In Week 6, it finally seems that the “favored” teams ended up winning a majority of the games they played. Unfortunately, I decided to pick the wrong end of a lot of close matchups, and I ended the week going a pedestrian 7-7. It seems like a lot of the Week 7 games have a team that is clearly superior to the other, but that doesn’t always stop me from having a bad week.
For my Week 7 Power Rankings, click here. To check out Joshua Huffman’s awesome 2010 NFL Pick ‘Em Contest, click here.
Last week’s prediction record: 7-7
Record on the season: 42-32
Upset Special record: 3-2
Here are my predictions for Week 7 of the 2010 NFL season:
Bye Week Teams: New York Jets (5-1), Houston Texans (4-2), Indianapolis Colts (4-2), Detroit Lions (1-5)
Cleveland Browns (1-5) at New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Colt McCoy had a decent game in his NFL debut, completing 69.6% of his passes for one touchdown and two interceptions against a very good Pittsburgh defense. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns, they’re starting to get banged up, with Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme possibly still out for Week 7 and the status of Josh Cribbs up in the air after he left Week 6’s game after taking a big hit. The New Orleans Saints rolled over Tampa Bay, and they should be able to crush the Browns playing at home in the Superdome.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: New Orleans Saints defeat Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
The Chiefs are riding a two game losing streak, but have still played extremely well and are a couple of breaks away from being 4-1 or even 5-0. The Jaguars looked like they were turning their season around before suffering a horrible loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night. The Jaguars are going to struggle against a very good Chiefs defense, especially if David Garrard isn’t able to play and they have to turn back to Trent Edwards.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills (0-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
The Buffalo Bills have played better after dumping Trent Edwards as their QB, but they aren’t going to win playing on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco, Sidney Rice and the rest of the Ravens offense should be able to feast on the Bills defense and this one could be over by halftime.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Baltimore Ravens defeat Buffalo Bills
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
Outside of their blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons offense hasn’t been spectacular this season. The Cincinnati Bengals, however, have arguably been even worse on offense, with Carson Palmer being unable to take advantage of having a pretty good wide receiver corps featuring Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. The Falcons are going to be play with a purpose after the beating they received from the Eagles last week.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Atlanta Falcons defeat Cincinnati Bengals
Washington Redskins (3-3) at Chicago Bears (4-2)
The Chicago Bears are in trouble. Their defense wasn’t able to solve Seattle’s offense in Week 6 and Jay Cutler only completed 43% of his passes a week after backup Todd Collins threw four interceptions. The Redskins have their own QB problems, with Donovan McNabb posting a pedestrian 78.8 passer rating through six games. The Bears are always a tough team to beat when they’re playing at home at Soldier Field, and I suspect Cutler will bounce back from his poor post-concussion performance.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Chicago Bears defeat Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) at Tennessee Titans (4-2)
Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans are coming off big victories. The Eagles saw Kevin Kolb have a terrific game in place of the injured Michael Vick. The Titans steamrolled the Jacksonville Jaguars despite losing Vince Young in the first half. The x-factor in this game is going to be the expected absence of star receiver Desean Jackson for the Eagles.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Tennessee Titans defeat Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Ben Roethlisberger led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a victory in his first week back from a suspension. Although it’s likely that he’ll hear a lot more boos (and unsavory comments) playing on the road, the Steelers are the superior team in this matchup. Even if Roethlisberger struggles, it’ll be nothing compared to Miami Dolphins QB Chad Henne trying to find success against the Pittsburgh defense.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Miami Dolphins
St. Louis Rams (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) **Upset Special**
The St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers combined to go 4-28 last season. The Rams have tripled their win total from 2009 with the surprisingly good play of rookie QB Sam Bradford. The Buccaneers have equaled their 2009 win total with the good play of second-year QB Josh Freeman. All three of St. Louis’ wins have come at home. Both of Tampa Bay’s two blowout losses came at home, but against vastly superior teams. The Rams and Buccaneers match up well, but I’m going to go with the team that’s coming off a win.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: St. Louis Rams defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Francisco 49ers (1-5) at Carolina Panthers (0-5)
This was almost a matchup of 0-5 teams, but the San Francisco 49ers were able to pull off a win in Week 6 against the Raiders. The 49ers have the potential to be a decent team, but they’ve undermined themselves with poor clock management and a slew of inopportune turnovers. That being said, they’re better than the Panthers, who have been the poster-boys for ineptitude this season. San Francisco should be able to expand on the momentum of their first win of the season and get their first winning streak of the season.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: San Francisco 49ers defeat Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
Believe it or not, the Cardinals and Seahawks are tied for the division lead in the NFC West. I don’t trust either team to keep winning, but since I have to choose, I’m going to go with the home team.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Seattle Seahawks defeat Arizona Cardinals
Oakland Raiders (2-4) at Denver Broncos (2-4)
The Denver Broncos are tied with the Oakland Raiders (and San Diego Padres) at the bottom of the AFC West. The Broncos, however, seem to be playing much better football than the Raiders, with Kyle Orton still on pace to break the single season record for most passing yards in a season. The Raiders, meanwhile, are coming off a loss to San Francisco that saw QB Jason Campbell complete only 34% of his passes for 83 yards and no touchdowns. Denver may not be among the NFL’s elite (despite Orton trying his hardest), but they are a better team than the Raiders.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Denver Broncos defeat Oakland Raiders
New England Patriots (4-1) at San Diego Chargers (2-4)
Normally, a matchup of the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers would be a potential playoff preview of two of the AFC’s top teams. This year, it’s a matchup between a playoff hopeful that has been inconsistent this season (Patriots) playing against a team that’s trying their hardest to play their way out of a playoff spot (Chargers). Both of San Diego’s wins have come at home, but they’ll have to play extremely well to beat this New England squad.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: New England Patriots defeat San Diego Chargers
Minnesota Vikings (2-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-3)
Every time Brett Favre returns to Lambeau Field, the fans are at least guaranteed an entertaining game. The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a close fought victory against the Dallas Cowboys, but still don’t look like the team that made the NFC Championship game last season. The Green Bay Packers are coming off an overtime loss to the Dolphins, but don’t look like the team many people (myself included) thought could make the Super Bowl this season. It’s going to be a close one, but I’m going to give the edge to the home team, even if they are still reeling from a string of injuries.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: Green Bay Packers defeat Minnesota Vikings
Monday Night Game: New York Giants (4-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-4)
The Giants have rebounded from their 1-2 start by reeling off three straight victories, including wins against the surprisingly good Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. The Dallas Cowboys have rebounded from their 1-2 start…by losing two more games. The Cowboys have played some of the most undisciplined football that I have ever seen from a team with this much talent. It seems like any week now the Cowboys are going to turn things around, but eventually everyone is going to have to accept the fact that Dallas might not be a playoff team this year.
2010 Week 7 Prediction: New York Giants defeat Dallas Cowboys
All stats and standings from espn.com