Monday Night Football Prediction, and I forgot to do my week 7 review

Posted: 10/23/2014 by levcohen in Football

This week’s Thursday Night Football game should be a good one: it’s 5-2 San Diego in Denver to face the 5-1 Broncos. I’d normally assume that a primetime game in Denver with Peyton Manning at quarterback would likely be a blowout, but I don’t think it will be here. The Chargers are a pretty good team themselves, and they’ve always caused Manning trouble, posting a respectable 6-7 record against the HOF-to be quarterback. This team, led by Philip Rivers, normally has the ball for a majority of the game (last week was the exception), and should keep Manning off the field enough to keep the game close.

San Diego Chargers (5-2, 5-2) at Denver Broncos (5-1, 3-3):
Spread: Broncos favored by 9
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: I like the Broncos in this one 30-23.
Chargers cover

It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realized that I never reviewed week seven in the NFL. I’m going to do that now, albeit in a more limited fashion. I’ll list my five big takeaways of the week before recapping how I personally did with my picks. First, the takeaways:

  • The Baltimore Ravens are an elite team. I picked them to finish third in the AFC North before the season, but they’ve looked like not only the best team in the North but the third best in the entire AFC behind Denver and Indianapolis. The 29-7 win over the Falcons was Baltimore’s third blowout win in four games after 38-10 and 48-17 wins over the Panthers and Buccaneers. Their two losses, meanwhile, have come against the Bengals and Colts by a touchdown each. They are the AFC North favorite and have a good shot at a first round BYE.
  • The NFC South is really, really bad. This didn’t come out of the blue, because we knew they were bad before last week, but this bad? Besides the Falcons’ aforementioned loss, the Saints also imploded late against the Lions while the Panthers were blown out 38-17 by the Packers. The worst team in the division (arguably), the Bucs, had a BYE. This division now has a cumulative out-of-division record of 4-13. That’s a .235 win percentage, which is less than stellar. It should improve (could it get worse?), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 7-9 division winner (or 7-8-1 in the case of the Panthers).
  • The Colts are also an elite team. I think this is the week where the three best teams in the AFC- Denver, Indy, Baltimore- separated themselves while teams like New England, San Diego, and Cincinnati struggled. The Colts’ offense has been good, but we knew it would be heading into the year. The bigger surprise? The defense, which has the best third-down defense in football even sans-Robert Mathis. They’ve now won five in a row after starting the season 0-2. Maybe Andrew Luck should have been the one saying R-E-L-A-X, not Aaron Rodgers. Then again, the Packers are 4-0 since Rodgers’s proclamation, so that has worked out well also.
  • The NFC West is going to come down to the wire. I know the Cardinals are two games up in the loss column at 5-1, but I still wouldn’t consider them favorites to win the West. The 49ers are 4-3 despite a rash of injuries, but they aren’t favorites either, and I’ve been low on San Fran since before the season started. Does that mean I’m still favoring the team that has lost back to back games against the Cowboys and RAMS? Yes, it does. I could still see the Seahawks going 11-5 or 12-4 despite their “slow” 3-3 start. Remember, they’ve played the toughest schedule in football to this point, and it gets easier. This team is still a young one with a lot of talent, so although I don’t think they are the best team in football anymore, I do think they’ll win this division. It’s pretty much a dead heat between they and the Cardinals, though. Both should make the playoffs.
  • The NFC North race is looking like a good one. With the loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, the Bears are now 3-4 and two games out. That means this race is likely going to come down to the 5-2 Packers and Lions. The Packers look like the better team and have been scorching of late, but the Lions do have a head-to-head advantage. The difference could be week 17, when the Lions travel to Green Bay. A matchup between Detroit’s vicious and fantastic defense and Aaron Rodgers to decide the division would be pretty fun.

My upset picks went 1-3 (10-15 on the season), and two of those losses (Tennessee and Houston) were pretty painful. Meanwhile, I lost my lock for the second time this year (Seattle), moving to 6-2 on the year.

9-6 straight up.. 66-39-1 total
8-7 against the spread.. 51-53-1 total
6-8-1 over/under.. 41-63-2 total



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