Even as new quarterback Cam Newton and the New England Patriots struggle to win games, this one is likely to be more about revenge. That’s the first order of business for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was traded away from the Pats to San Fran a few years ago. That’s my best bet!
Here are the rest of the Week 7 games, and the Inquirer staff picks:
Games are listed in Vegas oddsmakers' rotational order.
Browns (3) BENGALS (50.5), 1 p.m.
Kinda leaning to Cleveland, but gotta find out if Baker Mayfield’s ribs are healthy.
Cowboys (Pk) WASHINGTON (46.5), 1 p.m. (Fox29)
There’s a petition circulating to cancel this game considering it might be harmful to your eyes. I just signed!
FALCONS (2.5) Lions (55.5), 1 p.m.
Matt Ryan is probably humming the tune, “Me and Mrs. Jones” but replacing Mrs. Jones with Julio. Without Double J playing catch with Matty Ice, Atlanta was not doing any damage. With Jones, the Falcons were unstoppable last week. Ryan hit on 30 of 40 for 371 yards and 4 TDs. Julio snagged 8 of those passes for 137 yards and 2 TDs with an average catch of 17+ yards. As long as Mr. Jones is on the field, we’re on the ATL. If he sits, wash the wager.
SAINTS (7.5) Panthers (51.5), 1 p.m.
Three weeks ago, New Orleans squeezed out a 35-29 win against Detroit then followed with a 30-27 W against the Chargers. Buyin' Carolina.
Bills (13) JETS (45.5), 1 p.m.
Not in the habit of laying double digits, especially on the road, but after watching New York get bageled by the Dolphins, falling to 0-6 straight up and against the spread, Buffalo should cover this number with room to spare.
Packers (3.5) TEXANS (57), 1 p.m.
If you’re coming into Mr. Rodgers neighborhood, know that Mr. Discount Double Check is five & oh coming off a loss.
Seahawks (3.5) CARDINALS (56.5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Kyler Murray went home Monday and didn’t have to put on a show as Arizona smothered the Cowboys in Dallas, 38-10. Why no show? He fed RB Kenyon Drake, who gobbled up 164 yards. The last time the Cards played Seattle, Murray was 11 of 18 for 118 yards and a TD before leaving with a hamstring. What else happened? Glad you asked. Drake, the running back, not the singer, rumbled for 166 yards against the Seahawks. And how many rushing yards did Seattle give up the last time out? Glad you asked. How about 201 to the Vikings!
PATRIOTS (2.5) 49ers (43.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS3)
Take every single New England stat and trend, and throw it in the garbage! The Patriots are 24-4 in their last 28 home games. Throw it in the garbage! The Patriots had a 20-year run of covering around 59% of their games. Throw it in the garbage! The Patriots have won four of the last five against the NFC West. Throw it in the garbage! Every single stat and trend was with Tom Brady running the show. TB12 is gone, and that’s why New England is under water at 2-3 for the first time since 2002. But this isn’t only about Brady. It’s also about revenge, baby! That’s the first order of business for Jimmy Garoppolo, who was traded away a few years ago. Jimmy G was solid against a tough L.A. Rams defense last week, clicking on 23 of 33 for 268 yards with 3 TDs and no INTs. With Cam Newton as the leading rusher, things will only get uglier for the Patriots and Double B, and that’s why there is only one thing left to say. This is my best bet, baby!!!
Chiefs (9.5) BRONCOS (49.5), 4:25 p.m.
Before you get too excited about Denver’s little two-game winning streak, remember it was against the 0-5 New York Jets, and the 2-3 New England Patriots. What you need to get excited about is Patrick Mahomes and his work against the Broncos. Can I say ridonkulous. These AFC West rivals played twice last season, and Kaycee destroyed 'em each time. It was 30-6 in the first meeting at Mile High, and 23-3 in the next game at K.C. That’s only a combined 53-9. Which is only an average winning margin of 22 points per game. And the spread is only 9.5? Actually, Mahomes was injured in the first half of the game at Denver after completing 10 of 11 for 76 yards and a TD. Mahomes was back and humming in Kansas City, hitting on 27 of 34 for 340 yards and 2 TDs. And now Patrick has a two-headed monster in the backfield with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell ready to roll after getting out of the Jets prison in New York.
Buccaneers (3.5) RAIDERS (43.5), 4:05 p.m.
Never comfortable going against TB12, but with Derek Carr in a nice zone, we’ll tickle our hometown Silver & Black.
TITANS (1) Steelers (50.5), 1 p.m. (CBS3)
Three perfect teams out there, and two play in Nashville. We’re on the kids from Music City. Everyone is yakking about Pittsburgh’s defense, which is fine, but with the exception of the Browns, none of the opponents have a winning record. But stopping the Titans and Ryan Tannehill ain’t gonna be easy. After a slow start, Tennessee has put up an average of 37 points per game, and Ryan T’s numbers (121/173, 69%, with 13 TDs and 2 INTs) have been phenomenal!
CHARGERS (8) Jaguars (49), 4:25 p.m.
Not sure that L.A. deserves to be a snowman against Jax, but will roll with the new kid on the block, Justin Herbert.
RAMS (6) Bears (45), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Chicago might be a legit 5-1 team, but it might be all smoke & mirrors. However, there’s no smoke & no mirrors with this Los Angeles team that has been money coming off a loss, with a 7-0 perfecto against the spread.
EAGLES (4) Giants (43.5)
Eagles 22, Giants 21
Entering Week 7