POORE'S PICKS: Week One

It's that time again, time for our weekly pickem. Jim Poore is back with his weekly picks against the spread. Be sure to let him know what you think.

Many thought the NFL season might never come, and yours truly is on that list. Some were thinking the season would at least lose some games, and many lost total hope for an NFL season. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and even though the training camps were cut short, all of the games will be played. Since the training camps were short, many players could be a bit rusty for a couple of games. It could really hurt some of the weaker teams, who could use all the practice they can get. Some teams loaded up once free agency began, and some teams did very little to help their cause. Many are calling the Philadelphia Eagles the Miami Heat of the NFL. Not good for Eagles' fans, as the Heat didn't win anything this past season. Philadelphia did load up on veteran players, but that doesn't automatically lead to success.

   It looks like many of the same teams will emerge this year, from both the AFC and NFC. There could be a surprise team-possibly in the AFC- that will really makes a move this year. It looks to be another great year in the NFL, and it all kicks off the week of the 10th anniversary of September 11th. The NFL is said to be holding ceremonies to honor those lost, and I for one cannot wait for the season to get started. The first week has some very good games, and I look forward to bringing you my column every week. I hope to have as much fun as I have had in previous years.
 
As always, home team in CAPS.
 
GREEN BAY  4  New Orleans
This could be an early season NFC Championship preview. The Packers come back to defend their Super Bowl title, and they could be better than last year. The Saints did go 11-5 but were embarrassed in the playoffs. That likely isn't going to happen this year. I think both of these teams are going to very far this year...and this really could be a preview of things to come. I like Green Bay here because they are at home, but that doesn't mean I will like them if these two teams happen to meet again.
 
Packers 28-23
 
CLEVELAND  6 1/2  Cincinnati
There isn't too much to say about these two teams except that the Bengals will possibly be the worst team in the league. Carson Palmer has been spotted around Bengals' camp lately, but he will make zero difference if he decides to come back. The Browns might actually be ok, but they are still at least a year away. They should win this game to get off to a good start.
 
Browns 26-17
 
Atlanta  3  CHICAGO
The Falcons are coming off of a great season, and they should be better. They play in a very tough division, and will be pressed to win the division again. But the playoffs are likely barring any serious injuries. The Bears won the NFC North last year, but Green Bay is healthy again and the Detroit Lions look to be emerging. I am not sure the Bears can win the division again. This is another great matchup for week one, and I like the Falcons here. I am just not sure how good the Bears are.
 
Falcons 24-20
 
BALTIMORE 2 1/2  Pittsburgh
These two teams battled for the AFC North crown last year, with the Steelers taking the division. I think both teams make the playoffs again this year. I think the Ravens will win the division though. Both teams return many starters, and both could make serious Super Bowl runs. The Steelers made it last year, but I think they will fall short. Baltimore too. I'll take the Ravens here though...they are at home.
 
Ravens 20-17
 
New York Giants  3  Washington
The Giants are the better of the two teams, but that isn't saying much. The Redskins are going with John Beck at quarterback, and that is all anybody needs to know. Their defense might be pretty decent, but it isn't going to get them anywhere. The Giants had a pretty good last year but are already fighting injuries. The NFC is going to be very competitve this year, and I think New York is going to fall short of the post season. But they will be a tough out.
 
Giants 30-20
 
Arizona  7  Carolina
The Cardinals are coming off of a very disappointing season, and now they turn to Kevin Kolb to solve their problems. I don't know if he is the answer. He really doesn't have a lot of experience, but he is better than anything they had last year. The Panthers were dreadful last year, and they really hope number one pick Cam Newton is the savior. I don't think so, but we will soon see. The Panthers will be improved though, and so will the Cardinals. But that's it. Neither team is going to sniff the post season.
 
Cardinals  34-20
 
Kansas CITY   6 1/2  Buffalo
The Chiefs were a total surprise last year, winning the AFC West. That isn't going to happen this year, though they should be ok. They have not looked good in preseason, and Matt Cassell likely won't have as good a season as last year. The Bills, well they are the Bills. They have had many high draft picks over the years but are still lucky if they win five games. I don't see it being much different this year though they never lie down for anyone. They do play hard, but that isn't going to get any team anywhere in the NFL. I see the Chiefs winning here and getting off to a good start.
 
Chiefs 27-17
 
SAN FRANCISCO  6  Seattle
There is no question the 49ers were last year's most disappointing team. Everyone in the Bay area had very high hopes, but got nothing in return. Mike Singletary is gone, and Jim Harbaugh brings a new attitude. I think they need it. The Seahawks won the division last year by default. The entire division was terrible, though they did have a shocking playoff win. They are not going to be a good team this year, possibly fighting the Bengals as the league's worst team. Woe is me in Seattle.
 
49ers  24-13
 
SAN DIEGO  8 1/2  Minnesota
I see some people picking the Chargers to get to the Super Bowl. I have said it before and I will say it again. The Chargers will NEVER win a Super Bowl as long as Norv Turner is the Head Coach. Nor do I think they will get there. I really have trouble understanding how the front office keeps him employed. He is a very good coordinator, but it stops there. The Vikings are going to give Donovan McNabb a shot this year. He is well past his prime but he might have something left. They are in a tough division, and the Vikings might be the worst team in the NFC North. They will be competitive though, but that's it. The Chargers will win the AFC North, but their division is marginal at best.
 
Chargers 30-21
 
New York Jets  4 1/2  Dallas
A big year is expected out of the Jets this year, and it could happen. They are giving Plaxico Burress a shot at wide receiver, and he is very well rested. Mark Sanchez has his critics, but he has only been in the league for two years. He is only going to get better. Dallas will never win with Tony Romo under center. I have said that before too. He was hurt most of last year but he wouldn't have made any difference at all. He won't this year either. The Jets could go very far this year, and as always they are talking Super Bowl. I'm not.
 
Jets 28-17
 
Philadelphia  4 1/2  St. Louis
The Eagles are the talk of the league as they exploded for free agency. They are everybody's darling team this year in the NFC. They very well could win the Super Bowl, but there is a problem- Micheal Vick. He just signed a huge contract, but I am not convinced he is the one to take them to the Promised Land. I need more proof, and may be that will come as the year progresses. He needs to have a big year. St. Louis could have a very nice season. They play in a very weak division, and like last year a team must win by default. The Rams could do that this year. The Eagles should win here, and they need to get off to a good start. So does Michael Vick.
 
Eagles 35-17
 
TAMPA BAY  1 1/2  Detroit
The Bucs had a real good year last year, and were squeezed out of the playoffs. The Lions had a decent year, but most could see they were starting to emerge. That look is appearing again, and the Lions could be in the playoffs for the first time in years. I actually think the NFC's final playoff spot is going to come down to these two teams. I give the edge to the Lions, but only because they play in a weaker division. I think the Bucs are the better team, but their division is very tough. Still, look for a good year for both of these teams.
 
Bucs 23-21
 
Denver  3  Oakland

This is a matchup of two teams that just simply are not very good. The Raiders still have the Raiderettes, so at least there is something to look at. They also still have Al Davis, who will never go away. The Broncos have a quarterback controversy with three quarterbacks, and none of them are very good. That's a problem. I wouldn't expect too much from either of these teams this year.
 
Broncos 20-16
 
 
New England  7  Miami
The Patriots are another favorite this year, as they always are. They will once again be very good, but it is hard to pick them to go very far considering their recent playoff history. I think they have more problems than some think. The Dolphins will be competitive, and give other teams fits. But it isn't going to be good enough for the post season. Chad Henne isn't a bad quarterback but they need to upgrade there before thay can go any further. The Patriots will likely make the playoffs, but they won't get too far.
 
Patriots  27-16
 
Game of the Week

Houston  3  Indianapolis
This is a game where these teams seem to be going in opposite directions. Peyton Manning likely will be out for a while recovering from neck surgery. I have a feeling this is the beginning of the end for the Colts. In fact, I don't think they are going to make the playoffs this year. I think they are still very good, but their competition is much better and they can never stay healthy. The Texans can go very far this year. They went a disappointing 6-10 last year but with a couple of other plays they could have gone 9-7. Wade Phillips is the new Defensive Coordinator and he will make a difference. The talent is definitely there, and finally the Texans could have their year. In fact, I think they could go very far this year.
 
Texans  34-27
 
Stinker of the Week

JACKSONVILLE  3  Tennessee
Both of these teams are going to be painful to watch. Even the city of Jacksonville thinks so because there is still nobody showing up for their games. The Titans at least have Chris Johnson, who finally signed. It is going to be a long year for these two teams.
 
Jaguars  24-19
 
AFC Division Winners:       NFC Division Winners:
AFC East: New York          NFC East: Philadelphia
AFC North: Baltimore        NFC North: Green Bay
AFC South: Houston          NFC South: New Orleans
AFC West: San Diego         NFC West: St. Louis
 
AFC Wild Cards: New England and Pittsburgh
NFC Wild Cards: Atlanta and Detroit
 
AFC Championship: Houston over New York   The Texans are admittedly a stretch here, but I think they have the talent. Adding Wade Phillips as Defensive Coordinator is a big factor, and Matt Schaub must stay healthy. If he does, the Texans could be scary good.
 
NFC Championship: New Orleans over Green Bay. Green Bay is going to be very strong again, especially if healthy. The Saints were embarrassed in the playoffs last year, and it won't happen again. Drew Brees is primed for another huge year, and I think he will take them to the Super Bowl again.
 
Super Bowl Winner:  New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees solidifies himself as a God like figure in New Orleans.

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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\r\n","mobileBody":"Many thought the NFL season might never come, and yours truly is on that list. Some were thinking the season would at least lose some games, and many lost total hope for an NFL season. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and even though the training camps were cut short, all of the games will be played. Since the training camps were short, many players could be a bit rusty for a couple of games. It could really hurt some of the weaker teams, who could use all the practice they can get. Some teams loaded up once free agency began, and some teams did very little to help their cause. Many are calling the Philadelphia Eagles the Miami Heat of the NFL. Not good for Eagles' fans, as the Heat didn't win anything this past season. Philadelphia did load up on veteran players, but that doesn't automatically lead to success.    It looks like many of the same teams will emerge this year, from both the AFC and NFC. There could be a surprise team-possibly in the AFC- that will really makes a move this year. It looks to be another great year in the NFL, and it all kicks off the week of the 10th anniversary of September 11th. The NFL is said to be holding ceremonies to honor those lost, and I for one cannot wait for the season to get started. The first week has some very good games, and I look forward to bringing you my column every week. I hope to have as much fun as I have had in previous years.   As always, home team in CAPS.   This could be an early season NFC Championship preview. The Packers come back to defend their Super Bowl title, and they could be better than last year. The Saints did go 11-5 but were embarrassed in the playoffs. That likely isn't going to happen this year. I think both of these teams are going to very far this year...and this really could be a preview of things to come. I like Green Bay here because they are at home, but that doesn't mean I will like them if these two teams happen to meet again.   Packers 28-23   There isn't too much to say about these two teams except that the Bengals will possibly be the worst team in the league. Carson Palmer has been spotted around Bengals' camp lately, but he will make zero difference if he decides to come back. The Browns might actually be ok, but they are still at least a year away. They should win this game to get off to a good start.   Browns 26-17   The Falcons are coming off of a great season, and they should be better. They play in a very tough division, and will be pressed to win the division again. But the playoffs are likely barring any serious injuries. The Bears won the NFC North last year, but Green Bay is healthy again and the Detroit Lions look to be emerging. I am not sure the Bears can win the division again. This is another great matchup for week one, and I like the Falcons here. I am just not sure how good the Bears are.   Falcons 24-20   These two teams battled for the AFC North crown last year, with the Steelers taking the division. I think both teams make the playoffs again this year. I think the Ravens will win the division though. Both teams return many starters, and both could make serious Super Bowl runs. The Steelers made it last year, but I think they will fall short. Baltimore too. I'll take the Ravens here though...they are at home.   Ravens 20-17   The Giants are the better of the two teams, but that isn't saying much. The Redskins are going with John Beck at quarterback, and that is all anybody needs to know. Their defense might be pretty decent, but it isn't going to get them anywhere. The Giants had a pretty good last year but are already fighting injuries. The NFC is going to be very competitve this year, and I think New York is going to fall short of the post season. But they will be a tough out.   Giants 30-20   The Cardinals are coming off of a very disappointing season, and now they turn to Kevin Kolb to solve their problems. I don't know if he is the answer. He really doesn't have a lot of experience, but he is better than anything they had last year. The Panthers were dreadful last year, and they really hope number one pick Cam Newton is the savior. I don't think so, but we will soon see. The Panthers will be improved though, and so will the Cardinals. But that's it. Neither team is going to sniff the post season.   Cardinals  34-20   The Chiefs were a total surprise last year, winning the AFC West. That isn't going to happen this year, though they should be ok. They have not looked good in preseason, and Matt Cassell likely won't have as good a season as last year. The Bills, well they are the Bills. They have had many high draft picks over the years but are still lucky if they win five games. I don't see it being much different this year though they never lie down for anyone. They do play hard, but that isn't going to get any team anywhere in the NFL. I see the Chiefs winning here and getting off to a good start.   Chiefs 27-17   There is no question the 49ers were last year's most disappointing team. Everyone in the Bay area had very high hopes, but got nothing in return. Mike Singletary is gone, and Jim Harbaugh brings a new attitude. I think they need it. The Seahawks won the division last year by default. The entire division was terrible, though they did have a shocking playoff win. They are not going to be a good team this year, possibly fighting the Bengals as the league's worst team. Woe is me in Seattle.   49ers  24-13   I see some people picking the Chargers to get to the Super Bowl. I have said it before and I will say it again. The Chargers will NEVER win a Super Bowl as long as Norv Turner is the Head Coach. Nor do I think they will get there. I really have trouble understanding how the front office keeps him employed. He is a very good coordinator, but it stops there. The Vikings are going to give Donovan McNabb a shot this year. He is well past his prime but he might have something left. They are in a tough division, and the Vikings might be the worst team in the NFC North. They will be competitive though, but that's it. The Chargers will win the AFC North, but their division is marginal at best.   Chargers 30-21   A big year is expected out of the Jets this year, and it could happen. They are giving Plaxico Burress a shot at wide receiver, and he is very well rested. Mark Sanchez has his critics, but he has only been in the league for two years. He is only going to get better. Dallas will never win with Tony Romo under center. I have said that before too. He was hurt most of last year but he wouldn't have made any difference at all. He won't this year either. The Jets could go very far this year, and as always they are talking Super Bowl. I'm not.   Jets 28-17   The Eagles are the talk of the league as they exploded for free agency. They are everybody's darling team this year in the NFC. They very well could win the Super Bowl, but there is a problem- Micheal Vick. He just signed a huge contract, but I am not convinced he is the one to take them to the Promised Land. I need more proof, and may be that will come as the year progresses. He needs to have a big year. St. Louis could have a very nice season. They play in a very weak division, and like last year a team must win by default. The Rams could do that this year. The Eagles should win here, and they need to get off to a good start. So does Michael Vick.   Eagles 35-17   The Bucs had a real good year last year, and were squeezed out of the playoffs. The Lions had a decent year, but most could see they were starting to emerge. That look is appearing again, and the Lions could be in the playoffs for the first time in years. I actually think the NFC's final playoff spot is going to come down to these two teams. I give the edge to the Lions, but only because they play in a weaker division. I think the Bucs are the better team, but their division is very tough. Still, look for a good year for both of these teams.   Bucs 23-21 This is a matchup of two teams that just simply are not very good. The Raiders still have the Raiderettes, so at least there is something to look at. They also still have Al Davis, who will never go away. The Broncos have a quarterback controversy with three quarterbacks, and none of them are very good. That's a problem. I wouldn't expect too much from either of these teams this year.   Broncos 20-16     The Patriots are another favorite this year, as they always are. They will once again be very good, but it is hard to pick them to go very far considering their recent playoff history. I think they have more problems than some think. The Dolphins will be competitive, and give other teams fits. But it isn't going to be good enough for the post season. Chad Henne isn't a bad quarterback but they need to upgrade there before thay can go any further. The Patriots will likely make the playoffs, but they won't get too far.   Patriots  27-16   This is a game where these teams seem to be going in opposite directions. Peyton Manning likely will be out for a while recovering from neck surgery. I have a feeling this is the beginning of the end for the Colts. In fact, I don't think they are going to make the playoffs this year. I think they are still very good, but their competition is much better and they can never stay healthy. The Texans can go very far this year. They went a disappointing 6-10 last year but with a couple of other plays they could have gone 9-7. Wade Phillips is the new Defensive Coordinator and he will make a difference. The talent is definitely there, and finally the Texans could have their year. In fact, I think they could go very far this year.   Texans  34-27   Both of these teams are going to be painful to watch. Even the city of Jacksonville thinks so because there is still nobody showing up for their games. The Titans at least have Chris Johnson, who finally signed. It is going to be a long year for these two teams.   Jaguars  24-19     New England and Pittsburgh : Atlanta and Detroit   Houston over New York   The Texans are admittedly a stretch here, but I think they have the talent. Adding Wade Phillips as Defensive Coordinator is a big factor, and Matt Schaub must stay healthy. If he does, the Texans could be scary good.   New Orleans over Green Bay. Green Bay is going to be very strong again, especially if healthy. The Saints were embarrassed in the playoffs last year, and it won't happen again. Drew Brees is primed for another huge year, and I think he will take them to the Super Bowl again.     New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees solidifies himself as a God like figure in New Orleans.

Get Patriots Insider updates on Twitter Follow @PatriotsInsiderWant to find out what other Patriots fans think? 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