Before the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Giants and Broncos, I had joked that this season is so weird that the Giants would actually win. Of course, I didn’t actually believe it. But the Giants pulled off one of many upsets this season, and I had another week of dumpster fire picks. This season is unpredictable, but here I am still trying to rebound with my picks in Week 7. But first, let’s recap Week 6.
PHI 28 – CAR 23. The first L of the week came for me on Thursday Night. I trusted the Panthers to take care of business at home, but the Eagles look like a strong NFC contender after getting that road win. They had to battle some questionable officiating and Cam Newton, and still got the job done.
CHI 27 – BAL 24 (OT). My logic for picking the Ravens here was “Come on… you’re at home and it’s the Bears.” Nope. The Bears leaned on the run and not Mitch Trubisky, as Jordan Howard had a great day. The Ravens meanwhile have lost 3 out of their last 4 and look like the worst 3-3 team in the NFL.
MIN 23 – GB 10. And just like that the Packers season is probably over. If Green Bay were to lose a receiver or corner it’d be “next man up”. There’s no replacing Aaron Rodgers though. As for Minnesota, they got the win at home, and they will likely be contending with Detroit for the division crown. I like the Lions chances more personally, as Stafford > Bradford/Keenum
WAS 26 – SF 24. This was one of the few picks I got right, and I barely got it right. The Niners just have a way of losing close games, and now have dropped to 0-6. They’ve lost their last 5 games by a total of 13 points, all games by 3 points or less. Washington scraped by with this one, but can they keep up with Philly? We’ll see.
NO 52 – DET 38. The one upset I did pick didn’t work. The Saints took care of business at home, in what looked like a blowout early on. Just as Stafford began to will the Lions back into the game, he threw a pick 6 to end it. The Lions have lost 3 out of their last 4 now, but will soon enter a stretch where they play the Rodgers-less Packers, the Bears, and the Browns. I still like their chances. As for the Saints, are they legit NFC South contenders? They’ve won three in a row.
MIA 20 – ATL 17. Why Falcons, why must you blow leads? They were 13 1/2 point favorites in this game… and they lost to Jay Cutler. For Miami, it was a moralizing victory, but can you beat the Jets next week? And I’m sure the Falcons are hungry for some revenge against the Patriots.
HOU 33 – CLE 17. You would expect with the way this week was going that the Browns would find a way to win. But the Texans took care of business as expected, as Deshaun Watson had a solid day and the defense shut down Browns’ QB Kevin Hogan.
NE 24 – NYJ 17. Despite both teams starting 3-2, the Patriots had a 91% chance of making the playoffs where the Jets had about a 1% chance, according to Football Power Index. That was before this game, and the Jets were ready to prove the doubters wrong by getting off to a 14-0 lead. But the Pats ultimately had this game in the end, and they’ll ultimately have the division as we all know.
ARI 38 – TB 33. I was truly doubting whether Adrian Peterson still had “it” after his troubled tenure with New Orleans. But he added a dimension to the Cards’ offense that they were missing since David Johnson got hurt, as he bursted onto the scene for 134 yards and 2 TDs. As for the Bucs, they might be starting Ryan Fitzpatrick next week (we’ll get to that later).
LAR 27 – JAC 17. I picked Jacksonville to win this game, not exactly buying into “The Jags win on odd weeks and lose on even weeks” thing. But Todd Gurley got his act back together, and Jared Goff didn’t make any costly mistakes. They proved to be the better team, and have shocked the NFL World by starting their season 4-2.
LAC 17 – OAK 16. Derek Carr didn’t exactly look good coming back, throwing for less than 200 yards and 2 interceptions. As one Chargers fan put it “they out-Chargered the Chargers” by losing the game by only a point. The Raiders are now 2-4, and their oft-hyped season is on the brink of collapse. Can the offense finally pull it together?
PIT 19 – KC 13. I said before this game that I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers managed to win this one, despite picking the Chiefs. And what do you know? Alex Smith appeared to go back to game manager form (his passer rating was 88.6, and it hasn’t dipped below 100 all season), and the Steelers won by a very similar score from that AFC Divisional Round game (which they won 18-16).
NYG 23 – DEN 10. And here is the shocker of the week: My New York Football Giants were able to escape Mile High by finally putting a “1” in the W column. How did they do this? Eli Manning avoided costly Eli mistakes, the defense played very well (shoutouts to JPP for the 3 sacks and Jackrabbit for the pick 6), and they actually ran the ball for once! Against a top-ranked run defense, no less! Handing the play calling away from McAdon’t was a good choice (he still needs to be fired). Denver, meanwhile, definitely has to bounce back from this embarrassing home loss.
TEN 36 – IND 22. And to cap off a crazy NFL week, the Titans finally snapped their streak of 11 straight losses against Indy. This was something I actually predicted. While this score looks great for Tennessee, they were booed early on, settling for field goal after field goal. However, they made the home crowd happy with a fourth quarter offensive explosion, putting themselves tied for the AFC South lead at 3-3. And as long as Mariota is the QB, I still trust the Titans to win this division.
Time to finally rebound. I think I finally figured out how to pick teams during this crazy NFL season.
KC @ OAK. The Chiefs have a tendency to do well against the Raiders, having swept them last season. I think Kansas City will shake off their loss to the Steelers from last week, and beat the sputtering Raiders offense. They start 6-1, winning the game 27-20.
BAL @ MIN. While I don’t have much confidence in the Vikings QB situation, they know how to win games with that defense. Besides, the Ravens just got beat at home by the Bears, so are they really going to beat Minnesota on the road? Give me the Vikings to win 24-16.
NO @ GB. Simply put, the Packers are a shell of themselves without Aaron Rodgers. Brett Hundley isn’t going to be able to stack up against Drew Brees, and the Saints will manage to march out of Lambeau with a 28-23 win.
NYJ @ MIA. The Jets may have beat up on the Dolphins earlier in a game that stunned just about everyone, but the Dolphins are coming off a morale-boosting victory against the Falcons. I believe the Jets stretch of victories has come to an end, and that the Dolphins will pull of a 21-17 win.
CAR @ CHI. The Panthers will rebound after losing to the Eagles, as the Bears are simply a worse team. I just have to trust Cam Newton over Mitch Trubisky and that ragtag group of receivers he has. The Panthers will win 28-16.
ARI @ LAR. The Cardinals may have gotten a great win last week, but the Rams are simply a strong team. Todd Gurley should be too much for the Cards’ defense to handle, and Adrian Peterson shouldn’t have quite as good a game with Aaron Donald and company on the other side. LA wins 30-23.
TB @ BUF. The Bills are coming off a bye week, and are playing at home (I know road teams usually win this season for some reason, but playing in Buffalo does no favors for a team from Tampa). The Bucs will be going with Ryan Fitzpatrick or a banged up Jameis Winston to start this game. Give me Buffalo to win 27-24.
JAC @ IND. One of the things I’ve learned about this 2017 NFL season is that the Jaguars win on odd weeks and lose on even ones, and it certainly looks like they’ve got this matchup. The Jags are simply a better team than the Colts, and should use their defense and Leonard Fournette to win 27-13.
TEN @ CLE. The Titans probably feel good after breaking the Colts Curse, while 1-25 Hue Jackson and the Browns are the same old Factory of Sadness. This should be the closest game to a “sure pick” in this crazy NFL season, as the Titans will win 30-13 in my lock of the week.
DAL @ SF. The 49ers are playing at home against a struggling Cowboys team, and have kept most of their losses close. But you’ll notice a key word there. Losses. They’re an 0-6 team, and are simply a worse team than Dallas. The Cowboys will win 28-17.
CIN @ PIT. The Steelers are 4-2, but their losses against the Jags and Bears indicate they don’t always take care of business. But they should take care of the Bengals, right? They’re playing in Heinz Field, and have finally started leaning on Le’Veon Bell like they should be. Pittsburgh will win 30-24.
SEA @ NYG. So everything points to the Seahawks winning this game. They’re coming off a bye, and have an elite secondary that can definitely shut down the Giants’ decimated receiving corps. But the same thing could be said about the Broncos last week. The Giants are now playing at home, and I like JPP and Damon Harrison’s chances against the Seattle o-line. Give me the Giants to win 20-17 in my upset of the week.
DEN @ LAC. The Chargers don’t have a home field advantage, so it really comes down to who has a better team. The Broncos, despite their embarrassing performance last week, are indeed the better team. Their defense should be able to shut down the Bolts, and as we all know, the Chargers aren’t exactly very good against the AFC West. Denver wins 23-17.
ATL @ NE. While the Falcons are probably starving for revenge against the team that humiliated them 8 months ago and started an Internet meme, the Patriots are simply a better team, and the Falcons are reeling after a disappointing loss against Miami. The Patriots win 28-24, going to 5-2 despite not exactly looking like the greatest of teams this year.
WAS @ PHI. The Eagles look like Super Bowl contenders, and should definitely beat Washington here. The Skins barely beat San Francisco last week, while the Eagles got a tough road win. And because Philly has had 11 days to prepare, they should win 30-21.
My Pick Record This Season: 48-44 (4-10 last week… again! That 15-1 Week 2 feels like a LONG time ago)
My Lock of the Week Record: 3-3 (With this crazy season… that’s just how things are.)
My Upset of the Week Record: 2-4