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NFL Picks Week 7: New Standings Leader

The Boss dropped into 2nd place after a few weeks of holding the #1 spot. Brooks moves up as Ed and Anthony stay exactly where they’ve been all season.

“The Bald and Beautiful” Brooks Roland

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Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

After beating the Bills in Week 2, the Jets’ season has spiraled out of control, as they sit in last place in the AFC East with a 1-5 record after last week’s blowout loss in Arizona on Monday Night Football.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a disaster this season, and the Jets have finally responded by benching him in favor of Geno Smith.  Hard to really call that an upgrade.  On the other side, the Ravens have fallen back to Earth after a 3-0 start, as they have lost three straight since then.  Both of these offenses aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard, but with the Jets’ QB situation being less than ideal, I expect Baltimore to pull off the win.

My Pick: Ravens

Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Raiders are tied with the Broncos for first place in the AFC West, but are coming off a divisional loss on their home field to Kansas City.  Now they must travel across the country to take on a Jaguars team that rallied from a 13-0 fourth quarter deficit on the road to beat Chicago 17-16.  A very interesting match up to watch in this one will be the Jaguars’ rushing attack against the Raiders’ run defense.  Jacksonville averages the second-fewest rushing yards per game so far this season, while Oakland has give up the third-most rushing yards per game this season.  If the Jags get their running game going, it’ll help take some of the pressure off QB Blake Bortles, who has been turnover-prone this season.  I expect some offensive fireworks, though, as both teams are capable of putting up points through the air.  Jags win in a shootout.

My Pick: Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

The Colts are 2-4 and their season is fading fast, as an inexplicable OT loss in which they blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead to the Texans has left them searching for answers.  On the other side, a win for Titans combined with a Houston loss on Monday Night Football would put Tennessee in first place in the AFC South.  Raise your hand if you expected that to happen at this point in the season.  Didn’t think so.  The Titans love to run the ball and control the clock, especially with DeMarco Murray having a bounce-back season.  QB Marcus Mariota has also been getting better week-by-week.  As for the Colts, they have been among the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run.  I look for Tennessee to push the Colts around and not need overtime to pick up the win.

My Pick: Titans

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers

The Buccaneers are coming off their bye week looking to build off the momentum from their previous contest, an important divisional win at Carolina on Monday Night Football.  Doug Martin might be back in the Bucs’ lineup, and if so, his timing couldn’t be better, as the 49ers rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game.  If not, Jacquizz Rodgers could be in for another big day.  Colin Kaepernick will be making his second consecutive start at QB for San Francisco.  Historically, the Bucs have been terrible when playing the Niners on the road, but I think that trend is reversed, as the Bucs should come away with a win, as long as they make Kaepernick one-dimensional and find a way to shut down RB Carlos Hyde.

My Pick: Buccaneers

Wild Card Game of the Week

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

This is a huge early-season match up between two teams that were expected to be neck-and-neck with each other at the top of the NFC West.  Seattle is 5-1, but is coming off a nail-biting win over the Atlanta Falcons at home.  Arizona got off to an unexpected 1-3 start before winning their last two games.  I look for the running game to factor heavily into this one, as QB Russell Wilson’s mobility is still limited for the Seahawks.  However, Christine Michael appears to be the guy that has taken over the bulk of the work running the ball.  For Arizona, David Johnson has been one of the top two or three running backs in the league this season, and you could make a strong case for him being the top guy at his position right now.  This one will be close, but in the end, Arizona pulls out a thriller at home.

My Pick: Cardinals

“The Boss” Trevor Grout

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Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

Fitzpatrick is out Geno Smith is in…The Jets are one of those teams that no matter what can’t put all the pieces together. I wish I could say one team is better than the other and in some if not most cases Baltimore is the better team.

My Pick: Ravens

Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Two of the “hot” young quarterbacks in the league face off this week. Bortles vs Carr is a match up we are going to see for years to come. One day down the road you could see these two quarterbacks playing in the AFC Championship game for a trip to that year’s Super Bowl. I want to sit here and say Jacksonville will win the game, but I can’t. Jacksonville still has a little way to go before they become a top tier team in the NFL.

My Pick: Raiders

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL right now. While Andrew Luck can’t stay off his back. Indianapolis was once upon a time the top team every year in the AFC right next to the Patriots. Oh how the mighty have fallen…

My Pick: Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers

Following a much needed bye week the Buccaneers return to the field in beautiful San Francisco. Colin Kaepernick will be the man under center for the 49ers… This is a game that is a must win for the Bucs as Atlanta has a 1.5 game lead one the Bucs. The 49ers are going nowhere fast and that’s quite a shame. This was a team that had back to back NFC Championship appearances only a few years ago.

My Pick: Buccaneers

Wildcard Game of the Week

Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz has looked human lately, but is still playing well enough to guide this team back from mediocrity they were in for a few years. Sam Bradford has yet to throw an interception as he has guided the Vikings to a 5-0 record after being traded to the team following Teddy Bridgewater’s injury.

My Pick: Vikings

“Da Beef Supreme” Ed Greene

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Baltimore @ NY Jets

Wow, what happened to the Jets? They’re a far cry from the team that was in contention for a playoff spot last year. Hell, Revis Island has become a mirage, and now its been stated that Geno Smith will start this weekend. Oh, and Eric Decker is now on IR. The Ravens are reeling after a loss to the Giants, so I highly doubt their second trip to the Meadowlands will end in defeat.

My Pick: Ravens

Oakland @ Jacksonville

I’ve been a believer in Raider Nation, and lo and behold their currently on top of the AFC West. Derek Carr has found ways to win in Oakland, but the weak link is their defense. The Jags are sitting third in a sub par AFC South. They need a win to stay in the thick of the division race. Considering how the Raiders are ranked dead last (still) in total defense, I’m thinking Blake Bortles and company might have a field day.

My Pick: Jaguars

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

Speaking of the AFC South, here’s a game that adds a fuel to the division fire. Indy lost a heart breaker in Houston, while the Titans came up on a victory against Cleveland. Not the sexiest of games, but the Colts aren’t exactly the same team that made noise three years ago. I like the progression of Marcus Mariota, yet the Titans still have a long way to go.

My Pick: Titans

 

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco

The Bucs are fresh off their bye week, but the talk as of late are the string of injuries that are plaguing the team, most notably veteran wide out Vincent Jackson going on IR. Meanwhile, the 49ers are a team in search of an identity. Colin Kaepernick is leading the offense again, but thus far has yet to translate to a victory. Kaepernick is rusty, but with so many players out in Tampa, there will be struggles on both sides of the ball for the away team.

My Pick: 49ers

Wild Card Game of the Week

New Orleans @ Kansas City: A tale of two teams in which they can still be a major player in their respective divisions. Both were victorious last week against division rivals, yet at the same time both teams are lagging in various areas. The Saints will only go as far as Drew Brees can take them, and their D is non-existent. KC are a middle-of-the-road club on both sides of the ball. It’s going to come down to who can put up the most points.

My Pick: Chiefs

“The Pug” Anthony Pugliese

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I’ve let these guys get a big enough lead, now it’s time to turn it around.

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

The Jets are definitely towards the top of the list of most disappointing teams of 2016. A quarterback change might actually do them good, but it should of been Bryce Petty, not Geno Smith. The Ravens are hurting, Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith Sr. are out, and there is a chance that Joe Flacco misses this contest, in which case I would take the Jets. However, with no final word being made on Flacco yet and how bad the Jets have played, have to roll with the Ravens

My Pick: Ravens

Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Raiders are coming off a rough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Jaguars are trending upward after two straight victories. After winning the off season, the Jags got out to a disappointing start, but are now looking to turn it around. What a better way to do that then against a first place team? This may turn into a shootout, and although the Raiders have appeared better equipped for that type of game this season, don’t sleep on Blake Bortles and the Allen twins in this contest

My Pick: Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans are a much improved team in 2016, and Marcus Mariota is hot right now. Andrew Luck has been playing well but you wouldn’t notice it behind their awful offensive line. Frank Gore is coming off the Colts first 100 yard rushing game in four years, but was very vocal about his displeasure with the team this week. Not going to get any better this week.

My Pick: Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers

Fresh off a much needed bye week, the Bucs travel to the other Bay area to take on the 49ers. With Colin Kaepernick now at the helm for the Niners, the offense looked flat last week. The Bucs defense used the bye week to get healthier, and as long as they can contain Colin Kaepernick in the pocket, his accuracy in the passing game is nothing to worry about. I think the Bucs do just enough to win a close one.

My Pick: Bucs

Wildcard Game of the Week

Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles

Gonna keep this one short and sweet. Although Carson Wentz and the Eagles set the world on fire with their strong play, they have sizzled out as of late. They haven’t played awful, but not like they started out. The Vikings are the best team in the NFL right now. You do the math.

My Pick: Vikings

 

 

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