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Stampede Blue’s NFL Week 7 staff picks

The Stampede Blue staff is back making their picks for the Week 7 NFL slate

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 kicks off Thursday night with a potential snore-fest in the Denver Broncos vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Denver’s defense has been lit up the last two weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see how a young offense around Josh Rosen, David Johnson and Christian Kirk fare at home.

Indianapolis will play host to the Buffalo Bills and, unfortunately for the Colts’ defense, they will NOT be facing backup quarterback Nathan Peterman. With Josh Allen out and the former fifth-round pick from 2017 with three times as many interceptions than touchdowns, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott will turn to the veteran Derek Anderson. The 35-year-old will be making his first start since 2016, when he went 0-2 replacing the injured Cam Newton with five interceptions and a QBR of 14.9.

PFF’s ELO rating system — which grades a team based off how well they played against their opponent vs. how well they were expected to play — has Buffalo all the way down at No. 30. Indy is up three spots at No. 27.

Around the rest of Sunday’s games, an intriguing battle to watch will be the rising power-run offense of New England vs. the stout defense of the Chicago Bears.

An AFC South clash puts the Texans in Jacksonville to take on the tipping Jaguars. After being worn out by the Chiefs’ hot offense two weeks prior, the vaunted Jacksonville D was lit up by what’s commonly known as a subpar Dallas Cowboys’ offense. How the Jags respond against Deshaun Watson and his number of receivers will be a huge point in their early season.

The Saints and the Ravens should make for an exciting contest. New Orleans has one of the most complete offenses, while the Ravens’ defense is coming of an 11-sack performance against the Buffalo O-line. In what should an easy victory for LA, we’ll also get to see some of the brightest offensive minds in football square off in the late afternoon when Kyle Shanahan and his 49ers unit takes on Sean McVay and possible the best roster in football.

Sunday Night Football has the Chiefs and the Bengals, with a Kansas City team ready to move on from its first loss of the year against a hard-hitting Bengals’ defense. Week 7 will then conclude with a Monday night clash between the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. Injuries have plagued this Atlanta team, and this might be a bad enough defense where Eli Manning can string together a series of good plays.

With all that said, here are this week’s staff picks. Things are pretty tight up top in the standing, with Chris Shepherd having a three-game edge, but six guys sit between 44 correct picks and 38.

For this week, we’ve got very few games in which we all agree upon, and several nearly split down the middle.

Chris Shepherd: 47-30 / Brett Mock: 44-33 / Andrew Aziz: 44-33 / Chris Blystone: 44-33 / / Stephen Reed: 44-33/ Elliot Denton: 42-35 / Jared Malott: 38-39 / Zachary Hicks: 20-26 / Blake Pace: 0-0

Thursday 8:20 pm ET

Broncos (6) @ Cardinals | Contrarian: Blake Pace, Chris Shepherd, Stephen Reed

Sunday 9:30 am ET

Titans @ Chargers

Sunday 1:00 pm ET

Bills @ Colts

Browns (5) @ Buccaneers | Contrarians: Pace, Jared Malott, Shepherd, Brett Mock

Lions (5) @ Dolphins | Contrarians: Pace, Aziz, Shepherd, Malott

Panthers @ Eagles (6) | Contrarians: Pace, Denton, Zachary Hicks

Patriots (7) @ Bears | Contrarians: Denton, Chris Blystone

Texans @ Jaguars (7) | Contrarians: Denton, Jared Malott

Vikings @ Jets

Sunday 4:05 pm ET

Saints @ Ravens (5) | Contrarians: Pace, Mock, Malott, Reed

Sunday 4:25 pm ET

Cowboys (7) @ Redskins | Contrarians: Shepherd, Blystone

Rams @ 49ers

Sunday 8:20 pm ET

Bengals @ Chiefs (8) | Contrarians: Blystone

Monday 8:15 pm ET

Giants @ Falcons (8) | Contrarians: Pace

What are your picks for Week 5?