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.
SNF
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.
MNF
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.

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