I don't have much time for exposition, so I will simply ask the reader to consider this one thing. In my recaps of last week's games, I pointed out that people are pretty het up about a call made late in a game between Bird Teams. It seems a certain Richard Sherman might have impeded the arm motion of a guy named Julio Jones which most certainly cost a team from Georgia a solid victory. Before anyone gets all tense, yes, I thought it was probably pass interference just like you did. But did it 'cost Atlanta the game'? No. For one, even if Sherman had released Julio's arm, he would have done so reaching for the ball himself. A Catch was never ever guaranteed. Two, the whole point of moving extra points back to the 15 yard line is that it makes it more difficult for kickers. Jones would have been at approximately the 35, which means a 52 yard field goal attempt to win. Hardly a done deal.
But that's all beside the point. What is my point is this. NFL officials have an impossible task. They are called upon to make certain that players follow ambiguous rules in order to keep the game 'fair'. Officials are cautioned against letting their rulings affect the outcome and can (and will) be punished if they violate the rules affecting outcome while tasked with enforcing rules that obviously affect outcome. Slightly to the side like, Roger Goodell is going to "look into" why NFL viewership is down. I wonder if those two circumstances are related ...
On with the picks.
Chicago (1-5) at Green Bay (3-2) - Packers
No Lacy? No problem. Not against the Bears.
New York Giants (3-3) at Los Angeles (3-3) in London - Giants
The jet-lag from LA must be killer.
New Orleans (2-3) at Kansas City (3-2) - Chiefs
The Chiefs have a defense.
Indianapolis (2-4) at Tennessee (3-3) - Titans
Trust in LaBeau.
Minnesota (5-0) at Philadelphia (3-2) - Vikings
That defense is savage.
Cleveland (0-6) at Cincinnati (2-4) - Bengals
Again hoping for an upset.
Washington (4-2) at Detroit (3-3) - Lions
Risky risky pick. The Taterskins are for real, but Stafford is better than Cousins by a long shot.
Oakland (4-2) at Jacksonville (2-3) - Raiders
That defense has to show up sometime, doesn't it?
Buffalo (4-2) at Miami (2-4) - Bills
The Bills have some momentum. Miami has a game.
Baltimore (3-3) at New York Jets (1-5) - Ravens
Manhattan has no faith in Pickspatrick. I have even less in Geno.
Tampa Bay (2-3) at San Francisco (1-5) - Niners
If Gabbert were starting, I'd pick the other way. I think Kaepernick has the will to win.
San Diego (2-4) at Atlanta (4-2) - Falcons
It will take a few more weeks for the southern shame to set in. The Chargers just don't have the horses to beat Atlanta right now.
New England (5-1) at Pittsburgh (4-2) - Patriots
Under Tomlin, the Steelers have played to the level of their competition. But this week, they don't have Roethlisberger. He misses the toughest game of the season and angry Tommy walks to a win.
Seattle (4-1) at Arizona (3-3) - Seahawks
Arians is committed to the KC style of ball control. But the SeaChickens stuff the run.
Houston (4-2) at Denver (4-2) - Broncos
Von Miller and Shane Ray just can't wait to give Brock Osweiler welcoming hugs in the backfield.
Byes: Dallas, Carolina
Last Week's Score: 11 - 4, 73%, Overall: 56 - 36, 61%
For the record, my picks are still better than absolutely Every Single One of ESPN's experts. Including fan picks. Just sayin ...