NFL Insiders predict: Week 7 upsets, flops, NFC wild cards, more

The Patriots play host to the Falcons and Chargers before their Week 9 bye, then they’ll start racking up frequent flyer miles. They play five of their six games after the bye on the road with trips to Denver, Mexico City to face the Raiders, Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh.

The Steelers haven’t been impressing the way some thought they would, but they’re still 4-2 and play the Bengals, Lions and Colts over their next three games. After that stretch, which features two road games, the Steelers will play five of their last seven in Pittsburgh.

From Weeks 9 to 17, the Seahawks will alternate home and road games. It’ll be a lot of back-and-forth travel for them, but FPI still has them favored in all but two of their remaining matchups.

Unless Kansas City can use the final 50 seconds to get a last-second score, we’re heading to OT at Arrowhead Stadium. It’s two-minute drill time for Alex Smith and company.

Chiefs 20, Washington 17: A game-winning drive in the final minutes against one of the NFL’s best teams with not one, but two Kirk Cousins runs for first downs? Somehow that’s possible as Washington sits at the Kansas City 45-yard line at the two-minute warning. Cousins has made some big plays to get his team in position for a potential game-winner, or at least to tie the game with a field goal.

Chiefs 20, Washington 17: Another long drive powered by the Chiefs’ impressive, balanced offense ends with a short field goal.

Washington 17, Chiefs 17: Kareem Hunt cannot be stopped. The rookie out of Toledo cracked the 100-yard marker for the third time in his four NFL games, and continues to be a force in the Chiefs’ backfield. His lowest single-game total yardage figure is 109 in Week 2 against Philadelphia. He’s already topped that on Monday night against Washington.

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The Dolphins were always a top candidate to regress this year, and not only because Ryan Tannehill was lost before the season even began.

This year, while Jay Cutler’s getting paid $10 million to basically show up and do the bare minimum like an 18-year-old with a bad case of senioritis, the schedule is much harder. None of the Dolphins’ opponents for the rest of the season have a losing record right now. That includes the Bills (twice), Patriots (twice), Falcons, Raiders, Broncos, and Chiefs. A turnaround like last season is much more improbable.

But why isn’t he? Last year’s team rode a weak schedule and close wins to an 10-6 record. They went just 1-4 against teams that finished the season with a winning record.

Representing the players were NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and president Eric Winston; former player Anquan Boldin; and current players Butler; Reid; Russell Okung (Los Angeles Chargers); Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas and Michael Thomas (Miami); Mark Herzlich (New York Giants); Kelvin Beachum and Demario Davis (New York Jets); Jenkins and Chris Long (Philadelphia); and Josh Norman (Washington).

Sources familiar with the players’ thinking told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that they went into the meeting skeptical. The level of trust between owners and players has been low in recent years, as the sides have waged court battles over the personal conduct policy and the players have spurned the owners’ efforts to open negotiations on an extension to the collective bargaining agreement. Goodell and Smith have rarely met face-to-face over the past three years, people familiar with the relationship say, and relations had reached a point where people on both sides wondered whether there’d ever be common ground for future negotiations.

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NaVorro Bowman’s agent Drew Rosenhaus sent a letter to 31 teams saying he had permission to seek a trade.

Trump has not apologized. In Week 3, the entire Tennessee team stayed in the locker room prior to a game against the Seattle Seahawks, before Matthews started doing it by himself.

When asked by reporters about his decision not to come out of the tunnel in Week 5, Matthews chose not to answer. But on Twitter, he’s shared plenty of thoughts on the presidency.

The NFL’s discussion about the national anthem will happen next week during league meetings in New York City and will include representatives from the NFLPA, including executive director DeMaurice Smith, as well as some players yet to be named. There are still plenty of things in the way of a mandate forcing players to stand, and the strong thoughts of players like Matthews are among those obstacles.

This week, NaVorro Bowman’s agent Drew Rosenhaus sent a letter to 31 teams saying he had permission to seek a trade. They tried. Now cut.

There’s reason to panic after Baltimore lost Sunday to the 2-4 Bears, who were coming off a short week and going with a rookie quarterback making his first NFL road start. But, technically, the Ravens trail the Steelers by one game in the AFC North. So, it’s difficult to entirely write them off. It’s just hard to have confidence in a team whose wins have come against these quarterbacks: Andy Dalton, DeShone Kizer and EJ Manuel. — Jamison Hensley

The Cowboys are definitely at risk of rising to a No. 4 on the panic meter, especially if Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension indeed starts immediately. Elliott will need some help from the courts to remain on the field because technically he is suspended through Thanksgiving after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction that kept him on the field. The 2-3 Cowboys face a daunting road without Elliott, but it’s not an impossible one. Before the 2016 season started, most people thought their year would be bumpy without Tony Romo, then Dak Prescott excelled.

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