Friday, October 23, 2009

And Then There Were Two - Best Week 7 Matchups

Astoundingly there are four remaining undefeated teams going into week seven of the 2009 NFL season. At the end of the week it could very well drop to two. Lets look at the match-ups.

1. Minnesota Vikings (6-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

The Vikings narrowly escaped their first loss of the season last week against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers started the season off slow, but have now won three consecutive and are quickly regaining steam. Minnesota has struggled against tough teams this year. They beat the 49ers on a last second heave by Brett Farve and the Ravens missed a 44 yard field goal with two seconds left that would of sank the Vikings. Three of their wins came against teams with a combined record of 2-16(Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit).

Safety Troy Polamalu shook off the rust last week as he returned from a knee injury that he suffered in week one. Wide receiver Percy Harvin is questionable with a shoulder injury and Cornerback Antoine Winfield is doubtful with a right foot injury.

This is a dangerous game for the undefeated Vikings as the defending Super Bowl champions return to elite form.

Prediction: Minnesota 18 - Pittsburgh 24

2.New Orleans Saints (5-0) @ Miami Dolphins (2-3)

Here's a potential pitfall game for the Saints as the Dolphins are seemingly better than their record suggests. The Dolphins have dominated the running game both offensively and defensively, while the Saints have molded their reputation through the air along with surprising success on defense.

The key to this game will be New Orleans' passing game against Miami's secondary - the winner of that match-up will likely determine the outcome. The Dolphins young secondary could take blame for the home opener loss to the Colts. With 5 games under their belt, they have had time to get accustomed to the speed of the game. Watch the match-up between TE Jeremy Shockey and Miami's Linebackers. Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates gained a total of 317 yards and scored two touchdowns against Miami. Another important element is how well the Dolphins run the ball, including the Wildcat, compared to how effective the Saints stop the rush.

Prediction: New Orleans 27 - Miami 35

3.Arizona Cardinals (3-2) @ New York Giants (5-1)

The Giants were embarrassed by the Saints last week, resulting in their first loss of the season. The Saints were the first real good team the Giants faced this season. They were beneficiaries of a weak schedule and the Saints exploited that. Now that the Giants were kicked back to earth, they are out to recapture their winning ways as the defending NFC champions stroll into the Giants Stadium.

Although they have struggled, the Cardinals are still a threat to the G-Men with the weapons available on offense; let's not forget the Giants defense allowed seven yards shy of 500 yards last week. It's no secret that Arizona is a pass first, pass often team. An aspect that the Giants defense could concentrate on. A one dimensional will not be enough for the Cardinals to get a win on Sunday. Expect Kurt Warner to have at least two turnovers.

Prediction: Arizona 21 - New York 38

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