*Home team in CAPS
PANTHERS over Redskins- This is a matchup between a fantasy stud QB vs a QB making his first start in four years. It’s also about Carolina’s run defense showing up this week because that’s what the Redskins will be dishing out given it’s John Beck’s 1st start with this group. The Panthers are 31st in the league vs the run so they will have their work cut out for them. So how do we think Carolina wins this game? The Redskins give up 4.5 yards a carry to RB’s and we think Cam Newton will have 2 scoring TD’s this week. And then there is Steve Smith going up against DeAngelo Hall. Advantage: Smith! Panthers win in a close one.
Broncos over DOLPHINS– The ‘Age of Tebow’ starts officially on Sunday! The offensively challenged Fish can’t score- period. After last week’s 6 point performance vs the Jets, Matt Moore now has an updated resume that reads as follows: Last 8 games-5 TD’s-13 INT’s-17 sacks. Couple those pathetic stats with his passing percentage at 55% over that stretch and you wonder why the Dolphins haven’t traded for Kyle Orton! Oh, and Miami can’t win at home; 1-9 over their last ten at Sun Life Stadium. We think without Brandon Lloyd, and not a heck of a lot of time to get in synch with the remaining receivers, Willis McGahee and Tebow split the TD’s this week. Broncs in this one.
Seahawks over BROWNS- The Seahawks have been coming on of late which proves that if a team can stop the run, good things will happen. The ‘Hawks have allowed the fourth fewest yards to RB’s from scrimmage which forces opposing teams to take to the air. We don’t think Seattle will be ‘shaking in their boots’ thinking that Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Ben Watson are the next Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Tony Gonzalez… Cleveland, more than adept against the pass, has a few banged up backs at the moment. The most significant of which is John Haden (knee) who will be questionable, at best, as well as Buster Skrine (hip). That’ll open things up a bit for Sidney Rice and our pickup of the last 2 weeks, Doug Baldwin, a fave of Charlie Whitehurst. Goin’ with the ‘Hawks in a close one.
Steelers over CARDINALS- The Black & Gold are our third road team pick. The Steelers give up a healthy 4.6 yards per carry to opposing backs which should make Beanie Wells’ day a little sweeter as he has a touchdown in all four games that he’s played in this year. Rashard Mendenhall, last week’s AFC Offensive Player of The Week, has to be drooling as the Cards are ranked 20th against the run but more significantly, has given up the most TD’s to RB’s. (Actually, they’re tied for that honor..) Larry Fitzgerald will probably get his usual 100+ receiving yards and a score but it won’t be enough. We’re picking the Steelers by at least 10 points.
Ravens over JAGUARS-We still believe that the Ravens, our fourth road team this week, are the best team in the AFC. The Jags, not exactly an offensive juggernaut, have only one real threat on offense and that would be Maurice Jones-Drew. Although if the Ravens could hold Mendenhall to just 45 yards rushing, you wouldn’t think MJD wouldn’t fare much better. The Jags have a top eight passing defense, however they have given up over 400 yards and three rushing touchdowns to RB’s over the past three weeks. So you can figure that Ray Rice should have a productive day. We don’t think that QB Blaine Gabbart and receivers Mike Thomas and Jason Hill will be enough to upset the heavily favored Ravens. Baltimore by at least two touchdowns. Just a footnote- we picked TE Ed Dickson as our sleeper pick of week 7. Just saying…
* Last week 2-3
** Season 16-9