17 October 2013

2013 Week 7 Picks

This Sunday, the Eagles host Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.

Well, OK, first place not even halfway through the season. In a division that could very well be won at 8-8, or maybe even 7-9.

Get excited.

The Eagles are still missing starting QB Mike Vick,  although we were all one big happy family at the joint Foles/Vick presser today. Sort of.


Those smiles look a little pasted on to me, no?

Anyhow, Foles is starting.

On the Cowboys side of "who's hurt this week?" both DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware may be out. I suspect Ware is the bigger loss, since the Cowboys offense has - so far - been pretty pass-oriented. Which is not good news for the Eagles dreadful secondary.

Weirdly, the two teams are not only both at 3-3, but nearly have identical records. By "identical" I mean: they've both beat the Redskins and Giants, and both lost to the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers. The Cowboys managed to beat the 3-3 Rams at home, and the Eagles beat the 0-5 Buccaneers on the road.

Have I mentioned that the Eagles haven't won at home in a million years?

Still, I have a good feeling about this game (which may be a bad sign). Assuming the defense can force a few mistakes from Tony Romo (not usually that tough a task), and that Foles can attack their Ware-less defense, I think the Eagles can win this one.  Hey, they have to win at home again eventually, right?

In the rest of the matchups

Seahawks at Cardinals: The Seahawks are mortal when they aren't at home. Except against the Cardinals, who won't be able to score on their ferocious defense or contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch. The Cards have been averaging under 100 yards rushing allowed per game. I don't think that's going to hold up tonight. Seahawks.

Buccaneers at Falcons: Can the Falcons right their struggling team against a rookie quarterback at home? I think so, even without Julio Jones. Falcons.

Rams at Panthers: Last week, the Rams shocked the Texans (and most of the football-viewing world) with an upset win in Houston. Can they do it again? I don't think so, and not because of Cam Newton but thanks to their quietly very good defense. Cardinals.

Bengals at Lions: The Bengals have a top 10 defense against both the pass (Megatron, I'm looking at you) and the rush (Reggie Bush, same). I think they pull out the upset win as a result. Bengals.

Chargers at Jaguars: You know, if the Jaguars had any real offense to speak of, they could probably win this game. Sadly, they do not. Chargers.

Bills at Dolphins: Bills. I know, I know - the Bills are running through QBs at such a furious pace they actually had to sign Matt Flynn this week (oy vey). But Thad Lewis is making his second start this week, and they have a pretty decent receiver, maybe you've heard of him, Marquise Goodwin? I think they can pull out a win against a well-known divisional opponent.

Patriots at Jets: One of my cousin's friends was chatting with me about his fantasy picks for week 7. He has both Tom Brady and Nick Foles, and made a strong case for sitting Brady and starting Foles. As my uncle pointed out, all Tom Brady does is win games, and that's true (sometimes with a little help from his friends, otherwise known as "the officials"). Of course, it's pretty damn hard to score on the Jets defense these days, and I think that's the difference maker in this game. Despite their surprising loss to the Steelers last week, and in full knowledge that Chef Spouse is going to kill me, I'm going with the (upset pick alert!) Jets.

Bears at Redskins: Both teams are deeply flawed at this point, but Jay Cutler has a decent O-line and is getting the ball out fast, which means he should be able to gash the Redskins pretty badly. Call it a road win for the Bears, keeping pace with the Packers.

49ers at Titans: The Titans are quietly putting together a pretty good season, and the 49ers are not exactly lighting it up this year. I think this will be a low-scoring defensive battle, but I give the slight edge to the 49ers ball hogging, high-scoring secondary. 49ers.

Browns at Packers: Packers. Brandon Weeden is, as some have pointed out, not good, so the fact that Clay Matthews is out for a while shouldn't matter.

Texans at Chiefs: The Texans really should be winning some games. Even with Matt Schaub's struggles, their defense is still stout. Does Big Red make it 7 in a row? Looking at the stats, they say no, but I'm going Chiefs in another upset pick. That's three!

Ravens at Steelers: You know, this used to be a widely anticipated game, where two defensive powerhouses could be counted on to whale on each other for 60 minutes, every yard and point hotly contested, the winner being decided by who could both inflict and withstand the most punishment. Now the people who watch this game are the ones who are going to be punished. It will, no doubt, be a typically low-scoring affair, but only because both teams are so bad at this point. I'm going with the Steelers, because I believe Heinz Field still creates a homefield advantage, contrary to what we've seen so far this season.

Broncos at Colts: Great. Another week of the sports commentariat carrying Peyton's jock day and night. Look, we get it: he's a talented quarterback. He played for both teams. He won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Thanks largely to the excellent year he's having, the Broncos are putative favorites for this year's Super Bowl. Well, to hell with all of that. I'm going with the youngster who plays for the more balanced team. Colts. (Chef Spouse says I'm just picking them because I think Peyton will get confused and throw to the wrong team.)

Vikings at Giants: Will the Giants finally snap their losing streak? I think so, and at home, and on Monday Night Football. Pull it together, Eli. Giants.

On bye: Raiders, Saints

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