Maybe all the displays of unity at NFL games last weekend also overshadowed an awful week for Pro Picks. We sure hope so: It was more like Poor Picks.

And that came with a rare win in a Thursday night game, Rams over 49ers. Hopefully, we can get it right with this week’s opener, Bears at Packers, then follow it up with some more winners.

Green Bay struggled to beat lowly Cincinnati in overtime last Sunday, hours after Chicago stunned Pittsburgh, also in OT. Working extra time heading into a short week isn’t exactly an ideal way to prep for a Thursday nighter.

The Packers were undermanned, particularly on the offensive line, against the Bengals and had to stage a big rally to win. The Bears used their impressive running game to overcome the Steelers.

With so little rest between outings, the disparity in talent can tend to get skewed a bit. Green Bay appears to be a Super Bowl contender when healthy. Chicago has the look of an also-ran in a tough division.

Still, this is Bears-Packers, one of the more emotion-packed series in pro sports.

The Packers, No. 4 in the AP Pro32, are 7-point favorites over their long-time rival Bears (No. 25).

PACKERS, 21-16

KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP

The Patriots made us sweat but survived as Houston couldn’t make a third-and-1 conversion that might have clinched an upset. We’ll go with SEATTLE to keep us going.

No. 17 (tie) Los Angeles Rams (plus 7 1-2) at No. 5 Dallas

Rams seem to be putting together nice offense. We already know Dallas has one of those.

BEST BET: COWBOYS, 30-19

No. 11 Tennessee (minus 2) at No. 21 Houston

It’s early, but Texans loss would be very damaging in division.

UPSET SPECIAL: TEXANS, 20-17

No. 24 New Orleans (minus 3) vs. No. 22 Miami at London

Rebound time for Dolphins after that New Jersey fiasco.

DOLPHINS, 23-21

No. 9 Pittsburgh (minus 2 1-2) at No. 14 Baltimore

Best rivalry in football, nasty and physical, but clean.

STEELERS, 20-13

No. 6 (tie) Oakland (plus 2 1-2) at No. 6 (tie) Denver

Both teams come off offensive stinkers.

RAIDERS, 26-21

No. 17 (tie) Carolina (plus 8) at No. 3 New England

Both teams come off defensive stinkers.

PATRIOTS, 36-23

No. 13 Washington (plus 7) at No. 1 Kansas City, Monday night

Redskins might be better than we thought, can prove a lot here.

CHIEFS, 24-23

No. 15 Jacksonville (minus 3 1-2) at No. 29 New York Jets

Road favorites destroyed us last week. We barely learned a lesson.

JAGUARS, 19-17

No. 19 Buffalo (plus 7 1-2) at No. 2 Atlanta

Falcons have escaped twice on road, but routed Green Bay at home.

FALCONS, 22-16

No. 26 New York Giants (plus 5) at No. 20 Tampa Bay

Just a feeling Giants aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.

GIANTS, 17-13

No. 12 Philadelphia (pick-em) at No. 27 (tie) Los Angeles Chargers

Just a feeling Chargers aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.

CHARGERS, 27-23

No. 27 Cincinnati (minus 3) at No. 32 Cleveland

Just a feeling Bengals aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.

BENGALS, 21-20

No. 31 San Francisco (plus 7) at No. 23 Arizona

Just a feeling … oh, never mind.

CARDINALS, 20-16

No. 30 Indianapolis (plus 13) at No. 16 Seattle

Until Andrew Luck is behind center, staying away from Colts doing anything special.

SEAHAWKS, 22-6

No. 6 (tie) Detroit (no line) at No. 10 Minnesota

Really like what we have seen from Lions thus far.

LIONS, 24-20


2017 RECORD:

Last week: Against spread (5-9-1). Straight up (8-8)

Season Totals: Against spread (18-27-1). Straight up: (29-18)

Best Bet: 2-1 against spread, 2-1 straight up.

Upset special: 3-0 against spread, 3-0 straight up


For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL