Chuck’s Choices: NFL Picks Week 7

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Season 15-10

Yes, last week was a stinker, hitting on the Browns and Titans, and being narrowly defeated in picks on the Patriots (-9) and the Chiefs (+4.5). The big loss was the Cardinals, losing straight up as favorites to the Steelers. Onward and upward, nose to the grindstone and all that as we look forward to a new week.

Here is how things shake out for Week 7:

NFL Andy Reid

Andy Reid tries, again, to turn the corner in KC.

CHIEFS (-3) over Steelers–Yes, we are rolling the dice again with the Kansas City Chiefs, and there are plenty of reasons. The first of which is the absence of Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers. I know, I know, Landry Jones lit up the Arizona defense last week. The caveat there is that the Cardinals spent the entire week preparing for Michael Vick. The KC defense is fully aware that Jones will be QB for the Steelers, and they will be ready. According to Pregame.com, Pittsburgh is 14-22 on the road against the spread, and 3-9 ATS outside of the Eastern Time Zone. In addition, they are +6 in turnovers this season and, sooner or later those even out. Chiefs 29, Steelers 16

DOLPHINS (-4.5) over Texans–I love playing a hot hand, and the Dolphins are a hot hand. In picking them last week over the Titans, I was looking for the team to respond to the firing of both the head coach and defensive coordinator over their recent bye week. The response was positive. Remember, this Miami team was expected to have the talent to challenge in the AFC East this year. The talent is still there, and now the motivation is too. You Fantasy might do well to consider picking up some of the discarded Dolphins players in the coming weeks. The Texans are beginning to contemplate who their coach will be next year. Where in the heck is their defense? Dolphins 35, Texans 20

Zach Mettenberger

Zach Mettenberger steps in for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee.

TITANS (+6) over Falcons–Yes, we are aware the Falcons lost their first game last week. Yes, we know Zach Mettenberger will be QBing the Titans. When Tennessee was contemplating their draft last April, they seriously considered trading away their first pick because they believed Mettenberger could be their franchise QB. The bottom line is, Mettenberger is no stiff. The fact is, when a team has to go to their backup QB, it usually follows that the rest of the team raises their level of play. This is a great spot to get a good effort from the Titans this week, and this is the first time the Falcons will play on natural turf. Tennessee’s defense (3rd in the NFL in YPG) is good enough to slow down the Atlanta offense enough to keep it close in the fourth quarter. Let’s call it Falcons 21, Titans 20

Saints (+4) over COLTS–I’m still not a believer in the Colts. Even though they got a back-door cover against the Patriots last week, that fake-punt, swinging gate, Three Stooges play did nothing to endear Chuck Pagano to the Indy front office. It is hard to win when there is dissension anywhere on a team. When the problems manifest at the top, nothing short of a major change will fix it. Yes, the  Saints are not as good on the road, but this is an indoor road game against a reeling opponent. It’s mostly a feeling, but it feels saintly. Saints 36, Colts 31

Carolina Panthers

The “D” is something special this year in Carolina.

PANTHERS (-3) over Eagles–It is hard to do, but even in winning last Monday night, the Eagles failed to impress. When a team has a big victory like the Panthers had last week in Seattle, it might be a good time to go against them. The exception is when that team has as awesome a defense as Carolina. A great defense is hardly ever up-and-down, as evidenced by the success of Seattle the past three years. It is always a good idea to take a team with a great defense if they are giving up a field goal or less. Things are rolling in Carolina, and it doesn’t look like Philadelphia has the guns to slow them down.  Panthers 17, Eagles 10

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