NFL Week 7 picks: Bengals stun Steelers, Falcons exact revenge on Patriots
Wondering which NFL teams are going to win in Week 7? You've come to the right place to find out
Winston injured his shoulder on Sunday against the Cardinals, and I'm pretty sure we can pin most of the blame on Ryan Fitzpatrick because he's basically become a walking jinx. Once he's on your team, there's a zero percent chance that your starting quarterback is going to make it through the season healthy.
It all started in 2005 when third-stringer Fitzpatrick moved straight up to the top spot of the depth chart with the Rams after two quarterbacks -- Marc Bulger and Jamie Martin -- both got hurt. The next team he played for was the Bengals and let's just say that Carson Palmer stood no chance. Palmer hurt his elbow in 2008 and Fitzpatrick ended up starting 12 games.
This same sequence of events also happened with the Bills (2009), Titans (2013), Texans (2014) Jets (2015) and now the Bucs: Fitzpatrick signed with a team, and then that team's starting quarterback went down.
As you can see, this is a very well documented phenomenon and if it's not the plot of "Final Destination 6," I'll be very disappointed. The script practically writes itself.
On the other hand, it's kind of surprising that the Jaguars haven't given Fitzpatrick a call yet because that seems like it would solve almost all of their problems. Speaking of the Jaguars, apparently fans in Jacksonville got so used to watching them lose over the past few years that they've stopped showing up now that the team is winning. Jacksonville is apparently the one city that hates winners.
Even though the Jags were in first place in the AFC South heading into Week 6, they still drew their smallest crowd since 2009.
I'll be honest, I don't know why anyone would NOT want to go to a Jaguars game. First of all, they play at the best people watching stadium in the world. I mean, where else can you see this.
You don't see jerseys like that at any other stadium.
Also, let's not forget, they have a pool.
Basically, I see no downside to attending a Jaguars game.
Anyway, let's get to the picks, before Ryan Fitzpatrick jinxes them like he does with everything else.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here's my somewhat weekly reminder that you can check out the picks from each of our NFL writers here at CBSSports.com by clicking here. This week, you'll want to click over and check out Will Brinson's picks because Brinson was basically printing money in Week 6 with his picks against the spread. Note to the U.S. Treasury: Brinson wasn't actually printing money, because that's illegal. What I mean is he's making money off his smart picks: He went 10-4 against the spread in a week where everyone else fell flat on their face.
Brinson also likes to tweet about Ryan Fitzpatrick, so he did a good job of fitting in with our main themes here this week.
Alright, let's get to the picks.
NFL Week 7 Picks
Arizona (3-3) vs. L.A. Rams (4-2) in London
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Cardinals probably won't ever admit it, but I'm pretty sure half the reason they traded for Adrian Peterson is so he could serve as their tour guide in London. The game against the Rams will mark the second time this MONTH that Peterson has played in England since he also played there back on Oct. 1 while he was with the Saints. After this week, Peterson will have played more games in London than any other city this season. At this point, we should probably just make him the ambassador over there.
This London game actually comes with a twist because we're getting our first ever PRIME TIME GAME in London. As you've probably noticed, most games in England kickoff at 9:30 a.m. ET, however, since that would be an ungodly hour for Rams and Cardinals fans in Arizona and California, this game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET, which means a 6 p.m. local start in London. That should give Peterson enough time to take his entire team on a tour of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
Speaking of Buckingham Palace, the guards there could probably stop the run better than the Rams can. Through six weeks, the Rams defense is ranked 29th overall in the NFL against the run, which makes me think Peterson is going to put on the biggest show that London has seen since whenever the last time the Spice Girls held a concert. Pumpkin Spice is still my favorite.
As for my pick, I'm taking the Cardinals, but only because I'm 99 percent sure Peterson will be personally putting everyone to bed to make sure they're all properly adjusted to the time zone this week.
The pick: Cardinals 26-23 over Rams
N.Y. Jets (3-3) at Miami (3-2)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Dolphins are the most perplexing team in football and that's mostly because they've won three games this season despite the fact that they haven't scored more than 20 points in a single game all year. THEY ALSO HAVEN'T SCORED A SINGLE POINT IN THE SECOND QUARTER ALL SEASON. I don't even know how that's possible. That's like going through your entire life without using the letter "L."
The scary thing is that I'm pretty sure this is all part of Jay Cutler's plan. The Dolphins aren't scoring in the second quarter because he doesn't want to score in the second quarter. Jay Cutler doesn't do second place, second fiddle and he certainly has no interest in scoring in the second quarter, and Dolphins fans have no clue what to think about all of this.
Every time Cutler plays, Dolphins fans go through their normal three stages of Cutler emotion. First, they hate him, then they love him, then they promise to get a tattoo of him because he somehow keeps winning.
I haven't seen a Love-Hate relationship like this since I read "Pride and Prejudice" my freshman year in college.
By the end of the season, half the population of Miami is going to have a Cutler tattoo.
The crazy thing about this game is that I can't remember the last time Cutler played in a somewhat important game this late in the season. Sure, it's only Week 7, and this game's not actually that important, but this counts as important to Cutler because he could have the Dolphins in first place by themselves if Miami wins and the Bills and Patriots both lose.
I'm not sure I'm ready to live in a world where Jay Cutler is the quarterback of a first-place team, so I can't in good faith take the Dolphins. Also, the Jets completely shut down Cutler back in Week 2 and I just don't think Miami's offense has gotten much better since then.
The pick: Jets 23-20 over Dolphins
New Orleans (3-2) at Green Bay (4-2)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
It's too bad that science hasn't reached the point where you can donate body parts to your favorite football player, because, based on my last count, there are about 5,000 people in Green Bay who would love to donate their collarbone to Aaron Rodgers.
It's the thought that counts, right?
With Rodgers possibly out for the season, the Packers are going to have to try and win without him, which they're not very good at doing. The last time Rodgers missed substantial time came in 2013 when he missed seven games due to a broken collarbone. Back then, the Packers had to roll with Scott Tolzien. This time around, they've got Brett Hundley, and I'm assuming he's good because Mike McCarthy made it very, very, very clear this week that he doesn't plan to bring in any other quarterbacks (like say, Colin Kaepernick).
The problem for the Packers is that their offense is designed like the fingerprint unlock button on your cellphone: It only works with one person and that person isn't Hundley.
Before throwing 33 passes against the Vikings on Sunday, Hundley had only thrown a total of 11 passes in his entire career, and now, he's likely going to be asked to win a shootout with Drew Brees. I just don't see that happening, especially against a Saints team that has outscored its last three opponents by an average score of 35.3-17.
The pick: Saints 30-20 over Packers
Cincinnati (2-3) at Pittsburgh (4-2)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
With the way Andy Dalton has been playing over the past few weeks, the Bengals might want to think about firing their offensive coordinator at least once a month for the rest of the season, because apparently, that's what sparks Dalton. Since the firing of Ken Zampese after Week 2, Dalton has thrown seven touchdown passes, just two interceptions and averaged 275.3 yards per game under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. That's a huge jump from the numbers he put up during the first two weeks of the season, which were zero touchdowns, four interceptions and 197 yards per game. Basically, Dalton was at DEFCON Bortles before the Bengals finally made the decision to fire Zampese. You never want to be at DEFCON Bortles.
We're about to find out if Dalton's actually any good because he'll be going up against a Steelers pass defense that's ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL through six weeks. Of course, Ben Roethlisberger isn't going to have it much easier because the Bengals are ranked No. 2 overall against the pass. Basically, there's a good chance that both quarterbacks are going to throw multiple interceptions in this game, and if we're going by recent history, there's also a 50 percent chance that we'll see a fight in this game and a 40 percent chance that Vontaze Burfict will injure someone. Really, there's no reason not to watch.
The pick: Bengals 23-20 over Steelers
Atlanta (3-2) at New England (4-2)
8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
After watching the Falcons blow a 17-0 lead to the Dolphins on Sunday, I'm half convinced that they did it on purpose JUST SO PEOPLE WILL STOP TALKING ABOUT THE SUPER BOWL. I mean, let's be honest, blowing a 17-0 lead to a team quarterbacked by Jay Cutler is basically the equivalent of blowing a 51-0 lead to a normal team, so Sunday's loss was arguably just as embarrassing as the one that came in February.
The thing about the Super Bowl is that the Falcons spent two and a half quarters torching a Patriots defense that was actually good. This time around, the Patriots defense is the opposite of good. Through six weeks, New England has the worst pass defense in the NFL, and it's not even close. The Patriots are giving up 324.8 yards per game through the air, which is horrible when you consider that no other team is even allowing 305. Josh McCown threw for 354 yards against the Patriots, so I'm almost scared to think about what Matt Ryan might do.
Normally, i hate picking against the Patriots at home in a prime-time game, but I've changed my mind on that. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Patriots are just 2-2 in home night games. The Falcons will finally get revenge for the Super Bowl, although I'm not really sure we can count it as revenge because no one will remember this game five years from now, but we'll always remember the time Atlanta blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead in the biggest game of the year.
The pick: Falcons 34-31 over Patriots
NFL Week 7 picks: All the rest
- Chiefs 20-17 over Raiders
- Panthers 16-13 over Bears
- Bills 27-20 over Buccaneers
- Titans 23-16 over Browns
- Jaguars 24-17 over Colts
- Vikings 20-13 over Ravens
- Cowboys 34-24 over 49ers
- Seahawks 27-17 over Giants
- Chargers 19-16 over Broncos
- Eagles 30-27 over Redskins
BYES: Texans, Lions
Best pick: Last week, Iwould beat the Jets by exactly seven points and then the Patriots went out and beat the Jets by exactly seven points. Now, did I know that the Jets were going to get hosed on the worst replay reversal of all-time? Of course I did, because ridiculous things always happen to the Jets.
In this game, the ridiculous thing was a fourth quarter touchdown by the Jets. Due to the refs' decision to overturn the touchdown, half the internet is now convinced the NFL is fixing games so that the Patriots always win.
Now, I'm not saying they're right, but Roger Goodell did call me last week and tell me to pick the Patriots to win by seven. I'm just kidding, Goodell never calls me, he only texts.
Worst pick: Last week, for the first time in the five-year history of this column, I decided to add a "Lock of the Week" section and it blew up in my face after I picked the Broncos to blow out the Giants. The "Lock of the Week" was such an abysmal failure that I'm never doing a "Lock of the Week" ever again. The ugly part is that I basically spent three paragraphs babbling about how it would be impossible for the Giants to beat the Broncos.
The only thing worse than my babbling was this Denver news guy who spent an entire week telling anyone who would listen that there was no way the Giants could win.
I know how you feel, man.
Also, there's this guy, who had to eat his own hat after the Giants won, so maybe my pick didn't blow up in my face as badly as I thought.
The worst thing I ate this week was some off-brand ramen noodles, which kind of tastes like a hat, and actually might have less health value, so I think I know how that guys feels, too.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I'm actually good (and bad) at picking, here's a quick look:
Teams I'm 6-0 picking this year: Cardinals.
Teams I'm 5-1 picking this year: Browns, Eagles, Lions, 49ers, Seahawks (4-1), Saints (4-1) (Maybe Colts)
Teams I'm 1-5 picking this year: Jaguars, Broncos (1-4), Dolphins (1-4)
Every other team is somewhere in the middle.
Straight up in Week 6: 7-7
SU overall: 53-38
Against the spread in Week 6: 5-9
ATS overall: 45-45-1
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