NFL season 2013, Week 7: What to watch in Sunday's games

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning heads to Indianapolis to take on the Colts and plenty of other action on Sunday.

Almost the entire NFL will take the field in Week 7, except for the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints. Week 7 doesn't feature too many tantalizing matchups, but there are some real gems in the rough. The Ravens and Steelers rivalry bout gets underway this Sunday afternoon. Peyton Manning heads back his old home to take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

Here is a quick look at each of the games taking place on Sunday.

Buccaneers at Falcons (1 p.m. ET)

It has been a pretty unlucky year for the Buccaneers. They have been plagued with drama surrounding coach Greg Schiano and ex-quarterback Josh Freeman, and their 0-5 record suggests a much worse team than they are. Three of the Bucs' five losses are by three points or less.

Normally a trip to Atlanta wouldn't be the cure for a losing streak, but the Falcons are also reeling this season as injuries have plagued the offense. It will be the first game back for the Julio Jones-less Falcons. With Roddy White still plagued by hamstring and ankle issues, the real question is who (other than Tony Gonzalez) will Matt Ryan throw the ball to?

Bengals at Lions (1 p.m. ET)

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has gotten his fair share of criticism over the years, but he silenced some of them last week when the Bengals defeated the Bills in overtime and launched into first place in the AFC North for the first time in four years.

They'll head to a Lions team that has matched its 2012 win total with another big offensive display in Week 6. Matthew Stafford had his seventh career game throwing more than four touchdowns, and he did so without a completely healthy Calvin Johnson. With Reggie Bush back at full health, there is more than enough offense to go around for this fun Lions team.

Bills at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET)

The Bills' quarterback tales continue to take twists and turns as the team signed Matt Flynn this week, apparently as an insurance policy in case Thad Lewis' foot injury keeps him out of the game. Lewis has been day-to-day for the Bills this week. If he is in, it will be a big boon for Buffalo. Lewis held his own against the Bengals last week in a loss, throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Miami is coming off a bye week and sitting on a two-game losing streak. Going up against a team on its backup quarterback who has attempted a total of 64 passes over his NFL career seems like a good chance to break out of the slump. Mike Wallace's up and down season with the Dolphins continues. He had his second 100-yard game in a loss against the Ravens in Week 5, but when he doesn't reach that number it isn't pretty — he's finished with 15, 22 and 24 yards in his other three games.

Patriots at Jets (1 p.m. ET)

Tom Brady rebounded from an un-Brady-like performance in a Week 5 loss with a more Brady-like performance in a 30-27 win in Week 6. The Patriots are going for the third-consecutive series sweep of the New York Jets. As he has most of the season, Bill Belichick has a good portion of the New England roster on the injury reports, but a few key players are hanging out there this time. Danny Amendola is up in the air after a suffering a concussion last week and Rob Gronkowski has still been limited in practice.

Cowboys at Eagles (1 p.m. ET)

Just like that, there is now a quarterback controversy slowly brewing in Philadelphia. After Nick Foles took over for an injured Michael Vick, he put together two convincing wins at the helm. Chip Kelly has been watching the recovery on Vick's hamstrings, as his speed is one of the big reasons for his success. But the longer Vick sits on the bench, the more opportunities Foles will have to prove it's his job.

Tony Romo is on pace for a career year, and the Eagles should help that endeavor. Philadelphia owns one of the worse pass defenses in the entire league, and the last time the Cowboys faced one as bad as the Eagles (the Broncos), Romo threw for 500 yards and five touchdowns. This one should be a nice offensive showing.

Bears at Redskins (1 p.m. ET)

The Redskins out-gained the Cowboys 433-213 in Week 6, but the score definitely didn't reflect that. Robert Griffin III had consecutive turnovers in the fourth quarter and Washington was left with one of the more bitter defeats of the year. They've had the Bears number as of late, winning the last four, but those games were decided by 16 points combined.

The Bears picked off Eli Manning three times to rebound in Week 6 from their two-game losing streak and keep pace with the Lions for a tie for first place in the NFC North. Bears return specialist Devin Hester will be worth watching in this contest. The Redskins special teams has struggled all year, giving up an average of 19.1 yards on punt returns and 26.4 yards on kickoff returns.

Rams at Panthers (1 p.m. ET)

Both the Rams and the Panthers are coming off impressive wins in Week 6. The Panthers went on the road and handled the Vikings, 35-10, and the Rams went on the road and dismantled the Texans, 38-13. The matchup should allow Cam Newton to showcase those old running legs of his, with the Rams coming in as one of the worst teams against the rush, allowing 130.5 yards per game.

Chargers at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET)

Mike McCoy is close to enjoying the sweet life above .500 with the San Diego Chargers as they take on the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are mired in one of the worst starts out of any NFL team in a long while, and are the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to lose their first six games by double digits.

It was the 11th consecutive loss for the Jaguars, dating back to last year. But there is a bit of hope on the horizon. Jacksonville entered last week's game against the Broncos as 27-point underdogs, the largest spread in NFL history, but were only trailing by two points in the third quarter before the Broncos pulled away.

49ers at Titans (4:05 p.m. ET)

The San Francisco 49ers have gone back to the run, and the results are showing as they are riding a three-game winning streak. Frank Gore has rushed for 335 yards over his past three games and quarterback Colin Kaepernick has thrown for five touchdowns and one interception during the win streak. Vernon Davis is coming off a huge 180-yard, two-touchdown game against the Cardinals.

The Titans have struggled since quarterback Jake Locker went down with a hip injury. Tennessee will have a handful in the tenacious San Francisco defense, and that doesn't bode too well for a team that has turned the football over five times in its past two losses.

Browns at Packers (4:25 p.m. ET)

The Green Bay Packers can ill afford any more injuries to a depleted team as they go for their third straight win. Both Randall Cobb and James Jones left Week 6 early with injuries, leaving just Jarrett Boykin and Jordy Nelson as the healthy wide receivers. Eddie Lacy stepped up to take some pressure off of Aaron Rodgers, rushing for 120 yards in a 19-17 win over the Ravens.

The Browns three-game win streak ended in a dubious fashion when they lost 31-17 to the Lions last week, as the Browns were outscored by the Lions 24-0 in the second half. Wide receiver Josh Gordon continues his strong play, finishing with 126 yards on seven receptions in the loss.

Texans at Chiefs (4:25 p.m. ET)

On paper, the Kansas City Chiefs' offense doesn't make for a 6-0 team. But the Chiefs' defense has made it all happen this year, accounting for five touchdowns between the defense and special teams. For the turnover-plagued Houston Texans, this doesn't seem like it will end very well. The Texans are currently stuck in a four-game slide, and they've turned the ball over 12 times in the process. Quarterback Matt Schaub was injured in Week 6 (much to the home fans delight) so the Texans might go with T.J. Yates at quarterback again.

Ravens at Steelers (4:25 p.m. ET)

The Steelers finally picked up their first win of the season last week, but coach Mike Tomlin wasn't one to celebrate. In fact, he went so far as to ban somersaults as an end-zone celebration for the Steelers. There might not even be the option for many celebrations anyway, as when these two teams meet it is usually a defensive bloodbath, with each of the last three games decided by just three points.

Broncos at Colts (8:30 p.m. ET)

The Denver Broncos have been rolling all season, and no team has been able to keep up with them. In fact, the major criticism the Broncos got in a 35-19 win over the Jaguars last week is that they didn't cover the spread -- only the largest in NFL history. It'll be the first game against the Colts for Peyton Manning since he was let go before the 2012 offseason.

Any other team would dread the idea of a Manning-less team, but during a recent three-game win streak Andrew Luck has virtually washed Peyton from the minds of Indianapolis fans. He took down both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks during the streak. With the addition of Trent Richardson, the Colts look like a serious playoff contender. Luck should have a field day against the Broncos secondary, which gives up a league worst 337 yards per game.

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