The Reuters global sports blog
Week Seven NFL Picks
The Lineman had been in a bit of slump the last three weeks. After a very solid start to the season he has picked just six winners the last three weeks.We were hit hard by upsets last week (give me a break Raiders and Bills both picking up wins). But we are still ..500 on the season and Pick of the Week is back at .500.
Record: 18-18. Last week 2-4. Pick of the Week: 3-3
PICK OF THE WEEK:
New Orleans Saints (5-0) at Miami Dolphins (2-3) (Line Saints minus 6 1/2): OK, am I missing something? The Saints have won every game by more than 14 points, last week they torched the unbeaten New York Giants 48-27 and quarterback Drew Brees has put on an air-tossing 13 touchdowns including four against the New Yorkers, who came into the Big Easy with the NFL’s top ranked defence.
The Dolphins looked like fish out of water the first three weeks before putting together back-to-back wins and are coming off a bye week. Chad Henne has done a better than expected job taking over the signal calling for injured Chad Pennington but this one has Fish Fry written all over it.
Take the Saints and happily surrender the 6 1/2 points.
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San Diego Chargers (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) (Line Chargers minus 4 1/2): Crunch time for the short-circuiting Chargers. Coming off a tough Monday night loss to Denver San Diego has dropped four games behind their division rivals. But the notoriously slow starting Chargers have opened the last two seasons 2-3 and come back to win the division.
The Chargers have Chiefs and Raiders in the next two weeks so this is where the turn-around must begin or — lights out.
The Chiefs are usually no pushovers at Arrowhead, have been building momentum playing the Giants and Cowboys tough before picking up their first win last week against the Redskins, and get the Chargers on a short week.
Bolts quarterback Philip Rivers has been solid but every other part of the Chargers game — particularly a punchless defence — has looked like my computer when I forget to plug it in and that low battery noise starts beeping.
That noise is a wakeup call. Chargers finally turn it on.
Take the Chargers, give up the 4 1/2.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at Washington Redskins (2-4) (Line Eagles minus 6 1/2): The Tour of the NFL dregs is over for the Washington Redskins, who run into a humiliated Eagles team that was spanked by the Oakland Raiders last week — ouch, that one hurt.
The game marks the first time this season the Redskins meet someone with something other than a zero in the win column.
After laying an egg last week in the Black Hole, the Eagles will soar in DC taking out their frustration on the dysfunctional Redskins.
Another huge motivating factor for the Eagles is the prospect of returning home to the City of Brotherly Love next week having lost back-to-back games to teams that should be playing in the UFL.
That won’t happen. Eagles will give Philly fans, who booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs, plenty of reason to cheer.
How bad are things in the U.S. capital. Redskins coach Jim Zorn, a former quarterback, handed over play call duties to a guy named Sherman Lewis who was calling out Bingo numbers last week at a seniors centre.
Under the “B” — bet on it.
Take the Eagles and give up the 6 1/2.
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Indianapolis Colts (5-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-6) (Line Colts minus 12 1/2): Just what the Rams need, a run in with the well-rested Colts.
Colts QB Peyton Manning has been in MVP form while the Indianapolis defence has been tougher than expected and could see all world safety Bob Sanders back in the line-up this week.
Manning, who has completed 73.5% of his passes, tossed 12 TDs and only been sacked twice, will pad those numbers shredding the Rams that are giving up over 28 points a game.
Colts are riding a 14-game regular season win streak while Rams have not won in 16 and could be looking ahead to next weekend’s showdown with the lowly Detroit Lions, their one and only real chance to get into the win column this season.
It might take Manning a quarter to get into top gear but the Colts will be on cruise control for this one.
Take the Colts, give up the 12 1/5.
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Green Bay Packers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-5) (Line Packers minus 6 1/2): The Packers roared out of their bye last week with a 26-0 demolition of the Lions — OK, I know, don’t get too excited… After all, it was the Lions.
Green Bay finally looked like the Super Bowl contenders many tipped them as in the pre-season and their maligned offensive line finally did a nice job protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been dropped a league high 25 times — OK, OK, again I know it was only the Lions.
The Pack might be thinking ahead to next week’s most hyped game of the year when ‘Benedict Arnold’ Brett Favre returns to Lambeau Field with the hated Vikings.
But with Minnesota pulling away in the Black and Blue division, the Packers cannot afford to let down against the Browns if they hope to stay in the playoff chase.
Cleveland’s lone win was a 6-3 decision over the Buffalo Bills that was tough to watch, as Derek Anderson completed just two passes.
Adding to the Browns woes the flu has swept through the Cleveland locker room, dropping a dozen players.
On Sunday they get hit with a bad case of the Packers.
Take the Packers give up the 6 1/2.
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New England Patriots (4-2) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) in London (Line Patriots minus 14 1/2): Boy, the NFL have made life tough for themselves, trying to sell the Patriots and sinking Buccaneers as a showcase event is like trying to sell Detroit as the new hot tourist destination. No matter how you spin this one, it is going to look bad.
The only hope the NFL has this might slip by unnoticed is if the vast majority of the capacity crowd has no idea what exactly is going on and spends a bit more time focusing on the cheerleaders.
The Patriots steamrolled the winless Tennessee Titans 59-0 last week and Tampa Bay can expect the same treatment.
Pats quarterback Tom Brady is back looking like quarterback and will have all his weapons at his disposal including go-to guy Wes Welker.
The only hope Bucs have is if Brady comes down with a monster case of jet lag or gets some bad fish and chips.
Take the Pats and give up the 14 1/2 points.
PHOTO: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the first half of their NFL football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana October 18, 2009. REUTERS/Sean Gardner
The Lineman hits a bye week next week so the CBall will be stepping in as backup.