It's Football Friday and that means The Stack is here with our week 7 NFL picks. Last week, um, not so great. 9-6. Pretty mediocre this year. Am I picking more with my head or my heart? Regardless, it isn't working. This week is off to a good start though thanks to Seattle knocking off Arizona 34-22. Russell Wilson, dispite fumbling twice, played really well throwing three touchdowns and the defense was dominant once again. The Cardinals still have some work to do. Now let's get right to the previews and predictions in "the stack" for today, Friday, October 18:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM ET FOX
Can't you just see the Bucs winning this one? Atlanta's been riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball. Yet despite that Julio Jones is done for the year, I think the Falcons come together and get a big win to try and get some positive momentum for the remaining ten games of the season.
Prediction: Falcons 27 Bucs 16
St. Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM ET FOX
Sneaky good game of the weekend. The Rams have won two in a row including last week's thumping of the Texans while Carolina blew the Vikings out of the Metrodome. Carolina appears to be willing to make gutsy calls like going for it on fourth down. Definitely more aggressive. While the Rams are playing better, I think Carolina has the edge.
Prediction: Panthers 24 Rams 16
Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions 1:00 PM ET CBS
Since the Bengals seem to play to the level of their competition, this should be an excellent game. The Bengals have a ton of talent, but the Lions are getting a healthy Calvin Johnson back (we think). At home, Lions have the slight edge though I'm tempted to take Cincinnati.
Predictoin: Lions 23 Bengals 20
San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM ET CBS
Chargers! Be on upset alert. Big win on Monday night. Flying cross-country on a short week. Sure could be smelling like a loss to me. Head coach Mike McCoy has been preaching to his team to avoid that mentality. We'll see if it happens. I so want to take Jacksonville in this one. I just don't know if I can do it.
Prediction: Chargers 27 Jaguars 20
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Dolphins had two weeks to work on protecting Ryan Tannehill. He is getting beat up back there. The Bills will make this a compelling game for a while, but ultimately Thad Lewis or Matt Flynn, whoever starts, will make a mistake that will cost Buffalo in this one.
Prediction: Dolphins 27 Bills 17
New England Patriots @ New York Jets 1:00 PM ET CBS
When is Gronk coming back?! Maybe this week. The Patriots could use him. The Jets are going to be a test. They only beat them by three in week 2, but that was before Tom Brady got comfortable with his rookie wideouts. The Jets botched a real opportunity last week against the Steelers. Such opportunities will be few and far between against New England.
Prediction: Patriots 23 Jets 13
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM ET FOX
I know the Eagles defense has been a problem this year, but I'm not a fan of the Cowboys being one dimensional and they have to do it this week with DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar out at running back. That means rookie Joseph Randle gets the nod at running back. Conventional wisdom would say that means fewer runs than normal for the Cowboys. The Eagles may have Nick Foles running the show at quarterback, but he was darn good last week and the Eagles are a more complete team right now than the Cowboys. Expect a lot of points in this one.
Prediction: Eagles 38 Cowboys 31
Chicago Bears @ Washington Redskins 1:00 PM ET FOX
RGIII is looking for peronal foul penalties against him. The Bears will hit him hard and shut him up, maybe drawing one or two penalties. That won't hurt them too much. They've had ten days to prepare and RGIII still isn't one hundred percent.
Prediction: Bears 30 Redskins 17
San Francisco 49ers @ Tennessee Titans 4:05 PM ET FOX
Titans will keep this a close game thanks to their defense, but with no Jake Locker, just don't see how they're going to be able to match the offensive output of the 49ers who seem to be finding a more balanced approach on offense. Titans tight end Delanie Walker may be wishing he was back with San Francisco after this one.
Prediction: 49ers 20 Titans 16
Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns 4:25 PM ET CBS
Given all of the injuries to the Packers, the Browns have a fighting chance in this one. Their defense is awfully good. However, Brandon Weeden is their quarterback and he is bound to make at least one errant throw in this game that will hurt the team.
Prediction: Packers 24 Browns 17
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 PM ET CBS
The Texans are starting rookie Case Keenum at quarterback. Against the 6-0 Chiefs. In KC. Enough said.
Prediction: Chiefs 23 Texans 10
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25 PM ET CBS
Are the Ravens ever going to figure it out? Feed Ray Rice the ball more. Joe Flacco is throwing it decent, but the Ravens don't really have an identity right now. They lost a game last week they probably should have won. Now's the time to do it against a bad Steelers team whose coach has now taken away sommersaults. What's next? Ice cream?!
Prediction: Ravens 23 Steelers 17
Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts 8:30 PM ET NBC
Indianapolis' adopted son will make his triumphant return. In one of the most hyped-up games of the season, Peyton Manning will return to Indianapolis wearing a Broncos uniform. In case you haven't heard, Colts owner Jim Irsay has been saying some things about Manning and the decision to let him go and draft Andrew Luck. That won't help Luck in this one. Manning hasn't said anything publicly about what Irsay has said. He'll let his play on the field speak for itself.
Prediction: Broncos 41 Colts 27
Coming up Monday: Week 7 NFL reaction plus MNF preview