NFL: Week 7 News and Notes

NFL: Week 7 News and Notes

NFL spread sheet: Week 7 news and notes
By LARRY JOSEPHSON

Walt Coleman, you’re off the hook. Sort of.

Oh, Oakland fans will still burn you in effigy and stick pins in dolls that look strikingly like you, but you are not alone anymore.

Coleman became persona non grata among the Raiders Stars Wars crowd six years ago when he made the Tuck Rule call that overturned a Tom Brady fumble, gave the Patriots a second chance and enabled New England to beat Oakland in the snow and start its improbable playoff run that ended with the Super Bowl victory over St. Louis.

The dictate was neatly tucked away until Sunday, when Tony Romo coughed up the ball in the end zone and the rule was applied again, taking away a Cardinal touchdown and leading to a Dallas score. Arizona won anyway, but the rule’s application was a validation of sorts for Coleman, who has taken tons of grief for what was the right call.

Houston can’t finish

What a frustrating afternoon for Texan backers. Houston, giving three, marches down the field for a touchdown and goes ahead of Miami by a point with a few seconds left. Going for two (and a push), QB Matt Schaub takes the snap, promptly trips over the five yard line and is barely able to hand off. Miami’s defense appeared to have the play smothered anyway.

Concern in Foxboro

Looks like Patriots coaches are trying to pump air into a balloon full of holes. It’s evident that Matt Cassel can’t throw deep, the defense is armadillo slow, and Bill Belichick is scared to death that blitzing will expose his weak secondary, so with a three-man rush there is little pressure on the opposing QB. The Pats will struggle to score in the mid-teens, and if the defense starts playing halfway decent (no guarantee) the under might be worth a serious look. New England fans no doubt noted that Arizona’s victory over Dallas was crafted when former Patriot Sean Morey blocked that punt and former Patriot Monte Beisel fell on the ball in the end zone. The Pats give three to Denver next Monday night. 

What now, Wade?

Big problems in Big D, where only a few weeks ago fans were penciling in 14-2 and a playoff bye. Terrell Owens is snipping at a teammate for not falling on a loose ball and some bloggers were calling for Tony Romo’s scalp even before it was announced that the QB will be on the shelf for a month. Dallas gives seven points at St. Louis this weekend.

Tough test for Kansas City

Please explain how Kansas City plans to get a sniff of the red zone this week against a rested Tennessee defense. The Titans give up 11 points a game, and the Chiefs’ offensive average of 13 a game is inflated by that 31-point head-scratching output against Denver. Toss out the Bronco game and KC scores eight a game. Oh yeah, and Tony Gonzalez wants out. The Titans have five straight covers and are favored by seven points on the early line, with a very conservative 35.5 O/U number.

Who let the dogs out?

It would have taken stones the size of Easter Island statues to lay down this bet, but the moneyline on the Rams over Washington was +475. The Redskins are at home Sunday, catching Cleveland with the Browns coming off a big win but a short week.

Iron in NFC South

Is there a better two-loss team in the NFL than Tampa Bay? Through six games the Bucs have five covers and are tied for the lead in the underrated NFC South with Carolina and Atlanta, all at 4-2.  All four teams (New Orleans is a heartbeat away at 3-3) have outscored their opponents and as a grouping they are 16-7-1 against the spread.

Go figure

So the no-longer-unbeaten Giants head back to New York and have a week to explain an incomprehensible report card that includes five A’s and one F. Monday night’s blowout loss to Cleveland was either one of those things or an indication that the Giants are not strong enough to separate themselves from the rest of the division. The Brownies win bought some time with their impatient fan base.     

Consider this

From this angle these three look pretty good:

- Indianapolis getting one at Green Bay. Colts are on the move.

- Jets giving three at Oakland. Raider turmoil has had a longer run than Sanford & Son.

- The under on 46.5 Denver-New England Monday night. Fewer and fewer options for Pats. Also, long-range forecast is for colder weather in Foxboro over the weekend

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