Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 12:00 AM
NFL WEEK 7 SUNDAY SHOWDOWNS
Rise and shine! The NFL Week 7 menu gets started bright and early as "London's calling" with a 9:30 a.m. Eastern time kickoff between the Tennessee Titans against the suddenly-surging Los Angeles Chargers - enjoy your cereal and coffee with that clash and then check out what else is on the Sunday docket:
CAROLINA (3-2) at PHILADELPHIA (3-3) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The defending Super Bowl champs have burnt their backers thus far with a sub-par 2-4 ATS (against the spread) log but maybe last Thursday's easy 34-13 win/cover at the 2-point underdog New York Giants will "set 'em free". Quarterback Carson Wentz (1,192 yards passing with 8 TDs and 1 INT) has shaken off the rust from the start of this year and the Philly defense is starting to pounce on any/all opponent's errant throws. Carolina has failed to cover both road games this season (at Atlanta in Week 2 and then last Sunday at Washington) and we're waiting for RB Christian McCaffrey to wake up (see 20 yards rushing versus the 'Skins).
MINNESOTA (3-2-1) at NEW YORK JETS (3-3) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox regional
Lots of juicy storylines here as the 3.5-point favored Vikings invade MetLife Stadium for the final tilt in NYJ's rare three-game home stand: Minny QB Kirk Cousins dissed the Jets' $90 million guaranteed contract offer last spring and now the Jets' defense is intent on roughing up the $84 million man here. Throw in the fact that Jets' rookie QB Sam Darnold (1,346 yards passing, 9 TDs) is developing better chemistry with WR Javon Kearse (9 catches last week) and this has the makings of a high-scoring game should the wind not be a Meadowlands factor. P.S., Minnesota is a solid 16-11-1 ATS away since the start of 2016.
NEW ORLEANS (4-1) at BALTIMORE (4-2) - 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox
Best game on the Sunday card as the visiting Saints have won four in a row SU (straight-up) and covered their last three in a row behind a QB Drew Brees-led attack that's averaging 39.7 ppg since Week 3. Hey, Brees owns the all-time passing yardage mark and all but how about the fact he's thrown 11 TDs, 0 INTs and sports an incredible 122.3 QB rating. Last week, Baltimore sacked Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota a grand total of 11 times and so quite sure OLB Terrell Suggs and mates are lining up their sights on Brees. Great chess match game on tap here but X-factor could be stepped-up Baltimore ground game starring RB Alex Collins (pair of short TDs last week in 21-0 triumph over the Titans). Note the Ravens are 3-0 ATS outside the AFC North this year.
On Sunday Night, it's ...
CINCINNATI (4-2) at KANSAS CITY (5-1) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Okay, so last week's 43-40 loss-but-cover at 4-point fav New England knocked the KC Chiefs from the dwindling ranks of the NFL's undefeated (say hello to the Los Angeles Rams, and nobody else!) but gotta be impressed by the three TD grabs from WR Tyreek Hill who looks to terrorize the Bengals' secondary here - good game plan for Marvin Lewis' squad is to feed RB Joe Mixon more than 11 carries (geez!) and play keep-a-way from Kansas City slinger Patrick Mahomes. Simple, eh? Note the Chiefs are a perfect 6-and-oh spreadwise and - get this - under 6th-year head coach Andy Reid the KC kids are a collective 53-38 versus the vig (that's a nifty .583 winning rate).
NOTE: Catch all our NFL Week 7 recaps and a MNF preview in the next edition of Jim Sez.