NFL Outlook: Bandit's Blog
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Alright, week 7 is in the books and I managed to post a 12-2 record last week.  It would have been better if the Titans wouldn't have managed to come back against the Texans..thanks to Mr. Bironas.  He's one heck of a clutch kicker. 8 for 8? That's just insane!!  That's like going 20-20 at the free throw line or hitting 8 for 8 with a couple of home runs.  Anyway, WEEK 8 is on deck and once again it's time for those pigskin prognostications.  Always remember one thing, It's the NFL and any team can beat any on any given day.  Also, BEWARE OF THE HOME UNDERDOGS!! Can't you hear them barking?

ST. LOUIS over Cleveland-  It's about time for the Rams to pick up their first win of the season in what would be an offensive slugfest.  Premier back Steven Jackson returns for the Rams along with a healthy Bulger not to mention Isaac Bruce.  All bodes well for the home team, and the Rams will play like their season just began.  They have nothing to lose at this point, and I believe they will match up well with the sudden  "score at will" juggernauts such as the Browns.  Lots of fantasy football numbers in this game.   Rams  30     Browns  28

CHICAGO over Detroit- The Bears are on a victory high after they sneaked one out in Philly.  They will ride on and carry that momentum on this game.  Griese will exploit that "suspect" secondary of the Lions, and the Bears will manage to stop Kitna through the air several times.  Bears run D is developing, and although Kevin Jones should have a decent day on the ground...the Bears D will make the necessary "stops".  With this being an important divisional game, the Bears will go on to win and exact revenge on the Lions.   Bears   27  Lions 17

Indianapolis over CAROLINA-  The Indy D is playing exceptionally well with the emergence of Sanders.  David Carr should be harrassed not to mention baffled by what the Indy D presents to him.  Manning knows that the big game with the Pats come next, and he knows not to overlook a decent Carolina team that just came off a bye.  Panthers should keep this game closer than expected, as long as Steve Smith can help it.  But Manning has become a master of close games.  Bring on the Pats!!     Colts    31   Panthers  19

NY Giants over MIAMI- Tough to say who has the home field advantage here with this game taking place in London.  Does it really matter?  It looks like the 'fins need more than a HFA and the clear winne here will be the fans in England.  The G-men have won 3 of the last 4 against Miami and that trend will likely continue.  Miami is proud of being the only team to finish 16-0 back in the 72.  Well, unfortunately, 35 years later..they might end up 0-16 to finish this season.  Loss of Chambers hurts, but it will give promising young wideouts like Hagan and Ginn the opportunity to show they belong.      Giants   27     Dolphins  17

TENNESSEE over Oakland-  Vince Young returns and that should be enough for the Titans to roll on.  Oakland is just not a very good team at this point, and Culpepper is in jeopardy of giving back the starting spot to McCown.  With this lingering on his mind, he should go on and play his heart out.   But the Raiders run D is deteriorating, so LenDale White along with Chris Henry more than likely will find the seams that they need to have a big game. If that's not enough, they also have to keep Vince in check.   On the other side, the Titans run D is superb and their secondary will recover from giving up the big plays.    Titans   23     Raiders 14

Philadelphia over MINNESOTA-  The Eagles are 2-4 and McNabb knows that it's time to start playing with a sense of urgency.  Eagles defensive frontline will focus on trying to impede Adrian Peterson on the ground, and let replacement QB Holcomb beat them through the air. AP, regardless, should rack up a decent game, and will account for most of the Vikes offense...keeping this game real close. The Vikings D have been sensational against the run, thanks to the Williamses...but they give up way too much through the air.  With Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown on the wideouts, McNabb will have ample time to shred the secondary.   This will be a hard fought battle with Philly soaring in the end.     Eagles  20    Vikings  17

CINCINNATI over Pittsburgh-  Divisonal battle in the AFC North.  Steelers look to get back on track after coming up empty in Denver, while Cincy is looking to start a win streak.  Bengals are home dogs and the emergence of Kenny Watson will be put on halt as the Steelers front 4 will more than likely get penetration.  Chad Johnson is due for a big game, and Palmer usually plays his best against Pitt.  Big Ben will have his usual decent numbers but I like the home team in this contest.       Bengals    27     Steelers     26

Buffalo over NY JETS- Ny Jets frontline D looks porous and I look for Marshawn Lynch to exploit it on his way to a 100+ yards day.  The loss of Vilma won't help the Jets either and they are vulnerable on their secondary as well.  Rookie Trent Edwards will play with confidence after attaining the starting spot, and better days for Lee Evans ahead.   The same could be said of Pennington, but I believe the Jets' problems go beyond his play and Mangini knows it.       Bills     26      Jets     24

SAN DIEGO over Houston-  Game will played in Arizona, Tempe I believe, after the blazing fire incident in southern Cal.  It won't matter much for San Diego who is transforming back into the team everyone expected them to be.  the Texans D is starting to dilapidate especially as they have given up more points a week ago than they have all year.   Matt Schaub looks to be back, but the offensive juggernaut we call the Chargers,  who gets a boost with the addition of Chambers will be a little too much to contain.  Rivers now have numerous options, with LT being the main one of course..and he won't disapppoint.  Look for Gates to also have a big game as the Texans secondary will have more than it can handle.    Chargers   33      Texans  17

Jacksonville over TAMPA BAY-  The Jags lost Garrard for a good month, but I believe Quinn Gray will play better than anyone expects of him.  He is very mobile and dangerous in the pocket.  The Jags have not lost on the road all season and the Bucs are undefeated at home.  Something has to give, and the Jacksonville D will step up and rattle Jeff Garcia all game long.   MoJo looks to be back, and along with Fred Taylor...this 2 headed monster in the backfield will open up a passing game for Gray. Yes, I said a Jags "passing game".  Who do we have? Northcutt, Wilford, Williams?     Jaguars    17      Bucs    13

SAN FRANCISCO over New Orleans-  Alex Smith looks to be back, and that's certainly un upgrade over Dilli-fur.  49ers will give the Saints a heavy dose of Gore to open up the pass.  The Saints are prone to giving up big plays in the secondary which bodes well with the 49ers with home run wideouts like Lelie and Arnaz Battle.  tack in Vernon Davis, and that should spell victory for the Bay Area.  Reggie Bush will continue to surge as the premier back for the Saints,  but Brees will have a tough time getting it going on the air.   Look for both Bush and Gore to have a good game.     49ers    24      Saints     21

NEW ENGLAND over Washington-  Brady looks like superman out there, and I don't see the Skins bringing any kryptonite.   This game should be competitive for the first quarter and a half before the Patriots put on their show.  As good as the Skins secondary is, it is not enough to contain Moss, Welker, and Stallworth.  Too many weapons with Brady being a master at utilizing them.  The running game might be utilized towards the end when the Pats try to conserve a big lead, so Maroney or Faulk won't be much of a factor.  It's scary when you are one ofthe best teams in the NFL, and the running game is a second option.  On the other side, the Washington O will have trouble getting anything started.  QB Campbell should pile up yardage and TD's at gargabe time, and the same will be said of Portis.  Pats D plays very well against the run.   It's on to Indianapolis to play the "game of the year" against the Colts.      Patriots   34      Redskins    14

 MNF

DENVER over Green Bay-  Denver looked hungry for a victory last week against a good Steelers team. They played well with out Champ Bailey, and utility players such as Sapp, Scheffler, and Stokley are contributing.  Green bay will try to exploit the generous run D of The Broncos with Wynn and Morency.  I believe Denver will rise up to the challenge and contain them, in which case Favre will have to do it with his arm.  Not a good sign with Bailey back.  Denver will feel right at home at Invesco and manage to get a second win in a row.  Henry looks to have a good game on the ground and feed of the crowd.   There seems to a Rod Smith sighting out in Denver, as Javon Walker  will likely be out a few more weeks.  and the Broncos would love to welcome Smith back, especially Cutler.     Broncos    28     Packers    20

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