PFT’s Week Seven picks

AP

Last week, Rosenthal and I disagreed on four games:  Eagles-Redskins, 49ers-Lions, Panthers-Falcons, and Bills-Giants.

And I picked the Redskins, Lions, Panthers, and Bills.

Rosenthal now leads by six games.  The bastard.

For the week, he was 11-2.  (I was 7-6.)  For the year, he’s 63-27 and I’m 57-33.

This week, we disagree on three.  So I’ll be nine back by Monday.

Redskins at Panthers

Florio’s take:  The Panthers have had a crippling schedule to date, and they’ve been competitive in each of their five losses.  The Redskins have worked their way to 3-2 against a less daunting slate of opponents.  Throw in the fact that the ‘Skins are banged up and John Beck is getting his first start despite a belief in the locker room (at least in the mind of Santana Moss) that Rex Grossman should have kept the job, and it’s time for the Panthers to get an overdue second win.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 24, Redskins 17.

Rosenthal’s take: This sets up as the perfect first start for John Beck. Carolina is on a three-game losing streak. The Panthers defense is searching for answers. Cam Newton is starting to get a little loose with the ball.  And I still think Beck will find a way to lose.

Rosenthal’s pick: Panthers 24, Redskins 20.

Seahawks at Browns

Florio’s take:  Browns president Mike Holmgren gets his first crack at the team he coached longer than the team with which he’s most identified — the Packers.  Sure, Holmgren isn’t coaching the Browns.  But the Big Show is running the production in Cleveland, and the Browns have roughly equivalent talent.  Though Holmgren’s new team isn’t ready to have the same kind of success that his old team had, his new team should be able to hold serve at home.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 20, Seahawks 13.

Rosenthal’s take: It’s amazing the winner of this game will be 3-3. I heard talk in Cleveland that the Browns season is in real trouble if they lose to a team like Seattle, but the Seahawks have played better football this season. Colt McCoy is no more efficient than Charvaris Jackhurst.  If I could choose a tie, I would.

Rosenthal’s pick: Browns 23, Seahawks 21.

Falcons at Lions

Florio’s take:  It’s time to find out how the Lions handle adversity.  We’ve seen them come back from 20- and 24-point deficits, but the sense of invincibility has been shattered with that loss to the 49ers.  Also, the running game has taken a hit with Jahvid Best’s latest concussion and the scuttling of the trade for Ronnie Brown.  But the Lions remain an elite NFC team . . . just like the Falcons were in 2010.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 27, Falcons 16.

Rosenthal’s take: This is a huge game for Atlanta. They haven’t been over .500 all year or played well on the road. These two teams could be battling for a wild card spot, and Atlanta will have a lot of ground to make up if they lose. At some point Atlanta has to beat NFC contenders. They’ve lost to three already, and Detroit’s defensive line should ensure this becomes the fourth.

Rosenthal’s pick: Lions 31, Falcons 23.

Broncos at Dolphins

Florio’s take:  The Suck for Luck Elimination Tour heads to Sun Life Stadium, where the Dolphins can’t win — which means they can’t lose their crack at the Stanford quarterback.  Tim Tebow’s first start of the 2011 season comes against one of the few teams he can beat.  And that’s just fine with Dolphins fans.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 20, Dolphins 10.

Rosenthal’s take: I’m picking the Dolphins out of mercy.  Losing to the Broncos on Tim Tebow Appreciation day in Miami seems like an unnecessarily cruel way for Tony Sparano to go out. The football gods aren’t that vengeful.

Rosenthal’s pick: Dolphins 27, Broncos 20.

Chargers at Jets

Florio’s take:  This one became a lot more interesting on Wednesday, with Jets coach Rex Ryan taking an unintended shot at Norv Turner and with Turner firing back in uncharacteristic fashion.  Beating the Dolphins hardly cures what’s wrong with the Jets, and the Chargers have the horses to make the trek across the country and move their record to 5-1, even though LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie will be relishing this crack at their former team.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 20, Jets 17.

Rosenthal’s take: The Chargers haven’t looked very impressive while jumping out to a 4-1 record, but they should have Antonio Gates back. The Jets have looked even less impressive at 3-3. The offensive coaches have put the training wheels back on Mark Sanchez. The run defense has holes. Monday’s ugly win, however, feels like it’s going to be a springboard for more ugly wins to come.

Rosenthal’s pick: Jets 28, Chargers 23.

Bears at Buccaneers

Florio’s take:  If the Bears play like they did last week, the Bucs don’t have a chance.  But the last time the Bears looked great, against the Falcons, I fooled myself into thinking they could keep it up against a solid team from the NFC South.  The Bucs rebounded incredibly well from a thrashing in San Fran, and they’re not likely to continue to build on unlikely momentum that has taken them to the top of the division.

Florio’s pick:  Buccaneers 28, Bears 19.

Rosenthal’s take: The Bucs think that getting to London four days before the Bears will give them an advantage.  Another plus: Chicago didn’t magically solve their offensive problems in one win. Josh Freeman is coming off his best game of the season and can expose Chicago’s young safeties.

Rosenthal’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Bears 24.

Texans at Titans

Florio’s take:  The team that used to be in Houston and the team that currently is in Houston are the only two teams with a realistic shot at winning the AFC South.  Sunday’s round one will go a long way toward deciding a division that ultimately could be settled in Week 17, when the rematch unfolds.  It’s time for the hard-luck Texans to make some good luck for themselves.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 24, Titans 20.

Rosenthal’s take: The biggest game of the NFL weekend. If the Titans win, they have a two-game lead in the loss column in the AFC South. If the Texans win, they look like division favorites with a favorable schedule on the way.  Wade Phillips will copy Pittsburgh’s gameplan to slow Matt Hasselbeck down. The Texans still have enough talent on defense to pull it off.

Rosenthal’s pick: Texans 28, Titans 21.

Steelers at Cardinals

Florio’s take:  This rematch of Super Bowl XLIII features two teams that have gone in very different directions since February 2009.  But the Steelers aren’t quite the same squad when they leave Heinz Field, and former Pittsburgh assistants Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm will be looking both to settle scores and to avoid sliding to 1-5.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 20, Steelers 17.

Rosenthal’s take: The Steelers defense is suddenly first in yards allowed. They got ranked that high by mauling shaky offensive lines like Seattle and Jacksonville.  Look for more of the same this week.  There may not be a tackle combination in the league worse than Levi Brown and Brandon Keith.

Rosenthal’s pick: Steelers 20, Cardinals 13.

Chiefs at Raiders

Florio’s take:  Whether it’s Carson Palmer or Kyle Boller or Terrelle Pryor or JaMarcus Russell or Jeff George or Ken Stabler, the Raiders are riding the “just win, baby” vibe, and they seem to be on their way to a playoff berth.  One way to get there is to continue their recent mastery of the AFC West.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 27, Chiefs 23.

Rosenthal’s take: I’d pick the Raiders even if Kyle Boller were starting. Heck, I’d pick the Raiders even if Florio’s buddy Brett Favre were starting.  Oakland is built on aggressive line play on both sides of the ball, not their quarterbacks.  Kansas City’s season has been built on beating two bad teams.

Rosenthal’s pick: Raiders 26, Chiefs 20.

Rams at Cowboys

Florio’s take:  Like the Jets on Monday night, the Cowboys need to chase a loss at New England with a confidence builder against a winless team.  After the Cowboys climb back to .500, they’ll think they’re a playoff team.  At least for a week.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 31, Rams 17.

Rosenthal’s take: Someone asked me this week what losing team had the best chance to make the playoffs. I went with the Cowboys. The defense is way further along than expected. The three losses were to the 49ers, Lions, and Patriots. The offense has enough talent. Finally, the schedule eases up a bit starting now.

Rosenthal’s pick: Cowboys 37, Rams 17.

Packers at Vikings

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Packers embarrassed the Vikings in the Metrodome, at a time when the Vikings were better than they now are — and the Packers were worse.  This one could make Donovan McNabb happy he was benched.

Florio’s pick:  Packer 42, Vikings 20.

Rosenthal’s take: No rookie quarterback looked more overmatched in August than Christian Ponder. Cam Newton also struggled somewhat in August, but I know Cam Newton.  I’ve watched Cam Newton.  Cam Newton is a friend of mine.  Christian Ponder is no Cam Newton.  (Note: I’m not actually friends with Cam Newton.)

Rosenthal’s pick: Packers 30, Vikings 10.

Colts at Saints

Florio’s take:  The rematch of Super Bowl XLIV would have been a great one for NBC, if Peyton Manning were playing.  Instead, it’ll simply be a great one for the Saints.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 38, Colts 21.

Rosenthal’s take: Indianapolis’ loss to the Saints in the Super Bowl suddenly feels like a long time ago. The big drama that regular season was whether the Colts would go undefeated. Now they could go winless. That shouldn’t happen because Curtis Painter has quietly looked like a competent quarterbacks the last few weeks. And I’m not just saying that because NBC can’t flex out of this game.

Rosenthal’s pick: Saints 34, Colts 17.

Ravens at Jaguars

Florio’s take:  On Monday night, plenty of people will be feeling nostalgic for the Dolphins-Jets barn burner.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 30, Jaguars 10.

Rosenthal’s take: The Ravens have the best defense in football and it’s not even close. It’s a perfect marriage of talent and aggressive scheme.  The Jaguars have the worst passing attack in the league, and it’s not even close.  This game will not be close.

Rosenthal’s pick: Ravens 30, Jaguars 7.

58 responses to “PFT’s Week Seven picks

  1. Rosenthal must not have watched the Monday night game this past week because he has Miami scoring 21 points too many.

  2. Yo Rosey, the Cowboys lost to the Jets, not the Niners. The Cowboys game is that glaring imperfection on their schedule. But, thank you for picking the Boys to win.

  3. Okay, so you can’t use a certain person’s name in your comment or you automatically get zapped. All I was pointing out was that the records have been off by five games the last two weeks. The actual records are 63-27 for “R” and 57-33 for “F.”

  4. Why did Rosenthal wuss out? You shoulda picked the tie man. If you came through with that pick you’d be a legend!

    -QG

  5. “Someone asked me this week what losing team had the best chance to make the playoffs. I went with the Cowboys. The defense is way further along than expected. The three losses were to the 49ERS, Lions, and Patriots. The offense has enough talent. Finally, the schedule eases up a bit starting now.”

    Apparently the Cowboys lost to the 49ers, although they did outscore them 27-24.

  6. Last year, the Packers embarrassed the Vikings in the Metrodome, at a time when the Vikings were better than they now are — and the Packers were worse.
    __________

    It is preposterous to suggest that the Vikings were better last year when they lost to the Packers than they are now. At that point last year, the Vikings were decimated by injuries and overwhelmed with controversy. Chilly had lost the team. You might argue that the Favre interception machine is better than a rookie making his first start, but that’s up for debate. Sure, the Packers will probably win in a blowout, but I feel a lot better about where the Vikings are now than where they were in Week 10 last year.

  7. I was going to comment that the Jets beat the ‘boys, not the 49ers, but I see that point has been made. Still felt like typing it anyway.

  8. The Bucs rebounded incredibly well from a thrashing in San Fran, and they’re not likely to continue to build on unlikely momentum that has taken them to the top of the division.

    Huh?

  9. ajknox88 says:
    Oct 20, 2011 11:51 AM
    I’m supprised both of you are taking the Panthers over the Redskins.

    ________________________________________

    I’m actually glad they did. Everytime they pick the skins to lose the skins win.

  10. “Charvaris Jackhurst”

    Brilliant. I’m a Ravens fan, but if I were a fan of the Seahawks I’d want a Chavaris Jackhurst jersey.

    And I would be pretty shocked if the Jaguars score in the double digits Monday night.

  11. “Rosenthal’s take: No rookie quarterback looked more overmatched in August than Christian Ponder.”
    —————
    Strongly disagree, as does everyone else who actually watched Ponder in the preseason.

  12. Yes Dirty Bird, I can see how your convincing (aka, come from behind in the fourth quarter) win versus a terrible Panther team would give you confidence on the road against a 5-1 team.

  13. No rookie quarterback looked more overmatched in August than Christian Ponder.
    ____________

    Really? Let’s compare Ponder’s preseason with some other rookies:

    Ponder completed 55.1% of his passes for 5.9 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, no interceptions, ran 13 times for 83 yards, no fumbles, 5 sacks.

    Andy Dalton completed 60% of his passes for 5.5 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, ran 5 times for -2 yards, fumbled twice, losing one, 1 sack.

    Blaine Gabbert completed 50% of his passes for 5.2 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, ran 6 times for 42 yards, no fumbles, 7 sacks.

    Colin Kaepernick completed 48% of his passes for 5.1 yards per attempt, 0 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, ran 9 times for 67 yards, 2 fumbles, 8 sacks.

    I watched every game and didn’t think Ponder looked overmatched, and these stats suggest that these other QBs were at least as overmatched, if not more.

  14. Haha. I wish the Niners beat the Cowboys. One blown coverage in overtime… damn. We would be sitting with the Packers at 6-0. But the Cowboys did win, and it the Niners only loss.

  15. Sunday Headline: “Carson Palmer Injures Knee – Out Indefinately”- HA! And also, Detroit will DEVASTATE Atlanta -I’m talking Sherman’s March style – Falcons were a fraud last season, they’re still a fraud-sorry, Jamie Dukes!

  16. I believe GR can chalk up at least one win–the Cards over the Steelers–really? I may have to eat my words but good luck with that one.

    FTR, I’m not a fan of either team.

  17. Hey Phantom Stranger,

    Dalton was doing his thing against 1st team defenses… Ponder mostly against 2nd and 3rd. I am not saying your post doesn’t have some substance. I just think Dalton should be left out of that conversation. On the flip side, he does have the intangibles to be a good QB in this league. Especially with A.P. on his team. Just not quite yet. Definitely not this week.

  18. My God, Lions fans have become intolerable. I always cheered for them becuase they were terrible for so long, but geez, theirs fans have become entitled intolerable babies just after a couple wins

    Oh yeah, and Atlanta blows them out.

    34-10

  19. Look at how touchy the thin skinned vikequeen fans are. Rosey better hope he doesn’t get slapped with a purse by a lavender Larry fan wearing one of those androgynous Helga hats the next time he’s in MN.

  20. dirtybird70 says:
    Oct 20, 2011 12:00 PM
    Falcons will win in Detroit this Sunday. Bet that
    ————————————————

    Anything is possible…that’s why they actually play the games. Go ahead bet it…there’s a reason bookies make money, all bets carry risk. Are you confident enough in your guarantee to cover the losses of those who take your advice?

  21. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 20, 2011 12:19 PM

    No rookie quarterback looked more overmatched in August than Christian Ponder.
    ____________

    Really? Let’s compare Ponder’s preseason with some other rookies:

    Ponder completed 55.1% of his passes for 5.9 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, no interceptions, ran 13 times for 83 yards, no fumbles, 5 sacks.

    Andy Dalton completed 60% of his passes for 5.5 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, ran 5 times for -2 yards, fumbled twice, losing one, 1 sack.

    Blaine Gabbert completed 50% of his passes for 5.2 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, ran 6 times for 42 yards, no fumbles, 7 sacks.

    Colin Kaepernick completed 48% of his passes for 5.1 yards per attempt, 0 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, ran 9 times for 67 yards, 2 fumbles, 8 sacks.

    I watched every game and didn’t think Ponder looked overmatched, and these stats suggest that these other QBs were at least as overmatched, if not more.
    ——————————–

    Not disagreeing necessarily, but didn’t most of those guys take snaps in the first half of the preseason games. I don’t recall Ponder doing that until the last preseason game.

  22. klunge says:Oct 20, 2011 12:57 PM

    dirtybird70 says:
    Oct 20, 2011 12:00 PM
    Falcons will win in Detroit this Sunday. Bet that
    ————————————————

    Anything is possible…that’s why they actually play the games. Go ahead bet it…there’s a reason bookies make money, all bets carry risk. Are you confident enough in your guarantee to cover the losses of those who take your advice?
    ——————————————————-
    Yes I’ll pay everyones bet if they lose. You got it. Done deal. I can front the cash in advance if necessary?

  23. @dukemarc Ponder took first half snaps in week 2 of the preseason as well! He was rotating with Joe Webb as a backup. Plus you have to factor in that even though the defense may have been 3rd or 4th string that the offense was as well on their 3rd or 4th string guys. The way you talk makes it sound like the Vikings are deep on the offensive side with talent! I guess us Vikings fans found a person who likes Berrian!

  24. giantsamongmanning says:
    Oct 20, 2011 11:35 AM
    So I count 90 games played so far. Has anyone figured out how these two have picked 95?

    ================================

    I was wondering the same thing. It all went wrong in their week 6 picks. That’s where he gave each of them an extra 5 losses. Time to update the spreadsheet…

  25. lucky5934 says:
    Oct 20, 2011 12:36 PM
    Hey Phantom Stranger,

    Dalton was doing his thing against 1st team defenses… Ponder mostly against 2nd and 3rd. I am not saying your post doesn’t have some substance. I just think Dalton should be left out of that conversation. On the flip side, he does have the intangibles to be a good QB in this league. Especially with A.P. on his team. Just not quite yet. Definitely not this week.
    ________

    Good point about Dalton, but Ponder was also playing with backups on the offensive line, wide receiver, and running back.

  26. rwf1984 says: Oct 20, 2011 1:21 PM

    I guess us Vikings fans found a person who likes Berrian!

    ————–
    Wow, that was quite the jump you made there – Berrian’s terrible and the Vikings overpaid for him and still haven’t learned their lesson because they keep bringing him back.

    Regardless of who’s around you, I would argue 2nd and 3rd string offense will do better against 2nd and 3rd string defense in today’s NFL.

  27. It seems impossible to get off that Cowboy bandwagon. They could be 6-9 and and still be a team that could run the table and make it into the playoffs or at least be early Super Bowl favorites for the next season!

  28. No rookie quarterback looked more overmatched in August than Christian Ponder.

    ==================================
    I don’t know what games you were watching, but
    I watched those preseason games, and I didn’t think Ponder looked overmatched at all. If anything, he may have been hampered by the fact he was playing with second or third stringers (including quite a few players who didn’t make the cut).

    But he didn’t look confused or hesitant, or out of place. Not that the Vikings will win that game, but I expect far fewer bounced passes, and maybe one or two key third down conversions.

  29. Rosenthal nails it with the Raiders over the Chiefs. The battle will be won by the Raiders dominating the LOS. DMac usually has big games against KC anyway… who the Raiders put in as QB should not be a determining factor.

  30. The Phantom Stranger says:
    Oct 20, 2011 11:43 AM

    It is preposterous to suggest that the Vikings were better last year when they lost to the Packers than they are now. At that point last year, the Vikings were decimated by injuries and overwhelmed with controversy. Chilly had lost the team. You might argue that the Favre interception machine is better than a rookie making his first start, but that’s up for debate. Sure, the Packers will probably win in a blowout, but I feel a lot better about where the Vikings are now than where they were in Week 10 last year.
    ——————————–

    And the Packers weren’t decimated with Injuries last year when they faced the Viks?????

  31. @dukemark and @phantom stranger

    Actually for most of the preseason I think that Cam looked the most overmatched. He’s stepped it up just a little since then…

    -QG

  32. Rosenthal, Cowboys actually beat the 49ers in OT if you might recall. Nonetheless I like your picks.

  33. dukemarc says:
    Oct 20, 2011 1:38 PM

    Regardless of who’s around you, I would argue 2nd and 3rd string offense will do better against 2nd and 3rd string defense in today’s NFL.
    ____________

    And 1st string offense will do better against 1st string defense. What’s your point?

  34. scoops1 says:
    Oct 20, 2011 1:55 PM
    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Oct 20, 2011 11:43 AM

    It is preposterous to suggest that the Vikings were better last year when they lost to the Packers than they are now. At that point last year, the Vikings were decimated by injuries and overwhelmed with controversy. Chilly had lost the team. You might argue that the Favre interception machine is better than a rookie making his first start, but that’s up for debate. Sure, the Packers will probably win in a blowout, but I feel a lot better about where the Vikings are now than where they were in Week 10 last year.
    ——————————–

    And the Packers weren’t decimated with Injuries last year when they faced the Viks?????
    _________________

    I was just making the point that the Vikings are better today than they were last year when they played the Packers. Not sure how the Packers fit into the conversation at all, but I guess you felt it was necessary to inject that.

  35. “Rosenthal now leads by six games. The bastard.”

    I thought that was hilarious … until I saw your pick for the Browns v. Seahawks. You bastard.

  36. More pertinently than the Cowboys’ three losses (whoever they were to) is that all three could have been — and in two cases, should have been — victories. Two losses after having double-digit fourth-quarter leads, and a loss to the Patriots that they just needed to get one first down to avoid: Dallas’ worst enemy has been themselves.

  37. Charvaris Jackhurst is good…but I liked when Rosenfels was in Minny with TJ and someone in the media (you guys?) called that “Sagevaris Jackenfels”.

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