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49ers to stay perfect? Get NFL Week 7 tips for Sunday

Leigh Copson 16 Oct 2019
Jimmy Garoppolo of San Francisco (credit:USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images)

NFL predictions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season. Will the San Francisco 49ers maintain their perfect record and can the Miami Dolphins get their first win on the board after going close last weekend. And what about the Chicago Bears – can they bounce back against a New Orleans team who have been winning games despite Drew Brees’ absence? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (18:00 BST)

It was a decision that was questioned in the aftermath of yet another loss, but can you really blame Miami head coach Brian Flores for going for it all in the final seconds against Washington? The 0-4 Dolphins have set new standards for futility so far this season and having not scored more than 10 points in any of their previous four games few gave them any hope of turning things around when they entered the fourth quarter against the Redskins trailing 17-3. They gave themselves a glimmer of hope though when Kalen Ballage capped off a nine-play 53-yard drive with a one-yard score early in the final stanza, and although they wasted their next two possessions Miami did get one more opportunity to find paydirt and they did just that when Ryan Fitzpatrick, in for the hapless Josh Rosen, hit Devante Parker for an 11-yard touchdown pass with just 10 seconds remaining. That left Flores with a choice – attempt the kick and send the game into overtime, or go for the win by attempting a two-point conversion. He bravely went for the second option and it backfired in embarrassing fashion as the play went wrong almost immediately and Washington denied them to hold out for their first win of the season. That left Miami 0-5 ahead of this trip to Buffalo and despite those two scores late against Washington, there is a feeling that the Dolphins may well have blown their best shot at avoiding an 0-16 season. I certainly do not fancy their chances of avoiding a sixth straight defeat here. The Bills have arguably benefited from a favourable schedule to go 4-1 through their first five games, with their sole defeat coming at the hands of New England, but it would be unfair not to give praise where praised is due. And praise is definitely due for that defense which ranks in the top five for points allowed and yardage given up. In their biggest test so far this season they held Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to just 224 total yards and one touchdown, so if they can do that to the defending Super Bowl champions what will this unit do to a Miami that is averaging 8.4 points per game to rank dead last? Buffalo may not run up the score here, but they should still win this matchup in pretty convincing fashion. 

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (18:00 BST)

Had San Francisco benefited from a soft start to the season? Was their perfect 4-0 record misleading? Both of those questions were answered in impressive fashion as they improved to 5-0 with a massive win at the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. In their biggest challenge of the season so far, the Niners did not enjoy the best of starts at the Memorial Coliseum as they went three-and-out in their first possession and then gave up a seven-play 56-yard touchdown drive that saw the Rams simply run over them. San Francisco responded immediately though as they drove downfield for a game-tying score and from there the defense took over the game, forcing four three-and-outs, five punts, four turnovers on downs and a fumble as they dominated Los Angeles en route to a 20-7 victory that was much more convincing than the final score suggests. The 49ers proved they are for real, but they must now avoid showing any complacency as they head out onto the road for the second week running to take on a Washington team who finally got off the mark last weekend. The Redskins blew a healthy lead in the final quarter of their clash with winless Miami, but they were able to stuff a last-gasp two-point conversion to hold on for the win in Bill Callahan’s first game in charge and that means they no longer have to fear an 0-16 season. They should fear slumping to 1-6 on Sunday though. A long trip from the West Coast to the East Coast for an early game on Sunday is never easy for a team, but right now not even that could knock my confidence in San Francisco leaving the nation’s capital with a 6-0 record. That defense is going to completely shut down the Redskins’ offense, forcing multiple turnovers in the process, and on the opposite side of the football the Niners should have their way with this Washington defense, whether it is on the ground or through the air, securing another emphatic victory that sees them stay ahead of Seattle in the NFC West. 

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (21:25 BST)

New Orleans Saints fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when talismanic quarterback Drew Brees went down with a thumb injury in the week two loss to the Los Angeles Rams, sidelining him for several weeks, but in his absence the team have been racking up wins to stay a game ahead of Carolina in the NFC South. QB Teddy Bridgewater has been doing a solid job in Brees’ absence but he now faces easily his toughest test yet – a Chicago Bears defense that ranks in the top five in the entire National Football League and is eager to bounce back from an underwhelming performance in London a fortnight ago. For the first time this season the Bears needed a little help from the offense to get the job done, but all they got from Chase Daniel was a couple of back-breaking interceptions instead and that allowed Oakland to escape the English capital with the ‘W’. Daniel is expected to be back on the sidelines for this clash though, and that means all eyes will be on Mitchell Trubisky as he returns from the shoulder injury he suffered in the week four win over Minnesota. The young quarterback’s critics have once again rounded on him following an underwhelming start to the season and he desperately needs to put in a strong showing in his first game back, but for that to happen Matt Nagy is going to have to fix the play-calling issues that have undoubtedly hindered the team so far and that offensive line will have to stiffen up because they have done very little to help either Trubisky, Daniel or the run game so far. At least one change to that group will be made here, following Kyle Long’s move to IR, but will that be enough? And after two weeks of self-analysis and reflection, has Nagy and the rest of that Chicago offense finally solved the issues that have had played a major role in them being 3-2 and not 5-0 at this time? Those questions will be answered on Sunday in what is likely to be a tale of two defenses dominating a close contest – after all, five of New Orleans’ six games so far have been settled by seven points or less, while Chicago have allowed more than 15 points on just one occasion and have not lost by more than a touchdown since Nagy was handed the reins after a woeful 2017 season. You really could make a case for either team to get the job done here, but given what we have seen from these two teams so far this season I am much more confident about backing the Saints with the spread than I am about backing the Bears against it. 

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49ers to stay perfect? Get NFL Week 7 tips for Sunday

NFL predictions for Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season.

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