Thursday, Oct. 20
Chicago Bears (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
The Packers haven’t been their usual selves this year, but their only two losses are excusable as they came against the Vikings and Cowboys who have a combined 10-1 record this year.
Hoyer has thrown four-straight 300-yard games, but it hasn’t led to points or wins. Chicago averages the second-fewest points per game in the league (16.8).
Q’s Pick: Packers, 26-20
Sunday, Oct. 23
New York Giants (3-3) vs Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
Rise and shine, L.A.! The Giants and Rams will play in London with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 a.m. PT, so West Coast Rams fans are going to need quite a bit of coffee to sit through this one.
The Rams’ body clocks are going to be a little off and I don’t like how far their overall defense has fallen off the map. Los Angeles’ run defense is still solid, but, lately, the Giants haven’t run the ball.
Q’s Pick: Giants, 23-19
Minnesota Vikings (5-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
The Vikings are fresh off a bye week and remain the only undefeated team left in the league.
That’s in large part to their defense which allows a league-few 12.6 points per game and ranks fourth in rush yards allowed (77.8) and sixth in passing yards allowed (209.8).
The unit will need another solid outing against Carson Wentz, who struggled last week against the Redskins but is 2-0 at home.
The Eagles have a solid secondary but their defense doesn’t match Minnesota’s.
Q’s Pick: Vikings, 24-20
New Orleans Saints (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
The Saints offense averages the second-most points per game in the league with 31, but their defense allows a league-high 33.6 points per game which has led to close games, but ultimately losses for New Orleans.
Kansas City’s secondary has been brilliant at times but their run defense has been bad, allowing 116.6 yards per game on the ground.
On the other hand, it’s not nearly as bad as New Orleans’ defense as a whole. Still, the X-Factor is if the Chiefs can stop Drew Brees and if they can, they can win.
Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 31-30
Washington Redskins (4-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)
The Redskins are winners of four-straight games thanks to another impressive string of games from Kirk Cousins.
They’ll be visiting a Lions team that is back at .500 after starting the year 1-3, but Detroit’s secondary has been a mess and that could lead to another big game for Cousins.
Washington has the opposite problem — their secondary has been consistent but their run defense is faulty. That may not be as a big of an issue seeing as fullback Zach Zenner was the Lions leading rusher last week with 58 yards.
It will be a battle of high-flying offenses that could come down to which defense forces a big play to shift the momentum of the game.
Q’s Pick: Redskins, 30-26
Cleveland Browns (0-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
The Bengals haven’t been good this season, but they definitely haven’t been as bad as the Browns.
Andy Dalton has thrown for 1,757 yards, third-most in the NFL, but is leading an offense that is only scoring 18.2 points per game.
Unfortunately, the Browns defense hasn’t had any answers for most of the teams they have faced this year and are one of only four teams allowing more than 400 total yards per game.
Q’s Pick: Bengals, 27-21
Buffalo Bills (4-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-4)
The Bills offense has been on a tear as of late, scoring 30+ points in three of their last four games with all four of those games ending in wins.
Miami has the second-worst rush defense in the league (147 ypg) and Buffalo has the best rushing attack in the game (166.3 ypg).
McCoy fantasy owners are surely drooling and dreaming about this matchup.
Q’s Pick: Bills, 31-21
Oakland Raiders (4-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
These two are more similar than you might think: they both have solid offenses led by young hometown-hero QBs with exciting receivers and a lack of run support.
The biggest difference lies on the other side of the pigskin.
Oakland’s defense is atrocious and allows a league-high 444.8 total yards per game. Jacksonville’s defense… isn’t that bad. In fact, their secondary only allows 218.4 yards per game through the air, eighth fewest in the league.
Q’s Pick: Jaguars, 30-24
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (3-3)
The problem with the Colts remains with their offensive line. Andrew Luck has been sacked 23 times already this season and lacks any big-time receivers to help the passing game.
Last weekend, Indy’s defense was the bigger problem as they squandered a 14-point 4th quarter lead and fell to the Texans in overtime.
Q’s Pick: Titans, 30-24
Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at New York Jets (1-5)
The Jets’ tough season hit another tough snag with a dismal performance in the desert on Monday Night Football in Week 6 where they only put up three points against a struggling Cardinals team.
The Ravens defense has been exceptional to this point in the year, allowing a league-few 69.7 rushing yards per game and fewer than 300 total yards per game.
That’s bad news for Geno Smith, who’s leading the offense in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick this week. Smith will be making his first start of the season after throwing six passes and an interception off the bench in Week 6.
Q’s Pick: Ravens, 27-17
San Diego Chargers (2-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
The Chargers’ offense has been better than most, leading to the team averaging 28.8 points per game which is the third-most in the league.
But the Falcons offense has been even better.
That duo should put up big numbers against a Chargers secondary that allows 279.7 yards per game (24th).
Q’s Pick: Falcons, 34-27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (1-5)
The Bucs, fresh off a bye week, have had two weeks to prepare for a 49ers team that is fresh off allowing 45 points to the Bills and have lost five-straight games.
That’s not to say Tampa Bay’s defense isn’t bad.
Q’s Pick: Buccaneers, 21-17
New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
Le’Veon Bell will now be tasked with carrying a team that is facing a New England run defense that allows only 92 yards rush per game (9th).
On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady will get the luxury of facing a Steelers pass defense allowing the third-most yards through the air this year (293.7 ypg).
It would be a huge upset if the Steelers win this one without their starting QB.
Q’s Pick: Patriots, 35-24
Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
The Seahawks may have been the beneficiary of a controversial no-call-pass-interference on Richard Sherman during one of the final plays of the game, but there’s no controversy in how well Seattle handled the Falcons top-ranked passing game during the first half of that one.
The Cardinals defense has been solid as well, allowing only 295 total yards per game (4th) and they know how to beat the rival Seahawks.
Sunday Night Football should be in for a defensive showdown in Week 7.
Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 20-16
Monday, Oct. 24
Houston Texans (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-2)
One of the biggest storylines of the game will be Brock Osweiler‘s return to Denver, a week after his fourth-career game-winning drive after doing it twice for the Broncos.
Osweiler has been good, no doubt, but Denver’s pass defense is the best in the league (182.3 ypg) so the Texans will need to rely on Lamar Miller to try and beat the Broncos’ struggling run game.
Houston has weapons, but the Broncos have more and had 10 days of rest to prepare after a humiliating loss to the Chargers in Week 6. They don’t want Osweiler to have a happy homecoming.