Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass in the third quarter during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The time has come for our NFL picks and predictions for Week 7. Matt Verderame takes his best shot, which admittedly is weak sauce.
I’m not going to waste a damn second. Let’s get right into the picks to find out if I’ve truly turned the corner, or if I’m a complete fraud.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Green Bay (3-2) has looked average at best, but the Packers have to beat Chicago (1-5). A loss to the Bears and it’s time to panic in Titletown.
Pick: Green Bay 23, Chicago 17
New York Giants (-2.5) at Los Angeles Rams (London)
This is the latest episode in a consistent barrage to kill football in England. New York (3-3) and Los Angeles (3-3) are the definitions of average. Take the better quarterback.
Pick: New York 27, Los Angeles 24
Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
This is a very underrated and important AFC game. Jacksonville (2-3) has won a pair to get back in the race while Oakland (4-2) is looking to forget about its beating against the Chiefs. Can the Raiders go across the country and get back on track? Maybe, but it won’t be easy.
Pick: Oakland 31, Jacksonville 30
Buffalo Bills (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Buffalo (4-2) remains a team that has to prove plenty, but it should be able to win here. Miami (2-4) is not a good team, but it’s at least wearing those sweet throwbacks.
Pick: Buffalo 26, Miami 21
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
This is the kind of game Tennessee (3-3) has to win if it wants to compete in the AFC South. Indianapolis (2-4) is a reeling dumpster fire that should be contracted. Still, Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans. Tough to get past that.
Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks to pass the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. The Lions won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions (EVEN)
The week’s “Who the hell knows?” game. Washington (4-2) is a good team and Detroit (3-3) is average, but the Lions can score. At home, look for Matthew Stafford to throw for a ton of yardage. Is that enough to win? Could just be.
Pick: Detroit 28, Washington 24
New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)
Kansas City (3-2) is coming off its biggest win of the season and now goes home for the first time in nearly a month. New Orleans (2-3) has a great offense, but that won’t be enough in Arrowhead.
Pick: Kansas City 30, New Orleans 20
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-10)
Cincinnati (2-4) absolutely has to win. Cleveland (0-6) is barely a professional team. Still the Hue Jackson factor keeps this a close game until the fourth quarter.
Pick: Cincinnati 28, Cleveland 20
Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Everybody is looking for Minnesota (5-0) to stumble, and it will. But it won’t be this week. Philadelphia (3-2) is rolling with a rookie quarterback against the best defense in football. Not a great combination.
Pick: Minnesota 23, Philadelphia 13
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets (EVEN)
People with tickets to this game should buy a shredder, turn it on, insert tickets, look for shoulder to weep uncontrollable tears of joy onto. Congrats, the pain is over. Baltimore (3-3) and New York (1-5) need to be taken off television for a while.
Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game against the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 48-33. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) at San Francisco 49ers
If Tampa Bay (2-3) is going to push toward a playoff berth, the Buccaneers absolutely need to win this game. Meanwhile, San Francisco (1-5) is hurdling toward a draft choice that hopefully fixes this train wreck.
Pick: Tampa Bay 31, San Francisco 23
San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
Atlanta (4-2) almost beat the Seahawks and will be madder than hell this weekend. San Diego (2-4) is much better than the record indicates, but the Chargers don’t have the pass defense to win this game.
Pick: Atlanta 38, San Diego 28
New England Patriots (-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers
This should have been a great game. Instead, Pittsburgh (4-2) is starting Landry Jones. Landry Jones. Oh my God, Landry Jones. Against New England (5-1)? Somebody stop the fight.
Pick: New England 41, Pittsburgh 17
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-2)
This is a huge measuring stick for the Cardinals. Arizona (3-3) is a very talented team but the play hasn’t been good enough to this point. Seattle (4-1) is excellent, but does the offensive line keep Russell Wilson clean for a Super Bowl run?
Pick: Seattle 23, Arizona 20
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-7)
Have you seen Brock Osweiler? This is going to be a horror show in terms of quarterback play. Denver (4-2) has the better defense. The only for Houston (4-2) is if Osweiler shows up. Wouldn’t bet on it.