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PFT’s Week Seven picks

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Down three games with three disagreements last week, I envisioned forging a tie with MDS in the PFT picks contest.

And of course he swept me.

Now down six — six! — through six weeks, I’ve got a chance to cut the margin to four (or see it grow to eight) based on two disagreements this week.

MDS went 11-4 for the week; I was a mere 8-7.  He’s now 63-29 for the year, and I’m 57-35.

Read on for this week’s prognostications.

Seahawks at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Seahawks on the road are always a precarious pick, and I’m tempted to choose Arizona in an upset. But Carson Palmer is just throwing too many bad passes for an opportunistic Seattle secondary not to give him trouble. The Seahawks’ defense will lead the way in this one.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 14.

Florio’s take:  Somebody in the league office hates the Cardinals.  In a four-day span, they will have played both the 49ers and the Seahawks.  Arizona held its own against the Niners, and Arizona will do the same against the Seahawks.  But two moral victories in less than a week won’t do much to propel a team toward the postseason.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 20, Cardinals 14.

Buccaneers at Falcons

MDS’s take: A year after earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, Atlanta is all but out of the playoff race already this season. But a bad Tampa Bay team coming to town should be just the thing to get the Falcons their second win of a disappointing season.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 20, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take:  The game that many thought would help determine first place (for now) in the NFC South will determine last place in the division (for now, and possibly for longer).  The Falcons had an extra week to get ready, the Buccaneers continue to be in disarray, and the home team still has enough talent to pull out the win.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17.

Rams at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Rams are coming off a dominant win over the Texans and are, at 3-3, a lot better than most people thought they’d be. But Carolina is playing excellent defense, and St. Louis is playing mediocre offense, and so I like the Panthers to win a low-scoring game at home.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 17, Rams 9.

Florio’s take:  Here’s a game that likely will be underrated but could produce a potential wild-card contender in the NFC.  Both teams have been inconsistent, and both teams won in Week Six over franchises currently in a funk.  Edge goes to the home team, as long as the Panthers can get the upper hand early.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 24, Rams 21.

Bengals at Lions

MDS’s take: Overall the Bengals are a more talented team than the Lions, and a good Cincinnati secondary is going to make things tough for Detroit’s offense. But the Lions have played well at home and the Bengals have been shaky on the road, and so I’m going to take the Lions.

MDS’s pick: Lions 20, Bengals 17.

Florio’s take:  Usually, the Bengals play up and down to the level of the competition.  This week, the competition level is roughly equivalent.  And the Lions won in Cleveland, where the Bengals lost handily.  Oh, and Calvin Johnson appears to be getting healthy.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 27, Bengals 20.

Chargers at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Despite major injury issues, San Diego is a better team than just about anyone expected. Playing in the same division as the only two undefeated teams in the NFL makes it unlikely that the Chargers will make the playoffs, but they will get over .500 with an easy win in Jacksonville.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Jaguars 10.

Florio’s take:  Yes, I’m tempted to pick the upset here.  The Chargers have beaten three teams that are supposedly better than San Diego, and they’ve lost to three teams that are supposedly worse.  Plus, they’re traveling across the country on a short week to play a team that gave the Broncos more of a game than anyone would have imagined.  Then I’m reminded of the overall quality of the Jacksonville roster.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 28, Jaguars 10.

Texans at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Texans totally melted down on Sunday, and now they’re traveling to play a Kansas City team that’s playing defense as well as anyone in the league. This could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Texans 7.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs are what the Texans were supposed to be.   Swarming defense, competent offense, and undefeated through six weeks.  This could be Correction Sunday for the Chiefs, but not at the place that cranked up 137.5 decibels last weekend — and not against a team that could be dialing up Case Keenum at quarterback.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Texans 17.

Bills at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Bills’ pass rush could provide real problems for Ryan Tannehill, and if EJ Manuel were healthy I’d like the Bills to go to Miami and pull an upset. But with Thad Lewis as the starting quarterback, I don’t think the Bills will put many points on the board in Miami.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 20, Bills 13.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins have had two weeks to prepare for Thad Lewis and company.  While Lewis looked good against the Bengals, he’s and several teammates are a little banged up.  Maybe Miami coach Joe Philbin ultimately will get a shot at his former pupil in Green Bay — you know, the one-hit wonder in whom Philbin had zero interest.  Which should have told Seattle and Oakland everything they needed to know.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 27, Bills 20.

Patriots at Jets

MDS’s take: The Patriots have been dealing with injuries all year, and Jerod Mayo is their most significant injury yet. New England is ripe for an upset. Unfortunately, the Jets looked absolutely terrible on Sunday against the Steelers, and they just don’t look like they have the weapons on offense to pull the upset.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 17, Jets 7.

Florio’s take:  The Jets almost beat the Patriots in Foxborough in Week Two.  Since then, New England has lost Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo for the season.  Aqib Talib could miss the game, and even if Rob Gronkowski plays how much can be expected after a nine-month layoff.  Some will call this an upset.  Under these precise circumstances, it really isn’t.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 20, Patriots 17.

Cowboys at Eagles

MDS’s take: In the battle for first place in the NFC East, I like Nick Foles to keep the Eagles’ offense running smoothly and create a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. The suspect Dallas defense is going to have a tough time keeping up with Philadelphia’s big-play offense.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 35, Cowboys 28.

Florio’s take:  Whether Nick Foles or Mike Vick or Matt Barkley, Chip Kelly’s offense is poised to run rings around a more-porous-than-expected Dallas defense.  And Philly’s defense quietly has improved to the point where it can keep the Cowboys in check, especially with DeMarco Murray missing this one.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 31, Cowboys 21.

Bears at Redskins

MDS’s take: Chicago has been beating bad teams all season, with wins over the Vikings, Steelers and Giants. That trend will continue for another week in Washington.

MDS’s pick: Bears 21, Redskins 20.

Florio’s takeRobert Griffin III is getting better, but he’s still not close to the guy he was last year.  Ditto for the team.  In 2012, Washington dug out of a 3-6 hole.  This year’s start could be even worse.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 26, Redskins 17.

49ers at Titans

MDS’s take: With Jake Locker out and Ryan Fitzpatrick in, the Titans are just not going to beat a good team like the 49ers. San Francisco is over its early-season hiccup and is now beginning its long march toward challenging Seattle for NFC West supremacy.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 34, Titans 17.

Florio’s take:  The Titans perform well at home against teams from the NFC, and they played well on the road last Sunday in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.  But the 49ers have hit their stride in recent weeks, with a balanced offense and a defense that still has punch, even without Aldon Smith.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 24, Titans 17.

Browns at Packers

MDS’s take: I don’t think Brandon Weeden is as terrible as some people make him out to be, and I don’t think Brian Hoyer was ever going to be Cleveland’s long-term answer at quarterback. Still, the Browns have looked like a team that finds ways to win with Hoyer at quarterback, and a team that finds ways to lose with Weeden at quarterback. That will continue on Sunday, when an injury-riddled Packers team will capitalize on some Cleveland mistakes.

MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Browns 24.

Florio’s take:  That three-game winning streak will quickly be forgotten when the losing streak reaches two.  Despite the injuries, the Packers continue to deliver on both sides of the ball.  The turnaround from a 1-2 start continues.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Browns 24.

Ravens at Steelers

MDS’s take: I’ve gone back and forth on this one a few times, but in the end I think Baltimore’s defensive front is too much for the injury-depleted Steelers offensive line. The Ravens win a close, hard-fought, defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 17, Steelers 16.

Florio’s take:  The defending champs visit Pittsburgh for the first time since hoisting the latest Lombardi.  If the Steelers can run like the Packers did against Baltimore and throw the ball smartly and quickly, the home team in this tarnished (for now) rivalry can hold serve.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 13, Ravens 10.

Broncos at Colts

MDS’s take: In one of the marquee games of the season, Peyton Manning will remind the Colts that they cut one of the best players in NFL history a year and a half ago. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense will score plenty of points against a mediocre Denver defense, but Manning and Co. will score even more.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 48, Colts 38.

Florio’s take:  Peyton Manning’s homecoming acquired some extra levels of intrigue this week, thanks to Colts owner Jim Irsay.  While some think Irsay took a shot at Peyton to get inside his head and other thinks Irsay was simply being Irsay, the man some call the best regular-season quarterback in NFL history will further cement his legacy.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 49, Colts 24.

Vikings at Giants

MDS’s take: One of the worst Monday night games in recent years will be memorable for Josh Freeman’s first start with the Vikings, and for the Giants’ first win of the season.

MDS’s pick: Giants 21, Vikings 13.

Florio’s take:  Eleven days to get ready.  Home game.  National audience.  Bad defense.  Quarterback rushed to the field for his first start with the team.  If the Giants can’t win this one, they may not win any.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 35, Vikings 27.

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52 Responses to “PFT’s Week Seven picks”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Oct 17, 2013 10:41 AM

    Top 5 QBs in Professional Football – Griffin III, Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler and Dalton. In that order. Chicago has a nice team but the Redskins are the better, more talented side pound for pound. Washington by 7…if Goodell doesn’t interfere that is. #HTTR

  2. somethingsmellsrotten says: Oct 17, 2013 10:42 AM

    Go Colts…pound MegaHead!!

  3. southpaw2k says: Oct 17, 2013 10:44 AM

    The Steelers have no offensive line. The Ravens have no running game. The stoppable force vs. the movable object will negate one another, so it comes down to how much pressure each defense will put on the quarterbacks during the game.

    Ravens 23
    Steelers 20

  4. andyreidisabeachedwalrus says: Oct 17, 2013 10:48 AM

    Not the greatest slate of games this week. A lot of coin flips and tricky lines if your the type that’s inclined to lay a lil juice on the Sunday action (def this guy).

  5. acanniv says: Oct 17, 2013 10:48 AM

    San Diego’s defense is dead last in DVOA. The Colts scored 9 points on them. Granted, SD had a huge TOP edge, but still. I’m so excited that all this Manning returning to Indy stuff is overshadowing the fact that Denver is getting a top 3 pass rusher back this week. Watch how much better the Broncos secondary looks when 58 is coming around the corner on Luck. I seriously doubt the Colts score 20 in this game.

  6. usdiveteam says: Oct 17, 2013 10:50 AM

    The Cowboys will beat the Eagles in a shootout.

  7. titans12thman says: Oct 17, 2013 10:51 AM

    I was at the Titans/Seahawks game (decked out in titans gear of course) and after the game it seemed like every hawk fan came up to me to let me know the entire Seahawk fanbase were going to be Titans fans this week….hopefully our defense will keep us in the game and with the added mojo from the legion of boom, maybe we can pull off an upset. Go Blue!

  8. nflpoker says: Oct 17, 2013 10:51 AM

    What’s that noise I hear??? Why, it’s the sound of another nail being hammered into the Frazier/Musgrave coffin. Sorry Josh, the HC/OC/DC combo are without a clue. Congrats NYG on your first win.

    - frustrated Viking fan

  9. contract says: Oct 17, 2013 10:53 AM

    “If the Steelers can run like the Packers did against Baltimore …”

    Mike: Have you seen any evidence that we can?

  10. crownofthehelmet says: Oct 17, 2013 10:54 AM

    Steelers by 20.

  11. gbatap says: Oct 17, 2013 10:59 AM

    No way a Broncos team, that has looked average in the first half of road games, is hanging 40+ against Indy’s defense.

  12. dcapettini says: Oct 17, 2013 11:00 AM

    Two great defenses against two pathetic offenses. For the first time in history since the institution of overtime, an NFL game will end 0-0. Pittsburgh and Baltimore will be immortalized.

  13. boltfan29 says: Oct 17, 2013 11:05 AM

    Top QBs in 2013 as of today…

    1) Peyton Manning
    2) Drew Brees
    3) Tom Brady
    4) Phillip Rivers
    5) Aaron Rodgers
    6) Tony Romo/Matt Stafford

    **Brady gets credit for playing with rookies and backups all year.

  14. oxfordthecat says: Oct 17, 2013 11:12 AM

    Never entrust your fantasy pool to the instincts of a man who picks the Jets to win.

  15. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Oct 17, 2013 11:16 AM

    Devin Hester is going to have a field day against the Redskins special teams

  16. rtwoj says: Oct 17, 2013 11:18 AM

    After Week 7:

    Chiefs 7-0
    Broncos 6-1

  17. whatnojets says: Oct 17, 2013 11:25 AM

    Let’s go JETS!!!

  18. footballfan01 says: Oct 17, 2013 11:30 AM

    Weeden will have a breakout game and only throw 2 interceptions against Green Bay.

  19. packfanaj12 says: Oct 17, 2013 11:31 AM

    I would be surprised if the Browns get 24 points. The Pack has stopped the run like no other this year, and the Browns have a fossil for a rusher, meaning the browns have to rely on Weeden to make plays… and we all know how that works.

    Packers 31, Browns 10

  20. tecmostar says: Oct 17, 2013 11:33 AM

    Unless Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez start playing each position, there is no way anyone could say the Falcons have more talent than the Bucs.

  21. mrbigg513 says: Oct 17, 2013 11:38 AM

    Not one picked dem bengals lol who dey we will shock some this weekend

  22. devildog911 says: Oct 17, 2013 11:43 AM

    Colts beat Broncos.

  23. BringBackTheFlex says: Oct 17, 2013 11:56 AM

    Not sure about the logic being used to pick Philly over Dallas. Dallas has scored more points and allowed fewer against pretty much the same teams. Kelly’s offense is a glorified “K-gun” that Dallas shut down in the SB years ago.

    Pretty even game with Dallas having the edge in ST, QB and DBs. All games are 50-50, but the logic says Dallas by 10.

  24. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Oct 17, 2013 11:57 AM

    I like Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, San Diego, Buffalo, New England, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Green Bay, Kansas City, Baltimore, Denver and Minnesota to win.

  25. steelcurtainn says: Oct 17, 2013 12:02 PM

    The Steelers defense outplays Baltimore.
    Steelers 20 Baltimore 10.

  26. broncos97 says: Oct 17, 2013 12:09 PM

    Upset pick texans beat chiefs 24-21

  27. pftbillsfan says: Oct 17, 2013 12:31 PM

    Bills are the only team besides the Broncos to score at least 20 in every game. Thad Lewis played markedly better than EJ Manuel. Spiller is getting healthy, so I agree the Bills will probably lose. It’s what they do.

  28. cnote74 says: Oct 17, 2013 12:40 PM

    Chiefs set new noise record on the way to 7-0.

    KC – 35

    Hou – 6

  29. cruzer1996 says: Oct 17, 2013 12:41 PM

    I disagree with the notion that the Bengals are more talented than the Lions. Talent-wise, the Lions can hold their own with a lot of teams.

  30. duece5 says: Oct 17, 2013 12:41 PM

    Despite all efforts of Frazier and especially, Musgrave, to sabatoge victory from the jaws of defeat–Freeman will overcome 3 obstacles-the Giants, Frazier, and Musgrave!

    Vikes 24-23.

    Kudos to Blair Walsh for the game winner!!!!

  31. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    Steelers’ defense outplays the Steelers’ offense (as usual).
    Ravens 13,
    Steelers 10

  32. wearethesteelers says: Oct 17, 2013 12:56 PM

    Steelers win 27-13

    Book it. Win a buck or two.

  33. blu4l1fe says: Oct 17, 2013 1:11 PM

    nflpoker says:
    Oct 17, 2013 10:51 AM

    What’s that noise I hear??? Why, it’s the sound of another nail being hammered into the Frazier/Musgrave coffin. Sorry Josh, the HC/OC/DC combo are without a clue. Congrats NYG on your first win.

    - frustrated Viking fan

    ———————————————–

    Appreciate your vote of confidence but not too fast. I do understand your statement regarding your HC/OC/DC, but from the looks of things, and after 6 games, we ain’t doing nuttin’ special in this side of the ball as well. I am just glad I don’t have cable and it would take some effort for me to see the game (i.e. internet, local bar).

    Good luck to you and the Vikings on Monday Night, may the slightly better team win.

    - even more frustrated Giants fan

  34. dtownsportslions says: Oct 17, 2013 1:12 PM

    Lions all day over Cincy.

  35. tsmercurio says: Oct 17, 2013 1:21 PM

    This week, the competition level is roughly equivalent. And the Lions won in Cleveland, where the Bengals lost handily.

    The Browns also had Brian Hoyer at the time, also Calvin Johnson played last week and had 3 catches for 25 yards. Not saying the Lions are going win or Lose, but your reasoning for the result is very weak and debatable.

  36. jnks10 says: Oct 17, 2013 1:30 PM

    BringBackTheFlex says:
    Oct 17, 2013 11:56 AM
    Not sure about the logic being used to pick Philly over Dallas. Dallas has scored more points and allowed fewer against pretty much the same teams. Kelly’s offense is a glorified “K-gun” that Dallas shut down in the SB years ago.

    Pretty even game with Dallas having the edge in ST, QB and DBs. All games are 50-50, but the logic says Dallas by 10.

    ——————–

    I guess it’s so logically that Vegas has Eagles as a favorite.

  37. whatjusthapped says: Oct 17, 2013 1:42 PM

    You know your team sucks when both writers pick the winless 0-5 team to beat you.

    Skoal Vikings

  38. usdcoyotesfan says: Oct 17, 2013 1:42 PM

    Packers 73 Browns 0

  39. athwartships says: Oct 17, 2013 1:43 PM

    Other than Seattle….I can’t help but think this week is HEAVILY in favor for all the teams playing at home.

    So my picks are all home teams except Seahawks this week. And yes, I see the Pats on the road…they’ll lose.

    Denver will get it’s first loss (possible only) but none the less.

    Big Blue will be spaired the 0-7

  40. jayniner says: Oct 17, 2013 1:44 PM

    nflpoker says:
    Oct 17, 2013 10:51 AM

    What’s that noise I hear??? Why, it’s the sound of another nail being hammered into the Frazier/Musgrave coffin. Sorry Josh, the HC/OC/DC combo are without a clue. Congrats NYG on your first win.

    - frustrated Viking fan

    ———————————————–

    Appreciate your vote of confidence but not too fast. I do understand your statement regarding your HC/OC/DC, but from the looks of things, and after 6 games, we ain’t doing nuttin’ special in this side of the ball as well. I am just glad I don’t have cable and it would take some effort for me to see the game (i.e. internet, local bar).

    Good luck to you and the Vikings on Monday Night, may the slightly better team win.

    - even more frustrated Giants fan

    ——————-

    LOL – you guys are funny! At least humility is alive and well here on PFT.

    I was saying the same thing after week 3.

    Go Niners…..hopefully.

  41. jetsmmt says: Oct 17, 2013 1:48 PM

    Jets win 38-3.

  42. thetruthcampaign says: Oct 17, 2013 2:09 PM

    I don’t see the Pack beating the Browns this week if Cobb/Jones are missing. I don’t care who you fit into those spots.

  43. BringBackTheFlex says: Oct 17, 2013 2:17 PM

    Pretty even game with Dallas having the edge in ST, QB and DBs. All games are 50-50, but the logic says Dallas by 10.

    ——————–

    jnks10: I guess it’s so logically that Vegas has Eagles as a favorite.

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

    Vegas doesn’t know or care about who wins. They care how the money is bet. They know folks are always in love with the latest fad in football. Kelly is a fad. His high scoring offense has been outscored by Dallas all year.

  44. paychrisjohnson28 says: Oct 17, 2013 2:26 PM

    Titans over the 49ers, as the defense wins the game by creating havoc & turnovers…in Nashville

    23 – 16. Titans

    Go Titans Go!

  45. justintuckrule says: Oct 17, 2013 2:41 PM

    Denver – 140
    Colts – 27

  46. assuredmutualdestruction says: Oct 17, 2013 5:53 PM

    cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says:Oct 17, 2013 11:57 AM

    I like Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, San Diego, Buffalo, New England, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Green Bay, Kansas City, Baltimore, Denver and Minnesota to win.
    ———————————————————-

    You’re really going out on a limb with that San Diego pick. Yeah, we’re all taking them too.

  47. RexCanCoach says: Oct 17, 2013 8:25 PM

    Bet the Ranch on KC to win, cover easily. Game over early.

  48. tokyosandblaster says: Oct 17, 2013 8:57 PM

    NFC North Predictions:

    Packers 35, Browns 13
    Bengals 27, Lions 26
    Redskins 24, Bears 19
    Vikings 22, Giants 20

  49. tictoccpthook says: Oct 17, 2013 10:59 PM

    Ravens/Steelers victor wins the smash mouth football trophy. Their Lombardi trophy record says the victor will top any competitor (given a week to recover).

  50. steelcurtain70 says: Oct 18, 2013 11:48 AM

    This is the week Rex beats his nemesis. Jets 23-17

  51. packfanaj12 says: Oct 18, 2013 12:27 PM

    I don’t see the Pack beating the Browns this week if Cobb/Jones are missing. I don’t care who you fit into those spots.

    ——————————————
    I agree those are two major pieces of the offence, but there is still an offence with Lacy/Finley/Nelson… I dont see the Browns beating the Pack with Wheeden/McGahee as their offensive attack points.

    Should be a good game however. I am a nervous Packers fan so you could be right. Cheers!

  52. shaundolphinsfan23 says: Oct 18, 2013 4:01 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Oct 17, 2013 10:41 AM

    “Top 5 QBs in Professional Football – Griffin III, Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler and Dalton. In that order. Chicago has a nice team but the Redskins are the better, more talented side pound for pound. Washington by 7…if Goodell doesn’t interfere that is. #HTTR”

    ————————–

    While reading this, I was looking for the part where you said “Just kidding”. This comment reads like a joke. Rodgers is the only one of these quarterbacks that has proven himself elite. RG3, Cutler, and Dalton aren’t even locks to be starters in three years. Stafford has a lot of talent but he has far too many off games to be considered among the elite. Your list probably should have read like this. Five top NFL QBs in order: Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Wilson, and Rothlisberger. The only one of these five that’s even up for debate is Rothlisberger.

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