It me, Week 7. Football games will be played for three NFC North teams. Green Bay has the lone bye before a tough road stretch upcoming. Let’s take a gander at the Week 7 matchups.
Vikings (3-2-1) at Jets (3-3)
The Vikings and their revitalized defense will square off against Sam Darnold and the New York Football Jets. The Jets have more talent than past years and managed a fluke win in Detroit in Week 1 from 4 Matt Stafford interceptions and two crazy punt returns by Andre Roberts.
Like the Vikings, the Jets have won their last 2 games (Broncos and Colts). Isiah Crowell and Bilal Powell offer a decent run game. However, Crowell is hurt with a foot injury and may not play. This would be a big blow to the Jets.
Robbie Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse have been better than expected at WR for Darnold. Enunwa is battling an ankle injury as well for New York.
The Jets defense is solid but not great led by Leonard Williams and Darron Lee. Top corner Trumaine Johnson has missed practice all week. The Jets need him to defend Thielen and Diggs.
The Vikings are banged up with LT Riley Reiff, Linval Joseph, stud DE Danielle Hunter, Andrew Sendejo, RB Dalvin Cook and DE Everson Griffen (insane in the membrane). This game could have more points scored than expected if Hunter, Griffen and Joseph are out.
The Vikings have the offensive fire power to win this game on the road. It will be close but the Vikings pull away late.
Vikings 27 Jets 20
Patriots (4-2 at Bears (3-2)
The Patriots are back and firing on most cylinders. Gordon and Edleman boosted their receiving core and Gronk is still Gronk. The Patriots defense makes stops when it needs but isn’t great. The Bears are coming off playing in direct sunlight though in Miami. This could hamper them for the rest of the season dealing with the sun.
We will find out if the Bears defense was a mirage by facing Seattle (without Baldwin), Arizona, a flukey Tampa Bay team and the Packers with Kizer for a lot of the game. Miami put up 31 points and the Patriots could do the same.
Mitch Trubisky will need a solid performance to keep pace with Touchdown Tommy. Howard has struggled all year and must bolster the Bears run game to aid Trubisky. Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen can have success on the Patriots defense. The Bears get the home matchup but the Patriots win on a late Gostkowski field goal.
Patriots 27 Bears 24
Lions (2-3) at Dolphins (4-2)
Detroit is coming off a bye and should be healthier for Week 7 after Week 5 win against Green Bay. TJ Lang has a good shot to play and even Ziggy Ansah might give it a go. Theo Riddick (knee) is hurt but the Lions enjoyed must needed rest last week. The Lions need the health because they will be in DIRECT SUNLIGHT against the Miami Dolphins.
Miami will be playing with Brock Osweiler (instead of starter Ryan Tannehill) again. Osweiler has been a poor QB other than a handful of games in his career (early with Broncos and last week). One of those games was last weekend against the Bears in a 31-28 Miami win.
The Dolphins have speed with Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson (YAC guy) and Jakeem Grant at WR. Devante Parker should return and see more action as the former 1st round pick. Danny Amendola is a solid slot WR for Miami too.
The ageless wonder Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake is a solid RB duo and the Lions have trouble stopping the run in their 3 losses. Detroit must shore that up and the return of Ziggy could help that. If Gore and Drake run wild, this game could be a shootout. Detroit will need to bring consistent pressure on Osweiler and they won’t have to worry about much mobility from BO.
Miami has good health (other than Tannehill) but CB Bobby McCain and Cameron Wake could be hobbled. Robert Quinn is a good DE on the other side and Charles Harris a first rounder with talent.
Raekwon McMillan, Kiki Alonso and rookie Jerome Baker make up an above average LB crew. Reshad Jones is a menace at safety and Xavien Howard leads the league in picks at CB. TJ McDonald brings the wood at strong safety. Rookie 1st rounder Minkah Fitpatrick mans the slot and 3rd safety spot.
The Lions have great weapons (Tate, Jones and Golladay) and they need to take advantage of the Dolphins secondary. Stafford has had four (4) one hundred plus (100+) QB ratings in a row since a disastrous Week One (1). He will need another one on the road for the Lions to slay the Dolphins. Lions get back to .500 and keep pace in the North. Slay picks BO to seal the game.
Lions 27 Dolphins 26