By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Last week at this time, I predicted that the Dallas Cowboys would circle the wagons and use Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury to rally around each other and beat the Arizona Cardinals. Four words: WHAT WAS I THINKING? The Cowboys embarrassed themselves on national TV and look like a complete dumpster fire. Not NY Jets-level dumpster fire, mind you, but still pretty bad. Well, I won’t make that mistake again.
Or will I?
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On to this week’s picks:
♦ PITTSBURGH @ TENNESSEE: At the start of the season, who would have ever thought that the marquee game in Week 7 would be the Steelers vs Titans? Both teams are 5-0 coming into this contest. Pittsburgh boasts the league’s best defense, including the top rushing defense (under 67 yards per game), but Tennessee’s Derrick Henry is not only the NFL’s leading rusher; he’s also coming off consecutive 200+ yard games. I’m going with the home team. Pick: TITANS
♦ DALLAS @ WASHINGTON: Just how bad is the NFC East? The Cowboys are 2-4, yet are at the top of the division standings. Their arch-rival Washington is just one game back at 1-5, but their record was expected. Dallas has too much talent on offense to put up a measly 10 points, like they did on Monday against Arizona. I said I won’t make the mistake of picking the Cowboys again, but… Pick: COWBOYS
♦ GREEN BAY @ HOUSTON: The Packers 5-1 stumbled against Tampa Bay, and QB Aaron Rodgers reasoned that the team needed to be kicked in the butt and will learn from the loss. Expect Green Bay to take out their frustrations against the Texans, who, at 1-5, are facing the prospect of missing the playoffs for the first time in three years. Deshaun Watson has been great, but he’s not enough. Pick: PACKERS
♦ SAN FRANCISCO @ NEW ENGLAND: Okay, this is an intriguing matchup. The last time New England started the season 2-3 was in 2001. That was the season a young Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe as the team’s starting QB. The 3-3 49ers, meanwhile, are coming off a big win over division rival L.A. Rams. Does anyone doubt that Bill Belichick will find a way to get the Pats back to the top of the AFC East? Pick: PATRIOTS
♦ TAMPA BAY @ LAS VEGAS: It’s tempting to pick the Silver & Black here. The Raiders have momentum after shocking the defending Super Bowl champs Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, and they should be rested after enjoying a bye week. But the Buccaneers’ statement victory over Green Bay on Sunday shows that Tom Brady and Co. could be in their way to meeting the team’s big expectations coming into the start of the season. Pick: BUCCANEERS
♦ CHICAGO @ L.A. RAMS: It hasn’t been pretty, but the Bears have fought and clawed their way to a 5-1 record and first place in the NFC Central. Their using the vintage Bears formula of winning with defense and toughness. Inserting Nick Foles as starting QB hasn’t hurt, either. Chicago will definitely be tested on Monday against the 4-2 Rams, who laid an egg on Monday against the 49ers. I’m looking for Jared Goff to bounce back from a subpar performance, and for the Rams’ defense to take charge. Pick: RAMS
Last Week: 3-3
Season to Date: 23-13 (.638)
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