NFL Week 7 Preview
The NFL is approaching the midway point in the season as the teams head into Week 7 of the 2010-11 campaign, and with the exception of a few of the divisions, there are still a lot of battles taking place as teams continue to jockey for position. Among them is my pick for Game of the Week, Minnesota at Green Bay.
These two teams are struggling early on despite having two of the best QB’s in the league.
Here I take a look at the NFL Betting matchups, giving you some early insight that will help make your 2010 NFL wagers winners.
Teams with byes this week are Detroit, Indianapolis, NY Jets, and Houston.
SUN, OCT 24 TIME (ET)
Cincinnati at Atlanta 1:00 PM CBS – Hopefully, the Bengals have tweaked their offense that has been disappointing so far. Despite having two of the league’s best wide receivers, Carson Palmer has thrown only seven touchdowns with six interceptions. He will get his chance against a banged-up Atlanta secondary that might be without cornerback Dunta Robinson after he suffered a concussion on Sunday. The Bengals have lost six of seven on the road, while Atlanta has won 11 straight at home. Atlanta wins this one.
Washington at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX – QB Jay Cutler has got to be wondering where his o-line is, as he’s been sacked an NFL-worst 27 times, including six in last week’s loss to Seattle. That after nine sacks and a concussion on Oct. 3. He may get a small reprieve, as the Redskins are the NFL’s worst defense, surrendering 432.5 total yards per game. Offensively, QB Donovan McNabb, has thrown just one TD pass in five straight games. A hostile Soldier Field is a no-win for the Skins.
Philadelphia at Tennessee 1:00 PM FOX – Kevin Kolb will try to lead the Eagles to their third win in as many starts, and without wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Titans are just hoping they have a QB. Vince Young left early in Monday night’s game and with a mild sprain in his left knee, while Kerry Collins did not practice because of an ailing middle finger. That’s ok the Titan’s have Chris Johnson, who is well behind last season’s 2,000-yard pace, but remains second in the NFL with 596 rushing yards and has a league-best seven TDs on the ground. Boom!
Jacksonville at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS – With neither team possessing very much talent at quarterback, this will be a running clinic as Jags veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew goes head-to-head against the promising young Jamaal Charles. Jones is likely to come up on the losing end as he faces a fifth-ranked Kansas City rush defense who is ninth in the NFL in scoring defense (18.4 points) after giving up 26.5 points per game in 2009.
Pittsburgh at Miami 1:00 PM CBS – This will be Ben Roethlisberger’s first road game since returning from his suspension and the last place he walked off of an opponent’s field with a win in the regular season. The Fins will try to string together two wins with a tricky wildcat offense. The Steelers strong defense, which leads the NFL in scoring defense, rush defense, and has forced 15 turnovers, should be enough to get the job done.
Cleveland at New Orleans 1:00 PM CBS – The Saints have not been impressive early on but have looked better as of late and more consistency on the ground would certainly serve them well. Especially since Cleveland has had trouble containing the running game the past two weeks. Little-known Chris Ivory will be the go-to back for now. Rookie Colt McCoy played well in his first NFL start for the Browns, but might be missing key receivers Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquo. If the Cleveland D can hang, it might be interesting.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX – With as many wins as they had in any of the last three seasons, the Rams is within striking distance of Arizona and Seattle for the NFC West lead. The Bucs will try to pressure rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, while trying to slow down two-time Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson, who is now just 32 rushing yards shy of Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson’s franchise record of 7,246. That won’t be easy for a defense that second worst against the run. The Rams should enjoy this one, as Jackson celebrates.
San Francisco at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX – The Niners snapped their losing streak with a win over Oakland behind tormented quarterback Alex Smith. Carolina’s Matt Moore is hoping for a similar turn of events as two of the league’s worst and lowest-scoring teams square off. Moore will likely spend his day trying to hook up with WR Steve Smith, or running away from Niner’s linebacker Patrick Willis. Carolina will need to make use of running back DeAngelo Williams, chewing up yardage in this low scoring affair.
Buffalo at Baltimore 1:00 PM CBS –The winless Bills will have to assemble every shred of offense they have to overcome one of the best defenses in the NFL. Meanwhile, the new-look Buffalo D that is seeking to improve on their NFL-worst rush defense, gets its first test in stopping the Ravens’ Ray Rice, who has rushed for 451 yards and is tied for sixth in the NFL with 115 attempts. Buffalo, is off to its worst start in 25 years, whereas Baltimore are an evolving team that will get better despite last week’s loss to the Pats. The Ravens’ defense should have no problem winning this one.
Arizona at Seattle 4:05 PM FOX – Coming off a big win over the Saints and fresh off a bye week, the Cardinals will roll into the Emerald City ready and fully rested for this divisional match up against the Seahawks that will look to open 3-0 at Qwest Field for the first time since 2005. Marshawn Lynch made an immediate impact in his Seattle debut and should be in for a big game against a Cardinals’ defense that is fourth worst in the NFL. Rookie quarterback Max Hall did alright in his first career start, and should put up better numbers against Seattle’s 30th-ranked pass defense. The Cards when a soggy one.
New England at San Diego 4:15 PM CBS – San Diego QB Phillip Rivers, who leads the league in passing yards and is tied for second in touchdowns and passer rating, threw five picks in the teams’ last three losses to the Patriots. That’s good news for a New England pass defense that’s 29th in the league. The Pats recent acquisition of Deion Branch paid dividends immediately, as he nabbed nine Brady passes in his first game. It might be wise to get Ryan Mathews some more touches Sunday if the Chargers want to pull this one off at the “Q”.
Oakland at Denver 4:15 PM CBS – Could we see more of rookie quarterback Tim Tebow as the Broncos play its first divisional matchup? Or will they stick with Kyle Orton who has passed for the second-most yards in the NFL, to counter a very good Raiders pass defense? One thing is for sure; Oakland will still be sorting out their QB issues and may resort to starting third-stringer Kyle Boller. Not good for a passing game that already continues to face adversity. Denver is likely to pick up their first divisional win, dispatching this division rival early on.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Minnesota at Green Bay 8:20 PM NBC – Will Brett Favre’s off-the-field issues be too much for the grizzled veteran to handle as he heads to a place he is all too familiar with? There will be no love in Lambeau for Favre as the Packers try to avoid losing a third straight game. Fans will also likely be booing Randy Moss as well, playing his first game in Green Bay since he pretended to moon the crowd after scoring a touchdown in a wild-card victory in 2005. Can the injury-riddled Packers win this one at home as they try to right it’s offense against a Minnesota defense that ranks fifth in the league. To close to call.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, OCT 25 TIME (ET)
NY Giants at Dallas 8:30 PM – The Giants will travel to the Big D for a classic NFC East showdown. New York will be looking to return the favor after Dallas beat them 31-24 in the Big Apple last season. The Cowboys continue to stumble and it won’t be easy to get back on track against a New York team coming into the game on a three-game winning streak, and features the best defense in the NFC. I like the Giants chances in this one.
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Matt Martz is a freelance writer located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.