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NFL Week 7: Winner and Score Predictions

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IOctober 18, 2011

NFL Week 7: Winner and Score Predictions

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    Following Week 6, another interesting week of Football is coming up. In the past few weeks there have been a lot of upsets and close games.

    Some games that are bound to be interesting are the Lions hosting the Falcons, the Texans on the road against the Titans and the Cardinals at home against the Steelers.

    Let's kick off, shall we?

1. Texans @ Titans

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    The Texans may be with or without Andre Johnson, they'll find out later in the week.

    Last week, the Texans were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens 29-14. The Titans had a bye last week.

    The Titans enter Week 7 with a 3-2 record, and the Texans have a 3-3 record.

    However, two of the Titans three wins came against weak teams. They were able to beat the Ravens, surprisingly, but also beat weak teams like the Broncos and Browns.

    The Titans have also lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jags lone victory this season.

    While the Texans may be missing Andre Johnson, they still put up a decent 14 points against a strong Ravens defense.

    The Texans losses were to good teams like the New Orleans Saints, the Ravens and the Raiders.

    However, some of the teams the Texans earned their wins against weren't that great. They beat the Colts, the Dolphins and the Steelers.

    I still think the Texans should be able to rebound and beat the Titans, especially if Johnson is ready to go. The Titans won't be able to completely shut down Matt Schaub.

    This should definitely be a close game, though.

    Prediction- Texans win 24-20

     

Redskins @ Panthers

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    The Washington Redskins are 3-2, while the Carolina Panthers are 1-5. However, records don't indicate everything.

    The Panthers schedule hasn't been very kind to them at all. But they've held their own against nearly every team they've lost to.

    The Panthers have lost to the Bears, Packers, Saints, Cardinals and Falcons. Four out of these five have been by a touchdown differential or less.

    The Redskins have beaten the Giants, Cardinals and the Rams. These teams aren't exactly great. The Skins have relied on defense alone, as they've put up less than 100 points on offense. But they may not be able to contain Cam Newton and the strong Panthers offense.

    The Panthers have put up 133. Their only blemish is defense, but then again, when you play teams like the Saints, Falcons, Packers and Bears, you'll tend to give up plenty of points.

    The Panthers also have home field advantage, so they should be able to manage the Redskins.

    Prediction- Panthers win 23-20

     

Seahawks @ Browns

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    Both of these teams are pretty weak.

    However, the Seahawks are coming off of a huge upset over the New York Giants in New York, 36-25.

    The Seahawks are 2-3, and so are the Cleveland Browns.

    Honestly, the Seahawks aren't really as bad a team as they may seem to be. Their losses have come against tough opposition like the 49ers, Falcons and the Steelers. They only lost to the Falcons by two points.

    The Browns wins have come over teams like the Colts and the Dolphins, both winless.

    The Browns have lost to the Raiders, Titans and the Bengals, none of them are really overpowering teams.

    As mentioned earlier, the Seahawks are coming off a big upset over the Giants, so they'll carry that momentum with them into the game.

    Prediction- Seahawks win 24-18

Falcons @ Lions

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    This was one of the matchups I thought would be close. The 5-1 Lions are coming off a loss to the solid 49ers, while the Falcons are coming off a 31-17 win over the Panthers.

    The Falcons defense hasn't been too desirable though, as well as their road performances so far this season.

    Calvin Johnson and the Lions strong offense should be able to pick apart the Falcons shaky defense.

    The Lions have scored 178 points so far this season, and have given up 114.

    Meanwhile, the Falcons have scored 135 but have given up 147.

    Matthew Stafford should be able to out-duel Matt Ryan on his home turf, and rebound from their loss to fellow 5-1 team, the Niners.

    Prediction- Lions win 34-28

     

Bears @ Buccaneers (in London)

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    This game is apparently going to be played in London, so neither team has home field advantage.

    The Bears, 3-3, are better than their record suggests. The three teams they've lost to are all very solid—the Lions, Saints and Packers.

    The Bears have beaten the Vikings, Falcons and Panthers. None of these teams are too shabby, except maybe the Vikings. The Bears should take their momentum of last week into Week 7, when they beat the Vikings 39-10 in Chicago.

    The Buccaneers are a surprise 4-2 team in my opinion. After a 48-3 domination loss at the hands of the 49ers, the Bucs have responded by beating the Saints 26-20 at home.

    That's the only thing the Bucs have going for them though. They've looked very shaky in wins over anemic teams like the Colts and Vikings.

    True, their two losses were to the Lions and the 49ers, but Tampa Bay seems like the team whose bubble is bound to burst.

    On neutral ground, the Bears should be able to handle the Bucs pretty well.

    Prediction- Bears win 34-20

Chiefs @ Raiders

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    This would be an easy decision had Jason Campbell, the Oakland Raiders QB, not been injured last week in the 24-17 win over the Browns.

    The Raiders must be happy they get to face a weak team in the Kansas City Chiefs, though.

    The Raiders have net points of plus-10, while the Chiefs are a whopping minus-73 in net points. Yes, they've only scored 77 points, and have given up 150. They're pretty lousy on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

    The Chiefs two wins in their 2-3 record were against the Colts and the Vikings, two other very sloppy teams. The Chiefs are worse than their 2-3 record suggests, even though they've lost to teams like Buffalo, Detroit and San Diego. That net point total says it all.

    The Raiders are 4-2 going into Week 7. They've won against the Broncos, Jets, Texans and Browns. So their wins are against a mix of sloppy teams and decent teams.

    However, their two losses have come against the Patriots, and the Bills. And they've held their own against both teams.

    Despite losing Campbell, I think the Raiders will be able to manage the Chiefs, but this will be a very low scoring affair.

    The Chiefs sloppy defense will be their downfall. They'll let the Raiders get down the field enough for Sebastian Janikowski, one of the league's top kickers, to knock in some field goals.

    Prediction- Raiders win 16- 14

     

Steelers @ Cardinals

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    The 4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers go out west to take on the 1-4 Arizona Cardinals.

    The Cards are on a four game losing streak, since beating the Panthers at home. The Cards have been involved in some really tough losses though, only losing by a few points to the Seahawks, Redskins, Giants and Cardinals. In fact, they should've won the game against the Giants, losing because of the officials.

    The Steelers got wiped out by the Ravens, and lost to the Texans. Their four wins came against the Seahawks, Colts, Titans and Jaguars. While their wins over the Seahawks and Titans have been decisive, the Steelers barely pulled out wins against the lowly Jags and Colts, winning by scores of 17-13 and 23-20 respectively.

    You could say that the Cardinals are due for a win, and the Steelers have been Jeckyll and Hyde this season so far.

    On home field advantage, the Cards have a chance to pull off an upset over the Steelers, and Larry Fitzgerald is due for a big game.

    After losing some really tough, close games, I can see the Cardinals finally winning.

    Call this one very gutsy, but...

    Prediction- Cardinals win 20-17

     

Rams @ Cowboys

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    Including this one, the next few slides may not be very long.

    The Dallas Cowboys, who are 2-3, play host to the 0-5 St. Louis Rams. The Cowboys 2-3 record is a poor indication of how good this team really is. America's team has lost to the Jets, Lions and Patriots, all pretty solid teams. In fact, they should've won at least two of the three if their QB Tony Romo hadn't choked.

    The Cowboys should easily get to .500 though against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Rams, winless, have scored a league worst (by far) 49 points, and have given up 137 points.

    It would be the upset of the century if the Rams could beat the Cowboys, not even Romo could let this one get away.

    The Cowboys solid defense should easily handle the Rams. I advise those in survival pools to take the Cowboys this week.

    Prediction- Cowboys win 30-10

Packers @ Vikings

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    Another small slide coming up, and another safe survival pool option.

    This won't take much explanation...the Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL, still undefeated at 6-0. The Vikings are 1-5.

    Home advantage won't do the Vikings much good, as the Pack has won plenty of games on the road so far anyways.

    Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and company seem to be nearly unstoppable, already at an NFL leading 197 points.

    The Packers shouldn't sweat too much in their upcoming game in Minnesota.

    Prediction- Packers win 34-13

Colts @ Saints

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    Ah, a rematch of the 2010 Super Bowl. Such a recent championship rematch should be close, right? Not exactly.

    The injury to Peyton Manning has totally obliterated the Colts, in every way. The Colts are 0-6, and are visiting the 4-2 New Orleans Saints.

    Last week, the Saints were upset by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Drew Brees and his squad should definitely rebound against the basement-dwelling Colts, who can't seem to buy a win. Once again, another safe pick for those alive in pools.

    The Saints shouldn't bat an eye, and will crush the Colts, in all likeliness.

    Prediction- Saints win 38-17

Ravens @ Jaguars

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    Again, this will be a short slide. The 4-1 Ravens are visiting the 1-5 Jaguars.

    The Ravens defense should shut down the sloppy Jaguars offense, especially since their QB Blaine Gabbert can't buy himself a good game.

    The Ravens solid play on both sides of the ball should be able to easily overpower the Jaguars, even in Jacksonville. Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jags RB, is the team's only hope. He won't do too much alone against the Ravens defense.

    The Ravens defense has only allowed 71 points, and should easily manhandle the Jaguars.

    Prediction- Ravens win 30-9

Chargers @ Jets

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    This should be a good game. The San Diego Chargers are a very streaky team, but have a 4-1 record, currently.

    The Chargers lone loss was to the Patriots, but they haven't exactly been sharp in their wins. They won by a touchdown over the lowly Vikings, and barely scraped out a 20-17 win at home over the Chiefs. The other teams the Chargers got to play were the Dolphins and the Broncos. As you can see, the Chargers have had a very easy schedule so far.

    The Jets were helped greatly with the return of offensive lineman Nick Mangold. He's proven he's a key part of the Jets offense, giving Mark Sanchez more time.

    The Jets are 3-3, winning against the Dolphins, Cowboys and Jaguars. Two are pretty bad teams, but they've lost to solid teams like the Patriots, Raiders and the Ravens.

    The Jets should be able to handle the Chargers, who don't usually perform well on the road.

    Prediction- Jets win 24-21

Broncos @ Dolphins

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    The 1-4 Denver Broncos are traveling to Miami in Week 7 to take on the Dolphins, who are still winless.

    The Broncos have lost to some pretty good teams like the Raiders, Titans, Packers and the Chargers. The Broncos weren't exactly killed either.

    They were able to beat Cincinnati at home however.

    The Dolphins are 0-5 with losses to the Patriots, Jets, Browns, Chargers and Texans. To be fair, nearly all of these teams are pretty good.

    The Broncos have scored 105 points, and have given up 140, most of those to the Packers.

    The Dolphins have scored only 75 and have given up 128.

    The big thing is QB for both teams. The Broncos will be playing Tim Tebow, who finally surpassed the mediocre Kyle Orton on the depth chart. And the Dolphins QB Chad Henne is done for the season, and will be playing Matt Moore.

    The Broncos should be able to win their second game of the season against the poor Miami Dolphins offense.

    Prediction- Broncos win 17-14

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