NFL Week 7 open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on October 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Pittsburgh Steelers take their big (one-game) winning streak back home today to face the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens, their divisional nemesis.  When I looked up the game on ESPN, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Steelers favored by three points, which has a lot to do with Baltimore’s mediocrity in all phases of their game except rushing defense (9th-ranked).  Pittsburgh is dead last in rushing offense, but they’re 7th in passing offense (vs Ravens’ 18th-ranked D) and fourth in passing defense despite their 1-4 start. Expect Roethlisberger’s arm to be the difference in a low-scoring game. with Steelers winning 21-17.

Last week, I posted my second straight 4-3 result, which puts me at 19-21 for the season.  I need a big boost, so let’s see if I can’t sweep it today and tomorrow (all times Eastern):

  • Patriots at Jets (1 pm, CBS) – The Jets lost at home to winless Pittsburgh last week, and the Patriots barely outlasted the New Orleans Saints at home.  New York has a better team than last season, but not good enough to beat the Patriots.  New England 31-20 over the J-E-T-S.
  • Cowboys at Eagles (1 pm, Fox) – Two 3-3 teams playing two different kinds of football. Dallas has scared some of the best teams in the league, while the Eagles have rarely been competitive except against lower-division teams. The Cowboys haven’t won on the road this season, but the Eagles haven’t won at home, either.  The line has the Eagles up by a field goal, but I think Dallas wins this in a close game, 27-23.
  • Browns at Packers (4:25 pm, CBS) – Cleveland is playing its best ball in years, but they’re not going to beat the Packers at Lambeau Field.  The Pack is off to a middling 3-2 start but haven’t lost at home, and this won’t be the week that streak gets broken.  Packers 33-20 over the Browns.
  • 49ers at Titans (4:05 pm, Fox) – Who would have guessed that Colin Kaepernick’s offense would be dead last in passing by week 7? The Titans aren’t much better at 29th, though, and San Francisco’s rushing offense (4th) and passing defense is better than anything the Titans have in opposition.  The 49ers have blown out their last three opponents, too, while Tennessee have dropped two in a row (to KC and Seattle, though).  The 49er rushing offense will make the difference in a 28-20 win over the Titans.
  • Broncos at Colts (8:25 pm, NBC) - Peyton Manning comes home to Indianapolis, which plans to honor his long years during the game, even though owner Jim Irsay demonstrated his lack of class by complaining that Manning only got them one Super Bowl ring. (Memo to Irsay: That’s more than some other teams in the league.) Expect Manning to prove Irsay as adept a personnel manager as a gracious host by demonstrating that the Andrew Luck Era could have waited a couple of years. The Colts will make it competitive, but it’ll still be Denver 38-24 over the Colts.
  • Vikings at Giants (MNF, 8:30 pm, ESPN) – If this wasn’t on a Monday, I’d take a pass on it.  The Giants are one of three NFL teams without a win, and the Vikings are just a Steelers game away from being in the same position.  As well as Peyton is playing this season, two-time Super Bowl champ Eli is playing that badly.  Just like with the Cowboys-Eagles game, the Vikes haven’t won on the road and the Giants haven’t won at home, obviously.  However, this is about the time that Tom Coughlin teams find themselves, and where better to do so? Manning still has the 8th-best passing offense in the league, and Minnesota the third-worst passing defense.  The Giants get off the schneid with a 27-23 win in the Meadowlands.

On a more somber note, NFL coaching legend Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips passed away this week at 90.  He coached the Houston Oilers in their glory years, who were the divisional rivals to the Steelers, so I spent a lot of time rooting against Bum — but I always liked his style.  Our prayers go out on behalf of his family, friends, and fans. Rest in peace, Coach.

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Dang, I wouldn’t mind watching the 8:30 game but I’ve sworn off their coverage because of Bob Costas.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Bum Phillips in a rally to thousands of Houston fans after the Oilers fell one game shy of the Super Bowl for the second straight year…

“Last year, we knocked on the door!

This year, we BEAT on the door!

Next year …
… we’re gonna kick the sonofabitch down!”

aunursa on October 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

getting tougher and tougher to find anything to watch, n’est ce pas?

I have stopped watching anything with Chris Noth, not that that is a tremendous sacrifice.

esr1951 on October 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Dang, I wouldn’t mind watching the 8:30 game but I’ve sworn off their coverage because of Bob Costas.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Now why would you do that? Other than inappropriately injecting his political views into a sports broadcast, jumping aboard the politically correct bandwagon after all the other liberals, and acting like an all-around condescending jerk, what has Costas ever done to you?

aunursa on October 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Injuries might be the death of the Pack. Fortunately, it’s the NewBrowns.

Steve Eggleston on October 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Now why would you do that? Other than inappropriately injecting his political views into a sports broadcast, jumping aboard the politically correct bandwagon after all the other liberals, and acting like an all-around condescending jerk, what has Costas ever done to you?

aunursa on October 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Eaten my bratwurst.

Steve Eggleston on October 20, 2013 at 12:49 PM

On a more somber note, NFL coaching legend Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips passed away this week at 90. He coached the Houston Oilers in their glory years, who were the divisional rivals to the Steelers, so I spent a lot of time rooting against Bum — but I always liked his style. Our prayers go out on behalf of his family, friends, and fans. Rest in peace, Coach.

Thanks for the tribute, Ed. While the Oilers became known as the “Luv Ya Blue” team, it was as much, if not more, a “Luv Ya Bum” one. RIP, Bum, and thanks for the memories.

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Let’s get Gronk!

ackrite55 on October 20, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Cindy, just print and tape this below your screen, then watch away:

BOB COSTAS IS A SNIVELING LIBERAL TWIT MIDGET

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM

esr1951 on October 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I know, I saw his latest jackazzery. These are the same people who cry victim when they find out their cpa’s and managers have robbed them blind.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I think the last thing I remember Costas doing that was relevant was looking out the ear hole of an NFL helmet. Oh, maybe he was the one who put a propeller on the top of a Bengals helmet when they changed their uniforms back in the late seventies. He seems to have helmet issues.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

You forgot the *ahem* UNDEFEATED *ahem* Chiefs v Texans game Ed…(3:45 eastern on CBS)

Yeah…I don’t live in KC or anything…

Rogue on October 20, 2013 at 1:16 PM

even though owner Jim Irsay demonstrated his lack of class by complaining that Manning only got them one Super Bowl ring.

That’s bound to happen when your entire team is one player!

ladyingray on October 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

NFL coaching legend Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips passed away this week at 90. He coached the Houston Oilers in their glory years, who were the divisional rivals to the Steelers, so I spent a lot of time rooting against Bum — but I always liked his style.

A definite character, that guy. Refused to wear his Stetson “in the house”, which included in any dome.

And don’t forget that Bum also nearly took the New Orleans Saints to their very-first winning season and first playoff berth, in 1983. But the Rams captured the final playoff berth by beating the Saints with a field goal with 2 seconds left in the game 26-24. He was a broken man after that, and left football for good 2 years later.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Injuries might be the death of the Pack. Fortunately, it’s the NewBrowns.

Steve Eggleston on October 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

that is my worry also ….

conservative tarheel on October 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I remember those stunts as well, yep, helmet envy. However, I actually used to like his monologues and pieces until he started going political, as if the sports fans care one whit about what he thinks. I think he secretly wants to be Keith Olberman.

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I have stopped watching anything with Chris Noth, not that that is a tremendous sacrifice.

Law and order was at its best with chris noth

gerrym51 on October 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Tennessee has dropped two in a row because their back-up quarterback was playing, but Jake Locker is reportedly back today. If he is fully healthy, he could lead the Titans to a win today.

NbyNW on October 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I think he secretly wants to be Keith Olberman.

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Wow, I don’t even know what to say about that. Delusions of grandeur and unemployment.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Law and order was at its best with chris noth

gerrym51 on October 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I agree. Used to get these on netflix, but not sure if i will anymore.

The Good Wife is awful, in my opinion.

esr1951 on October 20, 2013 at 1:44 PM

The Ravens and Steelers are both in bad shape this year offensively as neither one can do a damn thing. I think the Ravens’ D is a little better than the Steelers’ but the horrible runs up the middle on first and second down and terrible O-line play by the Ravens’ offense will probably be the difference in a win or loss. The Ravens D will ball all game (and I think they’ll sack Big Ben at least 4 times!) but if the Ravens wait until the second half to start throwing the ball on 1st and/or 2nd down, they will lose.

I fully expect a low scoring game either way.

ManWithNoName on October 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Law and order was at its best with chris noth

gerrym51 on October 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Just as a reminder, “best” is a relative term.

Steve Eggleston on October 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Go Chiefs!

davidk on October 20, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Are the teams that play Jacksonville using it as a bye and playing their second string?

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

So-o-o-o-o…How ’bout those Redskins.

Solaratov on October 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Chicago and the Redskins apparently score every time they touch it. Chicago just got an onside kick… or not. Offside.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Can we not have to suffer through an image of a rapist thug on the homepage please? I get Ed is a Steelers fan, and I am a massive sports loyalist so I get it, but Ben R is a rapist.

Jackalope on October 20, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Geez, I can tackle better than most of the Redskin defense.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

New England ties the Jets 27-27 with 16 seconds left in the game and it’s headed to the OT. Getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Jackalope on October 20, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Shouldn’t he have to have been convicted in a court of law for you to get away with that?

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

I feel your pain, apparently whoever has the ball last will win the Redskin/Chicago game.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Jets in OT. Rex avenges Rob.

Christien on October 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I want everyone to know that it took Chicago losing their quarterback and most of their defensive first stringers for the Redskins to barely pull off their victory.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Game ball goes to Gino or Ivory.

Christien on October 20, 2013 at 4:33 PM

New England ties the Jets 27-27 with 16 seconds left in the game and it’s headed to the OT. Getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

That last call by the refs stunk. Pats replacements need to play better.

dogsoldier on October 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Sorry Del!

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Has anyone ever seen/heard of an Unsportsmanlike penalty for pushing your OWN teammate?

Yeah, me neither.

Patriots got screwed big time.

D-fusit on October 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

New York has a better team than last season, but not good enough to beat the Patriots. New England 31-20 over the J-E-T-S.

The Ed Morrissey kiss of death claims yet another victim, hehehe.
:P

abobo on October 20, 2013 at 4:50 PM

s/b Geno

Christien on October 20, 2013 at 4:53 PM

…Detroit’s professional teams had a bad weekend. Lions?…last second again!

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

That last call by the refs stunk. Pats replacements need to play better.

dogsoldier on October 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Stunk ? Why? I don’t like the rule but it is a new rule and the rookie broke the rule. Should they have turned their heads because your team did not teach the kid well?

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Worst Bears defense I can even remember.

Jaibones on October 20, 2013 at 6:16 PM

New England ties the Jets 27-27 with 16 seconds left in the game and it’s headed to the OT. Getting too old for this kind of stuff.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

That last call by the refs stunk. Pats replacements need to play better.

dogsoldier on October 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

New rule.

Sorry Del!

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Meh, I am going to drown my sorrows by watching my Red Sox go to the World Series for the 3rd time in 10 years. Fear the Beards!

Has anyone ever seen/heard of an Unsportsmanlike penalty for pushing your OWN teammate?

Yeah, me neither.

Patriots got screwed big time.

D-fusit on October 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

New rule.

I don’t like the rule but it is a new rule and the rookie broke the rule.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I never heard an explanation-usually these new rules are created because of a precedent (see the “tuck rule”). Was this new rule based on a play or plays that took place in recent years?

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Steelers!!!!!!!!!!!

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Was this new rule based on a play or plays that took place in recent years?

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I don’t know. The TV guys simply said it was about safety. I saw a tweet by Joe Namath and he stated it was about protecting the center.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Chiefs: 7-0

davidk on October 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Channeling Bill the Beer Man…

1,2,3…

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

*points to fans on the other side of the field at the Kingdome*

SEEEEAAAAAA HAAAAAWWWWWKKKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

*points to fans on the other side of the field at the Kingdome*

SEEEEAAAAAA HAAAAAWWWWWKKKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!

God love ya Bill – Go Seahawks!!!

Hill60 on October 20, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Dang, I wouldn’t mind watching the 8:30 game but I’ve sworn off their coverage because of Bob Costas.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Just shut off the TV at half-time – especially if you happen to be a Nielsen household – that’s when he spews his political BS.
I won’t miss the game, but I will shut off all TVs at half-time.

dentarthurdent on October 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Was this new rule based on a play or plays that took place in recent years?

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I don’t know. The TV guys simply said it was about safety. I saw a tweet by Joe Namath and he stated it was about protecting the center.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Just checked with my friend who’s in the sports department of a Great Metropolitan Newspaper in Boston. The new rule was not based on prior offenses, but is just another attempt to Wimpy-Up the game.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Just checked with my friend who’s in the sports department of a Great Metropolitan Newspaper in Boston. The new rule was not based on prior offenses, but is just another attempt to Wimpy-Up the game.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

And, it was a rule asked for by the players association, who are becoming a real pain in the ass in the wimpage department. If they don’t watch out, they’ll ruin the very game that pays their salaries, and the fans would sooner watch soccer than flag football.

TXUS on October 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM

GODDAMNIT ED!!!! YOU JUST COST MANNING HIS PERFECT SEASON!!!

abobo on October 21, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Just checked with my friend who’s in the sports department of a Great Metropolitan Newspaper in Boston. The new rule was not based on prior offenses, but is just another attempt to Wimpy-Up the game.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

The players asked for it this past offseason via the Competition Committee and were granted it. I don’t think this “wimpy-ups” the game as some of the rules against hits by defenders though.

ManWithNoName on October 21, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Just checked with my friend who’s in the sports department of a Great Metropolitan Newspaper in Boston. The new rule was not based on prior offenses, but is just another attempt to Wimpy-Up the game.

Del Dolemonte on October 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

The players asked for it this past offseason via the Competition Committee and were granted it. I don’t think this “wimpy-ups” the game as some of the rules against hits by defenders though.

ManWithNoName on October 21, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Heard some more interesting info about this story today from Boston media. There was in fact a Redskins player who came forward with some sort of video evidence but I didn’t catch his name.

And a memo went out just last week to all of the ref crews telling them that this new rule had not been called enough so far this season. More on that angle later.

You BDS-ers will love this next part. At this morning’s Pats news conference, the rookie player stepped up and claimed full responsibility for not knowing the rule. But then Coach Belicheat immediately stepped in and took full personal responsibility for not making the kid aware of the rule sufficiently.

Coach also later said that a review of yesterday’s game film confirmed that both teams had already violated said rule earlier in the very same game, and both had done so more than once. But those incidents of cheating were never called.
He also said that he had seen many other teams cheat on this rule during the first 7 weeks of the season, while watching game film of future Pats opponents.

No doubt NFL Network will feature this game either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday night on their “NFL Replay”. Should be interesting to see how many times that same call was ignored earlier in the game.

Del Dolemonte on October 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM