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NFL picks 2019, Week 7: Every team in the NFC North is confusing us

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Our experts are split on every game this weekend with an NFC North team.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions probably should’ve won their Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. The officials did just about everything to ensure sure it didn’t happen.

Now the Packers are out in front of the NFC North with a 5-1 record while the Lions are last at 2-2-1. Sandwiched in the middle are the 4-2 Vikings and the 3-2 Bears. None of those four teams are easy to understand.

Green Bay only has one loss, but is in the bottom half of the NFL in both yards gained and yards allowed. The Vikings have slalomed between offense so bad that it pissed off their star receivers to beating the living daylights out of the Eagles with deep passes. The Bears haven’t topped 300 yards of offense in a game this season, but still have an elite defense — albeit one that just lost Akiem Hicks to injured reserve. The Lions had a lead in the last minute of all five of their games and only won two of them.

All of that has made for a division that our experts can’t agree on. We’re split on the Vikings’ road game against the Lions, as well the Bears’ matchup against the Saints at home. Even the Raiders got a couple nods from the panel to travel to Lambeau Field and beat the Packers.

The NFC North isn’t the only division that’s close, but it does seem to be the one that’s most confusing.

Do you believe more in Kyler Murray or Daniel Jones?

The Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew has been the rookie quarterback with the most shine so far in 2019, but both the Cardinals and Giants have reason to be optimistic about their first-round choices.

Murray threw for 340 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-33 win against the Falcons. The Cardinals have won back-to-back games and Murray now has seven passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

To make it three straight, he’ll have to outduel Jones in a battle of rookie starters in Week 6. The Giants started 0-2 with Eli Manning, but won their next two with Jones. Now New York’s on a two-game losing streak and Jones has five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Which rookie do you believe in more? Our panel has mixed opinions.

Meet the Good Dog of Week 7: Astro

Astro’s journey to his forever home is rooted in sports. In October 2017, he was found outside of San Antonio with a large open wound on his back. His rescuer brought him to the vet during Game 4 of the ALDS between the Astros and Red Sox. While they were in the waiting area, Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning that helped the Astros pull out the series and advance (and later, of course, win the World Series). That was also the moment when Astro was given his name.

Several weeks later, while his future parents needed a distraction from an extremely distressing football game, they saw Astros pitcher Lance McCullers retweet a photo of a sweet-looking Golden Lab mix who needed adopted. It was a sign.

Astro, a very good boy, hanging out with Texas’ state flower

Two years later, Astro is a friendly, clever goofball who loves to give smooches, get into a little bit of mischief, and is a lot of handsome. His namesake team is also back in the playoffs, locked in the ALCS battle with the New York Yankees this week.

It’s that particular baseball series that helped Astro make his picks in Week 7. As a lifelong Texan, he automatically sided with both Lone Star State teams (Cowboys, Texans) and against the three New York teams (Bills, Giants, Jets).

Astro also fancies himself the boss of the household. As such, he feels a kinship to quarterbacks, so he decided to support any team with a starting quarterback from Texas — that includes the Saints, even if Drew Brees is still out with an injury.

That left just three games with no obvious tie to his beloved home state: Rams-Falcons, Raiders-Packers, and Ravens-Seahawks. Astro’s tiebreaker came down another favorite of his, and something any dog can relate to: treats. His mom put a small dog biscuit in each hand and designated the right as one team and the left as the other. Whichever hand he sniffed first was his pick.

And then he was rewarded with a treat. Because he’s a good boy.

Week 7 picks

Here are all of our Week 7 picks, although the predictions are subject to change until Friday. There have already been a couple trades this week, so who knows what developments could make us change our mind.

Our guest this week from the NFL blogs is Jason Marcum, the manager at our often frustrated Bengals site, Cincy Jungle.

Week 7 picks

Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Jason Marcum Astro the Good Dog Fooch
Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Jason Marcum Astro the Good Dog Fooch
KC vs. DEN KC KC KC KC KC KC KC KC KC KC
LAR vs. ATL LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR ATL
MIA vs. BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF MIA BUF
JAX vs. CIN JAX JAX JAX JAX JAX JAX JAX CIN CIN JAX
MIN vs. DET MIN DET DET MIN DET DET DET MIN DET DET
OAK vs. GB OAK GB GB GB GB OAK GB GB GB GB
HOU vs. IND HOU IND IND HOU IND HOU HOU HOU HOU IND
ARI vs. NYG ARI NYG NYG NYG NYG ARI NYG NYG ARI NYG
SF vs. WAS SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF WAS SF
LAC vs. TEN LAC LAC LAC LAC TEN TEN LAC LAC TEN LAC
NOR vs. CHI CHI CHI NOR NOR NOR CHI CHI NOR NOR CHI
BAL vs. SEA BAL SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA
PHI vs. DAL PHI DAL DAL DAL PHI DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
NE vs. NYJ NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
Season record 59-33 60-32 49-43 56-36 50-42 46-46 51-41 52-40 50-42 50-42