Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 7
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Seattle Seahawks (4-2) at San Francisco 49ers (4-2), 8:20 p.m., Thursday
The Skinny: The NFC West is the only division without a losing team and the division with the most victories (15). And who would have thought this would be an early-season battle for first place between these teams, specifically the Seahawks. Their rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, has already won games against arguably the best two quarterbacks in the league -- Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. But it remains to be seen if he can do the same against the 49ers, who are coming off a decisive 26-3 loss to the Giants.
Prediction: 49ers, 24-9
Steelers (2-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-3), 8:20 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Steelers have not won a game on the road since last year's regular-season finale in Cleveland. The good news: They have lost just two games in 13 appearances at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals have the Steelers' disease -- losing to teams they should beat.
Prediction: Bengals, 27-24
Baltimore Ravens (5-1) at Houston Texans (5-1), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Only two of the 16 teams in the AFC have fewer than three losses, and these are the two teams. The Ravens, already without Terrell Suggs, will find out what life is like without Ray Lewis. And how did the Texans give up 42 to the Packers?
Prediction: Texans, 17-13
Tennessee Titans (2-4) at Buffalo Bills (3-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The team that has given up at least 45 points in all three of its losses faces the team that leads the league in most points allowed (204). And yet the Bills are tied for first place in the AFC East.
Prediction: Bills 37-30
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-4), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The problem with the Cowboys is never knowing which team is going to show up. Almost winning in Baltimore doesn't gain anything, but at least it indicates the Cowboys should beat the Panthers. Should.
Prediction: Cowboys, 24-20
Cleveland Browns (1-5) at Indianapolis Colts (2-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Browns are headed in a new direction, and not just because they finally won a game. But can their rookie quarterback outduel the Colts' more highly publicized rookie quarterback?
Prediction: Browns, 24-23
Arizona Cardinals (4-2) at Minnesota Vikings (4-2), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The two biggest surprise teams in the NFL get together to prove which is the bigger surprise. Of course, it would have been a more intriguing matchup if, surprise, they didn't each lose last week.
Prediction: Vikings, 23-21
Washington Redskins (3-3) at New York Giants (4-2), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: With one impressive performance in San Francisco, the Giants proved they are -- or certainly can be -- every bit as good as last year's Super Bowl team. Speaking of impressive, have you seen RG3 lately?
Prediction: Giants, 34-28
Green Bay Packers (3-3) at St. Louis Rams (3-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Like the Giants, the Packers needed only one 42-point performance in Houston to show they can still be the same awesome team they were a year ago. They need to do it again against the Rams, who are unbeaten at home (3-0).
Prediction: Packers, 27-20
New Orleans Saints (1-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Saints are hoping a victory before the bye week, and the subsequent extra time off, will help them regroup from their 0-4 start. The Buccaneers are glad to be playing a team not from the NFC East. They are 0-3 against that division.
Prediction: Buccaneers, 23-21
New York Jets (3-3) at New England Patriots (3-3), 4:25 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: This is the first weekend in which they are no inter-conference matchups. This, though, is intra-division, and the Patriots have won 10 consecutive of these AFC East matchups at home. Someone has to take over first place.
Prediction: Patriots, 30-20
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) at Oakland Raiders (1-4), 4:25 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Raiders scored some mental points for nearly beating the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. But, just like the Jaguars, those moral victories don't count in the standings. And the standings don't go much lower.
Prediction: Raiders, 31-20
Detroit Lions (2-3) at Chicago Bears (4-1), 8:30 p.m., Monday
The Skinny: The Lions need more than an overtime victory in Philadelphia to prove they can be as good as they were last season. A road victory against the Bears might do it, but don't hold your breath. The Bears are as good as any team in the league.
Prediction: Bears, 30-21
First Published October 18, 2012 2:30 pm