Analysis

Spoiler Alert: Week 7

Week 7 picks coming up in a second, but real quick...

I can't blame you if you're already excited about the turkey, stuffing, pie and a sublime trio of Thanksgiving games (Chicago at Detroit! Philly at Dallas!! Seattle at San Francisco!!!) -- but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Between the crisp, pumpkin-spiced autumnal air and the big-time college matchups and the World Series and the returns of hockey and the NBA, mid-October is the sweet spot of the sports calendar.

In the NFL, Browns and Niners fans are no doubt excited about where their teams sit in the here and now, but -- as we discussed on the most recent Dave Dameshek Football Program -- you can't blame 'em if they've started looking ahead to November. That's because, as surprisingly pleasant as the present is for both the team Jim Harbaugh considered coaching and the one he's actually coaching this year, the future looks even brighter, thanks to pending returns of three high-end performers.

In Week 11, pass-rusher extraordinaire Aldon Smithreturns just in time for the Niners' game against the Giants. If the team can just split two games (at Denver and versus St. Louis) before then, San Francisco will be better positioned for a run at the NFC West crown* than almost anyone expected ... the Niners could really put the Seahawks' chances at repeating in serious jeopardy with a win at home on Thanksgiving night. As it happens, that game could coincide with NaVorro Bowman's return.

*By the way, Cardinals fans, I'm not sleeping on your team's chances of taking the division. Matter of fact, I paid tribute to Bruce Arians on this week's Shek Report.

As for Cleveland -- fresh off a validating victory over the long-time bullies in Pittsburgh and feeling good above .500 -- getting to 6-4 by Week 12 no longer seems merely possible, but likely. At that point, Josh Gordon -- 2013's most unstoppable receiver -- will return for the Browns' final six games (at Atlanta; at Buffalo; versus Indy; versus Cincy; at Carolina and at Baltimore). It's a rugged stretch, but winning four of those games and getting to double-digit victories on the season is realistic ... as is grabbing a playoff spot.

In other words: People of Cleveland and San Francisco, enjoy the candy corn and bite-sized Snickers now. Just make sure you leave room for next month's pumpkin pie.


Couple more A/V items for your consideration --

Bucky Brooks and I kibitzed on DDFP TV about which good teams could miss out the playoffs in the ultra-competitive NFC:

In front of the Dolphins' visit to Chicago on Sunday, here's an "N-if-L" on what would've happened if Ditka and Ryan's vaunted '85 Bears had had to face Marino's gang in Super Bowl XX:

Alright, let's get to the Week 7 games...

WARNING: Do NOT continue reading if you don't want to know the final scores of Week 7.

(1-0 this week, 9-4-1 last week, 57-35-1 on the season)


ATLANTA FALCONS 16
BALTIMORE RAVENS 23

Matt Ryan: 3 INTs
Owen Daniels: 4 rec, 65 yds, TD


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 30
ST. LOUIS RAMS 17

Paul Richardson: 74-yd TD rec
Robert Quinn: 3 sacks


CINCINNATI BENGALS 21
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 26

Jeremy Hill: 10 car, 80 yds, 2 TDs
Dwayne Allen: 3 rec, 70 yds, TD


MINNESOTA VIKINGS 19
BUFFALO BILLS 20

Cordarrelle Patterson: 120 yds/scrimmage, TD
Sammy Watkins: 6 rec, 110 yds, TD


MIAMI DOLPHINS 30
CHICAGO BEARS 33

Mike Wallace: 4 rec, 95 yds, 2 TDs
Alshon Jeffery: 8 rec, 120 yds, 2 TDs


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 24
DETROIT LIONS 23

Mark Ingram: 18 car, 100 yds, TD
Joique Bell: 20 car, 80 yds, TD


CAROLINA PANTHERS 24
GREEN BAY PACKERS 45

Greg Olsen: 2 TDs
Aaron Rodgers: 25-29, 400 yds, 4 TDs


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 17
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 27

Jamaal Charles: 130 yds/scrimmage, TD
Keenan Allen: 5 rec, 85 yds, TD


ARIZONA CARDINALS 19
OAKLAND RAIDERS 16

Andre Ellington: 25 car, 125 yds
OAK: Four turnovers


NEW YORK GIANTS 27
DALLAS COWBOYS 31

Eli Manning: 30-42, 350 yds, 2 TDs, INT
Dez Bryant: 9 rec, 140 yds, 2 TDs


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 24
DENVER BRONCOS 34

Frank Gore: 17 car, 50 yds
Peyton Manning: 4 TDs


HOUSTON TEXANS 27
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 28

Arian Foster: 22 car, 120 yds, TD
Le'Veon Bell: 22 car, 120 yds, TD


CLEVELAND BROWNS 22
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 26

Brian Hoyer: TD pass, INT
Blake Bortles: TD pass, TD run


TENNESSEE TITANS 24
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 23

Jake Locker: 18-30, 290 yds, 2 TDs
Alfred Morris: 20 car, 90 yds, TD

Enjoy Week 7! I hope your team wins (unless it's playing my team).

Follow Dave Dameshek on Twitter @Dameshek

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