Poore's Picks: Week Eight

Poore's Picks for week 8 include some upsets this week. The Favorites may win, but will they cover the point spread? Is Manning good enough to beat a good defense? Check out the Game of the Week inside.

Let's not have everybody going crazy now over the AFC Player of the Week Matt Cassel. He did play much better against Denver Monday night, but let's be truthful; he really didn't do anything special. The Denver defense is one of the worst in the league, Denver made five turnovers, and Jay Cutler got hurt on the very first play from scrimmage. Much of the night, Cassel had starting field position in Denver territory, and also had bad Bronco penalties help him out. To his credit, he did get them in the end zone on most occasions, regardless of the field position. He was better, no question, but still got sacked six times ( though they were not all his fault ).

I guess it is encouraging that Cassel played better, at least to momentarily shut his critics up. I need to see more though before I claim him as a solid NFL starter. The Patriots, in all reality, really have not played anybody particularly good. One of the best teams they faced, San Diego, has a weak defense, and some hurt offensive players. And the Patriots got crushed. Beating Denver Monday night may jump-start this team, but like San Diego, Denver really is not that great. We will see, but the Patriots do have some tougher opponents coming up in the next few weeks. On to the picks.

As always, home team in CAPS.


BALTIMORE 6 1/2 Oakland
The Ravens looked pretty good last week, but they did play Miami. And the Raiders actually won a game. Their streak will stop here though. Neither team is great ( certainly not the Raiders ), but the Ravens are quietly putting together a pretty decent season. At home, the Raiders will provide little opposition.
Ravens 27-13


San Diego 3 NEW ORLEANS
The Saints are the home team here, even though the game is being played in London. I don't know how San Diego is favored though. They had a much longer flight, and I am not sure they are the better team. The Saints are tough to figure out. They win one week and then get blown out. I guess that means this is their week to win. I'll take them here.
Saints 26-20


NEW YORK JETS 12 1/2 Kansas City
The Jets looked awful last week, and I have a feeling they are going to take out their frustrations on a bad Kansas City team. I don't like the points though, but I think I have to take New York here. May be Brett Favre has called the Kansas City coaching staff to let them know how to beat the J-E-T-S. I don't think he will need the advice.
Jets 30-12


Buffalo 1 1/2 MIAMI
The Bills are flying right now, and they have the lead in the AFC East for the first time in years. The Dolphins are in last place for the first time in days. The Dolphins have been better than expected this year, but so have the Bills. I'll take Buffalo here, as there really is no reason to pick against them at this point.
Bills 27-13


DALLAS 2 Tampa Bay
The Cowboys are a total mess right now, and Tony Romo can't decide if he is going to play. Make up your mind. They need him because Brad Johnson looked like Father Time last week. He was rusty I think. I would think he would have some motivation for this game against his former team. I want to take Dallas because they have to turn it around at some point. But I can't trust them, plus Tampa has been a mild surprise this year. I'll take the Buccaneers.
Bucs 23-21


PHILADELPHIA 8 1/2 Atlanta
Both teams are coming off a bye week here, and the Falcons, especially Matt Ryan, have been playing pretty well. The Eagles have been too though. As long as Donovan McNabb is healthy, Philadelphia will always be in the hunt. Brian Westbrook is still hurting though. I don't like the points here as I think they are too high. But the Eagles are the better team so I will take them here.
Eagles 35-23


NEW ENGLAND 7 1/2 St. Louis
The Patriots looked good last week, but their week is short. The Rams have picked it up a bit the last couple of weeks. New England has not looked good two weeks in a row. That might change this week. The Rams will come after Matt Cassel and see what happens. They have nothing to lose. The Rams still aren't that good, but I am not sure New England is either. Take the Patriots here, but very cautiously.
Patriots 28-20


CAROLINA 4 1/2 Arizona
This is actually a pretty big game this week. The Cardinals are coming off of a bye week, and the Panthers might be the best team in the NFC. Nobody is talking about them though. They might be as long as they can win here, and they should be able to. They are at home, where they are very tough to beat. I'll take them here.
Panthers 30-20


Washington 7 1/2 DETROIT
The Redskins are another team that is tough to figure out. A couple of weeks ago everybody seemed to be raving about them. Then the real Redskin team shows up. I am still waiting for the real Lions team to show up. Wait. They already have, and they are bad. Seven and a half points is a lot of points to give on the road, but it is the Lions after all. I will actually take Detroit here. They have to win sometime, and I think they can at least keep it close here at home.
Redskins 24-20


JACKSONVILLE 6 1/2 Cleveland
The Browns have easily been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this year, and so has their quarterback Derek Anderson. He just may have been a one year wonder. The Jags, as usual, are a contender in the AFC, but they are never more than just contenders. They are coming off of a bye week here, and I don't see them having any problems with the Browns.
Jaguars 26-17


HOUSTON 10 Cincinnati
I don't think the Texans have ever been double digit favorites in their existence. I guess against the Bengals any local high school team would be. The Texans can still make a run because they have a lot of home games left. The Bengals can just run away. The points are high here for Houston, but I have vowed to never take Cincinnati again this season. I am sticking with that vow.
Texans 29-16


TENNESSEE 3 1/2 Indianapolis

The Titans are on a roll, and they are the only undefeated team left in the NFL. They will remain undefeated after this week. Just when I thought the Colts were going to go on a roll, they get blown out in Green Bay. They won't get blown out two weeks in a row, but they will lose their second straight game. Hard to trust the Colts right now. It isn't hard to trust the Titans.
Titans 32-27

GAME OF THE WEEK

PITTSBURGH 2 1/2 New York Giants
This is a huge game, and the Steelers right now are one of the best teams in football. The Giants probably are too, and this game will not be easy. This could be a Super Bowl preview. I like Pittsburgh here, though a New York win certainly wouldn't shock me. I think the Steelers have too much momentum right now. I'll take them at home.
Steelers 23-20

STINKER OF THE WEEK

SAN FRANCISCO 5 Seattle
This was the only obvious Stinker that I could see on the schedule this week. The Seahawks have really fallen on hard times. Apparently, the 49ers have too, as they fired head coach Mike Nolan and replaced him with Mike Singletary. We will see if it will make a difference. Either way, the 49ers should be able to handle the Seahawks, who right now are a bad team.
49ers 27-21

Record For Week Seven: 8-6 (9-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week Seven: 53-48-1 (60-42 without spread )
Game of the Week Record: 3-4
Stinker of the Week Record: 3-4


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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Let's not have everybody going crazy now over the AFC Player of the Week Matt Cassel. He did play much better against Denver Monday night, but let's be truthful; he really didn't do anything special. The Denver defense is one of the worst in the league, Denver made five turnovers, and Jay Cutler got hurt on the very first play from scrimmage. Much of the night, Cassel had starting field position in Denver territory, and also had bad Bronco penalties help him out. To his credit, he did get them in the end zone on most occasions, regardless of the field position. He was better, no question, but still got sacked six times ( though they were not all his fault ).

I guess it is encouraging that Cassel played better, at least to momentarily shut his critics up. I need to see more though before I claim him as a solid NFL starter. The Patriots, in all reality, really have not played anybody particularly good. One of the best teams they faced, San Diego, has a weak defense, and some hurt offensive players. And the Patriots got crushed. Beating Denver Monday night may jump-start this team, but like San Diego, Denver really is not that great. We will see, but the Patriots do have some tougher opponents coming up in the next few weeks. On to the picks.

As always, home team in CAPS.


BALTIMORE 6 1/2 Oakland
The Ravens looked pretty good last week, but they did play Miami. And the Raiders actually won a game. Their streak will stop here though. Neither team is great ( certainly not the Raiders ), but the Ravens are quietly putting together a pretty decent season. At home, the Raiders will provide little opposition.
Ravens 27-13


San Diego 3 NEW ORLEANS
The Saints are the home team here, even though the game is being played in London. I don't know how San Diego is favored though. They had a much longer flight, and I am not sure they are the better team. The Saints are tough to figure out. They win one week and then get blown out. I guess that means this is their week to win. I'll take them here.
Saints 26-20


NEW YORK JETS 12 1/2 Kansas City
The Jets looked awful last week, and I have a feeling they are going to take out their frustrations on a bad Kansas City team. I don't like the points though, but I think I have to take New York here. May be Brett Favre has called the Kansas City coaching staff to let them know how to beat the J-E-T-S. I don't think he will need the advice.
Jets 30-12


Buffalo 1 1/2 MIAMI
The Bills are flying right now, and they have the lead in the AFC East for the first time in years. The Dolphins are in last place for the first time in days. The Dolphins have been better than expected this year, but so have the Bills. I'll take Buffalo here, as there really is no reason to pick against them at this point.
Bills 27-13


DALLAS 2 Tampa Bay
The Cowboys are a total mess right now, and Tony Romo can't decide if he is going to play. Make up your mind. They need him because Brad Johnson looked like Father Time last week. He was rusty I think. I would think he would have some motivation for this game against his former team. I want to take Dallas because they have to turn it around at some point. But I can't trust them, plus Tampa has been a mild surprise this year. I'll take the Buccaneers.
Bucs 23-21


PHILADELPHIA 8 1/2 Atlanta
Both teams are coming off a bye week here, and the Falcons, especially Matt Ryan, have been playing pretty well. The Eagles have been too though. As long as Donovan McNabb is healthy, Philadelphia will always be in the hunt. Brian Westbrook is still hurting though. I don't like the points here as I think they are too high. But the Eagles are the better team so I will take them here.
Eagles 35-23


NEW ENGLAND 7 1/2 St. Louis
The Patriots looked good last week, but their week is short. The Rams have picked it up a bit the last couple of weeks. New England has not looked good two weeks in a row. That might change this week. The Rams will come after Matt Cassel and see what happens. They have nothing to lose. The Rams still aren't that good, but I am not sure New England is either. Take the Patriots here, but very cautiously.
Patriots 28-20


CAROLINA 4 1/2 Arizona
This is actually a pretty big game this week. The Cardinals are coming off of a bye week, and the Panthers might be the best team in the NFC. Nobody is talking about them though. They might be as long as they can win here, and they should be able to. They are at home, where they are very tough to beat. I'll take them here.
Panthers 30-20


Washington 7 1/2 DETROIT
The Redskins are another team that is tough to figure out. A couple of weeks ago everybody seemed to be raving about them. Then the real Redskin team shows up. I am still waiting for the real Lions team to show up. Wait. They already have, and they are bad. Seven and a half points is a lot of points to give on the road, but it is the Lions after all. I will actually take Detroit here. They have to win sometime, and I think they can at least keep it close here at home.
Redskins 24-20


JACKSONVILLE 6 1/2 Cleveland
The Browns have easily been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this year, and so has their quarterback Derek Anderson. He just may have been a one year wonder. The Jags, as usual, are a contender in the AFC, but they are never more than just contenders. They are coming off of a bye week here, and I don't see them having any problems with the Browns.
Jaguars 26-17


HOUSTON 10 Cincinnati
I don't think the Texans have ever been double digit favorites in their existence. I guess against the Bengals any local high school team would be. The Texans can still make a run because they have a lot of home games left. The Bengals can just run away. The points are high here for Houston, but I have vowed to never take Cincinnati again this season. I am sticking with that vow.
Texans 29-16


TENNESSEE 3 1/2 Indianapolis

The Titans are on a roll, and they are the only undefeated team left in the NFL. They will remain undefeated after this week. Just when I thought the Colts were going to go on a roll, they get blown out in Green Bay. They won't get blown out two weeks in a row, but they will lose their second straight game. Hard to trust the Colts right now. It isn't hard to trust the Titans.
Titans 32-27

GAME OF THE WEEK

PITTSBURGH 2 1/2 New York Giants
This is a huge game, and the Steelers right now are one of the best teams in football. The Giants probably are too, and this game will not be easy. This could be a Super Bowl preview. I like Pittsburgh here, though a New York win certainly wouldn't shock me. I think the Steelers have too much momentum right now. I'll take them at home.
Steelers 23-20

STINKER OF THE WEEK

SAN FRANCISCO 5 Seattle
This was the only obvious Stinker that I could see on the schedule this week. The Seahawks have really fallen on hard times. Apparently, the 49ers have too, as they fired head coach Mike Nolan and replaced him with Mike Singletary. We will see if it will make a difference. Either way, the 49ers should be able to handle the Seahawks, who right now are a bad team.
49ers 27-21

Record For Week Seven: 8-6 (9-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week Seven: 53-48-1 (60-42 without spread )
Game of the Week Record: 3-4
Stinker of the Week Record: 3-4


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:

MORE:
Share your own picks\r\n

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