Friday, October 22, 2004

NFL: Week 7 picks

St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins… St. Louis
I won’t embarrass myself by picking Miami again. However, if Miami were just a little bit better of a football team, this would have all the makings of an upset. I’m not sold on this St. Louis team. They struggled to beat Tampa Bay last Monday night. That being said, there’s little hope for Miami’s defense to hold up against this high-powered Rams offense. Provided Martz has his team focused, there’s not much hope for Miami to break its six game losing streak.

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings… Minnesota
As of yet, nobody’s been able to stop Daunte Culpepper. I don’t see anything in Tennessee’s 22nd ranked defense to suggest they will slow down Culpepper. Clearly, this is not the same Tennessee of year’s past. A solid defensive unit will eventually put a stop to Culpepper. But it’s not Tennessee this week. Like I said last week, it may take 40 points, but Minnesota will pull out a win.

Detroit Lions at New York Giants… Giants
Frankly, Detroit is a very bad 3-2 club. Their offense and defense are both among the worst in the league. They got crushed last week by a flailing Green Bay Packers team. Tom Coughlin has had two weeks to prepare the Giants for this contest. The only chance Detroit has is if Kurt Warner reverts back to his turnover prone days in St. Louis. With Tiki Barber finally learning how to run without fumbling, the Giants have too much firepower for the Lions.

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers… Tampa Bay
I’ll use this space to comment on Brian Griese’s resurgence. Remember last year when, ensured with the Wade Smith protection plan, Griese looked awful. Armed with a decent offensive line, he’s done fairly well in his first two games. It’s hard to imagine Rex Grossman leading the Bears to victory, far less his replacement Jonathan Quinn. In a battle of bad football teams, I’ll go with the hosting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns… Philadelphia
Until Philly shows some signs of weakness, I’ll continue to feel confident about picking them. For Cleveland to have any chance in this game, they must establish the running game with William Green. I can’t see Philadelphia losing this game, even at Browns Stadium.

San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers… San Diego
I’m surprised to see San Diego coming into this game as the underdog. While I’m not sold on this team, they would seem to have enough to ward off the 1-4 Panthers. Carolina does get a lift this week with the return of RB Stephen Davis. Carolina doesn’t have a strong enough front four to stop LaDanian Tomlinson. Drew Brees can make enough big plays to pull off a slight upset and win on the road in Carolina. San Diego came within one point of beating a very good Atlanta Falcons team on the road. That’s enough to convince me they can hang with Carolina, a much inferior team to Atlanta.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis… Indianapolis
This is the second meeting of the year between these two AFC South rivals. I see no reason to expect Jacksonville to emerge victorious this time. Jacksonville surprised me last week by beating the struggling Chiefs. It would shock me more to see them pull off the upset on the road in Indianapolis, where the Colts have a tremendous advantage on the artificial turf. Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich is banged up with a bad knee and listed as questionable.

Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs… Atlanta
How in the hell is Kansas City a four-point favorite in this game? I keep saying that K.C. will get this thing turned around, but it never seems to happen. Atlanta’s not great, but there must be a reason they keep on winning. Michael Vick will run this porous Chiefs defense ragged.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens… Baltimore
This game is close because of the absence of Jamal Lewis, serving the first of his two game NFL suspension. Buffalo will try to run Willis McGahee as much as possible. Drew Bledsoe can be forced into making bad plays by the aggressive Ravens defensive unit. The experts seem to like Buffalo on the road. I still think that Baltimore wins without much offense. Look at how they beat the Redskins two weeks ago with no offense.

New York Jets at New England Patriots… New England
The Jets have reason to be confident coming into this game. They are 5-0 and could take the AFC East lead with a victory. My prediction is fairly simple. I’ll take New England until they give me reason to doubt them. I may very well lose this one, but I’ll probably get 13 wins this season by picking them.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals… Seattle
Seattle has struggled in losing their past two games. No matter how downtrodden they feel, there’s no way they get beaten by the Cardinals. Seattle needs to be careful with the ball. Provided they don’t self-destruct, there’s no reason to pick against them.

New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders… Oakland
I wish I could pick neither team in this game. I believe Oakland is a little bit better than they showed last week vs. Denver. Somewhere, this team has to have enough pride to beat the equally abysmal Saints of New Orleans. Thank God nobody outside the Bay Area and New Orleans regions will be subjected to this abortion of a football game.

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers…Packers
I’m holding off on this game. I’m not convinced that Green Bay is back. Their victory last week was against a very overrated Lions team. However, it’s hard to imagine Green Bay being winless at home after four games. On the other hand, Parcells has lost two games in a row. It’s hard for me to see how he lets his team lose three straight. Of all the Week 7 games, this one gives me the most to think about. UPDATE: I reluctantly choose the Green Bay Packers to win this football game.

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals… Denver
There was a time when I thought Cincinnati would have a good year. After getting burned on multiple occasions, I’m picking the favored Broncos. They seem to have their act together on both sides of the ball, leading the league in scoring defense. Cincinnati will have emotion of their side in what is the team’s first MNF game in nearly a decade. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that Carson Palmer has twice as many interceptions as TD passes.


Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

It seems to me like you are getting smart now with your picks. Keep choosing teams that you know win on a consistent basis.

October 22, 2004 at 7:26 PM  

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