By the Coach and Dr. Football
After Ready Teddy and the Minnesota Vikings were carved up by the Detroit Lions at home last week, it doesn’t look like this week’s offering will be a whole lot more inviting.
It’s Week 7 in the National Football League and the Vikes are off to Buffalo where Kyle Orton, of all people, has take the Bill by the horns and made it work. There is no reason to believe that Buffalo has a date at Super Bowl XXXVVIIXXVIII anytime soon, but this team is playing much better football than it has in years. It doesn’t hurt that there is a new owner and a new sign of life.
Poor Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil. He was almost completely absent against Detroit.
The Vikings, meanwhile, have the worst offensive line in the NFL (their quarterback was sacked eight times last week) and as a result, they put their highly touted rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in harm’s way every week. If Mike Zimmer doesn’t fix his O-line, this is going to be a long, long season.
Here in Prognostication City, we’re starting to tune in. The Boys had a so-so week last week, although The Coach had his best week against the spread. This week, there are only a few games on the schedule.
Last week Dr. Football went 8-6-1 (59-31-1) straight up and 4-11 (40-51) against the spread while The Coach had one of his best weeks of the season, going 11-3-1 (53-37-1) straight up and 10-5 (41-50) against the spread.
This week, the Doc writes our rationalizations while The Coach complains about the officials, the announcers, the penalties, the length of games….
Let’s look closely at Week 7:
New York Jets (1-5) at New England Patriots (4-2)
Line: Patriots by 9.5.
Tom Brady has thrown for 652 yards his past two games. He won’t even break a sweat this week. The Coach says: This won’t be close.
Dr. Football: Take the Patriots to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Patriots to win and cover.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Line: Colts by 3.
After a strong start, the Bengals have started to stall, while Andrew Luck and the Colts have won four straight and are rested after blasting Houston on a Thursday night. The Coach says: As a dear Colts fan I know always says, “It’s better to be Luck-y than good.”
Dr. Football: Take the Colts to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Colts to win and cover.
Tennessee Titans (2-4) at Washington Redskins (1-5)
Line: Redskins by 6.
Two teams that are early season disappointments. The Titans barely beat Jacksonville and the Redskins have not found a groove with Kirk Cousins, and have turned over the ball way too much. They should win at home but it won’t be a classic. The Coach says: Change the nickname.
Dr. Football: Take the Redskins to win but not cover.
The Coach: Take the Washingtons to win but not cover.
Miami Dolphins (2-3) at Chicago Bears (3-3)
Line: Bears by 3.5.
The Dolphins threw everything at Green Bay last week, and came up short. The Bears return home after a few weeks on the road, and looked good last week beating Atlanta and will carry that momentum for a big win at Soldier Field. The Coach says: I’ll never fall in love with the stuff Jay Cutler does, but he has won three games and he’s at home this week.
Dr. Football: Take the Bears to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Bears to win and cover.
Cleveland Browns (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6)
Line: Browns by 5.5.
The Browns blasted the Steelers last week while the Jaguars played tough on the road but still lost in Tennessee. They have shown improvement and should get the home win. They can’t go 0-16. The Coach says: The Browns are living up to everything that happened in the movie Draft Day. It’s hard not to like that team. Blake Bortles is getting better, but he won’t win this week.
Dr. Football: Take the Jaguars in an upset.
The Coach: Take the Browns to win and cover.
Seattle Seahawks (3-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-4)
Line: Seahawks by 7.
The Rams came out quick in the Monday Nighter but still came up short while the Seahawks were pushed around at home against the Cowboys. I think that this will be a statement game for the defending champs and Russell Wilson will have a big day. The Coach says: Poor St. Louis. Austin who?
Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Seahawks to win and cover.
Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)
Line: Packers by 7.
Cam Newton vs. Aaron Rodgers should be fun to watch until the Packers wear out the road weary Panthers. It will be high scoring game, one that the Packers will win at home. The Coach says: The Panthers have a cute little team but they’ll beat the Panthers.
Dr. Football: Take the Packers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Packers to win and cover.
Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
Line: Ravens by 7.
The Ravens absolutely mauled the Bucs last week and now return home to face a Falcons team reeling after a home loss against the Bears. The Ravens momentum carries through this week in front of their fans. The Coach says: The Falcons can’t stop the run. They won’t stop the Ravens.
Dr. Football: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
Minnesota Vikings (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-3)
Line: Bills by 5.5.
Both teams are coming off losses; the Vikings looked dreadful at home against the Lions. This will be Teddy Bridgewater’s first road start, a test against a tough Bills defense, especially against the run. Things will get worse for Minnesota. The Coach says: The Vikings offensive line is the worst in the NFL. I fear for Teddy Bridgewater’s safety.
Dr. Football: Take the Bills to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Bills to win and cover.
New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Detroit Lions (4-2)
Line: Lions by 3.
The Saints will be rested coming off the bye, and have a tough test against the Lions top ranked defense. Drew Brees will wish he had another week off. The Coach says: The Saints are lost on the road while the Lions have the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
Dr. Football: Take the Lions to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Lions to win and cover.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-1)
Line: Chargers by 4.5.
The Chiefs are coming off the bye while the Chargers might have been guilty last week of taking the Raiders a bit too lightly. Phillip Rivers won’t let that happen at home. The Coach says: It appears that Philip Rivers has completely forgotten that Norv Turner coached there once. That’s good news for the Chargers.
Dr. Football: Take the Chargers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Chargers to win and cover.
New York Giants (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Line: Cowboys by 6.5.
The Giants were terrible last week in Philadelphia, while the Cowboys return home after a big road win in Seattle. They played hard against the defending champs, and might not have a lot left in the tank, but they’ll have enough to win a close one. The Coach says: America’s Team just could be America’s Team again.
Dr. Football: Take the Cowboys to win but not cover.
The Coach: Take the Cowboys to win and cover.
The Cardinals Carson Palmer. I just love this picture because it pulls the collective chain of my Raiders’ friends.
Arizona Cardinals (4-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-5)
Line: Cardinals by 3.5.
The Raiders get Carson Palmer back, but he won’t be able to do much against a very good Arizona team. Look for a blowout. The Coach says: There is a very good chance that the Cardinals are the best team in the toughest division in the NFC.
Dr. Football: Take the Cardinals to win and cover
The Coach: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.
San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at Denver Broncos (3-1)
Line: Broncos by 6.5.
The 49ers battled back for the road win against the Rams on Monday, while the Broncos return home after coasting to a win over the Jets. The key to the game is for the Broncos to slow down the San Fran running game then let Peyton do the rest. The Coach says: I’ll always take Peyton. Especially at home.
Dr. Football: Take the Broncos to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Broncos to win and cover.
Houston Texans (3-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Line: Steelers by 3.5.
Pittsburgh is hardly the Steelers team that always looked good on Monday nights of years gone by, and must stop the bleeding on defense. That being said, Heinz Field is still a tough place for road teams to play. The Coach says: Neither of these teams is a good as we expected. Pittsburgh is at home and J.J. Watt can’t win games all by himself.
Dr. Football: Take the Steelers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Steelers to win and cover.