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WEEK 7: ELITE TEAM PICKS OF THE WEEK


October 20, 2016

After 6 weeks of the pro football play, the NFL has created so many surprises and failures already this season. The Vikings are undefeated with a quarterback not named Teddy Bridgewater. The Cowboys look like one of the most dominant teams in the NFL with two rookies running the offense. And teams like the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals are struggling mightily.

Chicago Bears (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)

The Packers offense looked really bad last week against the Dallas Cowboys, as Rodgers looked off and the Cowboys took advantage of 4+turnovers. The Packers previously stout run defense was run over by Ezekiel Elliot and will have to do a better job against rising star Jordan Howard. I’ll take the Packers to get back on track in a HUGE way at home under the lights. The Packers team is incredibly injured, but I expect Rodgers to explode on Thursday.

Green Bay Packers 37 Chicago Bears 20

New York Giants (3-3) at Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

The Giants got the job done in a 27-23 victory last week over Baltimore and Odell Beckham Jr. absolutely took over the game, and may have (successfully?) got engaged to a kicking net. The Rams, lost a heartbreaker at Ford Field in a game they probably should have won. Keenum looks good but needs to clean up his mistakes. Manning and OBJ take over once again in this road victory.

New York Giants 27 Los Angeles Rams 21

Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (3-3)

The Colts had the game in control on SNF last week at Houston but lost in choking fashion in overtime. If they let DeMarco Murray run wild this week, I don’t think that Andrew Luck and Co. have enough firepower to capture the W on the road.

Tennessee Titans 20 Indianapolis Colts 17

New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)

The Saints needed 465 yards from Drew Brees and all 41 points to outduel the Carolina Panthers last week. The Chiefs, on the other hand, took care of business on the road last weekend in Oakland as Spencer Ware had a quality performance in Jamaal Charles’ return. I think the Chiefs will be able to score on this lackluster defense while holding up against Brees.

Kansas City Chiefs 23 New Orleans Saints 13

Minnesota Vikings (5-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)

The Vikings defense is probably the best overall unit in the league, and they have the benefit of a week of rest when they take on Philly on Sunday. The Eagles weren’t able to control Kirk Cousins and the Redskins last week, ceding 135 on the ground to Matt Jones. I just don’t think a shaky offense like the Eagles will have the consistency to get going against the Purple and Gold.

Minnesota Vikings 19 Philadelphia Eagles 14

Cleveland Browns (0-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)

The Browns almost captured their first win this year when they came within two points of the Titans. Cody Kessler looked like he belonged as an NFL starter for the second week in a row. The Bengals only could muster half the score of the Pats last week and looked quite bad on defense. I think this game comes down to which defense can limit more mistakes. I thin Kessler finally gets the Browns a win, and will be even sweeter on the road against their in-state rivals.

Cleveland Browns 24 Cincinnati Bengals 10

Washington Redskins (4-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)

Both of these teams’ offenses looked locked in last week as their passing games showed out well. While Washington has looked a little better recently, I think the Lions capture a second straight win at home behind 3 TO’s and 2 Matthew Stafford passing touchdowns.

Detroit Lions 23 Washington Redskins 17

Oakland Raiders (4-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)

Oakland’s offense looked as useless as it has all season as they were unable to get the ground game going in Latavius Murray’s absence. The Jags were able to pull away late from Chicago behind a very good defensive showing. I think the Raiders are the better team, and pull of a close W.

Oakland Raiders 21 Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Buffalo Bills (4-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-4)

The Bills absolutely destroyed the 49ers behind 4 LeSean McCoy touchdowns and a suffocating defense. Jay Ajayi put up a similar dominant rushing performance as Jay Ajayi put up 204 rushing yards and scored twice. The Dolphins were able to accomplish this against a tired and injured Steelers’ defense. I think the Bills will fare better.

Buffalo Bills 26 Miami Dolphins 20

Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at New York Jets (1-5)

The Ravens lost a third straight game last week as they fell to the Giants in the Big Apple after playing with a frequently exposed secondary. The Jets weren’t able to produce a touchdown on Monday night and handed over the starting duties to Geno Smith this week. I think the Ravens give the flawed new starter problems and are able to amass enough scores to win here.

Baltimore Ravens 21 New York Jets 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (1-5)

The Buccaneers had a bye last week, which was much needed after an embarrassing week 5 loss. The 49ers were equally embarrassed last week and their defense was greatly exposed after losing star linebacker Navarro Bowman for the season. I foresee an excellent rushing performance by both Colin Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde in a must win home game for San Francisco.

San Francisco 49ers 22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

San Diego Chargers (2-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2)

The Chargers were able to pull off the victory versus the division-leading Denver Broncos last Thursday behind big games from young offensive players Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry. The Falcons momentum was cut short after a pass interference miscall cost them the game in Seattle last week. I think the Birds will be able to take care of business at home, however.

Atlanta Falcons 30 San Diego Chargers 24

New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

The Patriots look the same old Patriots with #12 behind center after he and Gronkowski showed Cincy who was boss last week in Brady’s return to Gillette. The Steelers will be without Roethlisberger this week in what may be a blowout home loss.

New England Patriots 35 Pittsburgh Steelers 9

Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)

The Seahawks got lucky last week against Atlanta and will have to improve their play this week after the Cards picked up a second straight win behind 3 David Johnson touchdowns. This game will be a slugfest, and will likely come down to which signal caller performs better.

Arizona Cardinals 20 Seattle Seahawks 17

Houston Texans (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-2)

The Texans pulled off a miraculous 4th quarter comeback last week and got the victory in overtime against the Colts while Denver lost a second straight game after an underwhelming showing from Trevor Siemian. While this game is at Mile High, I like the Texans to continue on this momentous offensive showings and another commanding Lamar Miller game.

Houston Texans 23 Denver Broncos 19

Byes: Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers