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Week 7: Most Intriguing Games To Watch In The NFL

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As we near the halfway point of the NFL season, most teams are hoping to put themselves in good position to make the playoffs, while teams like the Patriots and Broncos are positioning for home field advantage.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the must-see games of week 7.

Bills vs. Jaguars (9:30 ET) – The NFL continues to make a concerted effort by expanding the game to a more worldwide audience. This Sunday, the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars are set to meet in London.

Once again, Buffalo will be shorthanded offensively. Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin are all out, which puts tons of the burden on E.J. Manuel.

“For me personally it’s just about building off of what I did last week,” Manuel stated.

Facing a lonely Jacksonville team should pay dividends for Buffalo, but the Jaguars have been competitive over the past few weeks. They’ve lost by a combined total of 21 points over their last three games and their franchise quarterback Blake Bortles has quietly been having a really good year with the exception of his three picks last week.

Saints at Colts (1:00 EST) – The first word that comes to mind here is ‘shootout’.

Let’s be honest, when you think about the Saints and Colts, the thought of defense doesn’t come to mind, unless you’re talking about how poor each defense is. New Orleans ranks 31st in defense, while Indy is only a couple slots ahead at No. 29.

It looked as if the Saints season was over prior to their upset victory over Atlanta last week. With them sitting at 2-4 now, a win inside Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday would go along way into salvaging 2015 and possibly head coach Sean Payton’s job.

With top cornerback Keenan Lewis potentially out, the Saints will have their hands full trying to stop Andrew Luck’s aerial attack.

Jets at Patriots (1:00 EST) – It has to be an unwritten rule somewhere to mention the Patriots and Jets in a most intriguing matchup article.

Over the summer, there were numerous of people who figured the rivalry would lose it’s sizzle when Rex Ryan bolted for Buffalo, but boy were they wrong.

“It’s a great rival for us,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said while preparing for the AFC East showdown. “They’re very tough to beat. We’ve had a lot of close games with them over the years, a lot of situational football has come in to play, a lot of two-minute drives and stopping them at the end, overtime games. Not too many games have ever really gotten out of hand.”

There’s no denying the stingy Jets defense, but expecting them to completely shutdown this Patriots offense is unrealistic.

Will Ryan Fitzpatrick be able to put up enough points in Foxboro?

Raiders at Chargers (4:05 EST) – From the looks of things right now, the Denver Broncos are going to run away with the AFC West.

Having said that, San Diego and Oakland are teams looking to position themselves for a wildcard spot. Both teams are currently on a two-game losing streak, which makes this contest mean that much more.

Philip Rivers is on pace to break the NFL record for most completions and passing yards in a single season.

Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden is hopeful they’ll be able to slow Rivers down a bit. 

“Let’s cut that down a little bit. Yeah, he threw for 500 yards last week, but that was last week. It’s a new week. I’m looking forward to the game,” said the former first-round pick.

Also, this may be the last time these hated rivals ever play each other in San Diego.

Cowboys at Giants (4:25 EST) – It’s difficult to predict the outcome when these two meet. Back in Week 1, the Cowboys stunned New York 27-26.

Back then Dallas had Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Now, the Cowboys will be relying on the arm of Matt Cassel, who was the Bills backup during Week 1 to get them back on track.

“My comfort level with the guys has been great,” Cassel said. “Last week I think with the bye week, having two extra days of practice, was very helpful, actually getting in there and getting some rhythm with those guys. Now it’s just about building each and every day leading up to the game.”

After their embarrassing Monday night performance in Philly, expect a much sharper Giants team this week.

Eagles at Panthers (8:25 EST) – Despite all of the rumors and criticism surrounding Chip Kelly and his Philadelphia Eagles squad, somehow they’re 3-3 and tied for first place in the wild NFC East.

A major reason for the Eagles recent success has been their running game. After calling out the coaching staff for his lack of touches, DeMarco Murray is starting to become a key piece.

This past week against New York, Murray had his first 100-yard rushing game as an Eagle.

Going up against the Panthers, however, will be tough sledding. Carolina ranks fifth in the NFL against the run and after defeating the reigning two-time NFC champions, this team is riding a very strong wave as they look to remain unbeaten.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.