really miss safety Kenny Phillips, corner Aaron Ross and linebacker Michael Boley. Plus, the anointed bets from seven ever just hasn’t showed up as expected. Maybe the Giants just aren’t as good as we thought. I like Cards plus more than a touchdown.
Eagles (+7.5) over REDSKINS
Daniel Snyder just stripped front coach Jim Zorn of his play calling duties for Sherm Lewis, who was hired just two weeks ago, after calling bingo games for seniors and being retired from football for five years. There is no way this is going to turn out well for the ‘Skins. Donovan McNabb won’t let the Eagles lose two straight. This game will not even be close.
Last Week: 8-6
Lock of the Week: 3-2