Week 6 of the 2016/17 NFL campaign featured several more upsets and teams will be hoping to rebound from their unexpected losses in week 7. The action kicks off this Thursday, October 20th with Green Bay hosting Chicago in a fierce NFC North rivalry. The best matchup of the week though could be the New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers showdown. The NFL will also be hosting its second game of the season over at Twickenham Stadium in London, England this weekend as the New York Giants takes on the Los Angeles Rams. Check out our weekly predictions below to see how each team will fare.
Thursday, October 20th
Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers
Week 7 gets underway with the Bears vs Packers rivalry in Green Bay on Thursday. The Packers sit in second place in the NFC North with a 3-2 record after dropping a 30-16 home decision to the red-hot Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The Bears reside in the basement of the division at 1-5 following their heartbreaking 17-16 home defeat at the hand of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been struggling this season, but the Packers are still good enough to beat clubs like the Bear, especially at their home stadium. The Bears blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars and thing won’t get better for them this weekend.
Prediction: Green Bay beats the Bears by 10 points, 34-24
Sunday, October 23rd
New York Giants vs Los Angeles Rams
The Giants take on the Rams over in London, England this weekend with this game being held at Twickenham Stadium, which is basically used for rugby. This means the Rams have quite a long way to go after being edged 31-28 in Detroit last weekend. The loss dropped the Rams to 3-3 on the season and they’re in second place in the NFC West. Quarterback Case Keenum pulled his weight last week by throwing three touchdown passes and gaining 321 yards in the air by going 27 for 32 in passing. However, it still wasn’t enough to tame the Lions. The Rams’ secondary was missing Robert Quinn and Detroit certainly took advantage of his absence. Odell Beckham Jr. is playing better for the Giants as he had a pair of touchdowns in New York’s 27-23 home victory over Baltimore. He also had a career-best 222 yards. The Giants are now 3-3 on the year, but sit in last place in the NFC East.
Prediction: The Giants win by 10 points, 28-18
New Orleans Saints vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Saints head to Kansas, but will need to make sure their defense tightens up after their 41-38 shootout win over Carolina at home last Sunday. The win improved New Orleans to 2-3 on the season and they currently occupy third place in the NFC South. The Chiefs pass defense should be able to at least slow down New Orleans’ attack. They beat Oakland 26-10 out on the west coast last week and held the Raiders’ aerial game to 225 yards. Kansas City rushed for 183 yards and also owned the ball for 37 minutes of the contest. They’ll be facing a tough Saints’ quarterback in Drew Brees though and he has plenty of offensive help. The Chiefs enter the weekend in third place in the AFC West at 3-2. New Orleans is 3-1 on the road on their past four trips and 4-0 ATS in those trips.
Prediction: Kansas wins by seven points, 28-21
Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans
Indianapolis blew a decent lead against the Houston Texans last week with just three minutes to go in the game and came out on the wrong end of a 26-23 score on the road in a big AFC South showdown. The loss saw the Colts fall to 2-4 and into the division’s cellar and they now have another big divisional game ahead of them. Tennessee edged Cleveland 28-26 at home to keep the Browns winless and the Titans are second in the division at 3-3. Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota is playing better and has led his team to two straight victories over Miami and Cleveland.
Prediction: Tennessee wins by three points, 31-28
Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles didn’t fly against Washington last week as they were beaten 27-20 on the road. Quarterback Carson Wentz and his offense have struggled lately and lost two straight outings. The team won their first three games though and is 3-2 on the season, good enough for third place in the NFC East. The rookie Wentz had his worst performance of the campaign with just 179 yards on 11 for 22 passes. Minnesota is still the only unbeaten team in the league at 5-0 after sitting out with a bye last week. They sit on top of the NFC North. Don’t forget, Vikings’ quarterback Sam Bradford will also be playing against his former team in the game. Minnesota is 7-1 on the road in their past eight trips and 9-0 ATS in the past nine.
Prediction: Minnesota wins by 14 points, 24-10
Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland is still hoping to win its first game of the season, but faces a tough task against fellow Ohio and AFC North club Cincinnati. The Browns came close last week, but lost 28-26 in Tennessee after trying to make a comeback with a couple of late touchdowns. Cleveland is now 0-6 on the season and in last place in the AFC North. The Bengals are only 2-4 following their 35-17 defeat in New England. Cincinnati now owns third place in the division. The Bengals are a better team than Cleveland though and should be able to prove it this weekend. The Bengals are 3-0 both straight up and ATS over their last three encounters with Cleveland and have won each of the three games by 28 points on average.
Prediction: Cincinnati wins by 14 points, 38-24
Washington Redskins vs Detroit Lions
Washington and Detroit were both victorious last week as the Redskins grounded the Eagles 27-20 at home and the Lions clawed the Rams to the tune of 31-28 at home in the Motor City. Washington is in second place in the NFC East at 4-2 while Detroit is 3-3 and in third spot in the NFC North. Washington is one of the hottest squads in the league with four straight wins with two of them coming on the road in San Francisco and Baltimore. Detroit has won two consecutive home outings and their passing game has looked good lately. Look for the Lions to launch an aerial attack at home against an average Washington defence.
Prediction: Detroit wins a close one by three points, 31-28
Oakland Raiders vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Oakland was taken down 26-10 by Kansas City at home last weekend after sitting out with a bye the week before. They couldn’t handle Andy Reid and are now 0-6 ATS in their past half dozen home contests. Therefore, the Raiders will welcome a road trip down to Florida to take on the Jaguars. Oakland has won five of their past six road games and is 8-1 ATS over their past nine trips out of town. The Raiders are 4-2 on the season and still lead the AFC West. Jacksonville is 2-3 on the year and sits in third place in the AFC South following their 17-16 road win over the Bears last week. The Jaguars are still struggling offensively though and have scores fewer than 20 points in three of their five encounters so far.
Prediction: Oakland rebounds with a seven-point win, 34-27
Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins
The Bills and Dolphins meet in a big AFC East clash down in Florida this Sunday. Both teams were highly successful last week as Buffalo demolished San Francisco 45-16 at home and Miami doubled the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-15 at home. The Bills’ offence is in top gear with an average of 31 points per game in their past five outings after scoring only seven points in their season-opening defeat to the Ravens. Buffalo has won four straight now and is in second place in the AFC East at 4-2. The Bills’ ground game was led by LeSean McCoy last week and they’ve rushed for over 190 yards three times in their past four contests. This includes 312 yards against the 49ers. Miami did a fine job against Pittsburgh and is now 2-4 on the campaign and third place in the division.
Prediction: Buffalo wins by 15 points, 31-16
Baltimore Ravens vs New York Jets
The New York Jets were smoked 28-3 by the Arizona Cardinals out in the desert on Monday Night Football and have sunk to the bottom of the AFL East with their 1-5 record. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has struggled mightily by tossing just five touchdown passes along with his 11 interceptions. The offence and defence have both been below par this season and they may have a ray of hope considering they’ll be facing a Baltimore squad which has lost three in a row. The Ravens are hanging on to second place in the AFC North at 3-3 after their 27-23 loss in the Big Apple to the New York Giants last week. Baltimore has a fine run defence though, which means that Fitzpatrick will likely be forced to pass the ball and that’s not a sign of good things to come.
Prediction: Baltimore wins by six points, 21-15
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs San Francisco 49ers
Tampa sat out last weekend with a bye, but beat Carolina 17-14 on the road in their last contest. They’re 2-3 on the season and in second spot in the NFC South. Meanwhile, the 49ers slumped to 1-5 following their 45-16 beat down at the hands of the Bills in Buffalo. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggled last week and the defence hasn’t been at its best either, especially against the ground attack. The 49ers have lost five in a row as they haven’t been able to defend the rush. Tampa ran the ball against the Panthers two weeks ago and the passing game looks good with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans.
Prediction: Tampa wins by six points, 30-24.
San Diego Chargers vs Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons lost a tough one last week as they were edged 26-24 in Seattle. The key play was a Matt Ryan interception late in the game. The Falcons’ pass defence was impressive as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson failed to throw a touchdown pass. Atlanta is still leading the NFC South though with a 4-2 record in 2016/17. Meanwhile, the Chargers snapped their four-game losing streak with a big 21-13 home triumph over Denver last Thursday. San Diego is now 2-4, but sits in the basement of the AFC West. San Diego is 0-3 away from home as their defence hasn’t been as good as the offence. It looks like Atlanta will be too strong offensively for them this weekend.
Prediction: Atlanta wins by six points, 31-25
New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers were upset 30-15 down in Miami last weekend while New England took care of Cincinnati 35-17 at home. The Patriots offence has been much better since quarterback Tom Brady returned from suspension with an average of 34 points each game in his two outings. They’ve registered relatively easy victories over Cleveland and the Bengals in his pair of starts. Rob Gronkowski has also been hot with 271 yards over those two encounters. New England’s 5-1 record sees them lead the AFC East. The big news in Pittsburgh is the injury of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as he was hurt in Miami. If he can’t face the Patriots, the Steelers will be in trouble even though they’re at home. The Steelers still lead the AFC North at 4-2.
Prediction: New England wins by 10 points, 31-21
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals
The Seahawks and Cardinals meet on Sunday in a big NFC West showdown. Seattle enters the weekend in first place in the division with their 4-1 record while Arizona is tied with the Rams for second at 3-3. The Seahawks edged Atlanta 26-24 at home last week while the Cardinals downed the Jets 28-3 at home. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer hasn’t thrown for more than a single touchdown in a game since the second week of the season and has been succumbing to pressure in the pocket. Seattle will take advantage of that and Arizona will have to depend on running back David Johnson. However, he struggled against Seattle last season. The Seahawks are 3-0 both straight up and ATS on their past three road trips to Arizona.
Prediction: Seattle wins by seven points, 27-20
Monday, October 24th
Houston Texans vs Denver Broncos
Houston is coming off of a 26-23 home win over Indianapolis last Sunday while Denver was downed 21-13 in San Diego last Thursday night. Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler returns to Denver in this game after leaving on a sour note during the offseason. He struggled against the Colts for the first three quarters last week though and will need to be better on Monday night. Houston is 4-2 on the season and leads the AFC South. Denver looked lost against San Diego and paid for it in their eight-point defeat. The defence wasn’t too bad, but the offence missed head coach Gary Kubiak’s play-calling as he missed the game with health issues. Denver is tied with the Raiders for the lead in the AFC West at 4-2.
Prediction: Denver wins by 17 points, 30-13