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NFL Week 7: Showdown in Nashville and UPSETS!

With the Bucs getting hot, the Steelers out front, and the Seahawks getting stronger, Week 7 could be the best week of football yet.

Pirate Ship at Raymond James Stadium by TampaSportsAuthority is licensed under CC BY SA-4.0

NFL Week 7: Showdown in Nashville and UPSETS!

Estimated Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Imagine a team that has Andy Dalton at quarterback. And also on this team, there is a depleted offensive line, a terrible defense, and yet some real nice playmakers on offense. This team also turns the ball over too much and has bad to mediocre coaching. Imagine this team… Do you see it?

I’m not talking about the Dallas Cowboys. I’m talking about the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cowboys fans, I hate to say it, but your team has basically become the Bengals. Think about the Bengals teams in recent history with Andy Dalton.

For example, take a look at the table below that provides defensive rankings and turnover statistics for these two teams:

Stats/RankingsTeam ATeam B
Overall Defense28th32nd
Pass Defense23rd32nd
Run Defense31st29th
Pts Per Game Allowed36.328.4
Turnover Differential-12+1

Team A is the 2020 Dallas Cowboys and Team B is the 2018 Cincinnati Bengals. That Bengals team finished last in the AFC North with a 6-10 record. Maybe the Cowboys aren’t quite as bad as that Bengals team; especially offensively. But man, they aren’t that far off and it looks like they could be heading in that direction; especially with Dalton at quarterback for the remainder of the season.

That -12 turnover differential, by the way, is the worst in the NFL by far. And Dallas is giving up more than 36 points per game to opponents. The last time a team allowed more than 35 points per game in a season, you have to go all the way back to 1966, when the New York Giants allowed 35.8 points per game. Now I don’t know if the Cowboys defense will get any better, but right now the defense is historically bad thus far.

Could this be the best week yet in the NFL?

We had some marquee matchups last week that received a lot of attention, but I might argue that this week – Week 7 – might end up being the best week yet this season. I really love this week’s games a lot and there are a ton of storylines and intriguing matchups. I also think there are going to be some serious upsets that will shake up the league. Speaking of shaking up the league, please check out our new NFL power rankings here.

So let’s get to it then, here are my Week 7 picks.

Week 6 Picks: 9-5

Season Picks Record: 64-27

Giants at Eagles (Thursday Night)

This article might be published after the conclusion of this game. But I am going with the Eagles here. Despite losing their past couple games, Philly has been playing better football recently. They hung tough with both the Steelers and Ravens. The Giants will be competitive, but give me Philly to get a much needed win. Eagles win 26-21.

Lions at Falcons

These teams have a combined record of 3-8. Yet, this is still a very watchable game. We get two quarterbacks who love to sling it…two good offenses, but crappy defenses. This game will be fireworks, and this game will be close. But give me Atlanta to win their second straight. Falcons win 36-34.

Browns at Bengals

The last time these two teams played was in Week 2 and I’m pretty sure it was Nick Chubb who beat the Bengals, not the Browns. Now with Chubb on the IR, you take him out of the equation, and I think the Bengals have a real shot here. Give me the upset. Bengals win 26-24.

Steelers at Titans

The clash of the undefeated in the AFC. This will actually be just the eighth time in NFL history where two teams with a 5-0 or better unbeaten record will square off.

This game will be must-see TV, and I will be a nervous wreck the whole game. This Titans team is really good, and Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry are a FORCE.

Pick Your Poison

If you are the Steelers, do you prioritize stopping Henry, or attacking Tannehill? It has been difficult to run against this Steelers defense. They are the #1 defense against the run right now. However, the Steelers defense will be going up against a quarterback who plays very well under pressure. Tannehill has a 110.5 quarterback rating when pressured. That’s the best among all quarterbacks this season.

But What About the Titans Defense?

That’s the real question. Because Tennessee’s defense has actually struggled at times this year. They’ve allowed three of their five opponents this season to put up at least 30 points. The other two opponents were held to under 20 points. So which Titans defense shows up?

Ultimately, I think this is easily Pittsburgh’s toughest test yet. And, fun fact, the Steelers have played the fewest road games of any team in the NFL so far this season. They have played only ONE road game so far, and that’s a bit concerning if you are a Steelers fan like me.

A Healthy Steelers Team is a Dangerous Steelers Team

Losing Devin Bush for the year is a huge blow to the defense. But I think Pittsburgh’s offense will continue to stay hot. Not to mention, all of Pittsburgh’s starting receivers, tight ends, and running backs are all healthy; and Big Ben has been playing well and taking care of the ball. So the Steelers will have a healthy and fully-loaded offense, which I think could be the difference-maker. Give me Pittsburgh to stay undefeated, and go 6-0. Steelers win 33-27.

Panthers at Saints

We know the Saints are a much different team without Michael Thomas. But now they won’t have Emmanuel Sanders in this game either, and that could be a real problem.

New Orleans’ defense has been a bit of an underachieving unit, and they face a Carolina team who’s won three of their last four games. Teddy Bridgewater will be playing his old team and he will want to prove to them that he can be a franchise quarterback in this league too.

Also, Derrick Brown is a pretty cool dude…

Alvin Kamara could have a huge game against a Carolina defense that allows teams to run for over 120 yards per game. But I think Carolina will do just enough to pull out the win on the road. Panthers win 29-23.

Bills at Jets

This is going to be a slaughter. At this point, I’m not sure the Jets win a single game this season, and I’m serious when I say that. The Jets are supremely dysfunctional, and are most likely already looking ahead to figuring out what they want to do in the offseason. Buffalo wins big. Bills win 35-14.

Cowboys at Washington

The Cowboys defense is REALLY bad. We’ve already established that. Meanwhile, Washington still feels like they have a chance in this division, and their defense really isn’t all too shabby. Andy Dalton struggles again; against a Washington team that is well-coached and has a defense with eight takeaways through six games. Another upset! Washington wins 21-16.

Packers at Texans

The Packers looked awful against the Buccaneers last week, and the Texans actually almost handed the Titans their first loss of the season.

Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson have NEVER played against each other – sort of hard to believe. But this will be the first time the two face each other, and I think it will be highly entertaining.

Green Bay’s Offense is a Little Banged Up

Both Aaron Jones and Robert Tonyan are listed as questionable for this game. Jones has a calf injury and Tonyan is battling an ankle injury. If these two guys are both out for this game, it will be an uphill battle for the Packers.

Both of these defenses aren’t all that good, so this may end up being a shootout between the star quarterbacks. I think Houston’s offense may have finally put it all together just in time for this showdown. Houston’s offense seems to be clicking at the right time and I think that could be the difference-maker.

Texans Have Already Played a Few of the Best Teams in Football

The Texans are 1-5, but can’t count out Watson just yet. And I think Houston is better than their record shows. Their schedule has been BRUTAL. Four of their five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 20-2. That’s insane. But I think the Texans put it together for their biggest win of the season yet. I’m taking the huge upset here. Texans win 31-27.

Buccaneers at Raiders

This was supposed to be the Sunday Night game this week. However, several COVID-19 cases on the Raiders side has forced the NFL to take this game out of a primetime slot in case the game were to get postponed.

Bucs Sign Antonio Brown to a One-Year Deal

This week the Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown to a one-year deal, and all I have to say is GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. I’m not sure if the addition of Brown moves the needle forward for the Bucs, quite frankly. If anything, it may move the needle backward a little bit, but I don’t think this really makes Tampa Bay any better. Maybe it does, and maybe I’m wrong. But we shall see what happens for the rest of the season.

The Bucs Defense is Hot

The Buccaneers defense has been rolling, and they made Aaron Rodgers look silly last week. The Raiders are coming off a huge win against the defending Super Bowl Champs, but I think Derek Carr and the Vegas offense will run into some problems with this Tampa defense. I like the Bucs to stay hot and take control of the NFC South division. Buccaneers win 30-27.

Chiefs at Broncos

You know what I always say about playing in Denver: It’s where great visiting quarterbacks go to die.

Except if you’re Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes isn’t just a great quarterback, he’s an anomaly. And Mahomes has never lost to Denver in his career. Why would he here?

As a matter of fact, the last time the Broncos beat the Chiefs, you have to go all the way back to September 17, 2015. Maybe Denver is competitive, but give me Kansas City. Chiefs win 28-22.

49ers at Patriots

Teddy Bridgewater won’t be the only quarterback facing his former team this week. Jimmy Garoppolo returns to Foxborough to face the team who traded him away almost exactly three years ago.

Cam Newton and the Patriots did not look good at all last week against Denver. It was a bit concerning if you are a Patriots fan. The 49ers on the other hand, are still a bit banged up but at least they have Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel back.

When Garoppolo is healthy, the Niners are a completely different team, he was great last week against the Rams. I think that carries over here. I know we are all afraid of picking the Patriots to lose consecutive games; especially three in a row. But I really did not like how the Patriots looked last week at all. The Niners will take it on the road and go up over .500 in a competitive NFC West division. 49ers win 31-29.

Jaguars at Chargers

Justin Herbert is really starting to look like the franchise quarterback the Chargers have been looking for since Philip Rivers went to the Colts. Herbert has completed over 68% of his passes and has thrown for 9 touchdowns and nearly 300 yards per game since becoming the starter under center. I think Herbert will get his first career win off a Bye against a bad Jaguars team. Chargers win 30-14.

Seahawks at Cardinals

The Cardinals usually give the Seahawks a tough battle. But Seattle is coming off a Bye Week, and the Cardinals haven’t really beaten anyone great this year. I guess their win in Week 1 against the 49ers is a solid win. But their other three wins this season are against teams with a combined of 3-15, and their loss to the Lions was real ugly.

The Cardinals are 4-2, but I can’t quite figure them out yet. Kyler Murray is definitely someone who can win you big games, but Russell Wilson has been playing like an MVP this year.

This game was originally not supposed to be the Sunday Night game, but I think it works out because this will be a good one to watch. I like Seattle in a close one, and to stay undefeated. Seahawks win 24-20.

Bears at Rams (Monday Night)

The Bears defense has been really impressive. My question is, however, will their offense be able to keep up with the Rams? Maybe they will, but I think the story here will actually be the Rams defense. I think they give Nick Foles just enough trouble to pull out a close win. Los Angeles rebounds in a big way. Rams win 24-16.

Enjoy the games!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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