Week 7 features a wide range of games. Everything from teams already trying to fight their way off the playoff brink, to middling squads hoping to position themselves for the stretch run and Peyton Manning heading back to Indianapolis for a marquee clash.
The loaded slate of action should make for an interesting week around the NFL. With the halfway point of the season on the horizon, every game is starting to take on more importance. It's not early with plenty of time to turn things around anymore.
With that in mind, let's examine some of the biggest games on tap for Week 7 and make predictions for which teams will come out on top. The breakdowns are followed by a complete list of picks for the week ahead.
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Kickoff can't come soon enough for these two teams. Instead of talking about the task at hand for each side, the focus throughout the early portion of the week has been on comments made by Colts owner Jim Irsay to USA Today about the lack of Super Bowls during Manning's time in Indianapolis.
Once the game starts, the focus will shift back to the field. For the Colts, trying to figure out a way to slow down the incredibly efficient Broncos offense is the biggest key to success. They do rank fifth against the pass through six weeks, which is a positive sign.
Denver's wide receivers do a lot of their damage after the catch. They will turn a five-yard route into a 20-yard gain. Indianapolis' defense won't be able to eliminate those short completions completely—Manning is too accurate—but if they can limit the long runs afterward they will keep the game close.
On offense, the Colts can't be afraid to utilize an up-tempo attack. The Dallas Cowboys did so a couple of weeks ago against Denver and nearly pulled off the upset. Andrew Luck has proven capable of taking on the burden of a pass-heavy attack when necessary.
Ultimately, the Broncos have looked nearly unstoppable in the early going and should be able to make enough plays on offense to score another win. They can expect their toughest test to date, though.
Prediction: Broncos 35, Colts 31
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
The NFC East has been a mess in the early going. Yet, there's plenty of talent within the division, so it's tough to count out one of the teams making a red-hot run to the division title during the season's second half, developing into an NFC threat in the process.
Dallas' offense has been making serious strides in recent weeks. Yet, while Tony Romo and Co. have stepped up, the defense hasn't followed suit. The Cowboys have allowed more than 32 points per game over the past three weeks.
That doesn't bode well heading into a matchup with a Philadelphia offense that has looked far more potent with Nick Foles leading the way. The second-year quarterback has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions in his first 61 attempts this season.
Neither defense is playing particularly well right now, so expect a high-scoring game, with the Eagles getting a slight edge to due Foles' strong play and home-field advantage.
Prediction: Eagles 38, Cowboys 35
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
Perhaps the week's most overlooked game, the Bengals and Lions are each 4-2 and are bolstering their playoff case with each passing week. This matchup should be a good measuring stick for both sides, especially since the teams have contrasting styles.
Cincinnati relies on a balanced offensive attack and a strong defense. The game plan it wants to put on display every week was on display against the Patriots. The Bengals were able control the pace, keep Tom Brady off the field and pulled out a big win.
Detroit wants to play a more wide-open style, allowing its numerous playmakers to get out in space to put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense. It also gives the Lions more opportunities to make up for a shaky defense, which ranks 26th in yards allowed.
It's another close matchup, but the advantage falls to Detroit when you consider Cincinnati is playing its second straight road game and the Lions' offense is averaging nearly 40 points per game at home.
Prediction: Lions 27, Bengals 21
Complete Week 7 Picks
|NFL Picks for Week 7|
|Date||Road Team||Home Team||Pick|
|Week 7 Predictions|