NFL Week 7 open thread

Ed: Here I am in Rome, where futbol involves a lot of flopping and running around, and maybe it’s beginning to show. I went 3-4 in my picks last week, the first sub-.500 performance of the NFL season. That brings my season total to a still respectable 25-15. Unfortunately for Jazz, he didn’t get a chance to gain any ground on me as he ended up with the same record. Unfortunately for me, that means I get to start the blog post this week.

Jazz: I suppose things could be worse than sitting at 19-21 at this point in the season, but even flipping a coin I might be doing slightly better. So much for shooting for upsets all the time. My season hopes are currently looking about as bright as those of the Jets, and I can’t even expect to have a new player from Seattle show up to try to save me. Oh, and in our fantasy league, after starting out undefeated in 1st place after 3 weeks, Ed has now pulled into a tie with me at 3-3. I may give soccer a fresh look.

Ed: I’m making these picks from the Vatican, so I don’t want to necessarily imply that I’m going to have a better week, but — hey, is that lightning striking around me? Maybe I should get on with the picks. Houston comes to Pittsburgh on Monday night, which I should be home to watch, so let’s hope I don’t get disappointed. Steelers will beat the Texans 28-17. The Vikings shuffle off to Buffalo this week, and they’ll shuffle back with a loss to the Bills, 31-23. The Jets already lost to the Patriots, so Jazz is off the hook for that pick.

Jazz: Big Ben has a shocking 60.8 QB rating this year, and if the Texans have a chance to pick off a win, this is probably it. I’ll continue my losing strategy of picking against Pittsburgh and say Texans 24, Steelers 21. Buffalo, I’m sad to say, is much more on fire than most of us expected at the beginning of the season. I have to go with Ed on this one, but in a much lower scoring game, 21-10. As to the Jets game… the less said the better.

Ed: Let’s grab a few other games for today (all times ET):

  • Panthers at Packers (1 pm, Fox) – This should be a fun game, but the Packers will be tough enough at home to sustain their undefeated record at Lambeau. Pack over the Cats, 35-24.
  • Saints at Lions (1 pm, Fox) – Drew Brees and his gang just aren’t the same championship caliber away from the Superdome this season, and Detroit is playing tough. The line has this close, but I think Detroit will make it a little more decisive, 28-20.
  • Giants at Cowboys (4:25 pm, Fox) – The Giants had turned things around a bit the last few games until they got blown out by Philly last week. They’re back on the road against Dallas, which is holding onto leads this season. The Cowboys rushing attack will make the difference in this game, but it may be a low-scoring game because of it. Dallas 24-17 over the Giants.
  • 49ers at Broncos (8:30 pm, NBC) – I’d love to watch this game, which should be a lot of fun on both sides of the ball. The line has Denver up with an over/under of 50 points. I think there’ll be more scoring than that, but I’m going with Denver too, 37-31.

Jazz: 

  • Panthers at Packers (1 pm, Fox) – Green Bay is almost a seven point favorite not just because they are at home, but because the Panthers just don’t look nearly as good as originally billed. The Pack had a slowish start, but I agree they will win this one, 30-24.
  • Saints at Lions (1 pm, Fox) – The Saints continue to disappoint, and like Ed, I think that Detroit’s defense has been on fire running up their numbers on sacks. Brees will spend more time on the run or on his butt than the running game will be able to make up for. Look for a low scoring Lions win, 17- 12.
  • Giants at Cowboys (4:25 pm, Fox) – Everyone, including the Vegas line, has the Cowboys winning this one, but it’s part of that classic Eastern division NFC rivalry. Those are always hard to predict, and I think Romo will return to his more comical form and let the Giants sneak out with a 24-17 win.
  • 49ers at Broncos (8:30 pm, NBC) – Denver is at home with an expected seven point advantage. I’d love to toss a sympathy vote to the 49ers, particularly after what the Broncos did to the Jets, but this one will probably go as billed. I’ll also take Denver in a shootout, 43-34.