The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 7
by John Canton(NFL)
Posted on October 23, 2009, 9:53 AM
John: Welcome to week seven of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James Deaux and Matt Henry. Last week wasn't pretty. A lot of underdogs covered the spread or outright won and as a result I went 8-6 straight up. It was even worse against the spread. I'm hoping for a bounce back this week. Keep in mind there are only 13 games this week as opposed to the usual 14 on a bye.
James: I seem to be in a mini-slump, at least given how well I was doing the first four weeks. Oh, well. This week doesnít showcase many difficult choices, in my humble opinion.
Matt: I think we can all agree with the idea that the pundits who have been complaining about the sudden lack of parity in the league should keep quiet from here on out. Iím convinced that those statements had a direct impact on several games last week. How else can you explain the losses of the Eagles, Bengals, and Jets in games that shouldnít have been much more than a midseason preseason game? At least I canít get the Broncos game wrong this week. Now that the NFL is getting back to its form from last year, Iím thinking I might have to pick some off the wall upsets this week. Rams over the Colts anyone?
Last week's results:
The standings for the season:
James 67-23 (.744)
John 59-31 (.656)
Matt 58-32 (.644)
The following teams have byes this week: Ravens, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, Titans
All game times are Eastern.
Green Bay at Cleveland 1:00 PM James: Green Bay hasnít had the toughest of schedules this year and they still havenít managed to take advantage of it. But theyíll win this one easily. Green Bay 34 Ė Cleveland 14
Matt: Oh those crazy Browns. Excuse of the week, the flu. Next week, Mangini calls press conference to announce that the upcoming loss is caused by a severe outbreak of suck caused by their week 5 exposure to the Bills. The Packers have been inconsistent at best this year. They canít seem to beat any good teams. Luckily they havenít had to play any of them since week 4. The Packers do well enough against the run to hold AP to 55 yards. I canít see any way that the Browns win this one since the only team with a worse passing attack is the Raiders. Packers 28-6
John: The Packers were my NFC Super Bowl pick. They're a team that I think is very good offensively while not being as good defensively as I had thought. Still, I'm not about the pick the Browns in any game the rest of the way. It's just common sense. Packers 31-10
San Diego at Kansas City 1:00 PM James: San Diego is about as soft a team as Iíve seen in the NFL this year. Kansas City has fought in almost every game theyíve played this year, and Iím going to predict an upset here. Kansas City 27 Ė San Diego 23
Matt: So, I picked the Chargers to beat the unbeaten Broncos last week. Iím starting to think that the Chargers arenít even close to being a contender this year. How does a team with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles average less than 60 rushing yards per game? I find myself thinking that this could easily be an upset this week. Last week put the Chargers in a huge hole in the division, and I doubt that they will even get close to a Wildcard playoff appearance as it stands now. This has become a win or die situation for the Chargers already and it is only week seven. Chargers 24-20
John: I'm so sick of picking the Chargers, but I really don't like the Chiefs much at all, so I'm stuck. At some point the Chargers have to realize they have a lot of talent on their roster, right? The Chiefs are gritty, though, so you never know. They play hard. They just don't have the talent yet. Kind of like the opposite of the Chargers. Chargers 23-20
Indianapolis at St. Louis 1:00 PM James: For some reason, I have a feeling this game is going to be closer than it has any right to be. Why? I have no clue. Oh, Indianapolis will win, no doubt. But I donít think itís going to be quite as large a margin of victory as everyone thinks. Indianapolis 30 Ė St. Louis 18
Matt: The all beaten Rams are being outscored by an average of nearly 20 points per game and they are playing the unbeaten Colts, a team outscoring opponents by about 14 points per game. I canít believe that the Colts are only favored by 13 here. Colts 34-10
John: The Colts? Screw them. My Rams are looking ahead to next week's titanic matchup: Rams @ Lions. So yeah, the Colts might eke this one out. I never thought I'd hate a season as a Rams fan more than I hated 2008, but I think I hate this one more. Colts 41-13
Minnesota at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM James: Game of the Week right here. This one could easily go either way, but Iím going to take Minnesota because Pittsburghís offensive line is still really bad. And the Vikingsí pass rush is maybe the best in the league. Minnesota 34 Ė Pittsburgh 30
Matt: Last week, the Vikings had the kind of late game collapse that the Steelers have been noted for this year. By virtue of a missed field goal, they were able to hang on for the win. This week, Farve leads his team into battle against another AFC North team. For the first time this year, the Vikings are going to be on the road against a top caliber team. Also for the first time this year, the Vikings are going to have to rely heavily on Farve as they face the second ranked run defense in the league. Iím most worried about the fact that the Vikings have been playing strong at the end of the game where the Steelers have been playing their worst. The Steelers outlast the Vikings here in a slobberknocker. Steelers 27-24
John: Leaving the confines of the dome and heading to Pittsburgh to play one of the best teams in the league won't be easy for the Vikings. This will be a passing game. Both run defenses are so good that it will be very difficult to move the ball that way. In terms of passing the ball, Pittsburgh superior. Roethlisberger's in some kind of zone right now and the Vikes pass D has been victimized this season. Both teams are very good and I think both can make long playoff runs, but in this game I like Pittsburgh that much more. Steelers 31-23
New England at Tampa Bay (in London, England) 1:00 PM James: If weíre trying to impress the Brits, then why have we given them such awful games to watch? New England 42 Ė Tampa Bay 10
Matt: Iím guessing that the idea here was to pick a game where there was no chance that the overseas trip would change the outcome. I donít participate in or follow fantasy football much, but my advice for the week can be summed up in two words: Start Brady. Patriots 40-6
John: This is an example of the NFL bragging about how British people are so willing to watch the NFL that they'll even pay ridiculously high prices to watch the Bucs get destroyed. After last week's performance I think it's safe to say that Tom Brady's back. Look out, NFL. Last week they won 59-0. This week they will lighten up a bit. Patriots 58-0
San Francisco at Houston 1:00 PM James: Last we saw San Francisco, they were embarrassed by Atlanta on their home field. And Houston is maybe the most inconsistent team in football this year. I have no idea who to pick here. *coin flip* Houston it is. Houston 31 Ė San Francisco 27
Matt: The Texans won last week, by rule they lose this week. Iíve decided to count on this for the rest of the season. I think the 49ers are the better team as well, but last week proved that the alternate week theory trumps the better team theory as it relates to the Texans this week. 49ers 20-10
John: I like the Niners here. Why? I don't know. The Texans are the most puzzling team in the league. I tend to go with teams coming off the bye as long as they're decent and the Niners fit that description, so I'll roll with them. Plus, Houston loves to lose games as favorites. That's what they do. Niners 23-20
NY Jets at Oakland 4:05 PM James: Message to Richard Seymour: ďno.Ē The Jets, meanwhile, have crashed back to earth, but people really need to understand that Mark Sanchez played, what, 16 games at USC? Heís going to struggle mightily in the NFL for a while. Itís natural. I think the Jets squeak by here against an Oakland team that looked better than it has all year last week. Jets 17 Ė Oakland 14
Matt: Is this the Jets team that beat the Patriots in week two, or the Jets team that lost to the Bills in week six? One thing has to be true, this isnít the Jets team that loses to the Raiders in week seven. The Raiders upset many people in the Survivor leagues last week. This week, they just continue to upset their fans with more continued misery. Jets 24-3
John: I still don't know how the Raiders beat the Eagles like they did. I guess I do. They threw a pass to Zach Miller, nobody on Philly wanted to tackle him and that was all the offense they needed. The Jets are probably a .500 team that has lost three straight. I think they have enough talent to right the ship here. Mark Sanchez has to be smarter, though. You've got a good RB and solid weapons at WR. Use them. Don't force the ball. I think they'll employ a more conservative approach this week and it will work just fine. Jets 20-13
Buffalo at Carolina 4:05 PM James: Carolina should easily beat a team that got six interceptions last week and only won by 3 points. Carolina 23 Ė Buffalo 14
Matt: The Bills beat the Jets last week. The Jets were good earlier this year, now they are going to lose a bunch of games before battling back to make the playoffs. In other words, donít read too much into the Bills win last week. TO is actually taking some of the blame for the Bills poor record this year. Too bad for the Bills he can only act humble or catch a football. The Panthers have won two games this year, the same number as the Bills, but they were close games against the Redskins and the Bucs. Last year this was an easy Carolina pick since they were unstoppable at home. This year, it is an easy pick for the Bills since Delhomme has been posting JaMarcus Russell like numbers. Bills 24-6
John: Ewwww. Buffalo has had the worst games the last two weeks. I think that trend continues. Run the ball, Panthers. I think 75% of the plays should be runs. They did it last week. They're learning. Panthers 24-10
Chicago at Cincinnati 4:15 PM James: Interesting matchup here with the Bears still stinging from shooting themselves in the feet repeatedly against Atlanta and Cincinnati being humbled by Houston. I think Cincinnati wins here in a tight one. Cincinnati 24 Ė Chicago 20
Matt: This game is going to be fun to watch. The Bears need to win to keep pace in the NFC, the Bengals need to win to preserve their lead in the AFC North. I think it is too early in the year to count on the inevitable collapse of the Bengals, still the Bears are a very tempting pick here. These two teams are pretty evenly matched, and both are motivated coming off of a loss. Bengals 21-20
John: The big story here is Cedric Benson playing against the Bears after being a flop for them. He wants this one big time. Normally I'd pick the Bengals here. However, in today's NFL where home field seems to be irrelevant and trends never seem to prove true I'll go with the Bears. Why? Gut instinct. Nothing more than that. Bears 21-17
Atlanta at Dallas 4:15 PM James: This is maybe the hardest game of the week to predict. Dallas has had two weeks to prepare for this game, while Atlanta is coming off a tough-fought Sunday night game. Atlanta really needs to win this game, because if they do, then no matter what the Saints do against Miami, it will mean that the Falcons/Saints Monday Night Football game next week will be for first place in the NFC South. I am going to cautiously pick Atlanta here in a very close one. Atlanta 27 Ė Dallas 25
Matt: Wow, that is sure a nice stadium. Dallas fans would like it more if they could win more than one game there this year. The second win isnít going to come this week though. The Falcons continue to impress with a close win here. Falcons 27-24
John: Remember the San Fran game where I picked them because they're coming off a bye and I think they're decent? Well, I don't think Dallas is decent. Their wins are against bad teams like the Panthers, Bucs and Chiefs, who they barely edged out. I like the Falcons. Good passing team, very good running team although they'll miss Jerious Norwood and I just think they're well coached. They will win a squeaker. Falcons 31-28
New Orleans at Miami 4:15 PM James: I eagerly await to see how the Saintsí defense tackles (literally and figuratively) the Wildcat of the Dolphins. The way you beat New Orleans is to keep Drew Brees off the field as much as humanly possible, and the Wildcat formation is probably one of the best ways to do just that. I still think that New Orleans will prove too much in the end, but this one is going to be good. New Orleans 28 Ė Miami 21
Matt: The good news for Miami is that both the Jets and Patriots are going to lose a few more games this year which should give them a shot to possibly win the division if they donít lose too many more. The bad news is that they are taking yet another loss this week as they face the Saints. Saints 36-27
John: The Saints have won their games by an average of 19 points per game. I think Miami has found themselves after the performance against the Jets two weeks ago and they're coming off the bye. The problem is that defense isn't as good as it was last year. And when your defense is a question mark against the Saints guess what that means? A loss. By double digits. By the way, when Drew Brees was a free agent a few years ago the Dolphins nearly signed him. They passed because they thought his shoulder injury would hurt him. Do you think he remembers that? I do. Saints 37-23
Arizona at NY Giants 8:20 PM James: This one will probably to be a shootout. The Giants defense is not nearly as good as everyone made it out to be (as New Orleans showed last week). Arizona, on the other hand, has allowed the second fewest points in the NFC behind Atlanta. This is a tough one to call, but I think Iíll pick the G-Men with home-field advantage and the bad taste in their mouth from last week. New York 21 Ė Arizona 20
Matt: The Cardinals are showing some signs of improvement after a slow start. This is not an elite team, but they are good enough to be competitive in their division. Too bad for them that they have to play 10 games against teams outside of the division. The Giants lost to the Saints last week. Nothing to be ashamed of there, the Saints are arguably the best team in the NFL right now. Too bad for the Cardinals that they get to face the Giants the week after that tough loss. Giants 34-24
John: The Giants are pissed. Arizona doesn't travel very well on the East Coast. I think this will be a convincing victory for the home team in a cold game that will lead to a dominant running performance by the GMen. Giants 30-13
Philadelphia at Washington 8:30 PM (Mon) James: I would love for someone who decides these kinds of things to explain why they thought this game deserved to be on Monday Night Football. Try as I might, I canít think of one logical reason that the Redskins deserve any primetime games. It wasnít as if they earned it based on their record last year, either. They bombed in the second half. And now, they have a Bingo caller calling plays for them. You canít write that kind of comedy. On the other side, Philadelphia got their requisite annual ďletís completely no-show against a terrible opponentĒ game out of the way last week, so they should be good to go this week...one would think. Philadelphia 28 Ė Redskins 3
Matt: Well, the Eagles should be pretty fired up after the loss to the Raiders last week and the Redskins should still be as terrible as they have been all season as well. Seems simple enough to me. I wonder who is guest hosting Raw this week. Eagles 27-3
John: When a team takes the playcalling duties away from the head coach only to give them to an assistant that's been there for three weeks after leaving a job as a bingo caller that tells me that the team is in disarray. And I'm not picking them. Not a chance. Eagles 24-10
JC's Money Picks John: Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. Let's review last week first. Vikings -3 (wrong because they won by 2 after blowing a huge lead), Bengals -5 (they lost), Jets -9Ĺ (they lost) and Jags/Rams over 43 (push because it was a 23-20 final). That means I went 0-3-1 after four straight weeks of being 3-1. Damn. I guess all I can say is things can only get better from here. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com on Friday morning as I write this.
Season: 14-9-1 (.609)
Saints/Dolphins OVER 47. Feels like a lot of points there.
GIANTS -7 over the Cardinals. Comfortable win.
Patriots -14Ĺ over the BUCS. I know it's a lot of points. I don't care.
Colts -13 over the RAMS. Same as above.
Thanks for reading. We'll see you next Friday for week eight.