21 October 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 7

(USATSI)
There are only three 6-0 clubs in the NFL at the moment: Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay. Unfortunately, all three are off this week but there are still two undefeated teams in action this week in New England and Carolina. Will those two fall from the ranks of the unbeaten this week? Here are my Week 7 picks.

Last Week: 8-6
2015: 57-53
Locks: 5-1

Thursday, October 22nd
Seahawks (2-4) vs. 49ers (2-4) - CBS/NFLN, 8:25
Seattle Seahawks (2002 - 2011)San Francisco 49ers (1965 - 1972)
This probably isn't going to be a fun one. Seattle has a lot of problems right now (their vaunted secondary has been bad at times and they seem to struggle with leads in the fourth quarter) and the 49ers are simply not very good at all even after beating the Ravens last week. Eventually, the talent has to take over, right?
Seahawks 17 49ers 10

Sunday, October 25th
Bills (3-3) vs. Jaguars (1-5) - London - Yahoo/WIVB/WJAX, 9:30 am
Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres)
Hey, the online-only game! As we all know, the London games are never barn burners and this one doesn't look like all that much. E.J. Manuel started for the Bills on Sunday and while he wasn't bad, he also struggled to move the offense like Tyrod Taylor has been able to at times. Regardless of who is under center for Buffalo, they are in good shape if the Jaguars continue to struggle defensively.
Bills 23 Jaguars 16

Buccaneers (2-3) vs. Washington (2-4) - Fox, 1:00
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)Washington Redskins (2004 - 2008)
Kirk Cousins continues to struggle under center, especially with turnovers, and was awful on Sunday against the Jets. But in what continues to be a comical decision, Washington coach Jay Gruden continues to stick with him. We know that Gruden hates Robert Griffin but why not give Colt McCoy a shot? Anyways, they are lucky that the Buccaneers really aren't all that good and their mediocre rush defense could give up some yard to whoever Washington's running back will be.
Washington 20 Buccaneers 10

Falcons (5-1) vs. Titans (1-4) - Fox, 1:00
Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
The status of rookie Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota is in question in the wake of him suffering a torn MCL thanks to a dirty hit from Miami's Olivier Vernon. But with how bad the Titans looked against the Dolphins, I don't think it matters who is starting under center for them. The Falcons suffered their first loss to the Saints but they are clearly the better team here.
Falcons 30 Titans 18

Saints (2-4) vs. Colts (3-3) - Fox, 1:00
New Orleans Saints (1985 - 1999)Baltimore Colts (1961 - 1978)
We could talk about the funniest playcall in recent memory but that obscured the fact that the Colts gave the Pats a much better game than folks like me thought. They are still a team with a lot of problems and still haven't beaten any non-AFC South team. Meanwhile, New Orleans looked better in pulling the upset of the Falcons at home but away from the Superdome, they are still not trustworthy.
Colts 31 Saints 28

Vikings (3-2) vs. Lions (1-4) - Fox, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (1998 - Pres)Detroit Lions (2003 - 2008)
Detroit finally got their first win of the season by defeating the Bears in what was truly a dreadful game, featuring a comical call, but wins are wins the last time I checked. Meanwhile, the Vikings took advantage of a garbage offensive performance from the Chiefs to score a home win even when their offense was not executing that well either. Frankly, neither team is that good but unless Matthew Stafford gives the Lions a big game again, the Vikes will win.
Vikings 24 Lions 22

Steelers (4-2) vs. Chiefs (1-5) - CBS, 1:00
Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
Frankly, the Chiefs are a joke offensively right now. We knew that being without Jamaal Charles was going to be a serious loss but now we know it was a critical one. Their running game is a fiasco and Alex Smith has struggled to push the ball down the field. It looks like Ben Roethlisberger will be out but Landry Jones showed some promise in the win against Arizona while subbing for the ineffective Michael Vick. Pittsburgh will continue to find a way to win against this listing KC franchise.
Steelers 30 Chiefs 14

Browns (2-4) vs. Rams (2-3) - CBS, 1:00
Cleveland Browns (2003 - 2014)St. Louis Rams (1995 - 1999)
After two wild weeks for Josh McCown, he came back to Earth a little bit with a mediocre performance, including a dreadful interception when Cleveland had a shot to win the game in regulation. Expect another performance like that against the pretty good pass defense of the Rams, and Todd Gurley should find plenty of rushing room against the worst rushing defense in the league.
Rams 22 Browns 14

Texans (2-4) vs. Dolphins (2-3) - CBS, 1:00
Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)Miami Dolphins (1997 - 2012)
Dan Campbell's debut came with a big victory for the Dolphins over the Titans and maybe a little bit for the team in the near future. They looked good offensively with both the passing and rushing games looking good, although Ryan Tannehill still needs to get his turnovers under control. Even a relatively healthy Arian Foster has not been a big boost for the Houston offense and that unit will struggle once again in Miami Gardens.
Dolphins 31 Texans 20

Jets (4-1) vs. Patriots (5-0) - CBS, 1:00
New York Jets (1972 - 1977)Boston Patriots (1960 - 1960)
The last time the Jets defeated Tom Brady in Foxborough in the regular season was in 2006, so they have that going against them. Brady has been terrific this season and Ryan Fitzpatrick is not exactly in his league. However, the Jets are by far the best defense that the Patriots have faced thus far in 2015 and so this should be a close contest.
Patriots 28 Jets 24

Raiders (2-3) vs. Chargers (2-4) - CBS, 4:05
Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)San Diego Chargers (2002 - 2006)
Philip Rivers just about threw his arm off as he came close to pulling an upset against the Packers in Green Bay. He threw for over 500 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Chargers had to give up on a dreadful running game. That imbalance would hurt the Chargers against many the NFL team but perhaps not against the Raiders, as they have been awful against the pass but stout against the run. San Diego wins a tight one.
Chargers 27 Raiders 24

Cowboys (2-3) vs. Giants (3-3) - Fox, 4:25
Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)New York Giants (1961 - 1974)
Brandon Weeden is Brandon Weeden but even knowing that, he hasn't even been that bad this season by the numbers. Sure the team is 0-3 with him starting but is Matt Cassell really a better option? Frankly, I'm not buying it. The Giants looked like trash on Monday night in the loss to the Eagles but they've been all over the place. This'll be one of their good weeks.
Giants 19 Cowboys 14

Eagles (3-3) vs. Panthers (5-0) - NBC, 8:30
Philadelphia Eagles (1996 - Pres)Carolina Panthers (1995 - 2011)
Have the Eagles turned a corner? They have won two games in a row but New Orleans is not any good and the Giants have been a mess this season. Therefore, they still have something to prove. Carolina is clearly the better team here in my opinion and they should be able to force some turnovers from Sam Bradford, who has been doing a great job of giving the ball to the other team this season.
Panthers 25 Eagles 20

Monday, October 26th
Ravens (1-5) vs. Cardinals (4-2) - ESPN, 8:30
Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)Arizona Cardinals (1994 - 2004)
When you are going to Santa Clara and losing to a bad Niners squad, that is a sign that things are very much going wrong for the Ravens. And that makes sense for a team I picked to win the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Cardinals didn't look good in Pittsburgh but Carson Palmer should be in for a big day against an awful pass defense. The Cardinals are my Lock of the Week.
Cardinals 34 Ravens 21

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben
    As glad as I was with Miami's win, my joy was somewhat diluted by the quality of football played by the Titans. I have noticed that there really are some dreadful teams - too many - and the standard of football this season has been mediocre. Denver is a case in point. Splendid defence but abysmal offensively. I hope your LOTW works out as I have adopted Arizona as my NFC team but mine is Atlanta over the Titans. It may well be over midway through the 2nd...
    By the way, am I the only one thinking that Thursday Night Football just isn't working out... the atmosphere always seems so deflated and teams genuinely look unprepared for game-time.

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