The drama that is the NFL keeps on coming and we’ve got 15 games this week to preview. Let us just hope that there will be no more crushing season-ending injuries to speak of following the action from this stanza in the season. Let’s get it.
Last Week: 8-6
Thursday, October 19th, 8:25 e.t.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-4)
The Chiefs took their first loss of the season, and perhaps it can serve as a bit of a wakeup call for them as their offense was pretty much handled at home versus Pittsburgh. Meanwhile the Raiders find themselves in last place in the division and losers of four straight. I think that streak will run to five in a row here as Kansas City should have a prime opportunity to get their offense back on track against an inconsistent pass “D”.
Kansas City 30, Oakland 20
Sunday, October 22nd, 1:00 e.t.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) @ Green Bay Packers (4-2)
This game would have been a barn-burner if Aaron Rodgers did not exit the game last week against Minnesota with a broken collarbone. As it stands we get Drew Brees versus Brett Huntley. I am not among the majority that thinks that the Packers’ season is sunk without Rodgers and in fact I think they can surprise the Saints this week by stealing a win at home. I’m going to put my faith in their defense to make a stop with the game on the line.
Green Bay 21, New Orleans 17 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***
Arizona Cardinals (3-3) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-2) (In London)
This looks to be a pretty good matchup for the fans over in London. Adrian Peterson definitely gave the Arizona offense a spark last week and made the passing game better since Tampa’s “D” actually had to respect a rushing attack. While that game was going on, the Rams were riding the strength of their defense and two return touchdowns in a road win over the Jags. This Rams team is a lot of fun to watch and they can win a game in a lot of different ways. I like them to do the job across the pond against a defense that has not been themselves this season.
Los Angeles 25, Arizona 20
Baltimore Ravens (3-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-2)
Remember the last time these two teams got together? It produced one of the wildest finishes to a game that you will ever see with over an inch of snow on the ground. Weather will not play a factor in this game, but the crowd noise will. Now in the driver’s seat atop the NFC North, I like the Vikings to come out and dominate the offensively challenged Ravens with their top 10 defense.
Minnesota 21, Baltimore 6
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
This game was targeted as the return date for Andrew Luck but as of this writing his status in uncertain. That said, I will be taking Jacksonville regardless of who starts because I really think that their defense can stifle the Colts’ running game and make the offense one dimensional. With the number one pass rush in the league versus one of the worst O-lines, I don’t like Indy’s odds of keeping whoever lines up under center clean.
Jacksonville 19, Indianapolis 12
Carolina Panthers (4-2) @ Chicago Bears (2-4)
The Panthers, off a nine day hiatus, look to rebound from a tough loss at home to Philly and they draw a Bears team that shocked the Ravens in overtime last week. This is a pretty fun matchup of quarterbacks here with Cam Newton and Mitchell Trubisky. The Panthers have to get their running game going if they are going to be a serious threat this year, but I don’t necessarily think they need to do it this week. I see Cam bouncing back and throwing for a pile of yards as the Panthers roll over the Bears.
Carolina 30, Chicago 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) @ Buffalo Bills (3-2)
Lost behind the loss of Aaron Rodgers was the shoulder injury of Jameis Winston. It seems that he will be okay to go on the road against the Bills who always play teams tough at home. The BYE week came at a good time for Buffalo as well because they got a chance to get healthy on offense. This is a tough one to pick and I do think that it will end up being one of the best games of Week 7, but this time I am going to go with Tampa Bay. Outside of LeSean McCoy there aren’t too many plays on the Buffalo offense for their opponents to sweat over. The Bucs’ “D” will have to play better this week than they did last week, however.
Tampa Bay 31, Buffalo 29
New York Jets (3-3) @ Miami Dolphins (3-2)
In what I think is the most shocking result of the year, the Dolphins went into Atlanta and came back from 17 down to take a win away from the Falcons a week ago. Now, after a much maligned start to the year, Miami is 3-2 and poised to go 4-2 against a Jet team that did give the Patriots a nice punch before falling. I do think that the Dolphins are still trying to figure out who they are on offense, but their defense is a good unit and I think that’s going to be the difference in a close game.
Miami 22, New York 20
Tennessee Titans (3-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-6)
In a wide open AFC South, the Titans need to take control of things if they hope to live up to the preseason hype. They’re in a good spot to do this against a Browns team that is reeling and doesn’t look like they can beat anybody at the moment. Yup, the Brownies are on 0-16 watch again and that talk will continue after the Titans come into town and run the ball right down their throat en route to a dominant win.
Tennessee 41, Cleveland 16
Sunday, October 22nd, 4:05 e.t.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-6)
Will Ezekiel Elliot be playing this week? It looks like it as he has been granted permission to play in this game. With that, I don’t seen any reason to believe that the Cowboys won’t bring their record back to .500. I don’t see the Niners being as efficient on offense this week because they will not have the element of surprise this time around with new QB C.J. Beathard who did have a slightly above average game against Washington. Unlike the Browns, however, the 49ers do have some good things to build off of in a winless season. At least they are keeping their games interesting.
Dallas 26, San Francisco 17 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***
Sunday, October 22nd, 4:25 e.t.
Denver Broncos (3-2) @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)
Just when we were all starting to raise our eyebrows with the Broncos, they come home off of a BYE and get embarrassed by the New York Giants. Now they hit the road and take on a Charger team that is beginning to get it’s bearings. L.A.’s offense is still having difficulty finishing drives and that will have to change this week if they want to win. Phil Rivers tends to play well against Denver, however, and I see that continuing here as the Chargers claw their way back in the AFC playoff picture.
Los Angeles 21, Denver 20
Seattle Seahawks (3-2) @ New York Giants (1-5)
The Giants finally got into the win column against the Broncos in a game that was largely dominated by their defense. Go figure it came on the road in a tough place to play sans all of their best offensive players. Good luck figuring this league out. Anyways, do I see New York pulling off a second straight upset? No, I do not. I’m predicting the Seahawks to go on a bit of a run here with an NFC that is very much anybody’s for the taking.
Seattle 36, New York 19
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
I love the move of this game to Sunday afternoon because this should be an intense game pitting the surging Bengals and the Steelers who are fresh off of their somewhat surprising road win over KC. The Steelers defense is becoming the strength of the team and it should show up strong here as Cincy and Pittsburgh typically produce low-scoring affairs. Running game and defense will get the job done in the Steel City and I am going with the home team on that note.
Pittsburgh 23, Cincinnati 17
Sunday, October 22nd, 8:30 e.t.
Atlanta Falcons (3-2) @ New England Patriots (4-2)
The Falcons just lost a close game to Miami a week ago at home while the Patriots closed out a tough road win over the Jets. Now hosting the Falcons who are in a bit of a tailspin offensively, the Patriots look to regain their position of supremacy atop the AFC with a win. However, their defense is still getting shredded by every opponent this year and that provides a good opportunity for the Falcons to have a get-well game on the road. That said I’ve learned my lesson picking against the Pats in prime time in the past so I’m not doing it here.
New England 34, Atlanta 28
Monday, October 23rd, 8:30 e.t.
Washington Redskins (3-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)
The Eagles look like the best team in the NFC right now and have won games with their offense and their defense. The Redskins always play Philly tough, but I don’t think that will give them a win on Monday night. The ‘Skins are a little too banged up for me to like their chances going on the road and getting a “W”. Not to mention, but I’ll mention, the Iggles tend to do pretty well on Monday Night Football, especially against Washington.
Philadelphia 32, Washington 24