I went 11-4 last week. After several weeks in the row of mediocre records picking these games, I bounced back and has a very solid week. My season record improves to 64-53. I am not as good as the Eagles are, but that is still a solid win-loss record when picking every game every week. I got to 11-4 last week by trusting my gut and making bold picks like Raiders over the Chiefs. This should theoretically get easier going forward as seven weeks into the season, we can start to see trends. The obvious trend continues to be the Jaguars winning on odd weeks and losing on even weeks. I am still undefeated when picking for the Eagles, which I should be since they are the team I am most familiar with. There are six teams on bye this week. The Cardinals, Packers, Giants, Rams, Jaguars, and Titans all get a week off. Good for the Jaguars, that they get an even week off. Maybe they can string two wins together in a row.
Dolphins(4-2) vs Ravens (3-4)
The Dolphins offense actually looked better without Jay Cutler. I am not a Matt Moore fan. He is an average QB, better off as a backup, who will eventually be exposed as a starter. But he is still an upgrade over Jay Cutler. Meanwhile, the Ravens offense still looked awful with Joe Flacco. One of many teams who couldn’t score an offensive touchdown, the Ravens offense is a car wreck. I do not think the Dolphins are real contenders. They are a middle of the road team with a good record because of their schedule so far, but this is another winnable game for them that they should take.
Dolphins 24- Ravens 16
49ers(0-7) at Eagles(6-1)
Some will want to call this a trap game, but I don’t see it. The Eagles had what could have been a trap game against the Cardinals, going into a short week against the Panthers, and dominated. Good coaching prevents trap games, and the Eagles are well coached. The 49ers are coming off their worst game of the season, and I do not see it getting better on the road against the best team in the NFL. Eagles continue to roll.
Eagles 34- 49ers 13
Vikings(5-2) at Browns(0-7)
The Viking’s ceiling is limited with Case Keenum at QB. Keenum is serviceable, but he is not a long-term starter. Still, there is so much talent around him, that they should still make the playoffs, with a good record. Meanwhile, the Browns are a disaster. From the top to the bottom, almost nothing is working. Who would have thought that bringing in a baseball guy wouldn’t work? It is a shame because it will set analytics back in the NFL because people will associate it with this embarrassing franchise who do not have the slightest idea how to evaluate NFL talent. I will remind everyone again, they choose to pass on Carson Wentz, because to them, he was not a “top 20 guy.” Vikings win.
Vikings 31- Browns 10
Falcons(3-3) at Jets(3-4)
Speaking of embarrassments, let’s talk Falcons. This is proof of how important a good offensive coordinator is. Not even great players can make a bad offensive gameplan work. And the gameplan Sarkisian has drawn up this year for the Falcons is awful. Gone are the deep plays that got them to the Super Bowl last year. In, are short throws that do not give players chance to get yards after the catch. The Jets are not great, but even they have a better offense right now.
Jets 27- Falcons 20
Raiders(3-4) at Bills(4-2)
The Raiders offense found new life last week. If they play like that going forward they have a chance to win any game. I think it is for real. It took a while, but this is closer to the real Raiders offense than the one we saw the four prior weeks. The Bills continue to be very solid. They almost blew the game against Tampa but made plays when they had to, the way good teams do. I think this is a close game, that the Raiders win.
Raiders 28- Bills 24
Bears(3-4) at Saints(4-2)
Lost in the Panthers upset of the Panthers, was how bad the offense looked. The offense scored only three points all game. They had only five first downs and only 153 yards as a team. This is not an offense that can keep up with the Saints. The Saints defense is not great, but it makes plays, and it gets stops when it has to. That was what the Saints defense was like when they won the Superbowl. With Drew Brees at QB, you are going to score points. The Saints just need to make plays on defense in big spots, and they can win games.
Saints 30- Bears 17
Chargers(3-4) at Patriots(5-2)
I really want to pick the Chargers here. My gut is begging me to do it. The Chargers have been playing well. The defense is getting better every week, and they are on a three-game winning streak. Something about this matchup tells me Chargers. But, logic tells me to take the Patriots. When my gut is this strong, I usually trust it, but the logic to not bet against the Patriots is near flawless.
Patriots 27- Chargers 21
Colts(2-5) at Bengals(2-4)
The Colts, another team that couldn’t get an offensive touchdown this past week. Jacoby Brissett was sacked 10 times. They have just been run so poorly the past few years. There is very little talent on this team outside the QB position, and the coaching staff does nothing with the talent they have. The Bengals are not a good team, but even they should beat this team.
Bengals 17- Colts 10
Panthers(4-3) at Buccaneers(2-4)
Both of these teams are hard to predict. Both are so capable of playing great, but both more often than not, flounder. If Cam shows up to this game, the Panthers will win, but Cam is the most inconsistent QB in NFL history. Like I said in the power rankings, he is the cause of all their success and the root of all their failures. Winston seems to put up numbers even when he has a bad game. The Buccaneers issues are they always blow games when they have chances to win. Against New England, it was missed field goals. Against the Bills, it was untimely turnovers and the inability to get a stop when it mattered. I think the Panthers win this one, but I am not very confident.
Panthers 32- Buccaneers 28
Texans(3-3) at Seahawks(4-2)
The Seahawks are getting better. They still have one glaring hole, and that is the offensive line. However, the Texans injury plagued pass rush keeps them from exposing that flaw. With JJ Watt playing, they could win this game. Without him, I have a hard time seeing it. This Seahawks defense will give the rookie QB DeShaun Watson a tough time.
Seahawks 24- Texans 13
Cowboys(3-3) at Washington(3-3)
The Cowboys need a statement win. They have had three chances so far and lost all three of them. In fact, both these teams desperately need to win this game. The Eagles are pulling away in the NFC East. If Washington loses, their chances of winning the division evaporate. It would make them 0-3 in the division and 3-4 overall. The Cowboys, if they lose, would fall three games behind the Eagles. This game will decide who stays in the race, and who is put into desperation mode. Washington is beat up after their games with the Eagles, and even with Josh Norman coming back, they may not have enough to win.
Cowboys 27- Washington 24
Steelers(5-2) at Lions(3-3)
A lot of people are suddenly very high on the Steelers when they were calling them a disaster only two weeks ago. The Lions can be really good but lost two games in a row heading into the bye week. The Steelers do not really have much to lose, as they are a couple games ahead of everyone in the AFC North, with a win over all of them. The Lions have a ton to lose though. They are falling behind the Vikings. A desperate Lions team gets the win they need.
Lions 21- Steelers 16
Broncos(3-3) at Chiefs(5-2)
Two teams, both on a two-game losing streak, after starting out the season hot. The Chiefs, are more likely than the Broncos to turn it around. Their problem is poor play, not a lack of talent. The Broncos problem is their QB is just bad, and there is no easy fix to that. The Broncos go on to play the Eagles, and the Patriots, after this game, and their season may collapse very quickly. Chiefs bounce back.
Chiefs 20- Broncos 13