The Week 7 NFL schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with great matchups, and we have you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football intel, as well. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 7 slate, including the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos hosting the 4-2 New York Jets. It all culminates with a Monday Night Football matchup between the Bears and the Patriots on ESPN. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: JAX -3.0 (42)
What to watch for: Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has called the most blitzes in the NFL (92), so the expectation is he’ll come after Trevor Lawrence on Sunday. However, Lawrence’s numbers are actually better against the blitz (67.3% completions, 80.3 QBR, three TDs and one INT) than when he’s not blitzed (64.9% completions, 42.9 QBR, six TDs and three INTs). Lawrence has had issues with being patient against shell coverages, so might the Giants switch things up and pull back on the blitzes? — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: Daniel Jones throws for over 300 yards. This is bold! Jones has topped 200 yards passing just once this season. But Jacksonville is allowing just 3.6 yards per rush, third best in the NFL. That will make the Giants unwillingly turn to their 31st-ranked passing game, and Jones will come through. Having rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson will help. — Jordan Raanan
Stat to know: This season the Giants have used play-action at the second-highest rate in the league (38%). That has benefited Jones significantly as he ranks second in the league in Total QBR and fourth in completion percentage on play-action passes.
What to know for fantasy: Travis Etienne Jr. has picked up 157 yards on 20 carries over the past two weeks and seems to be distancing himself from James Robinson in this backfield. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Jacksonville is 2-10 outright and ATS in its past 12 games as a favorite (five straight losses). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Giants 21, Jaguars 20
Walder’s pick: Jaguars 24, Giants 13
FPI prediction: JAX, 73.1% (by an average of 7.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Giants tie mark with 4th win as underdog through first 6 games … The NFL player who helped his wife deliver their baby … Giants and Jets in the playoffs? Why it can happen, why it might not … After disappointing losses, the Jaguars have to solve defensive woes
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Spread: DAL -7.0 (49)
What to watch for: Will Dak Prescott play? Yes, he made it official Thursday after missing five games following surgery to repair a fractured right thumb. The Lions have the worst defense in terms of yards (428.6) and points (34) per game, so Prescott’s return could be good timing, although the Cowboys do not want to become a pass-first, pass-only offense. Detroit is coming off its bye week after a 29-0 loss to the New England Patriots, but its other three losses are by a combined 10 points. Currently in third place in the NFC East, the Cowboys can’t overlook the Lions, who are averaging 28 points per game. — Todd Archer
Bold prediction: Detroit’s offense will put up at least 28 points in Dallas. Yes, the Cowboy’s defense is allowing just 16.33 points per game, good for third in the league, but the Lions are coming off a much-needed bye week after being shut out, and I sense some urgency among the players — and coaching staff. Look for quarterback Jared Goff to get the offense back rolling, especially with a healthier Amon-Ra St. Brown as a receiving target. — Eric Woodyard
Stat to know: This will be the fifth meeting between Prescott and Goff, including playoffs (both were selected in the 2016 draft). Prescott is 1-3 against Goff, tied for his most losses vs. any starting QB.
What to know for fantasy: St. Brown was the fourth-highest-scoring fantasy receiver in the NFL through two weeks this season, but an injury and a Week 6 bye have slowed some of his momentum. Four different WR1s have crossed the 17 PPR fantasy point plateau vs. Dallas this season, including A.J. Brown last weekend. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Detroit is 0-10-1 outright on the road under Dan Campbell (6-5 ATS). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Cowboys 27, Lions 21
Walder’s pick: Lions 31, Cowboys 27
FPI prediction: DAL, 76.9% (by an average of 9.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Lions RB Swift eyes playing Sunday vs. Cowboys … With Prescott, what will — and won’t — change for Cowboys’ offense? … Lions optimistic rookie WR Williams will play this season … Jones, Kraft have heated exchange amid Goodell contract discussion
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: CIN -6.5 (47.5)
What to watch for: This game will be a battle of strategies. Atlanta’s zone-read scheme has been one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL this season. The Bengals are going up against a Falcons secondary missing starters on the outside. The offense that can maximize its strength the most will be in the position to move over the .500 mark entering Week 8. — Ben Baby
Bold prediction: With both of Atlanta’s starting cornerbacks injured — Casey Hayward on injured reserve, A.J. Terrell limited with a thigh/hamstring injury — Cincinnati exploits the Falcons’ defense with 350 yards passing and three touchdowns, two of them to Tee Higgins and one to former Atlanta tight end Hayden Hurst. He’s not the only tight end who scores, though, as Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts doubles his touchdowns from last season and scores in his second straight game. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: The Falcons have scored 37 points in the first quarter this season, the third most in the NFL. The Bengals are not far behind with 34 points in the first quarter this season, tied for fourth most in the NFL.
What to know for fantasy: In six weeks, the Falcons have allowed seven receivers to score at least 16 PPR fantasy points against them. Ja’Marr Chase (32.2 FP) is coming off his best game of the season in Week 6’s win in New Orleans. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Atlanta is 6-0 ATS this season, the only undefeated team ATS in the league this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 34, Falcons 23
Walder’s pick: Bengals 22, Falcons 19
FPI prediction: CIN, 76.8% (by an average of 8.5 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Spread: BAL -6.5 (45.5)
What to watch for: The Browns and Ravens are the two worst finishers in the NFL. In the fourth quarter this season, Cleveland has allowed a league-high 67 points, and Baltimore has been outscored by 42 points, which is the worst scoring margin in the NFL. Lamar Jackson and Jacoby Brissett have combined for two touchdown passes and seven interceptions in the fourth quarter. — Jamison Hensley
Bold prediction: Jackson will not throw an interception — breaking a four-game streak. While he tossed four picks in last season’s home win over the Browns, Jackson will avoid turning the ball over this time around against a beleaguered Cleveland defense. — Jake Trotter
Stat to know: The Ravens’ three losses after leading by double digits this season are tied for their most in a season in franchise history (also 1996 and 2016).
What to know for fantasy: Package up David Njoku‘s past four games and extend them for a full season: 1,309 receiving yards. The tight end position has been a wasteland outside of the elite, but Njoku has been a nice surprise with consistent production. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Cleveland games are 5-1 to the over this season. Three straight Baltimore games have gone under the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Ravens 30, Browns 20
Walder’s pick: Ravens 24, Browns 21
FPI prediction: BAL, 65.5% (by an average of 4.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Browns searching for answers after lopsided loss to Pats … Ravens sign WR DeSean Jackson to practice squad … Woman adds name to Watson lawsuit after order … Is Lamar Jackson trying to do too much to fix Ravens’ late-game woes?
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: GB -4.5 (41)
What to watch for: Quarterback Taylor Heinicke‘s return could give Washington a jolt, with his ability to extend plays and his knowledge of the offense. A lot of it will go back to protection: Washington starter Carson Wentz was sacked 23 times in six games, tied for most in the NFL, while the Packers’ pressure percentage of 35.5 ranks third. In a 24-10 loss at Green Bay last year, Heinicke completed 25 of 37 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown — but in the red zone, he was only 4-of-8 with an interception. Because Green Bay ranks tied for ninth in the red zone, Heinicke will need success there in order for Washington to win. — John Keim
Bold prediction: The Packers will actually keep Aaron Rodgers from getting hit so many times. Yes, that sounds like a big ask for an offensive line that gave up nine QB hits last week against the Jets and against a Commanders defense that ranks fourth in the NFL in sack percentage. But expect the Packers to make some changes on the offensive line that will pay dividends. — Rob Demovsky
Stat to know: The Packers have scored 107 points through six games this season (17.8 PPG). That’s their fewest points in any six-game span with Rodgers as their starting QB (135 is the fewest in any seven-game span).
What to know for fantasy: There have been 31 different quarterbacks to score at least 17 fantasy points in a game this season … Rodgers’ name is not on that list. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Green Bay is 0-3 ATS in its past three games. The longest ATS losing streak of Rodgers’ career is four games (done several times). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Packers 30, Commanders 20
Walder’s pick: Packers 23, Commanders 16
FPI prediction: GB, 65.8% (by an average of 4.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Why Packers are struggling for first time under LaFleur … Heinicke to start vs. Packers after Wentz surgery … Packers can’t win with this Rodgers … Inside Vince Lombardi’s season coaching Washington … Cobb out multiple weeks with ankle injury … Irsay: There’s merit to remove Snyder as owner
Dan Orlovsky says the Packers would be a perfect fit for Elijah Moore if he wants a trade out of New York.
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: TB -11.0 (40)
What to watch for: Neither team is tearing it up offensively, so this could be a slugfest. Both teams are struggling on the run — Tampa Bay ranks last averaging just 67.5 yards rushing a game, and Carolina ranks 26th with 90.8. Neither has been good on third down, either, with Tampa Bay ranking 22nd in efficiency (37.8) and Carolina coming in last (23.6). — David Newton
Bold prediction: The Buccaneers will beat the Panthers by two touchdowns. That doesn’t sound like a bold prediction for a Tom Brady-led team, but they’ve dropped three out of their past four games and are averaging just 19 points a game, significantly down from the 30 points per game they averaged one season ago. They just haven’t been able to put points on the board, but Carolina’s 13.67 points per game are the lowest of any team in the league, so the Bucs have some cushion — it’s a good week for them to rebound. — Jenna Laine
Stat to know: Christian McCaffrey‘s five straight games with 100 scrimmage yards are the longest active streak in the NFL and his longest streak since a nine-game streak in 2019.
What to know for fantasy: Leonard Fournette has at least 8.5 fantasy points as a pass-catcher in four straight weeks. When you combine that with three games north of 20 carries, you have one of the most fantasy friendly roles in the league. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Carolina is a league-worst 1-5 ATS this season. The Panthers are 3-17 outright and ATS in their past 20 games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Buccaneers 35, Panthers 10
Walder’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Panthers 12
FPI prediction: TB, 86.6% (by an average of 13.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Brady chewing out O-line was welcomed … Should Panthers trade or keep McCaffrey? … What 3-3 Bucs need to fix … Wilks: Mayfield has to earn Panthers QB job when healthy … Panthers QB Darnold returns to practice after ankle injury
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Spread: TEN -2.5 (42)
What to watch for: Pass-rushers Rashad Weaver (4), Denico Autry (4) and Jeffery Simmons (3.5) give the Titans the most players with 3.5 or more sacks. Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen said he will rely on the front four to keep Colts quarterback Matt Ryan under duress to prevent him from getting the ball to his big group of pass-catchers. But the Titans are facing a reshuffled offensive line including former Titan Dennis Kelly that didn’t allow a sack last week against the Jaguars. — Turron Davenport
Bold prediction: The Colts will lean into the heavy passing game they used last week against Jacksonville, and Ryan will have his fourth 300-yard passing performance of the season. The Colts have been among the NFL teams most committed to running the ball in recent seasons, but their struggles on the ground in 2022, coupled with their emerging receiving weapons, should further convince them that their best path to victory is through the air. — Stephen Holder
Stat to know: The Titans have won four straight games against the Colts, their longest win streak against the Colts in franchise history. Those four wins came by an average of 9.5 PPG.
Betting nugget: Tennessee has covered four straight meetings against Indianapolis, including their Week 4 matchup. Over the past 10 seasons, when teams meet twice in a five-week span, the team to cover the first meeting is 32-53-2 ATS in the rematch. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Titans 24, Colts 23
Walder’s pick: Titans 20, Colts 16
FPI prediction: TEN, 52.4% (by an average of 0.7 points)
Field Yates believes the Jets defense will provide stiff resistance for Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy this Sunday.
4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Spread: DEN -1.0 (38)
What to watch for: Since the Broncos defeated the Detroit Lions 38-10 last Dec. 12, they have averaged just 14 points in their past five home games. There is more than enough frustration to go around on the sideline and in the seats, and opposing teams have noticed they can largely eliminate the home-field environment if they keep the Broncos out of the end zone early. And that hasn’t been much of a problem so far this season. — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: QBs Zach Wilson and Russell Wilson will combine for less than 30 completions. This will be an ugly, grind-it-out game with two good defenses in control. The Jets, in recent weeks, have shifted to a heavy ground game, taking pressure off Zach Wilson since his return from knee surgery. He completed only 10 passes last week. Russell Wilson and the Broncos have been struggling to score points, period. He also had only 10 completions last week. — Rich Cimini
Stat to know: The Jets have had zero turnovers in their past two games. They have not gone three straight games without a turnover since 2010 (four straight, tied for franchise record).
What to know for fantasy: Breece Hall‘s carry count has increased each week of his young career and he has posted back-to-back games … not a bad trend to take on a confident team facing a Broncos defense that is on short rest. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Denver games are 5-1 to the under this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Broncos 20, Jets 17
Walder’s pick: Jets 19, Broncos 13
FPI prediction: NYJ, 50.1% (by an average of 0.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Hall of Famers praise Jets’ Alijah Vera-Tucker for ‘amazing’ versatility … Russell Wilson undergoes MRI on hamstring … Giants and Jets in the playoffs? Why it can happen, why it might not
4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Spread: LV -7.0 (45.5)
What to watch for: Raiders QB Derek Carr wanted to be a Texan. Really. He is just 1-2 against Houston in his nine-year career, but when Carr came out of Fresno State in 2014, he hoped his older brother David’s old team would select him at either No. 1 overall (unlikely) or No. 33 (possibly). The Texans passed on both occasions, taking DE Jadeveon Clowney and G Xavier Su’a-Filo. “So, I was kind of a little heartbroken over that,” the younger Carr, drafted by the Raiders at No. 36, said this week. He’ll have another chance to break Houston’s heart Sunday in Las Vegas. — Paul Gutierrez
Bold prediction: The Texans will hold Carr to a passer rating of under 80. Carr’s passer rating on the season is 87, but the Texans’ pass defense is top 10 in a few categories. According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, the Texans’ pass defense holds opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 73 (fourth lowest in the NFL), six interceptions (eighth most) and a completion percentage of 57 (third lowest). Quarterbacks also have a QBR of 44.1, the ninth lowest in the NFL, against the Texans’ defense. — DJ Bien-Aime
Stat to know: The Texans have converted on 29% of third down attempts this season, the second-lowest mark in the NFL ahead of the Panthers; it’s tied with the 2009 season for their second-worst third down percentage through five games in franchise history (17% in 2002, their inaugural season).
What to know for fantasy: Dameon Pierce‘s NFL debut was underwhelming from a usage standpoint, but after that Week 1 letdown, the rookie has accounted for nearly 93% of running back carries in Houston. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Las Vegas is 0-5 ATS in its past five games off a bye. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Raiders 28, Texans 21
Walder’s pick: Raiders 33, Texans 10
FPI prediction: LV, 81.2% (by an average of 10.4 points)
4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: -2.5 (48.5)
What to watch for: This is the first meeting between these teams since Super Bowl LIV, with the Chiefs attempting to avoid consecutive losses for only the fourth time since QB Patrick Mahomes became the starter in 2018. One thing to watch here is how well Mahomes holds up against pressure. Mahomes leads the NFL in touchdowns per pass attempt when under pressure, while the Niners are fourth in the NFL in generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Niners’ defensive line is banged up, which means coordinator DeMeco Ryans might have to get creative to get after Mahomes. — Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: The Chiefs will hold the 49ers to under 100 rushing yards, well below San Francisco’s season average of 124. The Chiefs have allowed 280 rushing yards in their past two games, but linebacker Willie Gay returns this week after a four-game suspension. Gay is a difference-maker for the Chiefs. He has the speed to chase down players that Kansas City’s other linebackers don’t. — Adam Teicher
Stat to know: Mahomes will play in his 70th career regular-season game Sunday. He already owns the most pass yards (20,727) and touchdown passes (168) for any player through his first 70 games in NFL history.
What to know for fantasy: Jeff Wilson Jr.’s role was very fantasy friendly in the first three weeks, but in the past three, he has a total of one reception. This system can be gold when it’s clicking, but the 49ers were all out of sorts last week in Atlanta, and there is concern it could happen again against the explosive Chiefs. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Kansas City has covered the past six meetings (since 2002). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chiefs 27, 49ers 23
Walder’s pick: 49ers 30, Chiefs 27
FPI prediction: KC, 72.3% (by an average of 6.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Can JuJu Smith-Schuster continue expanding his role in Kansas City? … 49ers trying to buck recent trend of post-Eastern Time zone sluggishness … NFL MVP watch 2022: Ranking top candidates, including Josh Allen … 49ers need uneven offense to pick up slack for short-handed defense
Stephen A. Smith explains why the Chiefs need Odell Beckham Jr. to win a Super Bowl.
4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Spread: LAC -5.5 (50)
What to watch for: The Chargers are riding a three-game win streak but go into Week 7 without kicker Dustin Hopkins, whose four field goals lifted the team to an overtime win in Week 6. The Chargers’ offense will need to find a way to be more efficient and reach the end zone, which should be a reasonable expectation against a Seahawks defense that is allowing an average of 27.2 points per game, which is tied for 30th in the NFL. — Lindsey Thiry
Bold prediction: Geno Smith will throw for over 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Smith had a quiet game last week with under 200 passing yards and no TDs, but this matchup could be a favorable one. Per ESPN Stats & Information research, Smith has the NFL’s best Total QBR (89) against man coverage this season. The Chargers are using man coverage at the league’s third-highest rate. — Brady Henderson
Stat to know: Justin Herbert is expected to make his 39th career start. He needs one touchdown pass to become the fourth player in NFL history with 80 pass touchdowns in his first 40 career games (Patrick Mahomes, 101; Dan Marino, 90; Kurt Warner, 86).
What to know for fantasy: Kenneth Walker III scored 19 fantasy points in his first career start on Sunday against the Cardinals (21 of 23 RB carries). In Week 7 he gets a leaky Chargers run defense that is coming off playing on Monday night in Week 6. See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Smith is 11-3 ATS in his past 14 starts (6-3 ATS with Seattle). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chargers 34, Seahawks 23
Walder’s pick: Seahawks 26, Chargers 21
FPI prediction: LAC, 73.5% (by an average of 7.2 points)
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Spread: MIA -7.0 (45)
What to watch for: With Tua Tagovailoa under center, the Dolphins led the NFL in points per drive through the first three weeks of the season (2.81). In his return from a two-week absence, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins draw a Steelers defense allowing the third-most passing yards per game (277.8) and the 12th-most points per drive (2.06). Armed with the league’s leading and fifth-leading receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, respectively, Tagovailoa is poised for a big game Sunday night. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: Minkah Fitzpatrick will score a defensive touchdown against his old team. Sunday night is all about returns for the Steelers, with both Brian Flores and Fitzpatrick returning to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Dolphins for the first time since they were fired and traded, respectively. Fitzpatrick missed the previous game against the Bucs with a knee injury, but he’s ready to go against his first NFL team. Tagovailoa is coming back from a scary concussion, and while he has just three interceptions on the season, if there’s any rust to his game, Fitzpatrick will exploit it. — Brooke Pryor
Stat to know: Hill has had three games with 150 receiving yards this season. He is one such game shy of tying Mark Duper’s record in 1984 for the most such games in a single season in Dolphins history.
What to know for fantasy: Diontae Johnson is consistently ranked as the top receiver on this limited offense, but he has reached 14 fantasy points just once this season (Week 3 at CLE). See Week 7 rankings.
Betting nugget: Over the past six seasons, Miami is 11-3-1 ATS as a home favorite. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Dolphins 27, Steelers 24
Walder’s pick: Dolphins 29, Steelers 13
FPI prediction: MIA, 74.9% (by an average of 7.7 points)
What to watch for: Weather could be a factor, with pockets of rain in the current forecast. That would put a premium on ball security, and the Bears have 14 fumbles this season (five lost), while the Patriots have eight (five lost). The Patriots are 4-0 all-time at home against the Bears, making Chicago one of three teams that has never recorded a road win in New England. If the Patriots beat the Bears, Bill Belichick will move past legendary Bears coach George Halas into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list for head coaches with 325. — Mike Reiss
Bold prediction: Mac Jones makes his return after a three-game absence due to a high ankle sprain and throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears’ defense. The adjustments the Patriots made to help backup Bailey Zappe win two games in Jones’ absence will carry over, including a heavy dose of play-action for Jones (New England utilized play-action on only 10.8% of his dropbacks, which is the lowest of any starting QB in the NFL). Most notably, Jones will have his first game all season without an interception. — Courtney Cronin
Stat to know: Justin Fields is 0-2 on Monday Night Football (both losses coming last season). He has an MNF QBR of 41.4, which ranks him 59th among 82 quarterbacks with multiple MNF starts since QBR started tracking in 2006.
Betting nugget: New England is 62-32 ATS in October under Bill Belichick with five straight covers (3-0 ATS in October this season). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Patriots 35, Bears 13
Walder’s pick: Patriots 25, Bears 10
FPI prediction: NE, 80.4% (by an average of 10.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Bears come close to scoring game-winning TD, but red zone woes continue … How does Zappe’s solid play affect Jones’ eventual return? … Fields: Tired of Bears being ‘almost there’ after loss … Jones, Kraft have heated exchange amid Goodell contract discussion
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