I don’t want to say that Week 6 was the greatest week ever in the history of football, but it might have been — well, not for Lions fans — but it was for me, because that’s basically how I feel about any week in the NFL that involves an N’Sync scoring celebration.
I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever bought from Target was an N’Sync cassette, so it’s hard to put into words how excited I was when I saw the Seahawks pull off possibly the best touchdown celebration ever on Sunday: A perfectly choreographed version of “Bye, Bye, Bye.”
That choreography is so good that you could easily convince me that they learned it from Justin Timberlake himself. Browns fans, I know your team lost, but the Seahawks basically treated you to a free N’Sync concert, so that kind of evens things out, if you think about it.
As for Lions fans, you guys are probably hoping that the NFL bids “Bye, Bye, Bye” to that officiating crew from Monday night. I don’t have any official numbers on me, but I’m pretty sure the Lions have been hosed over more times than any other team in NFL history. From the Calvin Johnson rule to the batted ball game to the mysterious decision to pick up a pass interference flag in a Lions-Cowboys playoff game back in January 2015, bad calls against the Lions seem to happen all the time. As a matter of fact, it happens so often that Lions fans literally like to make lists of all the times that it’s happened. I’m starting to think the NFL should just go ref-less in Lions games from now on.
To add insult to injury to Lions fans, I’m not even picking their team this week, so I’m going to go ahead and apologize in advance for that. So who else am I picking against this week? Let’s get to the Week 7 picks and find out.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. If you click over, and you probably should, you’ll notice that I am absolutely dominating everyone and that I have the best record for picking games straight-up this year. Unfortunately, I am not leading the pack with my picks against the spread. That honor belongs to Will Brinson, who I’m pretty sure picks games based on what kind of craft beer each NFL city produces. I have no idea how his system works, but he’s in first place, so I can’t argue with it.
Speaking of Brinson, he’s the host of the Pick Six Podcast, which is our daily NFL podcast here at CBSSports.com. The only reason I’m mentioning that is because if you listen to the podcast, there’s a 60 percent chance you’ll get to hear my voice, and who doesn’t want to hear my voice. For the rest of the 2019 season, I’ll be joining Brinson three days per week (Monday, Tuesday and Friday).
Even though I’m only on three days per week, there’s a new episode every single day from Monday thru Friday and you should try to listen as often as possible (You can listen to Tuesday’s episode below and make sure to click here to check it out and subscribe). On Tuesday’s episode, we spent nearly 60 minutes covering all the calls the refs got wrong on “Monday Night Football.” We didn’t want to spend 60 minutes doing that, but they got so many calls wrong that that’s how long it took to have that conversation. We also talked about the actual game, so you should definitely give it a listen.
Alright, that’s enough talking about the podcast, let’s get to the picks.
NFL Week 7 Picks
Houston (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-2)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Colts, -1
Six weeks into the season, the AFC South race has slowly turned into the football equivalent of a Hallmark Christmas movie: I totally thought it was going to be trash, but now I’m sucked into it and I can’t stop watching. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and although it does seem a little too early to be mentioning Hallmark Christmas movies, I assure you, it’s not. The first movie premieres at the end of October (Oct. 26), which means you have less than two weeks to get your watch party planned for “Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses,” a movie that will undoubtedly be a Holiday classic.
Speaking of classics, this game has some serious potential to turn into one. Over the past two weeks, both of these teams have beaten the Chiefs, and fittingly, they’re now playing each other with first place in the AFC South on the line.
The Texans offensive line has basically been a disaster since the day Watson joined the team in 2017. Over the past two years, Watson has been sacked 99 times, which is the second most in the NFL over that span, behind only Russell Wilson. When Watson actually gets protection, he’s borderline unstoppable: The Texans quarterback is 7-0 all-time in games where he’s sacked one or zero times with an average of 2.9 touchdown passes in those games. When he’s sacked two or more times, he averages just 1.7 TD passes per game and has a record of 11-11
Over the past two weeks, Watson hasn’t been sacked a single time, marking the first time in his career he’s made it through consecutive games without getting sacked. Of course, those two games were against the Falcons and Chiefs, so it’s hard to say if the Texans offensive line has actually gotten better. However, we should find out the answer to that questions this week, and that’s because the Texans will be facing a Colts team that has made it a habit of trying to break Watson in half every time they play him. In three career games against the Colts, Watson has been sacked a total of 15 times. If the Texans don’t cut down on that number, they’re definitely not going to win.
There’s also the T.Y. Hilton factor: Hilton is averaging 123.6 yards per game in his last five games against Houston, and to make things even for the Texans, they’ll likely be missing one of their top corners on Sunday (Bradley Roby).
You know what what I think I’ve done here? I think I’ve talked myself into taking the Colts, so I’m going to go ahead and move on to my next pick before I change my mind.
The pick: Colts 26-23 over Texans
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New Orleans (5-1) at Chicago (3-2)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Bears, -3.5
I have no idea who the Bears starting quarterback is going to be in this game, but I’m starting to feel like it might not matter, because the Bears offense has looked pretty bad this season no matter who’s running it. In five games, the Bears have yet to hit the 300-yard mark and the only time this season they looked even remotely competent was when they played the Redskins back in Week 3, but everyone looks competent against the Redskins, so I’m not even sure I can really count that.
The other problem with the Bears offense is that they’ve been having some serious trouble scoring in the fourth quarter, which isn’t really a quarter you want to be struggling. Through five games, the Bears have scored a total of six points in the fourth quarter, which is the lowest total of any team in the NFL this season, INCLUDING THE DOLPHINS. That’s not a typo. The Bears are worse than the Dolphins at something.
Now, the good news for the Bears is that they don’t necessarily need their offense to play well for them to win, because their defense is that good. As good as the Bears defense is though, they do need some help from the offense, and they just haven’t gotten it this season. If you would like a visual example of how little help the Bears offense has give their defense this season, just watch the video below of the baby riding the roomba. In this example, the Bears defense is the roomba, and the Bears offense is the baby who’s just along for the ride, but isn’t actually helping with anything.
The most concerning thing for the Bears is that their defense is coming off a game in London where they got stream-rolled by the Raiders. I’m guessing that Saints coach Sean Payton has watched film of that game at least 47 times over the past 10 days, and there’s a good chance he’s going to design a gameplan with elements of what the Raiders did.
I did think briefly about picking the Bears here, but then I got a sign from God that I should pick the Saints.
As I have said for years, if the Pope accidentally uses an NFL team‘s hashtag on Twitter, I will definitely be picking that team to win for the foreseeable future.
The pick: Saints 16-13 over Bears.
Baltimore (4-2) at Seattle (5-1)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Seahawks, -3.5
I’m still not sure if the Seahawks are the NFC’s version of the Ravens or if the Ravens are the AFC’s version of the Seahawks, but I have come to the conclusion that Seattle and Baltimore are the same team. For one, I’m 90 percent sure that both teams would be winless this season if they had any other quarterback besides the guy who’s currently playing quarterback for them. Also, both teams love to run the ball. As matter of fact, the Ravens have more rushing attempts than any other team in the NFL this year with 223, which is only 21 more than the Seahawks, who have the third most rushing attempts in the league.
Also, although both teams have had dominant defenses over the past few years, both teams are completely average on that side of the ball this year.
These two teams are so much alike that if Fox doesn’t show the Spider-Man meme below on TV at least once during Sunday’s game, I’ll be highly disappointed.
Although these two teams are similar, the Seahawks do have one big advantage in this game and that’s Russell Wilson. For years, I’ve been convinced that 50 percent of the Seahawks playbook was just letting Wilson do whatever he wants, and now, I’m fully convinced of that.
After Wilson’s headset went out during the Seahawks’ win over the Browns on Sunday, Seattle didn’t wait to get it fixed, no, they decided to let Wilson call the plays, which immediately led to the Seahawks best offensive drive of the game.
I dare Lamar Jackson to try that. If Jackson’s headset went out, the Ravens would go three-and-out on every possession until it was fixed. That’s not too say that Jackson is a bad quarterback, it just means that Wilson has six years of experience on him and also that Wilson is a better offensive coordinator than the guy who the Seahawks actually pay to be their offensive coordinator (Brian Schottenheimer).
As for Jackson, he’s been good this season, but Wilson has been great. Oh, and Wilson’s also been great against AFC teams at home. Since his rookie year in 2012, the Seahawks have gone 14-1 against AFC teams at CenturyLink Field, which means I can’t pick the AFC team to win here.
The pick: Seahawks 34-31 over Ravens
Philadelphia (3-3) at Dallas (3-3)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Cowboys, -3
I’m not sure if Jason Garrett has a Twitter account, but if he does, he’s probably going to want to stay off it for the next few weeks, because we have officially reached the point in the season where every Cowboys fan wants to see him fired. As the famous saying goes, there are only three things that are guaranteed in life: Death, taxes and Cowboys fans calling for Jason Garrett’s head before the NFL season even reaches its halfway point.
You know things are bad when fans are calling for you to be fired AT HALFTIME of a game that YOU’RE CURRENTLY COACHING IN, which is what happened to Garrett during the Cowboys’ embarrassing 24-22 loss to the Jets on Sunday.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that Garrett should or shouldn’t be fired, but If I’ve noticed one thing about the Cowboys during their three-game losing streak, it’s that they basically show up every Sunday with no offensive game plan and then they try to make it up as they go along. Not surprisingly, this hasn’t been working out well for them so far and I think people are starting to notice.
Over the past three weeks, the Cowboys haven’t scored a single first half touchdown and they’ve only scored a total of nine points in the first half of all three games combined. This wouldn’t be an issue if the other team’s weren’t scoring, but that hasn’t been the case. Against the Jets, the Cowboys fell behind 21-3 in the first half. In Week 5, they fell behind the Packers 31-3, and not surprisingly, they lost both games.
On the surface, Eagles-Cowboys feels like a game between two evenly matched teams, with the main difference being that the Cowboys have Jason Garrett and the Eagles don’t. If the last three weeks have been any indication, there’s a 93 percent chance that Garrett is going to make at least three horrible decisions in this game that will eventually cost his team any chance of winning, which means I can’t pick them to win.
To be fair, Eagles coach Doug Pederson also makes bad decisions from time-to-time, but he only makes about one per month and I’m pretty sure he got his October one out of his system when he called for possibly the worst fake field goal ever against the Vikings.
As long as Jake Elliott doesn’t throw an interception in this game, I feel good about picking the Eagles.
The pick: Eagles 30-27 over Cowboys
Lock of the Week
Miami (0-5) at Buffalo (4-1)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Bills, -17
If you’ve watched the Miami Dolphins play a single game this year — first, if you have, let me say sorry that you had to sit through that — but if you did watch, you may have noticed that they’ve taken the idea of tanking to another level. There’s tanking, and then there’s what the Dolphins are doing this season. Not only has their defense given up more points per game than any other team in the NFL this year (36.0), but they also have the lowest scoring offense in the league (they average 8.4 points per game), and that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that we’re six weeks into the season and they somehow still haven’t scored a SINGLE POINT IN THE THIRD QUARTER all year. That’s like going six full weeks without using the letter “S.” It doesn’t even seem possible.
For this week’s game, the Dolphins won’t even have to try and tank, and that’s because they’re going up against a Bills defense that’s given up the third fewest points per game this year and the third fewest yards per game. The Bills also have not given up a single point in the second quarter all season, which means, by my count, that’s two quarters where the Dolphins definitely won’t be scoring. To be honest, the Dolphins will be lucky to score during any quarter in this game.
Guys, I think what I’m trying to say here is that the Dolphins are so bad that the lock of the week might just turn into me picking against them every week.
The pick: Bills 24-3 over Dolphins
Lock of the week record: 5-1 straight up, 3-3 against the spread
NFL Week 7 picks: All the rest
Chiefs 23-20 over Broncos
Packers 27-24 over Raiders
Jaguars 19-16 over Bengals
Vikings 20-17 over Lions
Rams 30-23 over Falcons
Giants 34-27 over Cardinals
49ers 27-13 over Redskins
Titans 20-16 over Chargers
Patriots 27-20 over Jets
Best pick: Last week, Iwould score 16 points and lose to the Redskins, and then the Dolphins went out and scored 16 points and lost to the Redskins. Now, did I know that the Dolphins were going to completely botch their potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt with just six seconds left to play? Of course, I did. I mean, this is the Dolphins we’re talking about. Anyone could see that coming from a mile away.
If you missed the failed two-point conversion attempt, here’s what it looked like.
That might be the most Ryan Fitzpatrick play that Ryan Fitzpatrick has ever been involved in.
Through six weeks, the Dolphins have done such a good job of tanking that I’m actually going to be slightly disappointed if they don’t end up getting the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Worst pick: Last week, I said the Cowboys would obliterate the Jets, and as we all saw, that definitely didn’t happen. I think the problem here is that I’ve never had mono, so I didn’t realize that you actually come back as a super human once you’re completely cured from it. I mean, how else do you explain this perfect 92-yard touchdown pass that Sam Darnold threw to Robby Anderson.
That’s an impossible throw for anyone who’s never had mono and don’t try to convince me differently. Darnold is ahead of the game now, and if he keeps playing that way, quarterbacks all over the NFL are going to be trying to get mono just so they can come back with the same super human abilities that Darnold currently has.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I actually do well picking, I’m going to start sharing that information so that you know which picks you should actually pay attention to.
Heading into Week 7, here’s what the best and worst individual team picks look like (All records listed are straight-up)
Teams I’m 6-0 picking this year: Patriots, Dolphins (5-0)
Teams I’m 5-1 picking this year: Falcons, Redskins, Ravens, Vikings, Eagles, Packers, Bills (4-1), Jets (4-1), Lions (3-1-1)
Teams I’m 1-5 picking this year: Buccaneers, 49ers (1-4)
Every other team is somewhere in-between. The most important thing here is that I finally broke the curse of Nick Carter. Last week marked the first time this season that I’ve correctly picked the winner in a Buccaneers game. However, I’m still upset about the curse, so I will definitely be karaoking to N’Sync this weekend instead of Backstreet Boys.
Straight up in Week 6: 9-5
SU overall: 56-35-1
Against the spread in Week 6: 8-6
ATS overall: 43-48-1
You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he’s not doing one of those things, he’s probably trying to find someone who’s the same height and weight as him so they can be the Spider-Man meme for Halloween.