NFL Game Picks: Week 7
Host Jacob Cheris and analysts Jordan Hession, Eric Fenstermaker and Logan Bourandas preview the biggest games of Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season.
After another unpredictable week, a number of teams look to either save their seasons or prove themselves as Super Bowl contenders. Let’s look at the Week 7 slate.
New York Giants (1-5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)
With the NFC East setting new records for its horrendous collection of teams, the Giants, fresh off their first win, go into Lincoln Financial Field to face a struggling Eagles team that suffered another heartbreaking loss against the Ravens.
While Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz will be out for the Eagles, Carson Wentz gets back two key contributors in DeSean Jackson, who has been out since Week 3, and Lane Johnson, who has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury the last few weeks.
Although the Giants are no longer winless, it’s the Eagles defense that will shut down Daniel Jones and force some key turnovers to get the win.
Prediction: Eagles 29, Giants 15
Detroit Lions (2-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
Last week, Matt Ryan and the Falcons finally snagged their first win against the Vikings, while Matthew Stafford and the Lions dominated the Jaguars. This game will come down to which quarterback can get his playmakers the ball, meaning Julio Jones could be the difference-maker for this Falcons offense.
However, Atlanta has a history of choking big leads, so there is an enormous lack of trust from insiders and analysts. Stafford will shred this Falcons defense, and Atlanta won’t be able to keep pace.
Prediction: Lions 37, Falcons 24
Cleveland Browns (4-2) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)
This game and the Browns’ season as a whole rests on Baker Mayfield’s shoulders. He has simply been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks this season.
If Cleveland wins this game, it’ll be because Mayfield didn’t turn the ball over or make stupid decisions. While Mayfield does need to play better, Joe Burrow needs to play out of this world for the Bengals to win this one, which is why the Browns will win.
Prediction: Browns 27, Bengals 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) vs. Tennessee Titans (5-0)
Two undefeated teams face off, as T.J. Watt and the Steelers defense look to stuff Derrick Henry and the Titans’ rushing game.
Ryan Tannehill has played like an MVP quarterback for the Titans so far, but we’ve yet to see how Tannehill performs without a successful rushing attack. With the Steelers boasting the best rushing defense in the league, it’ll be much harder for Henry to get going and open up the passing game.
Although the Titans offense has been flourishing this season, it has not faced an elite defense like the Steelers yet. The Pittsburgh offense will do just enough to get the win.
Prediction: Steelers 28, Titans 17
Carolina Panthers (3-3) vs. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
Although there was some hope that Panthers tailback Christian McCaffrey would return for this game, head coach Matt Rhule said he doesn’t anticipate McCaffrey coming back quite yet.
However, Teddy Bridgewater has been keeping the Panthers afloat in McCaffrey’s absence, going 3-1 since McCaffrey’s injury. But Bridgewater threw two interceptions in his last game against the Bears.
While Bridgewater will have a much better performance against the Saints defense, the lack of running game puts too much of the offensive load on Bridgewater. The Saints, meanwhile, will most likely get star wideout Michael Thomas back in the offensive lineup, making this game an offensive blowout.
Prediction: Saints 35, Panthers 17
Dallas Cowboys (2-4) vs. Washington Football Team (1-5)
In this matchup, the Cowboys look to prove themselves as a contender in the NFC against Washington, which is still finding their franchise quarterback after the benching of Dwayne Haskins.
Although Washington comes into this game as an underdog, the Cowboys defense has played horrendous football the last few weeks, so Washington should be capable of taking advantage and pulling off the upset.
Prediction: Washington 28, Cowboys 21
Buffalo Bills (4-2) vs. New York Jets (0-6)
Although the Bills were steamrolled by the Titans in their last outing, the Jets continue to be the laughing stock of the NFL, to the point where fans believe the team is tanking to get Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The Bills will bounce back and win handily in what should be the lock of the week.
Prediction: Bills 38, Jets 10
Green Bay Packers (4-1) vs. Houston Texans (1-5)
After getting demolished by the Buccaneers last week, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to bounce back against Deshaun Watson and the Texans.
While Rodgers is adding to his legacy with another outstanding season, the Packers defense must step up if the team wants to get back into the NFC championship. As for the Texans, this team has been constructed in a way in which Watson must carry this team almost every game.
With the Texans defense struggling to stop opponents and Watson’s limited weapons, Rodgers will put on another outstanding performance to win this game.
Prediction: Packers 38, Texans 26
Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) vs. Denver Broncos (2-3)
So far, the Chiefs have not lived up to the hype this offseason. Analysts and insiders across the country were comparing this team to the Golden State Warriors dynasty in the NBA, with explosive offensive firepower and good-enough defense.
However, Patrick Mahomes has looked more human than we’ve seen in the past, and Tyreek Hill is struggling to get the downfield plays he feasted on in prior seasons.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs face a battered Broncos team that just got Drew Lock back from injury. The Broncos do not have nearly enough weapons to keep up with Mahomes and this offense.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, Broncos 24
San Francisco 49ers (3-3) vs. New England Patriots (2-3)
While this is not the 49ers squad that we saw contend for the Super Bowl last season, Kyle Shanahan and his offense bounced back against the Rams on Sunday Night Football last week in a 24-16 win.
As for the Patriots, Cam Newton struggled last week against the Broncos, throwing for only 157 passing yards and a pair of interceptions in the process of putting just 12 points on the scoreboard.
Although the 49ers struggled early in the season, the defense will stuff Newton and the Patriots’ rushing attack to get the win.
Prediction: 49ers 27, Patriots 18
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)
Both of these records suggest that this will be an ugly game, but each of the Chargers’ losses have been within single digits. They’ve been in each game, and if a couple of penalties or passes go their way, they would be a team above the .500 mark, which makes them dangerous.
Quarterback Justin Herbert has rejuvenated the offense and will finally get his first win as a starter for the Bolts.
Prediction: Chargers 34, Jaguars 25
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
Last week, the Buccaneers made a statement by demolishing the Packers 38-10 while the Raiders were on bye.
Although the Raiders upset the Chiefs in Week 5, they’ve been too inconsistent on offense, and their defense isn’t reliable enough to know whether they’ll shut down Tom Brady and this offense, which is just rolling heading into this contest.
Prediction: Buccaneers 33, Raiders 27
Seattle Seahawks (5-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league square off, as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks travel to Arizona to face Kyler Murray and the Cardinals on Sunday night.
Wilson is putting up yet another MVP-caliber season, leading the Seahawks to an undefeated record, but there are some questions about Seattle’s secondary.
While no one expected a Legion of Boom-type resurgence from Seattle’s secondary, the defensive backs have been repeatedly burned throughout the season, which will likely lead to some touchdowns from DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald.
However, the Cardinals still have some questions to answer too after beating up a poor Cowboys team on Monday night. Can Kyler Murray become a pocket passer? Is Kliff Kingsbury the right choice as coach?
If Murray can do damage from the pocket, the Cardinals could dethrone the Seahawks, but odds are that won’t happen, and Russell Wilson will put up Madden-like numbers in another win.
Prediction: Seahawks 39, Cardinals 30
Chicago Bears (5-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-2)
The Bears have surprised the entire league, as they’ve just scraped by, losing only one game so far, but Khalil Mack and the defensive unit face one of their toughest challenges in the high-powered Rams offense.
Despite the Rams putting up 16 points against the 49ers, the Rams offense will bounce back, and the Bears’ chance to win will rest on the performance of quarterback Nick Foles. Although he doesn’t put up elite stats, Foles shows up when is needed most, and he will power Chicago to a 6-1 record.
Prediction: Bears 27, Rams 24
Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Matthew “Matt” McLaughlin is a freshman from Abington, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and analyst in all three departments for CommRadio. He’s been featured as an analyst on live shows such as Daylate Tailgate, State College Saturdays and Hail Mary.
Senior / Broadcast Journalist
Eric Fenstermaker is a senior from Northampton, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is also minoring in business and sports studies and pursuing a certificate in sports journalism.
Eric is involved in After the Whistle and Penn State Sports Night (PSSN). For COMM Radio, Eric contributes to a variety of different podcasts and co-hosts the Hail Mary radio show, which is dedicated to analyzing NFL games.