NFL Picks Week 7: Projecting Outcomes of Most Intriguing Matchups

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NFL Picks Week 7: Projecting Outcomes of Most Intriguing Matchups
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Peyton Manning and the Broncos will have a tough time staying unbeaten in Week 7.

In the NFL almost every game is interesting, but there are certain games every week that stand out, games that have a deeper storyline than just two teams meeting on the gridiron to do battle. 

Week 7 will be no different. Week 7 brings a number of interesting matchups, but there are a few that really stand out above the rest, but before we get to those, here are predictions for the full slate of games in Week 7 of the NFL.

NFL Week 7 Picks
Date Matchup Prediction
Thursday, Oct. 17 Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals SEA 31, ARI 10
Sunday, Oct. 20 Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers GB 24, CLE 7
Sunday, Oct. 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons ATL 21, TB 3
Sunday, Oct. 20 Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions CIN 27, DET 24
Sunday, Oct. 20 Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins MIA 13, BUF 10
Sunday, Oct. 20 New England Patriots vs. New York Jets NE 35, NYJ 14
Sunday, Oct. 20 Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles DAL 42, PHI 35
Sunday, Oct. 20 Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins CHI 17, WSH 7
Sunday, Oct. 20 St. Louis Rams vs Carolina Panthers CAR 30, STL 24
Sunday, Oct. 20 San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars SD 21, JAX 17
Sunday, Oct. 20 San Francisco 49ers vs. Tennessee Titans SF 21, TEN 9
Sunday, Oct. 20 Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs KC 30, HOU 13
Sunday, Oct. 20 Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers BAL 21, PIT 17
Sunday, Oct. 20 Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts IND 35, DEN 31
Monday, Oct. 21 Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants NYG 21, MIN 10

Schedule via ESPN.com

Now, onto the most intriguing matchups in Week 7 of the 2013-14 NFL season. 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

The Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos will do battle in Week 7 in a game that, on paper, has all the makings of a potential game of the year candidate. The Colts, now at 4-2 after a loss on Monday Night Football, will take on an undefeated Broncos squad that has looked human in the last two weeks. 

To boot, these teams match up pretty well on paper. The Colts are the fifth best passing defense in the NFL, allowing just over 200 yards through the air per game. The Broncos, no surprise here, have the best passing offense in the NFL, averaging 360 yards per game from the arm of Peyton Manning

Talk about a matchup. One of the best passing offenses in the NFL against one of the best passing defenses? Now, that's good football. 

The same can be said about the running matchup. The Colts, somehow, have the eighth best running game in the league, picking up over 130 yards per outing. The Broncos defense, however, is first in the NFL against the run, giving up less than 70 yards per game. 

This matchup seriously has it all! 

Let's not forget the personal stories. Peyton Manning is returning to Indianapolis, the city he called home for his entire career before he landed in Denver. He was replaced by the very young quarterback that he'll do battle with in Week 7, Andrew Luck, and you know that both teams will want it just a little bit more due to their history. 

The Broncos are undefeated, but they meet a scrappy Indy team who needs to regroup after a tough loss to San Diego. What better way to do that than take down the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are bad against the pass and Luck's big play receivers will bust enough big plays to give Peyton his first loss of the season. 

PREDICTION: Indianapolis 35, Denver 31

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Cowboys-Eagles is one of the best rivalries in the NFL and seems like it always plays a big role in what teams will head to the NFC playoffs and who will have to stay home. While the rivalry between these teams is interesting enough, the most interesting part is Philly's QB situation. 

According to Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com, Mike Vick is going to need another week to rest his hammy. That means that the miracle man Nick Foles will get the nod once again to lead the Eagles to another victory. Foles was out of control in Week 6, putting up almost 300 yards through the air, complete with three passing touchdowns, and he even added a rushing touchdown for good measure.

On the other side, you have the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys haven't been the prettiest team to watch, but they have been on a tear as of late putting up a pile of points against some tough teams. In Week 5, Tony Romo and company did battle with Peyton Manning and the undefeated Broncos and lost a barnburner, 51-48. They followed that performance up with a 31-10 win over the Redskins in Week 6. That's 79 points over two weeks for those of you keeping track at home.

The Eagles have a random guy playing QB like a stud and the Cowboys are on an offensive roll. Add the divisional implications to the mix and you have quite a game on tap for Week 7. Unfortunately for Foles and the Philly offense, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant will simply be too much for the Philly defense to handle in Week 7. 

PREDICTION: Dallas 42, Philadelphia 35

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
The Ravens have just enough weapons to edge out the Steelers in Week 7.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Like the Dallas-Philly matchup, Baltimore-Pittsburgh is one of the better rivalries going in the NFL, especially when both teams are good. Both teams aren't necessarily good at the moment, the Ravens at 3-3 and the Steelers at just 1-4, but this matchup will still be an entertaining showdown with a pile of intrigue. Three out of the last four years have seen these teams split their regular season meetings. 

The most intriguing part of this divisional battle will be the showdown between Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. Both quarterbacks have had a down year so far, and we'll see who can overcome adversity and play well against a good defensethe Steelers defense ranks fourth in the NFL against the pass and the Ravens defense ranks 17th against the pass but has the ability to really hassle QBs with their front seven. 

The big difference will be Baltimore's depth. The Ravens have a few solid receiving options and two very good running backs, while the Steelers aren't much deeper than their first or second options. Baltimore will get the Week 7 win, but it'll be a close one. 

PREDICTION: Baltimore 21, Pittsburgh 17

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