Hello friends! Here’s the rest of my picks for Week 7, with a reminder that you should be able to catch the Ocho Fantasy Football Podcast over at offtheteam.com, assuming the Penguin posts it today. I don’t remember much of the show, which is always a good sign for the quality! And even if that isn’t up, don’t forget to read my Dontari Poe article from Monday, which was my favorite piece of writing since the Eva Marie column from a couple of months back. Good times.
Sunday, October 23
NY Giants (-3) vs. Los Angeles
We going to Wacky Old England for this one. Twickenham Stadium in London, to be exact. It’s one of the most well-known rugby venues in the world, and it’s nice for the NFL to branch out and play a game…somewhere else in London. Seriously, how many stadiums do they have there? It’s certainly good timing for the Giants to pack up & go overseas considering how everybody found out more about the Josh Brown domestic violence situation this week & are mad at the Giants & the NFL for not doing enough in the way of punishment. Which, frankly, people should be, especially when the Commissioner is going on about how he wants players to be role models & that’s why the league fines people for cleats & touchdown celebrations. The Giants really don’t look good here giving Brown a contract extension while all this was going on during the off-season. I’m sure the Giants ownership & coaching staff are yearning for the days when the biggest distraction was Odell Beckham’s relationship with the kicking net.
I think the trip to London is just what the Giants need this week. They can take care of business here and head into the bye week, which will allow them to lay low until the next domestic violence case comes up.
Minnesota (-2.5) at Philadelphia
It feels like the wheels are coming off the Wentz Wagon, and a game against the best defense in the NFL isn’t what the Eagles would like to have right now. But that’s life. The Vikings should be able to take care of business in Philly.
New Orleans at Kansas City (-6.5)
Both teams coming off of big wins against division rivals last week. The Saints always scare me on the road & the Chiefs have one of the best home environments in football, so they seem like the pick here.
Washington at Detroit (-1.5)
I feel like people are sleeping on Washington a little bit this season. They’re riding a four-game winning streak…maybe the quality of competition hasn’t been the best, but it usually isn’t in the NFC East. Kirk Cousins is getting it done with a solid offensive line and some reliable backs & receivers. The Lions have a two-game winning streak of their own going, but I’ve never trusted them since the Barry Sanders days and haven’t been proven wrong yet.
Cleveland at Cincinnati (-10)
The Bengals had a pretty typical loss in New England. They kept it close for awhile to make people think they almost might have a chance, then the Patriots kicked it up a notch & the Bengals were unable to adjust. You’d think that Marvin Lewis would be able to make adjustments to his game plan now that he’s in his fourteenth season as a head coach, but apparently that’s asking too much. Lewis certainly doesn’t ask too much from his players. Vontaze Burfict got fined this week for some dirty play in the New England game, and Lewis’s response publicly was that Burfict did nothing wrong. I don’t really blame Lewis for defending his player, but hopefully he realizes that his player is out of control and it’s not going to end well if the team doesn’t do something to address the issue. He’ll get suspended again, miss more games & cost his team the use of his services when they’ll be needed most.
The difference between the Bengals and a truly professional outfit like the New England Patriots was on full display Sunday. Rob Gronkowski got into it with Burfict on a couple of plays and got real frustrated, similar to how Bengals players were frustrated in that playoff game last season. Bill Belichick pulled Gronk aside, told him to cut it out, and Gronk did exactly that. He had one of the best games of his career. The problem children on the Bengals either aren’t being told to cut it out, or they don’t respect their coach enough to do so. I think the fact that Adam Jones, one of the guys constantly getting in trouble for this sort of thing, is one of the team captains tells you all you need to know about the Bengals’ leadership or lack thereof.
I don’t feel great about the ten-point spread here, but it should be pointed out that the last game between these two teams decided by less than ten points was in 2012. It’s mostly been blowouts in favor of the Bengals, and I think that’s what will happen again this week. Hopefully. Should the Browns win this game, all hell will likely break loose in Cincinnati.
Buffalo (-3) at Miami
The Bills are still going strong, but the possible lack of LeSean McCoy this week has me a little bit concerned. I’m not sold on the Dolphins just because they beat Pittsburgh last week, but I’ll take them & the points at home against a Shady-less or a less than 100% Shady Bills team.
Oakland at Jacksonville (-1)
Yeah, the Raiders had a pretty bad loss against the Chiefs, but I think they can get back on track this week against a Jaguars squad that still hasn’t shown me much even if they came back on the Bears last week.
Indianapolis at Tennessee (-2.5)
It shows how far the Colts have fallen when they’re underdogs against the Titans and I pick the Titans. There’s just no defense there & after the way they fell apart against Houston on Sunday night it’s tough to take them seriously.
Baltimore at NY Jets (-1)
The Jets are starting Geno Smith at quarterback. The Ravens might be starting Ryan Mallett since Joe Flacco is injured and not practicing.
That’s how I’d feel if I had to watch this game. The Ravens are slightly less shitty so I guess I’d take them, but this is an ugly situation.
San Diego at Atlanta (-6.5)
Keep an eye on these Chargers. Their record isn’t good, but all their losses have been narrow ones and they’re coming off a big win over Denver. The Falcons also beat Denver and probably should have beat Seattle last week, so they’re still looking like they just might be for real this season. We’ve been fooled plenty of times by these dirty birds, but things are looking good. With that in mind, the Chargers are getting a lot of points here and I like them to at least lose by a close margin.
Tampa Bay (-2.5) at San Francisco
Gotta roll with the Buccaneers, I guess. I have no confidence in them but the 49ers are proving to be as awful as we figured they would be. Carlos Hyde missing this game due to injury won’t help.
New England (-7) at Pittsburgh
This could have been a pretty good game if Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t hurt last week. Landry Jones rates below Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett & Julian Edelman as a backup quarterback. The Patriots should take this pretty easily. Assuming Ben’s healthy come playoff time I expect their next game to be a lot more interesting.
Seattle at Arizona (-2)
Arizona has been doing very well against bad teams. The Seattle Seahawks are not a bad team. They might have deserved to lose to the Falcons on Sunday, but everybody knows that life isn’t about deserve. The Cardinals have lost three straight games to Seattle in Glendale, but I think that streak comes to an end this week. The Cardinals have been getting back on the right track lately and a win this week should put them back among the elite teams in the National Football League.
Monday, October 24
Houston at Denver (-7.5)
The Texans didn’t do a lot to impress on Sunday night even if they ended up getting the win. The Broncos have lost two straight, but something tells me that they’ll be ready to go on Monday night with their old friend Brock Osweiler coming to town. Expect the Broncos defense to have a lot of fun and lead the team to victory.