NFL GAMES OF THE WEEK – 2016 – WEEK SEVEN

23Oct16

Just when I think I’m figuring out this wonderful thing we call the National Football League, I get thrown a major curve ball. (I know, I know, great metaphor – wrong sport. Deal with it!)

Through the first four weeks of the season, I couldn’t pick an upset to save my life, even though they were occurring in about 40% of the games being played. The only thing I could count on was picking the Lock of the Week, where my record was flawless.

Enter week six. I correctly picked the Redskins in an upset win over the Eagles, making it two weeks in a row in that category. And then, not only do I get my first miss of the season for my “Lock” pick, but the Steelers get embarrassed (yet again) by a very bad Miami team.

Hopefully, we’ve left the Twilight Zone behind this week and we can get back to reality.

twilight-zone

Then again, this is the NFL in 2016. Who knows what surprises are lurking in the shadows this week!!

NFL Football

This week’s Lock of the Week (4-1).

I originally had Green Bay over Chicago as my Lock of the Week, but then I realized they were the Thursday game (I only pick Thursday games on Thanksgiving!!). So, I went with the only other game on the schedule that should be a no-brainer. Key word “should”.

Cleveland at Cincinnati.

At first glance, this pick makes perfect sense. The Browns are a serious threat to go 0-16, while the Bengals should be a playoff contender. (There’s that word again!) However, there are a couple of flaws in the theory.

First, the Bengals are not playing like a playoff contender. At 2-4, they have a lot of work to do to get back into the race. Second, and most importantly, the Browns always play the Bengals tough in at least one of their two annual matches.

So, will this be that tough match or will it come in week 14, back in the land of Cavaliers and Indians? This season, it may be both.

But in week seven, in Cincinnati, I’m going with the home team.

Final score – Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 17.

cincinnati

This week’s Upset of the Week (2-3).

After going winless in this category in the first quarter of the season, I’ve suddenly pulled out two in a row. Will I make it three this week? Who knows, but here’s the game I chose.

Indianapolis at Tennessee.

I know, common sense tells me to stay away from either one of these teams. But in this category, common sense hasn’t gotten me very far. It’s only when I threw all logic out the window that I began to make the right picks.

So, I’m going to ignore the fact that the Colts still have no offensive line and Mr. Luck seems to be running for his life on a daily basis. And I’m going to ignore the fact that Mr. Gore (no, not internet Al) has had to work for every yard he’s gained. And I’m going to ignore the fact that Mr. Mariota has shown glimpses of NFL quarterback abilities and is beginning to shed his college tendencies. And I’m going to ignore the fact that the game is being played in Tennessee because, let’s face it, that doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot this year.

Instead, I’m going with a gut feeling. After watching the Colts play head to head at Houston last week, leading the game all the way, even holding a 14-point lead with about seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, I think we may see that confidence carry over against a lesser Titans team.

I know Indy ended up collapsing in the final moments last week, losing the game in overtime. But I think they’ll play a full sixty minutes this week.

Final Score – Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 23.

Colts Helmet

This week’s Game of the Week (4-1).

Last week, I picked Seattle to win at home against a surprisingly good Atlanta Falcons team. They managed to pull it off, but only because the referees collectively swallowed their whistles on Atlanta’s final play from scrimmage, allowing the Seahawks to escape with a mugging of Julio Jones and a victory.

Common sense would tell me to stay away from the Seahawks this week. Well, that’s never stopped me before!

Seattle at Arizona.

One thing you can always count when these two teams get together is fireworks and entertainment. Okay, that’s two things. Here are a few more…..Physical, hard-hitting football, loud and cray fans and teams that do not like each other.

What you cannot count on is any sense of home field advantage (five of the last six games have been won by the visiting team). Most importantly, you cannot count on things going according to script. No matter how hot or cold either of these teams have been in the weeks leading up to their games, nothing ever seems to carry over. The games stand on their own.

So, who am I picking and why? Well, first of all, let’s put all of the “homer” arguments to rest. I fully acknowledge that the Cardinals have been falling short of expectations this season, losing three out of their first four games. And I can see Seattle’s 4-1 record as well as anyone.

I also see that the Cardinals have a solid offensive line and, dare I say, the most dangerous running back in the league. Their receiving corps is one of the best and their defense is finally getting healthy for the first time this season.

The Seahawks offensive line is as weak as it has been in the last five years, and Wilson’s injuries have prevented him from being able to scramble like he’s done in the past. However, their passing game is vastly improved and their defense is tops in the league, bringing the Legion of Doom back to life.

Although Seattle has dominated in Arizona the past few years, don’t look for that to happen this time around. Although the game will not be decided until late in the fourth quarter, I’m very confident in picking the winner.

Final Score – Arizona 27, Seattle 23.

Cardinals Helmet

So, there you have it. Another week’s prognostications in the books. And while you may not be confident in who will the games this week, one thing is for certain. There will be some great football to be enjoyed.

So, fire up the grill, pop a cold one and go enjoy!!

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