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NFL Viewer Guide for Week 7: Ranking the Matchups and Predictions

Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season offers some interesting matchups in all the different time slots

Each week we count down the Sunday-Monday games in terms of viewer appeal, and it's again a case of best for last when it comes to the top matchups of Week 7.

The Week 7 slate of games isn't helped by the fact that six teams, including division leaders Buffalo, Dallas and the Los Angeles Chargers, are having their bye.

12. Houston (1-5) at Arizona (6-0), p.m. — J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins get to show the Texans how much fun they're having now that they're away from Houston and on the last unbeaten team in the NFL. As a game, though, this has dude written all over it.

11. Carolina (3-3) at N.Y. Giants (1-5), 1 p.m. — That's a rough one, particularly with Sam Darnold and the Panthers regressing badly after their 3-0 start. The Dolphins will be seeing these two teams later this season.

10. Detroit (0-6) at L.A. Rams (5-1), 4:05 p.m. — The grudge match with Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford facing their former teams ... oh, who we kidding? This has blowout written all over it.

9. N.Y. Jets (1-4) at New England (2-4), 1 p.m. — Their Week 2 matchup produced kind of a dud, and it's difficult to envision this AFC East game being much more intriguing this time around. If nothing else, it's another chance to check out rookie QBs Zach Wilson and Mac Jones.

8. Atlanta (2-3) at Miami (1-5), 1 p.m. — It's actually hard to sell this one really hard because the Dolphins are just a bad team right now. What does make this matchup is intriguing is Tua Tagovailoa, particularly in light of the ongoing Deshaun Watson rumors.

7. Philadelphia (2-4) at Las Vegas (4-2), 4:05 p.m. —The Raiders got back on track post-Gruden departure last week, but the Eagles are a rather nondescript team.

6. Washington (2-4) at Green Bay (5-1), 1 p.m. — This had the makings of a good matchup at the start of the season, but the Washington defense has turned out to be really bad instead of really good. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers just keeps rolling.

5. New Orleans (3-2) at Seattle (2-4), Monday 8:15 p.m. — This would be a lot better matchup if Russell Wilson were playing, but instead it will be a Jameis Winston vs. Geno Smith battle. It seems like the perfect capper for a rough week of NFL games.

4. Chicago (3-3) at Tampa Bay (5-1), 4:25 p.m. — This is the game pretty much the entire country will be watching as the doubleheader game, but it's quite frankly not a great matchup because Tom Brady and company figure to be too much. Maybe the only intrigue is seeing whether Justin Fields can help the Bears hang around for a while.

3. Indianapolis (2-4) at San Francisco (2-3), 8:20 p.m. — This is a much better matchup than the records might indicate and, in fact, matches teams that were expected to be playoff contenders. Jimmy Garoppolo might be making his return for the 49ers, while Jonathan Taylor has become a fun running back to watch for the Colts.

2. Kansas City (3-3) at Tennessee (4-2), 1 p.m. — Patrick Mahomes vs. Derrick Henry in a battle of two of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL.

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1. Cincinnati (4-2) at Baltimore (5-1), 1 p.m. — The upstart Bengals get the chance to make a major statement against the Ravens, who continue to ride the incredible play of Lamar Jackson. It's an absolute shame this game is getting buried in the 1 p.m. slot.

GAME PREDICTIONS

In a different way of doing this, here are projected winners, and they are ranked in order of confidence that the projection will be accurate with No. 1 being the most confident. Note that the Dolphins game will not be included in this exercise; the Dolphins prediction will come in a Saturday column.

1. L.A. Rams over Detroit

2. Arizona over Houston

3. Green Bay over Washington

4. Tampa Bay over Chicago

5. New England over N.Y. Jets

6. Baltimore over Cincinnati

7. Las Vegas over Philadelphia

8. San Francisco over Indianapolis

9. Carolina over N.Y. Giants

10. Tennessee over Kansas City

11. Seattle over New Orleans