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Digging for Orange Gold – Week 7 Picks and Thoughts

Starting this week, I'm going to try something new with this column. I'm going to keep the column focused on the Broncos, and I am only going to feature the games that have relevance for the Broncos. I think this will get more at what I was thinking of in the first place when I came up with the title for the column. The rest of the games will be in short form after the main feature.

**As always, the concept of stat comparison is that a team's unit (offense/defense) has a significant advantage if their rank is at least 15 lower than the opponent's unit that faces them (offense A vs. defense B, etc.). These advantages will be in bold. Since all rankings given are stats that are either per game or percentage of attempts, bye weeks should have no effect on the matchups.**

On to last week's results:

 

To break down the format, Pigskin Pickem fav's is the record you would have if you picked the favored team in ESPN's Pigskin Pickem. Busted Bandwagons are favored teams I picked to win that lost. Triumphant Underdogs are non-favored teams I picked to win that did win. If agentj007 posts his results again, I will put them in here.

Week 6 results: 7-7

Pigskin Pickem fav's: 9-5

Busted Bandwagons: Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, San Diego Chargers

Triumphant Underdogs: New England Patriots

(Note: I picked a lot of underdogs, but the only one that won was the Patriots, who weren't much of an underdog.)

Orange and Blew: The San Diego Chargers notched the most pathetic loss of a team that I picked, and in losing managed to help keep the Broncos in the AFC West race. Here's to you, Chargers!

Now, let's get started making some picks!

 

The Home Team (always Orange & Blue)

 

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

Watchabillity

C

Most of the differences are small, but the Broncos posses the only significant advantage of the matchup. Our overall yardage offense should theoretically have an advantage on a Raiders defense that is prone to give up yards. Obviously, we know the Raiders QB situation is up in the air. No option looks really great, but then again we all know how last year's game went. Numerous nobody quarterbacks took turns gashing the Bronco defense at the end of the game, culminating in a Jamarcus "doughnut" Russell game-winning touchdown pass. Still, statistically this is a game that we should win. And despite all the games where I felt the Broncos would win, and picked them to win, I'm pretty sure they have yet to lose a game that statistically favored them yet this year. Most games were played against opponents that looked better on paper, including the Titans. The early season fire has now forged our Bronco team, and we will hopefully see a tempered group come out and clobber the Raiders.

Pick: Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders

(2-4)

vs.

Denver Broncos

(2-4)



 

 

Rank



Team (off./def.)

Pts.

Tot.

Pass

Rush

3rd %

Avg. rtg.

Overall

Oakland Raiders

(off.)

18th

21th

23th

10th

25th

19th

Oakland Raiders

Denver Broncos

(def.)

26th

19th

15th

25th

26th

22th

20th

Oakland Raiders

(def.)

28th

22th

8th

30th

24th

22th

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

(off.)

15th

6th

3rd

32th

13th

13th

17th

Statistical Advantage: Denver Broncos (1-0)

 

Next Week's Foe

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Watchabillity

C

The main significance of this game is the very salient question of what 49ers team are we going to see next week. If they lose this game, they may well be in "season's over" mode. Granted, an NFC West team could well take their division with 7 losses, but they'd be so far on their way so early in the season that it would be tough to rally. If, however, they come to London on a 2 game winning streak, they might be feeling like it's time to fight for their season. And let's face it, the 49ers have been fighting for most of the season, about like the Browns. But they are extremely dysfunctional. Yes, we're facing the Raiders this week, then Raiders-lite next week. They should win this game, as they have the statistical advantage. However, they have zero consistency.  Then again, neither do the Panthers. Most of the matchup advantages are on defense, so this game comes down to who outlasts the competition. I think the team with the stable QB situation takes it.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

(1-5)

vs.

Carolina Panthers

(0-5)



 

 

Rank



Team (off./def.)

Pts.

Tot.

Pass

Rush

3rd %

Avg. rtg.

Overall

San Francisco 49ers

(off.)

30th

19th

15th

28th

21th

22th

San Francisco 49ers

Carolina Panthers

(def.)

20th

12th

5th

26th

11th

14th

19th

San Francisco 49ers

(def.)

24th

10th

11th

20th

17th

16th

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

(off.)

32th

32th

32th

20th

28th

28th

21th

Statistical Advantage: San Francisco 49ers (2-0)

 

 

The AFC West Race

 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Watchabillity

C

The Chiefs own both the statistical and homefield advantage. Paper shows that the Chiefs are a better team. So far this year, the Chiefs have been pretty good at winning games against inferior opponents. This is not meant as a knock. Heck, that's pretty much the knack that the Chargers lack. Don't be surprised if the Chiefs sweep the NFC West. On the other hand, the Jaguars might be the only AFC South opponent the Chiefs beat. On the other hand, the Chiefs might have a field day with Oakland and San Diego. If they win this game, they could be on their way to a 10 to 11 win season. Of course, they won't beat the Broncos. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have beaten some good teams, and if they show up, the Chiefs could be in trouble. Still...

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Jacksonville Jaguars

(3-3)

vs.

Kansas City Chiefs

(3-2)



 

 

Rank



Team (off./def.)

Pts.

Tot.

Pass

Rush

3rd %

Avg. rtg.

Overall

Jacksonville Jaguars

(off.)

23th

25th

26th

6th

17th

19th

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

(def.)

9th

20th

27th

5th

7th

13th

23th

Jacksonville Jaguars

(def.)

31th

27th

28th

19th

30th

27th

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

(off.)

14th

18th

27th

1st

24th

16th

14th

Statistical Advantage: Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

 

New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers

Watchabillity

B

Last week I picked the Chargers to beat the Rams, and the Chargers lost. Sounds like a good format to me. I don't want to lose that kind of magic. Hey, and I don't mind taking one for the team if the Patriots win. Don't get me wrong, the Chargers shouldn't be underdogs, though they are in the user polls, as it were, on ESPN's Pigskin Pickem. Clearly, they are the superior team. If all of their players were Vulcans, and every player on the Patriots was a Vulcan, the Patriots would concede defeat on Friday afternoon. Logically, the Chargers should win this game. The Chargers, however, are about as fond of logic as politicians. Assuming they can even find their way to Qualcomm, and can climb out of their short busses without sustaining any major injuries, the Chargers will eventually blow it on Schpethial Teamsh, or some other way.

Pick: San Diego Chargers

New England Patriots

(4-1)

vs.

San Diego Chargers

(2-4)



 

 

Rank



Team (off./def.)

Pts.

Tot.

Pass

Rush

3rd %

Avg. rtg.

Overall

New England Patriots

(off.)

1st

10th

14th

12th

3rd

8th

New England Patriots

San Diego Chargers

(def.)

19th

1st

1st

6th

13th

8th

17th

New England Patriots

(def.)

25th

30th

29th

17th

32th

26th

San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers

(off.)

5th

1st

1st

13th

18th

7th

7th

Statistical Advantage: San Diego Chargers (4-1)

 

 

Wildcard Contenders

It's too early in the season to seriously look at any team as contending for the wildcard.

 

 

All the Rest

 

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-2)

The Bengals are 1-2 on the road so far, and the Falcons are 2-0 at home.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons

 

Washington Redskins (3-2) vs. Chicago Bears (4-2)

The Bears will struggle in pass protection against a Redskins team that won week 1 due to their pass rush.

Pick: Washington Redskins

 

Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-2)

The Eagles are 3-0 on the road and the Titans are 1-2 at home. Don't think the Titans can keep up in the scoring department.

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) vs. Miami Dolphins (3-2)

The Dolphins have yet to win a home game. I think their offense is to dysfunctional to keep itself from blowing the game with mistakes against a crazy Steelers defense.

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Cleveland Browns (1-5) vs. New Orleans Saints (4-2)

The Saints are exactly the kind of team that the Browns could beat. But I'm not sure they will.

Pick: New Orleans Saints

 

St. Louis Rams (3-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)

Could be a good game. Both teams should play hard and are in their element as far as the conditions under which they've won this season. Going with Rams because they look more like a team on the upswing.

Pick: St. Louis Rams

 

Buffalo Bills (0-5) vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)

What's there to say. I will laugh my neighborhood windows to pieces if the Bills win. But chances are they won't.

Pick: Baltimore Ravens

 

Arizona Cardinals (3-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)

Both teams are home game wonders, and this game is played on Seahawks turf. Unless Justin Bieber is somehow repeatedly tackled during the course of the game, this one looks like an ugly game we'll all be hoping to forget. Here's hoping for cheerleader nip slips.

Pick: Seattle Seahawks

 

Minnesota Vikings (2-3) vs. Green Bay Packers (3-3)

No matter which team wins, I'll be thrilled. Especially if I pick up some nice fantasy points along the way. The Vikings haven't won a road game yet, but I am thinking this could be their first.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings

 

New York Giants (4-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-4)

Not sure I've picked a Giants game right yet. Why am I still trying? They abused Cutler, which I appreciated, but I somehow failed to pick them for that game. Will they make the Cowboys cry this week? I'm hoping the answer is yes.

Pick: New York Giants

 

Game of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tennessee Titans

Both of these teams might be headed to the playoffs, although their divisions are so tight that it's hard to tell. We could potentially see as many as 4 good QBs play in this game. Weird.

 

As usual, please comment and let me know how bad I suck. Or not.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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