POORE'S PICKS: Week Fifteen

Jim Poore is back with his week 15 picks against the spread. The playoffs are right around the corner. See who Jim thinks will come out winners with just three weeks left in the season.

Here is Jim's pick for Thursday night's gameright here. The rest of the week will be posted Friday.

SAN DIEGO 9 San Francisco
The Chargers are looking to win the AFC West, and for the most part have been playing better lately. They are very much alive for the AFC West crown. The 49ers have been a massive disappointment, and barring a miracle will be out of the post season after many predicted a division title. I don't see too many problems here for San Diego, who need to keep winning.
Chargers 31-17

Week 15 Picks
Updates Friday, 12/17

It is amazing that the NFC West is going to even have a playoff team. Obviously, that is the way it works in the NFL, that the division winners are automatic playoff teams regardless of the record. I wonder sometimes though if this is ever going to change. Likely not, but I am not sure how fair it is for a team with a winning record to be bounced by a team with a .500 record or even worse, a losing record. Those are the breaks, and it is definitely going to happen this year with the NFC West. The St. Louis Rams are leading the division right now at 6-7, and remarkably the San Francisco 49ers are still alive for the division crown with a 5-9 record.

It doesn't happen too often that a team with a .500 record wins the division and qualifies for the playoffs, but it does happen more than it should. It is unlikely to ever change, and we as fans have to see a poor team in the playoffs. But I guess it is good knowing that they don't get too far.

As always, home team in CAPS.

DALLAS 6 1/2 Washington
I am not sure I understand what Mike Shanahan is doing by benching Donovan McNabb. No question he is having an off year, but I find it hard to believe he thinks Rex Grossman is the answer. Apparently he has given up on the year. I gave up on them in the preseason.
Cowboys 27-17

TAMPA BAY 5 1/2 Detroit
Both teams have actually been a surprise, but the Bucs were making a push for the postseason up until late. The Lions have been competitive, but how much they have left remains to be seen. The Bucs should be able to win this game and cover. They could be dangerous next year.
Buccaneers 26-20

TENNESSEE 1 Houston
This is a game between two teams that were expected to do more. If Houston only had a defense, and if the Titans only had a quarterback. Both teams are out of the post season, but I think the Texans are simply the better team right now. I like them here.
Texans 30-27

Atlanta 6 1/2 SEATTLE
The Falcons have a post season berth all lined up, but now they want home field. The Seahawks miraculously are still alive in the awful NFC West. The Falcons still have something to play for, and I don't see any problems here, even away from home.
Falcons 28-21

CINCINNATI 1 Cleveland
Terrell Owens is now blaming the Cincinnati coaching on the teams woes. He really needs to shut up and just play. I don't know who is going to sign him next year, but what's the point. And what is the point of my picking a winner for this meaningless game. But I guess I have to.
Browns 23-21

PITTSBURGH 6 1/2 New York Jets
This is a huge game in the AFC, and the Jets are reeling right now. They are in danger of not even making the playoffs, but I think they sneak in. The Steelers are playing great, and will definitely be a tough out in the post season. I don't see how the Jets can win this game. They are struggling to score right now, and the Steelers won't make it any easier for them. Take Pittsburgh here.
Steelers 26-13

MIAMI 6 Buffalo
The Dolphins have an outside shot at the postseason, but they will need a lot of help. The Bills have been a tough game for everybody this year, and this will be no exception. The Dolphins have not been that good at home, and I think Buffalo will at least cover the spread.
Dolphins 20-17

BALTIMORE 1 1/2 New Orleans
Well if anybody saw my preseason predictions, and that is highly unlikely, than they know that these two teams were my Super Bowl pick. I picked the Ravens to win it all, and I am sticking with that prediction. So therefore I am picking the Ravens to win this game too. It is a Super Bowl preview after all.
Ravens 23-20

OAKLAND 6 1/2 Denver
It looks like Tim Tebow is possibly going to get the start for the Broncos. Other than that, I am not sure anybody really cares about this game.
Raiders 30-17

Kansas City 1 ST. LOUIS
Matt Cassel might not play in this game, and it is a real shame that an appendectomy might prevent the Chiefs from playing in the post season. But they have a lot of younger talent, and they will certainly be a force next year. The Rams could be a force too, and they are better right now than most expected. This is a tough call because Cassel is a game time decision, but I don't think he plays. I like the Rams here.
Rams 24-21

NEW ENGLAND 9 Green Bay
This is actually a pretty much meaningless game for the Patriots, but they obviously want to win. It looks like Aaron Rodgers is not going to play, so Matt Flynn will start at quarterback for the Packers. That is all you need to know. I don't think Green Bay wins if Rodgers starts, and I really don't see how they win if he doesn't play. I like New England here.
Patriots 31-21

NEW YORK GIANTS 3 Philadelphia
This is another big game, and likely decides the NFC East. It looks like both teams are probably heading into the post season. I think the Giants are the better team, and playing better lately. Not too many people seem to be talking about the Giants, but they should be. I like them here because they are at home. If the game was in Philadelphia, I would pick the Eagles. But it is in New York.
Giants 29-23

MINNESOTA 1 1/2 Chicago
This game is likely going to be played outside, and the Bears really need to win. Brett Favre's status is unclear, but I don't know if he is going to make a difference. The Bears were embarrassed last week, and they desperately need to win to keep atop the NFC North. I think they get it done.
Bears 24-20

Game of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS 5 Jacksonville
I never thought I would see Jacksonville in the Game of the Week, but here they are. This game is likely going to decide the AFC South. The Colts have had a ton of injuries, and the team that loses this game is likely out of the playoffs. The Colts must win, and if they must win, I am putting my faith in Peyton Manning. I think he comes through here, especially at home.
Colts 27-20

Stinker of the Week

CAROLINA 2 1/2 Arizona
One can see the two teams involved in this game. It is extremely obvious why it is the Stinker.
Panthers 20-16

Record For Week 14: 8-8 ( 9-7 without the spread )
Record Through Week 14: 90-98-4 ( 111-81 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 7-6
Stinker of Week Record: 5-7-1

 

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:


Get Patriots Insider updates on Twitter Follow @PatriotsInsider
Want to find out what other Patriots fans think? Join them on the Message Boards

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Here is Jim's pick for Thursday night's gameright here. The rest of the week will be posted Friday.

SAN DIEGO 9 San Francisco
The Chargers are looking to win the AFC West, and for the most part have been playing better lately. They are very much alive for the AFC West crown. The 49ers have been a massive disappointment, and barring a miracle will be out of the post season after many predicted a division title. I don't see too many problems here for San Diego, who need to keep winning.
Chargers 31-17

Week 15 Picks
Updates Friday, 12/17

It is amazing that the NFC West is going to even have a playoff team. Obviously, that is the way it works in the NFL, that the division winners are automatic playoff teams regardless of the record. I wonder sometimes though if this is ever going to change. Likely not, but I am not sure how fair it is for a team with a winning record to be bounced by a team with a .500 record or even worse, a losing record. Those are the breaks, and it is definitely going to happen this year with the NFC West. The St. Louis Rams are leading the division right now at 6-7, and remarkably the San Francisco 49ers are still alive for the division crown with a 5-9 record.

It doesn't happen too often that a team with a .500 record wins the division and qualifies for the playoffs, but it does happen more than it should. It is unlikely to ever change, and we as fans have to see a poor team in the playoffs. But I guess it is good knowing that they don't get too far.

As always, home team in CAPS.

DALLAS 6 1/2 Washington
I am not sure I understand what Mike Shanahan is doing by benching Donovan McNabb. No question he is having an off year, but I find it hard to believe he thinks Rex Grossman is the answer. Apparently he has given up on the year. I gave up on them in the preseason.
Cowboys 27-17

TAMPA BAY 5 1/2 Detroit
Both teams have actually been a surprise, but the Bucs were making a push for the postseason up until late. The Lions have been competitive, but how much they have left remains to be seen. The Bucs should be able to win this game and cover. They could be dangerous next year.
Buccaneers 26-20

TENNESSEE 1 Houston
This is a game between two teams that were expected to do more. If Houston only had a defense, and if the Titans only had a quarterback. Both teams are out of the post season, but I think the Texans are simply the better team right now. I like them here.
Texans 30-27

Atlanta 6 1/2 SEATTLE
The Falcons have a post season berth all lined up, but now they want home field. The Seahawks miraculously are still alive in the awful NFC West. The Falcons still have something to play for, and I don't see any problems here, even away from home.
Falcons 28-21

CINCINNATI 1 Cleveland
Terrell Owens is now blaming the Cincinnati coaching on the teams woes. He really needs to shut up and just play. I don't know who is going to sign him next year, but what's the point. And what is the point of my picking a winner for this meaningless game. But I guess I have to.
Browns 23-21

PITTSBURGH 6 1/2 New York Jets
This is a huge game in the AFC, and the Jets are reeling right now. They are in danger of not even making the playoffs, but I think they sneak in. The Steelers are playing great, and will definitely be a tough out in the post season. I don't see how the Jets can win this game. They are struggling to score right now, and the Steelers won't make it any easier for them. Take Pittsburgh here.
Steelers 26-13

MIAMI 6 Buffalo
The Dolphins have an outside shot at the postseason, but they will need a lot of help. The Bills have been a tough game for everybody this year, and this will be no exception. The Dolphins have not been that good at home, and I think Buffalo will at least cover the spread.
Dolphins 20-17

BALTIMORE 1 1/2 New Orleans
Well if anybody saw my preseason predictions, and that is highly unlikely, than they know that these two teams were my Super Bowl pick. I picked the Ravens to win it all, and I am sticking with that prediction. So therefore I am picking the Ravens to win this game too. It is a Super Bowl preview after all.
Ravens 23-20

OAKLAND 6 1/2 Denver
It looks like Tim Tebow is possibly going to get the start for the Broncos. Other than that, I am not sure anybody really cares about this game.
Raiders 30-17

Kansas City 1 ST. LOUIS
Matt Cassel might not play in this game, and it is a real shame that an appendectomy might prevent the Chiefs from playing in the post season. But they have a lot of younger talent, and they will certainly be a force next year. The Rams could be a force too, and they are better right now than most expected. This is a tough call because Cassel is a game time decision, but I don't think he plays. I like the Rams here.
Rams 24-21

NEW ENGLAND 9 Green Bay
This is actually a pretty much meaningless game for the Patriots, but they obviously want to win. It looks like Aaron Rodgers is not going to play, so Matt Flynn will start at quarterback for the Packers. That is all you need to know. I don't think Green Bay wins if Rodgers starts, and I really don't see how they win if he doesn't play. I like New England here.
Patriots 31-21

NEW YORK GIANTS 3 Philadelphia
This is another big game, and likely decides the NFC East. It looks like both teams are probably heading into the post season. I think the Giants are the better team, and playing better lately. Not too many people seem to be talking about the Giants, but they should be. I like them here because they are at home. If the game was in Philadelphia, I would pick the Eagles. But it is in New York.
Giants 29-23

MINNESOTA 1 1/2 Chicago
This game is likely going to be played outside, and the Bears really need to win. Brett Favre's status is unclear, but I don't know if he is going to make a difference. The Bears were embarrassed last week, and they desperately need to win to keep atop the NFC North. I think they get it done.
Bears 24-20

Game of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS 5 Jacksonville
I never thought I would see Jacksonville in the Game of the Week, but here they are. This game is likely going to decide the AFC South. The Colts have had a ton of injuries, and the team that loses this game is likely out of the playoffs. The Colts must win, and if they must win, I am putting my faith in Peyton Manning. I think he comes through here, especially at home.
Colts 27-20

Stinker of the Week

CAROLINA 2 1/2 Arizona
One can see the two teams involved in this game. It is extremely obvious why it is the Stinker.
Panthers 20-16

Record For Week 14: 8-8 ( 9-7 without the spread )
Record Through Week 14: 90-98-4 ( 111-81 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 7-6
Stinker of Week Record: 5-7-1

 

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:


Get Patriots Insider updates on Twitter Follow @PatriotsInsider
Want to find out what other Patriots fans think? Join them on the Message Boards
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