I had a pretty good Week 7, but it’s those darn upsets that keep tripping me up. Everybody knows there are upsets nearly every week, but picking which ones will actually occur is the tough part.
Here’s a look at this week’s matchups and how I think they’ll play out.
Last Week: 9-5
This Week: 9-5
Oakland (2-4) at Baltimore (3-3)
Oakland’s offense will have to play exceptionally well to win this game because the Ravens defense is just too good. Even with a weak offense, the Ravens should win this game.
Prediction: Baltimore 21, Oakland 16
Actual Score: Baltimore 29, Oakland 10
Arizona (4-2) at Carolina (5-2)
Carolina is still riding high after its victory over divisional foe New Orleans last week and they’ll need that confidence against a good Cardinals team. Arizona has the highest scoring offense in the league, generated mostly from the passing game, which is the Panthers’ defense’s specialty.
Prediction: Carolina 22, Arizona 20
Actual Score: Carolina 27, Arizona 23
Tampa Bay (5-2) at Dallas (4-3)
The Buccaneers are playing about as well as any team in the league and the Cowboys have been struggling as of late. I think the Bucs can control the clock with their run game and wear down the Cowboys defense.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Dallas 21
Actual Score: Dallas 13, Tampa Bay 9
Washington (5-2) at Detroit (0-6)
Detroit is awful against the run — against the pass, too — so I expect the Redskins to have a field day on the ground, keeping Detroit’s one good player — Calvin Johnson — on the sideline.
Prediction: Washington 27, Detroit 17
Actual Score: Washington 25, Detroit 17
Buffalo (5-1) at Miami (2-4)
It’s always a great AFC East rivalry game and the Dolphins have had a knack for winning these big games — the New England game exemplifying that.
Prediction: Miami 23, Buffalo 20
Actual Score: Miami 25, Buffalo 16
St. Louis (2-4) at New England (4-2)
This is where St. Louis’ string of upsets stops. New England, although without a quality starting running back, is playing too well right now to let the Rams walk into their house and beat them.
Prediction: New England 31, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: New England 23, St. Louis 16
San Diego (3-4) at New Orleans (3-4)
This game would be hard enough to predict on American soil, let alone foreign turf. If weather permits, it should be a nice aerial show. Both teams are a disappointing 3-4, but I think San Diego is the better of the two.
Prediction: San Diego 27, New Orleans 24
Actual Score: New Orleans 37, San Diego 32
Kansas City (1-5) at New York Jets (3-3)
I expect a big game from Thomas Jones in this one as the Chiefs are the league’s worst run defense. Minus Larry Johnson — but against a tough Jets run defense nevertheless — the Chiefs will struggle moving the ball.
Prediction: NY Jets 27, Kansas City 16
Actual Score: NY Jets 28, Kansas City 24
Atlanta (4-2) at Philadelphia (3-3)
Atlanta rookie Matt Ryan is feeling pretty good right now. He’s seldom been challenged and he’s off to a 4-2 start. Wait til he steps into the lion’s den in Philly and feels the pressure of the blitz-happy Eagles.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Atlanta 20
Actual Score: Philadelphia 27, Atlanta 14
Cleveland (2-4) at Jacksonville (3-3)
After 4 weeks of just miserable football, the Browns have played back-to-back weeks of tough football against NFC East opponents. They should continue to play tough, but the Jaguars should prevail with their ground game leading the way.
Prediction: Jacksonville 20, Cleveland 17
Actual Score: Cleveland 23, Jacksonville 17
Cincinnati (0-7) at Houston (2-4)
I just don’t see how the Bengals can win this game unless the Texans implode. The Bengals have no run game and, thanks to an injury to Carson Palmer, don’t have much of a passing game either.
Prediction: Houston 24, Cincinnati 17
Actual Score: Houston 35, Cincinnati 6
New York Giants (5-1) at Pittsburgh (5-1)
Even sans Willie Parker, the Steelers have been a tough team to beat this year. The Giants likewise, but I think Cleveland exposed their weaknesses a few weeks ago and those could be exploited in this highly-anticipated matchup.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, NY Giants 21
Actual Score: NY Giants 21, Pittsburgh 14
Seattle (1-5) at San Francisco (2-5)
I like Mike Singletary to pick up his first victory as 49ers head coach in this one. The Seahawks defense has been awful this year and their offense hasn’t been able to do much with or without Matt Hasselbeck.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Seattle 20
Actual Score: Seattle 34, San Francisco 13
Indianapolis (3-3) at Tennessee (6-0)
Something inside of me says the Colts will expose the Titans this week and give them their first loss of the season. But I’ve also seen how bad they can play this year as well. I’m going to give the nod to the Titans because they can run the ball extremely well and the Colts aren’t good at stopping it.
Prediction: Tennessee 23, Indianapolis 17
Actual Score: Tennessee 31, Indianapolis 21