Decent Football Picks, Week 7

So who's the only guy in a suit for the plane ride to London?

Last week, I wondered aloud about how terrible Oakland was. Richard Seymour and the Raiders then go out and beat Philadelphia. Guess Oaktown wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I do know this: The Raiders are better than the St. Louis Rams.

How bad are the Rams? The Patriots scored more points in one snow game than the Rams have scored all season (59-54) and are in dead last in team offense and only better than the Lions in team defense. History shows that teams that spend top-5 picks on linemen usually improve but rookie left tackle Jason Smith was benched two games into the season for horrible play and last year’s top pick, defensive end Chris Long, has yet to record a sack this year. They haven’t won a game in more than a year (Their last win came against Dallas on Oct. 18, 2008). Ironically, The Pats started St. Louis’ current 16-game losing streak with a 23-16 win in Foxboro on Oct. 26, 2008, when New England scored 10 unanswered points for a come-from-behind victory. 

The St. Louis brass was almost ready to completely throw in the towel earlier this week when they tried to work out a deal with the Patriots for star running back Steven Jackson. The Pats had their eye on Jackson in the 2004 NFL Draft but ended up taking Vince Wilfork with the 21st pick. Jackson went 24th to St. Louis. In the end, newsroom sources say the asking price was too high (possibly two first-round picks) so the Pats will have to get by with Kevin Faulk and BenJarvis Green-Ellis for the time being.

You didn’t know that last week was Lucky 7s Week at Decent Community? I didn’t either, until Helmet, Tubesteak and myself all went 7-7 last week. Stranger things have happened … on Star Trek. I don’t gain any ground and sit in the basement at 41-48 while Helmet (54-35) maintains his lead over Tubesteak (47-42).

Anyway, here are the lines on this weekend’s games straight from Caesar’s Palace in Vegas: San Diego (-4½) at Kansas City, Peyton Manning (-13) at St. Louis, Chicago (+1½) at Cincinnati, Green Bay (-7½) at Cleveland, Minnesota (+4) at Pittsburgh, New England (-14½) vs. Tampa Bay in London, San Francisco (+3) at Houston, Mark Sanchez (-6) at Oakland, Buffalo (+7) at Carolina, New Orleans (-6½) at Miami, Atlanta (+4) at Dallas, Arizona (+7) at New York Giants and Philadelphia (-7) at Washington.

Helmet Head’s Picks: San Diego, Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Minnesota, Pats, San Fran, Raiders, Bills, Saints, Falcons, Cardinals and Eagles.

Tubesteak: San Diego, Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Pats, Niners, Raiders, Buffalo, Miami, Atlanta, Ny Giants and Eagles.

Fugaze: San Diego, Peyton Manning, Cincy, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, San Francisco, Oaktown, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons, Giants and Redskins.

So how do we, and my copy of Madden 10, think the Pats will make out in London?

Madden (Pats 47, Bucs 16): Tom Brady shredded Tampa’s weak secondary. Randy Moss and Wes Welker combined for 19 catches for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Brandon Merriweather had two picks and a fired-up Adalius Thomas got the message from his benching last week with eight tackles and a sack.

Helmet Head (Pats 41, TB 6): “Like a nice piece of toast, a nice pair of Umbros, a good ole’ fashion town parade and a pair of stinky socks, the Pats this week will be crisp and crunchy, slick and tight, draw a nice crowd of Pecka Heads and infest the sneaker that is London.”

Tubesteak (Pats 45, TB 0): “Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Fugaze (Pats 49, Tamp Bay 10): I just don’t see a way that Tamp keeps this remotely close — The Bucs are just a pitiful football team. I think they’re going to scrimmage Apponequet on their bye week after coming home from London. The Pats have scored almost 100 more points than the Bucs (163-77) this year. All you guys who play fantasy football should pick up Laurence Maroney right now: Tampa is allowing 177 rushing yards per game. Pats roll, but hopefully not too many offensive linemen come home with those strange European STDs I read about in Time Magazine.

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