The Old Man’s Picks – Week Seven

generic football
By Jeff Heck, Bears Claws contributor

Disclaimer: He who gambles, lives in shambles

We’re six weeks into the NFL season and, to me, here are the biggest surprises. The Giants haven’t won a game. The Chiefs and Broncos are undefeated. Somehow the Patriots are 5-1. Jay Cutler has been sacked less than ten times, and Matt Schaub won’t be having a “fan appreciation day” at his house anytime soon. In the immortal words of former Ball State broadcaster Brian Collins (Google this guy for some hilarious stuff) “Boom goes the dynamite!” Let’s get to this weeks picks. As usual, all games are picked straight up. Points are only used as a reference. All games are on Sunday unless otherwise noted. Bye week teams are the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints.

 Seattle Seahawks (-6) at Arizona Cardinals – Thursday Night

 Russell Wilson and the Hawks squeaked by the Titans last week at home and they face a rejuvenated Arizona team. I like Arians, I like the Cards, but not tonight. This game is where the men are separated from the boys. Take the Seahawks on the road.

New England Patriots (-4.5) at New York Jets

 The Old Man actually took a break last Sunday when the Pats punted the ball away to Brees and company with about two minutes left in the game. When I returned to my television, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Somehow the Pats were able to pull it off…again! And against a Rob Ryan defense! Okay, that part was a joke. For some reason many believe this is the worst 5-1 team in the history of the NFL. Maybe so, but the Pats are getting it done and they can put a little more distance between themselves and the Jets this week. Tough one to call but I have to go with the Pats on the road. Rex Ryan has his team playing well, but the Pats just have that little something that keeps them winning.

 San Diego Chargers (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

 San Diego is coming off its biggest win of the year, and they’ll keep that streak alive this week. The Jags played the Broncos tough on the road, but the Old Man thinks they may have left too much in Denver. I can see the Jags going 0-16 this year. Put another L in the Jags column. Rivers gets it done.

 Houston Texans (+6.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

 The Texans continued their downward spiral with an abysmal performance last Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Things don’t get any easier for the Texans as they travel to the land of the undefeated Chiefs. At one point I thought the Texans might be one of the teams to beat in the AFC, now they’re just a team that gets beat. The Chiefs are for real and are one of the teams to beat. Chiefs will put this one away early.

Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5) at Detroit Lions

 The Old Man drafted Ginger Spice, AKA Andy Dalton, as his QB for his fantasy team. Last week he did great, except I benched him for Jay Cutler. The Old Man will be starting Cutler again this week as the Bengals travel to Detroit Rock City to face a difficult Lions team. Look for the Lions D line to get all over Dalton as the win at home to stay atop the NFC North. The big question here is can Suh avoid another fine?

Buffalo Bills (+8.5) at Miami Dolphins

 The Bills are so desperate at QB that Matt Flynn is getting a chance. Flynn’s stock rose a few years ago when he passed for over 600 yards and a bazillion TD’s in the last game of the Packers season. Best 401k plan the Old Man has ever seen. The Dolphins are coming off a bye, a couple of tough losses, and they’ve kind of discovered that Pitt wide receiver they paid a hefty price for needs to be involved in the offense. Dolphins win at home.

Chicago Bears (-1.5) at Washington Redskins

 The Bears righted the ship last Thursday with a win over the Giants. The sad thing is the winless Giants had a chance to win it at the end of the game. Like the Old Man’s hair, Chicago is very thin on the defensive line. RG3 isn’t back to the RG3 of last season, but he’s close. If he finds the giddy up in his hitch, the Bears could lose. But I’m guessing no. Bears win.

Dallas Cowboys (+1) at Philadelphia Eagles

 The Cowboys and Eagles are tied for first in the NFC Least, I mean East. The Cowboys are coming off a big win against the Redskins, but they suffered several injuries during the game. Ware is out and Murray is likely out as of this writing. Philly put up some decent numbers against a Bucs team that actually has a pretty good defense. I don’t think the Cowboys D will be able to keep pace with Philly’s fast style offense. Not enough defensive players to substitute. As the game goes on, the easier it will be for the Eagles to score. Philly pulls away and takes the lead in the NFC East.

St. Louis Rams (+5.5) at Carolina Panthers

 The St. Louis Rams took the Houston Texans to the woodshed last Sunday and they were not kind to them when they got there. This week they get to face a Panthers team that did their own bit of woodshed discipline last week to the Vikings. I like the Panthers to make it two in a row. Their D is playing pretty good ball right now but I think this will be a close contest.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) at Atlanta Falcons

 I don’t know if the Bucs are the worst team in the NFL or not, but they certainly are the most disorganized, discombobulated, and any other word that starts with “dis” out there. This week they travel to Atlanta where the Falcons desperately need to win to have any chance of getting into the post season. Julio Jones is gone, but Gonzalez remains. Tampa loses this one and Schiano’s hours as head coach start to tick down.

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) at Tennessee Titans

 The 49ers face a tough task traveling across the country to meet a Titans team that is hard to beat at home. I think the 49ers have too many weapons on offense and their defense will befuddle Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 49ers D will get one touchdown this week. Also, an odd stat, every team that has played the Seahawks has lost their next game. Last week the Titans played Seattle. I think the trend holds true. 49ers on the road.

Cleveland Browns (+10.5) at Green Bay Packers

 The Packers, down a couple of receivers and down several defensive players, took care of business last week at the home of the defending champs. Do you really think they’ll fall at home to Weeden and the Browns? No way. Lock of the week. Pack beat the Browns.

Baltimore Ravens (+2) at Pittsburgh Steelers

 One of the hardest hitting rivalries in football resumes this Sunday and both teams need this win. The Old Man has been disappointed with the erratic performance of both squads. Toughest game on the schedule to pick but I have to go with the Steelers as they win their second straight.

Denver Broncos (-6) at Indianapolis Colts – Sunday Night

 This Sunday marks the return of Peyton Manning to the “House that Peyton Built” and I’m guessing Andrew Luck feels a bit like Jan Brady. Instead of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” all he hears is “Peyton, Peyton, Peyton!” Yesterday I was really leaning towards taking the Colts in this one, even though they looked terrible on Monday night against the Chargers. However, Jim Irsay changed my mind. Irsay made some comments yesterday that have not gone over too well in Denver and I think he gave Mr. Manning a “little more mustard on his hot dog” to win this one. “Boom goes the dynamite” as Denver remains undefeated.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) at New York Giants – Monday Night

 I’ll bet ESPN really wishes the NFL would start the flex-scheduling a bit early as they get to broadcast this match-up for the ages! The Vikings were blown out of their home stadium last Sunday by a so-so Carolina Panthers team.  This week they travel to the site of the next Super Bowl. They better enjoy the trip because they won’t be anywhere near this stadium come February. Josh Freeman gets the start but Eli and the G-Men break through on Monday Night for their first win of the year.

 That’s it for this week. Take it to the bank!

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