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Games To Watch Before Steelers vs. Broncos on SNF

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I learned long ago not to make a weekly picks column. Too little to gain, too much to lose. Plus, why do you give a damn who I think is going to win. That said, we can still take a look at some of the more intriguing matchups in Week 7.

Tennessee at Houston

This game probably won't be all that interesting in terms of offensive rhythm and flow (especially if Vince Young can't go), but it nevertheless has significant AFC playoff implications. A loss by either team would leave them an uphill climb for a Wild Card berth. Especially for Houston, who's already lost to Jacksonville. I'm not sold at all on the Texans really being that much better except at the QB position - this game against an excellent Titans defense would go a long way towards making me think otherwise.

Tampa Bay at Detroit

If the Lions are going to make Jon Kitna's prediction of 10 wins come true, they need to win at home this week against Tampa Bay. They're coming off a humiliating loss to the Redskins two weeks ago, and have had a BYE to patch up the defense and get the offense rolling again. Tampa Bay's been gritty and resilient, fending off a tough Titans team at home last week. Again, no rooting interest for me here, but an important game on the NFC landscape without doubt.

Chicago at Philadelphia

Bigtime opportunity for the Eagles here. They can get back to .500 and right back in the Wild Card chase with a W. A home loss would be devastating, and the grumbling in Philly would most certainly get louder. Chicago's season is on the line. A loss would put them at 2-4 - not an insurmountable hole by any stretch, but this team just hasn't looked good on defense at all. Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb have a big chance to turn the corner with their season here against a Bears D that is vulnerable.

Minnesota at Dallas

Now that we've seen Dallas' defense been exposed, I'm curious whether the Vikings have the variety in their offensive game to put up significant points against the Cowboys. We know Adrian Peterson is a beast, but it's not the Dallas run-D that has so many issues. It's Terrance Newman and Roy Williams, two of the most overrated cover guys in the league. Granted Newman's been hurt, but I couldn't count on two hands the number of times both were late on a play in pass coverage against NE. Dallas either handles their business and remains the cream of the crop in the NFC, or loses and falls back to the rest of the pack in the NFC in the mind of the public.

What games are you interested in leading up to our Sunday Night tilt against the Broncos?