Week 7 Predictions for the 2014 NFL Season
A few wild finishes in Miami and Cincinnati on Sunday I'm sure had fans on the edge of their seat. The 'Fins-Packers game certainly had me on the edge. I chose Green Bay to win on the ESPN Streak for the Cash game (currently my streak is at 6). Last Thursday's game was a pretty good game compared to the others we have seen. We'll see what happens in what should be another exciting week in the NFL.
Bye: Eagles, Buccaneers
Jets @ Patriots: It will be tough to watch this game in its entirety after what was a pretty good game last Thursday. What started out was a close game for the Patriots on Sunday ended in a fifteen point victory. The Jets led the Broncos for a quarter and had a chance to tie the game late but didn't prevail. It is unfortunate for New England to lose Steven Ridley and Jerod Mayo for the season. Both players were having good seasons but the Mayo absence will have a greater affect. Divisional games are normally close and I think this one will be closer than what some will think especially with Mayo out and if Browner, Easley, and Hightower can't go. The Jets will get to the endzone a few times but another Geno Smith turnover will seal their fate.
Falcons @ Ravens: Atlanta is coming off a loss at home and are entering another away game where they have been outscored 95-58 on the road. Baltimore has owned the NFC South this season and there is no reason that they won't succeed against the struggling Falcons. Expect the Ravens to put up at least 35 points in their home turf. Baltimore is looking to contend in the AFC North with a victory here.
Titans @ Redskins: This game between two struggling teams is probably the most trickiest to figure out. It will also be the toughest to watch. Aren't we bound for a Kirk Cousins rebirth soon? This would be an opportune time since they are at home and Robert Griffin will soon be back starting again. Both defenses are just a few spots within each other in yards sacrificed through the air, but Tennessee ranks worse (Top-5) in rushing yards allowed. The desperation for that second win is there for Washington and I think a good game will be called offensively for them to win. Whitehurst is having a good season while filling in for Locker and he will continue to play well for this game.
Seahawks @ Rams: Can't really explain the offensive penalty that was called on Jared Cook. The Rams had a chance to extend the lead but that call allowed San Francisco to score before the end of the 1st half. That call changed the game on Monday night. Seattle also suffered a bad loss, a loss that caused 'Hawks Doug Baldwin's frustration on the sidelines and to reporters after the game. Both losses do hurt for these teams, but Seattle will bounce back in this game with authority. The Rams defensive line, as some of us know, aren't living up to their potential. Enter Marshawn Lynch and Seattle's defense to be very productive.
Browns @ Jaguars: I'm pretty sure some fans had this game circled in anticipation to see Johnny Manziel. Maybe next year or at least when the season is drawing to a close, because Cleveland is playing well. The 2-point loss to Tennessee last week was the closest point margin for the Jaguars this season. Offensively, they haven't done much this entire season but the last couple of games the defense held their own. A similar situation with the Browns in the sense that their offense has been playing well this season while the defense haven't had a good game until this past week. This will be an entertaining game nonetheless. The Alex Mack injury will prove an issue early, but I think Hoyer and the offense will prove something in this game.
Bengals @ Colts: Regardless of the missed field goal the Bengals are still on top of their division, but they should keep a watchful eye behind them. In the beginning of the season, the defense was playing their best and only allowed 33 total points in three games. Now they seemed to slip where they gave up 80 points the past two weeks. Now the Colts haven't been nearly as perfect on offense--Andrew Luck has turned the ball over eight times this season with inclusion to that costly fumble last Thursday that brought Houston back into it. That has to change. Dalton will have to rely on the Bernard-Hill alliance for this game to catch up on the scoreboard with Green out again.
Vikings @ Bills: Vikings gave up eight sacks last week to a team that leads the league in sacks. Buffalo is tied for second in that category and they are also the best in the league in terms of rushing yards per game (67.5). However, the Bills passing defense is in the bottom 10, giving up 269.2 yards per game. The Vikings will look to throw in this game but with their offensive line not playing well at all, it will look to get messy for Bridgewater. Minnesota's passing defense isn't a slouch either who are ranked in the top-13 in sacks, passing yards per game and completion percentage. Turn away if you are expecting lots of points because it will be a defensive battle.
Dolphins @ Bears: I think the momentum is there for both teams despite the fact that Miami gave up a last second touchdown last week to Green Bay. The defensive line for the 'Fins will put pressure on Cutler but will have a nightmare in the secondary going up against a great pair of receivers for the second straight week. Like Cutler, Tannehill has had issues turning the ball over. Chicago has done great so far stopping the run and it won't be an issue for this game. They don't have to worry about Julio Jones or Roddy White suiting up for Miami.
Saints @ Lions: With Calvin Johnson and Jimmy Graham out for this game, the offensive fireworks won't happen. You can hear the sigh of relief for the score board operator. The running game hasn't been there for Detroit this season and that will have to change. My guess is that New Orleans made adjustments to their defense during the bye week. They can't be consistently bad for the whole season. Detroit's defense meanwhile might not need to make adjustments anytime soon with the way they've been playing lately.
Panthers @ Packers: Carolina gives up 5.5 yards per rushing attempt which is the league's worse. This will give Eddie Lacy a chance to record 100-yards rushing for the second time this season. Overall, the Panthers defense hasn't been great. Green Bay isn't that great at defending the run either and will have to go up against Cam Newton, who will break for a few runs. There is still Aaron Rodgers so you can't argue with that if things get sour.
Chiefs @ Chargers: Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, in his professional coaching career, has posted a 13-2 record for games that follow a bye week. Now granted, the two recent losses were inflicted the last two seasons; last season against the Broncos (3 losses that season) and in 2012 with the Eagles that were just plain awful that year. San Diego shouldn't be happy that they barely squeaked out a win last week which will give reason to believe that Kansas City will be able find a few kinks that will help them get the win.
Cardinals @ Raiders: With Oakland playing a close game last week, it caught Bruce Arians and the rest of the Arizona team. There won't be any surprises here, but I still think that Derek Carr will play like he did last week. The Cardinal's run defense will force Oakland to be one-dimensional which will prove costly at some point against this secondary. Carson Palmer will also have something to say against his former team.
Giants @ Cowboys: The Giants weren't themselves in that blowout loss last week in Philly which should not be a concern here. The NFC East divisional games, especially this one, are always fun to watch and normally end at the last minute. Enter Odell Beckham Jr. who will now take Victor Cruz's spot after his season-ending injury. Dallas is coming off probably the biggest win in the last 19 years. The quarterback duel down in Jerry World won't disappoint. The Giants run defense will prove New York's fate however.
49ers @ Broncos: We would have seen these two teams square off in the Super Bowl two seasons in a row if certain plays hadn't/have gone a particular way. That was the past, this is now. Will we see these teams face off in Glendale in February? Most likely but that will have to be determined as the season goes on. San Francisco's secondary will have their hands full with Denver's receivers. The depth they've showed on defense has done well while players were out because of suspension or injury. With Patrick Willis out for the game, they won't skip a beat. Denver's backfield consisting of Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson won't be of any concern. Defensively, the Bronco's will have to focus on Colin Kaepernick who has been playing great thus far. Kaepernick, with his duel-threat capabilities, also has a few weapons of his own. The "who would you rather face" question will be answered and it will give us the Sunday Night game that we finally have been waiting to see.
Texans @ Steelers: J.J Watt is tied with the Steelers defense with two defensive touchdowns. Houston itself has allowed 456 total yards in two consecutive games. How about that? Both defenses will strive to make an improvement after last week so it will be a low-scoring game. Unlike the lack of running they faced last week, Houston will face a tough duo in Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. Thankfully for Pittsburgh, they are at home with the terrible towel on Monday night and will face Houston's average offense.
BONUS: No description here but I think Notre Dame will beat FSU on Saturday.