With backup quarterbacks coming into play, and rookies emerging as Pro-Bowl contenders, there are plenty of headlines heading into week seven of the NFL. I was able to reel in a 9-6 record last week, bringing my total to 54-38. With that being said, let’s take a look at who I have winning in this week’s NFL Pick ‘Em Series:
Chicago Bears (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
For The Bears: If you told me at the beginning of the season that Alshon Jeffery would have no touchdowns in the first six games of 2016, I would call you crazy. With the Bears ranked 31st in points per game, it’s no surprise to why they’ve only won one game this season.
For The Packers: I had the Packers losing last week in Lambeau to the Cowboys, and I turned out to be right on that one. Rodgers can’t seem to execute when needed, and now news has come out about Eddie Lacy not being able to start on Thursday. Expect Kniles Davis to be the lead back, but expect the game to be on the shoulders of Rodgers once again.
Prediction: Even without their starting running back, I’m going to stick with the Packers with a ten-point margin. I don’t believe in the Bears offense, and they’ll be in for an early first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
New York Giants (3-3) at Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
For The Giants: After a last-minute victory last week by the Giants, they do have a sense of momentum moving forward. Ranking third in passing yards per game, match ups will continue to pressure on the shoulders of Eli Manning to execute week-to-week.
For The Rams: A lot of individuals were expecting the Rams to start off worse than 3-3, myself included. The team has no star power, including Todd Gurley, who is currently averaging less than three yards per carry this season.
Prediction: I’m going to favor the Giants on the road in this one, simply because the Rams shouldn’t be favored in 95% of matchups moving forward.
New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
For The Saints: The team may be one of the best passing units in the league right now, but this defense has let the fans down tremendously. The franchise is ranked last in almost every catergory across the board, including points allowed per game.
For The Chiefs: There isn’t really anything special about the Chiefs this year, unless you count the fact that their offense and defense aren’t horrible compared to other franchises. With Alex Smith throwing 40% of his touchdowns to Travis Kelce, the wide receivers will eventually grow impatient.
Prediction: I like the Chiefs at home in this one, just because Jamal Charles is finally getting back into the groove of things, averaging 3.6 ypc.
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (3-3)
For The Colts: Much like the Saints, Andrew Luck is continuing to be let down by his defense. The team allows 110+ rushing yards per game, as well as nearly 300 passing yards.
For The Titans: While many expected the running game to be the most improved aspect for the Titans, the real shocker is this defense, as they’ve ranked top 10 in both total yards allowed per game, as well as rushing yards allowed.
Prediction: While I do think this will be a close one, I’m going to favor the Titans at home. Andrew Luck has been great, but Mariota will be able to edge him out in the second half.
Minnesota Vikings (5-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
For The Vikings: As the last undefeated team in the league, the Vikings are proving once again that defense is what matter most. The offensive unit is dragging them down a bit, but this defense is potentially the best in the business.
For The Eagles: Carson Wentz will finally be able to debut against an elite defense, as he defends home field against Minnesota. The team has been a rollar coaster this season, but it’ll be interesting to see which Eagles unit shows up on Sunday.
Prediction: I find Wentz to be a bit overrated by the media, so I’m going to go with the Vikings in a low-scoring battle.
Cleveland Browns (0-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
For The Browns: Is there much to say? The only bright spots for the Browns have been Terrelle Pryor (who’s hurt), and their running game. It’s going to take a lot for this team to win even 3-4 games in 2016.
For The Bengals: After the Bengals found themselves in a 2-4 hole, it’s safe to say this this game at home may be a must-win situation to keep their playoff chances alive.
Prediction: I’m locking in with the Bengals this week, but on the bright side, Cleveland fans can root for the Indians in the World Series.
Washington Redskins (4-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)
For The Redskins: Cousins has looked sloppy so far, yet he ranks in the top five for passing yards per game. This is a roster that’s close to first in the NFC East, and a win would be a huge momentum boost.
For The Lions: What’s weird is that wether it turns out to be a win or a loss, the Lions always seem to play for the tie. They’ve outscored opponents 129-128 on first downs, and only have a +/- TOP of +1:25.
Prediction: The Lions always seem to make games closer than they should be, but I’m going to take the Redskins, as they contend for the NFC East (for now).
Oakland Raiders (4-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
For The Raiders: Derek Carr has been lights out so far, yet the defense has not been able to hold its own in the team’s two losses. In order to make the postseason in a tough AFC conference, this defense needs to wake up.
For The Jaguars: After such an impressive 2015 debut from the improved offense, 2016 has looked like a mess for Jacksonville. Bortles hasn’t been great, and Ivory has been dealing with injuries along the way.
Prediction: This is a tough one, but I’m going to favor the Raiders on the road, simply because of the fact that Carr has been so great and this wide recover core of Cooper and Crabtree have followed through when needed.
Buffalo Bills (4-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-4)
For The Bills: Considered one of the hottest teams right now, the Bills have gone from starting 0-2, to a four-game winning streak to improve to 4-2. McCoy has looked like one of the best running backs in the game right now, and I would hate to be an upcoming opponent of Buffalo’s.
For The Dolphins: The Dolphins always seem to look solid on paper, but then week one sets in, and the team dissapoints. The season of 2016 has been no different, but my eyes are on Tannehill when it comes to blame.
Prediction: The Bills will ride this game with ease, as their win-streak will increase to five game, defeating the Dolphins on the road.
Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at New York Jets (1-5)
For The Ravens: The Ravens looked solid through week three, and then injuries started to cripple the team’s chances. With a lack of offensive weapons, it’s tough to predict a playoff spot will emerge for the Ravens down the road.
For The Jets: After yet another loss, news has come out that the Jets will move forward with Geno Smith as the starting quarterback on Sunday.
Prediction: Even though Smith has been proven to be less than impressive, I see the Jets racking in their second win of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (1-5)
For The Bucs: With Doug Martin undergoing setbacks when it comes to his injuries, the Bucs continue to struggle to follow through and lose games that they were within reach of.
For The 49ers: No one expected the 49ers to be special, but a 1-5 start? Colin Kaepernick will be the starter once again on Sunday, and this could be a game he grabs.
Prediction: I did say that Kaepernick could grab this game, but I don’t think he will be able to execute. The 49ers are too much of a mess, so I’ll take the Bucs on the road.
San Diego Chargers (2-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
For The Chargers: I didn’t think the Chargers would win last week, and that’s one I think everyone was wrong about. The Chargers still aren’t making the playoffs, but they’ve proven to be a team that is capable of winning games when it counts.
For The Falcons: I find the Falcons to be the best offensive unit as of now, but what’s helped is their quarterback play. Matt Ryan is looking like an early MVP candidate, and look for him to continue his hot streak.
Prediction: Clear-cut, I’m betting against the Chargers, and I’m taking the Falcons at home.
New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
For The Patriots: Is it possible for Brady to play any better than he has? This offensive unit is looking healthy, and the defense has been as solid as it’s going to get. It’s hard to bet against the Patriots moving forward, especially with the way they’ve been playing.
For The Steelers: This offensive unit is one of the best when healthy, but they aren’t aggressive enough on defense to be considered a legitimate threat. With no Big Ben, it’s going to be difficult for the Steelers to stay in contention.
Prediction: With no Roethlisberger, I’m betting on the Pats to win on the road. Even if he was healthy, I don’t think I can say the Steelers are good enough to beat them.
Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
For The Seahawks: Ranked as one of the most improved teams from week one until now, the Seahawks are starting to look like the team we saw back in 2014.
For The Cardinals: Once considered one of the most threatening teams in the NFC, the Cardinals haven’t lived up to their hype on either side of the football.
Predictions: Even though the Cardinals are favored by a couple points, I’m going to take the Seahawks with the upset on the late game.
Houston Texans (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-2)
For The Texans: The Texans are looking solid right now, but I’m not a buyer on Brock being a franchise quarterback until he beats this Denver roster.
For The Broncos: I’m not quite sure what to make out of the quarterback situation, but the team has one of the best defenses in the league, and that seems to be enough to win and go 4-2 to start.
Prediction: I think Brock will struggle on Monday night, so I’ll take the Broncos by a touchdown.