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NFL picks and predictions for Week 7

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The top games in the NFL this week include the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins vs. Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals. Let's get straight to the Week 7 action. Feel free to weigh in on some of the games in the comments section.

Week 7 Games Explanation Pick
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Note: This pick was posted in our TNF thread on Thursday. I am listing it here for record-keeping purposes.

Thursday Night Football: Who is ready to watch Brian Hoyer battle Aaron Rodgers on Thursday Night Football? Part of the discussion this week is how Rodgers has still not quite been himself, as evidenced by the fact that even a guy like Hoyer is out-dueling him a bit over the past year. The Packers are facing some adversity at the running back position, but Chicago is in the same boat as Cleveland: they are getting pretty decent play at the quarterback position, but everything else about the team is just kind of “yuck” right now. Packers 27, Bears 17

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Live from London: I won't get in to the whole Josh Brown situation, but that could impact the Giants' chances of winning. Robbie Gould doesn't have the best recent track record, and having his first game back in the NFL, let alone a different country, puts things on shaky ground. The Rams have dropped two in a row, having games in which they've yielded 30+ points. With Odell Beckham starting to re-gain some of his productivity, I'll take the Giants in a close one. Giants 23, Rams 20

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Battle of the Bad: Even though the Ravens are 3-3, they have lost their last three games and will be without Steve Smith this week. Fortunately for them, the rest of the AFC North is struggling, and they can also take advantage of a Jets team that is so desperate at quarterback that they are actually going back to Geno Smith. This is going to be a disaster for the Jets. Ravens 31, Jets 13

vs. Where in the World...: ...did that Dolphins running game come from last week? Everyone should maintain that Miami is a bad team and was fortunate that Ben Roethlisberger had to exit the game when he did last week. Buffalo has won four games in a row, out-scoring opponents 124-53 during that stretch. I'm going to continue riding Buffalo's coattails until they square up against the Brady-led Patriots next week. Bills 33, Dolphins 17

vs. The Battle of Ohio: At this point, I expect the formula to be much of the same week in and week out for the Browns: the defense gives up a touchdown on the first or second drive, and then has some general difficulty finding someone to match up with A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert if he plays. On offense, if Terrelle Pryor is limited, that takes away a big security blanket for Cody Kessler. Although Kessler wants to get rid of the ball quicker this week, his receivers won’t get open so quick and he’ll continue to take hits as he holds on to the ball. The offense will find some success to pad the game late, but Cincinnati will control this one from the start. Bengals 31, Browns 20

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The General Sad State of Football: The Colts are 0-3 at home and can't protect Andrew Luck, while Tennessee features a physical defensive front that can cause some turmoil for him. After the Browns' defense stymied DeMarco Murray on the ground last week, Tennessee will find their rhythm on the ground again to get an early lead. Andrew Luck will try to stage one of his late-game comebacks again, but a turnover will seal the deal to give Tennessee their surprising fourth victory of the season. Titans 24, Colts 20

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Game of the Week: There aren't many intriguing match-ups this week, but this is one of them: the undefeated Vikings, coming off the bye, take on Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Wentz isn't getting the blame, but Philly has dropped two straight games. It'll be great seeing him go up against a defense that has allowed a maximum of 16 points in five games, and an average of 12.6 points per game. As long as Sam Bradford doesn't turn the ball over at some ridiculous rate, Minnesota should keep on winning. Vikings 20, Eagles 10

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Shooting Their Way Back: You have to love Drew Brees: he's a quarterback who can put 35 points on the board every week, yet often times it's not enough to get his team the victory. I kicked myself last week for not picking the Chiefs after the bye, knowing how well Andy Reid-led teams respond in those situations. Their defensive showing was encouraging to see, and as Jamaal Charles eases back into things, they should be closer to the competitive team they were down the stretch in 2015. Chiefs 27, Saints 24

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The Road Raiders: After starting the season at 0-3, the Jaguars have won their past two games, taking advantage of the Colts in London and then Chicago on the road. Oakland's offense was finally stopped last week by the Chiefs, and they've often had some difficulty traveling coast-to-coast in years past. They are actually 3-0 on the road this year, though, and I think Derek Carr will bring some of Jacksonville's defensive woes back to light in a convincing win. Raiders 34, Jaguars 20

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Surprise of the Week: This game is the "surprise of the week" because it features two teams who are on mini-streaks, but you wouldn't necessarily think of this as a groundbreaking match-up. The Redskins have won four straight games to improve to 4-2, while the Lions have won two straight to get to .500 at 3-3. Detroit has had the luxury of being at home for the third straight week, and I think that comfortability will play just enough of a factor to give them the clean sweep. Lions 23, Redskins 21

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Never Out of It: Each of the Chargers' four losses have been within a possession, and typically down to the final play. Their stretch of playing Denver-Atlanta-Denver looked rough as they headed into it with a 1-4 record, but they finally played a good defensive game last week to score the upset. Atlanta is coming off a loss to the Seahawks, but their offensive firepower will get the better end of the Chargers this week. Falcons 28, Chargers 24

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Let's Try This Again: One thing we'll look back on at the end of the year and say is, "how in the world did the 49ers win the opener 28-0 over the Rams?" Last week, I made the mistake of picking Colin Kaepernick to upset the Bills in his first game back. The Bills are playing too well right now for that to happen. The same isn't true for the Buccaneers. Kaepernick will have several key run plays to take down the Bucs. 49ers 20, Buccaneers 17

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Blowout of the Week: If Ben Roethlisberger was playing, this would have the potential to be one of the games of the year. As Chris Wessling said on Twitter, "Drop-off from Roethlisberger to Landry Jones is as steep as any in the league." The Patriots offense is riding high with Tom Brady back, and there is no way Jones will be able to match Pittsburgh. It'll be mistake-city for the offense, turning this into a blowout. Patriots 35, Steelers 9

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Sunday Night Football: The Cardinals have salvaged a rough start to the season by being 3-3, but it's really tough to judge them because their three wins are against the Jets, 49ers, and Buccaneers. Enough said, right? One thing is for certain -- David Johnson is the best back in the NFL. Similarly, the subset of three of Seattle's four wins (Miami, San Francisco, and the Jets) isn't too impressive. I think the Seahawks have been playing better, but I can see Arizona using this spot to make things interesting again in the NFC West with a strong performance from Carson Palmer and the Arizona defense. Cardinals 26, Seahawks 23

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Monday Night Football: If Denver's offense wasn't sharp last week, their defense will certainly get the job done against a Texans team that in no way, shape, or form should have won in prime time last week. I apologize for defending Brock Osweiler so much at the start of the year -- he looks like a bottom-tier quarterback. Broncos 31, Texans 12

Bye Week:

Survivor: Last week, I picked the Panthers to beat the Saints and was wrong, which ended my five-game winning streak. I have to start over, which is always a bummer. I'll get off to a good start by picking the Patriots over the Steelers.

Week 6 Picks Record: 6-9
2016 NFL Picks Record: 50-42
Browns Picks Record: 4-2