Each week in the NFL, the unexpected happens and some bold predictions actually come true. Week 7 shall be no different.
As to what surprises are in store? For starters, a few select running backs will unleash huge performances. And, things will get ugly for a certain quarterback facing his old, Super Bowl champion team.
Perhaps the Cleveland Browns will actually defy the odds and win their first game.
See what else could be on tap in NFL Week 7 with the following 10 bold predictions.
1. Andrew Luck endures seven sacks but passes for 400 yards
To date, Luck has been the victim of a league-high 23 sacks. This equates to an average of 3.8 sacks per outing.
In Week 7, look for Luck’s average sack tally to double against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans defense has registered 18 sacks with linebacker Brian Orakpo being personally responsible for seven of them.
Luck’s offensive line is one of the worst in the league, which makes him a prime candidate for Tennessee’s aggressive pass rush. And since Tennessee’s defense has only given up an average of 88.5 rushing yards per game, Luck will have to air it out a lot to find ways to move the offense downfield.
Meanwhile, the Colts’ defense is so terrible that Marcus Mariota and Co. will score plenty, keeping the game competitive.
Since Tennessee just gave up 336 passing yards to Cleveland’s rookie quarterback Cody Kessler of all guys, Luck should be primed to inflate his numbers. He will pass the 400-yard mark, despite picking himself up off the ground with the ball still in his hands seven times.
2. Chiefs running backs score four rushing touchdowns
No team in the NFL has allowed more rushing touchdowns than the 11 the New Orleans Saints have surrendered through five games.
This offers a scenario where plenty of scoring opportunities will be available for both Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware in Week 7. New Orleans’ defense has simply been no match when faced with some of the better running backs in the league.
Here are a few prime examples.
In Week 3, Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman gashed the Saints defense for three rushing scores. San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushed for two touchdowns in Week 4, as did Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart in Week 6.
Just imagine the destruction that Charles and Ware will unleash. Each rushed for one touchdown against Oakland last week. Now, the duo will double those scores at home on Sunday.
3. Allen Robinson torches Oakland for 150 yards, two touchdowns
Robinson has yet to go off the charts with a monster game this season. But this will change in Week 7 when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders are currently giving up a ridiculous average of 319 receiving yards per tilt. Despite Robinson’s lackluster numbers, he is still Blake Bortles favorite receiver, averaging 9.5 targets per game.
Robinson is also averaging 13 yards per reception. This is nearly on par with the Raiders yielding 13.4 yards on average per catch.
Week 7 should be the week Robinson knocks it out of the park against the league’s worst pass defense. A 150-plus yard game could be had if Robinson manages a dozen catches. Of course, Bortles will need to cooperate.
Since the Raiders have given up 12 receiving touchdowns, Robinson should have no problem finding the end zone twice along the way.
4. Tom Brady fails to throw a tight end touchdown against Pittsburgh
Brady is legendary for connecting with his tight ends, often for multiple touchdowns per game. Since Brady’s return in Week 5, Martellus Bennett has scored three touchdowns and Rob Gronkowski has one.
In Week 7, Brady might find it difficult to keep that trend alive. The Steelers have given up only one touchdown to a tight end since the start of the season. With Gronk and Bennett tied up in coverage, Brady will look in the direction of his receivers and running back James White near the end zone.
Furthermore, the Patriots could easily establish a sizable lead with Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones under center.
This will call for a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount pounding the rock. It will be about as rare as snow in July, but we are going to say that no Patriots tight ends find the end zone in Week 7.
5. Bengals hand the Browns their first win
Try as they might, the Browns have yet to win their first game of the season. There have been a couple of close calls and even an overtime battle, but unfortunately no wins have been posted.
Worse, is the Browns have lost their last three matchups against Cincinnati.
But, a point in favor of Cleveland is the fact that Cincinnati has not exactly been lighting it up this season. The Bengals are 2-4 and have managed a total of only 31 points in their last two games.
Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler is coming off a huge 336-yard performance against Tennessee. Now, he will feast on a Bengals defense that just ceded 376 yards and three touchdowns to Tom Brady.
Kessler is certainly no Brady, but the Browns should find ways to score nevertheless. Plus, head coach Hue Jackson should know a thing or two about the offense he coordinated in Cincinnati. This could come in quite handy for Cleveland’s defensive plan of attack.
6. Bills’ defense holds Miami to two field goals
Despite losing several players to injuries, the Buffalo Bills are 4-2. Complementing a dominating offense is a defense that has been making it quite difficult for its opposition to score.
During Weeks 4-6, only 35 points have been allowed by Buffalo’s defense. And of those points, only two touchdowns have been scored. The remainder came from field goals.
Now the Bills take their game to Miami in Week 7. The Dolphins might be feeling a bit overly confident considering they pulled off an upset win against Pittsburgh (30-15) last week.
But, Miami should be prepared for a tougher test against the Bills. Ryan Tannehill will be tasked with the job of scoring against a Bills defense that has only given up three passing touchdowns all year.
And running back Jay Ajayi won’t find nearly the space to break lose against a Bills defense that is allowing just 3.8 yards per attempt.
When all is said and done, a pair of field goals will be all Miami musters Sunday. This is a good thing, because the Bills’ offense might sputter a bit as well without LeSean McCoy, who is out at least one week with a hamstring injury.
7. Kirk Cousins has four-touchdown performance against Lions
In his first year as a starter for Washington, Cousins had three games when he passed for four touchdowns.
Cousins has yet to accomplish that “you like that?” stat in 2016. Now, the perfect matchup is on tap for him to put four passing scores on the board. The Detroit Lions have allowed a league-high 17 passing touchdowns in six games.
Considering Rams quarterback Case Keenum threw for three touchdowns against Detroit last week, Cousins should be primed for a huge outing. He has an an excellent array of receivers and tight end options to help make this happen.
Given the fact that the Lions have given up seven touchdowns to tight ends, either Jordan Reed or Vernon Davis could benefit as well.
Matthew Stafford and the gang are bound to keep the game competitive through the air forcing Cousins into his first four-score game of the season.
8. 49ers’ defense redeems itself with a pair of pick-sixes
The 49ers defense was just bad to the bone when it allowed the Buffalo Bills to score four rushing and two passing touchdowns in Week 6. San Francisco was beaten badly, 45-16.
In Week 7, the 49ers’ defense must step up to the plate if the team wants to actually win its second game. Fortunately, it has a sweet matchup at home against the 2-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown the second-most interceptions (eight) in just five games. One resulted in a pick-six by Marcus Cooper of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.
While the 49ers have managed only four interceptions this season, we are expecting redemption with double pick-sixes in Week 7.
A matchup with one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league will make the 49ers defense look elite.
9. David Johnson and Christine Michael each score a pair of touchdowns
The upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup between the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals will make for must-see TV.
Because both teams’ passing defenses rank within the top seven, this game could come down to a battle of the running backs.
Cardinals running back David Johnson will have his work cut out. The Seahawks’ defense has ceded only two rushing scores to its opposing running backs. And, it is allowing only 3.3 yards per rushing attempt.
Johnson will defy the odds despite the daunting matchup. He is currently the No. 3 rusher in the league and has posted double touchdowns in three of his games.
As for Michael, he is coming fresh off of two rushing scores against Atlanta. He will have a repeat performance despite the fact Arizona gave up only 33 rushing yards and zero scores last week to the Jets.
10. Denver Broncos shut out Brock Osweiler and Co.
This could be Osweiler’s day to shine against the team that let him walk away. But that’s not going to happen.
Osweiler and the Texans are riding high after last week’s exhilarating overtime victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, the Broncos are eating crow after back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers.
To avenge its losses, Denver’s defense should absolutely feast on its former quarterback.
Brandon Marshall appears to be practically salivating at this opportunity to do some serious harm (more on that here). And Osweiler isn’t exactly a pillar of stability when faced with pressure.
The Broncos’ defense ranks fifth-best against the pass and has tallied a league-high 21 sacks. Linebacker Von Miller has 7.5 sacks to date. This matchup should see Osweiler on the ground shaking off the dust more often than he would like.
As a result, the entire Texans offense will be reeling. Denver will do what the Patriots accomplished when they shut out Houston in Week 3. Then, John Elway can sigh with relief.