NFL Game Picks: Week 7
Through six weeks of the NFL season, there seems to be a lot of parity as many teams boast similar records.
There is a lot up for grabs, and no teams should throw up the white flag just yet. Tom Brady’s Buccaneers are a surprising 3-3, and it’s a similar story for Aaron Rodgers and his squad.
With a lot of football left to decide the good teams from the bad, there are matchups this week that should give us clear answers the rest of the way.
Here are our picks for Week 7 of the NFL season:
Arizona Cardinals 24, New Orleans Saints 21
Opening up Week 7, we have a crucial Thursday night game that will determine the fate for both teams going forward.
DeAndre Hopkins returns from a suspension and is looking to get the Cardinals on the right track. With no injuries that are known, he should be healthy and looking to put up numbers with the absence of Marquise Brown.
Meanwhile, the Saints secondary is still pretty banged up, and with offensive injuries to Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, the Saints are still trying to manage with what feels like a practice squad team.
In Hopkins’ return, the Cardinals will get back on track and return to the win column.
Cincinnati Bengals 27, Atlanta Falcons 20
Joe Burrow stated that the Bengals’ next three matchups will decide their season, and after coming off a thrilling 30-26 victory against the Saints in New Orleans, the Bengals are finding their identity.
Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase seemed to have gotten their mojo back in the road win, and while Chase is battling a hip injury and is limited at practice, Burrow will have to be vigilant about who to get the ball to if Chase is ruled out.
The Bengals may be 3-3, but a slow start to the season will help motivate Zac Taylor and company, and the Atlanta Falcons won’t get their shocking win this week.
Miami Dolphins 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 21
This game is not easy to predict by any means. Sure, Tua Tagovailoa is returning from his injury, but the Dolphins still seem to be a little skeptical towards how he will perform.
The Steelers are coming off a 20-18 victory against the Buccaneers, and they do have a little motivation behind getting both Mitch Trubisky and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett involved.
With Tua coming back, he’ll be able to reconnect with his weapons in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and the Dolphins will look to continue their season with hopes that Tua will stay healthy.
Green Bay Packers 31, Washington Commanders 17
The Green Bay Packers have not looked promising to start the year coming off a 1st place finish from last year. They look to turn the tide around heading to the Nation’s capital.
The last two weeks for the Packers have looked ugly dropping both to the New York Giants and Jets. If Green Bay wants to turn their season around it’s a must win in Washington.
The Commanders are a team that haven’t gotten anything going this year. With the news of Carson Wentz having finger surgery, Taylor Heinicke will get the nod as starter. I see a spark in Washington’s offense wirth Heinicke in, but I don’t think it will be enough to beat Green Bay.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34, Carolina Panthers 14
Tampa Bay looks to forget about last week, and get a game back over .500. The Buccaneers head to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers.
The Bucs are not having the start they intended too, especially with Tom Brady coming out of retirement. Besides the dominant week one win on Sunday Night Football over Dallas, Tampa Bay has played in very close games dropping a few.
Carolina is in a deep hole in the NFC South. Head Coach Steve Wilks just announced that after coming back from injury Baker Mayfield will have to fight for his job. The team is also working on potential trade scenarios at the deadline for star running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Panthers are all over the place and I don't see them turning it around now. It’s a bounce back for the Bucs.
Baltimore Ravens 31, Cleveland Browns 20
The Ravens look to move on from last week after dropping a heartbreaker in the Meadowlands to the New York Giants. The Ravens host the Browns in Baltimore Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore is far from panic mode being at 3-3 to start the year. Lamar Jackson has been leading this Ravens offense to numerous shootouts and close games. The Ravens defense is a key factor that has kept them close in all 6 games this season.
The Browns are hoping for Deshaun Watson to get reinstated sooner for games like this. The Browns have looked flat all year, dropping games to opponents many thought they’d steamroll.]
Cleveland’s defense has looked weak especially with captain Myles Garrett dealing with a lingering shoulder injury. It’s the Ravens game to win if they want to progress.
San Francisco 49ers 28, Kansas City Chiefs 24
Both of these teams need this win badly. America’s game of the week. The 49ers host the Kansas City Chiefs in Santa Clara looking to get back in the win column.
While San Francisco dropped a bomb last week against the Falcons in Atlanta, the Niners got key players coming off the injured list. All pro offensive tackle Trent Williams who leads San Fran’s line and defensive end Nick Bosa who’s been unstoppable returns.
It’s a very rare thing for Patrick Mahomes to lose twice in a row. Coming off a crushing loss at home to Buffalo, the only thing that’s on the Chiefs mind is a desperate win. This team is good enough to bounce back and get the win.
The Chiefs are playing in a hostile environment, but if the Niners can contain the Mahomes Magic, San Francisco can escape with a home victory and go 4-3.
Indianapolis Colts 30, Tennessee Titans 24
No matter how bad the Colts played to start their season, they have responded nicely with a two game win streak. This Colts team won’t make the Super Bowl but if the playoffs started today Matt Ryan and his team would be competing against an AFC powerhouse. Indianapolis is coming off their best win of the season and it looks as if they are going to get Jonathan Taylor back on Sunday.
Colts wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce seem to be creating a decent tandem for Matt Ryan to throw the ball to. Their last loss came to the Titans in week four, and they are going to be looking for vengeance on Sunday. If Indianopolis can stop Derrick Henry and continue to be hot on offense they will come out of Tennessee with a win on Sunday.
Las Vegas Raiders 34, Houston Texans 17
Both of these teams have had tough starts to their regular season. Houston is obviously still in a rebuilding phase and this start was quite expected, their lone bright spot so far this season has been running back Dameion Pierce. Pierce is one of very few weapons this Houston team has on offense. Lovie Smith’s squad should be competing for the number one pick all year long.
On the other hand Las Vegas came into the season with as high expectations as almost any team in the league.
Davante Adams coming to Sin City to play with his college quarterback Derek Carr was supposed to make the Raiders a juggernaut in the AFC. Now, they find themselves at 1-4 needing to pile up wins fast. This team will be in for a long season if they cannot turn it around this week against a far inferior opponent.
The Raiders looked a lot better during their last game in Kansas City if they can pick up where they left off with that performance Houston should struggle on Sunday
Los Angeles Chargers 31, Seattle Seahawks 19
The Chargers have not had the start to the season that they were expecting but Justin Herbert is still proving that he is an elite quarterback that can take them to the next level.
The former rookie of the year winner has had to guide his team to scrappy wins clawing their way to a 4-2 record. If Los Angeles can get Keenan Allen back this week Herbert might start his MVP case exposing a weak Seattle secondary. Expect Brandon Staley’s bunch to get better throughout the year.
The Seahawks might be the surprise of the season thus far, former backup Geno Smith has proven that he can play at an effective level and be a starting quarterback in this league. This offense still has enough weapons to be able to compete with good teams around the league. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both have remained effective so far in their first season without Russell Wilson. But, Seattle faces the toughest test its had so far on Sunday.
This Charger team needs a big win in order to categorize them as Super Bowl Contenders once again. The pressure to win games like these, in order to keep up with the Chiefs is definitely increasing by the week, but Brandon Staley’s squad should be ready on Sunday.
New England Patriots 28 - Chicago Bears 13
New England’s start to the season without Josh McDaniels had Pats fans worrying. After Mac Jones’ injury those worries became huge fears until it became Bailey Zappe’s time.
Zappe played well enough to win both of his starts where the Patriots put up 29 and 38 points, the team highs of the season. The rookie quarterback has gotten his team to a 3-3 record, just in time for the return of Mac Jones who is questionable for Monday. No matter who New England starts at quarterback, the Patriots should be able to continue their win streak against Justin Fields and the Bears.
Chicago has two wins on the year, one coming in a week one matchup with the 49ers that was played in an absolute monsoon, and the other coming against the Houston Texans. This team could easily be winless right now and it looks as if things are only going to worsen for Chicago as their schedule heats up starting this week.
The Bears offensive line has been unable to protect Fields and it is only a matter of time before they get him hurt, and officially become the worst team in the league. Bill Bellichick should have his way with this wounded Bears team and guide his squad to their fourth win of the season.
New York Jets 21, Denver Broncos 13
The (4-2) New York Jets Travel to Mile High to take on the (2-4) Denver Broncos
Gang Green is coming off an impressive 27-10 win against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau field.
The Jets are hoping to continue their three game winning streak with a win at Denver. The Jets defense is tied for fifth in Interceptions with seven picks.
The Denver Broncos Defense is also very stout, ranking fourth overall in the NFL.
Cornerback Pat Surtain II and stud safety Justin Simmons create a lockdown secondary that complements with a formidable Denver pass rush led by linebacker Bradley Chubb.
Where the Broncos struggle is on the offensive side of the football.
Denver is last in scoring offense, Russ wilson has “cooked'' with a putrid 1442 passing yards so far in the first six weeks of the 2022 NFL season.
Expect a defensive struggle, the game should be neck and neck for three and a half quarters. At the latter half of the foirth, expect Breece hall and the Jets rushing attack to close out this game late.
Dallas Cowboys 31, Detroit Lions 25
Dak Prescot makes his return after suffering a fractured thumb in the first week of the NFL season.
After being shut out 29-0 by the New England Patriots, head coach Dan Campbell and the Lions are going to have to rethink their identity if Detroit wants to stay competitive.
It's going to be a tough task facing a Dallas defense led by Micah Parsons, the most dominant pass rusher in football.
Good news for the Lions, budding star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been cleared for Sunday's matchup. This should give the Lions a spark on offense they did not have a week ago.
Dallas will rattle the Lions all day on the line of scrimmage. As long as Dak doesn’t make crucial errors the Cowboys should be able to take an early lead and hold it throughout the game.
New York Giants 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20
The 5-1 New York football Giants travel to Duval county to take on the 2-4 Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium.
The man carrying the load for the Giants offense is running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley has 771 total yards so far in just six weeks of play.
The Giants’ defense is led by their strong pass rush. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has unlocked the potential of young studs Azeez Ojulari and rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux.
The Jags started the season hot with an impressive 2-1 record. This included a 24-0 shutout against the division rival Indianapolis Colts.
Since then, the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost three straight after a tough loss against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
The New York Giants keep finding ways to win. The Jags are one of the easier opponents they’ve faced all season so there’s no reason for head coach Brian Daboll not to finish this one out.
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About the Contributors
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Sam Kirk is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is also featured weekly in the CommRadio news department on Thursday newcasts. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles, interviewing players and contributing to their YouTube channel.
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