It’s extremely hard to believe that we are already in Week 7 of the season. Nearly at the midway point, and we still don’t have a good grasp on the league and which teams are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack. It’s more than possible, and fairly widely excepted that there aren’t any of those teams this season.
The bottom of the barrel teams haven’t changed all that much either from a year ago, but there are a few surprises. This week, like most, will certainly bring some shockers, but there are a few toss-ups too.
There are 6 divisional matchups between Sunday and Monday night which will pull their respective fan bases out in droves, and a few of them could have large impacts on the fate of their divisions. I really like the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars butting heads this week. It feels like a really quality game regardless of the national perception of each organization.
The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins has some sneaky appeal, and the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers does as well. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there’s anything sneaky at all about the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger and his offense as well as the Bengals’ offense both have a lot to prove with some uninspiring play to this point in the season. Look for that to be explosive and a game in which anything can happen.
I know the results of our staff votes appear to point to the contrary, however, the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers has the sneaky potential to be one of the better games of the weekend. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills pits Jameis Winston and a potentially explosive offense against a very real defense and Bills team, in general, that has already offered some unpredictable play this season.
Of course we can’t overlook the rematch of last year’s Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. It doesn’t have quite the same feel with how their seasons have started, but we know the talent on the field is going to bring out the best that that game has to offer.
We can’t forget the week’s finale with the Washington Redskins traveling to the Philadelphia Eagles. This one is going to be a great game as Kirk Cousins has everything to gain by putting his best performance of the season on the field. A Redskins win would separate the teams by only one-half game heading into Week 8. It doesn’t get any better.
This week the following contributors (10) voted on each game: Brett Mock, Matt Danely, Josh Hudgens, Faraz Majid, Chris Blystone, Andrew Aziz, Stephen Reed, Chris Shepherd, Jared Malott and Jake Arthur. Again, our group voted ‘winners’ which have been bolded, with the vote counts in parenthesis and unanimous predictions were noted by an asterisk (*).
Thus far the staff’s numbers are: Faraz Majid – 35/53 (66%) | Brett Mock – 49/85 (57.6%) | Chris Blystone – 43/85 (50.6%) | Matt Danely – 45/85 (52.9%) | Andrew Aziz – 44/85 (51.8%) | Jake Arthur – 38/70 (54.3%) | Jared Malott – 45/72 (62.5%) | Stephen Reed – 42/85 (49.4%) | Chris Shepherd – 34/71 (47.9%) | Josh Hudgens – 30/55 (54.5%) | Mark Lowry —21/43 (48.8%)
Sunday @ 1:00 ET
Ravens @ Vikings (7) | Contrarians: Josh Hudgens, Jared Malott, Faraz Majid
Jets @ Dolphins (9) | Contrarians: Matt Danely, Andrew Aziz, Chris Blystone
Cardinals @ Rams (6) | Contrarians: Stephen Reed, Majid, Malott, Hudgens
Jaguars (7) @ Colts | Contrarians: Malott, Danely, Hudgens
Saints* @ Packers
Panthers* @ Bears
Bucs @ Bills (8) | Contrarians: Jake Arthur, Brett Mock
Titans (9) @ Browns | Contrarian: Reed
Sunday @ 4:05 ET
Cowboys (9) @ 49ers | Contrarian: Chris Shepherd
Sunday @ 4:25 ET
Seahawks (8) @ Giants | Contrarians: Majid, Aziz
Bengals @ Steelers (8) | Contrarians: Arthur, Shepherd
Broncos (6) @ Chargers | Contrarians: Reed, Aziz, Hudgens, Blystone
Sunday @ 8:30 ET
Falcons @ Patriots (5) | Contrarians: Reed, Malott, Majid, Arthur, Mock
Monday @ 8:30 ET
Redsksins @ Eagles (7) | Contrarians: Danely, Hudgens