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2016 NFL Week 7 Pick ‘Em

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Ok, this is getting ridiculous. I am 51-41 on my predictions for the season, which is nowhere near acceptable. So no preamble, no puffery, no other fancy words…let’s get strait to these picks and get that ratio to a much more respectable level.

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

The NFL’s oldest rivalry is upon us again…and this time they will be wearing “color rush” uniforms”. OH JOY!!!

Joking aside, this game on paper is much closer than one would thing. Offensively the Bears gain more total yards as well as yards through the air. Believe it or not, entering this game, Brian Hoyer has more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers and has a better completion percentage than Aaron Rodgers.

I know, it shocked me too.

But here are the major differences:  Green Bay scores approximately 6 more points per game, they have the best run defense in the NFL, and they are playing in Lambo Field. With all of those factors at play I like the Packers to take this game.

New York Giants @ Los Angeles Rams

Last week the Rams lost to a tough Lions teams in a very exciting game. Conversely, the Giants beat a struggling Ravens team behind the outstanding efforts of Odell Beckem Jr.

No statistical breakdown here. The fact is, the Giants go as far as the enigmatic Beckem will carry them. Perhaps the married life with the field goal net will temper his insanity. Or maybe he will continue to be the spoiled brat of a child allowed to run amok because he is so damn talented.

I think the Rams defense is good enough to contain Beckem. I think Aaron Donald will tear through the Giants’ offensive line like Swiss cheese and make Eli Manning’s life hell. I think Kenny Britt, Todd Gurly, and Tavon Austin will make enough big plays against a suspect Giants defense to put up a respectable amount of points.

I think the Rams win.

New Orleans Saints @ Kansas City Chiefs

So last week the Chiefs ran one of the coolest plays I have ever seen. Spread right they had a diamond formation. Guard lined up on the line of scrimmage, tightend and fullback lined up behind and off-center, and behind all of them was Dontari Poe…all-pro nose tackle.

Alex Smith took the handoff, threw it to Poe, and Poe rumbled for the last few yards behind 800 lbs. of manhood and scored a receiving touchdown…it was awesome.

Last week, Kansas City beat a very good Raider team on the road. And now they are playing at home against a not-so-good Saints team. Brees is still a stud, but that defense is as horrid as ever and the run game is surprisingly inconsistent.

I expect a high-scoring shootout, but I do think the Chiefs will win in Arrowhead.

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

One of the best running teams in the NFL against one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL. To add to the Colts’ woes, Marcus Mariota is getting better and better as a quarterback. He is running less and passing more accurately, but doing both with great efficiency.

On top of all of that, the Titans defense is benefitting phenomenally from the increased offensive efficiency. With the emerging talent on the Titans versus the lack-thereof for the Colts, I like the Titans to take this one…possibly by double-digits.

Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles

Potentially the match of the week; not only for the matchup of talent, but the story of the prodigal son, Sam Bradford, returning to the city that spurned him in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has come down to Earth the past few weeks. They have lost their last two games in a row, and it would seem that the league is starting to catch up to the legend of Carsen Wentz.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Sam Bradford may be the MVP of the league. He is playing with a poise, confidence, and efficiency (word of the day) and with the loss of (arguably) the Vikings three best players, has them the last standing undefeated team in the NFL.

I said it after week 1 and I stand by it now: the Vikings have the most heart of any team in the NFL and for that reason I pick them to win this week.

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Browns may honestly go 0-16. And they are not winning this week either. Bengals win.

Next.

Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions

I love watching Matthew Stafford play. He plays as if this is his last season in the NFL. He lost his best receiver to retirement and his top running back to injury. And yet he has the Lions at 3-3 and they are facing a team that has been wildly inconsistent.

Furthermore, the Lions seem to have evolved in that they no longer collapse under pressure or allow negative plays to derail their efforts. In short, they have a fighter’s mentality.

The Redskins have a lot of talent, but they seem to be winning for their opponent’s mistake as much as their own talent. I like the team and they have the ability not only to make the playoffs, but to do some damage; but I will always take heart over talent. I like the Lions to win this one and stay in the playoff hunt.

Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars managed to scrape a victory against the lowly Bears, that does not mean they are turning the corner. Quite the contrary, I think that lucky win may fill them with false confidence. But now they are going against one of the best offense teams in the league in the Raiders.

Derek Carr is quickly establishing himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and he has seemingly had no problem moving his team up and down the field at will. Despite the improved play of Jalen Ramsey, I do not see how the Jaguars defense can keep the Raiders offense under 30 points.

Raiders win by a lot.

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

So the Dolphins pulled off the upset of the season by knocking out Ben Roethlisberger and rushing for 200+ yards.

There is no way in hell they are repeating that performance. Despite their positive showing, the Dolphins are still a fairly awful team and now they are facing the hottest team in the NFL. I like the Bills to slap Miami down after an emotional victory.

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

Man do both of these teams suck right now. The Ravens have lost 3 in a row and the Jets are 1-5. To make matters worse, the Jets have announced that Geno Smith will be the starter this week.

Forget the stats and arguments. I will never choose a team starting Geno Smith to win a game.

So the Ravens win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers

So a big deal was made of Colin Kaepernick’s first start of the season last week. I was less than impressed. He only completed 44.8% of his passes, had less than 200 yards passing and was sacked 3 times.

Tampa Bay may not be a great team and Jameis Winston may have taken a step back, but I still like them over the talent-challenged 49ers.

San Diego Chargers @ Atlanta Falcons

Joey Bosa has looked good in the early going for the Chargers. This guys has super star written all over him and I could easily see him being a perennial pro bowler.

But he is merely one player on a bad team. The Chargers looked impressive against Denver and deserve credit for that particular victory, but they played against an injured Trevor Siemian. This week they are going against the highest scoring offense in the NFL and I doubt they will fair as well.

Falcons win scoring 30+.

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers

What was shaping up to be the game of the week is now looking like a major dud. Ben Roethlisberger went down in a dreadful outing against the Miami Dolphins with a meniscus injury and will miss at least a few weeks.

The Steelers are loaded with talent, but their defense is far from dominant and Landry Jones is a far cry from Big Ben. The Steelers will eventually get past this injury and likely still be a factor in the playoffs, but they won’t win this week, they just won’t be able to keep up with Tom Brady.

Patriots win this one is a disappointing game that was once so promising.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

David Johnson is running like a man possessed. This dude is quickly establishing himself as one of the top running backs in the league. But Carsen Palmer has really been struggling. His completion percentage is down and his touchdown to interception ratio has been terrible.

Right now the Cardinals’ passing game cannot be relied upon to single-handedly win games and the Seattle defense will be able to hold Johnson in check; thereby making the Cardinals one dimensional.

To put it simply, I think the Seahawks D is to good and the Cardinals are to inconsistent. Seattle wins.

Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos

Last week the Broncos were on the wrong end of an embarrassing loss to the Chargers. But they have had a week and a half to prepare or a struggling team minus there best player and the Broncos will be out for blood.

I thought the Texans signing of Brock Osweiler was a sign of desperation, I am not a believer in Lamar Miller, and without J.J. Watt their defense is above-average at best. I expect the Broncos to come out with a massive chip on their shoulder and I expect them to smack the Texans around without mercy.

Denver wins.




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Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals Acquire Kenyan Drake

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Kenyan Drake

The Arizona Cardinals have acquired veteran running back Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins for a conditional 2020 draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Per the report, the Dolphins will receive a 2020 sixth-round pick that can become a fifth-round pick as part of the deal.

The move had been expected since it was announced that Drake was not traveling with the Dolphins for their Monday Night tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a Drake trade had been rumored since the start of the season.

While Drake e has been historically under-utilized during his tenure with the Dolphins, and seemed to be towards the bottom of the backfield rotation,at times, this season.

Drake has rushed for 174 yards this season.

The Cardinals add a playmaking element to a backfield in desperate need of some help as both David Johnson and Chase Edmonds have been dealing with injuries that are likely to keep them from playing in Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Drake is expected to be available for that game, and could also contribute in special teams as well.

Drake is in a contract year, and could get a chance to get some solid playing time in the Cardinals’ backfield.

For the Dolphins, it is another pick added to an impressive stockpile for the 2020 draft. Miami has 13 total picks in 2020 including three first round picks, two second rounders, and two expected compensatory pick, and their own draft pick is expected to be the #1 overall pick.

 

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Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill Dies at 88

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Bill Bidwill

Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill died on Wednesday at the age of 88 while surrounded by his family and loved ones, according to a team announcement.

Bidwill is survived by his five children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

“We are overwhelmed by the support our family has received, not only now but throughout the latest chapter of his life,” Bidwill’s son, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, said in a release (h/t ESPN). “We are especially grateful to the nurses, doctors and other caregivers whose endless kindness and compassion in recent years have made our dad’s life so meaningful.

“Above all else, we will remember him as a man devoted to the three central pillars of his life — his immense faith, his love for his family and his life-long passion for the Cardinals and the sport of football.”

Bill Bidwill’s father, Charles, bought the Chicago Cardinals in 1932 and Bill has been associated with the organization for eight decades, starting as a ball boy as a child and went to work for the team full time back in 1960, which was the team’s first season i St. Louis.

Bill become owner back in 1972 and moved the team to Arizona in 1988.

“Bill Bidwill was part of the NFL family his entire life, starting from his days as a ball boy through his time as an owner,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a an official statement.

“Although never one to seek the spotlight, Bill had an incredible sense of humor and he made extraordinary contributions to the NFL. Bill’s vision brought the Cardinals, the NFL and multiple Super Bowls to Arizona. He was a leader in embracing diversity and employed the first African American female executive, and the first African American general manager and head coach tandem. We extend our condolences to Bill’s family and the Cardinals organization, which along with his faith, meant so much to him.”

 

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Cardinals Sign Michael Crabtree

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Michael Crabtree

It took two times, but the Arizona Cardinals were finally able to finalize a deal with veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, the Cardinals have added Crabtree on a one-year deal that was inked on Wednesday night, and comes two weeks after the team had Crabtree in for a tryout during training camp.

The addition of Crabtree came on the same day that the Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White, and on the same week that rookie wide receiver Hakeem Butler suffered a fractured hand.

Crabtree and the Cardinals were unable to workout a deal the first time around as the two sides were not able to agree on the financial aspects of the contract.

The release of White is another disappointing turn in his career. A former highly-touted first round pick of the Chicago Bears back in 2015, White has been unable to stay healthy and was limited to only 14 games during his four years in Chicago, which led to his exit from the Bears.

White had been hoping to turn things around with a fresh start in Arizona, but now he will have to try and find a new team to get on board with.

 

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