The Opening Drive: Week 7, 2013

Welcome to The Opening Drive of week seven in the NFL! I’m swirling about getting ready for a horror movie marathon, but that doesn’t mean I won’t drop some sports-nuggets on you! (You should probably get out of the way.) Let’s wreck this shiz!

I’m sorry… I don’t know what came over me. Previews, anyone?

(0-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at
(1-4) Atlanta Falcons

We’re starting off this Opening Drive with a “Trap of the Week!” (There might be more later…) But here’s what we’ve got here: the Falcons will be missing receivers Julio Jones (out for the year) and Roddy White (hamstring/leg/knee/whatever), along with running back Steven Jackson, who hasn’t played since week two. So Tony Gonzalez will be the Falcons only tested receiving threat, aside from Harry Douglas, who doesn’t suck every now and again. The Bucs may be in free-fall mode, but Mike Glennon is steadily improving and they have a talented (if somewhat mis-used secondary) to go along with a tough run defense. How are the Falcons going to put up points?


(4-2) Cincinnati Bengals at
(4-2) Detroit Lions

This might be one of the more fun games out of the weekend. It’s really too bad it involves a ginger quarterback. The Bengals have a stout defense, but it’s their running game that could really make the difference on Sunday. The Lions don’t maintain their gaps in run coverage, so Giovani Bernard could be all up in your fantasy leagues this week. Still, I’d think the Lions squeak this one out at home.

(2-4) Buffalo Bills at
(3-2) Miami Dolphins

Thaddeus Lewis gets his second start of the season, bad ankle and all. Buffalo is slowly circling the toilet (see what I did there?), so they need to come out with a division win here. The Dolphins are porous along the offensive line, so expect Ryan Tannehill to be running for his life again, unless there was some dark magic performed during their bye week.

(5-1) New England Patriots at
(3-3) New York Jets

When these teams met in week two, Geno Smith threw three interceptions and cost his team the win. He’s still up-and-down in this, his rookie season. While he might not be facing corner Aquib Talib this time around, there might be a Patriot returning to the line-up that should intimidate the Jets.


Wait, what?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play. He’s still listed as questionable on the team’s injury report (who isn’t), but GRONK CARE NOT ABOUT QUESTIONS! If he’s on the field, Brady has his favorite redzone target back. Good luck holding them to 13 points this time around, Rex.

(3-3) Dallas Cowboys at
(3-3) Philadelphia Eagles

First place in the NFC East is on the line… in this game of two .500 teams. This is where we are in the NFL. The Cowboys and Eagles have shown the ability to score on anybody, but the Eagle defense is probably the weakest unit in this game. Their corners could get overwhelmed against Dez Bryant and a healthier Miles Austin. Dallas’ defense is under-manned without DeMarcus Ware (who will definitely miss this game), but they could harass Nick Foles enough, methinks.

(3-3) St. Louis Rams at
(2-3) Carolina Panthers


Honestly. These two teams are bi-polar. The Rams knocked around the Texans, but that might not mean anything because of how bad Houston is. Oh, and the Rams were nearly blanked by Dallas. Carolina pounded on the Vikings last week, but we can’t forget their putting up six points against Arizona. Can’t this just end in a tie or something?

(3-3) San Diego Chargers at
(0-6) Jacksonville Jaguars

There’s been a lot of attention paid to this game for some reason. Hey NFL:


I only care slightly because this is a prime example of a trap game for San Diego. Coming off an intense win over Indy, the Chargers could come in cocky and undisciplined, leaving themselves open for the ole’ Jacksonville surprise.

(4-2) San Francisco 49ers at
(3-3) Tennessee Titans

Another sneaky possibility for the “Trap of the Week,” this game might be fairly U-G-L-Y. Especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick is involved. Now, Jake Locker is listed as questionable, so the Titans may be getting their 2013-mistakeless quarterback on the field. I imagine this game has a lot of field goals and “defensive stops.”

(3-3) Cleveland Browns at
(3-2) Green Bay Packers

One team is starting Aaron Rodgers. The other is starting Brandon Weeden. Do I really need to say anything else here?

(2-4) Houston Texans at
(6-0) Kansas City Chiefs

Before the season started, this looked like an interesting game. Now it’s been relegated to barely watchable, as the Chief defense will likely confuse the bejeesus out of Case Keenum in his first NFL start. Hey Case, you watched the Chiefs sack Terrelle Pryor ten times last week, right?


(3-3) Baltimore Ravens at
(1-4) Pittsburgh Steelers

Ah, the reliable AFC North. You can always count on these teams to man up and play like shit for four quarters and let some tiny kicker win it in the final seconds with a 44-yarder inside the left upright. The Steelers are playing better as of late, but they haven’t given me much hope for their ground game, which is still ranked 31st in the NFL. The Ravens are third in the league in sacks, so Big Ben is in for a long day.

(6-0) Denver Broncos at
(4-2) Indianapolis Colts

Perhaps the best Sunday Night Football game EVER (and by best I mean “most hyped”), the Broncos are headed to Indy for a Peyton Manning sorta-revenge-but-not-really-because-I-might-still-like-you game against the team he played blabbity-blah years for. I like how everyone thinks this will be dramatic and close, but I’m not doubting Peyton Manning: Crusher of Dreams, Destroyer of Worlds. He’ll be ready for this game.

(1-4) Minnesota Vikings at
(0-6) New York Giants

This could be a “get right” game for both of these teams. The Josh Freeman experiment will be underway Monday night as the QB takes the field as a Viking for the first time. He gets to face off against an atrocious Giant defense that can’t help but give up 30 points. They could make anybody’s quarterback look good. And AP gets to go against the worst linebackers in football. (Aside from Beason, if he stays healthy.) But the Giants might be able to throw it around against the Viking secondary, who will be without safety Harrison Smith. If Eli gets time in the pocket (a big “if”), he could manufacture some offense. Let’s see some points on Monday night!


Did everyone survive the meme onslaught? I was getting distracted on the webs. Enjoy the games everyone!