North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Sick Picks – NFL Week 7

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I’ve been sick most of this week, so I didn’t get to write serious in-depth profiles for the games, so here’s an abbreviated version of my picks for week seven.

Pittsburgh Steelers over Minnesota Vikings

While Pittsburgh has been okay this season, they aren’t looking anywhere near as good as they did last season, which I attribute mostly to losing Troy Polamalu to an injury in week one. Granted, he did reappear against the Browns (and make an interception). But his absence for a good chuck of the season is a big part of why the Steelers pass defence dropped from the best in the NFL last season to 12th this season.

But with him planning on starting against the Vikings, the Steelers have a real boost in the secondary. And against them, they might need it.

All season long, Vikings QB Brett Farve has shown he still likes to throw the long bomb. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always there – and Farve knows he can use it to stretch out the defence. It comes in handy because it opens up the secondary a bit, forcing them to play deeper and gives Adrian Peterson a little more room to run.

But back to the Steelers. With somebody as adept against the pass as Polamalu in the backfield, would it still be wise to throw deep more then once or twice? It opens a real chance of getting intercepted, something which Farve has been pretty lucky with so far – he’s only been picked off twice this season. I’d be surprised if that stays the same through today’s game.

On the flip side, Pittsburgh is going to have a tough time against a solid Vikings defence. Their late-game collapse last week notwithstanding, Minnesota has looked solid so far. They’re holding teams to 93 rushing yards per game, have forced nine fumbles and are tied for the league lead in sacks with 21 … but they also are looking not good against the pass (ranked 18th in the NFL) and in points allowed (19th).

And don’t look now, but Pittsburgh is leading the league in total passing yards (1780). However, they have allowed Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked 16 times. If Pittsburgh’s O-Line can give him some time to throw, Roethlisberger should be able to throw all over the Vikings. I think┬áthe Steelers should be able to pull this one out at home.

Other picks

Green Bay over Cleveland – Green Bay should move back to .500 with a win on the road over a poor Browns team

San Francisco over Houston – Thanks to a healthy Frank Gore and some rest from a bye week, I like the Niners in a close one

San Diego over Kansas City – Neither team looks good, but Kansas City has trouble defending against teams that can score. They’ll remain winless at home.

Indianapolis over St. Louis – The Colts will to respond to the Pats blowout win over the Titans last week with something of their own (though by not as much).

New England over Tampa Bay – Another easy week for the Pats, who will win this one with ease.

Carolina over Buffalo – The Bills looked really bad last week in another game that went to OT and looked like nobody wanted to win. Carolina will pull this one out.

Oakland over NY Jets – The Jets also looked really bad last week and rookie QB Mark Sanchez was having trouble making passes. Oakland is better against the pass then the Bills, and have a good chance at beating the Jets here.

Chicago over Cincinnati – Neither team is really exciting offensively, but the Bears are allowing more then they give up. I like them in a game thats either close, dull or both.

Dallas over Atlanta – Both teams give up a lot on defence, but Dallas can move it around a lot (second in the NFL in total yards per game!), which puts them over the top here.

New Orleans over Miami – The wildcat might help Miami out a bit here, but the same passing defence that did them in against Indianapolis will do the same against the Saints.

NY Giants over Arizona – At home, in the cold, the Giants will easily handle the Cards.

Philadelphia over Washington – I can’t get behind the Redskins, even with a 2-4 record and an underrated defence. I like the Eagles here on the road, who will run all over Washington.

Last Week: 6-8

Overall: 26 – 17

Written by M.

October 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm

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