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Week 7 NFL Picks

Darrelle Revis and the 4-1 Jets are one of 2015’s biggest surprises. Sunday will be their first opportunity to prove they’re a legitimate contender in the AFC. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

[Sorry these are brief. Life with kids slows for no one.]

Last Week: 7 – 7 – 0
Season: 59 – 32 – 0

Thursday Recap

Seahawks 20 at 49ers 3
Here’s what I don’t get about the 49ers. Carlos Hyde is San Francisco’s best offensive weapon. When they open the game throwing the football all over the field it does two things. 1. It means your throwing the ball with Colin Kaepernick, who isn’t exactly a reliable QB. 2. You’re not shortening the game and keeping your defense off the field. As we witnessed Thursday, this strategy stinks. The 49ers couldn’t move the ball through the air and the Seahawks jumped out to a 17-0 lead. By that time, the ground game is mostly irrelevant and the game is, for all intent and purposes, over.

Early, Early Game (9:30AM ET)

Bills at Jaguars
The Bills are a disaster right now. Name someone on that roster and they’re likely injured. A defense that was supposed to carry this team has been mostly bad. The Bills need to get healthy. It’s as simple as that. JAGUARS If I were Charles Barkley; Jaguars +4.5

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Buccaneers at Redskins
Please pretend I didn’t pick the Redskins last week against the Jets. Thanks. If Kirk Cousins doesn’t have a good game Sunday I don’t see how the Redskins can avoid going back to Robert Griffin III. I for one would love to see RG3 have another shot. REDSKINS If I were Charles Barkley; Redskins -3.5

Falcons at Titans
Matt Ryan stunk again last week. He has the best receiver in football and possibly the best running back, too. His job isn’t this hard. I don’t understand why he’s not having an MVP season. Get it together, Matt. FALCONS If I were Charles Barkley; Falcons -5.5

Saints at Colts
The AFC South should be demoted to whichever college football conference has the best season. The Colts could be 3-5 by month’s end and still be a lock for the division. Though, I must say, Andrew Luck, despite looking inured, was more composed last week than at any other point this season. COLTS If I were Charles Barkley; Colts -4.5

Vikings at Lions
The Vikings sort of remind me of the Russell Wilson rookie year Seahawks. Stout ground game, great defense, and a reliable and athletically gifted young quarterback. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Vikings knocked off the NFC East champion in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Never mind, that privilege will likely go to the NFC South runner-up. VIKINGS If I were Charles Barkley; Vikings -2

Steelers at Chiefs
The Steelers deserve a ton of credit for grinding their way through October without Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, they’re a Baltimore Ravens miracle from a 3-0 record. Those wins weren’t cupcakes, either. The Chargers are solid and the Cardinals were widely considered one of the league’s top teams. AND they’ve done all this with little impact from Antonio Brown. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Andy Reid and the desperate Chiefs need a win, and 3rd string QBs rarely perform well twice. CHIEFS If I were Charles Barkley; No Line Yet

Browns at Rams
The Nick Foles – Sam Bradford trade is one of those rare trades that hasn’t benefitted either team. Well, maybe the Rams are benefitting because they have that 2nd round pick. Once again, good job, Chip. You’re the best. RAMS If I were Charles Barkley; Rams -6.5

Texans at Dolphins
Oh, hello, Miami Dolphins defense. How nice of you to arrive five weeks late. I’m not sure if last week was a new coach fluke or if Miami’s defense is really back. Cameron Wake was a monster against the Titans. When he’s healthy, he benefits greatly from Ndamukong Suh demanding attention in the middle. The Texans are better than the Titans, but not by much. DOLPHINS If I were Charles Barkley; Dolphins -4.5

Jets at Patriots
I thought the Patriots slept walk through that victory over the Colts. I was disappointed. This week, sleepwalking will not suffice. While I still don’t trust the Jets offense, that defense matches up nicely against Brady’s offense. PATRIOTS If I were Charles Barkley; Jets +9

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Raiders at Chargers
It must be frustrating for AFC West teams right now. Even the Chiefs have a better quarterback than the Broncos and yet the Broncos remain undefeated. Sometimes life isn’t fair. CHARGERS If I were Charles Barkley; Raiders +4

Cowboys at Giants
The NFC East is doing a stellar job of keeping the Cowboys within striking distance. Considering the Cowboys have the most talent in the division, I think this is a bad idea that likely will backfire sometime after Thanksgiving. The Giants better do the rest of the division a favor hand Dallas a loss to keep them at a safe distance. GIANTS If I were Charles Barkley; Giants -3.5

Sunday Night (8:30PM ET)

Eagles at Panthers
Midseason MVP rankings are silly. Last year, Peyton Manning looked like the MVP through 10 weeks. Then his arm died and he’s never been the same since. However, midseason MVP rankings are super fun. So here are mine. 1. Tom Brady. 2. Aaron Rodgers. 3 Broncos Defense. 4. Cam Newton 5. Bengals Offensive Line.

I don’t expect Newton and the Panthers to light up the scoreboard Sunday night. The Eagles defense has proven itself against offenses with more talent than Carolina’s. It’s the Panther defense that gives me nightmares. Bradford has struggled against Bad defenses in recent weeks. The Panthers are one of the NFL’s best. (If you’ve noticed, the Eagles are 2-0 when I pick against them. I’m hoping this works.) PANTHERS If I were Charles Barkley; Panthers -3

Monday Night (8:30PM ET)

Ravens at Cardinals
If I were the Ravens, I’d be livid over last week’s field in San Francisco. Justin Tucker, the NFL’s best kicker, went to kick a 40 something yard field goal when the area around the football collapsed. Seriously. It sunk like a mini sinkhole. That cost the Ravens three points. So, instead of driving with the ball late in the 4th quarter needing a field goal to win, Baltimore had to reach the end zone. Also, isn’t it somewhat amazing that Baltimore’s season from hell didn’t happen a year ago? The Ray Rice fiasco engulfed the team through training camp and followed it around like a plague until at least November. But instead of a disaster season, the Ravens went 10-6, beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the playoffs and came oh-so-close to knocking out the Patriots. Maybe seasons from a hell come a year later than expected. I should start paying attention to this for future reference. Anyway, after a humiliating loss last week, I don’t see the Cardinals making things easy on the down-and-out Ravens. CARDINALS If I were Charles Barkley; Ravens +9

*****

If I were Charles Barkley;
Last Week: 3 – 10 – 1
Season: 41 – 46 – 4

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