NFL Week 7 Preview

From my boy SMA in St. Louis, sorry it’s late will be up earlier in the future.
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I’m behind this week so there’s not much to talk about outside of that idiotic, wtf 4th down play from the Colts last week. That went from a compelling game to hot garbage in 10 seconds. Yikes!

Thursday Night
Seahawks @ 49ers

Sunday Morning
Bills @ Jaguars (in London, streaming on Yahoo)
Buccaneers @ Redskins
Falcons @ Titans
Saints @ Colts
Vikings @ Lions
Steelers @ Chiefs
Browns @ Rams
Texans @ Dolphins
Jets @ Patriots

Sunday Afternoon
Raiders @ Chargers
Cowboys @ Giants

Sunday Night
Eagles @ Panthers

Monday Night
Ravens @ Cardinals

– This rivalry was lackluster last year when the Niners were down but this year it’s both squads. The Seahawks lost another tough game this time to a team they’ve beaten pretty soundly the last few years. It’s the same ol’ story each week, the offensive line lets down and the defense gives up one big play at the wrong time. It was encouraging to see Graham finally get more involved but there’s still no reason for optimism yet. This is a must-win game for Seattle.
The Niners offense has looked better in recent weeks and the team gutted out a tough victory at home last week. Now they’ll hope that the defense can continue to play well on a short week as they face their least favorite opponent at home. The read option isn’t going to work against these guys so Kaep will have to be on his best to get a W.

– The terrible idea that is the NFL in London continues this week with an AFC matchup. Buffalo plans on starting EJ Manuel again who wasn’t horrible last week but still predictably cost this team a win. Until this team gets healthy we won’t get to see how good they can be. Tyrod needs to hurry back soon to keep this team in contention.
Bortles has been surprisingly good this year but last week was an awful game. It doesn’t get any easier facing the Bills defense but the weapons are continuing to develop and Julius Thomas already looks like the same threat we saw in Denver. It’s time to see more from this defense, despite missing their 1st round pick. When your HC is a former DC, you should be better than this.

– It’s put up or shut up time for Jameis. He said early this season that he realized he wasn’t working hard enough and needed to do more. With an extra week to prepare we’ll get to see if he put in the extra man hours and reflected on his early season struggles to move forward, or if he got complacent and didn’t make adjustments. Mike Evans needs to realize the season has started too.
The good news for the Bucs defense, however, is that Kirk Cousins is coming to town, which means you’re guaranteed a few turnovers. It’s even more frustrating watching the Skins this year because with how well their defense has played so far, there’s every reason to believe they could be 4-2 and in the hunt for the division right now. Gruden is the perfect HC for Snyder because both are completely stubborn and refuse to make the right move/change despite it staring them in the face.

– Last week was the kind of head-scratching loss we expected from the Falcons coming into the season, not the team we’d seen over the first 5 weeks. Sure it was a rivalry game on the road but there’s no excuse for how badly the defense got torched. This team is going to have to score in the 30’s to keep winning so it’s a good thing that Freeman and Coleman look great and Julio won’t go away. This is another road test but one that this team should win easily.
After the early season binge, Mariota has quickly come back to earth and we seem to be hearing less and less of those singing his praises. This team’s lack of weapons is getting exposed regularly and the defense couldn’t keep it together to beat a struggling Dolphins squad at home last week. There’s no reason to think they won’t get blown off the field this week but the hope is that Mariota can keep pace with a very weak Atlanta defense.

– The Saints quieted concerns for a week but nobody is pleased with the product overall. The team stepped it up knowing that everything was falling apart and their most bitter rivals were coming to put the nail in their coffin. Still, if there was a team to face to try and keep the wins coming, Indy is the one they’d want to see. Brees will have a chance to dissect another terrible defense while the defense can get after a weak o-line and an offense that’s only starting to put it together.
Everyone is still shaking their heads at that retarded play the Colts used to give away the game last week. Pagano has to be sitting on a hot seat after that one. Still, there were positives to take away. Luck looked solid despite clearly not being 100%. The defense got after it a bit and made things interesting. If they can continue to progress they can play their way back into contention in the AFC.

– Vikings fans are going to hope that this is just a sophomore slump for Teddy B because this season has not been very encouraging. Every week they face teams that this offense should put up points against and every week they let down. This week is no different as they face a horrible Detroit team that nearly managed to stay defeated last week. It’s time for this offense to finally put together a big game.
Finally Stafford remembered the Randy Moss/Megatron rule: Just throw the #%@! ball up and let him go get it. It doesn’t take a good QB to figure that out. And sure enough, it brought the team a win. This is not a good football team right now but with Riddick playing amazingly and the team finally remembering they have the most gifted WR in the league, there’s reason to believe they could start a win streak.

– Landry Jones came in and lit it up to win last week, which doesn’t take much when you’re filling in for a neutered Michael Vick. Martavis Bryant finally made his presence felt with a couple of incredible plays and LeVeon Bell was allowed a minor respite from carrying the offense. More surprising however is how well this defense continues to play. There hasn’t been much said about it but if this defense can continue to play like this when Ben returns this will finally be the team that was a trendy Super Bowl pick before the season.
It looks like the Chiefs are going to bottom out this year. Charcandrick ( @ that name) West didn’t do much and Knile Davis wasn’t given the chances he was afforded in previous seasons. There’s not much more to be said about Andy Reid and Alex Smith at this point so lets just say that Justin Houston still looks amazing and there are better sports teams to watch in KC these days.

– A gutsy Browns team nearly pulled off a huge upset last week…until McCown reminded us why he’s a career backup and the defense completely crumbled on a crucial play. Still, it’d be unfair to bash these guys. The D picked off Manning 3 times and got stops all day and McCown continues to produce even though he’s had absolutely no run game all season long. The run defense is also a major issue but kudos to them for staying competitive so far.
This should be Todd Gurley’s breakout week. The Rams got to use their bye to break down one of the leagues worst run defenses and have to be salivating at the thought of unleashing their talented rookie against it. The D-line will be expected to dominate, and will need to since their opponents have shown they can throw the ball well. Ogletree’s absence could be magnified with Barnidge coming to town too. More importantly than all this, though, is whether Foles and the air attack can finally gain some stability and reintroduce Brian Quick to the league.

– Hoyer availed himself as the right man for the job with an impressive 3 td performance last week. They won again even though a sick JJ Watt did next to nothing. That’s going to give this team confidence going forward but unless Arian Foster can rediscover his form on the ground, this offense won’t reach its potential. Still, DeAndre Hopkins has proved that he’s the new Andre Johnson so hopefully he doesn’t play his entire Houston career without a QB too.
The team responded to the coaching change in a major way last week and now head home excited a what is a second season for the Dolphins. No team’s bye was as important as theirs was but they finally figured things out on both sides of the ball last week. With Miller actually getting touches now and the D-line starting to get to the quarterback ( @ Cam Wake), there’s a chance this could be the promising team the fans hoped for again.

– Though one-sided, this has been a fun rivalry over the years. The Jets had their way last week with success in every phase of the game save the pass rush. They’re going to need more of that this week to stand a chance but if Fitzpatrick can play within himself, they’ll be in the game. It’ll be interesting to watch their defense battle the NE offense this week and see if they can hold up against the squad they’re measured against.
At some point, you have to figure that intimidation is causing teams to make completely idiotic decisions against this team. There were finally some chinks in the armor last week as you saw some dropped passes and o-line breakdowns again, but not nearly enough to trouble this team. This could be a much tougher challenge for them on offense, however, as they’ll finally face a secondary that should match up well.

– It’s been a solid start for Oakland and the week off should give this offense a chance to be even more explosive. Carr, Crabtree, and Cooper have shown that they can make plays so it’s up to Murray to finally join the party. We know the defense isn’t great but Woodson will continue to help these young players develop and if they can keep teams under 20, there’s reason to believe they’ll win a lot of those games.
Rivers is playing extremely well this year but he’s still making a few mistakes that are costing his team games. He missed Woodhead on a few different plays (that I saw) last week that all would have been touchdowns. Then after the most obvious one, they tried to run it again and the defense predictably adjusted and made the stop. Unfortunately, all of that would be moot if this team could just finally get healthy. Keenan Allen was on his way to a historic performance last week before getting hurt and is quietly putting together a Pro-Bowl year. This team will be exciting to watch all season.

– The buzz around Dallas is that Christine Michael is going to make his debut but that has to be tempered by the arrival of Matt Cassel, one of the worst QB’s in the league who somehow still keeps getting work. Weeden was efficient but since he doesn’t have an Andy Reid to blindly deflect heat, he’s getting yanked for being afraid to take chances. The Cowboys desperately need a win to keep from fading and who better to face than a team that gave you one earlier this year. Dez is getting close and can’t come back soon enough for this team’s hopes.
Eli co-headlined a Monday Night battle of pathetic QB performances but he did his best to steal the show. The Giants just have no consistency outside of ODBJr and someone on that offense needs to step up and add some weekly production. Basically much like their rivals the Cowboys, they’re praying for the return of their star WR sooner rather than later. Oh and they still have no pass rush to speak of.

– Bradford still sucks but the Eagles are finding ways to win. That’s important if for no other reason than it has kept the fan base from turning on the team. Racist Riley still manages to remain relevant along with Miles Austin but the most important thing is that Murray has finally started to produce. The defense is on an impressive run despite a few injuries and will expect and need to force more turnovers this week.
Nobody is giving the Panthers the respect they’ve earned so they just keep taking it each week. Cam and co. came back from down 2 scores late in the 4th in the toughest place to play, completely across the country last week to steal a win. That has to be huge for their psyche given the battles they’ve had with Seattle the past few years. Now they head home with a defense that continues to quietly dominate and a QB that is in full command of his offense and team. It may be time to start taking the Panthers seriously.

– Another week, another tough late loss for Baltimore. This team just can’t seem to pull out wins. The unkown receivers are working hard to make a difference but it just hasn’t been enough to take the attention away from Smith and Forsett so they can be successful. Defensively, all that needs to be said is they let Colin Kaepernick throw for 340 yds 2 tds and no int’s last week.
So much for the Cardinals as world beaters. This team couldn’t get it done again and lost another game they were expected to win. They’re eating up chunks of yards through the air offensively but Palmer has to clean up his mistakes or he will continue to cost this team wins. They’ve got to be excited this week though, as they’re facing a defense that cannot stop the pass and an offense that’s got a weak group of WRs. On paper, this should be a slaughtering but we all know that ‘on paper’ doesn’t count for much…

Sorry for the delay y’all. I hurried to get this one to ya so my apologies for any dip in quality. Good luck to your teams and enjoy the week!

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