The New Orleans Saints face the Chicago Bears in the Windy City this week. This battle of top-10 defenses will certainly be a must watch if you love defensive football, but if you prefer high-flying offense you may just have to grit your teeth and bare through this one. Many fans have the perception that Soldier Field is a place the Saints have not had success in, mostly due to the 2006 NFC Championship experience paired with the losses there in 2007 and 2008. The truth is that the Saints have actually won their last two in Chicago, in 2013 and 2014, and have won four straight against the Bears.
It won't be bad weather or Soldier Field that takes down the Saints should they falter, it would be the injuries on offense while having to face one of the league’s best defenses. Let’s hope the Saints overcome those factors. Here’s to the Saints winning their fifth consecutive game of the season and against Chicago! Who Dat!
Now let’s take a look at this and all of the matchups in Week 7.
Last week I went 7-7
I told you so: 49ers over Rams!
What do I know: Bucs over Panthers?
Thursday, October 17th - Thursday Night Football
Chiefs(4-2) at Broncos(2-4)
Even though Denver’s defense is sneaky good, Kansas City stops their losing skid with a win over their familiar foe. Kansas City wins 28-23.
Sunday, October 20th - Early Games
Dolphins(0-5) at Bills(4-1)
Buffalo will have a huge game through the air against the putrid Dolphins. Buffalo wins 42-21.
Jaguars(2-4) at Bengals(0-6)
Jacksonville rebounds from their loss last week with a big game against the awful Cincy defense. Jacksonville wins 23-10.
Vikings(3-2) at Lions(2-2-1)
Still reeling from their unfortunate loss at Lambeau, Detroit will suffer a tough setback against the rolling Vikings. Minnesota wins 30-9.
Raiders(3-2) at Packers(5-1)
Fresh off their fortunate win at home, the Pack keeps the wins coming at Lambeau. Green Bay wins 23-7.
Rams(3-3) at Falcons(1-5)
Atlanta catches the Rams at just the right time, in freefall with two new cornerbacks starting in the secondary. Atlanta is truly awful, but they have had the Rams’ number for some time now. Jalen Ramsey or not for LA, Atlanta lucks into a late game-winning touchdown. Atlanta wins 34-27.
Texans(4-2) at Colts(3-2)
The arm of Deshaun Watson will be the primary key to victory for Houston in this pivotal AFC South matchup, as Jacoby Brissett won't be able to keep pace. Houston wins 27-23.
49ers(5-0) at Redskins(1-5)
Jimmy G keeps the Niners undefeated by having his biggest game of the season in Washington. San Francisco wins 23-15.
Cardinals(2-3-1) at Giants(2-4)
Both offenses should have an easy enough time against these defenses, but Arizona will make the plays to separate in the final quarter. Arizona wins 24-14.
Sunday, October 20th - Late Games
Chargers(2-4) at Titans(2-4)
The Chargers are absolutely reeling, but they pick up the win in Tennessee to avoid seeing their season spiral out of control. Los Angeles wins 31-27.
Ravens(4-2) at Seahawks(5-1)
The Russell Wilson vs. Lamar Jackson matchup will be a sight to see, but a huge effort by the Seattle defense along with homefield advantage will be the keys to a Seattle victory. Seattle wins 28-17.
Saints(5-1) at Bears(3-2) - Game of the Week
No Drew Brees, no problem (mostly) for the Saints since Week 3 as Teddy Bridgewater has gone undefeated in his four starts at quarterback, but this is by far the best defense he has faced in that stretch. Without standout Alvin Kamara in the backfield, Bridgewater’s job has become much harder. The Saints will need to lean on Michael Thomas more than ever, while guys like Latavius Murray will have to carry a much heavier load than they've had to this season.
The Bears haven't been lighting anyone up on offense themselves, and now they face the best defense they've seen all season. The Saints defense gets nowhere near the credit they deserve mostly due to past perceptions. A win here, outdueling the Bears defense will go a long way in changing that perception.
This will be an ugly, grind it out battle, where every yard is hard earned. This game will ultimately come down to special teams, and to the leg of Wil Lutz, who will kick the game-winner for the Saints in the end. Saints win 19-17.
Sunday Night Football
Eagles(3-3) at Cowboys(3-3)
With the entire nation piling on the Cowboys (and deservedly so) in the wake of their laugh-inducing loss to the Jets, Dallas knows its now or never in this crucial matchup for first place in the NFC (L)East. Philly guarantees victory, but they're as unreliable as Dallas is themselves. Dallas holds back the wolves at the door, at least for one week. Dallas wins 28-21.
Monday, October 21st - Monday Night Football
Patriots(6-0) at Jets(1-4)
The Jets picked up a monster win at home last week, but now they face a real team, and the Pats will stroll to victory here. New England wins 34-10.
That’s how I see Week 7 shaping up. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!