I don’t know about you, but I still act like a 10-year-old when the NFL schedule is released -- i.e., I go through each game and project wins and losses for my team. Of course, it always ends in at least 11 wins and a Super Bowl, but that’s just me (clearly I’m not a Browns fan). With that said, I’m about to do something similar in projecting which NFL team finishes with the worst record this season. Only you can bet on this, thanks to Bovada.
Get $60 in FREE Member Picks
One of the site’s Week 7 specials is which team will get the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Let’s look at each option.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5/4): The Jags enter this week’s game at Oakland at 1-4. It doesn’t appear that 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert is an NFL-caliber starting quarterback, although it’s hard to give him much grief considering Jacksonville has one of the worst receiving groups in the NFL. My concern with Jacksonville finishing with the worst record is that it still gets to host the Colts and Titans and also plays at Buffalo, Miami and Tennessee. So Jacksonville could easily win at least five games just on Maurice Jones-Drew’s back alone. I do wonder if the Jags would give up on Gabbert already and take either Matt Barkley or Geno Smith if they got the top pick. I would think not, but the team is under new ownership.
Kansas City Chiefs (3/2): No doubt at all that the Chiefs will take a quarterback with their first pick in the 2013 draft, although it probably will be a new general manager making the choice. The Chiefs enter Week 7 at 1-5 and have led once all season: the game they won in overtime. The good news is that Kansas City won’t lose this week because it’s off. The Chiefs probably are favored once the rest of the season: Week 16 at home vs. the Colts. But K.C. also gets to play the Raiders twice and at Cleveland. So maybe four wins is possible.
Cleveland Browns (3/1): The purge already has begun at the “Mistake on the Lake.” New owner Jimmy Haslam has replaced team president Mike Holmgren, and I assure you that coach Pat Shurmur will be out at the end of this season (reports are Haslem is going to throw the bank at Nick Saban or Jon Gruden). The Browns are tied with the Chiefs for the NFL’s worst mark at 1-5 but are on a one-game winning streak. Cleveland could win this week at Indianapolis and its Week 14 home game vs. Kansas City could well be what decides which team gets the top overall pick in the draft. Would the Browns take Barkley or Smith because rookie QB Brandon Weeden already is an AARP member?
Carolina Panthers (15/2): At least we know the Cats wouldn’t take a QB with their top pick next April, although Cam Newton has definitely regressed in his sophomore season. Carolina enters Week 7 at 1-4 and on a three-game losing streak. But there’s really too much overall talent here for Carolina to compete for the worst record. In fact, the Panthers could finish 4-1 in their final five home games (this week vs. Dallas, vs. Denver, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Atlanta, vs. Oakland). The Panthers also play at Chiefs Week 13.
New Orleans Saints (10/1): The only way the Saints (1-4) get the top pick in next year’s draft is if Drew Brees gets injured or the rest of the team is suspended in Bountygate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/1): It so happens the Bucs (2-3) and Saints play in Tampa this week. Tampa’s chances at getting the top overall pick probably vanished last week when it destroyed the Chiefs, 38-10 – thus, now if the teams finished with the same record, Kansas City would “win” the tiebreaker.
The pick is Kansas City, especially if the team trades star WR Dwayne Bowe, and he badly wants out. But definitely circle that Week 14 game at Cleveland, this year’s Toilet Bowl.
Sportsbook.ag Highest-Scoring Week 7 Team
OK, I am taking credit for finally nailing the highest-scoring team in a week this season. For Week 6, I wrote this: “I like Houston at +700 in what should be a shootout vs. Green Bay (+1200); frankly, I might put money on the Pack too because they are desperate and could well win, and they are great value at that price.”
And indeed I did, and Green Bay won the week with 42 points thanks to six touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. He was the first QB in history with at least six touchdown passes against an undefeated team with a 5-0 or better record.
At least one team has hit the 40-point mark in every week this season, so that’s the barometer. The Sportsbook.ag favorite in Week 7 is New England at +400 vs. the Jets (who are the +4000 long shots). Should the Pats gain at least 350 yards it would be their 16th straight game doing so, tying the 1999-2000 Rams for the NFL record. That number surprises me – one would think the Saints, for example, would have reached that total.
My pick is the Giants at +500 vs. Washington (+2000). It’s going to be a nice day in East Rutherford, and Eli Manning should be able to shred the Redskins’ No. 32 pass defense. The Giants have scored 41 points twice this season (Week 2 vs. Bucs and Week 5 vs. Cleveland) and should again be around that number in a shootout vs. RG3.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s NFL picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any NFL handicapper on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert football handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.