NFL Picks - Week 7

Sunday Morning
Los Angeles Rams @ Atlanta
The Rams' offense was in shambles last Sunday against the 49ers, to the extent that Jared Goff threw for only 78 yards. The team as a whole only gained 147. While the San Francisco D deserves plenty of credit, it’s clear that something is wrong with the Rams. “I believe we could be of some assistance ...” said the Falcons. Atlanta’s defense has allowed more points per game than any team whose name doesn’t rhyme with Miami Dolphins. So if the Rams are looking to get back on track this is the perfect opportunity. In fact, the next three games on LA’s schedule (@ ATL, CIN, @ PIT) are extremely winnable, so it’s very possible they’ll be 6-3 in no time. Either that or they’ll lose all those, sending the franchise into a tailspin that results in the demolition of their new stadium and a move back to St. Louis. So it’s a pivotal stretch for the Rams here. 

Rams 31-24

Miami @ Buffalo
I predicted a tie in last week’s Washington/Miami game, and the Dolphins were an extra point away from forcing overtime. Instead they decided to go for two, and after a horribly executed attempt they lost by one. Honestly though I’m surprised Miami didn’t just have Ryan Fitzpatrick take a knee. Who are we kidding? You don’t really want to win that game against one of your primary #1 draft pick rivals, so don’t insult our intelligence. Just kneel, jog off the field, and have the Jumbotron operator display a message for the fans that reads, “We’re doing this for your own good. You’ll thank us later.” The Bills opened as 17 point favorites for this game. The Bills have only scored more than 17 points in two of their five games this season. Add this to the seemingly never ending list of stats that point to the 2019 Dolphins being one of the worst teams of all time. But of course, they still have 11 games to lose, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. After last Sunday’s near-win wake-up call I expect a rededication to miserable play from this Miami squad.

Bills 24-6

Jacksonville @ Cincinnati 
The Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams on Tuesday, and I have to say they made a killing. Two first round picks for a guy with a bad back? I know Rams are fleeced on a regular basis, but this is next level. And now that Jacksonville has rid itself of the albatross that is Jalen Ramsey they can soar unfettered into the NFL’s stratosphere. Or at least they’ll probably be able to beat the Bengals on Sunday. Even if for some reason they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. The end of their season? Yes, but not the end of the world. 

Jaguars 20-16

Minnesota @ Detroit
With each game played in Minneapolis it becomes clearer that the Vikings are much better at home. In fact, they’ve won their three games there by an average of 18 points. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they’re not playing at home this week, so a W isn’t automatic. Meanwhile, every Lions game this season has been decided by 4 points or less. Sounds like a recipe for a tight contest this Sunday. And judging from Minnesota’s juicy Lucy and Detroit style pizza that recipe will also include cheese on the inside. What exactly does that mean for a football game? That the players will have a bunch of Kraft singles shoved down their pants, of course. While that may make for a foul stench on the field it shouldn’t negatively affect the game play. I think Detroit will be the more desperate team and pull this one out. The more difficult part will be pulling the melted cheese out of their pants.

Lions 23-20

Oakland @ Green Bay
In retrospect it was probably a mistake for me to put the Lions game this close to the Packers, Detroit’s going to get flagged for illegal hands to the face again. The Packers were gifted a win on Monday on the strength of two incorrect penalty calls and now remain atop the NFC North at 5-1. But does that scare the Raiders? Hell naw! Oakland is 3-2 after actually impressive wins over the Colts and Bears, moving them in a troubling direction to where they may no longer be easy fodder for goofing. And since, in my book, that’s the most important asset an NFL team can have I sincerely hope they start to sputter again. 

Packers 27-17

Houston @ Indianapolis 
After an up and down start to the season the Texans’ offense has finally strung together two outstanding performances and enter this game coming off of a momentum-building win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. “Hey, us too!” said the Colts. Indy won in KC two weeks ago and felt so pleased with themselves that they decided to take Week 6 off. Sure, it was also mandated by their schedule, but I have a feeling they would’ve chillaxed anyway. Whoever wins this game will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC South, while the loser will ... still be in pretty decent shape. Let’s face it, there just aren’t that many good teams in the AFC, so even if the Colts wind up at 3-3 after this one I still think they have a good shot at being a wild card team. Assuming they stop taking weeks off that is, because from now on that would result in a forfeit. 

Texans 27-24

Arizona @ New York Giants
The Cardinals looked destined for their second tie of the season last week as they generously allowed the Falcons to storm back from 17 points down to nearly tie the game before Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant missed a late extra point, resulting in a one point loss. The Falcons really shot themselves in the foot, but that’s not too surprising considering the game was played in Glendale, and Arizona is an open carry state. This week the Cardinals play in New Jersey, where I’m pretty sure there are no guns, so perhaps they can avoid self-inflicted wounds. This game features two rookie quarterbacks though, so it’s stands to reason we could see things get zany. Just how zany? You’ll have to tune in to find out. But if the phrase “backwards touchdown” interests you at all, you won’t want to miss it.

Giants 31-26

San Francisco @ Washington 
The Niners have rounded into one of the top defenses in the league, while Washington has unraveled into one of the worst offenses in the football. Notice I didn’t specify a league there. After this game Washington goes to Minnesota and Buffalo so it’s entirely possible that they won’t reach a combined double-digit point total over the next three weeks. To make matters worse Washington was out-lousied in Miami last week and have now ceded an iron grip of the #1 pick in the draft to the Dolphins. So what’s left for them this season? I dunno, I guess they could try to win a few games. It likely won’t be possible until November though, so let’s check in with them then. Ok, fine I’ll still write about their games in the meantime, I know it would’ve broken your heart if I didn’t, and I always value the satisfaction of my reader(s?) above all else. 

49ers 22-3

Sunday Afternoon

Los Angeles Chargers @ Tennessee 
The Chargers hit rock bottom on Sunday night. They’re 2-4, so technically they’re not at the actual bottom of the league, but they are last in their division now, and they just lost to a team quarterbacked by someone named Devlin Hedges while their “home” stadium loudly rooted for the other team. This isn’t the first time the Chargers’ makeshift home field has been overrun by opposing fans, but with this game being played in prime time, it was certainly the most glaring example. It’s become cliche for teams to use the rallying cry of, “nobody believes in us except the guys in this locker room,” but with the Chargers it’s probably more true than ever, simply because I don’t think they have any fans left. It’s unclear who is supposed to like them. LA fans have already chosen the Rams, and any lingering San Diego supporters have hopefully cut ties by now. So really, nobody believes in them except for the guys in their locker room. But even they seem to be losing faith. Soon they’ll just be able to say “Literally NOBODY believes in us! Also, what’s the best spot to vacation in January?” That being said, they have to be able to beat Ryan Tannehill, right? Right?

Chargers 24-17 

New Orleans @ Chicago 
The Saints’ defense continues to step up in Drew Brees’s absence, and New Orleans keeps winning ugly. Meanwhile the Bears keep winning and losing ugly. So this game figures to be a first rate uggo. I’d take even odds that there will be more safeties than touchdowns. And with the type of pass rushers that both these squads trot out you’re gonna see more sacks here than in Santa’s sleigh! Though, scholars debate the amount of sacks Santa actually brings with him on Christmas Eve, with some arguing that it’s just one magical, bottomless satchel. Either way, my point is that there are going to be a ton of sacks in this game. I keep expecting the Saints to finally lose without Brees, but it just isn’t happening, so I’m convinced, they’ll never lose again. Unless Alvin Kamara can't play, then they're in trouble.

Saints 10-9

Baltimore @ Seattle 
This contest features three of the top eleven rushers in the NFL. Chris Carson (5th), Mark Ingram (11th), and !!!RECORD SCRATCH!!! Lamar Jackson (8th)?!? Huh? A quarterback?!? How can it be? That’s right, this QB can throw and run. Welcome to the future. Though, is it sustainable for a quarterback to run the ball that much? Time will tell. That’s kind of the deal with sustainability. In my season preview I theorized that Baltimore’s offensive strategy would result in Jackson being injured by November. Well, we’re a couple weeks out and he’s still looking quite spry. That being said, a lot can happen in a couple weeks. Like did you ever see the movie Troy? The whole Peloponnesian war took place within a fortnight. Of course I’m not hoping Jackson gets hurt, if anything I’m scared for him. If you run that much you’re bound to take some serious hits, and accumulate major wear and tear. One day you’re running down the field fancy-free, and the next your achilles is shot. Spoiler alert: that’s how Troy ended too. 

Seahawks 27-22

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Dallas 
It's a pivotal NFC East match-up, which of course means it will be on Sunday Night Football. Let's check-in with color commentator Cris Collinsworth to get some insight into this clash:
Now that's what I call a hot take.

Eagles 30-27

Monday Night

New England @ New York Jets
The Patriots' defense continues to stifle opponents. The 14 points they gave up last week to the Giants was actually well above their season average of 8. In fact, the defense itself has done even better than that. Of their opponents’ six touchdowns this season, three of them have come via the opposing defense or special teams, meaning New England’s D has only surrendered 3 TDs on the season, and a couple of FGs for a grand total of 27 points over the first six games. If you’re not near a calculator and are too lazy to do the mental math for yourself, that’s 4.5 points per game. And in case you don’t watch football and read this column strictly for its hilariosity and flawless prose, then first let me humbly thank you, and secondly assure you that 4.5 is not a lot of points for an NFL offense to score. The Pats took on the Jets about a month ago and New York’s O managed, well, O. That was without Sam Darnold, however, and you have to imagine he’ll be able to lead his group to, I don’t know, 10 points? Sure let’s go with 10. 

Patriots 23-10

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