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Quick Hitters: The Rest Of The Week 7 Slate

On Thursday, I made my prediction of the Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Denver Broncos matchup separate from all these other predictions, due to both the router reset that day and my prediction of that game being due that day. Plus, I’ve been spending a lot of recent time knocking movies off my watch list.

But worry not because I have the rest of my Week 7 NFL picks right on time, so let’s get right into it:

  • I’ll take the Atlanta Falcons over the Los Angeles Rams because the Falcons are way too talented to be this bad (1-5), along with the fact that the Rams are ripe for the picking right now.
  • I’ll take the Buffalo Bills over the Miami Dolphins because the Dolphins are 1-6 in their past seven games at New Era Field and this current Dolphins team isn’t good enough to make it 2-6. Especially against that championship level defense that the Bills possess.
  • I’ll take the Jacksonville Jaguars over the Cincinnati Bengals because the Sacksonville defense will exploit the Bengals being minus left offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, along with Leonard Fournette continuing his resurgence on the ground.
  • I’ll take the Detroit Lions over the Minnesota Vikings because the Lions will use the horrible officiating in last week’s 23-22 loss against the Green Bay Packers as motivation.
  • I’ll take the aforementioned Green Bay Packers over the Oakland Raiders because I’m not quite sold on the Raiders just yet.
  • I’ll take the Indianapolis Colts over the Houston Texans because I look for the home team (Colts) to build off their big Week 5 victory at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs coming out of their bye week.
  • I’ll take the New York Giants over the Arizona Cardinals because I don’t see the Cardinals winning at MetLife Stadium this week.
  • I’ll take the San Francisco 49ers over the Washington Redskins because the 49ers have looked dominant coming out of their bye week, while the Redskins needed a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Dolphins to win the 2019 Toilet Bowl.
  • I’ll take the Tennessee Titans over the Los Angeles Chargers because Derrick Henry will help the Titans win the time of possession battle against a Chargers team that has allowed two 100-yard rushers thus far this season.
  • I’ll take the Chicago Bears over the New Orleans Saints because the Bears will come back strong from their bye week, along with the fact that I just don’t see Teddy Bridgewater lighting up the Khalil Mack-led Bears defense.
  • I’ll take the Seattle Seahawks over the Baltimore Ravens because I don’t see a Ravens defense that no longer has Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley shutting down a Seahawks offense that is led by Russell Wilson, the current favorite to win League MVP this season.
  • I’ll take the Philadelphia Eagles over the Dallas Cowboys because Dak Prescott will fail in trying to beat the Eagles with a neutralized Dallas rushing attack. Philadelphia currently boasts the league’s number one defense against the run.
  • I’ll take the New York Jets over the New England Patriots because the Jets will build off their big Week 6 win against the Cowboys with another big win this week. Plus, the Patriots are due for a loss sooner or later.

Quick Hitters: Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Denver Broncos Prediction

Going back to this past Friday (October 11, 2019), about a week’s worth of work was postponed, due most likely to the skipping of the weekly reset of our router. And for that, I personally apologize.

Usually, I would have had all my weekly NFL picks by now, but the aforementioned recent lagging connection in updating this site and my commitment to other projects caused a stoppage in that. And with that being, I’ll give you all a quick hitter, as today is the first day of Week 7 for the 2019 NFL season.

The week starts off with AFC West rivals, as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the Broncos in the Mile High City.

The game is a matchup of two teams going in complete opposite directions, with the Chiefs losing back-to-back weeks at Arrowhead Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, while the Broncos have won two in a row following a dismal 0-4 start.

The purge of the defensive side of the ball (releasing Eric Berry and Justin Houston, trading Dee Ford) this past off-season and the recent absence of Chris Jones has gradually made the Chiefs’ defensive unit worse than they were last season. Especially in the sack department, as they racked up ZERO combined sacks of Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson. Plus, they have allowed a 100-yard rusher in four consecutive games. Look for Phillip Lindsay to make it five consecutive games, and look for the Broncos to snap a four-game home losing streak against a Chiefs team that is traveling on a short week.

Impact Players Of Week 5, 2019 NFL Season

                             Last week once again marked some more reinvented territory for me, as I recognized one player from 14 of Week 4’s winning teams and three players from the other winning of that week.

                            And as for this week, at least one player from each of the 15 winning teams for Week 5 will be recognized, as both the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions had their bye week.

                          Check out the bullet points and text below to see which minimum 15 players got recognized as the Impact Players Of The Week for Week 5:

  • Los Angeles Rams Vs. Seattle Seahawks-I ended last week’s Impact Player segment with handing out a three-way Impact Player award to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward and their two starting outside linebackers, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, for their thorough domination of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback in the Steelers 27-3 win. And just like that game, this game will also have a three-way award, with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson being one of the players for his 5-yard touchdown pass to his teammate, running back Chris Carson, on fourth-and-goal with 2:28 remaining in the game. Carson, a three-time Impact Player award already, gets a share of this game’s award for catching that aforementioned 5-yard touchdown pass, as well as rushing for 118 yards on 27 carries. And finally, there’s Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, whom was the closest defender in holding Rams tight end Gerald Everett to a nine-yard reception on a 3rd-and-15 pass play. And as to why that’s important, well a yard or two closer and Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein would have most likely made the possible game-winning field. But instead, Zeurlein missed from 44 yards out, due in large to Wright forcing Everett to go out of bounds, thus making the nine-year linebacker out of Mississippi State the third Impact Player award winner of this game.
  • Arizona Cardinals VsCincinnati Bengals-The trend of three continues, as Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, and Cardinals running back David Johnson and Chase Edmonds accounted for the 62 yards that the Cardinals needed to win the game, 26-23, at the buzzer. And given that all three players put Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez to beat the buzzer from 31 yards out, all three of them get a three-way Impact Player award for this game.
  • Buffalo Bills VsTennessee Titans-After a rough outing the previous week against the New England Patriots, Bills quarterback Josh Allen bounced back, as he went 23-for-32 for 204 net passing yards and two touchdowns, the second of which ( a 7-yarder to Bills wide receiver Duke Williams) was the difference in Buffalo’s margin of victory. Allen then added the final dagger against the Titans, as he picked up five yards on a third-and-three run play to enable the Bills to run out the clock in Nissan Stadium. The Bills have four victories this season, thanks to Allen, whose performance once again gives him another Impact Player award.
  • Chicago Bears VsOakland Raiders-Back in Week 1, a Bears scoring opportunity got thwarted by a momentum-killing interception by their former player in safety Adrian Amos, the inaugural Impact Player award winner. And of course, the Bears lost that game, 10-3. And just like that game, the Bears had a chance to tie or take the lead late against Khalil Mack’s former, as they had the ball on Oakland’s 47-yard line, down 24-21. But Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley killed Chicago’s momentum this time around, as he picked off a Chase Daniel (Bears back-up quarterback) intended for Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller at the Oakland 23-yard line. The Raiders would then go on to run out most of the clock, thus leaving the Bears with only 13 seconds to utilize. The interception was a huge part in the Raiders being over .500 for the second time this season, thus making Conley the Impact Player of this game.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers VsNew Orleans Saints-After guiding the Saints to four drives that ended in field goals, Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater responded, by airing it out with 26 completions in 34 pass attempts for 314 yards and four touchdowns. All four of his touchdown passes proved to be crucial, as all of them either erased early deficits, broke ties or prevented the Buccaneers from late-game rallies. Bridgewater’s performance makes him the Impact Player of this game.
  • Minnesota Vikings VsNew York Giants-It’s another game of three’s company, as three Vikings player get a three-way Impact Player award for this game, with the first player being Kirk Cousins, whom had his best game by far this season, by going 22-of-27 for 306 passing yards (279 net) and two touchdowns. Adam Thielen, the player whom Cousins apologized to in between the loss to the Bears and this game, was the recipient of 130 of those gross yards and both touchdowns, thus making him the second Impact Player of this game. And as for the third Impact Player of this game, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, whom had his fourth 100-yard rushing this season, as the third-year running back out of Florida State rushed for 132 yards on 21 carries.
  • New York Jets VsPhiladelphia Eagles-This award can go to anyone on the Eagles defense, whom allowed 6 points and 128 total net yards. Oh yeah, they also had 10 sacks and two defensive touchdowns. And while I’m tempted to have this game’s Impact Player award be a multi-way award, I instead want to give it to the player whom applied the pressure to enable Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry to have a 51-yard pick-six. That’s right, I’m taking Eagles defensive end and Super Bowl LII hero Brandon Graham, whom also had three of those 10 sacks. 
  • Baltimore Ravens VsPittsburgh Steelers-After going negative four yards on their first overtime possession, the Ravens seemed destined to lose a third consecutive game. But in the hostile environment of Heinz Field, Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey forced a fumble of Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and proceeded to recover it in Pittsburgh territory. Lamar Jackson & Company then did the rest, as they moved the ball six more yards to set up Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal from 46 yards out. However, the 46-yarder wouldn’t have been possible without Humphrey going all Charles Tillman with his forced fumble of Smith-Schuster, thus making the third-year cornerback out of Alabama this game’s Impact Player.
  • New England Patriots VsWashington Redskins-It was a bit of a rough game for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, as this week marked the second consecutive week in which he threw a red zone interception. Plus, he got sacked four times by a ferocious Redskins pass rush. However, he withstood all of that to throw for 312 net passing yards and three touchdowns, two of which broke the game open in the second half. Brady’s age-defying performance against the Redskins makes the future Hall Of Famer the Impact Player of this game.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars VsCarolina Panthers-Down seven, the Jaguars had a chance to be over .500 for the first time since this time last season had they scored a touchdown on that last untimed down. But thanks to Panthers outside linebacker Mario Addison chasing around Jaguars Gardner Minshew II on that untimed, and thanks to Panthers inside linebacker Luke Kuechly batting Minshew’s last-second heave on that same play, the Panthers were able to hang on for the 34-27 victory. The two Carolina defensive veterans are the co-Impact Players of this game for collaborating on that final defensive stop.
  • Atlanta Falcons VsHouston Texans-Every time that the Falcons got back in the game via a touchdown, the Texans responded with a touchdown of their own, thanks mostly to the brilliance of quarterback Deshaun Watson. A player with a knack for both getting hit and sacked a lot, Watson played a very clean game, as he had no turnovers and got only hit once, the latter of which didn’t result in a sack. Oh yeah, let’s not forgot his passing numbers, as the third-year quarterback out of Clemson went 28-of-33 for 426 yards and five touchdowns. His performance, along with the performance of Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V (14 reception, 217 yards, three touchdowns), make the quarterback and wide receiver duo co-Impact Players of this game.
  • Denver Broncos VsLos Angeles Chargers-The Chargers inconsistency in stopping the run reared its head again, as they allowed Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay to rush for 114 yards, the last 45 of which came on the Broncos final possession to turn a 17-10 Broncos lead into a 20-10 Broncos lead via a 46-yard Brandon McManus field goal with 1:55 remaining. The 114-yard rushing performance by Lindsay makes him the Impact Player of this game.
  • Green Bay Packers Vs. Dallas Cowboys-Another Aaron (Jones) led the Packers to a fourth consecutive win in AT&T Stadium, as the third-year running back out of UTEP punished the Cowboys with 107 rushing yards and all of Green Bay’s touchdowns via the ground on 19 carries. It was Jones’ second game of 100 yards or rushing against the Cowboys, thus making him the Impact Player of this game.
  • Indianapolis Colts VsKansas City Chiefs-There have been a lot of two-way and three-way Impact Player awards in this entry. But there’s never been a four-way Impact Player award until now, as four Colts get such an honor. I’ll start with Colts defensive end Justin Houston, whom made the Chiefs look stupid for releasing him this past off-season. Houston’s knowledge of the Chiefs offense played a big part in the Colts limiting his former team to 13 points, the lowest single-game point total among Patrick Mahomes’ 24 starts as quarterback for the Chiefs. Plus, Houston racked up a sack against his old team, along with funneling Mahomes into suffering another sack that was split by Colts defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Komoko Turay. Oh yeah, and there’s Houston’s tackle of Chiefs running back Damien Williams for a 1-yard loss in Kansas City that set up Adam Vinatieri’s crucial 29-yard field goal to make the game a two-possession game with 2:27 remaining. After Houston, the second award winner is Colts running back Marlon Mack, whom helped the Colts enjoy a 37:15 edge in time of possession with 132 yards rushing on 29 carries. After Mack, the third winner is a player whom played a huge role in Mack getting those rushing yards, with that player being Colts left offensive guard Quenton Nelson. It’s no coincidence that Mack ran to the Colts’ offensive left side often, as Nelson was credited multiple times for his blocking in that game. And finally, there’s the sure-handed tight end Jack Doyle, whose recovery of Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s onside kick put the finishing touches on the hard fought 19-13 Colts victory.
  • Cleveland Browns VsSan Francisco 49ers-Last week’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Bengals and Steelers started the movement of naming multiple Impact award winners. And just like that Monday Night Football game, I once again name three players as Impact Award winners. I’ll start with 49ers running back Matt Breida, whom set the tone with an 83-yard touchdown run on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage as a part of his 114-yard rushing night. Joining him is fellow running back Tevin Coleman, whom had a touchdown run (19 yards) of his own and finished three yards shy of joining Breida as the second set of teammates to run for 100 yards or more this season. And finally, 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa had a coming out party in primetime, as he led a San Francisco defensive effort that yielded only three points and 180 total net yards, along racking four sacks as a team and forcing three of the four turnovers. Bosa’s stat line in that game was a tremendous one, as the second overall pick in this past April’s draft had five hits and two sacks (one featured a forced fumble) of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Plus, he also recovered a fumble, along with causing an intentional grounding penalty of Mayfield that should have been another sack for him and put the pressure on Mayfield that led to Richard Sherman’s second interception this season. Bosa’s performance proved why he was worth the number two overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, thus making him the third Impact Player of this game.

         Well, that’s it for this week’s edition of Impact Players Of The Week.

         Tune in next week to see which players get the Week 6 honors.

Steve Believes: 2019 American League Divisional Series Round

The other half of the Wild Card matchups has finalized, as the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to a 5-1 victory against Oakland Athletics. Their prize? The best team in all of the Majors, the Houston Astros, whom are also the prohibited favorite to win it all for the second time in three seasons.

                                                      Check out the bullet points and bold text below to see whom I picked to win that series, as well as the other American League Divisional Series matchup:

  • Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Houston Astros-The Rays have been a nice story in 2019 under manager Kevin Cash, as he guided them to 96 wins during the regular season, along with their first postseason win since 2013. However, it’s going to end there, as I see the Astros sweeping their way into the ALCS. I just can’t see the Rays beating the three-headed monster of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zach Greinke in a five-game series.
  • Minnesota Twins Vs. New York Yankees-After years of getting pushed around by the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians, the Twins won the American League Central for the first time since 2010. However, they can never seem to avoid the Yankees in this round, as this series marks the fifth time since 2003 of both teams facing each other in this round. Plus, they also met in the 2017 American League Wild Card Play-In Game. Since 2003, the Twins are 2-13 against the Yankees in the postseason, with both those wins coming courtesy of Johan Santana. Santana isn’t walking through that door but neither is Yankees pitcher Domingo German, a starter whom boasted an 18-4 record before being suspended for the rest of this season. The absence of German gives the Twins a little more hope than in previous series against the Yankees. However, I still think growing pains will abound for them, thus why I’m taking the Yankees in this series. But the Twins won’t go down without a fight, which is why I have this series going the full five games.

                                             Well, those are my predictions for the 2019 American League Divisional Series round.

                                             Tune in about a week’s time to my predictions for the American League Championship Series round.

Steve Believes: 2019 National League Divisional Series Round

                                                       One half of the Wild Card matchups has finalized, as the Washington Nationals rallied from a late 3-1 deficit to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3. Their prize? They now have to face the two-time National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in one half of the National League Divisional Series round.

                                                      Check out the bullet points and bold text below to see whom I picked to win that series, as well as the other National League Divisional Series matchup:

  • St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Atlanta Braves-On paper, the Cardinals boast more starting pitchers with winning records this season than the Braves do. And unlike the Braves, they come into the postseason winning their final regular season game against the Chicago Cubs, whereas the Braves got swept in a three-game series against the New York Mets. But when it comes to these two teams regular season series against each other, the Braves have the advantage in that regard, as they won two out of three in each individual series for an overall 4-2 regular season record against the Red Birds. The Braves were also 10 games or more above .500 both at home and on the road this season, whereas the Cardinals were only game above .500 on the road in that same span. This is Atlanta’s second consecutive playoff appearance. But unlike last season, they open the playoffs at The Chop Shop a.k.a. SunTrust Park, which is one of the best home-field advantages in all of baseball. Look for them to ride that advantage to a 2-0 series lead, and then finish the Cardinals in four games to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2001.
  • Washington Nationals VsLos Angeles Dodgers-I summarized briefly how the Nationals got into this position. But what I didn’t summarize is that they might not utilize their dominant duo of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg until Game 3 and possibly Game 4, as they both pitched in that Wild Card play-in game against the Brewers. However, the Nationals have a third ace on their staff in Patrick Corbin to help them match the Dodgers’ three-headed monster of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 2019 overall regular season series between these two teams was 3-3 and oddly enough, the road team took two out of three in each individual series. The Dodgers current National League West reign, and streak of consecutive postseason appearances has made them somewhat the MLB version of the New England Patriots, minus being the last team standing in each of those past six seasons. All signs point to a fourth consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series, based on both their current seven-game winning streak and recent history. However, I like the vibe of this Nationals team, as well as their starting pitching just a little bit more than the Dodgers. Look for them to get a split at Dodgers Stadium and dethrone the reigning two-time National League champions in four games. Yup, two teams from the same division will face off in an NLCS for the first time since 2011, as well as National League East teams facing off against each other in an NLCS for the first time since 1999.

                                             Well, those are my predictions for the 2019 National League Divisional Series round.

                                             Tune in about a week’s time to my predictions for the National League Championship Series round.