We ask our NFL bloggers to predict the outcome of each game every week. They're always lead-pipe locks ... except for when they aren't. Last week, they were 8-6. But that was last week. Onward to Week 7 ...
Some interesting notes about this week's picks:
They like the Steelers to end Brett Favre and the Vikings' perfect season, and for the Bengals to stumble yet again after losing top sacker Antwan Odom.
Our bloggers like the Texans and their offensive juggernaut to keep rolling at home against the Niners, while predicting that the Falcons will go into Jerry Jones' new "coliseum" and take it to America's Team.
Oh, and Jim Zorn - it was nice knowing you. If the Skins lose - as our bloggers unanimously predict - it's hard to imagine you'll be long for DC.
As always, the home team is listed second (note: the Patriots-Bucs are playing in London).
|Indianapolis Colts||Welcome to the biggest mismatch of 2009. Undefeated vs. totally defeated; Peyton Manning vs. Kyle Boller; Reggie Wayne vs. Keenan Burton. Poor, poor Steven Jackson.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Will the Favre magic continue another week? On the road against the top passing offense in the league, with an emerging Rashard Mendenhall toting the ball, our bloggers say no. Which, of course, means Brett Favre will complete a Hail Mary to win.|
|New England Patriots||Watching the Patriots bully the winless Bucs should definitely make (American) football more popular with the Brits, right? Right?|
|San Diego Chargers||Can the Chiefs build on last week's win over the Skins? Um, not likely say our bloggers. But Chargers fans might be just as worried whether LT can light up a toothless Chiefs defense. If he can't, it'll be time to start telling incredulous eight year olds that LT used to be really good...way back in 2006.|
|Green Bay Packers||After playing Detroit last week, and being on bye the previous one, are the Packers the first team to effectively have a three-week bye, as they travel to Cleveland this weekend? As long as they don't look ahead to their rematch with a certain former quarterback next week, the Pack should roll.|
|Houston Texans||Michael Crabtree returns to Texas in his first game as a pro. But it's the Texans' top wideout Andre Johnson, who must be salivating at the thought of going up against a secondary that gave up over 200 yards to Roddy White in its last outing.|
|Carolina Panthers||Will the Panthers party like it's 2008, as Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart look to take advantage of a vulnerable Buffalo defensive front? Our bloggers say yes. Perhaps the bigger question is what will Steve Smith do if the Panthers finish with double digit passing yards again...|
|New York Jets||If you're a fan of the forward pass, this might not be the game for you. With Mark Sanchez wetting the bed and Jamarcus Russell inviting comparisons to arguably the biggest draft bust ever, there's a chance this game could feature more interceptions than completions. Nonetheless, our bloggers like the Jets' running game and defense to grind out the win.|
|Atlanta Falcons||Let the Miles Austin era begin! Unfortunately for the Boys, not every defense is quite as generous as the Chiefs are when it comes to forgetting to wrap guys up. Look for the Falcons to pull out another close win over a good-but-not-great team.|
|New Orleans Saints||The Dolphins' only chance is to play keep-away for 60 minutes, like they did against the Colts, to keep Drew Brees off the field. What's that? The Dolphins lost that game to the Colts despite possessing the ball for 43 minutes? Oh. Look for the Saints to move the ball at will through the air en route to the win.|
|Chicago Bears||Ah, the highly anticipated Cedric Benson Bowl. Isn't the NFL great? Having six great games apparently gives a player the right to call out his former team for previously (and accurately) describing him as a surly underachiever. Unfortunately for Benson, our bloggers don't like his chances of getting "revenge" on the team that drafted him.|
|New York Giants||If the Giants are going to knock off the defending NFC champs, it will have be on the strength of Eli Manning's right arm. The Cardinals quietly have the top rush defense in the league. Looks like Brandon Jacobs might have more reason to sulk.|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Perhaps the biggest question is what will be higher: the number of bingo jokes the MNF crew makes, or the number of points the Redskins score. A close second is whether Dan Snyder will try to lure Jon Gruden out of the booth at halftime to coach if the Eagles are cruising. Bye-bye Jim Zorn.|