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Insiders predict: NFL week 7 winners

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Rob Carr // Getty Images

Insiders predict: NFL week 7 winners

With Week 6 in the books, the only thing we know is that we still have no idea what to expect from this 2019 season in the NFL. Yes, it can be confirmed that the Patriots are good and the Dolphins are bad, which everyone seemed well aware of at season’s start. Everything else, though, is a bit unpredictable.

Last week was littered with upsets: The Jets took down the Cowboys, Pittsburgh won with a rookie third-string QB in L.A. against the Chargers, the Texans outpowered the Chiefs, and San Francisco proved they are to be reckoned with in the NFC after taking down the Rams on the road. Officiating continues to be scrutinized, with the Monday night game being a chief example of how controversial calls can impact an outcome.

Week 7 is packed with major matchups and carrying major implications. Here’s a preview of some of the best on the docket:

Vikings @ Lions: Detroit was a few phantom calls away from first place in the NFC North. Instead, they sit alone in last place. This divisional matchup could be a difference-maker come December.

Raiders @ Packers: The Raiders are a surprising 3-2 and riding a two-game winning streak, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have found ways to win all season, even if it’s ugly.

Saints @ Bears: The Saints have marched to a 5-1 record with backup QB Teddy Bridgewater under center. But he hasn’t seen a defense quite like Chicago’s yet.

Ravens @ Seahawks: Lamar Jackson versus Russell Wilson is enough reason to tune into this matchup—two of the best offenses in football.

Eagles @ Cowboys: First place in the division is on the line. The Cowboys will try to halt a three-game slide and salvage a promising start to the season, but the Eagles are out to prove they’re still the team to beat in the NFC East.

Insiders predicts are based on the team that is favored to win, which is dependent on consensus betting odds and spread on Vegas Insider as of Oct. 16, 2019. Team stats were gathered from NFL.com.

Read on to find out predictions for every NFL matchup in Week 7. 

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Jamie Squire // Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) @ Denver Broncos (2-4)

- Gametime: Thursday, Oct. 17, 8:20 p.m. EST

Four weeks into the NFL season, the Chiefs seemed to be an unstoppable force, destined to keep pace and compete with the Patriots each week for the top spot in the AFC standings. Back to back home losses have changed that tune, though, as many are wondering if there are some issues with the style that Kansas City plays.

They are a big play offense and have some issues on defense. And while Patrick Mahomes II still hit on some big plays on Sunday (three touchdowns passes), they were still outdone by a more methodical Texans offense which saw Deshaun Watson and Carlos Hyde lead the way to a 31-24 victory.

Now, the Chiefs will take to the road on a short week to face a team whose last two weeks have been almost the opposite. The Broncos finally got in the win column two weeks ago by beating the Chargers and followed that up by shutting out the Titans at home on Sunday in a somewhat overwhelming performance.

The Denver defense intercepted Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota twice and sacked him three times, sending him to the bench. He was replaced by Ryan Tannehill, whom the Broncos would then sack four times and get an interception as well for an all-around dominant outing and a 16-0 win.

With a short week facing both teams and them being familiar opponents, this game could get interesting. The Chiefs are the favorites on the road and still the better team, but the fact that it is by less than a touchdown suggests that betting markets have changed their tune a bit in terms of how they feel about the Kansas City offense being able to show up at all times.

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Peter Aiken // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Kansas City Chiefs

- Favored to win: Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -165

- Kansas City Chiefs team stats:
- Offense: 422.0 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 339.3 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing offense: 82.7 ypg (#24)
- Defense: 406.2 yards per game (#27 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 244.3 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing defense: 161.8 ypg (#30)

- Denver Broncos team stats:
- Offense: 336.2 yards per game (#25 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 220.2 ypg (#23)
--- Rushing offense: 116.0 ypg (#14)
- Defense: 307.8 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 196.0 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing defense: 111.8 ypg (#18)

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Sean M. Haffey // Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams (3-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-5)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

The Rams are slumping and have lost three in a row after a 3-0 start to enter Week 7 with just a 3-3 record. But having the Falcons on the calendar may just be the perfect opportunity for a “get right game” for the Sean McVay offense which appears to be in need of one. L.A. made a big splash Tuesday in an effort to shore up the secondary, trading Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to the Ravens, only to snatch who they consider to be a more valuable Pro Bowler, Jalen Ramsey, in a trade that sent two first-round picks to the Jaguars.

In an important NFC West showdown last Sunday, the Rams were held to just seven points and 157 yards by the 49ers in a 20-7 loss. It was a slow day for Jared Goff, who completed 13 passes on 24 attempts and had 78 total passing yards without a touchdown. He also did not throw an interception, which helped keep the game competitive, but it was clear that the Rams offense had little answer for the 49ers defense throughout the game.

This week’s opponent presents far less of a challenge. The 1-5 Falcons have shown little ability to stop anyone at any point, and the way things are trending, it appears that head coach Dan Quinn making it through this season may not be a guarantee.

Quinn’s team has been allowing 31 points per game, the second-worst total in the league, better than only the tanking Miami Dolphins. Last week, having the Cardinals on the calendar seemed like it could present the opportunity for a much-needed second victory. But again, the Atlanta defense failed and surrendered 340 yards and three touchdowns in the air to rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. That meant that Matt Ryan and the offense would need to come from behind late in the game.

They did just that, as Ryan hit Devonta Freeman for a 12-yard touchdown pass with just under two minutes to play to bring the score to 34-33, only to see Matt Bryant miss the extra point resulting in a loss. Whether it’s the defense, or special teams, the Falcons seem to always suffer a let down and against a slumping Rams team desperate to prove their offense is still a force, this should be a shootout and an L.A. win.

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Katharine Lotze // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Los Angeles Rams

- Favored to win: Los Angeles Rams
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -155

- Los Angeles Rams team stats:
- Offense: 370.8 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 272.5 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing offense: 98.3 ypg (#22)
- Defense: 346.8 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 241.3 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing defense: 105.5 ypg (#16)

- Atlanta Falcons team stats:
- Offense: 391.3 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 317.8 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing offense: 73.5 ypg (#29)
- Defense: 388.8 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 271.2 ypg (#27)
--- Rushing defense: 117.7 ypg (#20)

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Brett Carlsen // Getty Images

Miami Dolphins (0-5) @ Buffalo Bills (4-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

The Dolphins nearly earned their first win of the season in Week 6, as the ineptitude of Washington so far this season is one of the few that could compare to the start that Miami has endured. Still, it was another loss for the Fins, as Washington rookie Terry McLaurin caught a pair of touchdown passes from Case Keenum en route to a 17-16 victory.

At this point, Miami looks every bit the favorite to finish with the worst record in the NFL and earn the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that doesn’t seem like something that would change this week. The Bills are one of the early surprises of the 2019 season, and they rebounded from their first loss of the season the New England by beating the Titans 14-7 with another stellar defensive performance.

Buffalo boasts the league’s third-best defense, allowing their opponents to gain 275 yards per game. They aren’t among the league’s top defenses when it comes to takeaways, however, they really don’t need to be forcing turnovers against the Dolphins to control the game. The fact of the matter is that being a 4-1 team at home against a Dolphins offense that has struggled to find its footing all season, Buffalo being an overwhelming three-score favorite against Miami is exactly what you would expect.

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Frederick Breedon // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Buffalo Bills

- Favored to win: Buffalo Bills
- Spread: -17
- Odds: -1400

- Miami Dolphins team stats:
- Offense: 234.2 yards per game (#31 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 176.0 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing offense: 58.2 ypg (#31)
- Defense: 439.8 yards per game (#32 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 270.2 ypg (#26)
--- Rushing defense: 169.6 ypg (#31)

- Buffalo Bills team stats:
- Offense: 372.4 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 232.8 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing offense: 139.6 ypg (#6)
- Defense: 275.0 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 187.2 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing defense: 87.8 ypg (#7)

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Sam Greenwood // Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-6)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

The Bengals are now in Dolphins territory in terms of whether or not the 2019 season should be a complete wash and the best course of action could be to tank and plan for next year. They are still winless, joining Miami as the only two teams yet to register a victory this season. While the Jaguars are far from a juggernaut opponent, the oddsmakers have spoken and the Bengals getting their first win this weekend would still be considered an upset.

Jacksonville is favored, in large part, because their new quarterback Gardner Minshew has shown the ability to take charge of the offense in an effective manner since he was thrust into the starting role following Nick Foles’ injury in Week 1. That is, mostly, until last Sunday, when the Saints defense held him to 14 of 29 passing for 163 yards, an interception and no touchdowns in a 13-6 loss. Minshew’s season numbers still keep him in the top half of quarterback rankings this year, and the same cannot be said for Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton. A.J. Green’s injury has been a big factor in the Bengals offensive struggles, and his return would certainly impact the way this game plays out but whether or not he makes his 2019 debut this season will be a day-to-day saga to keep an eye on at Bengals practice this week.

Without Green, and perhaps even with him playing, the Jaguars still seem capable of getting their third win of the year and Minshew is likely looking forward to facing a defense that surrenders some big yardage totals (411.8 yards per game) and ranks 31st of 32 NFL teams. Look for a road cover this week for Jacksonville to pull to a respectable 3-4 record and send Cincinnati to a devastating 0-7.

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Julio Aguilar // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Jacksonville Jaguars

- Favored to win: Jacksonville Jaguars
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -185

- Jacksonville Jaguars team stats:
- Offense: 364.8 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 237.3 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing offense: 127.5 ypg (#11)
- Defense: 372.7 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 241.5 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing defense: 131.2 ypg (#25)

- Cincinnati Bengals team stats:
- Offense: 307.7 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 251.2 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing offense: 56.5 ypg (#32)
- Defense: 426.0 yards per game (#31 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 241.5 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing defense: 184.5 ypg (#32)

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Gregory Shamus // Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings (4-2) @ Detroit Lions (2-2-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

Lions fans will likely have a hard time getting over their 23-22 Monday night loss to the Packers which featured a pair of controversial illegal hands to the face penalties on defensive end Trey Flowers, which the NFL has since responded to. But Detroit is on a short week and has another big NFC North showdown on the horizon, and can ill afford to dwell on what could have—or many would say—should have been on Monday night at Lambeau Field.

The fact of the matter is that the Packers are the only one-loss team in a competitive division, so the 4-2 Vikings will be just as hungry to chase down Green Bay, and Minnesota enters this matchup against the Lions on a high note, having handled the Eagles with relative ease in a 38-20 victory last Sunday. Kirk Cousins finally found the rhythm with Stefon Diggs that was missing for much of this year so far. The pair hooked up for seven completions, 167 yards, and three touchdowns. Cousins had 333 passing yards, and a fourth touchdown which he connected with Adam Thielen on to go along with the three to Diggs.

The Detroit offense didn’t have as much success last week. Matthew Stafford had 265 yards but on 18 of 32 passing and he was held without a touchdown and sacked three times by the Packers' ferocious front seven. Detroit’s offense is still more than capable of putting up impressive totals, as evidenced by their top 10 ranking so far this year, but they face a top five defense in the Vikings, who have been surrendering just 292.4 yards per game.

Where the Vikings may look to have success when they have the ball is on the ground. Dalvin Cook had back-to-back career-high rushing games in Week 4 and Week 5, and though he was held in check in Week 6 by the Eagles, the team rushing total was still 122. Detroit’s defense has struggled as a whole, and stopping the run hasn’t been easy.

Perhaps Minnesota will try to control the game that way, and prevent it from becoming a shootout in which Cousins would likely fall short of Stafford. This is a pick ‘em, and it seems like a game that will rely on the Vikings being able to control possession and the Lions trying to make the game a bit more wide open. Whichever team wins will still be in good shape competing in the NFC North with just two losses. Three losses through seven weeks, though, means the loser of this game could be the basement dweller in the division nearing the halfway mark of the season.

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Hannah Foslien // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Minnesota Vikings

- Favored to win: Minnesota Vikings
- Spread: -1
- Odds: -115

- Minnesota Vikings team stats:
- Offense: 372.3 yards per game (#11 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 213.3 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing offense: 159.0 ypg (#3)
- Defense: 310.3 yards per game (#5 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 218.8 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing defense: 91.5 ypg (#9)

- Detroit Lions team stats:
- Offense: 369.8 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 262.2 ypg (#9)
--- Rushing offense: 107.6 ypg (#16)
- Defense: 413.8 yards per game (#29 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 280.0 ypg (#28)
--- Rushing defense: 133.8 ypg (#27)

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Thearon W. Henderson // Getty Images

Oakland Raiders (3-2) @ Green Bay Packers (5-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

The Packers 23-22 win over the Lions on Monday was littered with controversy, due to a pair of illegal hands to the face penalties called on Detroit defensive end Trey Flowers. However, Aaron Rodgers’ ability to lead scoring drives and overcome a nine point fourth-quarter deficit with a 35-yard touchdown pass to young wideout Allen Lazard, and then a 14-play, 77-yard drive that resulted in Mason Crosby’s 23-yard game-winning field goal is still something that Packers fans are going to be more than happy to focus on rather than the referees.

Green Bay’s 5-1 record means they are first in the NFC North as the only team with a single loss and they’ve beaten all three other teams in the division already this year in their first meetings. Now, they stay in the comfort of home, though they will be working on a short week as they welcome the Raiders to Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon.

With as much drama that surrounded the Raiders leading into the regular season and the fact that they sent Antonio Brown packing before he could even play a regular season game, their 3-2 record at this point in the season is actually quite impressive.

They’re coming off of a bye week, having last played on Oct. 6 in London, where they engineered a 97-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped off by a Josh Jacobs touchdown run, his second of the game, which gave them a 24-21 victory over the Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Teams have been able to run with effectiveness against the Packers this season, and that’s a strength of the Raiders offense that they will likely try to emphasize, particularly on the road where they will want to maintain possession and keep Rodgers on the sideline.

While Oakland is rested, the Packers still maintain the edge due to their defense’s ability to constantly be creating turnovers and generating pressure, and the fact that even with a banged up receiving core, Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur do seem to be finding a rhythm on offense that was lacking early this season.

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Dylan Buell // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Green Bay Packers

- Favored to win: Green Bay Packers
- Spread: -6
- Odds: -280

- Oakland Raiders team stats:
- Offense: 348.2 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 213.8 ypg (#24)
--- Rushing offense: 134.4 ypg (#8)
- Defense: 355.6 yards per game (#17 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 263.6 ypg (#22)
--- Rushing defense: 92.0 ypg (#10)

- Green Bay Packers team stats:
- Offense: 355.5 yards per game (#17 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 249.7 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing offense: 105.8 ypg (#17)
- Defense: 363.8 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 239.3 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing defense: 124.5 ypg (#23)

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Tim Warner // Getty Images

Houston Texans (4-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

Both the Texans and Colts come into this game off of upset wins against the Chiefs, only Indianapolis pulled theirs off a week prior and then had Week 6 to rest on bye.

Since Andrew Luck’s shock retirement, the Colts have not looked back and their only two losses this year were each by a single score and in games in which they still scored at 24 points. Most of their offensive success has come on the ground, where Marlon Mack has racked up 470 rushing yards through five games. That presents another strength vs. strength matchup, with the Texans skilled in the department of stopping the run (opponents averaging 88 rushing yards per game).

The Texans offense has shown the ability to be explosive, with Deshaun Watson capable of putting up huge yardage and scoring numbers at any point. He was effective in Houston’s 31-24 road victory against the Chiefs last Sunday, and despite throwing a single touchdown with two interceptions, he rushed for two scores which carried them to the win.

This is a pivotal game in the AFC South landscape, as both the Jaguars and Titans have fallen behind with four losses on the season. The winner of this matchup will take first place, and will be in the driver’s seat at a point in the seasons where contenders and pretenders begin to separate. The Colts are favored, but just barely. And had they not had the added time to prepare for the Texans on their bye week, that may not even be the case.

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Bobby Ellis // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Indianapolis Colts

- Favored to win: Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: -1
- Odds: -115

- Houston Texans team stats:
- Offense: 396.8 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 257.0 ypg (#10)
--- Rushing offense: 139.8 ypg (#5)
- Defense: 356.0 yards per game (#18 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 268.0 ypg (#24)
--- Rushing defense: 88.0 ypg (#8)

- Indianapolis Colts team stats:
- Offense: 344.0 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 202.0 ypg (#27)
--- Rushing offense: 142.0 ypg (#4)
- Defense: 355.2 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 242.0 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing defense: 113.2 ypg (#19)

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Christian Petersen // Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1) @ New York Giants (2-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

Two rookie quarterbacks are hoping to get things on track and gain the trust of their squads in the process. Daniel Jones looked like the could-be New York Giants’ savior after his first two starts, but has been humbled over his last two. He threw a touchdown in the 35-14 Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots, but that was about the only thing that went well. His three interceptions, 161 yards passing, and 35.2 passer rating was far and away his worst performance of the season, but to be fair, he faced the league’s best defense.

After starting the season 0-3-1, the Arizona Cardinals have rattled off two-straight victories and have found a nice rhythm on offense. While their two wins have come against two of the worst teams in football, they’ve amassed a whopping 956 yards in the process. Kyler Murray had a career day, passing for 340 yards and a career-high three touchdowns Week 6 against the Falcons.

While both teams have their work cut out for them, neither is out of contention just yet. A victory for the Giants could move them into a tie for second place in the NFC East, while a win for the Cards would mean three-straight and bring them back to .500. New York has been without starting running back Saquon Barkley for three games with an ankle sprain, and missed starting tight end Evan Engram last week with a knee injury. Both returned to practice this week.

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Adam Glanzman // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New York Giants

- Favored to win: New York Giants
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -155

- Arizona Cardinals team stats:
- Offense: 376.8 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 254.2 ypg (#11)
--- Rushing offense: 122.7 ypg (#12)
- Defense: 414.0 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 281.2 ypg (#30)
--- Rushing defense: 132.8 ypg (#26)

- New York Giants team stats:
- Offense: 339.5 yards per game (#24 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 234.2 ypg (#18)
--- Rushing offense: 105.3 ypg (#18)
- Defense: 412.3 yards per game (#28 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 285.0 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing defense: 127.3 ypg (#24)

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Ezra Shaw // Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers (5-0) @ Washington Redskins (1-5)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. EST

It’s the NFC’s best team taking on one of its worst teams. If not for a failed two-point conversion attempt by the historically bad Miami Dolphins last week, the Washington Redskins would still be winless. It’s a bit shocking that the spread in the game is only 10 points, but Washington may have a tinge of momentum after interim head coach Bill Callahan was able to get the Redskins into the win column.

The 49ers at 5-0 are one of the biggest surprises this year. Their revamped defense has been extraordinary, leading the league in surrendering just 150.2 passing yards per game. The return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after he missed the majority of last season has helped stabilize their offense, and the rushing attack is ranked #2 in the NFL averaging nearly 180 yards per game. San Francisco proved its legitimacy by taking down the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams last week 20-7.

Don’t expect much of a struggle for the 49ers when they travel to Landover, Maryland this Sunday, even with the 1 p.m. EST start traveling from the West Coast. The quarterback discussion changes weekly in Washington. Right now it’s Case Keenum...we’ll see if that’s still the case by the end of the game.

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Joe Scarnici // Getty Images

Insiders predict: San Francisco 49ers

- Favored to win: San Francisco 49ers
- Spread: -10
- Odds: -475

- San Francisco 49ers team stats:
- Offense: 408.0 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 228.2 ypg (#21)
--- Rushing offense: 179.8 ypg (#2)
- Defense: 237.4 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 150.2 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing defense: 87.2 ypg (#6)

- Washington Redskins team stats:
- Offense: 286.5 yards per game (#28 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 205.0 ypg (#26)
--- Rushing offense: 81.5 ypg (#25)
- Defense: 385.0 yards per game (#25 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 251.0 ypg (#20)
--- Rushing defense: 134.0 ypg (#28)

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Justin Setterfield // Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) @ Tennessee Titans (2-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:05 p.m. EST

Both the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tennessee Titans had major playoff aspirations before the 2019 season started. L.A. finished last season 12-4 and tied for the best record in the AFC last year, while Tennessee narrowly missed out on the postseason after coming up short to the Colts in a win-and-in Week 17 contest. Through six games, the Chargers already have as many losses as they did all of the 2018 regular season, and the Titans totaled only seven points in the last two games combined and benched their starting quarterback Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill. Now both teams fight to snap two-game losing streaks and avoid 2-5.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers lost to Devlin Hodges, the Steelers’ undrafted third-string rookie quarterback, at home. That’s a real gut-check. Running back Melvin Gordon hasn’t had much of an impact since returning from his holdout, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry in the two games where he’s seen action. The offense has been able to get it done through the air—Rivers ranks #4 in passing yards per game and his premier target Keenan Allen is tied for #4 in the NFL with 40 receptions on the season, but it’s been too little too late as the Chargers haven’t been able to climb out of massive holes they’ve found themselves in. L.A. was down by as many as 17 points in its 20-13 Week 5 loss to the Broncos, and as many as 24 points in its 24-17 Week 6 loss to the Steelers.

Outside of a Week 1 offensive burst, the Titans haven’t been able to get anything done on offense. It’s unclear who will take snaps for the Titans this week as neither option appears to be favorable at this point. Even with the offensive struggles, the Titan’s stout defense makes them the slight favorite at home.

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Matthew Stockman // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Tennessee Titans

- Favored to win: Tennessee Titans
- Spread: -2
- Odds: -130

- Los Angeles Chargers team stats:
- Offense: 368.2 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 288.0 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing offense: 80.2 ypg (#27)
- Defense: 321.7 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 201.2 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing defense: 120.5 ypg (#22)

- Tennessee Titans team stats:
- Offense: 290.5 yards per game (#27 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 187.7 ypg (#29)
--- Rushing offense: 102.8 ypg (#20)
- Defense: 321.8 yards per game (#8 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 217.3 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing defense: 104.5 ypg (#15)

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Chris Graythen // Getty Images

New Orleans Saints (5-1) @ Chicago Bears (3-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. EST

Another week without Drew Brees, another victory for the New Orleans Saints. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for backup QB Teddy Bridgewater, but thanks to some inspired play from the defense, it hasn’t had to be. Last week, New Orleans held the Jacksonville Jaguars to just six points and 226 total yards en route to their road victory. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew had his worst performance of the season, passing for 163 yards and an interception. Bridgewater has been good enough to lead the Saints to a 4-0 record while under center, but will face what is likely his toughest test of the season to date taking on the Chicago defense this Sunday. The Bears have given up just 69 total points through five games, which is third best in the league behind only the Patriots and the 49ers...the only two undefeated teams in the NFL.

Chicago is fresh off of a bye week after its upset loss to the Raiders in London. They could see the return of starting QB Mitchell Trubisky, but the Bears’ offense has sputtered no matter the signal caller. Backup quarterback helped the Bears to a 16-6 victory over the Vikings when Trubisky was hurt on the first drive of the Week 4 matchup, but looked rigid in the 24-21 loss to Oakland. When Trubisky has played he’s been lackluster, tossing three touchdowns and two interceptions through three complete games.

Expect defense to control the pace in this matchup where one or two bust-out plays on offense could be the difference. The Bears are the home favorite, but this game might come down to the last series.

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Naomi Baker // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Chicago Bears

- Favored to win: Chicago Bears
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -175

- New Orleans Saints team stats:
- Offense: 344.7 yards per game (#22 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 240.3 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing offense: 104.3 ypg (#19)
- Defense: 340.5 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 237.7 ypg (#11)
--- Rushing defense: 102.8 ypg (#14)

- Chicago Bears team stats:
- Offense: 266.0 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 185.4 ypg (#30)
--- Rushing offense: 80.6 ypg (#26)
- Defense: 312.2 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 229.2 ypg (#10)
--- Rushing defense: 83.0 ypg (#5)

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Rob Carr // Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens (4-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. EST

Two teams with playoff aspirations battle in Seattle this Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens are clear favorites to win the AFC North currently sitting atop the division at 4-2, as the Steelers and Browns are both a disappointing 2-4 and the Bengals are, well, the Bengals. Things are more closely contested in the NFC West—the Seahawks only have one blemish on their record but trail the undefeated San Francisco 49ers who are one of the NFL’s big surprises. This battle of dynamic quarterbacks will be one of the top Week 7 matchups.

Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to pass for 200 or more yards and run for 150 or more yards in the Ravens 23-17 victory over the Bengals, while Russell Wilson continues to make his campaign for NFL MVP after another enchanting performance (295 yards, two passing touchdowns, on rushing touchdown) in a come-from-behind 32-28 victory over the Browns. Wilson has thrown 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season, and has overtaken Patrick Mahomes II as the betting favorite to win league MVP honors.

Both teams have their vulnerabilities and have squeaked out some narrow victories this season. The Seahawks (#23) and the Ravens (#25) rank in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. Baltimore, hoping to bolster their secondary, traded for Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters Tuesday. If he is ready to go this Sunday, Peters can have an instant impact, but who knows if anyone can even impact Wilson right now.

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Kirk Irwin // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Seattle Seahawks

- Favored to win: Seattle Seahawks
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -180

- Baltimore Ravens team stats:
- Offense: 450.7 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 245.7 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing offense: 205.0 ypg (#1)
- Defense: 350.2 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 269.5 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing defense: 80.7 ypg (#4)

- Seattle Seahawks team stats:
- Offense: 399.0 yards per game (#5 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 268.5 ypg (#8)
--- Rushing offense: 130.5 ypg (#9)
- Defense: 359.8 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 267.0 ypg (#23)
--- Rushing defense: 92.8 ypg (#11)

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Ronald Martinez // Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 20, 8:20 p.m. EST

Three weeks ago, there was a conversation to be had about the Dallas Cowboys being the best team in the NFC. Since then, they’ve lost three consecutive games and are fighting to keep things on the rails. The Philadelphia Eagles are also 3-3, and in a lackluster NFC East, this game could have major late-season implications. The winner will control sole possession of first place, while the loser falls below .500 as the midway point of the season quickly approaches.

So what has gone wrong with the Cowboys? After facing three easy opponents—the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins—they finally ran into competition with the Saints and the Packers. But a loss to the Jets should be cause for concern, even with the return of starting quarterback Sam Darnold for New York. If they can’t take care of the Eagles at home this Sunday night, we’ll enter the portion of the season where head coach Jason Garrett’s job is called into question, which has become very routine.

The Eagles had their two-game winning streak snapped after Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for four touchdowns in a 38-20 dismantling of the Philly secondary. Quarterback Carson Wentz has been relatively average this season, ranking #19 in passing with 12 touchdowns to his three interceptions. The problem isn’t so much on offense, though, it’s the #29 ranked passing defense surrendering more than 280 yards per game.

Dallas swept Philadelphia last season in the two-game series and won the division in 2018, but the Eagles earned a Wild Card berth and both teams reached the divisional round of the playoffs last season. It’s early, but with tight races atop each of the other NFC divisions, the winner of the NFC East may be the only team from the division this year.

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Michael Owens // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Dallas Cowboys

- Favored to win: Dallas Cowboys
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -150

- Philadelphia Eagles team stats:
- Offense: 349.3 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 238.2 ypg (#16)
--- Rushing offense: 111.2 ypg (#15)
- Defense: 353.0 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 280.2 ypg (#29)
--- Rushing defense: 72.8 ypg (#2)

- Dallas Cowboys team stats:
- Offense: 443.7 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 304.8 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing offense: 138.8 ypg (#7)
- Defense: 331.8 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 238.0 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing defense: 93.8 ypg (#12)

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Billie Weiss // Getty Images

New England Patriots (6-0) @ New York Jets (1-4)

- Gametime: Monday, Oct. 21, 8:15 p.m. EST

The New York Jets have found their way into the win column! Starting quarterback Sam Darnold returned after missing several weeks battling mononucleosis. The 2018 first-round selection wasn’t rusty—he torched the Dallas Cowboys for 338 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-22 victory. The offense finally showed some of the potential Jets optimists had anticipated this offseason.

And now, after earning a bit of deserved confidence, they take on the NFL’s best team in prime time. That confidence might quickly subside. The New England Patriots cannot be stopped. Despite an offense that still hasn’t found its rhythm, the Pats have won each of their six games this season with ease behind a historically good defense. Most recently, New England forced four turnovers in a 35-14 victory over the New York Giants.

It’s tough to call this AFC East matchup a rivalry game—New England hasn’t lost to the Jets since 2015, and already beat them 30-14 in Week 2 this season. To be fair, there hasn’t been a real challenger in the AFC East for the Pats in about two decades. When it comes to covering the spread, though, the Jets have been relatively successful. Since 2013 New York has only defeated New England twice, but has covered nine times. Playing at home this time around with a healthy Darnold under center and what looks like some promise on offense, the Jets might keep things close.

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Maddie Meyer // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New England Patriots

- Favored to win: New England Patriots
- Spread: -9.5
- Odds: -450

- New England Patriots team stats:
- Offense: 386.3 yards per game (#8 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 284.8 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing offense: 101.5 ypg (#21)
- Defense: 234.7 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 161.0 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing defense: 73.7 ypg (#3)

- New York Jets team stats:
- Offense: 220.0 yards per game (#32 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 156.0 ypg (#32)
--- Rushing offense: 64.0 ypg (#30)
- Defense: 357.8 yards per game (#19 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 262.0 ypg (#21)
--- Rushing defense: 95.8 ypg (#13)

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