Best NFL Straight Up Picks Week 2021
Bears vs. Lions
The Bears have been disappointing to say the least but that’s due to their overall lack of offensive talent. I have high hopes for Justin Fields still, his offensive line is absolutely atrocious in the pass blocking department though. Their backfield is astounding and there is some solid wide receiver talent. Their defense is also really good though they are left out on the field far too long each game. Now they get the winless Detroit Lions. Detroit has always been competitive this season outside of a few outliers. Jared Goff has literally nobody to throw the football too other than TJ Hockenson and their defense is severely struggling at times without a few of their best players. I think Detroit will win a game this season, but I don’t see it happening here. I’m going to roll with Fields and Chicago.
Raiders vs. Cowboys
Unfortunately, the Raiders are watching a great season with so much potential be wasted due to horrible off the field issues. First Jon Gruden, then Henry Ruggs and now Damon Arnette. They have been on a downward trend the last few weeks and now have to battle a Dallas team that is boasting one of the best offenses in the league right now. Las Vegas already struggles to contain other teams offensively, now they have to play Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Ceedee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup? I feel bad for Raiders fans but this one isn’t going to be your game.
Bills vs. Saints
The Bills are genuine Super Bowl contenders this far into the season. Josh Allen is stellar at the quarterback position and has elite weapons surrounding him on the offense. I can’t rave enough about their defense either, boasting a lightning-fast secondary with insane linebackers. They get to face a similarly structured Saints defense that is right up there in the conversation for best in the league led by Demario Davis. The only problem here is that the Saints have no weapons out wide. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are a deadly duo, and Trevor Siemian hasn’t been bad, but there is simply no talent at wide receiver consistently. Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway are studs, but can’t put up number’s week to week. I think that lack of offense is really going to set them apart and allow Buffalo to take this win.
Falcons vs. Jaguars
We did see the Falcons barely squeak past a few bad teams already this season and get blown out by the Cowboys a few weeks ago, but this isn’t really that bad of a team. They are just seriously missing talent on offense. Matt Ryan really only has Kyle Pitts and Russell Gage in the pass game. You can’t forget about Cordarrelle Patterson either though he is more of a dual threat. Their defense is also surprisingly strong, with one of their young cornerbacks shutting down everybody that comes his way. They get a nice matchup here with the Jaguars. Jacksonville boasts one of my favorite players in James Robinson, but he has been dealing with some health issues that could keep him out of the game. This team looks a lot worse without him on the field, and him missing this one almost ensures a loss. Their defense isn’t that good and Trevor Lawrence has struggled the majority of the year. J-Rob gives them a chance, but I am going to say the Falcons pull this one out like they should.
Jets vs. Texans
I just know that a lot of people will tune into this game simply because nobody has any idea how it will turn out. Each of these have been awful all season long and really don’t have many bright spots to talk about this far into the season. Zach Wilson could be back into the lineup or we could continue seeing the legendary Mike White. Meanwhile, Houston could send out Tyrod Taylor again or opt to put Davis Mills back out there for some extra reps. Either way, I think this is going to be a mediocre game filled with a lot of mistakes on both sides. I am going to pick the Jets in this one though, at least we’ve seen them make some insane wins that they shouldn’t have made this season.
Titans vs. Patriots
I guess the Titans are trucking along just fine without Derrick Henry. This just goes to show how talented this team is all around. Their offense regressed a bit but is still a very good unit and their defense really stepped it up the last few weeks and have been flying all over the field. Exactly like the Patriots, who have found themselves on a great streak led by elite quarterback play from Mac Jones and a stellar defensive line. Both of these teams are incredibly talented and well coached, and it will be interesting to see which one comes out on top. I am going to roll with the Titans in this one, they have just won far too many games that I thought they would lose this year.
Eagles vs. Giants
I don’t know what to make of either of these teams. Both the Eagles and the Giants proved that they could contend with the best teams around, while simultaneously getting blown out in consecutive weeks afterwards. Jalen Hurts and Daniel Jones are the two players to watch here as it will really come down to quarterback play. I think that if Jones is able to get his wideouts back and healthy, this Giants team should be able to win this game. New York is a sneaky good team battling a lot of injuries and inconsistency, but when they get it clicking, they are tough to beat.
Steelers vs. Bengals
Well, here we have two more teams that really just can’t seem to be consistent. For Pittsburgh, their team is drastically different without Ben Roethlisberger healthy. The offense practically runs through Najee Harris and their offensive line is improving every week. Their defense is still the lifeblood of this team though and for good reason. As for the Bengals, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are one of the best new duos in all of football right now. The two are just on another level and are carrying them through games. Cincinnati normally steals a game against Pittsburgh once a year, and I am going to say that they take this one.
Buccaneers vs. Colts
I don’t really know what’s going on with the Buccaneers lately. They have been falling to a few different teams in games that they should be winning. Tom Brady has thrown multiple interceptions in a few of the last four matchups and it appears the loss of Antonio Brown on the offense is really getting to them. However, they are still one of the best teams in the league, just going through a serious rough stretch. The Colts have gotten out of that stretch they suffered at the beginning of the season and should now be considered one of the best teams out in the AFC. Jonathan Taylor is a freak of nature and this team has to utilize him more. If Tampa Bay allows Taylor to get going at all, Indianapolis will walk away with an upset. Although, I don’t see the Buccaneers losing this many games unless they are completely collapsing.
Panthers vs. Dolphins
The Cam Newton Carolina Panthers look a whole lot different than they did with Sam Darnold back there. There is a new level of funk and optimism that wasn’t there during the last few weeks and is really back now. They are playing a lot better lately but unfortunately, so are the Dolphins. Miami’s offense is still a train wreck, but their defense is locking up some of the best offenses in the league and doing it incredibly well. I think this will be a defensive minded battle, which means that the better offense will wind up winning the game down the stretch. That has to be the Panthers here, especially if Newton is their starter.
Chargers vs. Broncos
The Chargers are falling off pretty quickly but we can’t forget the immense talent that they have across their entire roster. It’s a pretty bad stretch of games but they are bound to find their footing eventually. The same can’t be said about Denver, as they win a huge game then proceed to be blown out the next three. The Broncos have a mediocre offense and a defense that now doesn’t have Von Miller on it. Division rivalries are usually random, but I can’t pick Denver here. I believe in Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles offense more than Denver’s.
Vikings vs. 49ers
The Vikings have had some great wins this season but they are just wildly inconsistent. They can’t seem to close out games even if they start off with a big lead. Their offense is definitely stacked, with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen spread across the roster, but their defense could use a bit of work. The same goes for the 49ers, as George Kittle and Deebo Samuel are stellar football players. Elijah Mitchell is also solidifying himself as a number one running back in this offense. However, their defense has struggled at times in the secondary but then they stomped the Los Angeles Rams so who knows. I have more faith in the 49ers in this game though, I think they are starting to find a rhythm and can keep it rolling with a ground-based attack.
Rams vs. Packers
We have the best game of the week here now. The Rams are expected to be the best team in the league, with Odell Beckham and Von Miller added to a roster that was already Super Bowl contenders. They face the Packers though, another team with Super Bowl aspirations in the NFC conference. Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams and a stellar defense will make this interesting though. This is likely to be a playoff preview between two great teams. I am going to pick the Packers though, we have seen them take down the undefeated Cardinals and shutout Seattle, while the Rams have choked a few big games.
Browns vs. Ravens
Cleveland is such a talented football team that doesn’t seem consistent at all. Like a few other teams we talked about, they seem to win a tough game against a great opponent then allow 45 points the week after. I think their run game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is one of the best in the league when healthy and Baker Mayfield is a genuinely good quarterback. Their defense is just wildly inconsistent outside of Myles Garrett as well. Though the same goes for the Ravens, who surprisingly have one of the worst defenses in all of football. Luckily, Lamar Jackson is leading the offense and has somehow helped them get a few unbelievable victories that they shouldn’t have. Much like the Browns vs. Bengals game earlier in the year, I think Cleveland will get another huge upset.
Seahawks vs. Football Team
The Seahawks did get shut out recently, but I think a lot of that is due to Russell Wilson just coming back from his finger surgery and playing in a freezing environment in Lambeau Field. This group is very good with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett out wide, while Chris Carson could return to the backfield. Their defense is underwhelming though, but they match up well against the Washington Football Team. Taylor Heinecke seems to play great against Brady but horrible otherwise. Maybe he could string together some good games of his own. They do have some scary playmakers offensively and with the loss of Chase Young defensively, points need to be scored and a lot of them. I don’t see them keeping up with the Seahawks in a shootout though, give me Russ and Seattle.