POORE'S PICKS: Week 2

Jim Poore returns for week 2 after doing well in the season's opening weekend. Wondering who will win on Sunday? Check in on Poore's picks and let him know what you think. If you're wondering what Ray Lewis has to do with this week's "stinker" you'll just have to read about it inside.

The first week of the NFL season went very well, at least on the field. Another off field blemish (well at least it was technically off the field) marked another sour note for the league. Bill Belichick was caught recording the defensive signals of his opponent, this time the New York Jets. Quite simply, he was caught cheating. And from sources around the league, it doesn't appear to be the first time. How long this has been going on is anybody's guess, but it appears that it has been going on for quite some time.

Also coming into question is the team's success over the last few years. Whether or not the Super Bowl wins were won due to some cheating has to be a point that is taken. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was furious at the Patriots and Bill Belichick, especially because he sent a letter out to all of the teams prior to this season about this very topic. The rules were made very clear in the letter. However, Belichick apparently feels he is above the NFL, and can do whatever, whenever he wants. To simply disregard the commissioner's instructions not to use video equipment was not only wrong it was arrogant. Belichick incurred a $500,00 fine, the Patriots have been subjected to a $250,000 fine and the team will probably lose a first-round draft pick next year, Coach Belichick always thought he was above the law. Now that he got caught, I wonder if he still does. Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes. Now onto this week's games.

As always, home team in CAPS.

PITTSBURGH 9 1/2 Buffalo
The Steelers were very impressive last week, but they did beat Cleveland. The Bills almost pulled out a win, and probably should have. I don't see too many problems for the Steelers this week, though I think the number is pretty high. I need to see a couple more good games out of Ben Roethlisberger before I get too excited. Take Pittsburgh and the big number.
Steelers 27-17


Cincinnati 6 1/2 CLEVELAND
It didn't take long for the Browns to switch to Brady Quinn. They have nothing to lose. The Bengals didn't look great against the Ravens, but they got the job done. This could be a rough debut for Quinn. The Bengals don't have a great defense, but it should be good enough to keep Quinn under control, at least for this game. It is a lot of points on the road, but not for this game. I like the Bengals.
Bengals 34-14


CAROLINA 6 1/2 Houston
Both teams won last week, and somewhat impressively. The Panthers pulled a minor upset, and looked pretty good doing it. The Texans were actually an underdog, but should have been favored. They definitely aren't favored here. I don't see any problems for Carolina, as they look to get off to a good start.
Panthers 26-13

ST.LOUIS 3 San Francisco
This is a tough game to call, but I think the Rams have the advantage. The 49ers are coming off of a late Monday night game, and the Rams didn't look too good last week, especially at home. They should be able to bounce back here. This division is much tougher this year, and St. Louis cannot afford to start 0-2. The Niners and the Cardinals are no longer cupcakes, so the Rams better get their act together. They should here.
Rams 38-30


NEW YORK GIANTS 1 Green Bay
This game is likely only one point because of the status of Eli Manning. He is likely not going to play, though he was taking some snaps earlier this week. If he can't go, then Jared Lorenzen gets the call, who might be the biggest quarterback in NFL history. I can't see the Giants starting off 0-2. The Packers did win last week, but they still aren't very good. The Giants might not be either, but I think they need this game more, even though it is only week two. I'll take the Giants.
Giants 23-20


JACKSONVILLE 10 Atlanta
The points are awfully high for this game, but I guess I can understand it. The Jaguars were embarrassed last week, but so were the Falcons. I don't see Atlanta getting blown out two games in a row. I don't think they will win this game, but a 10 point Jaguar advantage seems to me to be too much. I'll take my chances on the Falcons covering, but the way their entire season has gone so far, a blowout wouldn't surprise me.
Jaguars 24-17


New Orleans 3 TAMPA BAY
This game could be over very early, and it won't look good for the home team. The Saints were demolished on opening night, and they don't want to start the season off 0-2. The Bucs did put up a good fight last week, but they just aren't very good right now. Even being at home isn't going to make much of a difference in this game, especially where the Saints have had a couple of extra days off. The three points makes this an easy pick.
Saints 34-13


DETROIT 3 1/2 Minnesota
This might turn out to be a pretty good game actually. I don't think either team is as good as they looked last week, based on their opponents. And neither team is that good to begin with. I guess I'll take the Lions though. They do have a pretty good offense, and they are at home. I'll give them a shot this week.
Lions 26-20


Dallas 3 1/2 MIAMI
The Cowboys did look good last week, at least on offense. Their defense was real shaky. The Dolphins were the opposite. Their defense looked good, but their offense couldn't score. I am still not convinced on Tony Romo. He needs to keep producing for a few more games before I am a believer. For some reason, I like the Dolphins to cover here. They are at home, and I think their defense can slow down Romo and his passing attack. An outright win wouldn't surprise me.
Cowboys 17-14


Seattle 3 ARIZONA
This should be a pretty good match up. The Cardinals are coming off of a Monday night loss, and the Seahawks didn't have too many problems last week after a shaky first half. I think the Cardinals are going to be real competitive this year, and I think they will win this game. They are at home, can score a lot of points and of course they know Seattle pretty well. I like them here.
Cardinals 30-24


DENVER 9 1/2 Oakland
The Broncos were lucky to escape with a win last week, and of course the Raiders lost. They did finally sign Jamarcus Russell, but he won't be playing. It won't matter. The Broncos are clearly better, and the Raiders are still one of the worst teams in the NFL. It is a lot of points, but I don't see the Broncos having too many issues.
Broncos 37-14


CHICAGO 12 Kansas City
This is another game that could be over early. The Bears don't have a great offense, but the Chiefs don't have a good defense. And the Bears defense is far superior to anything the Chiefs can put on the field. Plus, the Bears lost last week and only scored three points, and this is their home opener. That spells disaster for the Chiefs.
Bears 27-7


PHILADELPHIA 7 Washington
The Eagles did not get off to a great start last week, by losing a game they should have won. The Redskins did win, but they still aren't very good. This is another game in this heated rivalry, and I think Donovan McNabb should bounce back and have a good game. He needs it. The Eagles will be in a dogfight with the Cowboys for division supremacy this year. The Redskins won't be, so I will take the Eagles.
Eagles 28-14


Indianapolis 7 TENNESSEE
The Colts sure did look good on opening night, destroying the Saints. Their defense looked good too, but it remains to be seen if it can continue. The Titans did upset the Jaguars, and they will continue to be what they always are, pests. The Colts shouldn't have too many problems here, especially with the extra rest. I like the Colts to cover.
Colts 33-17


GAME OF THE WEEK

NEW ENGLAND 4 San Diego
This is the game of the week for lots of reasons. The first is because it is the best game on the board. Second, the Chargers are still bitter after their playoff loss last year. And of course, the third reason is the latest charge against the Patriots for stealing signs. I think the last reason might be the most important. I know Bill Belichick doesn't allow his players to get too focused on other things, but I think this is different. He is directly involved. Plus, the Chargers have owned the Patriots in the regular season lately. I like them here, probably to win but at least to cover. This tampering charge could linger on the Patriots' minds all year.
Chargers 26-23


STINKER OF THE WEEK

BALTIMORE 10 New York Jets
I had a tough time deciding this game this week, but I went with it for two reasons. The Ravens looked terrible last week, and the Jets are starting Kellen Clemens at quarterback. The Jets fans cheering Chad Pennington when he got hurt last week was a disgrace. They should be ashamed of themselves. They will be ashamed this week too when their team gets crushed. The Patriots didn't need to steal signals to beat the Jets and neither will the Ravens That is the reason this game is the Stinker of the Week, because it won't be close. Take the Ravens and all of those points.
Ravens 31-7


Last Week's Record: 9-5-2 (13-3 without the spread )
Record Through Week One: 9-5-2 (13-3 without the spread )
Game of the Week Record:1-0
Stinker of the Week Record: 1-0

 

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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The first week of the NFL season went very well, at least on the field. Another off field blemish (well at least it was technically off the field) marked another sour note for the league. Bill Belichick was caught recording the defensive signals of his opponent, this time the New York Jets. Quite simply, he was caught cheating. And from sources around the league, it doesn't appear to be the first time. How long this has been going on is anybody's guess, but it appears that it has been going on for quite some time.

Also coming into question is the team's success over the last few years. Whether or not the Super Bowl wins were won due to some cheating has to be a point that is taken. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was furious at the Patriots and Bill Belichick, especially because he sent a letter out to all of the teams prior to this season about this very topic. The rules were made very clear in the letter. However, Belichick apparently feels he is above the NFL, and can do whatever, whenever he wants. To simply disregard the commissioner's instructions not to use video equipment was not only wrong it was arrogant. Belichick incurred a $500,00 fine, the Patriots have been subjected to a $250,000 fine and the team will probably lose a first-round draft pick next year, Coach Belichick always thought he was above the law. Now that he got caught, I wonder if he still does. Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes. Now onto this week's games.

As always, home team in CAPS.

PITTSBURGH 9 1/2 Buffalo
The Steelers were very impressive last week, but they did beat Cleveland. The Bills almost pulled out a win, and probably should have. I don't see too many problems for the Steelers this week, though I think the number is pretty high. I need to see a couple more good games out of Ben Roethlisberger before I get too excited. Take Pittsburgh and the big number.
Steelers 27-17


Cincinnati 6 1/2 CLEVELAND
It didn't take long for the Browns to switch to Brady Quinn. They have nothing to lose. The Bengals didn't look great against the Ravens, but they got the job done. This could be a rough debut for Quinn. The Bengals don't have a great defense, but it should be good enough to keep Quinn under control, at least for this game. It is a lot of points on the road, but not for this game. I like the Bengals.
Bengals 34-14


CAROLINA 6 1/2 Houston
Both teams won last week, and somewhat impressively. The Panthers pulled a minor upset, and looked pretty good doing it. The Texans were actually an underdog, but should have been favored. They definitely aren't favored here. I don't see any problems for Carolina, as they look to get off to a good start.
Panthers 26-13

ST.LOUIS 3 San Francisco
This is a tough game to call, but I think the Rams have the advantage. The 49ers are coming off of a late Monday night game, and the Rams didn't look too good last week, especially at home. They should be able to bounce back here. This division is much tougher this year, and St. Louis cannot afford to start 0-2. The Niners and the Cardinals are no longer cupcakes, so the Rams better get their act together. They should here.
Rams 38-30


NEW YORK GIANTS 1 Green Bay
This game is likely only one point because of the status of Eli Manning. He is likely not going to play, though he was taking some snaps earlier this week. If he can't go, then Jared Lorenzen gets the call, who might be the biggest quarterback in NFL history. I can't see the Giants starting off 0-2. The Packers did win last week, but they still aren't very good. The Giants might not be either, but I think they need this game more, even though it is only week two. I'll take the Giants.
Giants 23-20


JACKSONVILLE 10 Atlanta
The points are awfully high for this game, but I guess I can understand it. The Jaguars were embarrassed last week, but so were the Falcons. I don't see Atlanta getting blown out two games in a row. I don't think they will win this game, but a 10 point Jaguar advantage seems to me to be too much. I'll take my chances on the Falcons covering, but the way their entire season has gone so far, a blowout wouldn't surprise me.
Jaguars 24-17


New Orleans 3 TAMPA BAY
This game could be over very early, and it won't look good for the home team. The Saints were demolished on opening night, and they don't want to start the season off 0-2. The Bucs did put up a good fight last week, but they just aren't very good right now. Even being at home isn't going to make much of a difference in this game, especially where the Saints have had a couple of extra days off. The three points makes this an easy pick.
Saints 34-13


DETROIT 3 1/2 Minnesota
This might turn out to be a pretty good game actually. I don't think either team is as good as they looked last week, based on their opponents. And neither team is that good to begin with. I guess I'll take the Lions though. They do have a pretty good offense, and they are at home. I'll give them a shot this week.
Lions 26-20


Dallas 3 1/2 MIAMI
The Cowboys did look good last week, at least on offense. Their defense was real shaky. The Dolphins were the opposite. Their defense looked good, but their offense couldn't score. I am still not convinced on Tony Romo. He needs to keep producing for a few more games before I am a believer. For some reason, I like the Dolphins to cover here. They are at home, and I think their defense can slow down Romo and his passing attack. An outright win wouldn't surprise me.
Cowboys 17-14


Seattle 3 ARIZONA
This should be a pretty good match up. The Cardinals are coming off of a Monday night loss, and the Seahawks didn't have too many problems last week after a shaky first half. I think the Cardinals are going to be real competitive this year, and I think they will win this game. They are at home, can score a lot of points and of course they know Seattle pretty well. I like them here.
Cardinals 30-24


DENVER 9 1/2 Oakland
The Broncos were lucky to escape with a win last week, and of course the Raiders lost. They did finally sign Jamarcus Russell, but he won't be playing. It won't matter. The Broncos are clearly better, and the Raiders are still one of the worst teams in the NFL. It is a lot of points, but I don't see the Broncos having too many issues.
Broncos 37-14


CHICAGO 12 Kansas City
This is another game that could be over early. The Bears don't have a great offense, but the Chiefs don't have a good defense. And the Bears defense is far superior to anything the Chiefs can put on the field. Plus, the Bears lost last week and only scored three points, and this is their home opener. That spells disaster for the Chiefs.
Bears 27-7


PHILADELPHIA 7 Washington
The Eagles did not get off to a great start last week, by losing a game they should have won. The Redskins did win, but they still aren't very good. This is another game in this heated rivalry, and I think Donovan McNabb should bounce back and have a good game. He needs it. The Eagles will be in a dogfight with the Cowboys for division supremacy this year. The Redskins won't be, so I will take the Eagles.
Eagles 28-14


Indianapolis 7 TENNESSEE
The Colts sure did look good on opening night, destroying the Saints. Their defense looked good too, but it remains to be seen if it can continue. The Titans did upset the Jaguars, and they will continue to be what they always are, pests. The Colts shouldn't have too many problems here, especially with the extra rest. I like the Colts to cover.
Colts 33-17


GAME OF THE WEEK

NEW ENGLAND 4 San Diego
This is the game of the week for lots of reasons. The first is because it is the best game on the board. Second, the Chargers are still bitter after their playoff loss last year. And of course, the third reason is the latest charge against the Patriots for stealing signs. I think the last reason might be the most important. I know Bill Belichick doesn't allow his players to get too focused on other things, but I think this is different. He is directly involved. Plus, the Chargers have owned the Patriots in the regular season lately. I like them here, probably to win but at least to cover. This tampering charge could linger on the Patriots' minds all year.
Chargers 26-23


STINKER OF THE WEEK

BALTIMORE 10 New York Jets
I had a tough time deciding this game this week, but I went with it for two reasons. The Ravens looked terrible last week, and the Jets are starting Kellen Clemens at quarterback. The Jets fans cheering Chad Pennington when he got hurt last week was a disgrace. They should be ashamed of themselves. They will be ashamed this week too when their team gets crushed. The Patriots didn't need to steal signals to beat the Jets and neither will the Ravens That is the reason this game is the Stinker of the Week, because it won't be close. Take the Ravens and all of those points.
Ravens 31-7


Last Week's Record: 9-5-2 (13-3 without the spread )
Record Through Week One: 9-5-2 (13-3 without the spread )
Game of the Week Record:1-0
Stinker of the Week Record: 1-0

 

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:

Patriots Insider forums
POLL: "Video-Gate": Did Belichick Get off Lightly?
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