Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week Seven:
Sunday, October 21st, 2007
Arizona (3-3) at Washington (3-2) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Redskins by 8½)
Arizona lost at home to Carolina last week. They also lost QB Kurt Warner to an elbow injury. If Warner is unable to play this Sunday (which seems likely), the Cardinals will start either Tim Rattay or the newly-signed Tim Hasselbeck. And neither of those options looks terribly promising. Washington lost a close one at Green Bay last week. They’ve given up the fewest points in the NFC. I expect a rather boring, low-scoring game.
RJ’s Pick – REDSKINS BY 5
Atlanta (1-5) at New Orleans (1-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Saints by 9)
Last week, Atlanta got whipped at home by the Giants on MNF. QB Joey Harrington has now officially been benched in favor of Byron Leftwich, so we can safely place him on suicide watch. (The over/under is 14½ Xanax.) The Saints beat the Seahawks in Seattle on SNF last week to earn their first victory of the season. QB Drew Brees had his best game of the year by far, so it’s possible he’s back to his 2006 form. New Orleans should pull it off, but I wouldn’t be surprised by a close one.
RJ’s Pick – SAINTS BY 4
Baltimore (4-2) at Buffalo (1-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Ravens by 3)
Baltimore crushed the Rams last week, 22-3. The Ravens defense looked sub-par earlier in the season, but they’ve given up just 10 points in the last two games. And it’s a good thing, because their offense has only scored a single touchdown in those two contests (both wins). QB Steve McNair is still injured, so Kyle Boller will start again this week. The Bills had a bye last week. They have scored the second-fewest points in the league. Trent Edwards will start at QB again this week. I would be surprised to see more than 30 total points scored in this one.
RJ’s Pick – RAVENS BY 6
New England (6-0) at Miami (0-6) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Patriots by 16½)
New England beat the previously-undefeated Cowboys in Dallas last week. QB Tom Brady continues to amaze. He threw five TDs against the Cowboys, which puts him at 21 through six games. He has just 2 INTs all season, and his quarterback rating is a staggering 128.9. If Brady stays healthy, this team, quite simply, looks unbeatable. The Miami Dolphins lost to the Browns last week, and remain winless in 2007. Their defense continues to look horrible, giving up 41 points last week, for a total of 182 on the season, the second-most in the NFL. You aren’t going to win many games when your defense allows over thirty points per game. And it doesn’t help matters any when your starting quarterback recently had about 15 IQ points kicked out of his left ear by a defensive tackle … and your backup quarterback is named Cleo Lemon. This one is gonna be a slaughter.
RJ’s Pick – PATRIOTS BY 28
San Francisco (2-3) at New York Giants (4-2) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Giants by 9)
San Francisco had a bye last week. They haven’t won a game since Week Two, and they’ve scored the fewest points in the league. QB Alex Smith is still injured, so Trent Dilfer will start again this week. The Giants beat up on the Falcons last week on MNF. They haven’t lost a game since Week Two. WR Plaxico Burress has 8 TDs on the season, with at least one in each game. This one shouldn’t be particularly close.
RJ’s Pick – GIANTS BY 15
Tampa Bay (4-2) at Detroit (3-2) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Lions by 2)
Tampa Bay slipped past Tennessee last week, 13-10. Of all the teams that have played six games so far, the Buccaneers have given up the fewest points. And QB Jeff Garcia hasn’t thrown a pick all season. If Tampa Bay had any kind of running game, they’d be truly dangerous. But with RB Cadillac Williams out for the year, and RB Michael Pittman out for at least several more weeks, the Buccaneers will be forced to rely on Earnest Graham and the newly-acquired Michael Bennett at that position. Detroit had a bye last week. They’ve been blown out in two of their last three games. The Lions are pretty healthy coming off their bye week, and rookie WR Calvin Johnson is said to be almost fully recovered from the back injury he suffered in Week Three. This is a difficult game to pick, but Detroit is 2-0 at home and the Buccaneers are 1-2 on the road, so I’ll go with the home team (but barely).
RJ’s Pick – LIONS BY 1
Tennessee (3-2) at Houston (3-3) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Titans by 1½)
Tennessee lost last week at Tampa Bay. QB Vince Young left that game with a leg injury, but he could be healthy enough to start this week. If not, Kerry Collins will be the starter at quarterback. RB Chris Brown is also injured, and might miss Sunday’s game. The Houston Texans lost badly last week in Jacksonville. At 3-3, they are in last place in the AFC South; with that record, they’d be tied for first place in either the AFC West or the NFC West. QB Matt Schaub hasn’t thrown a TD since Week Four. This isn’t an easy game to pick; Tennessee has a superior defense, but Houston has the better offense. Both teams have some key injuries. I’ll have to go with the home team.
RJ’s Pick – TEXANS BY 3
Kansas City (3-3) at Oakland (2-3) – 4:05 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Raiders by 3)
Kansas City beat the Bengals last week. Of teams that have played six games, they’ve scored the third-fewest points. RB Priest Holmes looks likely to play in his first game of the season this week. The Raiders lost to San Diego last week, 28-14. RB LaMont Jordan is banged up a bit, and hasn’t had a big game since Week Three. QB Daunte Culpepper looked pretty bad last week against the Chargers. I’m going with the upset here.
RJ’s Pick – CHIEFS BY 2
New York Jets (1-5) at Cincinnati (1-4) – 4:05 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Bengals by 6)
The Jets lost at home to the Eagles last week. They’ve now lost three games in a row. Unless QB Chad Pennington can put up some huge numbers and get a win this week against the Bengals, his starting job is likely gone. Cincinnati lost last week at Kansas City. They haven’t won a game since Week One. Neither of these teams have a good defense, but the Bengals have a superior offense. Also, the Jets are winless on the road, while Cincinnati is .500 at home. Therefore, I’ll go with the Bengals in what I expect will be a high-scoring game.
RJ’s Pick – BENGALS BY 8
Chicago (2-4) at Philadelphia (2-3) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Eagles by 5½)
Chicago lost at home to Minnesota last week. The Bears have allowed 149 points so far this season, third-most in the NFC. Chicago’s best offensive weapon is their return specialist, Devin Hester. QB Brian Griese is throwing too many INTs. How long will it be before Bears fans start chanting “We Want Rex!!!”? Philadelphia won on the road against the Jets last week. They’ve given up the second-fewest points in the NFC. As long as they remember to punt the ball out of bounds, Philadelphia should be able to improve to .500 with a win here.
RJ’s Pick – EAGLES BY 7
Minnesota (2-3) at Dallas (5-1) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Dallas by 9½)
The Vikings won in Chicago last week. Rookie RB Adrian Peterson broke all kinds of records with his incredible performance in that game. He’s averaging 6.3 yards per carry and over 120 yards per game. The Vikings are lucky they have such a strong running game, because their Tarvaris Jackson-led passing attack is a joke. And not just any kind of joke, mind you, but a particularly cruel one, utterly bereft of even a modicum of humor, like telling your best friend that you just saw his mom by the side of the road, dead from a horrible accident involving a cement-mixer and a gasoline tanker truck, consoling him for a few moments, and then telling him that you were just kidding, actually it was his dad. (I’ll pause while you re-read all that.) The Cowboys lost at home to the Patriots last week. They’ve scored the most points in the NFC. Unfortunately, they tend to give up a lot of points as well. This game should be a high-scoring affair, and I expect Dallas to come away with the win.
RJ’s Pick – COWBOYS BY 7
Saint Louis (0-6) at Seattle (3-3) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Seahawks by 9)
The Rams lost last week, like they do every week. QB Gus Frerotte lost a fumble, threw five picks, and had zero TDs in the embarrassing 22-3 loss at Baltimore. Suddenly, Marc Bulger is “healthy” again, and will start under center this week. Seattle got beat at home by the Saints on SNF last week. They’ve now lost two in a row and have dropped to .500, yet still find themselves in a tie for first-place in the pathetic NFC West. RB Shaun Alexander is averaging under three yards per carry over his last two games. I don’t expect an upset, but it could be relatively close.
RJ’s Pick – SEAHAWKS BY 6
Pittsburgh (4-1) at Denver (2-3) – 8:15 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Steelers by 3½)
The Steelers had a bye last week. They have given up the fewest points in the NFL, by far. RB Willie Parker is having a fine season, and QB Ben Roethlisberger has played well in every game except the Week Four loss to Arizona. They may not earn a first-round playoff bye, but they certainly do look postseason-bound. Denver, on the other hand, does not. The Broncos had a bye last week, but lost three games in a row before that. They haven’t won since Week Two, and their two wins this year have come against Oakland (by three points, at home) and Buffalo (by one point, on a last-second field goal). RB Travis Henry is a bright spot, however, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and just shy of 100 yards per game. Pittsburgh should pick up the road win here.
RJ’s Pick – STEELERS BY 5
Monday, October 22nd, 2007
RJ’S GAME OF THE WEEK: Indianapolis (5-0) at Jacksonville (4-1) – 8:30 pm (Sheridan’s Line: Colts by 3)
The Colts had a bye last week. WR Marvin Harrison may not be ready to play in this MNF matchup, as he is still hobbled by a knee injury. The running back duo of Joseph Addai and Kenton Keith are going to need a big game against the solid run defense of Jacksonville. The Jaguars beat up on Houston last week, 37-17. They have given up the second-fewest points in the NFL. QB David Garrard has not thrown a single INT this season. The Colts are still undefeated, but they have looked quite beatable a couple times this year, and both near-losses were on the road. I’m picking the upset.
RJ’s Pick – JAGUARS BY 3
[Bye Week Teams: Carolina (4-2), Cleveland (3-3), Green Bay (5-1), San Diego (3-3)]
RJ’s Week Six Picks: WASHINGTON, NEW ORLEANS, BALTIMORE, NEW ENGLAND, NEW YORK GIANTS, DETROIT, HOUSTON, KANSAS CITY, CINCINNATI, PHILADELPHIA, DALLAS, SEATTLE, PITTSBURGH, JACKSONVILLE
- I picked TEN Home teams and FOUR Away teams
- I picked ELEVEN Favorites and THREE Underdogs