Week 7 NFL Picks: Underdogs Who Will Pull off Upsets
If you needed any further evidence that parity is the name of the game in the National Football League this season, take a good look at the last week.
Of the 14 NFL games played in Week 6, nine were won by the team chosen by Vegas as the underdog. And thanks to the San Diego Chargers choking away a 24-point lead on Monday Night Football, 22 of the 32 NFL teams now have at least three losses this season.
The NFL had six teams finish with a 12-4 record or better last season, but it may be lucky to get half that number during this parity-driven season.
With all that in mind, picking an upset or two in Week 7 shouldn't come as a surprise. It would frankly be a little reckless not to pick a number of upsets.
Here are some underdogs who I think will pull off upsets in Week 7. Note, current underdogs are italicized.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2) at San Francisco 49ers (4-2)
The Seahawks haven't been nearly as good on the road as at home, but head coach Pete Carroll is starting to trust his rookie quarterback more and more. And if the last couple of months have taught us anything, it's that writing off Russell Wilson in any scenario is a risky endeavor.
San Francisco also took a big step backwards offensively Sunday, and like the Giants, the Seahawks match up very well defensively with the 49ers.
Baltimore Ravens (5-1) at Houston Texans (5-1)
Everyone will be writing off the injury-plagued Ravens, who must make the journey to Houston without linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb. Losing Webb is the big blow, but let's be perfectly honest about this Ravens team in 2012: They have had to win with offense, not defense.
Joe Flacco will like watching the film of Aaron Rodgers' mastery Sunday night, and expect the Ravens to utilize a similar high-tempo pace. Flacco has the weapons at his disposal to beat a reeling secondary.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-4)
Carolina has had two weeks to seal up the holes and get struggling quarterback Cam Newton back on track. A trip from the maddeningly inconsistent Cowboys should help both. Dallas can look like a Super Bowl contender at some moments and a cellar-dweller at others.
Newton and the Panthers really need this win, as a loss at home in Week 7 would all but end their season. A breakout performance could follow for Carolina.
Washington Redskins (3-3) at New York Giants (4-2)
Every week has had a stunner, so here is Week 7's.
Doesn't this matchup just feel like one Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning would blow? A division rival, who they finished 0-2 against last season, is coming to New York after the Giants return from arguably the 2012 season's best win in San Francisco. That sounds like a nice recipe for a letdown for the Giants.
Other potential upsets I don't have the guts to call:
St. Louis Rams over Green Bay Packers: Packers are 0-2 as the road favorite in 2012. Rams are 3-0 as a home underdog. Could both trends continue Sunday?
Detroit Lions over Chicago Bears: The Lions got a big confidence-building win in Philadelphia last week. Can the Lions start to stack success in 2012, or is this going to be an up-and-down team all season?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over New Orleans Saints: Tampa Bay's offense got back on track against a bad Chiefs defense in Week 6. The Saints are even worse on that side of the ball this season.
New York Jets over New England Patriots: The Jets have a happy locker room after rocketing into first place in the AFC East. Can Rex Ryan get these guys to believe they can beat the mighty Patriots in New England again?
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