NFL picks and predictions, Week 7: Chiefs aim for AFC West dominance vs Chargers

Week 7 of the NFL slate is officially here, and we'll be here every week of the season to bring you picks for not just your Kansas City Chiefs, but the entire Sunday and Monday slate of NFL action!
Kansas City Chiefs v Minnesota Vikings
Kansas City Chiefs v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

When you think things can't get any more unpredictable in 2023, the Week 6 slate unfolds and throws all of us for a loop. Who had the Jets/Browns/Texans moneyline parlay this weekend? My guess would be someone out there had to have it, and that person is probably feeling very good about their gambling prowess heading into Week 7.

Do you know who else has to feel pretty good heading into Week 7? The Kansas City Chiefs. After a confusing 19-8 win over the Denver Broncos last Thursday, the Chiefs sit atop both the AFC and NFL standings currently with a tie for the league's best record at 5-1. With all the what-to-do about the Chiefs' uninspiring play on offense thus far in 2023, the team sporting a single loss from a challenging early season slate looks more like momentum they can ride towards the bye rather than concern that they should smother themselves in at this point.

The Chiefs took care of business where the Eagles and 49ers could not in Week 6. Do you know who else took care of business? Me, that's who. On the season we're 61-32 in picks and riding a good wave of "in the hunt" playoff graphic-type records, surviving each week around the 9-win mark.

Our Chiefs have an interesting one coming up on Sunday against a Chargers team that already banked their early bye but will be at a rest disadvantage against the Chiefs (who will have a nine-day rest period coming in) after a disappointing Monday night loss at home to the Dallas Cowboys. The Chargers will come to Kansas City at 2-3, with the risk of falling to 2-4 while simultaneously seeing Kansas City grab a 3.5-game division lead in the process in just Week 7. A win would put the Chiefs head and shoulders above the rest of the AFC West before the season's halfway point, with the Las Vegas Raiders being the only team at .500 or better in the division at the moment.

When these two teams get together, regardless of record, you're bound to see some sort of an instant classic. Whether it was the Travis Kelce overtime walk-off in 2021 or the Jaylen Watson 99-yard pick 6 in 2022, these games are never short on entertainment. I expect nothing different for a Sunday matinee at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 7. The Chiefs offensive line will be in for it against a Chargers defensive front that has racked up 20 sacks in the last four weeks, but something tells me Mahomes and Kelce smell the blood in the water this week. I like the Chiefs in this one 28 to 24.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints
The Jags seem to be coming alive after a perplexing 1-3 start and the Saints look like they are as offensively deprived as ever at the moment. If Jacksonville can generate pressure on Derek Carr, this one should be an easy W for the Jags. The Saints defense could make life difficult for Trevor Lawrence as well though, and if Calvin Ridley doesn't come alive soon I'm going to be active on the fantasy football trade block. Jags 23, Saints 20

Las Vegas Raiders at Chicago Bears
Who are the real Bears? Are they the team that erupted against the Broncos and Commanders offensively, or the team that once again in Week 5 struggled to get anything going? The big question mark here is going to be Jimmy Garoppolo's status for the Raiders, but I feel like the Air Fields offense might come out hot against a Raiders defense that has struggled at times this year. Maxx Crosby could prove me wrong, but I like Chicago. Bears 27, Raiders 23

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
The Browns just need to pick fights with all of their opponents before kickoff moving forward. The scuffle between the Browns and 49ers could have gone two ways - the Browns scrap out a tough W, or Trent Williams and the 49ers steamroll them. Option A was the outcome, and the Browns' defense is playing at a near-historic level somewhat quietly in 2023. Browns stifle the Colts here. Browns 17, Colts 13

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
This would be interesting if the Patriots had any pulse whatsoever. But at this point, the question looks more like "Will New England land Caleb Williams?" than "Will New England make a push for a wild card berth?" A date against the Patriots is what Buffalo needs after a confusing game against the Giants on Sunday night. Bills 34, Patriots 20

Washington Commanders at New York Giants
Speaking of identity crises, are the Giants a defensive juggernaut now? Sure looked like it for three quarters against Buffalo. Washington is coming off of a much-needed win in Atlanta and needs to keep momentum going to stay relevant in the early NFC wild card race - this one could get interesting. Only in the sense that it will likely be close. Commanders 20, Giants 17

Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Rams
This is such a scintillating matchup that I unintentionally left it off of the initial submission for this week’s picks. Pittsburgh’s offense under Matt Canada has left much to be desired recently, and with the re-addition of Cooper Kupp, I believe the Rams could be “in the hunt” for the playoffs with a 3-3 record through 6 weeks. I like the Rams to move to 4-3 at home and keep a little bit of heat on the Niners in the NFC West. Rams 27, Steelers 17

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but the biggest question marks are at two of the more important positions in the game - head coach and quarterback. After getting beaten soundly by the Lions at home last week in their creamsicle throwbacks (arguably the best jerseys in the NFL) I expect Baker Mayfield and company to bounce back against the Falcons this week. Bucs 24, Falcons 17

Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
Dueling styles in this one. Baltimore has been a grind-it-out team so far this year, but they're 4-2 and sit atop a tough AFC North at the moment. Detroit looks like they may be just below the top-tier teams (Philadelphia and San Francisco) in the NFC, and have their fans riled up after a 5-1 start. Dan Campbell has his team believing, but if there's one thing John Harbaugh is good at it's making his opponents play his game. With no David Montgomery for Detroit, I like Baltimore in a slugfest. Ravens 23, Lions 21

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Is it just me, or is it hard to get up for NFC West matchups? Maybe it's the gloomy weather (Seattle) or the lack of fantastic QB play (Arizona), but this one doesn't do it for me. Stirs very few emotions, so apologies for the lackluster write-up. I see Seattle handling the Cardinals at home here. Seahawks 27, Cardinals 16

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos
Green Bay has to win this, right? Denver looks absolutely broken after back-to-back losses to the Jets and Chiefs. Russell Wilson has zero confidence (it would appear) and Sean Payton looks like he's sucking the energy out of every room he walks into. Jordan Love has flashed, and against a bad Broncos defense I expect the Packers to put up enough points to take this one. Packers 29, Broncos 21

Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles
Game of the week alert. What a matchup. You have Miami's high-flying offense coming into Philly to take on an Eagles team that is surely pissed after a loss to the New York Jets in Week 6. For those betting on all sides of this week's slate, this is an over that you almost certainly have to hammer. Miami failed their only real test of the season so far against the Bills, and it will be a little chilly in Philly on Sunday night. I like the defending NFC champs to bounce back with big performances from A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and D'Andre Swift. Eagles 36, Dolphins 34

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Could the Vikings pull this off and hand the 49ers back-to-back losses? It will all depend on the statuses of Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, and Trent Williams. That's a lot of star power sitting in the "questionable" bucket for San Fran at the moment. Brock Purdy looked human last week against Jim Schwartz's defense in Cleveland, we'll see if Brian Flores can replicate the same results this weekend. This is purely a gut feeling, but I like Minnesota to gain some more momentum here. Vikings 28, 49ers 27

Byes: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans.