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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 7 picks

The Times' pro football writer makes his game-by-game selections.

October 20, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, who had a bye last week, will play the New York Jets.
Quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, who had a bye last week, will… (Donald Miralle / Getty Images )

The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 8-5 (.615); season 63-27 (.700). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-6-1 (.500); season 39-46-5 (.459).

Denver (1-4)

at Miami (0-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Broncos 23, Dolphins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 704.

Line: Dolphins by 2. O/U: 42.

With a bye to prepare, the Broncos will have figured out an offensive package that plays to Tim Tebow's strengths. For some reason, the winless Dolphins are at their worst at home.

San Diego (4-1)

at N.Y. Jets (3-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chargers 28, N.Y. Jets 24

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Chargers by 2. O/U: 44

The Jets have not defeated a quality opponent since Dallas melted down in Week 1. Philip Rivers knows Antonio Cromartie's strengths and weaknesses and can throw on him.

Houston (3-3)

at Tennessee (3-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Titans 30, Texans 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Titans by 3. O/U: 44.

Andre Johnson is far from 100%, and the same goes for Arian Foster. That's not good news against a team that has a fresh Chris Johnson and a crafty quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck.

Atlanta (3-3)

at Detroit (5-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 28, Falcons 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Lions by 3. O/U: 47.

The Lions' offense lacks a power-running game, they did a poor job of protecting Matthew Stafford last week, and the 49ers' running game chewed up Detroit's defense. Still, I think they beat Atlanta.

Washington (3-2)

at Carolina (1-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Panthers 24, Redskins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Panthers by 2. O/U: 43.

With the exception of last week, the Panthers have hung tough in every game. Cam Newton will outduel John Beck as long as the Carolina rookie quarterback protects the ball against a solid defense.

Chicago (3-3)

at Tampa Bay (4-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bears 21, Buccaneers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Bears by 1. O/U: 43.

The Bears are coming off an exceptional performance against Minnesota, and they benefit here from injuries to Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy and RB LaGarrette Blount in this game held in London.

Seattle (2-3)

at Cleveland (2-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Seahawks 17, Browns 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Browns by 3. O/U: 41.

If the Seahawks can get Tarvaris Jackson back — and the bye helped — they have the firepower to beat a shaky opponent on the road. A good game from Marshawn Lynch is key for Seattle.

Pittsburgh (4-2)

at Arizona (1-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Steelers 18, Cardinals 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 42.

Losing four in a row can wear on a team's psyche, and the Cardinals have to be fighting that. The Steelers have not been good on the road, but they should be able to win here.

Kansas City (2-3)

at Oakland (4-2)

Sunday, 1 :15 p.m.

Raiders 28, Chiefs 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Raiders by 4. O/U: 42.

It's a little risky to rush Carson Palmer into action here, instead of going with Kyle Boller. Either way, Oakland's ground game — best in the AFC — should establish the tempo.

St. Louis (0-5)

at Dallas (2-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Cowboys 31, Rams 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Cowboys by 13. O/U: 44.

Tony Romo has had his struggles this season, but he can take advantage of a vulnerable Rams secondary. If the Cowboys can contain the run, Bradford could be a sitting duck.

Green Bay (6-0)

at Minnesota (1-5)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Packers 27, Vikings 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Packers by 9. O/U: 46.

It's tempting to say the Packers will win in a blowout. But Minnesota has a very tough pass rush, and these division matchups are frequently closer than expected.

New Orleans (4-2)

at Indianapolis (0-6)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Saints 35, Colts 13

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Saints by 14. O/U: 48.

Can the Colts take the loud New Orleans crowd out of the game early? That's unlikely. Curtis Painter will have to throw a lot to keep pace with Drew Brees, and that's not good for Indianapolis.

Baltimore (4-1)

at Jacksonville (1-5)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Ravens 27, Jaguars 13

TV: ESPN.

Line: Ravens by 8. O/U: 39.

The Ravens are a mature team, and for the most part they win when they're supposed to. The Jaguars have a tendency to fall behind early, and that negates any home-field edge.

Off: Buffalo, Cincinnati, New England, New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco.

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