Experts hope luck in week seven will yield accurate picks
Our experts fared well this week, even with some crazy upsets. Melissa finished the week with a 9-5 record, while Eli went 8-6 and Blake finished 7-7. Eli's still ahead and his lead extends week by week. The race for second place between Blake and Melissa is heating up, as Melissa seems to have finally hit her stride and is now over .500 overall.
Sunday, Oct. 10
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
Coming off of a bye week, the Bengals need to step their game up this week. In their week off, Cincinnati tuned up their offense and should be ready for a mediocre Falcons defense.
Atlanta struggled in a 31-17 loss to the Eagles last week, but they'll bounce back with a win over Cincinnati in week seven.
The Falcons are looking to bounce back from a loss to the Eagles, in which Atlanta gave up 14 points in the first quarter alone. Atlanta's running game against the Eagles was almost non-existent and if they want to win against the Bengals, they're gonna need to pick it up. Cincy's coming in off a bye week, but I doubt getting rested and a week of practice can fix the problems that team has.
Washington Redskins (3-3) at Chicago Bears (4-2)
The Redskins have shown they have what takes this season. Both teams have a lot of room for improvement; however, Jay Cutler will not be protected against a steadily improving Redskin defense.
The 'Skins played well against the Colts on Sunday night, and they face a much less talented foe in Chicago this week. The Bears are first in the NFC North at 4-2, but they're coming off a loss to Seattle and shouldn't pose any problems for Washington.
This one's a little harder than I thought it would be. The Redskins have been playing well and before last week, so had the Bears. Both teams lost close games last week; the Redskins weren't able to get a handle on the Colts' offense and the Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler just didn't play well at all. He threw for no touchdowns and was sacked six times by the Seahawks' defense. Before last week, Cutler had to sit out week five after getting sacked nine times by the Giants in week four. If Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb can get the offense going and the ‘Skins defense gets to Cutler, I think Washington has a huge shot at winning this game.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
Jacksonville still doesn't have a starting quarterback and the Chiefs are not about to have their third loss in a row. If they want the "W” this week, Kansas City will need to strengthen their defense since they have let their opponents dominate them offensively in the past two weeks.
The Chiefs played well offensively in their 35-31 loss to Houston. Tennessee embarrassed Jacksonville, 30-3, on Monday night football. I'll take Kansas City at home.
Even with a loss at Houston, the Chiefs showed that they actually have game; and also showed that their 3-1 start (before last week's game) was no joke. This week, Kansas City takes on Jacksonville. The Jags never had a chance against Tennessee last week, even with the loss of Titans quarterback Vince Young. It looks like Jags quarterback David Garrard, who suffered a concussion last week, won't be playing in this week's game either, giving the Chiefs the advantage going into this game. Chiefs should be able to win and maybe they'll finally start getting well-deserved credit for the way they've been playing overall.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2)
With and without Roethlisberger, the Steelers have proven that they are a team to fear. On the offensive end, Pittsburgh is re-energized and the Dolphins, who are barely over .500, won't be able to hang.
Big Ben had a big day in his return for the black and gold as he threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in week six. The Dolphins handed Green Bay their second straight loss with a 23-20 overtime win. As long as the Pittsburgh "D” keeps it up, and Roethlisberger takes care of business on the offensive end, then the Steelers should get the road win.
Pittsburgh is arguably one of the better teams in the league right now, with a solid defense and the re-emergence of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After sitting out the first five weeks, Big Ben came back and threw for three touchdowns and 257 yards. However, they did play the Browns so I'm not really sure if it was that much of an accomplishment. After seeing the Pats destroy Miami, I'm convinced Pittsburgh can do the same. Sure, Miami beat Green Bay—but they beat a struggling, injured Green Bay. Steelers win on Sunday.
Cleveland Browns (1-5) at New Orleans Saints (4-2)
This one isn't even really fair. The Saints are expected to go deep into the playoffs while the Bears only have one win under their belt.
The Saints haven't looked amazing through week six, but they'll take care of Cleveland on Sunday. Drew Brees vs. Colt McCoy isn't exactly a fair fight.
Going into week six, the Saints had all eyes on them. Would the reigning Super Bowl champs be able to conquer the Bucs and prove that they still had it in them? Well, New Orleans answered big, beating Tampa Bay 31-6. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns as Bucs got steamrolled. New Orleans takes on the Cleveland Browns this week and should be able to completely destroy them as well. After all, Cleveland isn't that great...
St. Louis Rams (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
The Rams have finally found a rhythm and the Bucs aren't too much competition for them. They'll keep their hot streak alive this Sunday.
St. Louis is 3-3 after stunning the Chargers 20-17, while the Bucs got killed by New Orleans, 31-6. Steven Jackson is having a career season while quarterback Bradford is gaining confidence with each victory. Look for St. Louis to go into Tampa and come out with a winning record.
This game puts two teams against each other that have been playing surprisingly well and are continually doing better as the weeks go by—but I think St. Louis has the edge here. Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford has done pretty well so far, leading his team to three wins and showing that he can play at the professional level. Tampa Bay has had some good wins against Cincy and Carolina, but tends to struggle against teams that present more of a challenge, like Pittsburgh and New Orleans. If the Rams come out swinging on Sunday, they have a chance at winning this game.
San Francisco 49ers (1-5) at Carolina Panthers (0-5)
While this game may not be very impressive to spectators, it should be an interesting match-up considering that San Francisco and Carolina between them only have one win. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they will not be getting their first win on Sunday.
San Fran finally picked up their first win of the season last week, beating Oakland 17-9. They should win their second straight when they play the brutal Panthers come Sunday.
The 49ers finally won! Against the Raiders, but still, it was just the thing they needed to get their confidence up. This week, they take on the Carolina Panthers, who are sitting at 0-4. Carolina decided to bench quarterback Jimmy Clausen and start their original quarterback Matt Moore. Honestly, I don't think he'll be of much help. San Francisco has the talent and now that they finally won a game, I think they're ready to prove that they can win games. 49ers win.
Buffalo Bills (0-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
The Ravens are mad about their loss to New England last week and can't wait to get revenge. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will dish the ball and the Baltimore will run through the winless Bills.
Baltimore has Super Bowl aspirations while the Bills are simply hoping to finish the season with a win. Ravens roll.
The Patriots edged past the Ravens last week, but the Ravens have nothing to be ashamed of. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco played extremely well, in fact, his stats mirror those of Pats quarterback Tom Brady in last week's game. Flacco also threw no interceptions, countering Brady's two. Taking into consideration how close the loss to the Pats was, Baltimore takes on 0-5 Buffalo this week and is looking for blood—they should be able to completely annihilate the Bills.
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
Win, loss, win, loss, win. This has been the pattern that the Seahawks have been stuck in that they hope to break come Sunday.
Seattle is got their third win last week over Chicago. The Cardinals, also 3-2, are well rested coming off their bye. I'm going with the 'Hawks, who'll put pressure on young Arizona quarterback Max Hall.
The 3-2 Seahawks will be facing the 3-2 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. This game counts for more than just a win—it will also decide who will take the top spot in the NFC West. The Seahawks played impressively against the Bears last week and the Cards are starting rookie quarterback Max Hall in Seattle, home of the 12th man. I'll take the Seahawks due to Hall's inexperience, but this is a toss up.
Oakland Raiders (2-4) at Denver Broncos (2-4)
Coming off a win against the Jets last Sunday, the Broncos hope to keep their impressive rushing game alive and take advantage of Oakland's weak passing game.
Although they both teams share the same record, Denver's the better team and should be able to come out on top. Runningback Darren McFadden returns from injury for Oakland but they won't be able to keep up with Denver's passing game.
If quarterback Kyle Orton plays well, Denver wins; but even if he doesn't then Denver should still be able to win. Oakland's won some games this year, but they've all been flukes against struggling teams like San Diego. Since it looks like San Diego is going to lose to the Patriots, the winner of the Denver/Oakland game should determine who takes second place in the AFC West—unless of course Kansas City loses, then that division is open for anyone. But honestly, Denver should win this game, and if they don't, they will have a lot to evaluate.
New England Patriots (4-1) at San Diego Chargers (2-4)
The Chargers haven't had a very tough schedule and still have only managed to win two games. Expect the Patriots to fully capitalize on San Diego's mistakes.
The Pats looked great last week in a 23-20 overtime win against Baltimore. Deion Branch played well to start off his second stint with New England, catching nine balls for 98 yards and a score. Brady looked solid (292 yards, touchdown) and running back Danny Woodhead is emerging as another legitimate offensive threat for the Pats. The Chargers, on the other hand, have just played terribly this season.
New England's riding high right now. They've proved they don't need Randy Moss and that they are still a powerhouse in the NFL after beating the Ravens. San Diego leads the league in defense, but after seeing the Chargers get embarrassed week after week, I don't see how the Pats could lose this game. New England always finds new and creative ways to win, even when it comes down to the wire. I'd take Pats quarterback Tom Brady over San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers any day of the week. New England wins big.
Minnesota Vikings (2-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-3)
Veteran quarterback Brett Favre is ready to get the Vikings back up on their feet. He hopes to lead the Vikings in a comeback game for the season, and although it won't be as easy as in previous seasons, the Vikings can battle this one out with Green Bay.
Favre played through his off-field distractions and got a big win over Dallas in week six. Peterson had a nice game and Percy Harvin returned a 95-yard kickoff for a score. They'll beat Favre's former team, a Packer team that's dropped two straight.
The Vikings beat the Cowboys last week... big deal. I still don't think the Vikings have what it takes to become a strong team this year. Favre has been playing better than I expected, but GB quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been playing a 100 times better than Favre. Plus, Green Bay gets linebacker Clay Matthews back this week, which is a huge advantage for them. Look for Rodgers to lead his offense downfield and for the Packers defense to present a huge challenge to the Vikings.
Monday, Oct. 25
New York Giants (4-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-4)
Based on yardage, the Cowboys have the third-best offensive line and the fourth-best defensive line in the league; however, for some reason they can't find a way to pick up the slack. The Giants will continue their winning streak and give the Cowboys their fifth loss of the season.
The Giants are on a roll as of late while Dallas looks horrible. But I just can't see Dallas losing three straight – they'll begin to click at some point, and this division match-up is a perfect chance for them to take out their frustration. The Cowboys squeeze one out on Monday Night Football.
The Cowboys haven't lived up to expectations this year; while the Giants are 4-2 and on top of the NFC East. That's not to say that New York has been playing extremely well, because they haven't. However, quarterback Eli Manning will lead his team to victory and the Giants' defense will continue to stump Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the rest of his offense.
Melissa Haniff. Melissa loves music, One Tree Hill, traveling and experiencing new cultures. She is also a diehard Patriots, Red Wings, Pistons and University of Michigan fan...Go Blue! More »
Eli Schwadron. Eli (@eschwad) is a chill guy who likes to play basketball, watch TV and eat. More »
Blake Morgan-Gamber. Blake Morgan-Gamber is a rare specimen with two last names; she woos women and men alike with her fanciful features writing and sumptuous sports editing. But do not be lulled by this siren, though BMG is a creature of beauty, there's many amazing talents inside … More »