Kingshark Line NFL Week 7
Seven Up- The 2013 NFL season is already beginning to near the midway point as we have arrived at Week 7 of the 17 Week extravaganza. This has been one of those years where predicting the outcomes of games has proven to by anything but an exact science. Teams that were favorites at the start of the year are fairing quite well while others have either underachieved or in some cases flat out disappointed their fans and fan bases. There have been games where some have been frankly hard to watch while there have been others that we could not take our eyes off of. As for how teams are doing, right now there are five teams that you can look at and know they will be playing in January. There are several other teams that may ultimately get there however will have their work cut out for them. There are also by now teams you can point to and know that a post season appearance just isn’t in the cards this year (unless they run the table from this point forward. Even then it’s still a long shot). The NY Giants are without questions this season’s biggest disappointment. Just two years removed from their last title, this team is no longer elite the way it is constructed and is facing a rebuild. How that will go right now remains to be seen however the Giants will have to use the rest of the year to see who can still play and give them a shot ahead of this year. The Steelers were impressive in a win over the NY Jets however they have sputtered too. They do not have the look of a team that will go 9-2 the rest of the way. Tampa Bay is toast, film at 11. The Falcons at 1-4 are clearly in trouble. The team that wins the NFC East may be a 8-8 or 7-9 team at the rate it is going. The NY Jets remembered they’re the NY Jets. Oakland had a tough loss, however the Raiders as a team are actually on the uptick. They will need about two more years counting this one before they challenge in the AFC West. Mad props go out to the Jacksonville Jaguars who despite losing 35-19 in Denver showed up and gave the Broncos quite the fight last Sunday, only trailing 14-12 at halftime. Houston, you have a problem and it’s not only Matt Schaub. The Texans’ troubles apparently are only just beginning too.
On the other side of the coin Kansas City is 6-0. If the Chiefs win this weekend and the Broncos lose in Indianapolis, Kansas City will own first place in the AFC West. This could happen too. New Orleans lost a tough one in New England last Sunday however I believe they will actually be better for it in the long run. Seattle continues it’s domination in the NFC West having already won on Thursday Night football against an easily overmatch Cardinals team. The Packers with a statement win in Baltimore last Sunday will no doubt rise up and get better as the season goes along. Speaking of the Ravens, they will be in a fight with the Cincinnati Bengals all season in the AFC North. Though Tennessee has played some tough football this season, it’s looking more like the AFC South is the Colts division to win this year. In the AFC East, New England is just still too good for the others in the division. This said, Miami is on the uptick. The Bills and Jets are the Bills and Jets...still.
Moving on to Week 7- The Kingshark Line was 10-5 last week and is 63-30 for the season (1-0 this week, taking Seattle over Arizona 34-27...Seahawks won 34-22). That said, it actually faired poorly in a couple of games as both the Texans and Vikings were decisively blown out at home by 25 points each in games that were over by halftime. My bad, period. I was flat out wrong on both games. No excuses. Live and learn. As I dust myself off, here how I see Week 7 ...(note: the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders are in bye weeks this week)...
Tampa Bay@Atlanta (FOX)- You can argue who is the bigger disappointment here, though I would have to say by a wide margin it’s the Falcons. Atlanta comes out of the bye week rested and refreshed. They also know that they may have to go about 9-2 the rest of the way to have a post season shot, likely as a wild card if at all. Tampa Bay is in total chaos and may find two or three wins somewhere this season. The first one however won’t be this week in Atlanta. Falcons 27 Buccaneers 13.
St.Louis@Carolina (FOX)- The Rams and Panthers both enter this game off of very impressive road wins in Week 6. The Panthers routed the hapless Vikings while the Rams routed a Texans team that is clearly coming apart at light speed. The Rams have for the most part been exposed this year against stronger opponents. The Panthers either win big or lose in strange, confounding ways. If both teams trade blows all afternoon this may actually be a fun game to watch. I have to go with the Panthers at home. Panthers 31 Rams 24.
Cincinnati@Detroit (CBS)- Two teams who’s cities are within 265 miles of each other go at it in an intriguing match-up in the Motor City. The Lions are coming off a huge comeback win over the Browns in Cleveland while the Bills gave the Bengals all they could handle in Buffalo. Lions QB Matthew Stafford has taken a pounding the last two weeks yet still managed to lead a 24-0 second half comeback in Cleveland that put the Lions right up there in the NFC North race with Green Bay and Chicago. Cincinnati has played several tough games this year and has found a way more often than not to get the job done. All of this makes this game a virtual toss up. The Bengals biggest problem this season has been holding late leads and closing out some games. It bit them last week against the Bills. They can’t do that here. Cincinnati statically is better defensively but has a tall order against an offense who is very comfortable at home. We’re going with the Upset Special here. Lions 30 Bengals 27.
New England@NY Jets (CBS)- The Patriots are coming off a huge win over the Saints last week while the Jets just flat under performed against the Steelers. The one thing the Jets have going for them is that they have a better than average defense which was key in all of their wins this season. Tom Brady meanwhile could care less. Brady reminded a mostly national TV audience last Sunday that ice water still runs though his veins when the stakes are at their highest (and Eli Manning is not on the other sideline). The Jets to their credit at least have made decent showings in all but two games. A decent showing against a quietly still powerful Patriots team just wont be enough. Patriots 27 Jets 17.
Dallas@Philadelphia (FOX)- The Cowboys and Eagles renew their annual twice a year rivalry as they take on each other in The City of Brotherly Love (unless you love the Cowboys, in which case it’s not so brotherly.) The winner of this game will take the lead in the NFC East as both teams come in with a 3-3 mark. The Cowboys played probably their best overall game in a home win over the Redskins last Sunday while the Eagles got a fight from a Tampa Bay team that is at best lousy. Both teams statistically are somewhat even. It may depend on which Cowboys team shows up, or even which Tony Romo shows up. As for the Eagles, if Nick Foles starts at QB in this game it may not be a bad thing for Philly. At this point he is the more mobile QB with Michael Vick’s injury situation. Cowboys are looking to make a statement on the road. A win here would do just that. Somehow Dallas finds a way here. Cowboys 24 Eagles 17.
Buffalo@Miami (CBS)- The Dolphins after a 3-0 start have dropped their last two games. However thanks to having a bye week in Week 6 the Dolphins hit the reset button at a perfect time. The Bills have a huge task trying to win on the road in a place that historically has been tough on them. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has passed for just under 1400 yards and has six TD’s so far this season. If Thad Lewis starts at QB for the Bills, this will be his first road test. EJ Manuel would give the Bills a better chance, but if injured won’t be able to do much. Either way Miami has the better balance on offense and defense here. Dolphins 28 Bills 19.
San Diego@Jacksonville(CBS)- The Chargers come into this game with an impressive 3-3 mark in the AFC West. San Diego also enters the game off of it’s best defensive effort in three years with a 19-9 shut down of the Colts this past Monday night. The Jaguars despite losing to Denver last week played arguably their best game of the season in the loss. At 0-6 the Jaguars actually start to become more of a dangerous team as it becomes clear they frankly have little to lose the rest of the way. The Chargers are still as always schizophrenic as they can look great one week and terrible the next. Phillip Rivers is having one of his better years despite all that is going on with the Chargers. This could be a bigger test for San Diego than they realize as the Jaguars have new confidence after playing the Broncos tough. I still have to go with the Chargers here, however this game will be close and maybe in the balance during the fourth quarter. Chargers 28 Jaguars 24.
Chicago@Washington (FOX)- The Bears travel to DC to take on the Redskins in a renewal of an old NFL rivalry. The Bears who last played a week ago Thursday night will come into this game on 10 days of full rest. The Redskins got hammered in Dallas last Sunday night. Chicago QB Jay Cutler is having one of his better seasons thus far and is maybe for the first time in his career playing with a good deal of confidence. RGIII meanwhile to his credit has battled and has arguably earned combat pay. If the Redskins fall too far back in the NFC East it actually may be wise for them just to shut him down for the rest of the season so he can get fully healthy for 2014. Right now the Redskins are just struggling to get through games much less this season. The Bears are just too strong in a lot of areas on both sides of the football, plus they are better rested too. This does not bode well for DC. Bears 34 Redskins 20.
San Francisco@Tennessee(FOX)- The 49ers enter this game on a three-game winning streak and will have the pressure of trying to maintain the steak as the Seahawks have already won their Week 7 game Thursday night. The 49ers rode their defense through much of the streak as the offense despite showing signs of promise is still prone to struggling and not being able to get out of their own way. The Titans meanwhile probably gave the Seahawks their toughest game in Seattle in more than a year. Tennessee brings in a top 10 defense. The NFL Network also reported Saturday morning that Jake Locker may start this game if medically cleared to play. If not, it will be former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans offense will have the same problem as the 49ers offense, they also will be facing a top 10 defense. This one one goes down to the wire. The 49ers in the end find a way to edge this one out in Music City. 49ers 23 Titans 20. *For more on this game click on this link: http://goldengatereport.com/articles/week-7-49ers-travel-to-music-city-to-meet-the-titans
Cleveland@Green Bay(CBS)- The Packers enter this game just ½ game out of first in the NFC North and are coming off a statement win in Baltimore. The Browns meanwhile after a dominant first half at home against Detroit just disappeared in the second half. The Packers are a team that once they find their stride will be tough to stop. In Green Bay, the Browns will have a very tall order to stop a Packers team that is just itching to get going before it’s Lambeau Field faithful. Again, this is a case of one team just being decidedly better on both sides of the ball. Packers 38 Browns 21.
Houston@Kansas City(CBS)- The Chiefs this season have been one of the NFL’s best storylines. They are the first team to go 6-0 in league history after only winning two games the previous season. Though getting a tough test at home versus the rival Raiders last Sunday, in the end the Chiefs showed they have the character to stay with their game plan and the confidence to follow though with it to the end. As for Houston, they have a problem. The Texans have lost four games in a row and have gone from a favorite to make the post season to a complete disaster. The Texans are in complete free-fall and will easily lose their fifth straight here. Before the season is done the Texans may be the new Jacksonville. Baring an unforeseeable turn around, the Texans are toast. The problem may be a lot more than just Matt Schaub. But not to worry, at the rate the Texans are going they will have a legitimate shot at drafting “Johnny Football” this spring. No contest here, could be over before halftime. This is the Lock of the Week. Chiefs 37 Texans 13.
Baltimore@Pittsburgh (CBS)- The NFL’s version of the “Iron Bowl” renews it’s twice a year rivalry as the Ravens take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh. It’s Joe Flacco versus Ben Roethlisberger. It’s one iron tough defense versus the other. Two cities separated by a mere 250 miles. A natural rivalry at it’s letter best. The Ravens had a tough loss at home last week versus Green Bay however played the Packers tough the entire game. The Steelers finally got their first win of the season against the Jets last Sunday after going 0-4 in September. The Steelers at this stage statistically actually have a better defense than the Ravens. However the Steelers offense has been subpar at best. The Ravens have clearly played the better football so far this season and are looking to keep pace with Cincinnati in the AFC North. The Ravens up and down the line up are just the better team, period. Ravens 20 Steelers 13.
Denver@Indianapolis(NBC)- Sunday Night Football has probably one of the more hyped up games of the season as Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis as the Broncos face the Colts. It may be a surreal experience for Manning who is seeing many good friends as the opposing team for the first time in his 15 year career. The Colts are coming off of a tough loss in San Diego while the Broncos had a bit of a struggle at home versus the Jaguars. If the Broncos were scouting the Colts Monday and took good notes, they may have seen the defensive blue print to keep Andrew Luck off of the field. If the Colts get things going on offense, this could be another NFL track meet. Factor in the Chiefs are playing the Texans this week, that’s more pressure for the Broncos to win here. The Colts meanwhile have much to prove before a national television audience and get a shot at redemption six days after San Diego. This game comes down to who has the ball last. Call this crazy. Colts at home get it done (the Broncos aren’t going undefeated either only because nobody does in the NFL, not even Peyton Manning). Colts 31 Broncos 28.
Minnesota@NY Giants(ESPN)- When the schedule came out in April, this looked like it had to the potential to be a very good game. That was in April. Fast forward six months, and this game may not even out-rate “The Voice” in New York City. Josh Freeman has the unusual opportunity to play two games in the Meadowlands as an opposing QB for two different teams. He didn’t win the first one thanks to someone who at least is no longer a teammate. However this will be his first start as a Viking and on the road to boot. The Giants are looking for their first win of the season which usually a phrase only uttered before Week 1. We are in Week 7. Eli Manning will try really hard this time to throw the guys wearing the blue jerseys. Whether or not he has any luck is another question. The good news for the NY Giants is as bad as they have gone this season, the Vikings have been equally bad. The Giants will have had 11 days rest in addition to everything else. The Giants have to get that first win sometime...right? Giants 17 Vikings 10.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.