Week 7 NFL Predictions

As we roll into week 7, Max is starting to dominate his predictions.

Week 7 NFL Predictions

Week six in the NFL was another great one. I went 9-5 on my predictions, bringing my record to 54-39 on the year. I picked two upsets correctly – the Jets over the Packers and the Patriots over the Browns. However, I missed on some upsets as well, most notably of which was when I picked the Saints to beat the Bengals. Cincinnati’s offense was better than I expected it to be, and the Bengals won 30-26. There were three upsets I didn’t pick, as the Steelers shocked the Buccaneers, the Falcons crushed the 49ers, and the Giants beat the Ravens. We’ll see if I can do better this week. Let’s get right to the week seven power rankings and predictions.

The celler dwellers:
#32. Carolina Panthers (1-5, 32)
#31. Houston Texans (1-3-1, 31)
#30. Chicago Bears (2-4, 30)
#29. Washington Commanders (2-4, 29)
The inconsistent, volatile teams:
#28. Detroit Lions (1-4, 27)
#27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4, 25)
#26. Arizona Cardinals (2-4, 20)
#25. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4, 28)
#24. Denver Broncos (2-4, 22)
#23. Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1, 21)
#22. Seattle Seahawks (3-3, 26)
#21. Atlanta Falcons (3-3, 23)
#20. Green Bay Packers (3-3, 13)
#19. Cleveland Browns (2-4, 16)
#18. New Orleans Saints (2-4, 18)
Potential playoff contenders:
#17. New York Giants (5-1, 24)
#16. New York Jets (4-2, 17)
#15. New England Patriots (3-3, 19)
#14. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4, 15)
#13. Los Angeles Rams (3-3, 14)
#12. Miami Dolphins (3-3, 12)
Serious playoff contenders:
#11. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2, 9)
#10. Minnesota Vikings (5-1, 11)
#9. Tennessee Titans (3-2, 10)
#8. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3, 8)
#7. Baltimore Ravens (3-3, 7)
Super Bowl contenders:
#6. San Francisco 49ers (3-3, 5)
#5. Dallas Cowboys (4-2, 6)
#4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3, 3)
#3. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0, 4)
The best of the best:
#2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2, 2)
#1. Buffalo Bills (5-1, 1)

Week seven predictions:

New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals:
Both of these teams have disappointed so far in 2022 as they come into this matchup with identical 2-4 records. This is probably a make or break game for both teams if they hope to get back into the playoff race. The Cardinals lost 19-9 to the Seahawks last week. I predicted Seattle to win, but I did not expect Arizona’s offense to struggle at all against a Seattle defense that had been pitiful prior to that matchup. The Saints put up a good fight against the Bengals last week, but their defense continued to struggle and New Orleans lost 30-26. The Cards lost receiver Marquise Brown to a foot injury last week, and he is expected to miss at least a month, but superstar DeAndre Hopkins will make his season debut this week after serving a six-game suspension to start the season. Arizona also acquired Robbie Anderson from the Panthers to help replace Brown. New Orleans’ defense has struggled as of lately, and I think the return of Hopkins will kickstart the Arizona offense at least a little bit. The Cardinals’ defense has surprisingly played well this year, and I think they will hold off the Saints’ offense just enough to pick up a close home win.
Prediction: Cardinals 26, Saints 23

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens:
Both of these teams come into this matchup struggling. Cleveland was dominated 38-15 by the Patriots last week, while the Ravens blew a 20-10 lead to the Giants and lost 24-20. The Browns have now lost three games in a row and the Ravens have lost two of their last three. Baltimore thoroughly outplayed New York through the first three quarters, out-gaining the G-men by nearly 250 yards, but they couldn’t hold on to their lead in the fourth quarter. This was the second time that Baltimore has blown a double digit lead in the second half this year after letting a 21-point lead slip away against the Dolphins back in week two. The Browns have problems closing games as well however, so the Ravens shouldn’t be too worried about blowing a lead this week. As long as they can contain Cleveland’s running game, Baltimore will win.
Prediction: Ravens 27, Browns 20

Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals:
The Falcons have surprised over the past two weeks, pulling off impressive wins over the Browns and 49ers. I did not expect Atlanta to beat San Francisco last week, but their offense was dominant against one of the best defenses in football and the defense held a good Niners offense in check. The Bengals’ offense made some schematic adjustments, and Joe Burrow had his best game of the season to date, helping Cincinnati beat the Saints 30-26 in week six. Atlanta just doesn’t have enough talent to keep up their current pace, and I expect them to begin falling back to reality this week. They will always play hard, but I think the Bengals will win this one.
Prediction: Bengals 30, Falcons 21

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys:
The Lions return from their bye week after getting pummeled 29-0 by the Patriots back in week five. The Cowboys lost to the Eagles last week, but quarterback Dak Prescott is returning from his hand injury this week after missing five games. Dallas’ offense held their own in his absence, but they should be a dangerous unit with Dak back at the helm. The defense has been mostly sensational to this point in the season, so if the offense becomes elite, the Cowboys could easily be the best team in the NFC. The Lions are well rested, but they are no match for the Cowboys, an extremely talented team who is fired up to have their franchise quarterback back on the field.
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Lions 17

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans:
The Colts offense finally showed signs of life last week, scoring 34 points in a win over the Jaguars. The defense continued to have its ups and downs though, as they allowed a struggling Jags offense to put up 27 points. The Titans were on bye last week, but they won three straight before their week off. They are theoretically the better rested and more talented team, and they are playing this one at home, plus they already beat Indi once on the road. Picking Tennessee seems like the easy decision on the surface, but I have a feeling the Colts will pull off the upset. Indianapolis’ offense has made strides since the last meeting between these teams three weeks ago, and superstar running back Jonathan Taylor is expected to return from an ankle injury this week. These divisional games can be tricky, and I think this could be a prime example of that. I might look really stupid in a few days, but I’ll take the risk.
Prediction: Colts 24, Titans 23

Green Bay Packers @ Washington Commanders:
Both of these teams are a mess right now. The Packers have lost two games in a row to the Giants and Jets, the latter of which was a 27-10 beatdown at home. The defense is under-performing, and the offense has been hard to watch, even with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Commanders had one of the least impressive wins you’ll ever see last week, topping the Bears 12-7 after they stopped the Bears three times on fourth and goal throughout the game. Quarterback Carson Wentz broke his finger against Chicago and will miss some time, so Taylor Heinicke will start for now. Either way, there is nothing to be excited about in Washington. I know they are struggling, but there is no way the Packers lose this game. They are better than Washington at almost every position.
Prediction: Packers 31, Commanders 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers:
The Panthers continued to fall apart last week in a 24-10 loss to the Rams. Christian McCaffrey is the only thing the Panthers have going for them, as he put up 158 yards against Los Angeles, accounting for 77.8% of Carolina’s total yards. If CMC gets traded before the trade deadline (something that is a real possibility), it would be hard to envision this offense ever scoring. The Buccs are struggling as well, as they inexcusably lost to the Steelers 20-18 in week six. I still believe that Tom Brady and Tampa Bay’s offense will figure things out, but that could take time. They have a great opportunity to rebound this week though, and they should win easily even if the offense continues to struggle.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 9

New York Giants @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Giants are this year’s Cinderella team. Despite a lack of talent, they are 5-1 and have pulled off upset wins over the Titans, Packers, and Ravens. The G-men are clearly well coached and have an extremely bright future, but they are not talented enough to keep pulling off these lucky wins. For instance, the Ravens had gained 250 more yards than the Giants and held a 20-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, but Baltimore made some crucial mistakes and choked away their lead. I think that their lack of talent will eventually catch up to the Giants, but they are nonetheless a fun team to root for. The Jags have lost three in a row, the latest of which was a 34-27 loss to the Colts in which Indianapolis scored the go-ahead touchdown with under 20 seconds to go. The offense rebounded after struggling the previous two weeks, but the defense fell apart and allowed the Colts to score 14 more points than they had scored in any other game this year. I think that the Jags will pull off the upset. They are desperate for a win, have the more talented offense, and are playing at home. The Giants will fight hard, but I think Jacksonville’s desperation and better talent will be too much for New York to overcome.
Prediction: Jaguars 24, Giants 20

Houston Texans @ Las Vegas Raiders:
Both of these teams were on bye last week. The Raiders are 1-4 after a series of tough losses to open the season. They are better than their record indicates, but they have had to play the Chiefs, Chargers, and Titans, all of whom are better teams. Fortunately, they get the perfect opportunity to get back on track this week against the lowly Texans, who are well coached but lack the talent to keep up with Vegas.
Prediction: Raiders 33, Texans 17

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos:
The Jets have all the momentum in the world after demolishing the Dolphins and Packers by a combined score of 67-27 in their last two games. The defense has broken out, and the offense has leaned into the running game which is headlined by rookie Breece Hall, who has totaled 313 yards over the last two weeks. The Broncos’ offense continued to flounder last week in a loss to the Chargers, as Russell Wilson completed just five of 18 passes after the first quarter. The defense continued to play well however, and Denver actually only lost by a field goal in overtime. Believe it or not, I think that Denver will pull off the upset in this one. It will be a defensive battle, and I think Denver will be able to contain New York’s running game and force them to win threw the air. Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, is talented but is young and unproven. Russell Wilson has not played well this year, but I think that his experience will help him do just enough for Denver to win.
Prediction: Broncos 17, Jets 16

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers:
The Chiefs/Bills game lived up to the hype. Buffalo scored a go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute to go, and Patrick Mahomes proceeded to throw an interception to seal the loss for KC. The Niners lost 28-14 to the Falcons last week. Some of their best defensive players are out with injuries, and Atlanta just outplayed them. The Chiefs should get back in the win column this week, as San Fran doesn’t have the firepower to keep up offensively and their defense isn’t at full strength.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, 49ers 23

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Chargers:
The Seahawks put together an impressive performance last week, beating the Cardinals 19-9. The defense played a dominant game that came out of the blue. The offense struggled to finish drives as they scored just one touchdown in comparison to four field goals. They will have to get better at finishing drives in the end zone if they hope to beat the Chargers who grinded out a 19-16 overtime win over the Broncos last week. Justin Herbert is still playing hurt after he tore rib cartilage back in week two. However, the Charger offense will get a big boost this week with the return of wide receiver Keenan Allen to the starting lineup. I expect this to be a shootout. The Chargers are at home and have the better quarterback and defense, so I’ll give them the upper hand here. Both of these teams are known for wild games and shenanigans, hence the wacky score prediction.
Prediction: Chargers 32, Seahawks 26

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins:
It is an exciting week for the Dolphins, as Tua Tagovailoa is slated to return from a scary concussion that caused him to miss two games. The Dolphins were 3-0 when Tua last started, and they will be an intimidating team if they can regain the momentum they had before Tua’s concussion. The Steelers stunned the Buccaneers 20-18 last week behind a great defensive performance. The offense wasn’t anything to write home about, but they did enough against a great Tampa Bay defense. Kenny Pickett suffered a concussion of his own against the Buccs, so Mitch Trubisky might get the start against Miami. Either way, I think the Dolphins will win. Tua’s return should kickstart an offense that struggled in his absence.
Prediction: Dolphins 23, Steelers 17

Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots:
The Bears have no chance in this one. Although they have been playing better as of lately, New England has all sorts of momentum after back-to-back dominant wins. Bill Belichick is still the best coach in football. He often takes advantage of undisciplined young quarterbacks, and Justin Fields is the perfect example of that. The Pats should dominate in this one.
Prediction: Patriots 26, Bears 10