Jim Poore is away for the week, so Patriots Insider's Jon Scott is stepping in to fill his shoes. Jon was part of Primesportsnetwork.com's weekly picks show in 2009, and before that humbled most of his weekly matchups at CSNNE in the Wicked Good Sports weekly picks. Though, that might not be saying much, Scott actually thinks he knows what he's doing.
Hi all. I'm the new guy this week in Jim's spot. Mind you, I've done picks before, but usually I don't explain my secrets for fear of someone uncovering my substandard, unscientific, throw-the-dart-at-the-wall system I use each week. With that said, I'll try to use some sound reasoning this week and share what I saw from last week's games in this week's picks.
Hot teams are the Patriots, Packers and Texans. Who each had impressive leads at points before eventually securing the win. Cold teams are the Bills, Chargers and 49ers who all made critical mistakes that led to their losses. I can't lump the Jets or the Ravens in either category after that brutal Monday night matchup.
Jim's Week One Picks can be found here if you need a look back: POORE'S PICKS: WEEK ONE
And on to this week's Games: (Odds by Sheriden)
HOME TEAM IN CAPS.
Sunday, Sep. 19
FAVORITE Points Underdog over/under
CLEVELAND 3 Kansas City 38½
The Browns are favored at home? They have two brand new quarterbacks who have never started on the shores of Lake Erie. Their top QB Jake Delhomme is a turnover machine. But, they're going up against an offense that can't get out of it's own way with Matt Cassel struggling mightily to get the ball to anyone downfield. Seneca Wallace should get the call for Cleveland who look like they can play if they don't give the ball away, something the Chiefs benefitted from in their win over San Diego.
PICK: Browns to Cover
GREEN BAY 13 Buffalo 43
The Packers looked dominant against the Eagles last week. Perhaps they really are the cream of the NFC. I know I had them going far in my 2010 Playoff Predictions. Aaron Rogers is solid, but the loss of Ryan Grant is a big deal. If it weren't' for Michael Vick, the game would have stayed a blowout. Buffalo played tough, but made some dumb mistakes. They won't be able to play error free in Green Bay which translates into a big advantage for the Pack.
PICK: Packers (win big)
Baltimore 2½ CINCINNATI 40
The Bengals took a punch to the gut early in Foxborough and never recovered. They have more talent than that, as they showed in the second half. Still, the Ravens defense can make life miserable for anyone, especially a team that can't protect Carson Palmer. The Ravens defense was lucky the Jets have no offense. They won't be so lucky this week. If Flacco gets on track, I'll be dead wrong, but I still think the Bengals will come to play.
PICK: Bengals in an upset
TENNESSEE 5½ Pittsburgh 37
The Titans looked good last week vs the Raiders, but they're not playing an AFC pushover this week. Pittsburgh's defense is solid, but their offense needs Ben Roethlisberger back to operate efficiently. Vince Young? Who ever thought Young would turn things around after a horrendous start to his career? It helps having Chris Johnson on board.
PICK: Titans (cover)
Philadelphia 6½ DETROIT 41½
The Michael Vick era may be here sooner than you think in Philadelphia. Kevin Kolb showed he was in trouble early, then fortunately got knocked out of the game. Vick dialed up the run-pass threat and brought the Eagles back close to a tie. Detroit isn't quite so fortunate after losing in a heartbreaker against a suspect Bears team. Yes Calvin Johnson that should have been a touchdown.
PICK: Eagles win big
DALLAS 7 Chicago 40½
O-ver-Ra-ted. Can't you hear the cries now? You could apply that to either team. Mike Martz's vaunted offense had issues getting past the struggling Lions. The Cowboys self-destructed at every opportunity against the Redskins. Wade Phillips, what the heck was that call before the half. That's on the coach, not the team, Should have taken a knee. Despite Phillips or Tony Romo's ' propensity to do something equally boneheaded this week, the Cowboys are much better than Chicago. The Boys right the ship while Chicago sees their luck run out.
PICK: Cowboys (cover)
CAROLINA 3 Tampa Bay 39
Wow, John Fox's hot seat gets a little water on it to cool down this week. The Buccaneers, very young, were lucky former Panther interception machine Jake Delhomme was on the field last week. The Buccs can play some football, but Fox knows this means everything. The batter is tough NFC division matchup, one that should come down close to the wire. Still, Carolina looks like a better team.
PICK: Panthers (cover, barely)
ATLANTA 6½ Arizona 43
Matt Ryan, what happened to you? The Pittsburgh defense that's what. At least you get an easier opponent to figure out this week, one with a new QB, also an interception machine, Derek Anderson. The Falcons should have what it takes to down the "other" birds.
PICK: Falcons cover
MINNESOTA 5½ Miami 39
Brett Favre needs Adrian Peterson to step up this week. Fortunately they play a Dolphins team that has a lot of questions. Favre misses Sidney Rice, and will have to find a way to light up the Dolphins defense with Visanthe Shiancoe. Greg Camarillo faces his former team. The Vikings need to stop the wildcat, eventhough there's no Pat White left in Miami. Ultimately, Favre finds a way to get the ball downfield and score on a scrappy Dolphins team.
PICK: Vikings (cover a close one)
DENVER 3 Seattle 40
Seattle leveled the 49ers last week in what has become an embarrassment to Mike Singletary's reputation in San Francisco. Is Matt Hasselbeck back? Pete Carroll seems to think so. Even maligned WR Deion Branch chipped in last week. With the Seahawks playing like that, expect another solid game by the Hawks. Josh McDaniels' new toy Laurence Maroney won't play for the Broncos. It wouldn't matter.
PICK: Seahawks in an upset
Houston 2½ WASHINGTON 43
The Texans finally got the monkey off their back last week by blowing out the Colts defense with Arian Foster. Indianapolis continues to show weakness against the run. The Texans wont' have such an easy time against a tough Redskins team that frustrated the Cowboys time and again last week. I'm not sold on the Redskins use of McNabb just yet, much like I haven't been sold on McNabb as an Eagle recently. Regardless, I think the Texans pose some matchups that the Redskins will have trouble with and it starts with Washington's offense.
SAN DIEGO 7 Jacksonville 45
The Chargers deserved to lose that game against eh Chiefs. They shot themselves in the foot at critical times, which gave life to a Chiefs team desperate for a win at home after getting blanks last year. The Jaguars have David Garrard at QB and that's always a concern. Garrard is a double threat as a runner or passer, -- just ask the Steelers – but I think the Chargers can find a way to contain him. Though I don't like Jacksonville, I think the Chargers may be overrated. I think San Diego wins, but in a close one.
PICK: Chargers (don't cover)
INDIANAPOLIS 5 NY Giants 48½
Almost the game of the week, but the Manning bowl part deux is almost as good as it gets in the NFL. Eli had a great outing against the Panthers who are still trying to figure out how to run an offense without Jake Delhomme. Peyton's colts were taken advantage of last week on the ground. The Giants are sure ot test that weakness again with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. It's too early for the Colts to tank. Peyton over Eli this week.
STINKER OF THE WEEK
OAKLAND 3½ ST Louis 37½
Until the Raiders get on track with their QB and their ground game, you have to question if they have what it takes to get it done. St. Louis is dealing with an injury to their golden boy. Oakland should be able to take advantage of an overmatched Rams team that people picked to finish at the bottom of the division.
GAME OF THE WEEK
New England 3 NY JETS 38½
Tough AFC East matchup for these teams. Lots of trash talk between Rex Ryan and all of his opponents, but that's Rex, and that's why we love him. He keeps things interesting. The Jets offense looks anemic. Mark Sanchez has a long way to go to show he's the real deal (or San-chise as they call him). This game should feature tons of good defense, a lot of pressure from Ryan's Jets, a Revis-Moss matchup, the new Wes Welker, and a test for the Patriots young secondary. This game could come down to special teams, which both teams have a reputation for being solid on. In the end the Patriots have too many weapons and a far superior QB to guide them. Defense won't win championships unless you score sometimes.
New Orleans 5½ SAN FRANCISCO 44
The 49ers have plenty of reasons to feel embarrassed after last week's debacle against the Seahawks. The Saints have to show they really are the defending champions of the division and the Super Bowl. The Saints had all they can do to get past the Vikings. They shold have an easier time against the 49ers who have to show Alex Smith can be the guy.
PICK: Saints win big
POORE'S PICKS: Week Two
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