POORE'S PICKS: Week 1

Jim Poore is back at it again for 2007 with his weekly picks column. Jim thinks he's set to get on a roll with this week's opening week of Poore's Picks. Jim makes his picks against the spread and keep track of his successes and/or lack of successes all season long. Will Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning and crew win it all again? See what Jim thinks inside.

We are back for the 2007-2008 NFL season, and it couldn't come soon enough. Neither can my predictions. Hopefully, the off-the-field nonsense by some players will disappear once the games begin.

It looks like there are a few favorites in the AFC, but for right now I think the Indianapolis Colts are still the overall favorite, until they get knocked off. Yes their defense has suffered a bit, but they still have guys named Manning, Harrison and Wayne. The Patriots look good too, but the immediate losses of Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison is not going to help. Also look for the Chargers, a team with great talent but questionable coaching, the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals to all contend.

It should be a great race in the AFC, but the NFC, as usual, doesn't look to be nearly as good. There really is no clear favorite, but the Bears have to be considered the front-runners. Carolina should also be good, and may be St. Louis, Seattle or Dallas can surprise. One team that I think will surprise is the San Francisco 49ers, which scored a ton last year but also gave up a ton too. That should change this year with the off-season focus on defense.

This column will generally be the same as years past, except hopefully this year there will be more wins (both with and without the spread). There will be two special picks, both a game of the week and stinker of the week. These games are of my choice, games that I feel fit the bill under each category. It should be another great NFL season. Let's get started.

As always , home team in CAPS.

INDIANAPOLIS 6 New Orleans
The Colts are going to try and defend their Super Bowl title, and are poised to do so. Their defense did take a hit, as did the offense line with the sudden retirement of Tarik Glenn. They are still very, very good. Truthfully, the Saints might be too. There has not been a lot of talk about them in regards to a playoff run, but there should be. The NFC is not a great conference, but the Saints are near the top of the pack. I like the Colts here though. Getting off to a great start will help ease the pressure of being a defending Super Bowl champion, and they are simply the better team, certainly at home.
Colts 27-17


HOUSTON 3 Kansas City
It can't say much for Kansas City's season if they are underdogs to the Texans. That is not a good start. They are not the Kansas City Chiefs of old though. They are just old. Damon Huard, though a decent quarterback, is not the guy to get you anywhere really. The Texans parted company with David Carr, and are gambling on ex Atlanta back up Matt Schaub. I don't see the difference. Carr was never the problem in Houston. I will take the Texans here though. Let's see how the respond to being the favorite.
Texans 20-16


Denver 3 BUFFALO
The Broncos, I guess, could be in the mix in the AFC. For some reason though I just don't see it. Some are seeing the Bills as a dark horse this year. Apparently they forgot that J.P. Losman is still the quarterback. They could be a spoiler near the end of the year, but that isn't a big deal. The Broncos are still a good team. I just don't think they have enough talent to really get too far. We will see very soon how Jay Cutler performs. He has a tall task ahead of him. He should have enough here though to pull out the win.
Broncos 23-17


Pittsburgh 4 1/2 CLEVELAND
I think the points are a little off here. I don't think the Steelers are going to be that good, and though the Browns won't be either, four and a half points seems a little high. The Browns need to get their quarterback situation settled. They are not going to be contenders this year, so I don't understand why they just don't start Brady Quinn. He is clearly their guy for the future, so they should start him now. And the Steelers really need Ben Roethlisberger to step up. He was awful last year. I like the Browns here, at least to cover. They will probably win outright.
Browns 17-13


JACKSONVILLE 6 1/2 Tennessee
The Jags recently made news when the released Byron Leftwich. I can understand not starting him, but I think they should at least have held on to him to try and get something for him ( I think the Falcons might be interested ). The Jaguars are putting their season in the hands of career back up David Garrard, a very risky move. The Titans are not going to be very good, but they will be pests to any team that they play. Jeff Fisher always has his team ready. I think Jacksonville should cover though. Neither team is great, but the Jaguars are better, especially at home.
Jaguars 26-10


ST. LOUIS 1 Carolina
This game looks to be one of the better ones in week one. Both teams can contend in the NFC, though I think the Panthers are the better team. They always seem to disappoint though. The Rams might quietly do very well. They don't seem to be getting a lot of press, but they should be better then last year's team, especially if Stephen Jackson has another great year. For some reason though, I like the Panthers in this game. I think they are clearly one of the favorites in the NFC, and they must get off to a good start.
Panthers 24-23


Philadelphia 3 GREEN BAY
The Eagles will be right there in the thick of it in the NFC East, though Donovan McNabb admitted he is probably not 100 percent. He is still good enough to take the Eagles to the playoffs. As for the other team's quarterback, Brett Favre has returned yet again to lead the mediocre Packers. He is starting to remind me of Jerry Rice. He refuses to retire even though his best days are LONG behind him. Favre hasn't been that good of a quarterback in five years. And he will need a lot of help this year. The Eagles should win this game. They won't win it easily, but they won't be sweating too much either.
Eagles 26-21


MINNESOTA 3 Atlanta
The Falcons, of course, were the talk of the off season ( more specifically Michael Vick ) and they need all of that nonsense to go away. What won't go away is the fact that they aren't that good of a team. I don't think Joey Harrington is that bad of a quarterback, but he really isn't the answer for the Falcons, though truthfully he wasn't originally signed to be the starter. The Vikings will be decent, but nothing special. But the NFC North has pretty lousy teams, except for Chicago. I'll take Minnesota though. It is going to be hard to trust the Falcons at any point this season.
Vikings 24-13


WASHINGTON 3 Miami
This is one of the worst games on the table for week one, and it was a Stinker of the Week contender. The Redskins are going to be the same old Redskins, totally mediocre. I think the Dolphins are going to be ok, but nothing special. A whole new coaching staff and quarterback will make things interesting in Miami, but it isn't going to get them anywhere. This is a real tough call, so tough I want to call a tie. I'll go with Washington.
Redskins 21-16


New England 6 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
The Patriots defense could be hurting for a few weeks with the losses of Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison. I think it might show in this game. I am not sure the Jets are a playoff team like they were last year, but they are still pretty good. I think last year's opening round playoff loss to the Patriots still stings, and I think six and a half points is too many. New England should pull it out, but it won't be easy. A Jet win would surprise me, but a very close game won't.
Patriots 23-20


SEATTLE 6 Tampa Bay
The Seahawks need to bounce back from a disappointing season, but unfortunately for them I don't think the NFC West is going to be a cakewalk again this year. All of the teams in the division have improved. Seattle might still have the upper hand though. The Bucs signed Jeff Garcia in the off season, which should help. But he doesn't have too much to work with. The Seahawks are another team that needs to get off to a quick start. Playing Tampa Bay at home should provide that.
Seahawks 28-17


SAN DIEGO 6 Chicago
This was a very serious contender for Game of the Week, but it lost out to another game. It is definitely one of the best games for week one. I think both teams are very serious contenders for a long playoff run. I think the Bears have a better chance at going further, basically because of weaker competition in the NFC. The only question I have about the Chargers is the head coach. Norv Turner has done very little as a head coach in the NFL, and his best work has been that of a coordinator. He might have too much talent there though. The Bears have a lot of talent too, except at quarterback. It will be interesting to see how many weeks he lasts. I think the points are high here, but I am going to go with the Chargers anyway. Their defense will cause problems for Rex Grossman.
Chargers 20-10


DALLAS 5 1/2 New York Giants
I think both of these teams are going to compete for the NFC East title, and it might come down to the last week of the season. I think these teams biggest problems might be the coaching. In Dallas, Wade Phillips has never done anything as a head coach, and it has already been said that his training camp was very easy. At the opposite end is Tom Coughlin, who's military style approach to coaching wears his players thin. I think both teams are going to struggle on offense, but their defenses are going to be ok. I guess I'll take the Cowboys, by virtue of being home.
Cowboys 24-17


SAN FRANCISCO 3 Arizona
Both of these teams look to be improved, especially San Francisco. The Cardinals might have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL, as long as everyone can stay healthy. Both teams should score a ton. This game could be a lot of fun to watch, possibly a shootout. And both teams improvement will make the NFC West a decent division, unlike years past when it was just Seattle and some also-rans. Both teams could have a very interesting season. I'll take the 49ers in this game.
49ers 38-31


GAME OF THE WEEK

CINCINNATI 2 1/2 Baltimore
There were a couple of choices for Game of the Week, but I thought this would be the better game. Carson Palmer and the thugs go up against possibly the best defense in football in the Ravens. I know defense always wins games, but I think, for this game anyway, the Bengals might have too much firepower. The home crowd will help. There two teams are serious contenders in the AFC, but I am not sure that the Bengals will have enough defense in the end, nor do I think the Ravens will be able to score enough points. But it is a long season, and these two teams will be slugging it out in the AFC North.
Bengals 17-14


STINKER OF THE WEEK

OAKLAND 2 Detroit
There should be no surprises that the Raiders are in the first Stinker of the Week, and it probably won't be their last time either. They have issues all over the place, especially number one pick Jamarcus Russell. One thing I have no tolerance for in sports is number one draft picks holding out. I don't care how good you were in college, you have done nothing in the pros. Prove yourself then go for the big payday. The Raiders are one of the worst teams in football, but the Lions aren't much better. But they are better. I'll take Detroit in this week one Stinker.
Lions 22-16


Final Record for Last Season: 118-135
Final Record for This Season: much better

 

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:

Talk about it in the Forums


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Talk about it in \r\nthe Forums

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We are back for the 2007-2008 NFL season, and it couldn't come soon enough. Neither can my predictions. Hopefully, the off-the-field nonsense by some players will disappear once the games begin.

It looks like there are a few favorites in the AFC, but for right now I think the Indianapolis Colts are still the overall favorite, until they get knocked off. Yes their defense has suffered a bit, but they still have guys named Manning, Harrison and Wayne. The Patriots look good too, but the immediate losses of Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison is not going to help. Also look for the Chargers, a team with great talent but questionable coaching, the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals to all contend.

It should be a great race in the AFC, but the NFC, as usual, doesn't look to be nearly as good. There really is no clear favorite, but the Bears have to be considered the front-runners. Carolina should also be good, and may be St. Louis, Seattle or Dallas can surprise. One team that I think will surprise is the San Francisco 49ers, which scored a ton last year but also gave up a ton too. That should change this year with the off-season focus on defense.

This column will generally be the same as years past, except hopefully this year there will be more wins (both with and without the spread). There will be two special picks, both a game of the week and stinker of the week. These games are of my choice, games that I feel fit the bill under each category. It should be another great NFL season. Let's get started.

As always , home team in CAPS.

INDIANAPOLIS 6 New Orleans
The Colts are going to try and defend their Super Bowl title, and are poised to do so. Their defense did take a hit, as did the offense line with the sudden retirement of Tarik Glenn. They are still very, very good. Truthfully, the Saints might be too. There has not been a lot of talk about them in regards to a playoff run, but there should be. The NFC is not a great conference, but the Saints are near the top of the pack. I like the Colts here though. Getting off to a great start will help ease the pressure of being a defending Super Bowl champion, and they are simply the better team, certainly at home.
Colts 27-17


HOUSTON 3 Kansas City
It can't say much for Kansas City's season if they are underdogs to the Texans. That is not a good start. They are not the Kansas City Chiefs of old though. They are just old. Damon Huard, though a decent quarterback, is not the guy to get you anywhere really. The Texans parted company with David Carr, and are gambling on ex Atlanta back up Matt Schaub. I don't see the difference. Carr was never the problem in Houston. I will take the Texans here though. Let's see how the respond to being the favorite.
Texans 20-16


Denver 3 BUFFALO
The Broncos, I guess, could be in the mix in the AFC. For some reason though I just don't see it. Some are seeing the Bills as a dark horse this year. Apparently they forgot that J.P. Losman is still the quarterback. They could be a spoiler near the end of the year, but that isn't a big deal. The Broncos are still a good team. I just don't think they have enough talent to really get too far. We will see very soon how Jay Cutler performs. He has a tall task ahead of him. He should have enough here though to pull out the win.
Broncos 23-17


Pittsburgh 4 1/2 CLEVELAND
I think the points are a little off here. I don't think the Steelers are going to be that good, and though the Browns won't be either, four and a half points seems a little high. The Browns need to get their quarterback situation settled. They are not going to be contenders this year, so I don't understand why they just don't start Brady Quinn. He is clearly their guy for the future, so they should start him now. And the Steelers really need Ben Roethlisberger to step up. He was awful last year. I like the Browns here, at least to cover. They will probably win outright.
Browns 17-13


JACKSONVILLE 6 1/2 Tennessee
The Jags recently made news when the released Byron Leftwich. I can understand not starting him, but I think they should at least have held on to him to try and get something for him ( I think the Falcons might be interested ). The Jaguars are putting their season in the hands of career back up David Garrard, a very risky move. The Titans are not going to be very good, but they will be pests to any team that they play. Jeff Fisher always has his team ready. I think Jacksonville should cover though. Neither team is great, but the Jaguars are better, especially at home.
Jaguars 26-10


ST. LOUIS 1 Carolina
This game looks to be one of the better ones in week one. Both teams can contend in the NFC, though I think the Panthers are the better team. They always seem to disappoint though. The Rams might quietly do very well. They don't seem to be getting a lot of press, but they should be better then last year's team, especially if Stephen Jackson has another great year. For some reason though, I like the Panthers in this game. I think they are clearly one of the favorites in the NFC, and they must get off to a good start.
Panthers 24-23


Philadelphia 3 GREEN BAY
The Eagles will be right there in the thick of it in the NFC East, though Donovan McNabb admitted he is probably not 100 percent. He is still good enough to take the Eagles to the playoffs. As for the other team's quarterback, Brett Favre has returned yet again to lead the mediocre Packers. He is starting to remind me of Jerry Rice. He refuses to retire even though his best days are LONG behind him. Favre hasn't been that good of a quarterback in five years. And he will need a lot of help this year. The Eagles should win this game. They won't win it easily, but they won't be sweating too much either.
Eagles 26-21


MINNESOTA 3 Atlanta
The Falcons, of course, were the talk of the off season ( more specifically Michael Vick ) and they need all of that nonsense to go away. What won't go away is the fact that they aren't that good of a team. I don't think Joey Harrington is that bad of a quarterback, but he really isn't the answer for the Falcons, though truthfully he wasn't originally signed to be the starter. The Vikings will be decent, but nothing special. But the NFC North has pretty lousy teams, except for Chicago. I'll take Minnesota though. It is going to be hard to trust the Falcons at any point this season.
Vikings 24-13


WASHINGTON 3 Miami
This is one of the worst games on the table for week one, and it was a Stinker of the Week contender. The Redskins are going to be the same old Redskins, totally mediocre. I think the Dolphins are going to be ok, but nothing special. A whole new coaching staff and quarterback will make things interesting in Miami, but it isn't going to get them anywhere. This is a real tough call, so tough I want to call a tie. I'll go with Washington.
Redskins 21-16


New England 6 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
The Patriots defense could be hurting for a few weeks with the losses of Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison. I think it might show in this game. I am not sure the Jets are a playoff team like they were last year, but they are still pretty good. I think last year's opening round playoff loss to the Patriots still stings, and I think six and a half points is too many. New England should pull it out, but it won't be easy. A Jet win would surprise me, but a very close game won't.
Patriots 23-20


SEATTLE 6 Tampa Bay
The Seahawks need to bounce back from a disappointing season, but unfortunately for them I don't think the NFC West is going to be a cakewalk again this year. All of the teams in the division have improved. Seattle might still have the upper hand though. The Bucs signed Jeff Garcia in the off season, which should help. But he doesn't have too much to work with. The Seahawks are another team that needs to get off to a quick start. Playing Tampa Bay at home should provide that.
Seahawks 28-17


SAN DIEGO 6 Chicago
This was a very serious contender for Game of the Week, but it lost out to another game. It is definitely one of the best games for week one. I think both teams are very serious contenders for a long playoff run. I think the Bears have a better chance at going further, basically because of weaker competition in the NFC. The only question I have about the Chargers is the head coach. Norv Turner has done very little as a head coach in the NFL, and his best work has been that of a coordinator. He might have too much talent there though. The Bears have a lot of talent too, except at quarterback. It will be interesting to see how many weeks he lasts. I think the points are high here, but I am going to go with the Chargers anyway. Their defense will cause problems for Rex Grossman.
Chargers 20-10


DALLAS 5 1/2 New York Giants
I think both of these teams are going to compete for the NFC East title, and it might come down to the last week of the season. I think these teams biggest problems might be the coaching. In Dallas, Wade Phillips has never done anything as a head coach, and it has already been said that his training camp was very easy. At the opposite end is Tom Coughlin, who's military style approach to coaching wears his players thin. I think both teams are going to struggle on offense, but their defenses are going to be ok. I guess I'll take the Cowboys, by virtue of being home.
Cowboys 24-17


SAN FRANCISCO 3 Arizona
Both of these teams look to be improved, especially San Francisco. The Cardinals might have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL, as long as everyone can stay healthy. Both teams should score a ton. This game could be a lot of fun to watch, possibly a shootout. And both teams improvement will make the NFC West a decent division, unlike years past when it was just Seattle and some also-rans. Both teams could have a very interesting season. I'll take the 49ers in this game.
49ers 38-31


GAME OF THE WEEK

CINCINNATI 2 1/2 Baltimore
There were a couple of choices for Game of the Week, but I thought this would be the better game. Carson Palmer and the thugs go up against possibly the best defense in football in the Ravens. I know defense always wins games, but I think, for this game anyway, the Bengals might have too much firepower. The home crowd will help. There two teams are serious contenders in the AFC, but I am not sure that the Bengals will have enough defense in the end, nor do I think the Ravens will be able to score enough points. But it is a long season, and these two teams will be slugging it out in the AFC North.
Bengals 17-14


STINKER OF THE WEEK

OAKLAND 2 Detroit
There should be no surprises that the Raiders are in the first Stinker of the Week, and it probably won't be their last time either. They have issues all over the place, especially number one pick Jamarcus Russell. One thing I have no tolerance for in sports is number one draft picks holding out. I don't care how good you were in college, you have done nothing in the pros. Prove yourself then go for the big payday. The Raiders are one of the worst teams in football, but the Lions aren't much better. But they are better. I'll take Detroit in this week one Stinker.
Lions 22-16


Final Record for Last Season: 118-135
Final Record for This Season: much better

 

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:

Talk about it in the Forums

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