Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Talking Trash


NFL Week 7 picks: Carolina Panthers will keep rolling vs. St. Louis

Last week Carolina was going to beat Minnesota in Minneapolis. I felt it. Many of us did.

This week, even though the Panthers are at home against St. Louis, I’m less certain.

I kind of like the Rams. Lots of teams beat Houston. But they don’t beat the Texans 38-13. Last week the Rams did.

Still, the idea of the Panthers winning two straight, before they’re eliminated from the playoffs and before Halloween, is as intriguing as it is rare.

I’ve written all season that the Panthers have talent, and last week they applied it beautifully. The offensive and defensive calls kept the Vikings guessing and grasping. St. Louis is too well coached to be similarly fooled.

The difference in this game, however, is defense. Carolina’s is superior. And if the Panthers are going to succeed this season, they will win at home.

CAROLINA 27, St. Louis 23

Last week: 11-4

Season: 61-31

Upset of the week: Picked Carolina (+21/2) to beat Minnesota. The courageous Panthers won by 25.

Season: 4-2

Lock of the week: Picked Dallas (-51/2) to cover against Washington. The heroic Cowboys won by 15.

Season: 4-2.

This week’s picks, with the home team in CAPS:

Denver 37, INDIANAPOLIS 31

Why would Jim Irsay criticize Peyton Manning? Because he inherited a football team but not class? To, oh, no, undermine Manning? To attract attention? Manning, who returns to Indianapolis, will be outstanding. But Andrew Luck, who was burned by dropped passes in a loss last week to San Diego, will be good, too. Irsay ought to be embarrassed. But he can’t admit it now.

NEW YORK GIANTS 21, Minnesota 20

Good teams aren’t required to produce a good game. But they do make it easier to stay awake.

PHILADELPHIA 35, Dallas 31

The Cowboys will be without their best defender, DeMarcus Ware, and their best running back, DeMarco Murray. The onus will be on Tony Romo to outscore the Eagles. He’ll try, and he’ll amass nice numbers doing it. But he won’t be enough.

Chicago 23, WASHINGTON 20

The Redskins opened as a 1-point favorite. Why? Robert Griffith III is starting to play like RG3 again. But unless he plays defense, the Bears will score as many as they have to.

ATLANTA 24, Tampa Bay 17

When somebody is sick, you send a card, drop off some food or schedule the Buccaneers. This is a get-well game for the 1-4, Julio-less, Falcons.

The rest:

New England 27, NEW YORK JETS 20

MIAMI 27, Buffalo 19

San Diego 26, JACKSONVILLE 19

DETROIT 27, Cincinnati 23

San Francisco 23, TENNESSEE 17

GREEN BAY 31, Cleveland 23

Upset of the week: Baltimore (+11/2) 23, PITTSBURGH 21

The Ravens can’t win unless Ray Rice runs. So I guess I’m saying that Ray Rice will run. If he does, the Ravens have a decided edge on offense. So for justice to prevail, and me to be right, Rice must run.

Lock of the week: KANSAS CITY (-61/2) 27, Houston 17

Kansas City is undefeated and confident and playing in Arrowhead Stadium. It’s like old times there. The stadium is again among the toughest places in the league for a visitor to play.

Sorensen: 704-358-5119; Twitter: @tomsorensen
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more

Quick Job Search
Salary Databases