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AFC South Week 7 Preview

Houston continues to dominate the AFC South with a two game advantage on the next closest competitor, but the Texans showed some vulnerability last week in a 42-24 loss to Green Bay. Now the Colts, the Bills and even the Jaguars know, that although it’s a high mountain to climb, the division is not out of reach. Here are a few of the matchups for this week in the AFC South and my picks.

Tennessee Titans 2-4 at Buffalo Bills 3-3

The Titan defense needs to buckle down against the high-scoring Bills offense

Both teams in this matchup are coming off week six wins and seem to be finding offensive rhythms. The Titans, who are the worst rushing team in the league coming into this game, are finally seeing Chris Johnson find some running room as he put 91 yards against a tough Steeler defense last week. Matt Hasselbeck was also effective in the passing game, completing 25 of 44 throws for 290 yards while substituting for an injured Jake Locker.

The Bills have had success on the ground all year, ranking fifth in the league, but have been plagued with turnovers. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has already thrown eight interceptions on the season.

The offenses for each of these squads may be starting to click, but the defenses for both teams are among the worst in the league, with each giving up over 420 yards of total offense per game. The Bills are the worst against the run, so the Titans Chris Johnson may find a resurgence to old form this week. However with this being a pretty even matchup and since it should be high-scoring I like the Bills at home to cover -3 points.


Cleveland Browns 1-5 at Indianapolis Colts 2-3

The Browns picked up their first win of the season last week, while the Colts endured possibly their worst performance in the Luck era so far during a 35-9 loss to the Jets. This matchup should favor the Colts more than most (including odds makers who have the Colts at -1) may think. The Colts should negate Cleveland’s only somewhat strength, the passing game, with the third best pass defense. And on the other side of the ball, Indy will also have a big edge with its own air attack as it is up against the Browns’s 30th ranked defense. If Luck can carve up any team in the league and bounce back from last week, it’s against the Browns. Take the Colts to easily cover -1 points at home today.

Baltimore Ravens 5-1 at Houston Texans 5-1

Houston-Baltimore is the game to watch of NFL week seven

The Ravens narrowly escaped against Dallas last week 31-29, while the Texans, as previously mentioned, dropped their first game of the season. Now the two teams will meet in what may be the game of the week in the NFL.

Although the Ravens defeated the Texans in the playoffs last season, they will bring in a depleted defensive squad this time around as they lost both Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb to season-ending injuries last week. Even before losing two of its best players, the Ravens D has not been the same as it has in recent years, allowing almost 400 yards of total offense per game this season. However, the offense has shown big improvements in Baltimore. Ray Rice is one of the league’s top rushers, averaging five yards per carry and the passing attack is ranked in the top half of the league.

Meanwhile, despite losing for the first time last week, the Texans are still one of the NFL’s best. They rank in the top ten in rushing, run defense and pass defense and are a respectable 18th in pass offense. The well-rounded and balanced Texans are also at home for this contest, which should give them a considerable edge. But seven points? That’s the current spread and I’m not sure Houston can cover it against a team like Baltimore. Even though they are without Lewis, historically they have shown to fill these kinds of voids with other guys stepping up. I like Houston to win, but Baltimore to cover +7 on the road today.


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