19 October 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 7

(AP Photo)
As we keep on chooglin' this fall, here are my much-anticipated predictions for the seventh week of the 2016 NFL season.

Last Week: 10-5
2016: 52-40
Locks: 4-2

Thursday, October 20th
Bears (1-5) vs. Packers (3-2) - CBS/NFL Network, 8:25
Chicago Bears (1999 - Pres)Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)
The Packers have been a mess offensively of late, Aaron Rodgers is on pace for his worst-ever season and Eddie Lacy is not likely to play on the short week. Not a whole lot of good news in the wake of the disappointing and disheartening performance on Sunday afternoon at home against the Cowboys. But here, they get the Bears who have been a total mess this season. If Green Bay cannot take out the a flagging Chicago club, the problems are only beginning.
Packers 20 Bears 10

Sunday, October 23rd
Giants (3-3) vs. Rams (3-3) - London - NFL Network, 9:30 am
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Los Angeles Rams (2016 - Pres)
This is brutal, the Rams will be playing this game at a 6:30 am local start in California time. That said, I do like them here and that's because of their defense. I think their defense will largely be able to keep the passing attack of the Giants at bay and the key reason why is because their defensive line will go to town on this New York offensive line.
Rams 17 Giants 13

Saints (2-3) vs. Chiefs (3-2) - Fox, 1:00
New Orleans Saints (2000 - 2005)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
We know what the Saints are good at: throwing the ball all over the yard and scoring a lot of points. We also know what the Saints are not good at which is even pretending to play defense. That could leave them vulnerable against a Kansas City club that likes to run a lot and plays solid defense. And given that this give will be played at Arrowhead and that helps convince me to pick the Chiefs here.
Chiefs 28 Saints 26

Colts (2-4) vs. Titans (3-3) - CBS, 1:00
Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
The Colts continue to be a mess after blowing a two touchdown lead late in the fourth quarter to a Houston squad that is not exactly going gangbusters offensively at the moment. One of these days, the clueless combination of GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have to start fearing for their jobs, right? Meanwhile, the Titans have won two in a row and are somehow in the thick of the AFC South race. I think they will continue to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball and get another win here.
Titans 17 Colts 12

Vikings (5-0) vs. Eagles (3-2) - Fox, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (2013 - Pres)Philadelphia Eagles (1987 - 1995)
Philadelphia has lost two in a row and have not looked that good in either contest, and most importantly, Carson Wentz has not been playing well either during that losing streak. And it is easy to pick Minnesota here since their defense has looked so good thus far this season and because Sam Bradford will have some motivation. But I'm feeling the upset here. Wentz will get back on track and Philadelphia's defense will come ready to play.
Eagles 23 Vikings 21

Browns (0-6) vs. Bengals (2-4) - CBS, 1:00
Cleveland Browns (2015 - Pres)Cincinnati Bengals (2004 - Pres)
While the Bengals have certainly been a disappointment this season as they have fallen behind somewhat in the AFC North race, I wouldn't exactly characterize the Browns as a disappointment considering that nobody expected them to be good this season. They aren't playing like a team that will go winless but I don't see that winless streak ending this Sunday in Cincinnati.
Bengals 28 Browns 17

Washington (4-2) vs. Lions (3-3) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)Detroit Lions (2009 - Pres)
Remember when things were falling apart in Washington (for the football team that is)? Well after that 0-2 start, they have roared back with four straight victories. Meanwhile, the Lions have appeared to have stabilized their ship with two straight victories, bringing them to .500. Frankly, I'm not sold which of these two are the superior club but I do think that this game will turn into a shootout of sorts and at the moment, I'll give that edge to Matt Stafford at home.
Lions 31 Washington 28

Raiders (4-2) vs. Jaguars (2-3) - CBS, 1:00
Oakland is tied for first place in the AFC West and their offense can be really fun to watch. That said, their defense is so bad, it leaves them vulnerable against virtually any team they'll play. Now they get to play an early game in Jacksonville against a Jaguars team that has won two games in a row and can crank out some excitement offensively in their own right. I can't even call this an upset as Jacksonville is favored and I like them to get to .500 behind some big plays by Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson.
Jaguars 35 Raiders 31

Bills (4-2) vs. Dolphins (2-4) - CBS, 1:00
Buffalo Bills (1970 - 1973)Miami Dolphins (1974 - 1989)
The Buffalo Bills have gone 4-0 since I picked them to get smacked by the Patriots and that their head coach was about to get fired. I mean, how great is that? Their rushing attack has been rocking and rolling with Shady McCoy and even the defense has stepped up and helped out the cause. But I'm feeling the upset here in Miami Gardens. The Dolphins found something in how they rolled the Steelers (when I picked them their loss as a lock) and Jay Ajayi was awesome with the ground game. I don't think they'll smoke Buffalo but I do think they'll win.
Dolphins 27 Bills 26

Ravens (3-3) vs. Jets (1-5) - CBS, 1:00
Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)New York Jets (2002 - Pres)
It is going from bad to worse for the Jets where after a miserable Monday night performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick, they are turning to Geno Smith. Now maybe we will see a more consistent Smith now from what we saw a couple of years back and one that will take care of the football but I just have no confidence in this team no matter who is their quarterback.
Ravens 21 Jets 16

Buccaneers (2-3) vs. 49ers (1-5) - Fox, 4:05
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)San Francisco 49ers (2009 - Pres)
Colin Kaepernick's return to starting didn't exactly went as planned as the 49ers got blasted by the Bills in Orchard Park. The return to the friendly confines in Santa Clara may go better for them, even against a Tampa Bay team coming off their bye and the upset win against the Panthers before that. Considering how the Buccaneers couldn't stop my ex-wife defensively, I think Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde will be able to push the action in the run game and get the win.
49ers 18 Buccaneers 14

Chargers (2-4) vs. Falcons (4-2) - Fox, 4:05
San Diego Chargers (1961 - 1973)Atlanta Falcons (1966 - 1989)
While the Falcons return to the Georgia Dome after splitting road contests in Denver and Seattle, the Chargers return after a lengthy time off after the bye week following a big win over the Broncos on a Thursday night. Considering that this is a matchup of the 1st and 3rd-ranked scoring offenses in the league, we will see oodles of offense here but in a matchup of offense, I have to go with the Falcons here at home.
Falcons 42 Chargers 35

Patriots (5-1) vs. Steelers (4-2) - CBS, 4:25
New England Patriots (1993 - 1999)Pittsburgh Steelers (2002 - Pres)
Even playing at home here, it is going to be really tough for the Steelers to win this game without Ben Roethlisberger in the wake of his knee injury. Now that the immortal Landry Jones will be under center, it would be really surprising to see the home upset here against a New England team that has been firing on all cylinders since Tom Brady returning from his suspension. Crazy things do happen in the NFL but the Patriots are my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 38 Steelers 24

Seahawks (4-1) vs. Cardinals (3-3) - NBC, 8:30
Seattle Seahawks (1976 - 2001)Phoenix Cardinals (1988 - 1993)
The Cardinals have won two games in a row but to be honest, it's not like the 49ers and the Jets are tearing up the football world right now. They have been a team that has disappointed me this season and against a Seattle club that is playing very well defensively. Given Carson Palmer's struggles, the Seattle pass defense may just have themselves a ball here.
Seahawks 30 Cardinals 22

Monday, October 24th
Texans (4-2) vs. Broncos (4-2) - ESPN, 8:30
Denver Broncos (1997 - Pres)
I wouldn't want to be Brock Osweiler going into this contest. First of all, he hasn't looked that good to begin with this season. Second, the Broncos defense has been strong yet again. And third, I think that the Broncos will have some motivation after Osweiler spurned them in free agency this past offseason. Given how inconsistent the Houston offense has been this season, I think the chances of a road win are not particularly high here.
Broncos 19 Texans 9


  1. Hi Ben
    My faith in the Fins offense has been renewed slightly by the possible emergence of a running game. Let's see if it was a one-off... on this occasion I was happy enough to witness my LOTW crumble to pieces but this time it won't fail: the Bengals will chew the Browns up by 15.

    1. The ONLY reason to pick the Fins is it's a trap game for Buffalo with New England coming to Western New York next week. Even though it was the horrid 49ers the Bills played a perfect 2nd half last week.

    2. Actually I didn't say I thought the Fins would beat Buffalo - my optimism returned slightly due to the fact a running game manifested itself out of nowhere. The Bills might well shut it down again which will give them the win. If not, who knows?

  2. Tom Brady returned from an injury??


  3. Saints @ Chiefs

    And given that this give I'm assuming should be And given that this game

  4. Do you know who is commentating for the Giants vs Rams Game.

    1. Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Stacey Dales. Also in the link above.