The New York Giants have quietly established themselves as the best team in the NFC behind maybe only the Atlanta Falcons, and if those two teams played today i would be taking the Giants. Washington is coming to town with a chip on their shoulder as they try to recover from early season injuries and ride the maturation of rookie QB, Robert Griffin III. T-Money's favorite player, RG3, is legit and will be for years to come, but Sunday will be all about the Giants as they confuse him with different defensive looks and bring constant pressure. Eli is continuing to play at an elite level regardless of who is catching the ball and the Giants can still run it down your throat. Giants for the win going away.
St. Louis is a decent team stuck in a tough division this season. They return home to face a team that is hoping to build off last weeks dismantling of the Houston Texans. Both the Packers and Rams have records that do not show how much potential each team has. The Rams have a good pressure defense and an offense that hopes for close games. The Packers have and explosive offense and a defense that appears to be rounding into form. Playing indoors always favors the home team, but it also favors a pass happy team like the Packers. Rodgers should continue to spread the ball around creating tough matchups for the Rams and giving the Packers their fourth win of the season.
A battle of the worst as the Browns head to Indianapolis, or is it? Cleveland is not making the playoffs this season thanks to a poor start and a tough schedule the rest of the way, but they look like a team that is building well for the future. There are nice looking, young pieces in RB Trent Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden that have kept the Browns in every game this season. They are clearly still building, but the future is bright. The Colts offer a similar situation with Andrew Luck growing in his first year, but with far fewer solid pieces around him. The Browns will be looking for their first road win of the season and will get it.
The Dallas Cowboys must follow up last week's effort with a win this week on the road in Carolina. The Panthers have a sophomore slumping Cam Newton and little else. Tony Romo is a good QB that must improve decision making, but also get consistent play from his receivers. Dez Bryant had a nice game against the Ravens, but if he hadn't dropped two key passes the Cowboys would have won the game. The Cowboys must and will destroy the withering Panthers even on the road.
Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a good team? They are not a playoff team, so by Pittsburgh's standards no they are not. This week will tell a lot about them as they travel to Cincinnati. Shutting down AJ Green has proven impossible this season, but the rest of the Bengals offense needs to come along with him to be a consistent threat each week. Beating the Steelers would give them confidence and push them towards a playoff run the last half of the season. Big Ben Roethlisberger will have something to say about it as he makes play after play keeping the Steelers afloat, but it will not be enough this week. Cincy for the win.
Best game of the week goes to the Ravens at Texans. Baltimore has the test of battling through key injuries while the Texans must put up or shut up about being the best team in the AFC. The Texans looked mediocre against the Packers giving up a ton of yards in the air and even getting run on by one of the worst running games in the league. Baltimore is also getting run on a lot lately and is susceptible to big plays. Great running games on both sides in Arian Foster and Ray Rice will put each team in a tough way and show who can step up when facing adversity. The Ravens have looked much better this season in the passing game as Joe Flacco has thrown the ball down the field with accuracy. If he continues that on Sunday, the Ravens will keep this close down to the wire. Houston for the close win as Baltimore tries to find it's new defensive identity without leader Ray Lewis, just as Houston did last week in the absence of Brian Cushing.
Week 7 picks:
- Packers -5 at Rams
- Titans at Bills -3.5
- Browns +2 at Colts
- Cardinals +6.5 at Vikings
- Redskins at Giants -6
- Saints at Buccaneers +2
- Cowboys -2 at Panthers
- Ravens +7 at Texans
- Jaguars +6 at Raiders
- Jets at Patriots -10.5
- Steelers at Bengals +1
- Lions at Bears -6.5
One less game so be sure to follow some new teams a little more closely. We are near the half way point at which teams should have an identity, or start looking to 2013. Enjoy your football!