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#406932 - 10/17/18 07:12 PM NFL Week 7
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Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos went shopping in the offseason to fix their respective quarterback issues and came away with a pair of players who spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings. Neither move has panned out for the Cardinals and Broncos, a pair of teams who have a collective three wins entering Thursday's matchup at Arizona.

Denver has dropped four in a row since opening the season with a pair of narrow victories at home, but Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller all but guaranteed a win over the Cardinals. "I wouldn't say it's a must-win, we're going to kick their (butt), though," Miller told reporters Tuesday. "Make sure you put that up there. We're going to kick their (butt)." Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, who supplanted Sam Bradford as the starter in Week 3, said their was no "sense of desperation" to win after his team's 1-5 start, but first-year coach Steve Wilks disagreed. "I would say all our jobs are in jeopardy, including mine, if we don't win," Wilks said.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Cardinals -1.5. O/U: 41.5

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2-4): Denver has to tighten up against the run, ranking last in the league with an average of 161.3 yards permitted on the ground after allowing a 200-yard rusher for the second straight week in a 23-20 loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams. The Broncos' pass rush did generate five sacks in the latest setback, including 3.0 by rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb. Case Keenum threw scoring passes to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on Sunday but still has more interceptions (8) than TDs (7) through the first six games. Rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman were held to a combined 40 yards on 13 carries last week.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (1-5): Arizona ranks last in the league in total yards (220.5) and rushing (64.0) under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was fired by the Broncos during the 2017 season following a six-game slide. Rosen did throw for a career-high 240 yards but failed to throw a touchdown pass in last week's 27-17 loss at Minnesota. Rosen connected with fellow rookie Christian Kirk six times for 77 yards against the Vikings, but running back David Johnson has surpassed 55 yards rushing just once in six games despite scoring six touchdowns. The offensive woes are magnified by a defense that ranks 31st against the run by surrendering an average of 151.2 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Denver has won eight of the past nine meetings against the Cardinals.

2. Johnson has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of his last 11 at home, scoring 13 TDs in that span.

3. Miller has 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his last six games versus NFC opponents.

PREDICTION: Broncos 23, Cardinals 20
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#407097 - 10/19/18 02:08 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers is enjoying a stellar season for the Los Angeles Chargers, and the 36-year-old quarterback attempts to carry his success over to London when his squad faces the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Rivers has completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 1,702 yards and 15 touchdowns against three interceptions through six games.

Rivers ranks sixth in NFL history with 357 touchdown passes and eighth in yardage (52,050), but leading the Chargers to a fifth win is his main focus. "Whatever the numbers are, I really don't care anymore," Rivers told reporters. "I do, in that if you play well, you give your team a chance to win. But where you stack up all of those things, unless there's a direct correlation to winning, that's really what it's all about." Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota is on the other side of the equation with just two TD passes this season, and the Titans haven't scored an offensive touchdown during their two-game slide. "When it comes down to it, I think the mistakes, the lack of execution, those things are correctable," Mariota told reporters. "For us, if we can just go out there and focus on being efficient, on every little detail, that I think in itself will help us and hopefully lead to more points. When you are not scoring touchdowns, especially the last couple of weeks, there is a sense of frustration."

TV: 9:30 a.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -6.5. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE TITANS (3-3): Tennessee is looking to bounce back from an abysmal offensive performance in last Sunday's 21-0 loss to Baltimore as the team registered just 106 total yards and seven first downs while allowing Mariota to be sacked 11 times. "This is a humbling league, and we've been humbled the last few weeks," Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur told reporters. "Every game is different, and unfortunately, last week we got outcoached and we got outplayed, and that starts with me. It's a pretty humbling experience." Tennessee ranks 30th in scoring offense (14.5 points per game), but the defense is third in average points allowed (17.8) and will get a boost from the return of linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who missed most of the last three games with a shoulder injury.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (4-2): While Rivers leads an attack averaging 29.2 points per game, unsung running back Melvin Gordon is on the verge of losing that label. Gordon is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, has scored nine touchdowns and leads the AFC with 745 yards from scrimmage (466 rushing, 279 receiving). The Chargers recorded five sacks in last Sunday's 38-14 win over Cleveland and Melvin Ingram (37.5 career sacks) likely is salivating at the prospect of facing a Tennessee offensive line that struggled so mightily against Baltimore.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Chargers have won nine of the last 10 meetings.

2. Los Angeles WR Tyrell Williams registered 118 receiving yards against the Browns for his sixth career 100-yard effort.

3. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry (team-best 240 rushing yards) has been held below 30 yards on three occasions and has yet to score a touchdown.

PREDICTION: Chargers 30, Titans 20
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#407098 - 10/19/18 02:08 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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New England Patriots vs. Chicago Bears

The New England Patriots appear to have found their mojo after a rocky start to the season and will take a three-game winning streak into Sunday afternoon's matchup at the Chicago Bears. The Patriots are coming off a thrilling victory over the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs but they have lost both road games by double-digit margins this season.

New England scored a combined 30 points in road losses at Jacksonville and Detroit but has averaged 39.7 points during its three-game run following the 43-40 win over the Chiefs. "No matter how they start, they always finish strong and they get better every single week throughout the year," Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said of the Patriots. "So it will be a great challenge for this team this week and we'll kind of have a good measurement of where we're at as a team and how we've grown from last year and the first bunch of games this year." Chicago failed to hold an 11-point third-quarter lead and had a three-game winning streak snapped on a last-second overtime loss at Miami last weekend. "This really looks like a 5-0 team to me," New England coach Bill Belichick said of the Bears, whose two losses have come by a combined four points.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -2.5. O/U: 49

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (4-2): The return of Julian Edelman from suspension and the addition of fellow wide receiver Josh Gordon via trade has provided a boost for quarterback Tom Brady, who has thrown for 681 yards over the past two games. "As a football player, you always want to play against the best players at a position," Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd said. "It definitely adds fuel to the fire going against Tom Brady." Rookie running back Sony Michel has added balance to the offense by rushing for 316 yards and three touchdowns during the three-game winning streak. New England's defense was gashed by the Chiefs and ranks 21st against the pass (268.7 yards per game).

ABOUT THE BEARS (4-2): After three pedestrian efforts to open the season, Trubisky has put together two stellar back-to-back performances by passing for 670 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception while completing over 71 percent of his passes in each. Running back Jordan Howard has received 25 carries over the past two weeks but third-down back Tarik Cohen has emerged as a weapon with 14 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns in that span. Wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) and star pass rusher Khalil Mack (ankle) each sat out practice again Thursday. Mack's absence would be a huge blow for a defense that has 18 sacks, 10 interceptions and nine forced fumbles.

OVERTIME

1. Brady has won all four meetings against Chicago, throwing for 1,318 yards with 11 TDs versus three interceptions.

2. Mack, who has never missed a regular-season game, has five sacks and four forced fumbles in five games this season.

3. Patriots RB James White has 37 catches and four receiving touchdowns this season.

PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Bears 23
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#407099 - 10/19/18 02:09 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that opened the season with back-to-back wins is far in the rearview mirror, and the team that heads into Week 7 is trying to pull out of a deep slump. The Buccaneers will be operating under new defensive coordinator Mark Duffner while trying to snap a three-game slide when they host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Tampa Bay is last in the league in scoring defense, surrendering an average of 34.6 points, and decided to part ways with defensive coordinator Mike Smith on Monday. "I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith as a man and as a football coach," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said in a statement. "These decisions are always difficult, but our top priority here is to ensure that we do everything possible to help this team succeed. ... We all understand that this is a result-based profession and our results to this point have not met our standards." The Browns might be just the team for a struggling defense to see after they totaled 26 points in the last two games, capped by a 38-14 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers last week. "We just didn't execute," rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters. "We didn't do our job. We weren't detailed. We didn't do the things that we talked about all week."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Buccaneers -3.5. O/U: 50.5

ABOUT THE BROWNS (2-3-1): Mayfield has shown plenty of flashes of the talent that made him the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft but is also dealing with some rookie inconsistency. The Oklahoma product owns five interceptions and three fumbles to go with four touchdown passes and is completing just 55.8 percent of his passes on the season after connecting on 22-of-46 against the Chargers. "Anytime you do not do your job, I'm at fault for majority of that," Mayfield told reporters. "I'm going to be very hard on myself. We have to be able to look at this and learn from it -- have to be more prepared coming into the next week. It doesn't matter what happened."

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (2-3): This game will feature a showdown between No. 1 overall draft picks with Jameis Winston under center for Tampa Bay, and the 2015 top pick is dealing with his own inconsistency. Winston was overmatched in a 48-10 loss at Chicago on Sept. 30 and did all he could to keep his team in the game while throwing for 395 yards and four TDs in a 34-29 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week but also accounted for two crucial turnovers. "Jameis -- he does so many good things out there, he does so many good things," Koetter told reporters. "He has composure, he can make all the throws, he runs the team, he scrambles, he's tough -- but there's a couple balls you'd like to have back. That's every quarterback in the league. That's playing quarterback in the NFL."

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Browns placed WR Rod Streater (fractured neck) on IR and signed WR Da'Mari Scott off the practice squad.

2. Duffner previously served as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001-02.

3. Tampa Bay signed LB Devante Bond to the active roster.

PREDICTION: Browns 31, Buccaneers 28
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#407100 - 10/19/18 02:10 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins

Golden Tate took issue with Albert Wilson's claim that he's the league's best receiver in terms of gaining yards after the catch, saying that six games is not a big enough sample size. The two wide receivers aim to settle it on the field on Sunday as Tate and the Detroit Lions attempt to prevent the Miami Dolphins from jumping out to their first 4-0 start at home since 2000.

Wilson's initial claim came on the heels of a six-catch, career-high 155-yard, two-touchdown performance as Miami snapped a two-game skid with a 31-28 overtime win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The 26-year-old captured AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts and even received some praise from Tate, who then countered that Wilson has 147 career catches while he has recorded at least 90 in each of the last four seasons with Detroit. Matthew Stafford has been on the other end of those throws, and the former top overall pick has thrown for nine touchdowns against one interception in his last four games leading into the team's bye. Stafford might find the going a bit tough versus an opportunistic Dolphins defense that has an NFL-best 11 interceptions, led by Xavien Howard (three).

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Lions -3. O/U: 46.5

ABOUT THE LIONS (2-3): Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. comprise one of the most productive receiving corps in the league, as Detroit boasts two wideouts in the top 10 in yards (Golladay, Tate), the top 20 in yards per catch (Golladay, Jones) and the top 15 in yards after catch (Tate, Golladay). "I think talent, depth, look at the stats that we're putting up," Tate said. "We're a good group. Honestly, I think it starts with our run game. Our run game has been better and it's opening up for us." Kerryon Johnson could take credit for that with 251 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in his last three games, and the rookie could be in for a bigger role against Miami with fellow running back Theo Riddick sitting out practice on Thursday due to a knee injury.

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (4-2): After being named the surprise starter 90 minutes before game time last week, Brock Osweiler officially got the nod to face the Lions on Wednesday after he stepped up and threw for a career-high 380 pass yards with three touchdowns against the Bears. "It's something that I've been wanting for a lot of years," the 27-year-old Osweiler told the Sun-Sentinel said. "I believe in coach Gase, his system, and who he is as a person and a coach. And I saw that firsthand for a lot of years in Denver, and I saw what it's like to be able to play for a coach like that." Osweiler would be wise to lean on his running game, with the ageless Frank Gore rolling up 101 yards last week and averaging 4.9 yards per carry this season heading into a meeting with Detroit's 30th-ranked rush defense that is hemorrhaging 145.8 yards per contest.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Miami LB Kiko Alonso ranks second in the NFL with 61 tackles, with 11 coming last week to go along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

2. Detroit G T.J. Lang is trending toward returning on Sunday after being sidelined since last month with a concussion.

3. Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake rushed 13 times for 57 yards last week after carrying the ball 14 times for 52 yards in the previous three games combined.

PREDICTION: Lions 24, Dolphins 19
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#407101 - 10/19/18 02:11 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers envision themselves as contenders in the NFC this season, and Sunday's game between the teams at Lincoln Financial Field should provide a good litmus test to see where each stands. Carson Wentz tossed three touchdown passes in last week's 34-13 win over the New York Giants and had the same total in a 28-23 victory over the Panthers last season.

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson has no designs on looking past Carolina, a team that has qualified for the playoffs in four of the last five seasons and posted a quality win over Cincinnati in Week 3. "That was kind of the message last year," Pederson said. "It's going to have to be a complete game if we expect to win. Yeah, it's going to be a really good test for us to see where we are in Week 7." While the Eagles evened their record with a convincing road victory last week, the Panthers are looking for a statement win on Sunday after falling to 0-2 away from the Tar Heel State with a 23-17 setback against Washington last week. "That old saying -- 'If you want to be the champs, you've got to be able to beat the champs' -- that's the truth," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "They're a good football team. They're very well coached. ... This is a game that can tell you a lot about yourself."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -4.5. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-2): Cam Newton, who threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns versus the Redskins, tossed three interceptions in his last encounter with Philadelphia. Christian McCaffrey has proven to be Newton's safety blanket out of the backfield, as the shifty back leads the team with 34 receptions this season and had 10 catches and a touchdown in last year's contest versus the Eagles. Wideout Devin Funchess found the end zone last week and has scored twice in his past three road games while former Eagle Torrey Smith also notched a touchdown against the Redskins.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (3-3): Tight end Zack Ertz has found the end zone in back-to-back contests overall and erupted for two touchdowns in his last meeting with Carolina. Nelson Agholor also scored in that contest and had a team-high 91 receiving yards against the Giants while fellow wideout Alshon Jeffery had eight catches for 74 yards and two scores last week. The ground game produced modest results in its first contest without Jay Ajayi, although Corey Clement found the end zone versus the Giants. Wendell Smallwood will vie for a touchdown in his third straight home game on Sunday.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Carolina DE Julius Peppers recorded a sack and forced fumble both last week and in the previous meeting with Philadelphia.

2. Eagles LT Jason Peters is expected to play on Sunday despite sustaining a biceps injury last week.

3. Carolina's fourth-ranked ground attack (139.4) will square off against Philadelphia's second-ranked rush defense (79.8).

PREDICTION: Panthers 27, Eagles 23
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#407102 - 10/19/18 02:11 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts

Despite their disappointing start to the season, the Indianapolis Colts find themselves only two games behind the other three teams in the AFC South in the standings. The Colts hope to gain ground on at least one of their division rivals when they host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Indianapolis split its first two games of 2018 before losing four straight, including a 42-34 road decision against the New York Jets last week. But the other three clubs in the AFC South own 3-3 records, and with a victory over Buffalo, the Colts will climb within one game of at least one of them as Houston and Jacksonville square off in Week 7. The Bills also occupy last place in their division but, like Indianapolis, are just two games behind the co-leaders in the AFC East (New England and Miami). Buffalo looks to avoid back-to-back losses after falling 20-13 in Houston last week with a new quarterback at the helm as Derek Anderson, who was on vacation with his family less than two weeks ago, makes the start in place of injured rookie Josh Allen (elbow).

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts -7.5. O/U: 43

ABOUT THE BILLS (2-4): Anderson, who was signed on Oct. 9, hasn't made a start in the NFL since 2016 with Carolina and last appeared in a contest on Jan. 7 as he replaced an injured Cam Newton in the NFC wild-card game. "The legs feel good. The arm feels good," the 35-year-old Anderson told the team's website. "Mentally, we're working on putting a lot of hours in just trying to catch up with (the offense)." Buffalo is hoping to receive a strong performance by its defense, which has climbed from 18th in the league against the run to eighth over the last four weeks and leads the league with seven fumble recoveries.

ABOUT THE COLTS (1-5): Andrew Luck looks to join Steve Young (five) and Peyton Manning (four) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to post four straight games with 300 passing yards and three touchdown tosses within a single season after recording 301 and four last week. Luck enters Week 7 first in the league with 186 completions and second with 16 scoring passes. Adam Vinatieri is moving closer to becoming the NFL's all-time leading scorer as he needs just 10 points to pass Hall-of-Famer Morten Andersen (2,544).

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Bills promoted rookie Cam Phillips from the practice squad and released fellow WR Robert Foster, who had two receptions for 30 yards.

2. Indianapolis placed Marcus Johnson (ankle) on injured reserve and signed fellow WR Dontrelle Inman.

3. Buffalo LB Tremaine Edmunds leads the team and is fourth among all NFL rookies with 47 tackles this season.

PREDICTION: Colts 33, Bills 13
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#407103 - 10/19/18 02:12 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs will face a third consecutive AFC contender when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. The Chiefs put the best record in the conference on the line against the Bengals, who are tied atop the AFC North standings.


Both teams are looking to bounce back from crushing losses a week ago. The Bengals took the lead with 1:18 left, only to see Pittsburgh drive for a score with 10 seconds remaining and claim a 28-21 victory. Kansas City phenom Patrick Mahomes led a spirited comeback in the second half at New England, which kicked a field goal in the final seconds for a 43-40 triumph. "We knew it was going to be a tough game," Mahomes told reporters. "We wanted to win and we ended up coming up a little short, but I feel like that fight that we had in the second half of that game will carry over into this next week."

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Chiefs -6. O/U: 58


ABOUT THE BENGALS (4-2): Cincinnati ranks just 23rd in total offense but sixth in scoring thanks to a league-best 75 percent touchdown rate in the red zone. Andy Dalton has thrown seven interceptions but also has 14 touchdown passes - including three to veteran star A.J. Green and four to Tyler Boyd, who has emerged as a dangerous secondary target. With the exception of a Week 3 loss at Carolina, the Bengals have been solid against the run, but the secondary has struggled - in large part because of an inconsistent pass rush.

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (5-1): Kansas City's offense is producing at a record-setting clip, with Mahomes passing for 1,865 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions through six games. The second-year quarterback is surrounded with talent - including running back Kareem Hunt and versatile speedster Tyreek Hill, who have combined for 13 touchdowns. The defense has been another story, ranking last in the NFL in total defense and 27th in scoring, as it has struggled mightily against the pass and still is without safety Eric Berry (Achilles) while linebacker Justin Houston (hamstring) could miss his second consecutive game.


EXTRA POINTS

1. Mahomes is the first quarterback in franchise history to pass for 300 yards in five consecutive games and second in the league to do so (Aaron Rodgers) since 2016.

2. The Bengals have recorded 12 sacks in their four wins and only one in their two losses.

3. Hill has averaged 47.4 yards on his 27 career touchdowns.


PREDICTION: Chiefs 37, Bengals 30
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#407104 - 10/19/18 02:13 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets

Kirk Cousins will face the team he spurned in free agency last spring when he leads the Minnesota Vikings into a matchup with the host New York Jets on Sunday. The Jets offered a three-year, $90 million contract to Cousins in March, only to watch him sign with the Vikings for less money.

The 30-year-old Cousins has fit in nicely in Minnesota, averaging over 320 passing yards per game on the year and completing 76.1 percent of his passes during the team's two-game winning streak. "The thing that I love about this guy is his passion for the game, his intensity that he has," Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters of Cousins, who is averaging 382.7 yards on the road. "He's come in here and taken charge as a leader." Missing out on Cousins allowed the Jets to use the third overall pick on Sam Darnold, who has guided an offense that produced 76 points in back-to-back wins over Denver and Indianapolis. The rookie out of USC was 24 of 30 for 280 yards and two TDs against the Colts as New York held the ball for over 37 minutes in a 42-34 triumph.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -3.5. O/U: 46

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (3-2-1): Since allowing 38 points in a Week 4 loss at the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota has given up a total of 38 during its two-game winning streak and it held Arizona to 268 total yards in last week's 27-17 win. Opponents are converting an NFL-low 25 percent of third downs, the Vikings have scooped up six fumbles -- tied for second overall -- and defensive end Danielle Hunter is tied for the NFL lead with seven sacks. Cousins continues to find wideout Adam Thielen, who leads the league with 712 receiving yards and has a touchdown in each of his last three games.

ABOUT THE JETS (3-3): Darnold made his first appearance on an injury report due to an elbow issue he deemed minor, but the team is banged up. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and defensive back Marcus Maye (thumb) are out and two of Darnold's other targets -- Robby Anderson (hamstring) and Terrelle Pryor (groin) -- have missed practice time this week. Wideout Jermaine Kearse took advantage of increased opportunity against the Colts by snagging nine of his 10 targets for 94 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jets LB Darron Lee had a team-high eight tackles against the Colts and recorded his third interception, tied for the NFL lead.

2. Minnesota's Latavius Murray ran for 155 yards last week in the absence of fellow RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring), who is expected to return this week.

3. New York won seven straight meetings before a 30-24 loss at Minnesota in the previous matchup in 2014.

PREDICTION: Vikings 27, Jets 20
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#407105 - 10/19/18 02:13 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Two teams looking to break out of the logjam atop the AFC South standings square off Sunday, when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Houston Texans. The Jaguars are looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses, while the Texans are seeking a fourth straight win following an 0-3 start.


Jacksonville looked like it might be a Super Bowl contender after handily beating New England in Week 2, but the offense has been inconsistent and the defense has been lit up in back-to-back losses at Kansas City and Dallas. Now the Jaguars have to contend with a third consecutive dual-threat quarterback in Deshaun Watson. "He's a weapon," Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone told reporters. "There's no mistake about it. He's a guy that can run, he's a guy that can extend plays, he can make throws. He's someone that, for a long period of time, at least as long as I'm here, is going to be very difficult for us and a challenge for us." All six of Houston's games have been decided by seven points or fewer, including a pair of overtime wins.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Jaguars -4.5. O/U: 41.5


ABOUT THE TEXANS (3-3): Houston's defense is rounding into form and has forced seven turnovers during the three-game winning streak after managing only three takeaways in the first three weeks. Watson and the offense have moved the ball effectively, ranking 11th in the NFL in total offense, but 11 turnovers and the struggles in the red zone have contributed to the team ranking 21st in scoring. Houston has yet to produce a 100-yard rusher this season and needs Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue to get untracked.

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-3): After a promising start, Jacksonville's offense ranks 29th in scoring and has not reached double digits in points twice in the last four games. Blake Bortles has thrown five interceptions and two touchdowns in his last two contests without running back Leonard Fournette, who is expected to be out at least three more weeks with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey anchors the league's top-ranked pass defense and will be tasked with slowing down DeAndre Hopkins, but the Jaguars were gashed for 206 rushing yards in last week's 40-7 loss at Dallas.


EXTRA POINTS

1. Watson has been sacked a league-high 25 times this year, and the Jaguars took down Houston quarterbacks 14 times in two meetings last season.

2. Jacksonville DE Calais Campbell has registered six sacks and four tackles for loss in his last two games against the Texans.

3. Houston DE J.J. Watt has recorded seven sacks and three forced fumbles in his last four contests.


PREDICTION: Jaguars 23, Texans 20
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#407106 - 10/19/18 02:14 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens

The New Orleans Saints are on the short list of Super Bowl contenders a third of the way through the season and own the top scoring offense in the NFL at an average of 36 points. Drew Brees and company will test that offense against the league's top defense when the Saints visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Ravens are surrendering an average of 12.8 points and are coming off a 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans in which they sacked Marcus Mariota 11 times. "The overall feeling is, in order for us to be the great defense we've talked about, games like this - offenses with a lot of power, All-Pro, Hall of Fame quarterback, leading the league in different categories - we'll see what we're made of, man," Baltimore cornerback Brandon Carr told reporters of this week's matchup. "That's the exciting part, to see how good we can truly get." The Saints are coming off a bye week after Brees set the NFL record for all-time passing yardage in a 43-19 thrashing of the Washington Redskins on Oct. 8, and the veteran quarterback is well aware of the defense he's facing. "They have a lot of good pass rushers," Brees told reporters of the Ravens. "So, a lot of good matchups for them. It is obviously something they've done well for a very long time. They do it well with their D-Line, their front four so to speak and then, obviously, from the linebacker position as well."

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Ravens -2.5. O/U: 50

ABOUT THE SAINTS (4-1): Brees is one TD pass away from reaching 500 for his career and is completing 77.9 percent of his passes with 11 TDs and no interceptions this season. "It's a lot of touchdowns and a lot of games and a lot of passes, but you take them one at a time and you just focus on winning the game and scoring points, regardless of if I am handing it off to one of these guys are throwing to one of our guys," Brees told reporters. "We focus on winning games and the rest of that stuff kind of takes care of itself. Numbers add up." New Orleans added another key weapon to the offense in the win over the Redskins, with running back Mark Ingram making his season debut following a four-game suspension and rushing for a pair of touchdowns.

ABOUT THE RAVENS (4-2): Za'Darius Smith (5.5) and Terrell Suggs (4.5) lead Baltimore in sacks, and Suggs is excited about the prospect of going up against a great offense. "We like this game. It's going to be fun," Suggs told reporters. "They're an explosive offense and we get a chance to compete against as good a team as there is. I think it's going to be a good NFL game." Baltimore's offense is doing just enough to support the defense as quarterback Joe Flacco averages 298 passing yards with a total of nine TD passes and four INTs.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Ravens are the only team Brees has never beaten, owning an 0-4 record.

2. New Orleans CB Marshon Lattimore (concussion) was a full participant in practice this week and is questionable for Sunday.

3. Baltimore G Alex Lewis, who was carted off the field with a neck injury last week, returned to practice and could play Sunday.

PREDICTION: Saints 24, Ravens 16
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#407107 - 10/19/18 02:15 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys attempt to break their cycle of alternating wins and losses this season and continue their recent dominance in the all-time series when they visit the NFC East-rival Washington Redskins on Sunday. Dallas is looking to post consecutive victories for the first time in 2018 after trouncing Jacksonville 40-7 last week.

The Cowboys, who have won four straight meetings with the Redskins and eight of the last 10, are winless on the road this season but have been victorious in each of their last five visits to the nation's capital. Washington is in the same position as its bitter rival, looking to snap an identical trend and record back-to-back triumphs for the first time this year after defeating Carolina 23-17 in Week 6. The Redskins sit atop the NFC East, one-half game ahead of both Dallas and Philadelphia, but will be playing their first divisional contest of the season. Washington has not been two games over .500 since owning an 8-6-1 record in 2016 and has gone 1-7 in its last eight contests following a victory.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Redskins -1.5. O/U: 41.5

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (3-3): Dak Prescott is tied with Jack Kemp for the fourth-most games with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown in his first three seasons with nine after throwing two and running for another against Jacksonville. The 25-year-old, who rushed for a career-high 82 yards last week, is one away from tying Mark Sanchez and two shy of matching Steve Grogan for second. Ezekiel Elliott, who leads the NFL with 3,200 rushing yards since 2016, ranks second in the league this year with 586 and is third in scrimmage yards with 752.

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (3-2): Adrian Peterson has gained 217 of his 339 rushing yards this season in his last two home games. The former league MVP hasn't faced the Cowboys since Nov. 3, 2013 while with Minnesota but has rushed for a touchdown in each of his last three meetings against the club. Alex Smith, who has been sacked three times in four of his five games - fumbling in each of those contests - has thrown four of his six scoring passes this season at home.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Elliott has registered 361 yards from scrimmage and five rushing touchdowns in three career meetings versus the Redskins.

2. Washington released DL Ziggy Hood and promoted WR Jehu Chesson from the practice squad.

3. Dallas WR Terrance Williams (foot), who is on injured reserve, was handed a three-game suspension by the NFL on Thursday for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

PREDICTION: Cowboys 31, Redskins 24
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#407108 - 10/19/18 02:17 AM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

The undefeated Los Angeles Rams have run roughshod over the league in 2018 while the San Francisco 49ers have endured plenty of significant injuries starting as early as the preseason. The 49ers, however, have one positive to take into Sunday's matchup at Levi's Stadium: They have won four of the last five meetings between the NFC West rivals.

Todd Gurley hasn't been shy about gouging the 49ers -- and the rest of the league, for that matter -- as he collected three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in last year's series and is coming off a career-high 208 yards and two scores in Sunday's 23-20 win over Denver to earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. "He's been running wild ever since I got to this team," Rams wideout Robert Woods said. "It's just a credit to this line, this game plan, and his work ethic. And he's a beast. ... He's pretty much unstoppable right now." San Francisco went to great lengths to stop itself en route to losing its fourth straight game on Monday. C.J. Beathard, who has stepped in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, showed flashes of promise but a late interception led to his undoing in a 33-30 setback versus Green Bay.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Rams -9.5. O/U: 52

ABOUT THE RAMS (6-0): Gurley's 208 rushing yards trumped the passing total of quarterback Jared Goff (201), who was hindered by the loss of one of his prized targets. Cooper Kupp is expected to be sidelined several weeks with a sprained knee, although fellow wideouts Brandin Cooks and Woods are more than capable of carrying the load. Cooks has 23 receptions, 418 yards and a touchdown in a four-game stretch while Woods has 406 yards and three scores in that span. On the other side of the ball, Aaron Donald has four sacks in his last three games and fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has three in his last four.

ABOUT THE 49ERS (1-5): With running back Jerick McKinnon and Garoppolo sidelined by season-ending injuries, the 49ers received a jolt with the return of Marquise Goodwin to the lineup on Monday. The 27-year-old Goodwin showed no signs of the quadriceps injury that shelved him early in the season opener at Minnesota by recording career highs in receiving yards (126) and touchdowns (two). "Guys are respecting (Goodwin's) speed," Beathard said. "You've got to respect his speed. He can take the tops off of coverages, so it definitely helps having him out there." Running back Matt Breida stands to benefit from that as he bids for his third straight game with a touchdown and fourth in a row at home.

EXTRA POINTS

1. San Francisco TE George Kittle recorded 100 receiving yards in his last encounter with Los Angeles.

2. The Rams lead the NFL in total yards (2,786), yards per game (464.3) and rushing yards per contest (154.3).

3. 49ers WR Pierre Garcon, who had a team-best 142 yards receiving in his last meeting with Los Angeles, has surpassed 50 yards just twice in six games this season.

PREDICTION: Rams 38, 49ers 17
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#407563 - 10/22/18 12:43 PM Re: NFL Week 7 [Re: FREAK]
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New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons withstood a late comeback to end a three-game slide last weekend in what may have been a season-saving victory. That's pretty much the same position the reeling New York Giants and the much-maligned Eli Manning find themselves in when they head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Monday Night Football.

One season after finishing 3-13 and winding up with prize running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, New York is off to a 1-5 start amid growing cries that Manning needs to be yanked from the starting lineup. "I know he's the punching bag right now," Giants co-owner John Mara told reporters earlier this week. "But a lot of guys need to play better when you're 1-5." Atlanta has plenty of issues of its own -- namely injuries -- but still has Ryan and favorite target Julio Jones, the subject of pregame hype with New York's Odell Beckham Jr. on the opposite sideline. "In our league today, there are a handful of receivers who garner that special attention," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "It just so happens that two of them are matched up this week. They are different players, but really effective in their own right."

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Falcons -4 O/U: 54

ABOUT THE GIANTS (1-5): Barkley has lived up to his pre-draft hype, rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown and catching nine balls for 99 yards in a 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 11. Barkley has a chance to make history against the Falcons and join Kansas City's Kareem Hunt as the only players to pile up at least 100 yards from scrimmage in seven consecutive games to begin their career. Manning continues to have trouble connected with Beckham and has averaged 6.5 yards or fewer per pass attempt in four of six games. New York's defense has allowed 27 points per game and is tied for last in the league with 7.0 sacks.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (2-4): Ryan is third in the NFL with 1,956 passing yards and has 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past four games after throwing for 340 yards and three scores in last week's win over Tampa Bay. Jones had 10 catches for 144 yards against the Buccaneers and is second in the league with 708 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone after scoring only three touchdowns in 2017. With Devanta Freeman going on injured reserve following groin surgery this week, Tevin Coleman and rookie Ito Smith will share the load in the backfield. Atlanta is 30th in total defense (417.2 yards) and 31 in points allowed (32.0).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Ryan has an NFL-best 1,432 yards and 128.2 passer rating since Week 3.

2. Giants TE Evan Engram is expected to return after sitting out the last three games.

3. Falcons DE Takk McKinley has 4.5 sacks in the last five games.

PREDICTION: Falcons 30, Giants 23
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