Dan Kohn's Week 7 NFL predictions
No matter how hard he tries, Johnny Manziel can’t keep his name out of the headlines
Johnny Manziel, no matter how hard he tries, can’t keep his name out of the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
After going through an after-care program during the offseason, Manziel had promised to keep his nose clean.
But after getting into a heated discussion with his girlfriend last week that supposedly turned physical, it makes one wonder how long the Cleveland Browns will tolerate their volatile backup quarterback, especially if the NFL hands down any sort of punishment.
Manziel came into the league a spoiled brat. He may leave it a broken man.
Seattle at San Francisco: The 49ers have lost five of the past six meetings with the Seahawks, including the past three. At 2-4, the Seahawks are in desperation mode and it’s had to see them losing many more, especially this one. Still, the 49ers make this close. Seahawks 23, 49ers 20.
Houston at Miami: It’s hard to believe, but the Texans have never lost to the Dolphins in seven meetings. After an emotional win at Tennessee following the team’s firing of Joe Philbin, Miami returns home. A coaching change may help for one week, but the Dolphins are going to need more help than that. Texans 21, Dolphins 17.
Buffalo vs. Jacksonville at London: The 3-3 Bills travel across the pond to face one of the AFC’s worst teams. At 1-5, the Jaguars are again in the running for a high draft pick. Bills 30, Jaguars 20.
Minnesota at Detroit: For the first time this season, the winner will gain ground on the undefeated and division-leading Packers. The loser will be lucky to stay in the wild-card conversation. The Lions got a needed shot in the arm when they rallied to beat the Bears last week. Lions 27, Vikings 24.
Atlanta at Tennessee: After falling from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, the Falcons get to lick their wounds against the lowly Titans. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota could miss the game with a sprained MCL for Tennessee. Look for Matt Ryan to have a big day for Atlanta. Falcons 27, Titans 17.
New Orleans at Indianapolis: The Colts have lost seven of the past nine meetings with the Saints, including a Super Bowl. But this Saints team is a shell of what it was in 2009 and 2010 when it dominated the NFC. Colts 23, Saints 21.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City: While the Steelers are close to getting back rstar quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Chiefs will have to wait until 2016 to have standout running back Jamaal Charles return. The Chiefs put up a fight at Minnesota last week, but without a decent offense, Kansas City is in trouble, even at home. Steelers 27, Chiefs 20.
Cleveland at St. Louis: Neither team is off to a good start, but the Rams are home and have a top-notch defense. Cleveland is dealing with another Manziel distraction. Rams 24, Browns 17.
New York Jets at New England: New York is quietly off to a 4-1 start and could tie for the division lead with a win over the Patriots. As one of five remaining unbeaten teams, however, it’s hard to see New England being the first of the bunch to go down. Besides, the Jets haven’t won in Foxborough since the 2011 playoffs. Patriots 35, Jets 24.
Tampa Bay at Washington: A year ago, the Buccaneers traveled to Washington and laid the lumber to their hosts 27-7. With the addition of Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Buccaneers are improved. But it’s not easy winning on the road in the NFL. Redskins 28, Buccaneers 17.
Oakland at San Diego: If the Chargers continue to put up the offensive numbers they have the past couple of weeks, Oakland will be hard-pressed to keep pace. At 2-4, San Diego can ill afford another loss if it is to keep first-place Denver in its sights. Chargers 31, Raiders 27.
Dallas at New York Giants: The opening week of the season, this was a dynamite matchup. But the stripped-down Cowboys have lost most of their weapons due to injury, although there is a slight chance wide receiver Dez Bryant returns. Unlike that opening week, which saw the Giants cough up a late lead, it’s the Cowboys' turn to find a way to lose in the final minutes. Giants 26, Cowboys 24.
Philadelphia at Carolina: The Panthers shocked the NFL last week by stunning the host Seahawks in Seattle. Although they remain unbeaten, it’s hard to see Carolina staying that way for much longer. The Eagles have what it takes to spring the minor upset here. Eagles 20, Panthers 17.
Baltimore at Arizona: The Ravens used to have the league’s best defense but have allowed the fifth-most points in the NFL this year. That’s not a good quality to have when facing the league’s most potent offense. Cardinals 35, Ravens 20.
Byes: Green Bay, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver.
Last week: 8-6 (.571).
For the season: 55-36 (.604).
Picking the Packers: 6-0 (1.000).