NFL Week 7 Preview: LA Rams aim for six, Chiefs to bounce back

We are now seven games deep into the regular season of the NFL and things are starting to shape up, as fans start to get an idea of who has a chance of going all the way and who are set to slug it out in a difficult campaign.

Last week’s results leave just one defeated side left in the NFL in the form of the Los Angeles Rams, who tackle NFC West rivals the San FranciscoΒ 49ers, while the Kansas City Chiefs look to bounce back after last-minute heartbreak against the Patriots.

Elsewhere, the legendary rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins actually looks to have something riding on it this season. We have dived into all the week’s fixtures below, take a look!

Bye week: Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders.

Denver Broncos (2-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-5) (Friday, 01:20 BST)

Rookie Quarterback Josh Rosen should be given a tough test by the Broncos defence on paper but Denver has been sub-par this season. Questions are already being asked of the Broncos and General Manager John Elway is under pressure.

On the opposite side, the Cardinals have also struggled this season and their only victory has come against woeful division rivals the 49ers. The NFC West already appears to be wrapped up unless Arizona can string together a sequence of wins and they should emerge triumphant here.

Tennessee Titans (3-3) @ Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) (Sunday, 14:30 BST)

The second of three London games in a row sees an impressive Chargers side, who have only lost to the leaders in each conference so far this season, face off against the Titans. You can read our in-depth preview here.

Carolina Panthers (3-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

The Superbowl champions have endured a tough start to the defence of their crown and face off against a Panthers side this weekend who could enjoy a decent campaign if they fix the issues from last time out – having conceded three turnovers against the Redskins.

The NFC East looks extremely tight, excluding the Giants, and the Eagles need to find form heading into November and December. It will be a tough test against Cam Newton and the Panthers but they should be able to pick up a win.

Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1) @ New York Jets (3-3) (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

With two wins on the bounce, the Jets have found themselves hovering around the .500 mark as they wonder what might have been if they enjoyed better form at the start of the season. It is a familiar situation for the franchise, although at least this time rookie Sam Darnold gives them something to build around.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have not managed to dominate in the NFC North like many expected before the campaign began and a tough test in the Big Apple lies ahead, where a victory will not be easy to come by against an unpredictable side.

Buffalo Bills (2-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-5) (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

Both rock-bottom of their respective divisions, the Bills and the Colts are two of the early contenders to earn the first draft pick of 2019 if they do not shape up. For the Bills, expect to seeΒ Derek Anderson make his debut with Josh Allen injured.

The Colts’ defence has been woeful in recent weeks, giving up 39 points in each of their last three games, and it is difficult to predict a victory for a side with that sort of record.

New England Patriots (4-2) @ Chicago Bears (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

Always there or thereabouts, the Patriots have found their rhythm with three consecutive victories and Tom Brady is showing himself to be Mr Consistent once again. At Soldier Field, he could give a lesson to the hosts.

The Bears lead the way in the NFC North but defeat to the Dolphins last time out seems to have knocked the stuffing out of them.Β Mitch Trubisky needs to find consistency if he is to lead the Bears deep into the playoffs and, up against Brady, it is likely to be a learning curve for the 24-year-old.

Cleveland Browns (2-3-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

The Browns look to have a strong defence this season, despite the loss to the Chargers last week, and will travel to face the Buccaneers full of confidence. Although they are rock-bottom of the AFC North, there are at least signs of improvement.

For the Buccaneers, their defence has been AWOL this season and the pressure is mounting. There seems to be little the offence can do to counteract that and a fourth defeat in a row looks set to be on the cards for the hosts.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

Swept aside by the Cowboys last time out, the Jaguars find themselves up against it ahead of their annual trip to London. Alarm bells are ringing in Jacksonville after two consecutive defeats and it may be the start of a decline that sees hopes of a Superbowl go up in smoke.

The Texans admittedly are not playing great but should have enough in their tank to overcome their AFC South rivals, which could prove to be decisive in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Detroit Lions (2-3) @ Miami Dolphins (4-2) (Sunday, 18:00 BST)

Back off a bye week, the Lions were fortunate last time out in their victory over the Packers thanks to some poor kicking by their opponents. After a disastrous start to the season, overcoming the Dolphins will help to put things back on track.

Ryan Tannehill may return for the Dolphins, although it seems like no one is entirely sure what on earth is going on in Miami, and the hosts may edge the game as a result.

New Orleans Saints (4-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-2) (Sunday, 21:05 BST)

A clash that, on paper at least, looks to have exactly what we are all looking for. The Saints boast the third-best offence this season and the Ravens have the top-ranked defence, which should result in an intriguing clash in Baltimore.

Having kept the Steelers quiet previously, the Ravens will be confident of doing the same against the Saints while Joe Flacco tries to get his rejuvenated offence going. If that happens, the push for a Superbowl could be on – but don’t write off the Saints just yet.

Dallas Cowboys (3-3) @ Washington Redskins (3-2) (Sunday, 21:05 BST)

A classic NFL rivalry that, thankfully, has something riding on it this season. The NFC East is extremely tight this season and Sunday night’s clash could prove to be decisive, although it is difficult to have any idea of what will happen.

The Cowboys embarrassed the Jaguars last week but the Redskins also secured an impressive win against the Panthers, so both enter in a decent vein of form. With the Eagles playing in the earlier match-ups, it is a game neither side can afford to lose.

Los Angeles Rams (6-0) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-5) (Sunday, 21:05 BST)

Six and zero means it has been a perfect start for the Los Angeles Rams and nobody has been able to counter them this season. Given the 49ers’ woeful displays, it would take a brave man to bet against the Rams extending their winning streak against their NFC West rivals.

As mentioned, the NFC West looks to be wrapped up already and the 49ers will already be looking ahead to next season. On a run of four defeats, it is really not a good time to be a San Francisco fan.

Cinncinati Bengals (4-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) (Monday, 01:20 BST)

Both teams come into the match on the back of heart-breaking, last-minute losses last time out and the primetime game of the week could be one for the ages. The Bengals look ready to roar and the Chiefs loss brought an end to their winning-streak last weekend.

Looking at the match-up, it is the sort of game that could decide who earns a bye in the playoffs and the Chiefs will be ranked as slight favourites. Kansas already look certain to finish top of the AFC West standings, while the Bengals’ NFC North is very tight.

New York Giants (1-5) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-4) (Tuesday, 01:15 BST)

The Giants against the Falcons this year is not really the sort of match-up that makes you want to set your alarm for the early hours as it is a game that is certainly missable. Still, the fight for a wooden spoon on Tuesday morning has a lot of talking points.

Odell Beckham Jr. has been thrown under the bus, despite the fact he’s the least of their problems right now, but he is still the sort of player who could prove to be the driving point behind a much-needed victory for the Giants.

About Josh Challies 10 Articles
Yorkshire-based Seattle Seahawks follower. Iconic Atlanta United manager on FM17. Only here so I don't get fined.