POORE'S PICKS: Week Twelve

Jim Poore is back with his weekly picks against the spread. IN Week 12, the Thanksgiving edition, Poore has his usual candidates for game of the week and stinker of the week. But check out who he predicts for Thursday night in the Patriots - Jets matchup

  As the NFL season rages on, I think I have a theory about the New England Patriots. They are 7-3, will win the AFC East again, and will likely be the second or third seed in the upcoming playoffs. My theory, though likely coincidental, is that they always play the exact opposite of what most fans and "experts" think they are going to do. The opening game this year against Tennessee and the loss to Baltimore are the only exceptions.

In week two, most expected the Patriots to win fairly easily against Arizona. They lost. In week four, many expected a pretty tight game against the Bills. Buffalo got crushed. Week five had the Broncos in town, and though the Patriots did win, it was closer than many expected. Week six brought New England to Seattle, and the Patriots lost after most expected a fairly easily victory. The New York Jets then came to Foxboro, and of course most expected the Patriots to cruise ( I was an exception). New England did pull it out, but they needed overtime to seal the deal.

The Patriots then traveled to London and many feared a tough game, possibly even a New England loss. Wrong again. The Bills were on the schedule again, and many thought because of an earlier blow out, this game would be over quick. The Patriots did win, but it could have been a loss if a couple of plays went the other way. And last week, a lot of people thought Andrew Luck would come to Gillette and keep the game close, and he did. For about a quarter.

  We will see what happens on Thanksgiving with the Jets. My theory certainly is coincidence, but it is interesting nonetheless. Of course, now that I have mentioned it, things will change. That might not be a bad thing.
I want to wish everyone and their families a tremendous Thanksgiving holiday. Be safe, have fun, think of what we are thankful for and of course, watch some NFL Football. As always, home team in CAPS.
DALLAS  3  Washington
Fortunately, this is the early Turkey Day game, and I think many will miss it. That isn't a bad thing.
Cowboys  26-17
Houston  3 1/2  DETROIT
The Texans won a ridiculous game last week. The difference is in years past Houston loses that game. They have two big games left on their schedule, this one and New England. They will start 1-0 in those two games.
 Texans  27-21
New England  6 1/2  NEW YORK JETS
This is one of those opposite games I mentioned earlier. For some reason Patriots fans think they will blow out the Jets EVERY time they play them. It just isn't true ( at least lately anyway ). The Jets were much better last week, are at home, and have a VERY easy schedule the rest of the way. If they can beat the Patriots it could give them some momentum for the rest of the regular season. I think they will.
Jets  24-21
Pittsburgh  4  CLEVELAND
I had a good feeling with the Browns last week, but that stops here. The Steelers are beat up and bruised, but they should be able to sneak out of Cleveland with a win.
Steelers   17-12
The Bills had a nice game in Week 11, but it is tough to see which team shows up every week. The Colts got roughed up, and I don't think they are that good right now. However, they are a much better team at home then on the road. So, I will take them here.
Colts 30-23
Denver  10 1/2  KANSAS CITY
The poor Chiefs. I'm not sure they will win the rest of the year. I do know this. The Broncos will, including this week.
Broncos  35-14
CHICAGO  1 1/2  Minnesota
The Bears looked bad Sunday Night, and somehow the Vikings are still hanging around. Jay Cutler is expected to still be out, so the Bears defense really has so step it up a notch. I can't see the Bears losing three in a row.
Bears  16-13
Atlanta  2  TAMPA  BAY

The Falcons lost two weeks ago and barely pulled out a win last week. The Bucs are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and they are right in the thick of it in the NFC. I like them this week. I think they are catching Atlanta at the right time, and I think they will pull the mild upset.
Bucs  23-20
Seattle  3  MIAMI
The Seahawks were off last week, and it was well deserved. The Dolphins played like they were, and I have a feeling they won't be at the top of their game this week either. They got off to a fast start, but the real Dolphins showed up. I'll take the Seahawks at home.
Seahawks  17-10
SAN DIEGO   1  Baltimore
I can't remember the last time the Chargers were this irrelevant. They really haven't been for a couple of years now. The Ravens still are, and miraculously, with all of their injuries, they could have the top seed in the AFC.  But that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. They probably are due for a loss. I just don't see it here.
Ravens  20-17
NEW ORLEANS  2 1/2  San Francisco
It looks like Colin Keapernick will get the start for the 49ers, and they are already talking quarterback controversy out there. It's a little early for that. The Saints have been playing well lately, and are absolutely in the chatter for the playoffs. This is a tough pick, but I have to go with the home team.
Saints 28-24
ARIZONA  2 1/2  St. Louis
This is another one of those games where most fans hope  there is another game on television.
Rams  24-23
CINCINNATI  7 1/2  Oakland
Carson Palmer is going against his old team, and he should be able to light it up. I don't think so. The Raiders are still the Raiders, and the Bengals have put together a pretty nice season right now. That nice season should continue.
Bengals  30-20
Another doozy, and a very good candidate for Stinker of the Week. There are better television shows on Monday Night. The Eagles are desperate, and so are the Panthers. The desperate home team gets my pick.
Eagles  24-16
Game of the Week

The Giants have been playing poorly lately, and last week's bye week came at a perfect time. The Packers have been playing well lately, and I am sure that they would really like to beat the Giants. New York has lost two in a row, and I can't see them losing a third. They had a decent lead in the NFC East, but another loss would be brutal. I like the Giants here in this great match up.
Giants  29-24
Stinker of the Week

Definitely the right choice for Stinker this week. The Jags are due for a win. But that doesn't mean they will get it.
Titans  23-14
Record For Week 11:
8-6 ( 10-4 without the spread )
Record Through Week 11: 68-78-3 ( 85-64 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 5-6
Stinker of Week Record: 4-7

Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:

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