Week 7 Review (2-0-1) OVERALL: 14-6-1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills (-3)
Buffalo Bills 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
Our first push of the year! Rex Ryan told the world that the Bills would blow out Tampa Bay, and through the first half and into the third, it appeared like this was a solid prediction. The Bills led 17-6 with under eight minutes to play in the third quarter. A pair of O.J. Howard touchdowns knotted the game at 20.
Mike Evans hauled in a 12-yard touchdown and all of a sudden, the Buccaneers led by seven with three minutes to go. Luckily, the Bills drove down the field and a touchdown by LeSean McCoy tied the game. A fumble by Tampa Bay led to a Steven Hauschka field goal, which iced the game for Buffalo.
Like imagined, the Bills ran wild, totalling 173 yards on 33 carries, and were extremely efficient on third down, converting 10 of 16 attempts in that category.
Kudos to Jameis Winston for keeping the Bucs in this game, as he threw for almost 400 yards and threw three touchdowns. Shout out to the Bills on their 4-2 start.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
Los Angeles Rams 33 Arizona Cardinals 0
The Cardinals never stood a chance in this one. Carson Palmer, who left the game due to an injury, might have participated in his last NFL game.
The Cardinals might as well throw in the towel now if Drew Stanton starts another game. He looked absolutely horrendous, as he completed only five passes for 66 yards, along with an interception. Adrian Peterson, who I said would not have another big game, rushed for a grand total of 21 yards on 11 carries. As a team, the Cardinals rushed for 25 yards.
The Rams just continue to dominate. Can we put Greg Zuerlein in the MVP discussion? Another four field goal day for the best kicker in the league. Todd Gurley rushed for 106 yards and added 48 more as a receiver.
While Jared Goff did not have great numbers, he still helped the Rams convert 13 of their 19 third down attempts. The second-year quarterback continues to impress.
Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots (-3.5)
New England Patriots 23 Atlanta Falcons 7
The Falcons are a completely different team than last year, and last Sunday night proved it.
On a field full of fog, Atlanta was no match for Tom Brady and the Patriots. You would have thought Matt Ryan would get his team fired up and quiet down the “28-3” chants, but then you remember that Ryan is just a pretty good quarterback who had one outstanding year.
It took the Falcons almost 56 minutes to finally score, as Julio Jones caught his first touchdown of the season. Neither team turned the ball over, but Atlanta only converted on two of their nine third down attempts. New England controlled the game, as they possessed the ball for almost 10 minutes more than Atlanta. The Falcons have now lost their last three games.
WEEK 8 PICKS
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) @ Detroit Lions
PICK: STEELERS TO COVER
Besides Martavis Bryant being a total distraction, things are clicking in Pittsburgh. The Steelers defense has allowed the third fewest points and second fewest yards in the league.
Detroit prides themselves on passing the football, but it will be hard against this Pittsburgh D, who has allowed the fewest passing yards in the league. Le’Veon Bell is back and has rushed for 179 yards against the Chiefs and 134 more last week against Cincinnati.
Big Ben Roethlisberger is also playing better and is a perfect 3-0 against Detroit in his career. The narrative that Matthew Stafford only wins against bad teams is back again this year. Detroit beat a bad Cardinals team, a one-win Giants team and a Case Keenum led team. Their losses have come against the Panthers, Falcons and Saints, all solid teams with big-name quarterbacks.
Detroit’s defense is 28th in points allowed, and their offense is 25th in red zone scoring attempts. Pittsburgh loves to possess the football, as they rank third in time of possession and fourth in red zone attempts. The Steelers are clearly the better football team.
Atlanta Falcons (-6) @ New York Jets
PICK: FALCONS TO COVER
The Falcons are not playing well, and as stated before, have lost three straight. That is exactly why they are about to molly-whop the Jets. The media has been bashing them all week for being just an average team, led by an average quarterback. Matt Ryan shuts up the haters this week. I refuse to believe that the Falcons will lose to all four AFC East teams.
Even with their struggles, Atlanta is clearly the superior team. They are seventh in passing yards per game and fourth in yards per carry. The more Atlanta runs, the better off they will be, especially this week against the Jets, who are 28th in rushing yards allowed. The Falcons offense averages more plays than anyone, rank second in average time per drive and fifth in first downs per game.
No matter what their record says, the Jets are not a good team. Their offense is dead last in first downs, 22nd in passing yards and 30th in red zone attempts per game. New York’s defense is tied for the most passing touchdowns allowed and are currently 25th in yards allowed. Matt Ryan will have a huge game against this lackluster Jets team.
Oakland Raiders (+2.5) @ Buffalo Bills
PICK: RAIDERS TO COVER
Oakland is coming off a monster win against the Chiefs in which they picked up 32 first downs. Derek Carr looks healthy after his monster 417 yard, three touchdown performance last week.
Still, Oakland is 3-4 and needs to win games like this one on the road. Last year, Carr was 7-1 in opposing stadiums. In their matchup a season ago, Oakland beat the Bills by 14.
The Raiders rushing defense is improving. After allowing 95 yards or more in their first five games, the Raiders have shut down the run in the last two weeks. Marshawn Lynch is suspended, but it really doesn’t matter since he is not playing like the Marshawn that we are used to. Buffalo is 26th in passing yards allowed, so look for Carr to abuse this secondary.
Although Tyrod Taylor looks good, he will not win you big games. The Bills are 29th in passing yards and 26th in first downs. They run a ton, as they rank second in rushing attempts, but it is not effective. The Bills are currently 24th in yards per carry.
Expect Oakland to come out the gates and score early, as they rank in the top 10 in first quarter points. The Bills are dead last in this category, which means this game could be out of hand early.
Featured image by USA Today
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