By Mike Crum
Dallas Cowboys Team Analyst and Co-Host of the Across The Cowboys Podcast
Man, week seven was utterly disappointing. I started out 6-2 after the morning games & ended up 8-6. This puts me at 65-39 overall, and I’m starting to not like my overall record. This week needs to jump start it back up.
Atlanta Falcons (ATL) at Carolina Panthers (CAR)
The Panthers have just been much better this season. The Falcons continually find ways to lose games. At some point I keep telling myself that it is gonna even out, but it still hasn’t. In a game like this where I think the Falcons have the better roster but the Panthers are playing better football consistently, I go to my principals. For this game I’m going to a big one: home teams on short weeks. It’s an even enough game for me to lean on that. The Panthers are the pick.
Minnesota Vikings (MIN) at Green Bay Packers (GB)
This has trap game written all over it. The Vikings are coming off their bye and playing an opponent they know very well, and they have low expectations that Mike Zimmer can use to charge his team up. The Packers could see the Vikings record and laugh while looking forward to next Thursday night against the 49ers. My hunch says the Vikings have a great shot to steal this game. I’m gonna be gutless and pick GB, but I’m gonna be sick if Minnesota pulls this out.
Tennessee Titans (TEN) at Cincinnati Bengals (CIN)
The Titans have been one of the best teams this season. They are 5-1, with only a close loss to the Steelers this last week. I just don’t think the Bengals are good enough to win this game. Joe Burrow is the lead dog so far for Rookie of the Year, and is on pace to break Andrew Luck’s rookie yardage record. I believe Cincinnati will move the ball well, but the Titans will convert more in the red zone than the Bengals will. The Titans win, but they might not cover.
New York Jets (NYJ) at Kansas City Chiefs (KC)
If this isn’t the same pick for every human on earth then we have lost the plot. KC by a lot.
Indianapolis Colts (IND) at Detroit Lions (DET)
The Lions have beaten the Jaguars and the Falcons the last two weeks, but the Colts are a step up in competition. I think the Colts are the better team of these two, and they are coming off the bye, so I’m taking them.
Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT) at Baltimore Ravens (BAL)
In the past two weeks, the Steelers have beaten great run teams. I think in a regular situation I’d take them to beat the Ravens, too. This week though the Steelers are coming off those two physical games and they have to go to Baltimore after traveling to Tennessee in week seven. The Ravens have been home resting on a bye week, tweaking the team and adding wrinkles to their game plans. For these reasons I’m taking the Ravens to win this round.
Los Angeles Rams (LAR) at Miami Dolphins (MIA)
Another one of my hunches. I know on paper this looks like a win for the Rams, but they are traveling across the country, on a short week, and Miami has some clear other advantages. Miami is off a bye, they are bringing in a new QB that nobody has tape on, and they will have a different set of offensive plays for. Add to that, the Dolphins have a pass defense that can play man against the Rams and have some success. I’m taking the upset here with the Dolphins.
New England Patriots (NE) at Buffalo Bills (BUF)
These teams are both not playing as well as they were at the beginning of the season. This is mostly due to both QBs dropping off pretty significantly. I’m taking the Bills because I think they have a much better roster and the coaching isn’t as big a drop off as most coaches would be if they were going against Bill Belichick. I’d be surprised if the Bills can’t handle this Patriots team.
Las Vegas Raiders (LVR) at Cleveland Browns (CLE)
Who was that Baker Mayfield? If that is the Baker that Cleveland will get again in week eight, this contest simply won't be one, and the Browns are gonna win a ton of games moving forward. The Browns run game is excellent, so if their passing attack can be good they will score a lot, and that will unleash Myles Garrett and his boys on the pass rush. Derek Carr has been great so far this season, but this team is like Dallas-lite. He is carrying a terrible defense. The Browns will exploit that bad defense and win a shootout.
Los Angeles Charges (LAC) at Denver Broncos (DEN)
This is a toss up, especially in Denver, but my brother and I have an inside joke about Justin Herbert being the G.O.A.T. because we stole him in our fantasy draft. I’m riding with the G.O.A.T., who will push Joe Burrow for Rookie of the Year if he continues to play at the level he has been. I’m running with the wave he is on, if Vic Fangio can halt that wave then I'll just have to tip my cap.
New Orleans Saints (NO) at Chicago Bears (CHI)
If this game is in New Orleans it’s an easy pick for me. The tough part for me is Drew Brees throwing outdoors in Chicago against that Bears defense. Maybe this is recency bias, but the Bears offense just looks too bad to pick them. I’m scared of this pick, I’m worried about Drew Brees, but I’m taking the Saints begrudgingly.
San Francisco 49ers (SF) at Seattle Seahawks (SEA)
This game for me comes down to one thing. Russell Wilson blew the game Sunday Night against the Cardinals with multiple interceptions. I expect him to bounce back. The 49ers should put up points because Seattle has a poor defense, but Wilson will find a way to get his team a win at home. He owes Seattle one.
Dallas Cowboys (DAL) at Philadelphia Eagles (PHI)
The Cowboys are in organic tank mode. They are purging bad veteran players by trade or cuts. They wanna see what they have in their young guys who they assume will play hard, but they just don't have the horses to compete in this game. The Eagles aren’t playing up to snuff so far this season, mainly do to poor QB play by Carson Wentz. No worries, Eagles fans, Wentz will look like 2017 Wentz come Sunday night. This has 40-10 written all over it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) at New York Giants (NYG)
The Bucs are on a roll. The best, or second best defense in the league. Tom Brady is lighting it up. This is a blowout by two scores or more.
With that said, and with week eight likely ending with two big blowouts, we end the predictions. I’m needing a big 10-12 win week for week eight. What do you guys think? Let me know, and enjoy football Sunday!
Week Seven Pick Summary:
CAR over ATL
GB over MIN
TEN over CIN
KC over NYJ
IND over DET
BAL over PIT
MIA over LAR
BUF over NE
CLE over LVR
LAC over DEN
NO over CHI
SEA over SF
PHI over DAL
TB over NYG
Across the Board Sports