PFT’s Week Seven picks


Another week of NFL games is here. Another 14 contests for part of the broader PFT picks contest between MDS and yours truly.

We split the four games on which we disagreed last week en route to pathetic, matching 8-6 records. This week, we disagree on only one game — arguably one of the biggest of the week.

Through six weeks, I’m at 59-32 (64.8 percent), and MDS has a record of 58-33 (63.7 percent).

Seahawks at 49ers.

MDS’s take: I don’t think the NFL thought this would be a matchup of two 2-4 teams when the league scheduled this for a Thursday night game. But while these two teams have the same record, it’s the Seahawks who still have a realistic hope of turning things around and getting to the playoffs. They’ll take a step toward that with a big win in San Francisco.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, 49ers 10.

Florio’s take:  Not long ago, the winner of this one landed in first place in the NFC West. Now, the loser lands in last place. Before the season began, it was assumed that both of these games would be romps for the two-time defending NFC champs. It likely won’t be a blowout this time, but the Seahawks realize that if they can’t win this one, they can forget about a third straight Super Bowl appearance. (Actually, it’s a safe bet that they can already forget about that.)

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, 49ers 13.

Bills vs. Jaguars.

MDS’s take: London gets yet another bad game. No surprise there. And it will be no surprise when the Bills’ defense shuts down Blake Bortles and wins a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Bills 17, Jaguars 7.

Florio’s take: The up-and-down Bills need to stay on the right side of .500, especially when facing a team with wins that match its losses only when their record is 0-0. If the Bills lose this one, things could unravel quickly in Buffalo. Or, perhaps more accurately, more quickly than they already are.

Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Jaguars 10.

Vikings at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions finally got their offense moving and got their first win on Sunday, but they won’t make it two in a row with a better Vikings team coming to town. Minnesota hasn’t been great this year, but a win Sunday makes the Vikings the clear No. 2 in the NFC North and a legitimate wild card candidate.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Lions 14.

Florio’s take: The Vikings aren’t yet good enough to blow anyone out, but they’re good enough to find ways to outscore the majority of their opponents. If the Vikings are going to make good on their perceived potential for 2015, they’ll need to do better than last year’s 1-5 divisional record. Here’s their chance to get to 2-0, by competing a sweep of the overmatched Lions.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 28, Lions 20.

Saints at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck returned and looked pretty good against the Patriots on Sunday night. He should look even better against a Saints defense that has a knack for making opposing quarterbacks look great. This should be the Colts’ biggest win of the year.

MDS’s pick: Colts 34, Saints 20.

Florio’s take:  The only way to turn the page on Sunday night’s fake punt fiasco is to win. With games coming up against the 5-0 Panthers and 6-0 Broncos, the Saints could present the best chance of a victory before the bye. If the Colts lose this one, the bye week could result in a farewell to Chuck Pagano.

Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Saints 20.

Steelers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Landry Jones getting the first start of his career at Arrowhead Stadium ought to be a recipe for a defense to put a beating on a young quarterback. But Jones looked good last week, and the Chiefs haven’t looked good at all this year. I like the Steelers to take this one.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take: Landry Jones, arguably dangling on the roster by a fraying thread during the preseason, has shown that he can win games. When he faces on Sunday a Chiefs team that won’t have Jamaal Charles and may not have Jeremy Maclin, Jones could win his first career start. Especially since the team’s defense has improved considerably.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Chiefs 13.

Texans at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Dolphins coach Dan Campbell certainly had his team ready to play in his debut last week against the Titans. I think he’ll keep it going against a Texans offense that looks better with Brian Hoyer, but still isn’t great.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 27, Texans 24.

Florio’s take: The new-look Dolphins look good, so far. In what amounts to a Mulligan of a home opener, the Dolphins get back to .500, laying the foundation for an unlikely playoff run.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Texans 17.

Jets at Patriots

MDS’s take: If the Jets are going to dethrone the Patriots in the AFC East, they’re going to need to win this game. I don’t see it happening. The Patriots are still the best team in the division, and they’ll remain undefeated.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: The Jets have the defense to slow down the New England offense, but they don’t yet have the offense to outscore the New England defense. Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-8 during his career against the Patriots. Make it 1-9.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Jets 23.

Browns at Rams

MDS’s take: Browns quarterback Josh McCown has been pretty good for most of this year, but the Broncos showed that a good pass rush can pressure McCown into turnovers. The Rams have a good pass rush that will do the same, and St. Louis will win a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Rams 17, Browns 14.

Florio’s take: The Rams ordinarily play up and down to the level of the competition. With a week off to get ready for a visit from the Browns, it may not matter; the Rams have a shot at winning the division, and the race starts with a win over one of the teams against which past Rams teams may have found a way to lose.

Florio’s pick: Rams 23, Browns 17.

Falcons at Titans

MDS’s take: Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt has won just four of his last 33 games as a head coach, stretching back to the end of his tenure in Arizona. He’s going to be on the hot seat if he doesn’t turn things around soon, but it’s not going to happen against a good Falcons team.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 30, Titans 17.

Florio’s take: The one-loss Falcons have had extra time to get ready for the one-win Titans. The Falcons shouldn’t need it — and they have every reason to keep close to the no-loss Panthers.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 30, Titans 17.

Buccaneers at Washington

MDS’s take: I’m expecting a sloppy game, as Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston may throw three interceptions apiece. But ultimately Washington will make a couple of plays on offense and win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Washington 20, Buccaneers 16.

Florio’s take: The Bucs have had two weeks to get ready for this one, after surprisingly winning two of their first five games. Washington remains in the race for the None-oF-the-above-C East, and they should be able to hold serve at home. As long as it’s not too windy for the quarterback.

Florio’s pick: Washington 24, Buccaneers 20.

Raiders at Chargers

MDS’s take: With Philip Rivers on pace to set new NFL records for completions and passing yards, the Chargers’ offense is sure to move the ball well against the Raiders. I don’t think the Raiders’ offense can keep up.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 31, Raiders 21.

Florio’s take: The Raiders have had two weeks to get ready for a Chargers team that is moving in the wrong direction. Philip Rivers still has enough in his arm to lead the Chargers to what could be their last San Diego victory over the Raiders.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 31, Raiders 27.

Cowboys at Giants

MDS’s take: Brandon Weeden is out and Matt Cassel is in for the Cowboys, but it won’t make much of a difference, and the Giants will bounce back from an ugly Monday night game to earn an NFC East win.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Cowboys 20.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys need this one badly, badly enough to perhaps risk bringing back Dez Bryant before he’s ready. The Giants don’t have the offensive line to buy Eli Manning the time to avoid looking like Peyton.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Giants 20.

Eagles at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Eagles’ defense is playing good football while the Eagles’ offense falters. But the Panthers are playing well on both sides of the ball, and they should be able to beat an Eagles team that still makes too many mistakes.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: Sure, the Eagles have put together a couple of wins. But the Panthers are for real, and they get their chance with back-to-back prime-time games to prove it.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 33, Eagles 24.

Ravens at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Ravens have completely collapsed and are one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Cardinals have pounded bad teams this year. This has all the makings of a Monday night game you can turn off at halftime.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 35, Ravens 16.

Florio’s take: Joe Flacco isn’t elite. The rest of the team definitely isn’t. With the sixth loss looming, it’s time to start planning for 2016.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 34, Ravens 21.

47 responses to “PFT’s Week Seven picks

  1. It’s just too bad that the Jets are stuck with hot garbage at QB. Fitzpatrick is great…until he is in a game where he actually needs to do something to win it – like this week.

  2. Man, you guys are so boring with your picks. Only disagreeing on one game. Grow some balls and go out on a limb on some of those. Btw, the Niners win 34-9.

  3. Not crazy about all this front runner stuff. They almost overlooked the Chiefs. Let’s not make the same mistake with the lions. Let’s go boys!

  4. The Cardinals are giving the Ravens 7.5 points. I’d be comfortable giving more than twice that amount. This game will be effectively over midway through the second quarter.

    Cardinals 33
    Ravens 14

  5. Florio, I know the Giants can look really, really bad at times – last week – but if they lose this game at home to Cassell their season is over. Don’t see it happening. You want an upset – take the Jags over the Bills. The Bills just look polluted right now.

  6. Watch out for the Ravens going forward. Hunting season is just getting started. You know what that means… fresh supply of the deer antler spray.

  7. . In what amounts to a Mulligan of a home opener, the Dolphins get back to .500, laying the foundation for an unlikely playoff run.
    Amazing the overreaching conclusions that 1 win vs a 1 win opponent, and a looming win vs a bad Texas team, can foster.

    Miami plays in NE, Buffalo & Philly, then home for Dallas, then on the road again to the Jets beginning next week. That is not an easy stretch. How they do there, will realistically be a good barometer of how back they are.

    I’m not saying they cant do it- maybe they can. But I’m not buying in because of a beat down of a team who’s 3-16 since the beginning of last year.

  8. Steelers will win by at least 10 even with a QB making his first start. The Chiefs look bad…real bad.

  9. Okay well… I’m sitting 16-0 (against the spred) this year so if you are betting you should really listen to me and not these 2 that are wrong on average 81% of the time from our data:
    Chargers vs Raiders:
    Chargers will be played their 3rd game in 13 days! The Chargers are drained right now and they got to go to Oakland… Raiders are a 4 point underdog at home..You need to take The Raiders in this game! Chargers are banged up. They have guys that will be playing that are no where even close to 100% like WR Keenan Allen who will get hurt in this game. Chargers have Melvin Gordon who is a fumble machine right now. Raiders are coming off a bye and a team that could be 4-1 right now easily. Raiders are a lot better team than people think just because you see them at 2-3 remember this. Bears Loss was a fluke and Broncos won because Raiders Kicker Janikowski ends up missing 2 field goals (which is rare) Raiders have had success against Rivers and they will have more Sunday. I don’t believe this game will be even close! The NFL was not right to have Chargers play 3 games in 13 days and it will show Sunday.. Take The Raiders!
    Raiders 27
    Chargers 14

  10. This definitely feels like a trap game for the Panthers (I am a fan). Clearly they feel they exorcised a lot of demons in Seattle last week, but Atlanta is only .5 games out right now. I’m really hoping they stay focused and take care business against the Eagles and Colts, both teams they should be slightly favored over at home. It would be great to have them 7-0 playing the likely undefeated Packers in Charlotte in a few weeks…

  11. One of my favorite part about the picks each week is how they always pick the Raiders to lose, and every Raiders fan comes out and says “Raiders will win!” regardless of the opponent. It’s hilarious. Cant knock the passion, delusional as it may be, of Raiders fans. As a Bills fan I know all about misguided, delusional passion.

  12. What is this nonsense of everyone, literally everyone, of you self-proclaimed “experts” picking the Washington Football team over Tampa!??
    Please just watch and see, how we squirt some lighter fluid on that already churning dumpster fire in Washington!! I mean, seriously, they royally SUCK!

  13. The Jets defense is going to significantly slow down the Patriots offense. For the Pats to win, their special teams and defense are going to have to make positive, game-changing plays. Hopefully Matthew Slater and Dont’a Hightower will be able to play.

  14. @steelcurtain: the fat lady already sang in Baltimore. She did the national anthem opening day.

    @richiethegreek: the Eagles will make a statement Sunday night, but you may not wanna hear it.

    @tampatwo: the Glazer family

  15. Florio’s take: Joe Flacco isn’t elite. The rest of the team definitely isn’t. With the sixth loss looming, it’s time to start planning for 2016.

    Nice take, but everyone not a fan of the Ravens already knew that. I’ve been saying since before the preseason the Ravens were not going anywhere and 6 wins would be generous.

    Don’t chalk up a winfirbthe Steelers yet, the play good against good teams and bad against the bad ones for the most part. This won feel like a home game like the Charger game. They should win but won’t be surprise at a loss.

  16. tqaztec says:
    Oct 22, 2015 10:50 AM

    The Vikings have only won one of the last six meetings in Detroit……..and you still pick purple.

    Yes, because the game will be taking place this year.

    Besides, it’s one of the last five.

  17. The Vikings have only won one of the last six meetings in Detroit……..and you still pick purple.


    Yea uhh, and that was this year.

  18. Colts game looks like a big time upset in the making. The Saints are getting better even though it’s not showing in the won/loss column yet. Saints 31-Colts 21

  19. “Especially since the team’s (Steelers) defense has improved considerably.”

    I think the Steelers can win Sunday even though it is a road game in a tough stadium. But honestly, Carson Palmer threw for over 450 yards last week against the defense. I am not so sure they have improved “considerably”.

  20. The Redskins may have found ways to win 2 of their first 5 but the Bucs have Lovie and Winston…

    Redskins win easily 27 – 9 scoring on offense and defense!

  21. Hello? It was obvious last thursday night that the Saints will beat the Colts too. How can these “experts” not see that coming? I guess they think Colts will pull off another fake play where the whole team runs to the sidelines except for Luck. Yeah, that should really fool the Saints.

  22. saints12013 says:
    Oct 22, 2015 9:25 AM
    I love that these guys keep picking against us.

    How do you feel about continually losing?

  23. “The Ravens have completely collapsed and are one of the worst teams in the NFL.”

    No one has made a comment like that about the Ravens in a very, very long time. Even the most die hard Steelers fan would have to acknowledge that the Ravens have had a nice run. Oh well. The Ravens great run of success had to end some time. Time to retool. They’ll be back before you know it.

  24. The Ravens are having a bad season, but I don’t recall them getting blown out by anybody and in each of there losses, having a chance to win the game at the end. There not a good team based on there inability to finish games, but one of the worst, I beg to differ.

  25. Florio’s take: Joe Flacco isn’t elite.

    Not sure I know what elite is. I only know that Flacco’s career record and playoff record is pretty good. I’m ok with him.

    Check the schedule, its RAIDERS at CHARGERS.
    After not knowing who is playing at home, why would anyone listen to the rest of your ‘advice’.

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