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Scott Shapiro's Week 7 NFL worksheet: Stafford will tame the Lions

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October 20th, 2021

We are a third of the way through the NFL regular season and there is a noticeable separation between the haves and the have-nots.

The Cardinals remain atop the NFC, after their impressive road win in Cleveland, while the Rams, Buccaneers, Packers, and Cowboys all have just one loss. The rest of the conference appears at least a tier below that bunch.

In the AFC, things are a bit murkier, after the Bills loss in Nashville and the Chargers' pitiful performance in Baltimore. But Buffalo and Baltimore look like the class of the conference after six weeks. I am also not ready to count out Kansas City, despite its modest start to the 2021 campaign.

Sadly, Detroit, Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, and both New York franchises can already start thinking about 2022.

Looking ahead to Week 7, there are six teams on bye and a number of lopsided matchups on the underwhelming slate.

Team most likely to win by 14+ points: Los Angeles Rams

Sun, October 24 2021, 8:05 PM

LA Rams

Moneyline

-1115

Spread

-15

Total

O 50.5

DET Lions

Moneyline

+650

Spread

+15

Total

U 50.5

Several games look like blowouts this week, with four showing a spread of none points or more.

The undefeated Cardinals have every right to crush the hapless Texans, but the Rams are even likelier to blow the Lions out of SoFi Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Not only Is Detroit banged up on both sides of the ball, but the Lions will head west to take on their old friend, Matthew Stafford.

Look for Stafford to take apart the Lions defense, while Aaron Donald and the L.A. defense will wreak havoc on former Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

Underdog of 6+ points most likely to spring an outright upset: Cincinnati Bengals

Sun, October 24 2021, 5:00 PM

BAL Ravens

Moneyline

-265

Spread

-6.5

Total

O 47

CIN Bengals

Moneyline

+205

Spread

+6.5

Total

U 47

I am not sure if the Bengals are quite ready to head into hostile territory and come away with an outright win against a division rival, but they are in a good spot to keep this one competitive.

Cincinnati will meet a Ravens team that enters on a high, off two big wins, while Zac Taylor’s team had a cakewalk Sunday in Detroit.

Expect the Bengals defense to give Baltimore more resistance than the Chargers did last week and for quarterback Joe Burrow to find rookie Ja’Marr Chase downfield for big plays.

This should be a fun one in the AFC North. 

RB/WR/TE most likely to score two touchdowns: Derrick Henry

Sun, October 24 2021, 5:00 PM

TEN Titans

Moneyline

+195

Spread

+5.5

Total

O 57.5

KC Chiefs

Moneyline

-250

Spread

-5.5

Total

U 57.5

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner is on a historic pace in 2021.

Henry has touched the ball 178 times through six weeks, gained 921 yards from scrimmage, and visited the end zone 10 times. It remains to be seen if the former Alabama star can continue to handle this sort of workload, but he should be able to keep it going this week in Music City.

The Titans will host a Chiefs defense that played better Sunday in Washington D.C. but still is one of the worst units in the league.

Look for Ryan Tannehill to put the ball in Henry’s belly regularly and for the 2020 First-Team All-Pro to find the end zone multiple times once again.

Quarterback most likely to throw for 400 yards: Derek Carr

Sun, October 24 2021, 8:05 PM

LV Raiders

Moneyline

-162

Spread

-3.5

Total

O 49

PHI Eagles

Moneyline

+132

Spread

+3.5

Total

U 49

Las Vegas was far more impressive on offense than I expected last week, when the Raiders took on Denver on the road.

Now the Raiders have a favorable matchup, at home, against an Eagles defense that has a strong front four but lacks talent at linebacker and in the secondary.

Carr has tallied more than 340 yards in four of his team’s six games this season, including a 341-yard effort Sunday, on just 27 attempts.

Look for the veteran signal caller to find Darren Waller regularly and Henry Ruggs III for a couple big plays.

Defense most likely to pitch a shutout: New England Patriots

Sun, October 24 2021, 5:00 PM

NE Patriots

Moneyline

-335

Spread

-7

Total

O 42.5

NY Jets

Moneyline

+255

Spread

+7

Total

U 42.5

New England played solid defense in their Week 6 contest against the Cowboys, but the Dallas offense proved to be too efficient for even Bill Belichick to figure out.

That is unlikely to be the case in Week 7, when the Patriots host the Jets. Look for Belichick to shut down the Jets subpar rushing attack and confuse rookie quarterback Zach Wilson regularly in a low-scoring affair at Gillette Stadium.

My Week 7 plays of the week

  • Rams -15.5
  • Carolina/New York Giants Under 43
  • New York Jets/New England Under 42.5

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