NFL Week 7 Picks: Where Do the ESPN Experts Differ or Agree?

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IOctober 21, 2011

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos reacts to a play against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers won 29-24. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Bart Young/Getty Images

As we head into Week 7 of the NFL season, let's take a look at how ESPN's list of experts picked this weekend's games:


Unanimous picks (10/10)

Dallas Cowboys over St. Louis Rams: The Cowboys are better than their 2-3 record indicates, and the Rams are 0-5 for a reason. Sam Bradford has a bum ankle, too.

Green Bay Packers over Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are starting rookie quarterback Christian Ponder against the defending champion Packers, who have 12 straight games dating back to last season. 

New Orleans Saints over Indianapolis Colts: No Peyton Manning means no chance for the Colts in a Super Bowl XLIV rematch at the Superdome. 

Baltimore Ravens over Jacksonville Jaguars: So much for Monday Night Football giving us exciting games. Even ESPN's experts don't think Jacksonville has a chance. 

Heavy favorites (7/10 or more)

Cleveland Browns (7/10) over Seattle Seahawks: Despite beating the Giants on the road, the Seahawks can't get any respect. Even though they'll likely be without Peyton Hillis (hamstring), the Browns are big favorites.

Detroit Lions (8/10) over Atlanta Falcons: Somewhat surprising to see 8-of-10 here, as the Falcons are back at .500 and the Lions are coming off an emotional loss. Ford Field is now a tough place for opposing teams to play, though. 


San Diego Chargers (8/10) over New York Jets: ESPN's experts like the Chargers to go from West to East Coast and knock off the Jets, who talk a big game but have played small in 2011. The Chargers haven't exactly played lights-out football either, despite their 4-1 record. 

Carolina Panthers (7/10) over Washington Redskins: I love this pick, as the Redskins are changing quarterbacks already in Week 7 and Cam Newton is itching to get back into the win column. John Beck will be outplayed by Newton is his first start of the season. 

Oakland Raiders (8/10) over Kansas City Chiefs: Just getting Carson Palmer should give the Raiders a boost on Sunday, even if the 31-year-old quarterback can't show it all off with just a few days of practice under his belt. Darren McFadden will make sure he doesn't have to do much. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (9/10) over Arizona Cardinals: Only Chris Mortensen had the guts to pick the Cardinals in another Super Bowl rematch this weekend. I'd like to hear his reasoning for that pick, but like we've seen all season, anything can happen in the NFL. 

Toss ups (6/10 or under)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6/10) over Chicago Bears: This game is right where it should be—in the toss-ups. Both teams are coming off big divisional wins, as the Bucs beat the Saints to take over first place in the NFC South and the Bears took the Vikings to the woodshed in a 29-point win on Sunday night. 

Houston Texans (5/10) split with Tennessee Titans: This game has big implications inside the AFC South. The Texans are holding on for dear life after losing both Mario Williams and Andre Johnson, and the Titans need to rebound following a big loss to the Steelers before their bye. 

Miami Dolphins (5/10) split with Denver Broncos: Wait, ESPN didn't pick the Tim Tebow-led Broncos as a unanimous pick? Shocking. Tebow-mania will be in full forces as the former University of Florida star returns to the state to play the winless Dolphins.