Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 7

7-7. That was my record last week. The good news is that I got wins in all three of my fantasy leagues. Go figure. While I picked two upsets (Bills and Lions) I totally got the Niners, Texans and Patriots wrong. But really, who saw that Patriots loss coming besides Seahawks fans? Great game for them though, and it looks like the first time in a long time there might actually be a fight for the division lead in the NFC West, and more than one winning record.

While there are some clear winners and losers in the NFL this year, there is a lot of parity, especially within divisions. Take the AFC East for example. It’s completely up in the air. All four teams are 3-3. That’s gotta be some sort of anomaly. The NFC East is also another division that is close, which is saying a lot because the Eagles are terrible. And they just fired their defensive coordinator, in the middle of the season, even though it’s the offense that is fucked up. The NFC North is close, but it’s the NFC West that is the biggest surprise. Arizona, Seattle and San Fran are tied at 4-2, with the Rams at 3-3. Totally up for grabs.

There is only one undefeated team left, and that’s the Falcons, who are on a bye this week. That means I have to revamp my whole fantasy team or just take a loss. Matt Ryan is my bread and butter. Well, him and AJ Green. I suppose I’ll start Dalton in that league… In other news, Holmgren is out in Cleveland at the end of the year. His term was more than disappointing. They also got a new owner, who apparently likes to buy things and watch them die.

Only 13 games this week, as the bye weeks jump to six teams. Let’s see what Week 7 holds for the NFL. On with the picks!

Seattle at San Francisco -7.0
Both teams at 4-2, both teams surprised this past weekend. The Seahawks showed they were for real by beating the Patriots in dramatic fashion. Meanwhile, the Niners took a very acute turn for the suck with a beat down at the hands of the visiting Giants. Are we seeing a shift in power in this division? Will the Niners come back strong and beat the Hawks? I think so. Niners to win at home.

Tennessee at Buffalo -3.0
Well, the Titans are loading up for a disappointing season… but wait, what’s this? The Titans beat the Steelers? Some weird flip-side shit there. I watched most of that game (like every game) and neither team looked impressive. I’d say the Titans did a good job protecting the run, but the Steelers just don’t have a running game. The Bills are better offensively than the Steelers. Bills to win.

Cleveland at Indianapolis -3.0
I saw a sign in the crowd during the Cleveland game that said “First Step to 11-5″ or something like that. The 11-5 bit was on there. Well, the Browns are now 1-5 and really haven’t improved all that much save for Wheedon and Gordon finally getting a groove. So much so that I picked Gordon up for my fantasy team as a replacement WR. The Cleveland defense is playing good right now, so much so that I picked them up to replace the Atlanta defense. I was going to start Luck in place of Matt Ryan in fantasy, but I don’t like to bet against myself since I’m picking the Browns to win.

Green Bay at St. Louis +5.5
Well, the Packers finally woke the fuck up against the Texans. The Packers seemed to be winging it this season, but came into the Texans game with a serious game plan. Also, consider this: Rodgers is just as good as he was last year. 16 TD’s and 4 interceptions. The Rams are a seriously meh team, but still have a solid shot at the division if they can keep their running game healthy, which it is not. Packers to win.

Arizona at Minnesota -6.0
The Cards are hurting. Feely hits a 61 yarder, then misses a 38 yarder (maybe his foot hurt) then after the game we learned Kolb separated some ribs. Well, he’s out for a while, which means Skelton, who cannot run at all, will be in at QB. Expect the Cards to pump up the running game. Considering that the Vikings were out rushed by RGIII alone last week, I think this is a good week for the running game. But I don’t think Skelton can compliment with the pass against the Vikings pass rush. Vikings to win.

Washington at NY Giants -6.0
The Giants are not to be underestimated. I think they’ll have a better record than last year, but might have trouble in the playoffs. That’s thinking too far ahead. The Redskins are still an up and down team, but the play calling is getting better. Like Vick, RGIII can’t seem to stay in the pocket very long. That’s due to poor pass protection though, rather than his urge to run. Unlike Vick, RGIII can pass worth a shit and doesn’t put the ball on the ground. He ran all over the Vikings last week, he doesn’t get so lucky against the Giants D. Giants to win.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay +3.0
I can’t believe how terrible the Saints are playing of late. They certainly needed the bye week. Even with Vilma back, the lack of coaching and terrible play calling is haunting this team. This season is a wash. Just write it off now. The Bucs are surprising at times with their offense, at other times just a disaster. I think they cap the Saints this week. Bucs to win.

Dallas at Carolina +2.5
I’m not a Cowboys fan, but even I was yelling at the TV on Sunday as they showed some terrible time management and play calling at the end of the game. One timeout and you are killing clock to try a game winning 51 yarder instead of grinding for more yards? Weak. I’m taking the Panthers to win this week because I am just disgusted at the way the Cowboys have approached the game, from their monstrosity of a stadium with cheerleaders on stripper poles, to their former player coach who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing.

Baltimore at Houston -7.0
The 5-1 Texans welcoming the 5-1 Ravens to Houston? This sounds like a fantastic game! It should be the game of the week! But it’s not. Why isn’t it? Because the Ravens are hurting on defense, like seriously hurting. Ray Lewis is out for the season, most likely ending his career. Webb is out for the season, and Suggs might not be ready to come back yet. Who is going to step up to replace the leadership of Ray Lewis? Someone better do it quick otherwise this defense will fall apart. The Texans secondary played well against the Packers, just were no match for the accuracy of Rodgers. I think with an offensive push against a torn up Ravens front, the Texans will win.

Jacksonville at Oakland -5.0
Oakland came to play last week! The Oakland D was on point, picking off Matt Ryan three times. It wasn’t enough in the end though, but a valiant effort from a team that people have already written off. I’ve written them off, but the Jags are still much worse. The Jags have trouble stopping the run, protecting the run and the list goes on. I’m taking the Raiders.

This game is special. With the entire division at 3-3, both Brady and Sanchez aren’t playing to their potential. Brady isn’t nearly as bad as Sanchez, who is posting the worst QB numbers in the league as far as passer rating. Brady got picked off late against Seattle to seal the loss there, while the Jets looked surprisingly good as they beat up on the Colts. I expect this game to be a comedy of errors on both sides of the ball for both teams. That’s why it’s the crapfest. The winner of this game takes the division lead (pending the results of the Bills game) and I think the winner is going to be the Jets in a crazy, wild and painful to watch upset.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati +1.0
Well, I called the Bungles loss last week. It was bound to happen, the Browns winning that is. Too bad for the Bungles that’s a divisional loss. Tell you what though, Dalton is turning into a hell of a passer, when he’s on target. The offense had a hard time keeping the turnover ratio in their favor, hence the loss. AJ Green has been solid for my fantasy team this year, and I’m starting Dalton this week as replacement QB. The Steelers are vulnerable, perhaps not with ease, but I think the Bengals come back strong this week in the passing game. This one is going to go back and forth, perhaps one point deciding the victor, which will be the Bengals.

Detroit at Chicago -6.0
The Lions are saying that their spark is back, that they are tough again. We’ll see about that. Calvin Johnson didn’t have long to wait in his career before being given the Randy Moss treatment of double coverage, but he still pulls balls out of the air. The Bears are killer on defense this year, and are running the ball pretty well. Brandon Marshall has become nothing short of a beast. I’m taking the Bears this week. Solid.

Atlanta at Bye Week
6-0. Matt Ryan is on fire. This team still needs to get the running game back on track.

Denver at Bye Week
Never count Manning out in the second half. I’m thinking he went into the locker room and told the team it was “Tebow Time.”

Kansas City at Bye Week
The Chiefs week to week need to read a refresher course on running the damn ball.

Miami at Bye Week
The Dolphins, at 3-3 are tied for the AFC East lead. With every other AFC East team.

Philadelphia at Bye Week
Vick is terrible, Andy Reid is shifting blame and firing the wrong people. This season is over.

San Diego at Bye Week
Did the Chargers forget that there are two halves of football to be played? It was like the offense gave up in the second half Monday night.

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Curtis Silver writes about sports here mostly. NFL, Golf, Baseball - whatever. Find him on Twitter @cebsilver, if you've got a bone to pick.

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