Miles Sanders, Ezekiel Elliott
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images, AP Photo

Predictions and analysis for Week 7 in the NFL, which includes a battle for first place in the NFC East on Sunday night.

One more week has come and gone in the NFL, as this 2019 season seems like it’s just flying by. Week 6 showed once again just how unpredictable pro football can be. Sam Darnold back on the field for the New York Jets, a second consecutive Kansas City loss, and the second great showing by Kirk Cousins in as many weeks. No way you could’ve told me two weeks ago that all that would’ve occurred.

We’ll recap all of that as well as get to what’s in store for this upcoming slate of games. That being said, let’s get to it.

Week 6 Final Scores // Prediction Results

  • New York Giants 14 at New England Patriots 35 (Correct)
  • Carolina Panthers 37 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26 (Correct)
  • Cincinnati Bengals 17 at Baltimore Ravens 23 (Correct)
  • Seattle Seahawks 32 at Cleveland Browns 28 (Correct)
  • New Orleans 13 at Jacksonville Jaguars 6 (Correct)
  • Houston Texans 31 at Kansas City Chiefs 24 (Incorrect)
  • Washington Redskins 17 at Miami Dolphins 16 (Correct)
  • Philadelphia Eagles 20 at Minnesota Vikings 38 (Correct)
  • Atlanta Falcons 33 at Arizona Cardinals 34 (Correct)
  • San Francisco 49ers 20 at Los Angeles Rams 7 (Incorrect)
  • Tennessee Titans 0 at Denver Broncos 16 (Correct)
  • Dallas Cowboys 22 at New York Jets 24 (Incorrect)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 24 at Los Angeles Chargers 17 (Incorrect)
  • Detroit Lions 22 at Green Bay Packers 23 (Correct)
  • Week 6 Results: 10-4
  • Overall: 59-33

Recap: What we saw during Week 6

In the wee hours of Sunday, we saw Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston not make a case for why he should receive a new contract after this season. The fifth-year pro threw five interceptions and was sacked seven times in a 37-26 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen was 20-for-32 with 227 yards passing and two touchdowns. He’s now 4-0 as their starting quarterback.

We saw the Cleveland Browns once again fall short of a victory, as they lost 32-28 to the Seattle Seahawks. The Browns are now 2-4 on the year, and quarterback Baker Mayfield has struggled mightily. The second-year pro tossed one score and was picked off three times by the Seattle defense. On the other hand, Russell Wilson continued his MVP-type year with three total touchdowns (two passing and one rushing).

The Saints seem to be just fine without Drew Brees. They’re now 5-1 overall and 4-0 with Teddy Bridgewater as their starter after their latest 13-6 win over Jacksonville. The former Minnesota Viking is also making a case for how he can still play in this league. This is the first time he’s consistently been starting games since his Pro Bowl 2015 season.

Kansas City on a losing streak? It’s only been two games, but that’s exactly what it is: a losing streak. After falling 19-13 in Week 5 to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs were defeated at home to the Deshaun Watson-led Houston Texans. Running back Carlos Hyde had a big game for Houston, rushing for 116 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown. Chiefs quarterback and 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, despite throwing for three touchdowns, was intercepted for the first time this year. Houston improved to 4-2 with the 31-24 victory.

Kirk Cousins, for the second week in a row, showcased he’s the right man for the Minnesota quarterback job. The veteran threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns, as Stefon Diggs caught seven balls for 167 yards and three of those scores. The Vikings improved to 4-2 with the 38-20 win over the Eagles.

Dan Quinn even more on the hot seat as the Atlanta Falcons head coach? The organization that was just a playoff team two seasons ago (and a Super Bowl runner-up three seasons ago) has dropped its fourth consecutive game. They just couldn’t handle NFC Offensive Player of the Week Kyler Murray, as the rookie quarterback and the Arizona Cardinals ousted Atlanta 34-33.

Is San Francisco for real? Up to this point, they were 4-0, but with wins against Tampa Bay, winless Cincinnati, a Steelers team without Ben Roethlisberger, and a struggling Cleveland team. However, this past Sunday, they defeated last season’s Super Bowl runner-up, the Los Angeles Rams. The Niners defense was outstanding, only allowing 157 yards of total offense and sacking Rams quarterback Jared Goff four times.

Sam Darnold is finally back on the field, and boy did he make a difference. After missing the Jets’ last three matchups with mononucleosis, Darnold gave this organization newfound confidence in a 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The second-year Jets quarterback threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns in the win, as Gang Green has achieved their first victory of the year. Dallas, on the other hand, drops to 3-3 after starting the season 3-0.

Is the NFL officiating going to get any better this year? Didn’t seem like it on Monday night when the Detroit Lions took on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. In the waning minutes of the game, Detroit stopped Green Bay on a third-down play with over a minute to go. The Lions were up 22-20 at the time, and even if they allowed the go-ahead field goal, they would’ve had time to get into field goal range if they got the ball back.

However, a horrible “hands to the face” call was made on Lions defensive end Trey Flowers on the third-down stop. The Packers thus were granted an automatic first down and ran down the clock for a game-winning field goal from kicker Mason Crosby as time expired. Green Bay won the game 23-22 to improve to 5-1. The NFL has since admitted that it blew the call at the end.

Preview: What to watch for during Week 7 of the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 8:20 p.m. ET

It’s a playoff-implicated battle between two teams both coming off losses. The Dallas Cowboys, who were once undefeated at 3-0, have fallen defeat in their previous three contests to the Saints, Packers, and Jets. A loss would associate them with a below-.500 record and put them in second place in the division.

As far as the Eagles are concerned, they’ve won two of their last three games, with wins over the Packers and Jets along with a loss on Sunday to the Vikings. Their secondary wasn’t great at all against Kirk Cousins and will have to step up against what could be an even better quarterback in Dak Prescott.

Whoever wins this “Sunday Night Football” matchup will take first place in the NFC East…for now. The loser will sit just one game back. If the Giants defeat Arizona on Sunday, they’ll be 3-4 and only one game behind the leader of the division as well.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) at Denver Broncos (2-4) – Thursday, Oct. 17, 8:20 p.m. ET

The Broncos are hot and the Chiefs are…not? I can’t believe I’m writing that but that’s exactly how the NFL has played out these last few weeks. Denver is coming off two consecutive victories over the Chargers and Titans after starting out 0-4. On the flip side, the Chiefs have lost two straight to the Colts and Texans after beginning the season with four consecutive wins.

Kansas City is only a 3-point favorite in this game, which makes things even more interesting from a betting standpoint. If this game was played three weeks ago, the spread would be a lot larger than that. This isn’t a checkmark victory for the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs. It’s never easy to win a game in Denver, and with the way things are looking for these two ballclubs at the moment, some may pick Denver to win this game.

For the record, I will not be picking Denver, as I believe Mahomes will find a way to oust this team on the road.

Minnesota Vikings (4-2) at Detroit Lions (2-2-1) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:00 p.m. ET

Another battle in what is arguably the toughest division in football right now.

The Minnesota Vikings will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions who definitely have a chip on their shoulder after their tough loss to Green Bay on Monday night. With that blown call at the end of that game, the Lions certainly are hungry for a victory.

Minnesota is coming off of two big wins over the Giants and Eagles, as they’ve improved to 4-2 and are in second place in the division. Detroit is 2-2-1 in last place, but a win could change a lot. I have a feeling if either of these teams make the playoffs, they’ll look back and realize the importance of this Week 7 matchup.

Also, look for Kirk Cousins (who’s red hot, completing 78.6% of his throws for 639 yards, six touchdowns, and one pick in last two games combined) to pick apart this Detroit secondary early on. The Lions are 28th in the NFL with 280.0 yards allowed-per-game.

Oakland Raiders (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (5-1) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:00 p.m. ET

I believe I asked a few weeks ago if Oakland was for real. Right now, they could be, but they have to prove it with a big win on the road in Green Bay. The Raiders are 3-2 with wins over the Broncos, Colts, and Bears.

Green Bay has shown they’re a legitimate playoff team after improving to 5-1 this past Monday. They’re absolutely on their way to returning to the postseason for the first time since 2016. That being said, if the Raiders can win this matchup on the road against an Aaron Rodgers-Matt Lafleur-led ballclub, it would show the rest of the league what Oakland truly represents right now.

All-in-all, Oakland will need to show that they can continue their momentum coming out of their BYE week.

Houston Texans (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:00 p.m. ET

Is this battle between two AFC South squads foreshadowing a playoff matchup? Sure could be, as the Texans and Colts are the top two teams in that division. If one of these teams doesn’t end up making the postseason, then this game will still be important in some aspects.

It’s just like the Vikings-Lions game of this week. Whichever team makes the playoffs (if either one does) will look back at that game and realize its importance. Likewise, whoever wins this Texans-Colts matchup will sit at the top of the AFC South nearing the halfway point of the regular season. That’s huge going forward, especially when you consider the competitiveness of some teams in that conference (Kansas City, Oakland, New England, Buffalo, Baltimore, etc).

Will Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett (64.7% completion percentage with 1,062 yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions) pick apart this Houston defense (24th in the league with 268 yards allowed-per-game) early on? We shall wait and see if the newly-appointed starting quarterback will take advantage of that weak secondary.

New Orleans Saints (5-1) at Chicago Bears (3-2) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. ET

The Bears are coming off a tough 24-21 loss to the Raiders, with the Saints having won their last four games with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. However, this may not be a battle of primarily backup quarterbacks with Bridgewater and Chicago veteran Chase Daniel.

Mitch Trubisky could return to the field this week. He missed his last start with a dislocated left shoulder but had some extra time to recover as the Bears had their BYE week in Week 6. Head coach Matt Nagy mentioned that he’s “cautiously optimistic” the third-year pro will suit up and play.

If he does play, it’ll be interesting to see what Trubisky will be able to do against a New Orleans secondary who’s 11th in the league with 237.7 passing yards allowed-per-game.

Baltimore Ravens (4-2) at Seattle Seahawks (5-1) – Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. ET

A potential Super Bowl matchup? I mean, I don’t think so. I don’t believe there’s any shot the Ravens could get past a team like Kansas City or New England in the playoffs. But, some people may have these two teams as their picks for The Big Game this coming February.

The Ravens have won their last two meetings over two division rivals in the Steelers and Bengals. However, they weren’t as dominant on the scoring front against winless Cincinnati, only defeating them by six points. Their defense did step up though, only letting up 250 total yards. This includes allowing just 33 rushing yards.

Needless to say, the Ravens will have a bigger task then they’ve had in recent weeks when they take on the Seahawks. The same goes for Seattle. The Russell Wilson-led ballclub only defeated a struggling Browns team by four and was down 20-6 at one point in the first half.

Week 7 Predictions (In bold) (All times ET)

  • Thursday, Oct. 17, 8:20 p.m. – KC Chiefs (4-2) at Denver Broncos (2-4)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – LA Rams (3-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Buffalo Bills (4-1)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-6)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Minnesota Vikings (4-2) at Detroit Lions (2-2-1)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Oakland Raiders (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (5-1)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Houston Texans (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1) at NY Giants (2-4)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – SF 49ers (5-0) at Washington Redskins (1-5)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:05 p.m. – LA Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-4)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. – NO Saints (5-1) at Chicago Bears (3-2)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. – Baltimore Ravens (4-2) at Seattle Seahawks (5-1)
  • Sunday, Oct. 20, 8:20 p.m. – Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
  • Monday, Oct. 21, 8:15 p.m. – NE Patriots (6-0) at NY Jets (1-4)

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.