ATLANTA, October 17, 2013 — Peyton Manning will be coming home to Lucas Oil Stadium. He will then set it ablaze. Peyton has that country boy Southern drawl, but beneath that sense of humor is a guy thirsting for revenge against the team who dumped him for a young prospect. This is personal. Owner Jim Irsay made his decision, and now Manning will have his say.
In 1998, Irsay had to choose between Manning and Ryan Leaf. Manning told the Colts that if they did not choose him, he would spend the next 15 years kicking their (hides). Manning was off by one year, leaving Indianapolis after 14 years. Yet his promise is the same. Any team who stands in his way is a village facing incineration.
This is why we watch football. This is a symphony with Manning as Maestro. Irsay has Lucas Oil stadium, but the entire football world knows Manning built it. For one night, Irsay will be reminded of that.
Make sure you join The Washington Times Communities live NFL chat this Sunday, and every Sunday, during the games (all times EST). With that, here is the NFL 2013 Week 7 preview. The point spreads are courtesy of “The Linemakers.”
Thursday, October 17, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) at Arizona Cardinals—Last year, these division rivals met and Seattle won a squeaker 58-0. Seattle was then criticized by the United Nations for using disproportionate force. This year, the game is in Arizona, so Seattle may win by less than 50. Seahawks cover
Sunday, October 20, 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-7)—Losing Julio Jones means the 1-4 Falcons are done. As for the winless Bucs, Greg Schiano has threatened to bring back the orange creamsicle pants and winking pirate if they do not win soon. The late John McKay should be asked in heaven what he thinks about the 2013 Bucs execution. Falcons cover
St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers (-6)—Both of these teams won big on the road last week as they attempt to win just enough games to get an inferior draft pick while the teams they defeated stock up big. Panthers win but fail to cover
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions (-3)—The cats in Detroit are roaring while their feline counterparts in Ohio were briefly emasculated by making a Katy Perry song their theme music. The team has since apologized for that mistake as well as for the entire 1990s. Lions cover
San Diego Chargers (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars—Jacksonville showed signs of life against Denver, but time will tell if that was a trend or an aberration. When losing by 16 is a moral victory, go with the aberration theory. Chargers cover
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-8.5)—Buffalo fights hard, but without EJ Manuel they are in serious trouble. Miami can beat inferior teams and lose to superior ones. That is what average teams do, and Miami at home is average enough to beat Buffalo. Dolphins win but fail to cover
New England Patriots (-4) at New York Jets—If the Jets win this game, Rex Ryan may never get fired. The New York media is quietly rooting for New England. Tom Brady publicly hates the Jets, but may be rooting for them to win so Ryan stays. After all, the difference between winning a division by five games or six games is pretty meaningless. Patriots cover
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-3) —The battle to be the beast in the NFC Least comes down to Tony Romo and Nick Foles. It is enough to make Tom Landry fold his arms in heaven and make Dick Vermeil cry down here. Upset special, Cowboys win outright
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins (-1)—In 1940, these teams played in the NFL Championship where the Bears won 73-0. Such is the desperate search for a compelling storyline in a game that has none. Rumors of the Bears changing their name due to protests from animal rights activists remain unconfirmed. Redskins cover
Sunday, October 20, 4 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers (-4) at Tennessee Titans—Both of these teams are fighting for a wild card spot, which is not good when a division seems out of reach less than halfway into the season. Upset special, Titans win outright
Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers (-10)—Brian Hoyer sparked Cleveland. Hoyer is out injured and Cleveland is done. Aaron Rodgers could be hanging out with George Wendt and “Da discount daable check Bears” in grill class eating bratwursts by halftime. Packers cover
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)—The Texans have seen their quarterbacks throw an interception for a touchdown in five straight games. Now they go on the road to play the 6-0 Chiefs. Walrus Lite Andy Reid is going to see his team stumble, but not this week. Chiefs Cover
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) —For years this defensive head-knocker was must-see television. Now a Ravens team that is a shell of itself from last year battles a Steelers team who finally won after five losses. It could still be low scoring, but inept offense is not the same as the Steelers-Ravens games NFL fans loved. Upset special, Ravens win outright
Sunday, October 20, 8:30 p.m.
Denver Broncos (-6.5) at Indianapolis Colts—Peyton returns home to take on the team that dumped him. Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, but Lucas Oil Stadium will always be Peyton’s place. Peyton is playing this year like a man burning for revenge. Picture Sherman’s march to the sea and Achilles destroying the Trojans, except with more controlled rage. Broncos win but fail to cover
Monday, October 21, 8:30 p.m.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants (-3)—Pete Rozelle is rolling over in his grave. He created Monday Night Football along with ABC executive Roone Arledge as a tribute to the working man. Blue collar guys could work all day and know that the best game of the week awaited them on Monday nights. Then ABC gave up MNF to ESPN and NBC seized Sunday Night Football along with Al Michaels and John Madden. The result is working hard all day on Monday and coming home to a one win team against a winless team. Giants cover
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