NFL Picks Week 7: Upsets You'll Never See Coming
It’s Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season and a couple big-name teams are on upset alert.
In Week 6, I went with the Cleveland Browns over the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers over the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks over the New England Patriots.
This week, there are only two upsets I’m seeing in my crystal ball. Take a look at who and why your favorite pick is destined to lose.
Detroit Lions (2-3) at Chicago Bears (4-1)
The Detroit Lions aren’t as bad as the 2-3 record they’re sporting. Likewise, the Chicago Bears may not be as good as advertised.
There’s no denying a couple things about each of these two NFC North teams, though.
The Bears play great defense, boasting the league’s best rush-stopping unit. They’ve also forced 17 turnovers (13 INT, 4 fumble recoveries).
Luckily for the Lions, running the football doesn’t factor very much into their game plan. That’s great; they won’t need to make many adjustments this week.
For the Lions, they are whatever Matthew Stafford allows them to be.
So far, he’s led the NFL in yards per game but has thrown just four touchdowns to five interceptions.
The Bears defense poses a difficult challenge but not something he’s never seen before. Already, Stafford and the Lions have seen the competent pass defenses of the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles.
His 41 touchdowns last season and 5,000 yards were no fluke. Stafford has the weapons and ability to get the ball to them but has been stymied so far in 2012.
This Monday night game is going to be his coming-out party as he leads his Lions to a huge Week 7 divisional win that will bring them back into contention.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-4)
Despite some early struggles, the Carolina Panthers played competitive football against the 6-0 Atlanta Falcons and 4-2 Seattle Seahawks.
After those two disappointing losses, one in which they had the Falcons on their own 1-yard line with one minute to play, Carolina rested and regrouped during its Week 6 bye.
Now, they’ll host a Dallas Cowboys team that has fallen short in two consecutive weeks as well.
Week 7 is a turning point for both teams. While I don’t think the Panthers have much hope in making a playoff run, I do think they have enough to cripple the hopes of the Cowboys this week. A loss to the 1-4 Panthers will certainly stir things up in the locker room.
The Cowboys need to stop Cam Newton and the combination of DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the backfield. However, that’s no easy task.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
If Carolina runs the football 28 times or more it is 7-1 with Cam Newton behind center and 0-13 when it runs the ball less than that.
Dallas’ second-ranked pass defense may have a problem if they are forced to play up to stop the run. That’s the dynamic that Newton and his read-option offense brings to the table.
It’s now or never for Newton and the Panthers, and I think they do it this week, at home, staring down a fourth consecutive loss.
Mike Hoag Jr. is a Breaking News Team writer with Bleacher Report and also covers the NFL and the Cleveland Browns for the site.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?