Thursday, October 20, 2016

NFL Picks, Week 7 - Thursday Night Edition


The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
Oakland at Jacksonville (CBS, 1 PM)
New England at Pittsburgh  (CBS, 4:25PM)
Minnesota at Philadelphia (FOX, 1:00 PM)

The entire country will see 
Chicago at Green Bay (CBS/NFLN/Twitter, 8:30 *Thursday*)
New York Giants "at" Los Angeles (NFLN, 9:30 AM) 
Seattle at Arizona (NBC, 8:30)
Houston at Denver (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

Chicago (+7.5) over GREEN BAY
If you read anything about the NFL, you have been reading about problems with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. How Aaron is relying too much on sandlot ball and not enough on his throwing mechanics. How Mike McCarthy's offense doesn't scheme receivers open, and the receivers aren't getting open. How Ted Thompson let the Packers' strength at the receiver position evaporate over the years. The issues are real. In fact, here's a series of stats to show how real these issues are:

Is Rodgers all of a sudden a worse quarterback than Hoyer? Absolutely not. But he's not playing like Aaron Rodgers (he's also not playing like Brian Hoyer), but the offense is a legitimate issue for Green Bay. Add in Green Bay's injury issues at running back (Eddie Lacy and James Starks are out for at least a few weeks each), and the defensive secondary, and it's hard to see the Packers covering 7.5 points at home against the Bears. Yes, you heard me correctly. 

Unless Brian Hoyer suddenly morphs into captain turnover tonight (he has 0 picks in 5 games this season), the Bears will keep it close. 

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