I’m still figuring this whole blog thing out, and I’m going to test out a new strategy this week: discussing a little bit about most of the games rather than a detailed analysis on just a few. To be perfectly honest, I spent a ton of time doing homework on Sunday so I didn’t get a chance to watch as much football as I normally do (all the games), so this could be my easy way out. Enjoy the article. At the end you will find my Week 7 picks.
I was wondering why Sunday was a lot less ugly than usual, then I realized that both Buffalo and Carolina had bye weeks. I could get used to that, so maybe the NFL should leave those teams out every week.
The Saints offense finally woke up against the Buccaneers, scoring over 30 points for the first time this season. This could be the type of win that they needed to get things started, or just an aberration in a mediocre year. Preseason sensation Chris Ivory rushed for 158 yards, so the news about Pierre Thomas missing more games than expected shouldn’t be as worrisome for Saints fans. Pretty cool to see Ivory doing well, because I remember this play from the preseason, which is what probably won him his roster spot. Players like Ivory show the importance of the preseason for undrafted players, as just one good play could snowball into a great NFL career.
As for the Buccaneers, they are sort of the best of the bad teams, but when they face the real contenders (Steelers and Saints), they can’t compete. Give Tampa Bay a couple more drafts to strengthen their roster and they will be a very competitive team.
Can anyone come up with a reason not to name the Steelers the best team in the league right now? I can’t. They have the league’s best defense, and now their starting quarterback has returned. Unlike the rest of the elite teams such as the Jets, Ravens and Falcons, Big Ben is the only one who’s played in the Super Bowl, and won (twice).
The Giants are looking like a great team, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with their 28-20 win against the Lions at home. They had a big lead but surrendered an 87-yard touchdown to Calvin Johnson and weren’t able to pull away. They visit the Cowboys on Monday night in a game that is about as meaningful as any of the primetime games thus far in 2010.
The Patriots didn’t play a particularly good game, and John Harbaugh didn’t call a great one in the fourth quarter, letting a 10- point lead disappear and ultimately losing in overtime. However, you have to realize that the Pats just had their first game without Randy Moss. They are only going to improve as Tom Brady begins to adapt to the true west coast offense and the Patriots have a good shot at winning the AFC East.
The same goes for the Vikings, who will learn to adapt with Moss. They had a nice win against the Cowboys, and I think that once Favre figures out how to throw the high arching deep ball that Moss prefers, the Vikings will become a much more dangerous team.
The Cowboys aren’t dead yet, but they aren’t helping their cause with costly penalties. Two weeks in a row they’ve had 15-yard penalties on excessive celebrations, which is completely unacceptable. Monday night’s game against the Giants could be the biggest of Tony Romo’s career, which is crazy to say about a Week 7 matchup.
The Bears are not that good; I’ve been saying it for weeks. Their offensive line is way too weak. How many third downs did they convert against the Seahawks? Zero. On 12 attempts.
My take on the concussions issue is this: I hate to see players get hurt, but it’s part of football. They know what they’re getting into when they step on the field, and when you start changing the rules about how you can’t hit high or whatever people are proposing, then we will get one of two things: soft football, which would take away the prestige of the NFL, or more defenders going low, which will cause more concussions for tacklers, and blown out knees on every other play. As barbaric as it is to say, plays like this are what the NFL is all about.
The Jets squeaked one out against the Broncos, but a win is a win. At Mile High Stadium coming off a short week isn’t a situation teams wants to be in, and the fact that the Jets were able to pull it off makes me believe that they’re the real deal.
What was the NFL thinking when it scheduled Titans-Jaguars on Monday night? Was this game some kind of agreement with Major League Baseball to jack up the ALCS ratings? Mondays should be reserved for games that people actually want to watch.
Week 7 Picks
TB (-2.5) over STL
I really like both of these teams, but I feel like the Bucs at home coming off a blowout loss will be tough to beat. They have played well against tough opponents, and I think they will handle the Rams in Tampa Bay.
ATL (-3.5) over CIN
The Falcons are a better team, at home, and even though the Bengals are coming off a bye, I like Atlanta here.
SEA (+5.5) over ARI
The Seahawks looked really good on Sunday, as Hasslebeck was spreading the field with Mike Williams and Marshawn Lynch was in his patented “beast mode.” They are also one of the best home teams in the league.