Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Brett Hundley (left) runs with Aaron Rodgers. |Jim Mone/AP

NFL picks, Week 7: Are the Packers doomed without Aaron Rodgers?

SHARE NFL picks, Week 7: Are the Packers doomed without Aaron Rodgers?
SHARE NFL picks, Week 7: Are the Packers doomed without Aaron Rodgers?

With eight consecutive playoff appearances, including a victory in Super Bowl XLV after the 2010 season, the Packers get a lot of credit for building homegrown teams loaded with draft picks and undrafted free agents. They seem to fill every hole, with the “next man up” making them almost immune to injuries and free-agent losses. When their defense seems about to burst, they find a way to shore things up with another player acquired by general manager Ted Thompson. What an organization!

And then Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, and the Packers are like just about every other NFL team — at the mercy of the football gods.


Saints at Packers

Time: Noon.Line: Saints by 5½. Total: 47½.

Records (overall/ATS): Saints 3-2/3-2; Packers 4-2/3-3.

All that homegrown talent doesn’t seem to matter as much when No. 12 isn’t playing. The Packers are 2-8-1 when Rodgers doesn’t start or finish a game because of injury, including last week’s 23-10 loss to the Vikings when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on a clean hit from linebacker Anthony Barr. That .182 winning percentage is lower than the Bears’ without Jay Cutler (7-22, .318).

The quarterback makes all the difference, obviously. But the Packers might not be doomed without Rodgers this time. Brett Hundley, a fifth-round pick in 2015, might be their best backup since Matt Hasselbeck in 1999-2000.

Hundley struggled as a sudden replacement for Rodgers against the Vikings — 18-for-33 for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions for a 39.6 rating. But he has the size, arm, mobility and moxie to succeed once he gets his feet on the ground. And that might be sooner than you think.

Pick: Packers 27, Saints 21.


NFL Week 7 predictions: Bears vs. Panthers

NFL Fantasy Football start/sit advice Week 7: Matt Ryan bounces back

Bears game pick

Panthers at Bears

  • Time: Noon, Ch. 2.
  • Line: Panthers by 3. Total: 40½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Panthers 4-2/3-3; Bears 2-4/4-2.
  • Outlook: Bears are 2-8 SU/5-3 ATS after a win under coach John Fox — they have not won back-to-back games outright since Weeks 9-10 in 2015. But they have a quarterback and a defense, which gives them a chance.
  • Pick: Panthers 24, Bears 23.

Top plays for Week 7

Jaguars atColts

  • Time: Noon.
  • Line: Jaguars by 3.
  • Total: 43½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Jaguars 3-3/3-3; Colts 2-4/3-3.
  • Outlook: Colts have been outscored 123-41 in the second half and 85-22 in the fourth quarter. Improving Jaguars figure to bounce back after shooting themselves in the foot with special-teams mishaps last week.
  • Pick: Jaguars 30, Colts 13.

Ravens at Vikings

  • Time: Noon.
  • Line: Vikings by 5½.
  • Total: 39½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Ravens 3-3/3-3; Vikings 4-2/3-3.
  • Outlook: Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone figures to give a boost to every other NFC North team — the Vikings as much as any. Ravens aren’t the team they have been. If not for special-teams TDs, they would have looked even worse against the Bears.
  • Pick: Vikings 31, Ravens 14.

Broncos at Chargers

  • Time: 3:25 p.m.
  • Line: Chargers by 1.
  • Total: 41.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Broncos 3-2/2-2-1; Chargers 2-4/2-3-1.
  • Outlook: With back-to-back victories, Chargers seem to have found their legs after an 0-4 start — but often in the NFL, things are not as they seem. Broncos are likely to respond after an embarrassing loss to the Giants.
  • Pick: Broncos 24, Chargers 14.

The rest of the NFL picks

Jets at Dolphins

  • Time: Noon.
  • Line: Dolphins by 3. Total: 43½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Jets 3-3/4-2; Dolphins 3-2/3-2.
  • Outlook: With back-to-back victories, Dolphins seem to have found their legs after a 1-2 start, and also have the revenge factor after the Jets dominated them 20-6 in Week 3.
  • Pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 14.

Buccaneers at Bills

  • Time: Noon.
  • Line: Bills by 3. Total: OFF.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Buccaneers 2-3/1-4; Bills 3-2/4-1.
  • Outlook: Jameis Winston (shoulder) unlikely to be at full strength if he plays at all. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three TD passes in his place, but only after the Bucs fell behind 31-0.
  • Pick: Bills 19, Buccaneers 14.

Cardinals vs. Rams

  • Time: Noon, in London.
  • Line: Rams by 3½. Total: 43½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Cardinals 3-3/1-5; Rams 4-2/3-3.
  • Outlook: “Host” Rams are 3-0 SU/ 2-1 ATS away from home, but this is a different kind of trip. Cards are rejuvenated with the acquisition of Adrian Peterson (26-134, 2 TDs against the Bucs).
  • Pick: Cardinals 27, Rams 23.

Titans at Browns

  • Time: Noon.
  • Line: Titans by 5½. Total: 46½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Titans 3-3/3-3; Browns 0-6/1-5.
  • Outlook: Hapless Browns have lost 30 of their last 32 games (6-25-1 ATS) and have failed to cover in their last five. Rookie DeShone Kizer back in the saddle against the Titans.
  • Pick: Titans 23, Browns 16.

Cowboys at 49ers

  • Time: 3:05 p.m., Fox-32.
  • Line: Cowboys by 6. Total: 46½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Cowboys 2-3/2-3; 49ers 0-6/4-2.
  • Outlook: Niners have lost their last five games by two, three, three, two and three points (4-1 ATS) and turn to rookie C.J. Beathard, who was impressive in relief of Brian Hoyer last week. But he doesn’t play defense.
  • Pick: Cowboys 31, 49ers 17.

Bengals at Steelers

  • Time: 3:25 p.m., Ch. 2.
  • Line: Steelers by 5. Total: 41.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Bengals 2-3/3-2; Steelers 4-2/3-3.
  • Outlook: With back-to-back victories, Bengals seem to have found their legs after an 0-3 start, and are coming off a bye. Up-and-down Steelers are coming off a big road win over Chiefs.
  • Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 20.

Seahawks at Giants

  • Time: 3:25 p.m.
  • Line: Seahawks by 5½. Total: 40.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Seahawks 3-2/2-3; Giants 1-5/3-3.
  • Outlook: With back-to-back victories, Seahawks seem to have found their legs after a 1-2 start, and are coming off a bye. Giants, coming off an upset of the Broncos, often win in bunches.
  • Pick: Seahawks 27, Giants 17.

Falcons at Patriots

  • Time: 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5.
  • Line: Patriots by 3½. Total: 56.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Falcons 3-2/2-3; Patriots 4-2/2-4.
  • Outlook: With back-to-back losses, Falcons seem to have lost their footing after a 3-0 start. Revenge factor in Super Bowl rematch is questionable against Pats, who have much to prove.
  • Pick: Patriots 31, Falcons 28.

Redskins at Eagles

  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN.
  • Line: Eagles by 4½. Total: 48½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Redskins 3-2/2-3; Eagles 5-1/4-2.
  • Outlook: Since throwing for 1 TD, 1 INT and a 72.9 rating in a Week 1 loss to the Eagles, Redskins QB Kirk Cousins has a 117.7 rating (8 TDs, 1 INT). Carson Wentz is on fire as well.
  • Pick: Eagles 27, Redskins 24 (OT).

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