Last week, the Steelers defense finally played a shut-down game, and against a pretty good Cincinnati Bengals team on the road, too. Pittsburgh dominated on all aspects of the game, thanks in part to the emergence of Jonathan Dwyer playing in place of injured RB Rashard Mendenhall. He’ll be back against the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field, where the Steelers have yet to lose. Don’t expect them to lose today, either. They’ll beat RGIII and the Redskins in a physical effort, 20-10.
I had a pretty good Week 7, going 5-1 for the second week in a row, and only losing on my upset pick of Detroit over Chicago. I’m now 27-15 for the season. Can I pull a hat trick?
- Giants at Cowboys – New York got off to a rocky start, but they’re back to playing championship-level football again. The Cowboys have been inconsistent at best. I’d expect Eli Manning to lead the G-men past the ‘Boys, 27-20.
- Saints at Broncos – New Orleans is one of the real conundrums of this season. They’re just as talented as last year, but they can’t quite make the finish line. They’ve won their last two games, but Peyton Manning is 6-0 in his last six games after bye weeks, and he’s just getting tuned up. The Broncos should win at home, 35-31, but it may come down to the last drive.
- Falcons at Eagles – Atlanta puts the last unbeaten record on the line in Philadelphia, and the line has the Eagles by three. They’ve played sloppy, turnover-filled football so far this season, led by a snake-bit Michael Vick. I can’t see them getting their act together in time to stop Atlanta, who should win in a shootout, 38-28.
- 49ers at Cardinals — Which of these teams is more for real? I’m betting (in a Bidenesque “literally” sense, not literally literally) that it’s San Francisco. They need to exert some dominance in their division, which has become the most improved in the NFL, and I’d call it 27-24 for the 49ers, possibly in OT.
- Patriots at Rams — I could ask the same question here. St. Louis has improved its play over the last couple of years, especially at home, where they have all three of their wins this season. New England has looked sloppy and perhaps a bit old this year, and they’re 2-2 on the road. The line has the Pats up by seven, but I’ll pick this as my upset of the week. Rams over Pats, 24-20.