NFL Week Seven Game Previews And Predictions

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NFL Week Seven Game Previews And Predictions

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NFL Week Seven Game Previews And Predictions

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Time for week seven of the NFL season. We saw the Arizona Caridnals beat the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football and now it’s time for the weekend slate of games. The TWSN game prediction crew is back to breakdown every game on the schedule this week.

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans 

That is the Indianapolis Colts’ offense we have been waiting to see with Matt Ryan under center. Ryan caught his stride last week, completing 72.4% of his passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and no sacks. This was all without Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. The new offensive line the Colts have in place will need to be better than the one that played the Tennessee Titans in Week Four, that allowed three sacks and 11 pressures. The Titans have Rashad Weaver, Denico Autry, and Jeffrey Simmons, who all have over three sacks so far this season. Slowing these three down will be essential for the Colts because if they give Ryan enough time, he could find weaknesses in the Titans secondary that has allowed a 67.4% completion percentage and 12.8 yards per reception. 

The last time these two faced as well was the game Derrick Henry finally got truly going on the ground. He rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown over 22 carries. That could very well happen again as last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts allowed 243 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Colts offensive line has seemingly improved, the Titans not so much. Before the bye, they faced the Washington Commanders and allowed Ryan Tannehill to be sacked five times. 

This game could have huge implications down the line when determining the AFC South winner. The Colts are hitting their stride and could be catching the Titans at a right time coming off their bye to secure the win. — Marissa Myers

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

The Buccaneers are struggling but have a date with the Panthers that may just help them fix their issues, if not for only one week. The Panthers fired their head coach last week and are dealing with injures to their starting quarterback. Many people expect this team to have a fire sale of their veteran players come the trade deadline so the question of just how invested the Panthers are is fair to ask. They have already traded running back Christian McCaffrey so the sale is on!

For Tampa, they need to get going. They come in 3-3 and have struggled to move the football down the field. It’s a weird sight for a Tom Brady led football team but it’s the reality of the 2022 Buccaneers. They should look to quick passes to get into a rhythm. That may open the flow of offense for the team and get things moving in the right direction.

I think this game will be closer than people expect but Tampa Bay finds a way to pull it out. Give me the Buccaneers and Tom Brady in this one. — Matt Levine

 

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

The Browns and Ravens square off for an AFC North matchup in Baltimore. Both teams are coming off tough losses, looking to bounce back this week for some leverage in this tight divisional race. As always, the Browns will look to dominate this game with the run. However, the home team in these AFC North matchups usually have the upperhand, and with the Ravens getting healthier offensively, coming off a loss, and going up against a struggling Browns defense, I think the Ravens establish a lead heading into the third quarter of this game, forcing the Browns to throw the ball a bit more. Expect some decent fantasy production from one of David Njoku or Amari Cooper, possibly even both. Regardless, it won’t be enough. The Ravens are at home, hungry post-loss, and they’re the better of these two teams. — Aidan Maher

 

Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals 

Joe Burrow found his rhythm again last week, completing 75.7% of his passes for 300 yards, three touchdowns, and even a rushing touchdown. He looked like the Burrow that led the team to the Super Bowl. Of the production Burrow had, most of it came from Ja’Marr Chase, who had 132 yards and two touchdowns. A.J. Terrell will most likely be guarding Chase, that is, if he plays. Terrell left last week’s game with a hamstring injury. It will then be up to Casey Hayward and Richie Grant in the secondary to hold things down, both allowing under a 61.5% completion percentage for less than 250 yards. They can only do so much though against a passing attack like the Bengals, who also have Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. They will need the pass rush to step up to help, but they’ve only been able to generate pressure 31 times this season, the second lowest in the NFL. 

The Bengals will have to account more for the Falcons on the ground compared to the air. This season, Mariota has thrown the ball 137 times, compared to the 202 rushing attempts the Falcons have. With Cordarrelle Patterson out, the rushing attack has consisted of Mariota (206 yards), Tyler Allgeier (235 yards), and Caleb Huntley (152 yards). The run defense against running backs still ranks as a top unit, only allowing 4.2 yards per carry. With D.J. Reader out, though, it hasn’t been pretty, that was highlighted last week against the New Orleans Saints when they allowed 228 rushing yards. With Logan Wilson now injured as well, they need others to step up and help against the run. Limit the run, and the Bengals pass defense should be able to take over, as they have allowed only a 56.6% completion percentage.

Look for Burrow and the Bengals’ offense to continue what worked last week and find success against the Falcons defense on their way to victory.— Marissa Myers

 

New York Giants @ Jacksonville Jaguars

New York enters this game will ALL the momentum. They have taken down Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson in back-to-back weeks and should be favorited against Jacksonville. The Giants defense has been impressive thus far this season and is a big reason as to why they are 5-1. They will need another strong showing if they want to leave Florida with another victory.

The Jaguars have cooled off from their hot start but still can cause issues for opposing teams. Their offense can score points with the best of them, so New York needs to be alert and not take the Jaguars for granted.

However, I think the Jaguars squeak out a win here against the Giants. New York has everything riding their way and often times, that is exactly when the winning is halted. Give me the Jaguars to defend home field and come away with a huge win. — Matt Levine

 

Houston Texans @ Las Vegas Raiders 

Both teams are coming off a bye, but their previous games ended completely differently. The Texans got to enter their bye with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders, on the other hand, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in a game they had the chance to win before Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow ran into each other on their routes. While the Raiders may want to come out passing the ball to rectify this, they should stick to trying to run the ball early. Josh Jacobs has found his stride, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and 98 yards per game. The run defense for the Texans has allowed 133 yards per game, with an average of five yards per carry to opposing running backs. 

On the topic of running backs, Dameon Pierce should be the focal point for the Texans. Pierce has been bulldozing through defenders, with 412 yards on the season over 86 attempts, with 270 of those yards coming after contact. Pierce is a key, but he will have to do so against a Raiders run defense allowing only 3.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Divine Deablo has been a major part behind that with 48 tackles, along with Maxx Crosby who has 11 tackles for a loss. Davis Mills when he does pass will have to get it out quickly as Crosby also has six sacks on the season. 

The Texans are a team that has kept games close this season, and the same can be expected here against a Raiders team still trying to find what works for them. Although Houston keeps it close, the Raiders need this win to get back on track, and they will get it. — Marissa Myers

 

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys

This is an exciting matchup that projects to be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend. The Lions are coming off their bye week at just 1-4, but don’t let that record deceive you. They’ve been competitive in nearly all their games this season, and they can certainly keep things interesting in this matchup. Their elite offensive line will be a test for the Cowboys pass rush, and the Lions should put an extra emphasis on running the football in order to attack the weakness of this Dallas defense while also neutralizing the strength of it (pass rush).

Running the ball on a consistent basis may be tough for four quarters, though. The Cowboys get Dak Prescott back at quarterback against a Lions defense that has been putrid so far this season. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard should make for an efficient one-two punch in the backfield, CeeDee Lamb will remain a target hog, and I believe Michael Gallup will have his best game of the young season thus far. Not counting Detroit out, but I’ll take Dallas at home. — Aidan Maher

 

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers defense has been a top unit all season. They didn’t look like it last week against the Atlanta Falcons. They allowed 9.2 yards per pass attempt with two passing touchdowns, and 168 yards total on the ground. Now they face Patrick Mahomes, who is coming off a loss to the Buffalo Bills in which he threw two interceptions and still also had 338 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers defense is also not at full strength, Jimmie Ward, Drake Jackson, and Nick Bosa were limited in practice while Charvarius Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, and Arik Armstead missed practice so far. Those players will be ones to monitor, as they are vital to the success of the defense, especially against an offense like the Chiefs.

What had been working for the 49ers offense was their run game, yet last week they went away from it, and it led to Jimmy Garoppolo throwing two interceptions in their loss. The run game could be stifled again, as the Chiefs are allowing only 4.2 yards per carry. The 49ers could find ways to keep pace through the air with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle, yet again though, they’ve been using the run to set up the pass. They also need to convert on third downs to keep drives alive, something they’ve only done 40.5% of the time. This has resulted in them scoring on only 29.2% of their drives, the fifth lowest in the NFL.

The one thing about the Chiefs is they respond well off a loss, combine that with the fact that Mahomes hasn’t lost to the 49ers in his career, and this should be a bounce back game for the Chiefs. — Marissa Myers

 

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos

Before the season started, many would have easily penciled the Broncos in for a home win in this spot. However, the Broncos new offense led by Russell Wilson has become one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments of the season, while the Jets have surprised many with a 4-2 start.

This game may be extremely low-scoring, as neither team has had very reliable quarterback play, while on the flipside, Denver’s defense has played like one of the best in the NFL, while New York has emerged as one of the best young units in the league. Should be a close game, but I’ll roll with the surging team opposed to the mightily struggling one. — Aidan Maher

 

Green Bay Packers vs Washington Commanders

The Green Bay Packers lost a rough one to the New York Jets last week. Their offense sputtered and their defense could not stop the run. They have a prime opportunity to rebound this week against the Washington Commanders. Aaron Rodgers still had 246 yards through the air, but only one touchdown. The offense was one-dimensional and the run game only had 60 total yards to show. Aaron Jones 2.1 yards-per-carry really show how limited they were. They will look to get back to the usual high octane offense of the past, but the struggles are real and the Packers now sit at .500 on the season. The good news, they are facing a Washington Commanders team that has struggled and just lost their cornerback.

However, the Commanders are piecing it together. Brian Robinson made his miraculous comeback last week and is now the starting running back. He impressed last week, and will most likely be paired with quarterback Taylor Heinecke in the backfield. The Commanders defense was hyped up coming into the year, but have disappointed so far. The talent in the unit is there, and they could turn it around at any moment. Washington will most likely be focusing on there quarterback situation. Heinecke will start, but if he struggles with Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin at his disposal, the coaching staff might see what they have in rookie underdog Sam Howell. This is a trap game for the Packers, and they will need to be firing on all cylinders against a Commanders team still trying to find their way. — Tyler Paluzzi

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Chargers

Two teams with explosive offenses and struggling defense, this game has big-time shootout potential. Even in such a high-scoring game, the running backs should see plenty of volume in this game. Seattle will look to attack this weak Chargers run defense with explosive rookie Ken Walker lll, while Austin Ekeler will get plenty of touches in space, as he’s proven to be one of LA’s top playmakers.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hasn’t been put in the optimal position, as Keenan Allen hasn’t played since week one, and they’re missing key pieces on the offensive line, but I don’t believe Seattle has the defensive chops or ability to generate pressure that will really make those weaknesses show in this game. I like the Chargers in a bounce back spot here. — Aidan Maher 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa will be making his return to the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers after his horrendous concussion incident that spurred new NFL protocols. The Dolphins have struggled with him gone, getting blown out by AFC East rival the New York Jets and dropping a close one to the Minnesota Vikings. Tua will be heavily watched this game, most people wondering if his sustained injuries will impact his play going forward. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle carrying the offense, and the emergence of Raheem Mostert, Tagovailoa will be in a great position to make a difference again right away. The Dolphins were riding high before this skid during his injury, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are a great matchup to get him situated again.

The Steelers should not be expected to roll over though. Kenny Pickett has cleared protocol and is on track to start. He has been a welcomed addition to what was one of the worst offenses in the league. Off the heels of upsetting Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh wants to flip the script and that starts with Pickett. Back to back wins against two extremely skilled teams would have people craning their necks to get a look at this completely turned around Steelers team. The offense should come out fired up, with the defense trying to contain the air attack of this speedy Dolphins core. This game will go one of two directions. Miami will walk away with a win, not having a doubt about the outcome after the half. Or, the Steelers will keep a still recovering Tua at bay, and Kenny Pickett will have his breakout game. 

 

Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots

The New England Patriots come into this game hot. Having won their last few games, they are ready for this matchup with Chicago. New England should be favorited in this game even if rookie Bailey Zappa starts. Zappe has looked impressive for the Patriots in his short time as the starter and has made some question whether the reigns should be his or go back to Mac Jones once he returns from injury. He has kept New England alive for the playoff hunt while Jones has been out and that in itself has been impressive.

Chicago comes into this game struggling to get the ball moving on offense. The Bears are one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL and have no sign of improving. If they want to win quarterback Justin Fields is going to need to get the ball out quickly and make sure his wide receivers have some space to catch the football. Additionally, the defense is going to need to step up and have a massive game for Chicago to have a chance to win on the road. I like New England here in this game. — Matt Levine

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