NFL Week 7 Picks: Which teams can make a statement?

So far, the NFL has seen a handful of teams jump into contention. They include Bills, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, Packers, and Seahawks. Other teams, like the Jets, Falcons, Giants, Texans, and Jaguars, have started to lose hope for a postseason run. However, majority of the teams in the league have yet to prove whether they’ll be contending or basement dwelling. My Week 7 NFL picks are here, and this could be the week when many of these mediocre teams, or even some of the basement dwellers make a statement. Last week I went 9-5, bringing my overall record to 58-32-1 (58-33-1 including TNF). Keep reading to which teams I have making a statement with a big victory.

Lock of the Week

The Jets may have their starting WRs healthy again, but I doubt it makes much of a difference against Buffalo’s lock-down corners. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s rushing attack is fully healthy. I expect QB Josh Allen and the young RB duo of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss to run all over the Jets defense, allowing the Bills to cruise their way to victory.

Upset of the Week

The Saints would have had a better chance here if it weren’t for the announcement that WRs Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders would miss the game. With Thomas and Sanders out, QB Drew Brees will be forced to rely heavily on check-downs to RB Alvin Kamara and TE Jared Cook. Meanwhile, I expect the Carolina offense to post another strong game against an underwhelming Saints D.

The Other Games

TNF (Posted on Social Media)
The Eagles are missing majority of their offense: RB Miles Sanders, TEs Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, and two of their three starting WRs. It was one thing when Sanders and Ertz were at least healthy, but I don’t see the Eagles winning this game or any other game until at least one of their missing offensive players heals up.
Cleveland ran away with the victory in the first meeting of these two squads. This time, the Browns are missing RB Nick Chubb and TE Austin Hooper. Plus, an already struggling Baker Mayfield is banged up. Cincinnati’s offense has really come to life over the last few weeks. RB Giovani Bernard may be filling in for injured RB Joe Mixon. However, I still have QB Joe Burrow the Bengals winning at home in this close game.
If I had told you that these two teams would meet in Week 7 after 5-0 starts, you probably would’ve called me crazy considering the expectations for these teams and the schedule changes. I’m expecting a close, low scoring game here, but I think RB Derrick Henry will perform better than other RBs have against Pittsburgh’s defense. That will open the door for a Titans win.
So far, the Packers have by far outperformed Houston. Houston has been more competitive since Bill O’Brien’s firing though, and I think they could make a statement and pull off the upset here. I think they’ll post a strong offensive showing here. It will be hard for Green Bay to keep up after a rough game in Tampa, especially since RB Aaron Jones is nursing a calf injury.
Washington’s offense has struggled so far, but I think their unique schemes will confuse Mike Nolan’s defense. Expect Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to be utilized as runners and receivers and post strong showings against the Cowboys D. QB Andy Dalton and his receivers should make it competitive, but I have them falling short in overtime.
Detroit’s offense got momentum going in Jacksonville, and I think it will continue against a flawed Falcons D. QB Matthew Stafford will lean on young RB D’Andre Swift and stud WR Kenny Golladay. I think the Falcons offense will make it competitive with an explosive game of their own, but in a battle of two teams historically known for choking, Detroit will get the last laugh.
The Raiders will compete in this game for sure. Expect a big game from TE Darren Waller against a flawed Tampa secondary. However, I think the Bucs run defense will be all over RB Josh Jacobs, especially with Vegas missing its offensive line due to COVID. QB Tom Brady and his plethora of weapons will also post a strong game against an inconsistent Raiders D.
Both these squads have underperformed this year. San Fran is still missing several defensive studs and their RB, Raheem Mostert. With New England’s o-line mostly healthy this week, I expect a bounce back game from QB Cam Newton and his receivers. QB Jimmy Garoppolo will connect well with TE George Kittle, but the secondary will lock down Garoppolo’s other weapons and put him under pressure to allow the Pats to pick up a victory.
QB Gardner Minshew had a couple strong games to begin the season, but he’s struggled since. Expect the struggles to continue against a strong Chargers D. I’m not expecting a monster game from rookie QB Justin Herbert either, but I see him tossing a couple TDs and putting up enough points to lead the Chargers to victory.
I’m expecting a field day out of QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, and TE Travis Kelce against a mediocre Denver secondary. Denver should be able to slow down Kansas City’s rushing attack. That won’t stop Mahomes from easily outperforming Broncos QB Drew Lock.
So far, nobody has been able to take down QB Russell Wilson. I think the Cardinals might be the team to do it. They won’t be able to do much to slow down Wilson’s offense. However, QB Kyler Murray’s dual threat ability will be a lot for the Seattle defense to handle. I’m expecting a huge night from Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, and Murray should have some success running the ball as well.
I wouldn’t say Chicago’s strong start is necessarily a fluke. However, don’t be surprised if the Rams take this one, as they’ve also looked pretty good so far this year. I think QB Jared Goff will rely heavily on his strong group of receivers. The duo of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods will take the defensive attention off of each other. QB Nick Foles will try to keep up against one of his former teams, but CB Jalen Ramsey will limit the abilities of Foles’ star WR Allen Robinson, and DT Aaron Donald will apply pressure at the line of scrimmage.

Will Arizona really be the team to knock off Seattle? Will Washington level the playing field in the NFC East with a big win over Dallas? Can Houston compete against one of this year’s most dominant teams thus far? Will the Titans fend off Pittsburgh and grab hold of the AFC’s top seed? I can’t wait to watch this week’s games and find out.

NFL Week 6 Picks: Expect lots of Scoring as Stars Return

For the first time since Week 3, every game scheduled for this week is still on. My week 6 NFL picks are here, and with many star players returning from injuries or COVID, I think a lot of scoring will happen across the league today in an exciting slate of games. Last week, I went 10-4 in pick’em, bringing my overall record to 49-27-1 (I am 43-17-1 over the last 4 weeks). Keep reading to see my picks for today.

Lock of the Week

QB Drew Lock might be back, but the Broncos offense is still decimated by injuries. RB Melvin Gordon, WR Courtland Sutton, and TE Noah Fant are missing. I expect the Pats D to slow down RB Phillip Lindsay and utilize CB Stephon Gilmore in his return to shadow WR Jerry Jeudy. The Pats offense won’t do anything spectacular but look sharper in QB Cam Newton’s return. They should put up more than enough points in a shutout victory.

Upset of the Week

This Bengals D is definitely better than it was in 2019, especially with star DT Geno Atkins back. Expect them to put pressure on QB Philip Rivers and his receivers, forcing Rivers to throw repeated checkdowns to the RBs. Meanwhile, I think QB Joe Burrow has enough weapons to lead the Bengals to victory in Indy despite o-line concerns.

The Other Games

Sunday, 1PM EST
This Eagles D has struggled all off-season and I don’t expect that to change against QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Jackson will run the ball well in addition to relying on TE Mark Andrews, who has an excellent matchup with Philly lacking at LB. I think QB Carson Wentz will post a decent game as TE Zach Ertz bounces back. However, 4 total TD by Lamar Jackson plus 3 field goals by Justin Tucker will allow the Ravens to win with ease.
Sunday, 1PM EST
This will be a close battle between two potential playoff teams. I think the Browns offense will struggle though, as QB Baker Mayfield and his receivers are banged up and the Steelers have been excellent against the run. I don’t think the Steelers offense will dominate either, but they’ll put up enough points to win at home.
Sunday, 1PM EST
Sure, the Titans may have been able to take down Buffalo, but neither team was sure they were going to play. The Texans had a full week to prepare and have improved in all three aspects of the game under interim HC Romeo Crennel. Expect the Texans to put up enough points to pull off the upset against a still depleted Titans squad.
Sunday, 1PM EST
The Lions offense has showed promise all season. I think they’ll put it all together this week and dominate against a below average Jaguars D. Expect Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift to coexist in the backfield, all while QB Matthew Stafford connects well with WRs Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. QB Gardner Minshew and the Jags will make it close but I think they will fall just short.
Sunday, 1PM EST
Both of these defenses have been outperforming expectations, and I expect that to show in this one. This will be a low scoring affair, as the Giants easily slow down QB Alex Smith’s limited arsenal of weapons and Washington succeeds at stuffing the run and applying pressure on QB Daniel Jones. I think the Giants pickup their first win in a close one, becoming the first home team to win at MetLife Stadium since the XFL’s Guardians did it in early 2020.
Sunday, 1PM EST
The Falcons should be able to put up a fight as QB Matt Ryan utilizes the WR duo of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley against Minnesota’s lackluster group of corners. However, I don’t see the Falcons finishing this one on a high note. Minnesota may be missing RB Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison should do fine filling in. Meanwhile, QB Kirk Cousins and his receivers will put up a big game against a flawed Falcons secondary.
Sunday, 1PM EST
RB Mike Davis has been successful in the Christian McCaffrey role so far, but the Bears are familiar with him. The already strong Bears front seven should be able to stop their former RB. I think WRs D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson will do alright, but that won’t be enough to get past a Bears team that’s been exceeding expectations all season.
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
This Jets offense is already missing 2 of its 3 starting WRs. Without RB Le’Veon Bell, I expect it to look even more anemic. Meanwhile, Dolphins RBs Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida will run all over the Jets defense to complement another big game from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins might not be playoff contenders, but they are miles better than the lowly Jets.
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
This will be an exciting game. It’s a match-up of long time Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers and new Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady. It’s Brady vs. Rodgers, Battle of the Bays. Green Bay is favored, and I do expect a big game from Rodgers with WR Davante Adams back. It won’t be enough to beat out this stacked Buccaneers offense though. Tampa has struggled at times, but this week Brady’s new offense is at full strength and the chemistry is finally there.
Sunday, 8:20 PM EST
The 49ers have underperformed so far this year. QB Jimmy Garoppolo was probably banged up last week though, and I expect a bounce back game this week. The full strength Niners offense should be able to beat out the top heavy Rams D that’s led by DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey. I think LA will put up a decent amount of points against a 49ers defense that is still banged up, but fall short by a significant amount nonetheless.
Monday, 5PM EST
I think QB Josh Allen will thrive against a flawed Chiefs D, succeeding as a runner and connecting well with WR Stefon Diggs. Even the Bills D can’t completely stop QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but the Raiders were able to hold them back enough to win. I think the Bills, a team that comfortably took down Vegas, can do the same.
Monday, 8:15 PM EST
I think this one will come down to the wire. If we have an overtime game this week, it’ll probably be this one. QB Andy Dalton is no Dak Prescott, but I think he’ll be able to succeed with excellent surroundings. It still won’t quite be enough to beat out QB Kyler Murray and a Cardinals offense that’s explosive at times. These Cardinals should put up a good amount of points against a Cowboys D that has struggled all year.

That’s all for my picks this week. Stay tuned for more NFL posts soon, and in the meantime, enjoy your Football Sunday.

NFL Week 5 Picks: We Could be in for a Handful of Blowouts

Despite the rising pandemic numbers, the NFL season marches on. This week, in the games that are played, many teams are heavily favored. I think we could be in line for a handful of blowouts, but maybe a couple upsets too. Keep reading below to see which upsets and blowouts I see happening plus more.

TNF (Posted to Twitter Thursday Night)

Lock of the Week

I think QB Kyler Murray as well as RBs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds will have success on the ground against a flawed Jets D.  QB Sam Darnold is still lacking the weapons to put up much of a fight.

Upset of the Week

This one could come down to the wire.  The Browns have TE David Njoku back to add to a strong TE room.  RB Kareem Hunt could also have a big game with both RB Nick Chubb and Colts LB Darius Leonard out.  The Colts should have some offensive success too, relying on the RB duo of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines as well as emerging TE Mo Alie-Cox.  I have Cleveland edging out a victory against a Colts D that’s missing Leonard and others.  

Baltimore’s run first offense should have success against an improving, but still flawed Bengals D.  QB Joe Burrow has proven himself as a quality rookie QB, but I expect his receivers to struggle against CBs Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Jimmy Smith.  Baltimore should win pretty comfortably here.
Look for QB Ben Roethlisberger to have success against a depleted Eagles defense.  Philly may have added CB Darius Slay, but their secondary is still flawed.  Meanwhile, QB Carson Wentz is unlikely to put up a fight considering he’s missing more than half of his top receiving options.
QB Deshaun Watson and the Houston offense have not looked nearly as good without WR DeAndre Hopkins.  However, they should look good as new against a Jaguars D that has struggled throughout the year.  QB Gardner Minshew II could have a strong game as well, but I don’t expect it to be enough for victory.  
Raiders star RB Josh Jacobs and star TE Darren Waller should have some success against the Chiefs D, but I doubt it’s enough to even come close to outperforming QB Patrick Mahomes and company.  
Washington has a pretty strong front seven, but I expect them to struggle to stop QB Jared Goff and his receivers.  I could see TE Tyler Higbee having a big game too.  Meanwhile, I doubt Washington comes close in this one with a huge question mark at QB.  
This Panthers offense has outperformed expectations all year, and I expect more of the same this week against the below average Atlanta D.  However, I think QB Matt Ryan and his receivers will put up even more points and grab their first win of the season.
TE George Kittle, WR Deebo Samuel, and QB Jimmy Garoppolo are back.  If the 49ers can annihilate the Jets and Giants without those guys, they can top the Dolphins with those guys. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has made most of this year’s Dolphins games close though.  Expect him to put up a fight against this 49ers D with DE Nick Bosa and CB Richard Sherman among others injured.  
This Giants defense has looked better, but don’t expect it to be enough to stop QB Dak Prescott and his receivers.  They can cause the Cowboys offense to be explosive at times.  QB Daniel Jones will have more success than usual against a struggling Cowboys D, but it won’t be enough.  
QB Russell Wilson is having an MVP caliber year and I expect the dominance to continue.  I definitely think Minnesota will give Wilson a tough time and make this close though.  Look for a big game from QB Kirk Cousins against a weak Seattle secondary.     
Expect the Pats to shut down Denver’s run game here. With CB Stephon Gilmore out, WR Jerry Jeudy might have a big game.  I think the Pats should be able to pick up a victory in the end though.
QB Justin Herbert could make this close, utilizing TE Hunter Henry against a Saints D that has struggled to stop TEs. However, I expect the Saints to win in the end, especially if WR Michael Thomas and TE Jared Cook are back.
Tuesday Night
Even if the Titans are able to play, they are so depleted by COVID-19 that it will be difficult to post a big game against a strong Bills D.  This will be close though, as Tennessee’s defense is no joke either.  I have Buffalo winning in a defense heavy game.

Stay tuned for more NFL coverage in the coming weeks.

NFL Week 4 Picks: Still Plenty of Exciting Match-ups Despite COVID Outbreaks

It’s been a bad week when it comes to the Coronavirus. The country as a whole is on the uptick, as is New England. U.S. president Donald Trump caught the virus after an outbreak originating from the White House. The Tennessee Titans have had 16 positive tests, 8 players and 8 staff members, and this caused the Titans-Steelers game to be pushed to Week 7 while those teams take a bye. The Patriots and Chiefs also have positive cases, so their game will be pushed back a couple days. But even with the COVID outbreaks and even with Titans-Steelers, there’s plenty of exciting NFL games to look forward to. So my NFL picks are here as usual. Last week, I went 9-6-1, bringing my overall record to 29-18-1 (30-18-1 including TNF). Keep reading to see my Week 4 picks.

TNF (Posted to Twitter Thursday)

Lock of the Week

QB Kyler Murray and the Cardinals may have struggled against a fully healthy Lions team last week. But the Panthers aren’t fully healthy. They are still missing RB Christian McCaffrey. They were able to bring an element of surprise and make it work last week with RB Mike Davis filling in. But that’s not going to work against a 2-1 Cardinals team that has 1.5 weeks of CMC-less Panthers film to refer to. Meanwhile, I expect Arizona’s offense to thrive in the run game and receiving game.

Upset of the Week

I originally thought the Saints would win this pretty comfortably. However, they will be without WR Michael Thomas, TE Jared Cook, and their top two corners. QB Drew Brees will have to rely on the RB duo of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Meanwhile, I expect QB Matthew Stafford and his receivers to thrive against a depleted New Orleans secondary.

The Other Games

The Seahawks secondary has struggled all season, and I’m expecting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and his receivers to make this close. But I expect QB Russell Wilson to continue to “cook” and continue to play at an elite level to lead Seattle to victory.
There’s only so much good defense can accomplish against the Ravens. I expect Washington to slow down QB Lamar Jackson and his offense, but fail to keep up with Jackson in the end due to a lack of offensive firepower against an equally good Ravens D.
The Cowboys are another pass heavy, offense focused team like Seattle and the results of this game will reflect that. The Browns will have success running the ball but will be forced to pass to keep up with the Dallas offense. I expect the Cowboys to air it out and come out on top here, but the Browns will put up a good fight and prove they can compete with playoff contenders.
I think the Bengals D will impress in this one, shutting down QB Gardner Minshew and his receivers. Meanwhile, QB Joe Burrow will get his chance to shine like he did at LSU against one of the weaker defenses in the league.
QB Deshaun Watson and WR duo should impress against this Minnesota secondary. However, I’m expecting a Vikings bounce back on the offensive side of the ball. QB Kirk Cousins will show he’s capable of leading this team to victory, utilizing RB Dalvin Cook and his own WR duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
I think QB Justin Herbert will find plenty of open receivers to make this one close. QB Tom Brady and WR Mike Evans will also have a strong day thanks to the help of good blocking by the o-line and a strong trio of tight ends. Expect the Bucs to edge out the victory at home, but don’t be surprised if it’s a little lower scoring than this prediction.
The Rams offense has impressed so far and I expect more of the same this week. RB Darrell Henderson will post a big game to add to a breakout year and QB Jared Goff will throw the ball well. Without RB Saquon Barkley, the Giants won’t be able to keep up.
The Pats proved that though the Vegas defense has improved, it’s not unstoppable. QB Josh Allen has been dominating with better surroundings and I don’t see that stopping this week. Meanwhile, the banged up Raiders offense will struggle against one of the league’s better defenses.
The Colts defense has impressed, but it’s no match for Chicago’s D. The Bears are 3-0 without a clear answer at QB. There’s no reason they can’t top a Colts team that’s missing multiple of its WRs.
The 49ers were able to blowout the Jets and Giants without TE George Kittle and without many other important players. Kittle is back, but the 49ers are still crippled, so this game will be closer than the last two. The 49ers will come out on top in the end though, especially because QB Carson Wentz is missing a handful of his weapons.
Be prepared for a Monday Night shootout, possibly a higher scoring game than anything we’ve seen this year. QB Matt Ryan and his receivers will put up a lot of points for the Falcons. But I expect QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, and WR Davante Adams to completely dominate against this Falcons D. Who knows, maybe the Falcons will lead early on. But I don’t expect their defense to hold up.
Don’t underestimate the power of Bill Belichick. He has been able to post competitive games with a number of different QBs in Tom Brady’s absences. If this game his played, the Pats are capable of making this close without QB Cam Newton. The Chiefs D is not looking great this year, and star DT Chris Jones is hurt. QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will prevail in the end, but this will come down to the wire. After it’s all over, we’ll probably hear something like “We’re on to Denver.”

That’s all for my picks this week. Stay tuned for more posts soon.