NFL Week 7: What To Expect

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium.
Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The lead-up to Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season has been all about quarterback health. With marquee names such as Prescott, Tagovailoa, and Wilson battling injuries, it’s been anyone’s guess as to who would suit up and how their teams would fare. But as injury reports come in, we have a better idea of what to look for in some of this weekend’s best games. Let’s run through some of those matchups now, using Elias Insights to shed light on how things might turn out.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys

Scenario A: Cowboys Defense Rebounds From Loss To Eagles

The Dallas Cowboys had a four-game winning streak snapped last week on Sunday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas fell behind early, forcing Cooper Rush to play from behind, where he threw several uncharacteristic interceptions. This week, the Cowboys look to rebound from that performance, and should have their starting quarterback ready to go for this week.

Dak Prescott is expected to take the field this week for the Cowboys, and will return to action with a favorable matchup. He will face a Lions team that is last in the NFL in yards per game and points per game allowed so far this season. That could help Prescott get back into a rhythm after missing the last five weeks, during which backup quarterback Cooper Rush went 4-1 in his place.

Scenario B: Lions Come Off Bye, Get Second Win

The Detroit Lions had a bye week last week, and it may have come at the perfect time for them. Detroit had lost three straight games going in, with their struggling defense rendering the work of their high-flying offense irrelevant for the most part. Back on the field in Week 7, the Lions face a tough test against a Dallas Cowboys team that boasts one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Detroit ranks third in the NFL in scoring so far this season, averaging 28.0 points per game. But they are allowing 34.0 points per game to their opponents, which has contributed to their 11-game winless streak on the road dating back to last season. For the Lions to snap that streak and get their second win of this season, they will need to slow down the returning Dak Prescott and the rest of the Cowboys offense.

Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (93) pressures Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the second half at FedExField.
Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Scenario A: Titans Claim Fourth Straight Win To Stay Atop AFC South

The Tennessee Titans were among the first teams this season to have a bye week, as they were not in action in Week 6 of the NFL season. Prior to the bye, the Titans had won three straight games, vaulting to the top of the AFC South standings. The Titans will have to hope their bye week didn’t interfere with their momentum as they go for a fourth straight victory to improve to 4-2 on the year.

To pick up a fourth straight win, the Titans will need to slow down Indianapolis’ dynamic receiving duo. In their last two games, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce have combined for 323 receiving yards, including Pierce’s game-winning touchdown last week against the Jaguars. Taking those two options away will help the Titans secure a season sweep over the Colts.

Scenario B: Colts Extend Win Streak With Division Victory

The Indianapolis Colts picked up a dramatic victory last week, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars with a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Alec Pierce with just 17 seconds left to play. The win was the second straight for Indianapolis, both with Jonathan Taylor out of action for them. This week, the Colts try for a third straight win, and a second straight against a division opponent in a rematch with the Titans.

These two teams played in Week 4 of this season, with the Colts falling behind 24-3 in that game. They scored two unanswered touchdowns to make it a 24-17 game, but could not complete their comeback in the fourth quarter. This time around, the Colts will look to get out to a quicker start after last week’s encouraging offensive performance, in which they scored 34 points against Jacksonville.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) watches the reply after throwing an interception against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers

Scenario A: Chiefs Bounce Back After Bills Loss

Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs lost one of the games of the year against the Buffalo Bills, giving up a late touchdown to Dawson Knox with just over a minute to play. Despite Patrick Mahomes throwing for 338 yards, the Chiefs could not breach the Bills defense consistently enough once in scoring range to finish drives with touchdowns, which ended up costing them. This week, the Chiefs face another elite defense, as they hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers.

In this contest, Patrick Mahomes is aiming to continue his success against fellow quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in their careers. In two games against one another, Mahomes has gone 2-0 straight up and against the spread against Garoppolo, including the Chiefs’ 31-20 triumph over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV. Against the number-two scoring defense in the NFL, Mahomes will need to be at his best to help the Chiefs get another win over the Garoppolo-led Niners.

Scenario B: 49ers Go Back Above .500 With Huge Home Win

Last week, the San Francisco 49ers were upset by the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Their offense was limited to just 14 points by the Falcons, with the Niners falling behind 14-0 early and never being able to recover. In this contest, the 49ers will need more than the 50 rushing yards they got a week ago if they want to control the ball and keep it away from Patrick Mahomes.

For the 49ers to pick up a win in this game, they absolutely must take away Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce has had two incredible games in a row for the Chiefs, racking up 108 receiving yards against the Bills last week, and four receiving touchdowns against the Raiders the week before. If the Niners can force Mahomes to go elsewhere with the ball in this game, they could get another significant victory at home.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) congratulates Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Chris Wormley (95) on his sack against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field.
Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins

Scenario A: Steelers Defense Leads Them To Primetime Victory

Arguably the most shocking result of Week 6 of the NFL season came from the Pittsburgh Steelers. They got the better of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, defeating them 20-18. They did so despite Kenny Pickett going out with an injury and Mitch Trubisky taking his place, as the Steelers will have to figure things out at quarterback again heading into this week.

Pickett has been practicing this week for the Steelers, with indications being that he is likely to play this week. No matter who has played quarterback for the Steelers, they have struggled to put points on the board, averaging just 16.2 points per game this season. Against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the fifth most points per game this year at 25.8 per game, this could be Pickett’s best chance to impress early in his career.

Scenario B: Dolphins Figure Out QB Situation To Beat Pittsburgh

The Miami Dolphins have had quarterback issues of their own, which led to last week’s home loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Teddy Bridgewater ended up throwing for 329 yards in that game, but the Dolphins only managed 16 points. This week, the Dolphins will once again have to figure out who is playing at the most position on the field as they take on the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

Tua Tagovailoa is expected to come back for the Dolphins this week against the Steelers, which could be great news for a team that has lost three games in a row without him. Miami went 3-0 in games that Tagovailoa played in full to start this season. If he is able to come back and play at a high level again here, the Dolphins could pick up right where they left off before he went down.


Enjoy the Week 7 matchups, get your survivor pool picks in if you haven’t already, and make sure to come back next week for another round of analysis from the experts at Elias!

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