AFC Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks For Week Seven

Last Week: 10-3
Season: 59-31

Atlanta at Detroit – Last week the Lions lost their first game of the week against the 49’ers at home. They now play a Falcons team that is coming off a big win over the Panthers. The Falcons have had their issues on the road, and now they play a Lions team not too happy for giving one up to the Niners. The Lions need to get on track, and here’s thinking last week’s loss is just a minor bump in the road. Detroit 23 Atlanta 17

Denver at Miami – Tim Tebow gets the start for the Broncos, while the Dolphins may be looking for a new coach after this week if they lose. Tebow hasn’t been great when he’s played, but he does find a knack for making things happen, and this week he plays a D that has had major issues stopping the big plays and getting to the QB. Tebow will do enough, while the Fins are heading towards a 2-3 win season. Denver 29 Miami 23

Houston at Tennessee – The Texans are banged up, and last week they were not able to do enough in the end on the road to beat the Ravens. The Titans have had two weeks to stew over the bad loss to the Steelers, and they will have all intentions of getting after Matt Schaub. Look for Chris Johnson to have a big game, while the Texans will try the same with Arian Foster. This could turn into a defensive battle, and I like the Titans late to get a big South win. Tennessee 20 Houston 17

Chicago at Tampa Bay – The annual London game showcases two of the better NFC teams, and the Bucs may have the slight edge for one reason – they have played this London game before. They got a huge win over the Saints a week ago at home, and will attack the Bears secondary with Josh Freeman. The Bears though looked better than at any point in 2011 last week with their slaughter of the Vikings, and will look to force mistakes from the Bucs and put heat on them from an offensive standpoint. This could be a thriller, but the Bears D will make a late play. Chicago 21 Tampa Bay 18

Seattle at Cleveland – The Hawks don’t know who is going to be under center probably till Sunday, and the Browns are coming off a bad loss to the Raiders. The Browns need to get back to running the ball, and getting some plays from their secondary, which could get Joe Haden back. Seattle got a win over the Giants two weeks ago, but still are void of big playmakers, and now are without CB Marcus Trufant. Cleveland will get enough from Colt McCoy and the offense to get to 3-3. Cleveland 24 Seattle 13

San Diego at New York Jets – The Jets got back on track with a win over the Dolphins Monday night, but can’t afford a letdown this week against a better Chargers team. San Diego coach Norv Turner and Jets coach Rex Ryan are now waging war on the podiums, and it could make this a feisty affair. San Diego will try to run past the Jets with Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert, while the Jets will look to get a few deep throws to try and counter with big plays. Tough one to call, but the Jets at home have the slight edge. New York Jets 20 San Diego 14

Washington at Carolina – John Beck starts at QB for the Skins this week, and I am not quite sure that is going to be enough to stop the slide for Washington. The Skins have major issues on each side of the ball, and you can bet that Cam Newton and company are going to try and exploit them. Newton is getting closer, and now is using his legs even more, and I think that is going to pay off for a big win for the Panthers. Carolina 27 Washington 17

Pittsburgh at Arizona – The Cardinals know all about the Steelers, as former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is now the head man with the Cards. Pittsburgh has all the makings of a letdown here, they travel west, are coming off two big wins, and have two big AFC teams (New England and Baltimore) at home coming up next. Pittsburgh hasn’t played all that well on the road this year, and here’s thinking that Benie Wells and Kevin Kolb push them to 4-3 after Sunday. Arizona 24 Pittsburgh 20

Kansas City at Oakland – Let the Carson Palmer Era in Oakland begin. I’m on board thinking this could be a disaster for the Raiders, as I am not convinced that Palmer is the answer. This is not to say that they will lose to the Chiefs, who haven’t been impressive at all in 2011. The Raiders need to really lean on Darren McFadden, and make sure that he gets at least 20-25 carries. As for Palmer, if he just doesn’t make mistakes, the Raiders will at least this week get a win. Oakland 17 Kansas City 7

St.Louis at Dallas – So much heat as of late on Tony Romo, but this week they should get on track against a Rams team that can’t beat many, and won’t get the job done here with a hobbled Sam Bradford. The Cowboys have had games in hand, only to fall apart in the last 15 minutes more than once this year. The Cowboys will have more than enough offense here, while the Rams will need to lean a lot on Steven Jackson to make it interesting, and it won’t happen. Dallas 30 St.Louis 14

Green Bay at Minnesota – The Vikings will start Christian Ponder, but it’s a tough call to go up against the Packers, who will come after him with everything they have and different looks from DC Dom Capers. The Pack should be able to get more than enough points to overcome a Vikings team that at this point is rebuilding for 2012 and beyond. The Packers are heading towards that famous “when do they lose?” saga, but this week will clearly not be the week. Green Bay 35 Minnesota 14

Indianapolis at New Orleans – The fact this is going to be the fourth time in 2011 I have seen the Colts is downright nauseating. They are awful, can’t do much moving the ball, and while their D isn’t the worst in the league, they can’t score enough to make it close. The Saints are going to put on a prime-time show, and Drew Brees should have well over 300 yards and score 2-3 touchdowns. Saints in a blowout. New Orleans 27 Indianapolis 10

Monday:

Baltimore at Jacksonville – The Ravens are one of the AFC contenders, and they shouldn’t have much of a problem on the road against a Jags team that can’t score much. Give credit to the Jags who made it a game in Pittsburgh last week, but the Ravens will watch that tape and make sure it isn’t like that this time around. The Ravens are a much better team, and will rock and roll to a 5-1 record after they beat up the Jags here. Baltimore 28 Jacksonville 10

Follow Matt Loede on Twitter @MattNFLGG


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