• Jake Klausner

NFL Week Seven Predictions

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Welcome to paradise! In other words, welcome to this week’s preview for the NFL. We’ve got a lot of enticing matchups to look at, so let’s get right into it with the first matchup.

Denver Broncos (3-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (3-3) (Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX/NFL NET Line: CLE -1.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- Injuries have plagued the Browns this season, with receiver Jarvis Landry landing on the injured reserve early this season. Now, the Browns will be without their quarterback Baker Mayfield after suffering a torn labrum last week. Backup quarterback Case Keenum will take Mayfield’s place on Thursday. In addition to Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb (calf) and Kareem Hunt (calf) will also be inactive. Hunt got placed on IR on Tuesday, which means he will also be missing considerable time. Expect D’Ernest Johnson to take the majority of the load.

- The Broncos, on the other hand, are in the midst of a three-game losing streak after starting 3-0. If Denver wants to win this week, they have to hope for a stellar outing from QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is coming off a game in which he accounted for four turnovers. Not to mention, he’s a game-time decision to start due to a foot injury.

- Both teams come into this game with top-tier defenses. The Broncos are led by their all-pro linebacker, Von Miller, while the Browns have by the league leader in sacks, Myles Garrett. With Mayfield out and Bridgewater uncertain, expect a low-scoring defensive battle.

PREDICTION:

Like I said before, I expect to see a low-scoring game. Under normal circumstances, I would take the Browns plus the points, but I don’t see any way the Browns pull this off with Mayfield hurt. Keenum is an established quarterback, but I think that the Broncos’ defense will be too much. Give me the Broncos! DEN +3.0



Atlanta Falcons (2-3) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-5) (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: ATL -2.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


- Despite a slow start to the season, the Atlanta Falcons look to be getting back into form. QB Matt Ryan will be getting his favorite target back in the form of receiver Calvin Ridley. Also, rookie Kyle Pitts looks to have finally settled in, and Cordarrelle Patterson continues to be a factor in the run, pass, and return game.

- The Dolphins are a colossal disappointment. After losing last week to Jacksonville, the Dolphins have now dropped their last five games. Tua served as one of the only bright spots, throwing for a season-high 329 yards and two touchdowns in his return. However, it just wasn’t enough.

PREDICTION:

This is a challenging game to pick for bettors because both teams have terrible defenses. The Falcons come into this game ranked 31st in points allowed. The Dolphins aren’t that much better, ranking just above the Falcons at 29. However, I think the difference in this game will come down to Matt Ryan and his ability to make the plays that count. Calvin Ridley being back in the offense will be very beneficial, and I think the Falcons will do enough to win. ATL -2.5

Washington Football Team (2-4) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-1) (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: GB -8.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- It’s the Aaron Rodgers show in Green Bay. Ever since their disastrous week one showing, the Packers haven’t missed a beat. The tandem of Rodgers and Davante Adams has been unstoppable, and I don’t see anyone stopping them this week. The WFT defense can’t stop anyone right now, and Aaron Rodgers will quickly point out their weaknesses.

- It has been a disappointing start to the season for Washington. This defense last year was a top-ten defense, but this year, it ranks towards the bottom. It will be challenging for the defense to slow down Rodgers and company, so the offense has to show up. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has shown promise this season, as has running back Antonio Gibson and receiver Terry McLaurin.

PREDICTION:

Taylor Heinicke will offer some fireworks on offense, but I ultimately think the Packers’ offense with Rodgers, Adams, and Aaron Jones will be too much. I expect the Packers to win and cover. GB -8.5

Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-2) (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: KC -5.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- Through the first six weeks of the season, Patrick Mahomes has already thrown more interceptions than last season entirely. After his two interceptions in the first half of last week’s game, Mahomes turned it around and torched Washington. Tennessee’s defense has a lot of injuries, so I expect the offense of Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill to show out this week.

- The Titans are coming off a much-needed win against Buffalo on MNF. Running back, Derek Henry is running like a man possessed. His 783 rushing yards are the best in the league, and it’s not even close. Their one downside is that injuries are hurting them on both sides of the ball. All-pro offensive linemen Taylor Lewan (concussion) was carted off the field on Monday, and receiver Julio Jones reinjured his hamstring; his status is uncertain for Sunday’s game. Not to mention, they are thin at secondary.

PREDICTION:

I see this being a very entertaining game. Derek Henry will have yet another impressive showing and will the Chiefs’ defense some fits. However, the difference in this game will be Patrick Mahomes’ ability to scramble and make plays. He just has to be himself and focus on making the smart plays on offense. My prediction is Kansas City will win this game, but they will not cover the spread. TEN +5.5

New York Jets (1-4) vs. New England Patriots (2-4) (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: NE -7.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- In the week two matchup against the Patriots, rookie QB Zach Wilson threw four interceptions, leading to a 25-6 beatdown at the hands of New England. Wilson comes into this week’s matchup against the Pats with a league-high nine interceptions. Wilson has shown some signs of progression, but overall, it seems as if the pressure of rebuilding the Jets’ franchise is getting to him.

- After their heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Cowboys last week, the Patriots are looking to rebound. Unlike Wilson, rookie Mac Jones has continued to show signs of progression. He had a great showing last week, apart from one costly interception. Nevertheless, I expect him and the Patriots’ defense to bounce back.

PREDICTION:

Weeks two’s matchup was a blowout, and I don’t expect anything different come Sunday. Expect Mac Jones to put the ball in the end zone and for the defense to force Wilson to make plenty of mistakes. The Pats win this one in blowout fashion. NE -7.0

Carolina Panther (3-3) vs. New York Giants (1-5)

TV: FOX Line: CAR -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- Sam Darnold hasn’t been himself the past couple of weeks. The entire team hasn’t looked like themselves, having dropped their last three games. Looking at their matchup this week, I expect them to bounce back. The Panthers’ defense has been solid this year with playmakers like Shaq Thompson and Hasaan Reddick. They will be without star running back Christian McCaffrey again, so expect more Chubba Hubbard in the backfield.

- I don’t know what to say about the New York Giants other than ouch! After getting smacked by the Rams last week, the Giants find themselves in “no man’s land.” I’m not sure how Daniel Jones (concussion) got cleared to play last week. Not to mention, they are already without Saquon Barkley (ankle), and they are expecting to be without rookie receiver Kadarius Toney (ankle) as well.

PREDICTION:

The Carolina Panthers will get back to their winning ways this weekend. I expect Darnold to have a better week throwing the football. The defense will overpower Daniel Jones and the Giants, leading to a Panthers’ victory. CAR -3.0


Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) vs. Baltimore Ravens (5-1) (Sunday 1 p.m. ET)

TV: CBS Line: BAL -6.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

- The Bengals have turned a lot of heads this season. While their wins haven’t exactly been against good teams, they still have played good football. The story to watch for in this game is whether or not Joe Burrow will be able to compete against a Ravens’ defense that shutdown Justin Herbert and the Chargers last week. For the Bengals, I think it will come down to Joe Burrow and his ability to find his best playmaker, Ja’Marr Chase.

- Coming off an impressive showing last week, Lamar Jackson and that Baltimore rushing attack will look to continue their momentum. The story coming into this week has got to be the Ravens’ defense. After starting the season a little sluggish, the defense finally showed up last week, holding the high-power Charger offense to 200 yards of total offense. Can they continue that trend this week?

PREDICTION:

I think the Ravens will continue that trend to answer the question above, but I believe Burrow will show a little resilience. This game will be an intense, low-scoring affair, with both teams making critical stops on defense. I think that the difference in this game will be Lamar Jackson’s ability to make plays. The Ravens win in a competitive one, but I still feel like they will cover. BAL -6.5

Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (4-2) (Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: LV -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- QB Jalen Hurts has been impressive for the Eagles thus far. I can’t say the same for the rest of the team. It has been that kind of season for the Eagles. They seem to have a lack of heart under first-year head coach Nick Sirianni. Not to mention, this will be the first week without former all-pro tight end Zach Ertz after he got traded to Arizona following last week’s loss to Tampa.

- I said it in last week’s recap, but I will say it again: the Las Vegas Raiders are my sleeper team moving forward. They are 1-0 under interim HC Rich Bisaccia, QB Derek Carr has had a stellar start to the season, and the Raiders’ defense has put up considerably better numbers than last season. I’m expecting another splendid showing out of the Raiders in front of their home crowd.

PREDICTION:

Jalen Hurts will show out for the Philly faithful, but I think the Raiders get it done in a game that will be closer than expected. I believe the difference in the game will be Derek Carr and his ability to spread the football around to different playmakers like Hunter Renfroe, Henry Ruggs, and Darren Waller. LV -3

Detroit Lions (0-6) vs. LA Rams (5-1) (Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX Line: LA 15.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- Jared Goff has to be looking for some type of revenge after the way he left LA. He was a part of a trade that sent him to Detroit in exchange for Matthew Stafford. Goff felt blindsided by the transaction, and Rams’ HC Sean McVay regrets the lack of communication with Goff. The Lions head into this game needing a win and are starting to run out of good chances. This week is not one of those.

- As for the Rams, Matthew Stafford has established himself as an MVP caliber QB. It helps when you have guys like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods that know how to make plays. Stafford seems to be fitting right into McVay’s style of offense. Expect Aaron Donald and the defense to give a battered Lions’ offensive line a lot of problems.

PREDICTION:

I’m going to make this short and sweet. It’s going to be a good ole fashioned beatdown. Fifteen points is a lot, but I expect the Rams to cover with ease. LA -15.0


Houston Texans (1-5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (6-0) (Sunday 4:25 ET)

TV: CBS Line: ARI -17.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- I don’t even know what to say about the Texans. They stink! That is all.

- As for the Cardinals, they are undefeated. Kyler Murray has quickly emerged as the odds-on favorite to win the league MVP. Murray has a lot of options to choose from offensively with DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, rookie Rondale Moore, and the newly acquired Zach Ertz. Not to mention, they should be getting Chandler Jones back on the defense after missing last week’s game due to COVID.

PREDICTION:

The Cardinals are favored by an absurd margin this week and for a good reason. I don’t see this game being very close. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals' offense will fly all over the Texans and steamroll them. ARI -17.5


Chicago Bears (3-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1) (Sunday 4:25 ET)

TV: CBS Line: TB 12.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- Chicago is looking to rebound after their tough home loss against Aaron Rodgers. I expect to see a good game out of the Bears this week. Rookie QB Justin Fields is continuing to find his groove, but I think this game, for the Bears, will come down to their defense. I think Khalil Mack and company will have to force Tom Brady into some challenging situations if they want to come out on top.

- At the beginning of the season, I picked the Bucs to win the Super Bowl. I’m still riding behind that prediction. Tom Brady has been solid this season, but I feel like the story on offense has been Leonard Fournette. This is arguably Fournette’s best season since coming into the league in 2017. I expect him to be a difference-maker come Sunday.

PREDICTION:

I see this game being heavily relied on the defense. Both defenses will come up with huge plays late in the game, but I ultimately think the Bucs have too many weapons on offense and will overcome the Bears. I see the Bucs winning this game, but I like the Bears to cover.

CHI +12.5


Indianapolis Colts (2-4) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-3) (Sunday 8:20 ET)

TV: NBC Line: SF -4.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- The Colts are better than their record suggests. After starting the season slowly, it seems as if the Colts are just now figuring out their identity on offense. QB Carson Wentz has found a bit of a groove as of late and has been playing some solid football. RB Jonathan Taylor has also found his way coming off a stellar performance against Houston last week. Expect the Colts’ offense to click yet again against a weak 49ers’ secondary.

- Expect to see Jimmy Garoppolo back under center for the Niners this weekend. I’m not sure how much they expect from him, but it looks like he will suit up from what I’ve seen. However, be on the lookout for the Niners to utilize the ground game for most of the night.


PREDICTION:

In what I expect to be low-scoring once again, Jonathan Taylor will run all over the Niners, and Carson Wentz and the Colts complete the upset. IND +4.0

New Orleans Saints (3-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (2-4) (Monday 8:15 ET)

TV: ESPN Line: NO -5.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

- The Saints, fresh off their bye, have been good, not great. They are still going with a two-quarterback system. They like the way Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill have played. Hill can line up anywhere offensively, while Winston has a cannon. Additionally, they still have an elite playmaker in RB Alvin Kamara. Also, their defense isn’t bad either.

- The Seahawks are coming off a tough loss in overtime at the hands of TJ Watt and the Steelers. Geno Smith hasn’t looked too bad in relief of Russell Wilson (finger). Their offense has a lot of playmakers. However, the same can’t be said for the defense, which ranks dead last in points allowed. The fact that Monday night’s game is at home could play a huge role. That could end up being the difference-maker in the game.

PREDICTION:

I’m predicting another low-scoring defensive in this MNF showing. As I said before, I think that the 12th man faithful will cause the Saints to make many mistakes on offense. Like the SNF football game, I’m predicting another upset in the form of the Seattle Seahawks beating the New Orleans Saints. SEA +5.0


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Jake Klausner covers the NFL as well as other American-based sports. Keep your eyes peeled for more from Jake.

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