Here are my NFL Week 7 Picks. Last week I went 5-9, placing my overall record at 41-50. How will I do in this week’s slate of games? Read below and comment with your thoughts.
Teams on Bye: Detroit Lions, Houston Texans
Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.
Lock of the Week
Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi had another 100-yard game last week and he led Miami to victory. Expect that to happen again against the Jets. The Jets have allowed the 5th most rush yards per game this year (138.8), and Ajayi should be the next to dominate against them. I also think Miami QB Jay Cutler will find an offensive rhythm against the young Jets D, as a good run game should set up the play action passing game. The tough Dolphins front seven will pressure Jets QB Josh McCown and hold the Jets to field goals. Dolphins win with ease.
Upset of the Week
Just because QB Aaron Rodgers is hurt, it doesn’t mean the Packers won’t win any games, especially at home. I like Packers new QB Brett Hundley and he will get the chance to prove himself in this game. The Saints will fail to pressure him and he’ll thrive in this game by spreading the ball around to top GB receivers Jordy Nelson and DaVante Adams. Even without Rodgers, this will still be an offensive shootout as both teams have struggled defensively especially against strong passing offenses. The Saints will fall short of the 52 they put up last week without the benefit of the home dome. Packers pull the upset on the not yet frozen tundra.
TNF (Posted to Twitter on Thursday before the game)
I thought Kansas City would come into this game undefeated after winning their first 5 games but the Steelers had their number. The Raiders will be able to do the same. Oakland has struggled over the last couple weeks but at full health I expect them to rebound on Thursday Night.
Chiefs corner Marcus Peters will limit Oakland WR Amari Cooper but Raiders WR Michael Crabtree will have a huge game. Raiders QB Derek Carr, Crabtree, and Raiders TE Jared Cook will dominate against a Chiefs secondary that lost playmaking safety, Eric Berry. The Chiefs offense will make it close as QB Alex Smith finds a rhythm with his star tight end Travis Kelce but the rest of the offense will continue to look off their game against the tough Raiders D. Raiders win in a close one.
The Rams offense may have had an off week against Seattle last week, but I expect them to rebound this week and find ways to score against the tough Arizona secondary. Defensively, the Rams will slow down RB Adrian Peterson after his big debut in Arizona. However, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and his receivers will find a rhythm and thrive. But in the end, I have the Rams winning in a close one as London will feel like home for them after playing there many times before.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston was injured in last week’s game but he’s expected to return this week. I see him returning strong with 2 TDs as Bucs WRs Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson will challenge the Bills secondary and keep breakout star S Micah Hyde without an interception in this game. Hyde may lead the league in interceptions but he won’t have one this week. The Bucs defense will shut down the Bills offense that’s without top TE Charles Clay.
The Vikings will find an offensive rhythm in this game even without WR Stefon Diggs. WR Laquon Treadwell will continue to make an impact in Diggs’ absence and I also expect WR Adam Thielen to keep making plays for Minnesota. However, they will struggle in the run game without RB Dalvin Cook, especially against the Ravens’ tough run defense.
Even with TE Kyle Rudolph matched up against Baltimore’s star safety Eric Weddle, the Vikings should be successful on offense. Defensively, the Vikings will do a good job pressuring and shutting down Ravens QB Joe Flacco and give the Vikings offense plenty of opportunities.
The Titans offense will continue to look strong against a young Browns D that is still finding its way. QB Marcus Mariota will play like he did on Monday Night against the Colts and should have another 300-yard game. Defensively, I think the Titans will struggle to stop RB Isaiah Crowell and the Browns run game, but without a strong passing offense, the Browns won’t have enough to keep up with the Titans. Cleveland QB Hogan will struggle and the Browns will fail to challenge the Titans in this game.
The Jaguars run game will dominate against the Colts this week. The Colts weak defensive front will not be able to stop the Jaguars running game even with RB Leonard Fournette out with an injury. Fournette was injured late in last week’s game and while his injury was not deemed serious, he has been ruled out for this game. The Colts, however, will still be without star QB Andrew Luck. Backup QB Jacoby Brissett will make some plays but the Jaguars versatile defense will limit him enough as Ivory carries the Jags to victory.
The Panthers will dominate offensively in this game as I expect RB Christian McCaffrey to make an impact in both as a runner and as a receiver. In addition, QB Cam Newton will have a big day against a weak Bears defense. Expect RBs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to struggle against a tough Carolina defensive front and force Bears QB Mitch Trubisky to carry the Bears offense. It won’t be enough and the Panthers will win this one on the road.
The Cowboys will have a huge offensive day in San Francisco. The run game will do especially well against the young 49ers defensive front. The Cowboys’ dominant o-line will create running lanes for RB Ezekiel Elliott (still active thanks to winning another legal battle) as well as other Cowboys backs. The 49ers may have some success offensively with rookie C.J. Beathard at QB facing a weak Cowboys secondary but they will be outscored by a large margin.
After seeing what the Steelers did to the Chiefs last week, I’m taking the Steelers. They proved that they can win a big game against a tough AFC opponent. Their defense will continue to step it up and they will shut down QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense. I don’t see this being very high scoring as both defenses slow down their opponent. In addition, neither Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown nor Bengals star receiver A.J. Green will have good games against these tough defenses. I have the Steelers winning it at home by a touchdown.
I think this week could be a turning point in the AFC West. With this win for LA, the Chargers and Raiders will continue to gain on the Broncos and Chiefs. By the end of the year, I still think the Raiders will take the division lead in the AFC West, as the Chiefs and Broncos falter down the stretch.
In this game, the Broncos may limit RB Melvin Gordon but they won’t stop QB Rivers who will find enough time to connect with his receivers despite pressure from the Broncos front seven. Siemian and the Broncos offense will continue to struggle as they did last week to become the only team to lose to the 1-5 Giants last week. Even against a subpar Chargers defense, the Broncos will fail to find their offensive rhythm, especially without top WR Emmanuel Sanders.
Seattle has one of the top defenses and with the Giants top 2 WRs out for the season, I’m predicting my first shutout game this year. The Seahawks defense will hold the depleted Giants offense scoreless. QB Eli Manning will struggle without his star receivers especially because I see the Seahawks pressing him all day. The Seattle offense will struggle as it has but will score enough to win in this defensive battle.
Expect a Sunday Night thriller in this Super Bowl LI rematch. I think Pats QB Tom Brady will thrive against the Falcons D like he did in the 2nd half of the Super Bowl, especially with star LB Vic Beasley banged up. However, it won’t be easy for the Pats. Falcons WR Julio Jones will dominate against a banged-up Pats secondary, and RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will have good days against a struggling Pats defensive front. But in the end, Brady and the Pats offense will find a way just as they did in the Super Bowl.
This one should be fun to watch. I expect the Eagles offense to explode for 5 TDs as the Redskins defense looks off their game. The Redskins offense will also thrive, continuing their momentum from last week. Washington will come close but the Eagles will come out on top in this Monday Night Football division showdown.
Please comment with your thoughts.