The Vikings are off this weekend, which means you can take in a full Sunday of football without stressing out about Kirk Cousins and company. There are plenty of entertaining games to watch, including a showdown of 5-0 teams and a fun NFC West battle on Sunday night. Here are my predictions for every single game.
Note: home teams in BOLD. Record last week: 10-4
FALCONS over Lions
Atlanta looked good in game 1 under Raheem Morris last weekend in Minneapolis. With Julio Jones back to full health, I think the Falcons will win their second straight by handling the Lions at home in what could be a high-scoring game.
Browns over BENGALS
I like Joe Burrow a lot, but the Browns are going to be fired up after getting thrashed by the Steelers last week. I expect Kevin Stefanski to lean on Kareem Hunt and the ground game, and Myles Garrett should feast against Cincy’s O-line.
Steelers over TITANS
The game of the week, by far. These are two of the NFL’s three undefeated teams, a pair of well-coaches squads who have looked fantastic on both sides of the ball. I can see this going either way, but I’m going to go with the Steelers and their dominant front seven.
Panthers over SAINTS
A slight upset pick here going with Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers in the Superdome, but I feel good about it. I just don’t think there’s that much that separates these teams and I love the revenge angle for Teddy.
Bills over JETS
I’m taking a lot of road teams this week in the noon slate, I guess. The Bills could spot the Jets a 21-0 lead at halftime and they’d probably still win. That’s how bad Adam Gase and his team are right now.
Cowboys over WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Man, the Cowboys looked awful on Monday night against Arizona. I’m willing to bet that Andy Dalton improves in his second game as the starter – it would be hard not to do so considering the three receivers he has at his disposal – and that Ezekiel Elliott figures out how to hold onto the ball. I don’t trust Kyle Allen at all.
TEXANS over Packers
Major upset pick alert! Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I’m taking Deshaun Watson and the Texans to stun Green Bay in a high-scoring game. The Packers are without David Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones might not play, so give me the Texans at home. Aaron Rodgers will bounce back, but those struggles last weekend didn’t come out of nowhere.
Late afternoon games
Chiefs over BRONCOS
The Broncos beat the Patriots last week without scoring a touchdown. They kicked six field goals and that was enough offense. Well, field goals aren’t going to get it done against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Broncos are getting some key players back from injury and could make this one interesting, but they’re not winning it.
49ers over PATRIOTS
Kyle Shanahan against Bill Belichick should be a lot of fun to watch. The Niners looked good last weekend and have a ton of guys who can make plays after the catch. I think they get a road win against Cam Newton and the Patriots, who badly need more weapons on offense.
CHARGERS over Jaguars
Justin Herbert is the real deal, folks. He should have a strong game against an awful Jaguars team, and has two solid running backs to lean on in Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley. Meanwhile, I think Gardner Minshew will struggle against a solid Chargers defense.
Buccaneers over RAIDERS
This game was originally set for Sunday night football but was moved up for COVID-related reasons. The Buccaneers stated their case as the NFL’s best team last weekend and I doubt they slip up in Las Vegas against a better-than-expected Raiders team.
Sunday Night Football
CARDINALS over Seahawks
I’m all in on Kyler Murray, Budda Baker, and the Cardinals. They’re so much fun to watch. Kyler has been electrifying with his legs all year, but he needs to be much more accurate than he was last week if he’s going to take down Russell Wilson and the undefeated Seahawks.
Monday Night Football
RAMS over Bears
Sorry Bears fans, but I don’t think a 6-1 start is going to happen. The Rams just have a much better offense, and that’ll make the difference in a fairly low-scoring game.
Check out how my picks compare to the other publishers of SI’s NFC team sites (the schedule changes for Cardinals-Seahawks and Bucs-Raiders aren’t reflected in the graphic/widget):
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