Poupart's picks: Week 9

We'll have to wait until Monday night for the best matchup of the weekend, the Indianapolis-New England clash at Gillette Stadium. That doesn't mean there aren't some good matchups on Sunday as well, however. Here are this week's predictions as we go for our third consecutive 12-2 week.

Sunday, November 6

Cincinnati (6-2) at Baltimore (2-5): The Ravens gave a good showing last Monday night at Pittsburgh, but they still lost. Besides, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis probably will be out again and Anthony Wright is still a mediocre quarterback. Cincinnati, 27-16.

Tennessee (2-6) at Cleveland (2-5): Wow, clash of the Titans here, huh? No pun intended. Two bad teams. Tennessee just has the edge at quarterback, whether Steve McNair or Billy Volek is on the field. Tennessee, 24-23.

Houston (1-6) at Jacksonville (4-3): At least Houston won't go winless. But it is still a bad team and no match for a Jacksonville team that badly needs a win. Jacksonville, 24-10.

Oakland (3-4) at Kansas City (4-3): The Raiders look like they're starting to play some good ball, ironically at a time when they're not focusing so much on Randy Moss. But it's always tough to pick against the Chiefs at home. Kansas City, 27-24.

Atlanta (6-2) at Miami (3-4): The Falcons rush for more than 180 yards a game, which is bad news for a Dolphins defense that has had problems stopping the run lately. Still, the Atlanta defense hasn't been great and this should be closer than most think. Atlanta, 24-21.

Detroit (3-4) at Minnesota (2-5): Joey Harrington is back at quarterback for the Lions, while Brad Johnson takes over for the Vikings. These are two mediocre teams, but Johnson is a better quarterback. Minnesota, 23-20.

Chicago (4-3) at New Orleans (2-6): The Saints offense looked putrid last week against a Miami defense that isn't nearly as good as that of the Bears. Get the picture. Chicago, 21-7.

San Diego (4-4) at N.Y. Jets (2-5): The Jets have the advantage of coming off their bye, but they have the disadvantage of having no quarterback. It's really hard to envision the Jets winning this one, although they've owned the Chargers in recent years. San Diego, 28-14.

Carolina (5-2) at Tampa Bay (5-2): That was a bad loss by the Bucs last week at San Fran, while Carolina is starting to be the team everyone expected. The Panthers figure to establish in this game who's the real playoff contender. Carolina, 23-14.

Seattle (5-2) at Arizona (2-5): Dennis Green is going back to Kurt Warner as his quarterback, but he still has no offensive line and a mediocre defense. Seattle, 33-16.

N.Y. Giants (5-2) at San Francisco (2-5): The 49ers stunned Tampa last week and get a boost now because Cody Pickett starts at quarterback and he's better than Ken Dorsey. But the Giants are on a roll. N.Y. Giants, 31-10.

Pittsburgh (5-2) at Green Bay (1-6): It would seem crazy to go against the Steelers here because the Packers have been so bad. But it's a road game after a Monday night affair and the Steelers also have to go with Charlie Batch at quarterback. We're smelling an upset here. Green Bay, 24-23.

Philadelphia (4-3) at Washington (4-3): Things are unraveling pretty fast in Eagles land, with T.O. once again being a pain and Donovan McNabb having a lot of pain. The Redskins were embarrassed last week and we think this is a good spot for them to rebound. Washington, 20-17.


November 7

Indianapolis (7-0) at New England (4-3): The Colts and Peyton Manning have to beat the Pats sometime, don't they? And if not now, when? Still, you can't help but think that maybe, just maybe it's not meant to happen this time because Bill Belichick knows how to defend Manning. On the other hand, this is a different Colts team because they can actually play defense. Tough call here. Indianapolis, 21-20.

Last week's record: 12-2

Season record: 78-38

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