No main theme this week. I’m just going to share a few thoughts straight from the gut on some of the Week 7 games.
Jaguars-Bills in London, Streamed by Yahoo
Even on a Sunday morning, I’d rather stream from xhamster than get up for this game.
Saints at Colts
Well, a repeat of 62-7 would at least get Chuck Pagano fired on Monday instead of after the season. I still think it’s going to happen, but this is a winnable game here. You can’t trust either defense at this point, but the Saints are a bit more trustworthy on offense in 2015. Interesting to see if a Rob Ryan defense is the cure for Andrew Luck’s 2015 ills. This could be the only time Luck and Drew Brees square off in what definitely could be a high-scoring game. I wouldn’t mind watching it live, but I have the next game at 1 p.m.
Steelers at Chiefs
Tell me this doesn’t sound like classic NFL as a Sunday night sentence:
The Steelers got past San Diego and Arizona with backup quarterbacks, yet couldn’t beat the lowly Chiefs, losers of five straight.
The weekly excitement of the NFL lives on twists and turns just like that one. What do you mean Landry Jones bombed in his first start? He was so good off the bench last week.
Yeah, but we’ve seen the hot backup off the bench before. It’s different when teams prepare for you. It’s different when you’re making your first start, have no real track record of being good — Jones was god awful in the preseason again — have a new left tackle, playing on the road against a defense that has talent despite its struggles. This is also exactly the kind of road game where the Steelers tend to struggle offensively. Think the Rams in Week 3. Think the Titans/Jags/Browns/Jets last year. Think about any trip to Oakland recently. If Ben Roethlisberger was playing, I think it’d be a blowout, but don’t expect to see him for another week. Jones got two great efforts from Martavis Bryant on touchdowns last week. He hit Antonio Brown on a back-shoulder throw. He showed confidence in making plays, but he is very dependent on the talent around him making plays. If the Steelers’ skill guys don’t show up big, I think the Chiefs can still this one. Regardless, I see a low-scoring, ugly game. Don’t forget the 2011 Tyler Palko game. Don’t forget the 2012 game where the Chiefs never had a lead all season and went up 10-0 on Pittsburgh. The Steelers never seem to handle their business well against this team.
Final score: Steelers 16, Chiefs 13
Jets at Patriots
It still frustrates me that the lowly 2014 Jets almost beat the Patriots twice last season, while the Patriots had no real problem in beating the Broncos and Colts in three games. The Jets have closed the gap this season and I think this is the game of the week to watch. It’s going to come down to turnovers. If the Jets can win that battle with their defense making some plays, then they have a great shot at the win. If they lose the turnover battle, they’re almost guaranteed to lose in Foxboro. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t really been asked to win a game for the Jets this year. You could argue the Philadelphia game played out that way, and the results were miserable. Fitzpatrick is surrounded by pretty good talent with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The offensive line is playing very well. Chris Ivory is running great. Fitzpatrick just has to manage the talent around him and not make big mistakes. He’s doing that, but it’s also helped by defenses not cashing in his bad throws for takeaways. The Patriots do tend to capitalize on your mistakes, and that’s what worries me about the Jets in this game. I just expect Fitzpatrick to throw a bone-headed pick at the worst time, just as he did several times with the Buffalo Bills in games that were winnable against the Patriots.
Texans at Dolphins
Read another stat this week that helps summarize the worthlessness of the post-Dan Marino Dolphins. The Texans are 7-0 against the Dolphins. Miami has scored more than 20 points in just one of those games.
Well at least I think that streak ends tomorrow. Maybe it took the firing of Joe Philbin to remind this team that Lamar Miller is an asset in this offense. Either way, I’m just here for the DeAndre Hopkins fantasy points.
Cowboys at Giants
Can this be the most important game of the season for Dallas? I see maybe one win (at TB) without Tony Romo on this schedule. Getting a sweep of the Giants would be huge, but I don’t see it happening. The Giants and Eil Manning will atone for Week 1’s letdown and Monday night’s clusterfvck to beat Matt Cassel and Christine Michael at home. And yes, I refuse to board the Michael hype train until it actually leaves the damn station. Prove something first.
I feel like my Dallas chapter for Football Outsiders Almanac 2014 was written one year too early. It would have been perfect for this year’s team, because with the lack of depth behind the skill players, the results are exactly what was expected. That was the problem in just letting DeMarco go and going with the archaic setup of one standout wide receiver. Dez Bryant is great, but you can’t muster much offense with a corps of Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Devin Street. Those are role players that work better with Bryant on the field. Cassel is an upgrade over Brandon Weeden, but it’s not going to be enough this week.
2015 Week 7 Predictions
I had the Seahawks on TNF, and it was your typical SF-SEA matchup, which means the 49ers couldn’t score. It was the worst thing I watched on Thursday night that wasn’t named Heroes Reborn.
Winners in bold
- Bills at Jaguars
- Browns at Rams
- Saints at Colts
- Steelers at Chiefs
- Jets at Patriots
- Buccaneers at Redskins
- Falcons at Titans
- Vikings at Lions
- Texans at Dolphins
- Raiders at Chargers
- Cowboys at Giants
- Eagles at Panthers
- Ravens at Cardinals
- Week 1: 10-6
- Week 2: 6-10
- Week 3: 14-2
- Week 4: 11-4
- Week 5: 9-5
- Week 6: 8-6
- Season: 58-33 (.637)