20 October 2006

2006 Week 7 Picks

The Bucs are definitely looking better, and they sure handed the Bengals the surprise of the week last Sunday. Gradkowski's strong and elusive, and we've had some trouble finishing tackles and sacks. Their D's not nearly as punishing as it's been in the last few years, but they're still pretty decent against the pass, which could present some problems for our pass-happy offense.

The X factor? Gruden knows how to coach against us. He's 3-1 against the Eagles, including our 2nd of 3 NFC Championship Game losses in 2002 and the loss of our very first game at the Linc to open the 2003 season.

We need to do a better job of converting 3rd downs, and our D needs to stop playing great 80% of the time and giving up HUGE plays 20% of the time.

On the other hand, D-Mac is still the #1 QB in the NFL. Stallworth's likely to be back. Big Red has publicly committed to try to get Westbrook, Buck, and Moats more touches. Our D is going to give the Bucs' relatively inexperienced O line and very inexperienced QB fits. Look for Jim Johnson to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the kid. We've done a decent job of shutting down running backs, so Cadillac should have a Yugo day. If JJ lets the D attack, and AR doesn't insist that every play be a 50 yard bomb, look for us to win comfortably.

In other matchups...

Panthers haven't lost since Steve Smith came back. Bengals are banged up. How do you see that playing out? Me, too. Panthers go to 5-2.

The Jets have been better but not great (or even really good) this year. But that should still be plenty good enough to take the Lions.

Packers/Dolphins is my official pick for Most Painful Game of the Week. Also? Please retire already, Favre. Seriously.

Aw man, now the poor Texans have to play the Jags. Couldn't they get a week where they get to play the Frankfurt Galaxy or something? I'm starting to feel bad for David Carr. He's been down so much, his skin's probably turning green.

No reason to think the Patriots won't easily handle the Bills. Likewise Steelers, the Falcons. Steelers have their mojo back, and they should have little trouble shutting down Mike Vick.

The Chargers are good even when they're bad, and Chiefs are barely good even when they're great. The AFC West is all about the Broncos and the Chargers this year.

Speaking of the Broncos, the Browns...are also having a really bad year. Which will not improve this week. And they already burned their bye. Oy.

Cardinals, fresh off the almost-upset of the Bears, will surprise no one by killing the Raiders.

Vikings are actually looking pretty good (yay, Brad Childress!), but probably not good enough to beat the Seahawks, even without Shaun Alexander.

The Skins prospects aren't looking up this week as they face the Colts. Although, the Colts' big weakness is defending the rush. Which means, given the way this year's going for them, the Skins will probably decide to sit Clinton Portis because, oh hell, I don't know - Al Saunders didn't like his Thursday press conference outfit. I'd love to see somebody beat the Colts sooner rather than later, but I don't think it's going to be the Skins and I don't think it's going to be this week.

And the big Monday night: Giants/Cowboys. Can't they both lose? Are you sure? Damn.

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