Week 7 NFL pick 'em
Last week was just about as unpredictable as it gets in the NFL. No excuses again, though, as I once again had a losing week. That just means I am due to get on a little bit of a roll, right?
Last week: 4-7
Total record thru weeks 4-6: 17-22
Jacksonville (-3.5) vs. Indianapolis
Leonard Fournette has not practiced all week and is questionable for this one, which means Blake Bortles might be pressed into throwing more than the Jags would like. The Colts do have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, though, so this might be a good matchup for him to have a nice performance. QB Jacoby Brissett has been quite good filling in for Andrew Luck, but this Jaguars secondary is better than most.
Pick: Jacksonville (-3.5)
Tennessee (-5.5) vs. Cleveland
Marcus Mariota looked very good in his return from injury, throwing for over 300 yards in a Monday night victory. The Titans are coming off a short week, but the Browns continue to struggle and make changes at the QB position. In this league, whenever that happens, it is not a good sign.
Pick: Tennessee (-5.5)
Minnesota (-5.5) vs. Baltimore
The Vikings are a solid football team, and the Ravens got pushed around against a lesser NFC North opponent at home last week. The Vikings are 3-1 at home and have a major opportunity to take control of the NFC North with a win and a Packers loss.
Pick: Minnesota (-5.5)
Miami (-3) vs. New York Jets
The Jets lost a touchdown last week against the Patriots on a strange call and lost by seven, as they went toe-to-toe with the Pats. They seem to be much better than people give them credit for, and they did beat up on Miami in week 3. Meanwhile, the Dolphins went into Atlanta and shocked the Falcons, one of several weird upsets last week. This game is going to stay close throughout and be an ugly, defensive battle.
Pick: New York Jets (+3)
New Orleans (-4.5) vs. Green Bay
Mike McCarthy and the entire Green Bay organization has been hyping up QB Brett Hundley all week, and there seems to be confidence that the 24-year-old can run the offense effectively. QB Drew Brees has been on fire as of late, and the Saints defense scored three defensive touchdowns last week in a wild affair against Detroit. It can easily be seen why very few people are giving the Packers a chance in this one. However, Green Bay's coaching staff does their best work when their backs are against the wall, and the forecast is calling for rain. The Saints are coming off an emotional roller-coaster of a game as well, so this seems like a good recipe for an upset.
Pick: Green Bay (+4.5)
Carolina (-3) vs. Chicago
Cam Newton plays better on the road than at home, and Carolina's elite rush defense is going to force Mitch Trubisky to drop back and throw the football. Former Bear Julius Peppers and that Carolina pass rush are going to be licking their chops.
Pick: Carolina (-3)
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) vs. Arizona (In London)
These London games are usually ugly, but Arizona's secondary is beat up a little bit. Jared Goff should have a nice performance.
Pick: Rams (-3.5)
Buffalo (-3) vs. Tampa Bay
A banged-up Jameis Winston is going to start for the Buccaneers, who are in danger of losing three in a row after a tough loss to Arizona last week. On the other sideline, the Bills are 3-2, coming off a bye, and playing their first home game since September 24th.
Pick: Buffalo (-3)
Dallas (-6) vs. San Francisco
The Cowboys have had to deal with a lot of off-the-field stuff since they last played two weeks ago. Whether it be the Jerry Jones anthem comments or the ongoing saga of Ezekiel Elliott vs. the NFL, it has not been a relaxing two weeks. The 49ers are 0-6, but they have not lost by more than three points in any of their last five games. With nothing to lose and a hyped-up environment (it will be "Dwight Clark Day" at Levi's Stadium), the 49ers keep this one close.
Pick: San Francisco (+6)
Pittsburgh (-5) vs. Cincinnati
Rivalry games are almost always highly competitive matchups, and this one will be no different. The Steelers are 4-2 and coming off a very nice win in Kansas City, while the Bengals are fresh coming off a bye week. Both defenses rank among the NFL's best, and both offenses have prolific play-making wide receivers (Antonio Brown and AJ Green). Le'Veon Bell and the Bengals have a bad history, which is something to watch.
Pick: Cincinnati (+5)
Seattle (-4.5) vs. New York Giants
Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson return to the place where they won a Super Bowl and thoroughly dominated a Manning-led offense. While they cannot win a Super Bowl this weekend, they will thoroughly dominate a Manning-led offense at MetLife (and win) once again.
Pick: Seattle (-4.5)
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) vs. Denver
I really do think that people are jumping off the Denver bandwagon far too quickly. Like we saw last week, anything can happen in the NFL on any given Sunday. The Broncos dropped a clunker against the Giants. It happens. The Chargers are the hot pick here, winning two close games in a row for the first time in (what seems like) forever. There are going to be plenty of Broncos fans at StubHub, and they will watch their team get back on track with a victory. My reasoning? Beware of the embarrassed team.
Pick: Denver (+1)
New England (-3) vs. Atlanta
Hey, did you know the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl? If not, I am sure you will be reminded of it early and often in this game. The Super Bowl rematch involves two teams that look anything but what they looked like a year ago. The Patriots defense has given up an astonishing 325 pass yards per game, which should spell good news for a struggling Atlanta offense. However, I just cannot see Belichick losing two primetime games at home in a seven week period.
Pick: New England (-3)
Philadelphia (-4.5) vs. Washington
The Eagles are the best team in football right now. The way this NFL season is going, though, they are due to have a hiccup or two soon. The Redskins have the revenge factor on their side too, as they look to avenge their week one loss at home to Philly.
Pick: Washington (+4.5)