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The NFL's Best — And Least

Mill Woods

Posted on October 21, 2020 16:26

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Rather than a Tale of Two Cities, the NFC is a tale of two divisions. While parity is the rule in the NFL, there are notable exceptions. The "NFC Best" division has 19 wins, while the "NFC Least" has garnered only 5.5. In Week Seven, we get a heavy dose of divisional rivalries — making a prognosticator's job all the more tricky.

This NFL weekend is a game picker’s nightmare. There are very few games where the talent is not almost equal. Nevertheless, your intrepid analyst will give you the lowdown. 
 
Division matches are often hard to call, regardless of team records. On top of that, we have on tap a few inter-divisional meetings of playoff contenders, headlined by a showdown of undefeated teams — Steelers vs. Titans (both 5-0).

The Titans have been riding the power and speed of Derrick (“King”) Henry. I look for the Steelers’ offense to try to win time of possession. If the Steelers can keep the Titan offense off the field — or if the Titans fall too far behind in the score — the King Henry factor could be neutralized.  
 
The Lions (2-3) and Falcons (1-5) are two teams that are far better than their records. With all the uncertainty about which players will be healthy, I struggled to pick a winner there.
 
Perhaps the most explosive game of the weekend will be Russell Wilson and the undefeated Seahawks visiting Kyler Murray and those baffling upstarts in Arizona (4-2). 

The “NFC Least” teams are playing each other this weekend, but picking a winner there is still difficult. This is due to the ferocity of these old division rivalries, complicated by the massive number of injuries and the inconsistent — no, incompetent — performances by all four teams.
 
I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but the 49ers (3-3) and Patriots (2-3) — two recent champions — are badly in need of wins. Only one team can get a win Sunday afternoon.
 
Elsewhere, the return of John Gruden to NFL contention colors that exciting SNF meeting between the Raiders (3-2) — Gruden’s current squad — and the Bucs (4-2) — Gruden's Super Bowl win back in 2003.
 
An exciting weekend will be closed out on MNF with an old-school showdown — likely a defensive head-knocker: Khalil Mack and the Bears (5-1) versus Aaron Donald and the Rams (4-2). I like Chicago’s defense better, but the Rams narrowly get my nod due to their productive receiving corps.
 

My Week Seven Picks    
 
Away                     Home                My Pick
 
1.     Giants              Eagles              Eagles            
2.     Steelers           Titans              Steelers
3.     Cowboys         Washington    Washington   
4.     Bills                 Jets                  Bills
5.     Panthers          Saints              Saints 
6.     Packers           Texans             Packers
7.     Browns            Bengals           Browns                       
8.     Lions                Falcons            Lions   
9.     Seahawks        Cardinals        Cardinals
10.  Jaguars            Chargers         Chargers         
11.  49ers                Patriots            Patriots
12.  Chiefs              Broncos           Chiefs
13.  Bucs                Raiders            Raiders           
14.  Bears               Rams               Rams

Last week, my record was 10-4. I will not be surprised if I don't do as well this weekend, but that's just a tribute to the great competitiveness of this weekend's schedule. Enjoy it.

 

Mill Woods

Posted on October 21, 2020 16:26

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