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Oct. 18, 2013

NFL week seven predictions

by Samuel Popper, Sports Editor, Jacob Popper, Op/Ed Editor, Abel Chanyalew, Online Sports Editor and Rohan Oprisko, Sports Editor
Going in to week seven, it finally looks like the Patriots will have TE Rob Gronkowski back. DT Vince Wilfork, LB Jerod Mayo and now CB Aqib Talib, however, are all most likely not playing this week against the Jets. The Falcons are also injury-ridden in that WR Roddy White and RB Steven Jackson will both likely be out this week. The Flacons also already lost WR Julio Jones for the entire season. Peyton Manning also returns to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium where he played for his first 14 seasons.

As for our SCO predictors, the Poppers are beginning to distance themselves from Abel and Rohan. Jacob has taken a one game lead over Sam, but Sam still holds a relatively sizable lead over Abel. Don't sleep on Rohan, however, as he had the best record out of all of the experts last week and is only one game out of third place.

Standings:
Falcons' WR Roddy White (Left) and RB Steven Jackson (Right) will both likely be out for week seven. Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Falcons' WR Roddy White (Left) and RB Steven Jackson (Right) will both likely be out for week seven.

1. Jacob 61-31
2. Sam 60-32
3. Abel 52-40
4. Rohan 51-41

Seahawks at Cardinals
Jacob: Seahawks
Sam: Seahawks
Abel: Seahawks
Rohan: Seahawks

Jacob says: The Seahawks are coming off of a decent seven point win against Tennessee, while Arizona is limping in off a twelve point loss at candlestick. Look for the Seahawks to run the ball early and get the crowd out of the equation.
Sam says: Although the Seahawks have lost two consecutive road games at Arizona and the Cardinals are undefeated at home this season, give me Marshawn Lynch and a dominant run game. Look for an opportunistic defense like Seattle’s go to work against turnover prone QB Carson Palmer.
Abel says: A division rival on a short week on the road. Perfect situation for an upset. But I can’t trust Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer, who has thrown 11 picks, to protect the football against the best secondary in the NFL. Though the Cardinals’ defense and the Seahawks’ vulnerability on the road could keep Arizona in the game.
Rohan says: This should be an easy game for the Seahawks as they come up against a poor team in the Cardinals. This should be an easy game.

Bills at Dolphins
Jacob: Dolphins
Sam: Dolphins
Abel: Dolphins
Rohan: Dolphins

Jacob says: Miami is over performing this year, and they’re gonna need every win they can get if they hope to compete with New England for the AFC East title. No way they drop one at home against basement dwelling Bills.
Sam says: The Dolphins need to use their run game in this one to keep the electrifying QB Thad Lewis, yea I said it, off the field.
Abel says: As long as the quarterback Ryan Tannehill can avoid sacks and turnovers, the Dolphins should improve to 4-2.
Rohan says: The Dolphins should win this one because they are playing against an offense in the Bills that is very unpredictable. The Dolphins should win this one.

Rams at Panthers
Jacob: Panthers
Sam: Rams
Abel: Panthers
Rohan:Panthers

Jacob says: Rohan got us all last week with Carolina, and the Rams probably won’t have a plus four turnover differential to work with against dual threat QB Cam Newton.
Sam says: QB Cam Newton has struggled this year against defenses that fly around and get to the football, the Rams have just that. I believe with CB Cortland Finnegan shutting down Panthers WR Steve Smith on the outside, Cam Newton will be inconsistent and the Rams can pull off this upset on the road.
Abel says: The Panthers’ front seven is one of the best in the league and should disrupt Sam Bradford and the Rams’ offense all game.
Rohan says: The Panthers have been good to me whenever I have picked them and I have confidence that they will pull of a win this week as well.

Bears at Redskins
Jacob: Bears
Sam: Bears
Abel: Bears
Rohan:Bears

Jacob says: Washington can’t stop a nosebleed, and Jay Cutler is a lot more than that.
Sam says: The Redskins are basically what they are last year. Except without a defense, a productive RG3 or a good running game…. Ouch.
Abel says: I’ve given up on the Redskins.
Rohan says: Is this game even a question? The Redskins secondary is terrible and is without an ability to produce consistent offense. Expect Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall to tear up the game.

Bengals at Lions
Jacob: Lions
Sam: Bengals
Abel: Bengals
Rohan:Bengals

Jacob says: This one will undoubtedly come down to the wire, and look for Megatron to put the team on his back and make some highlight reel plays.
Sam says: The Bengals front seven is absolutely dominant. One of the best in football and absolutely nobody on the Lions can cover WR A.J. Green.
Abel says: This game could go either way, but I’m going with Bengals because of their matchup advantages at key positions like wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive back.
Rohan says: The Bengals are a team looking to make a rise and after beating a string of good teams I expect them to defeat the Lions. The Bengals’ strong defense will be the key to a victory this season.

Cowboys at Eagles
Jacob: Eagles
Sam: Eagles
Abel: Eagles
Rohan:Cowboys

Jacob says: With both “Demarc”s (-us Ware/ -o Murray) sidelined for the Boys, they won’t be able to match the firepower of Chip Kelly’s high octane offense.
Sam says: What a matchup this will be of outstanding offenses against awful defenses. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they have QB Tony Romo, who will give you a bundle of fantasy points but will find some way to lose the game.
Abel says: This game looks to be shootout, so it really comes down to which defense can come up with just one critical stop. With Demarcus Ware out and the Cowboys’ defensive line full of backups, I’ll go with the Eagles in a barn burner.
Rohan says: After an impressive showing against the Redskins last Sunday they will continue to demonstrate good form and will come out with a win against another divisional foe in the Eagles who will not be able to win this week.

Chargers at Jaguars
Jacob: Chargers
Sam: Chargers
Abel: Chargers
Rohan:Chargers

Jacob says: Do we really need to pick Jaguars games?
Sam says: The Jaguars will surprise us all and win one of these games eventually and I hope I pick it. But it won’t be this Sunday.
Abel says: Laugh at them all you want but the Jaguars showed me a lot of fight and toughness last week against the Broncos. Like I said about the Chargers last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags got their first win of the season here. But while Chad Henne is a vast improvement over Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, the Chargers are still the better team.
Rohan says: It is the Jaguars, any team who plays them will win.

Patriots at Jets
Patriots' TE Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play and is expected to make his season debut this week. Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Patriots' TE Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play and is expected to make his season debut this week.

Jacob: Patriots
Sam: Patriots
Abel: Patriots
Rohan: Patriots

Jacob says: With Tom Brady coming off another game winning drive in the last two minutes against the Saints last week, his confidence will be through the roof, and the Jets just won’t be able to contain a Brady offense with that kind of confidence.
Sam says: I was very excited about the Jets after they beat Atlanta, but I don’t like them against New England. Even though I don’t like the Patriots very much. That can be bookmarked.
Abel says: Tom Brady proved last week that he can still carry a team. That Patriots’ defense isn’t too shabby either.
Rohan says: The Patriots showed against the Saints that they are still a team to be reckoned with and will further demonstrate this point against the Jets. Expect Tom Brady to have a monster game.

Buccaneers at Falcons
Jacob: Falcons
Sam: Falcons
Abel: Falcons
Rohan: Falcons

Jacob says: The Falcons’ playoff hopes are looking pretty dim at 1-4, look for a determined Matt Ryan to get them back on track in front of a roaring Georgia Dome crowd.
Sam says: The only reason I’m picking the Falcons is because they are at home. The teams are combined for 1-9. The Falcons are horrible.
Abel says: The Bucs showed a bit of improvement last Sunday. But the Falcons are coming off a bye week rested and angry (well at least I hope they’re angry because they weren’t angry the last time I said that).
Rohan says: The Falcons have to win soon and expect it to be this game. With a horrible quarterback situation in Tampa Bay, the Falcons need this win to kick start their season.

49ers at Titans
Jacob: 49ers
Sam:49ers
Abel: 49ers
Rohan: 49ers

Jacob says: Jim Harbaugh’s stifling run defense will limit Chris Johnson and force backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead a one dimensional offense.
Sam says: Oooooooohhhhhhhhhh. I really want to pick the Titans but i just don’t have the guts to. If the Titans win this game i might cry for not picking them and say I called it.
Abel says: I’d go with the Titans if Jake Locker was starting instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Watch out for 49ers’ rookie safety Eric Reid. He’s been playing very well and I’m sure Fitzpatrick (with 85 interceptions in just 5 and a half season) will be more than willing to toss Reid a few more picks.
Rohan says: With Ryan Fitzpatrick not stepping up for the Titans, expectt the 49ers to take advantage of this and defeat the Titans.

Ravens at Steelers
Jacob: Ravens
Sam: Steelers
Abel: Ravens
Rohan: Ravens

Jacob says: Look for Ray Rice and the Ravens to go ground and pound to control time of possession.
Sam says: The Steelers can score this bigtime divisional win at home. They have the run game, QB Ben Roethlisberger and weapons for him. I also am not giving up on the Steelers’ defense, they always seem to rise to the occasion against the Ravens.
Abel says: Despite his inconsistencies, I think Joe Flacco will get up for this game, and Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil should have a field day against this poor Steelers offensive line.
Rohan says: After an unfortunate loss against the Packers last week, the Ravens will bounce back against the Steelers who have won their first game of the season.

Browns at Packers
Jacob: Packers
Sam: Packers
Abel: Packers
Rohan:Browns

Jacob says: The Browns’ D is legitimate, but even the best of defenses have trouble stopping Aaron Rodgers.
Sam says: What a close game this will be. QB Aaron Rodgers will struggle, but the turnovers of the Browns’ inefficient offense will propel the Packers.
Abel says: This is a very dangerous game for the Packers. They lost two of their top three receivers and are going against a very formidable Browns’ defense that could give Aaron Rodgers big problems, especially with Joe Haden shadowing Jordy Nelson. But I’m sure Browns’ QB Brandon Weeden will find a way to throw this game away.
Rohan says: After losing a pair of receivers last week against Baltimore, the Packers will struggle in this game and the Browns will come out on top.

Texans at Chiefs
Jacob: Chiefs
Sam: Chiefs
Abel: Chiefs
Rohan: Chiefs

Jacob says: Rookie QB Case Keenum is making his first NFL start against the undefeated Chiefs at Arrowhead? KC in a heartbeat.
Sam says: Don’t sleep on Texans QB Case Keenum making his first NFL start. He was electrifying at the University of Houston and set many NCAA passing records. However, the Chiefs’ west-coast offense is just working with QB Alex Smith not turning the ball over.
Abel says: Though I like him, the Chiefs’ defense will harass the Texans’ new starting quarterback Case Keenum.
Rohan says: With the Texans having quarterback problems and almost a pick 6 every game, they need to find their groove. They will not find this groove this week and the Chiefs will come out on top.

Broncos at Colts
Denver QB Peyton Manning played his first 14 NFL seasons with the Colts. Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Denver QB Peyton Manning played his first 14 NFL seasons with the Colts.

Jacob: Broncos
Sam: Broncos
Abel: Broncos
Rohan: Broncos

Jacob says: Peyton Manning was the face of the Colts for over a decade, and Peyton Manning with extra motivation does not bode well for anybody.
Sam says: Colts’ owner Jim Irsay took some shots at Peyton Manning in social media this week. I’m no genius but I wouldn’t give Manning extra motivation to perform. As my good friend Rohan said “There will be no mercy” for Indianapolis.
Abel says: I’m not going to build this game up any more; it has enough hype. I’ll just say that the Colts’ improved defense isn’t quite improved enough to stop Peyton Manning and his group of receivers.
Rohan says: With Peyton Manning leading an undefeated Broncos team it doesn't look like anything will get in their way. With such a dynamic offense the Colts will not be able to stand the charge.

Vikings at Giants
Jacob: Vikings
Sam: Giants
Abel: Vikings
Rohan: Vikings

Jacob says: The Giants can’t defend, and are a turnover machine.
Sam says: You know what? I am confident in the Giants to get their first win of the season. I do not trust QB Josh Freeman for the Vikings, and they have very few weapons for him. Giants wide recievers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks should feast against a poor Vikings secondary and finally Giants RB Brandon Jacobs should pound the rock well for the G-Men.
Abel says: I expect Adrian Peterson to run all over the Giants’ defense. I also think the insertion of Josh Freeman at quarterback for the Vikings will provide a spark for the offense, especially by opening up the box for the running game.
Rohan says: Against the crappy Giants, Ap will tear up the field and lead the Vikings to a win.






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