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Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

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NFL week 7 preview

By Associated Press

POSTED:



All games Hawaii time tomorrow unless otherwise stated. TV games subject to change. Capsules by the Associated Press. Byes: Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, N.Y. Jets

 

Washington at Chicago

Time: 7 a.m. (KHON)
Line: Bears by 3

If the Bears can't shore up their blocking, their fast start will disintegrate. Washington ranks 31st in pass defense, and other than Brian Orakpo, has no true sackmasters. Chicago's D has held opponents to a 31.8 percent conversion rate on third downs, fourth in the league. But that's offset by an offense that is at 18 percent.

 

Pittsburgh at Miami

Time: 7 a.m. (KGMB)
Line: Steelers by 3

The last time the Dolphins beat the Steelers was 1998, a 21-0 romp in which the quarterbacks were Dan Marino and Kordell Stewart. Pittsburgh has won four straight since. The Steel Curtain has allowed 60 points, by far the fewest in the league. The Steelers' point differential of 10.8 per game is the NFL's highest.

 

New England at San Diego

Time: 10:15 a.m. (KGMB)
Line: Chargers by 3

Panic hasn't quite set in yet in San Diego because the Chargers often start a season slowly. Last year, they went from 2-3 to 13-3. San Diego's numbers are impressive: top-rated overall in yards gained and yards allowed, in passing and in pass defense. Yet the Chargers are struggling mightily with an AFC-high 14 giveaways.

 

Minnesota at Green Bay

Time: 2:20 p.m. (KHNL)
Line: Packers by 3

The Vikings beat Dallas last week with some big plays. If they don't keep the turnaround going, the climb back to contention could become too steep: Minnesota visits New England next weekend. The Packers are banged-up and will need a strong pass rush in what is sure to be a ramped-up atmosphere.

 

Buffalo at Baltimore

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Ravens by 13

Buffalo has a league-low four takeaways, has scored the fewest points in the AFC and yielded the most of any team that's played only five games.

 

Cincinnati at Atlanta

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Falcons by 3 1/2

The Bengals rate in the middle of the pack statistically, but their last two outings were disturbing. After losses to Cleveland and Tampa Bay, they step up in class.

 

Philadelphia at Tennessee

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Titans by 3

Uncertain quarterback situations in both cities, but the backups -- Kevin Kolb for Philly, Kerry Collins for Tennessee -- led wins a week ago and are capable replacements.

 

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Bucs by 3

St. Louis won one game in 2009 and Tampa Bay won three. Look at them now. The Rams seem to have more of a chance to contend in the weak NFC West than the Bucs do in the NFC South.

 

Cleveland at New Orleans

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Saints by 13

It looks like the Saints found their stride against Tampa, and now they face an injury-plagued club that doesn't match up well at all in the Browns.

 

Jacksonville at Kansas City

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: Chiefs by 9

If the Chiefs truly are contenders, now is the time to prove it. They play the Jags, Bills, Raiders and Broncos in the next month, teams with a combined 7-16 record.

 

San Francisco at Carolina

Time: 7 a.m.
Line: 49ers by 3

Thankfully, the 49ers won last week against Oakland or else this game might have been banned from the airwaves. The Niners' 15 giveaways are one fewer than the league's worst: by Carolina.

 

Arizona at Seattle

Time: 10:05 a.m.
Line: Seahawks by 6

The winner emerges as the favorite in the NFC West, particularly if it is the Cardinals because of how hard it is to beat the Seahawks at home.

 

Oakland at Denver

Time: 10:15 a.m.
Line: Broncos by 8 1/2

Denver's Kyle Orton has emerged as one of the league's most efficient quarterbacks since coming to Denver. He's doing well this year with Denver last in rushing with 404 yards (2.7 a carry).

 

N.Y. Giants at Dallas

Time: 2:30 p.m. Monday (ESPN)
Line: Cowboys by 3

No game will have more focus on pass protection than this one. New York has 21 sacks, tied for the NFC lead. The Cowboys also can get after the quarterback with DeMarcus Ware.





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