POORE'S PICKS: Week Sixteen

Jim Poore is back with his weekly picks column. Jim makes his picks against the spread each week. As always, let him know what you think.

Updated 12-25-2009

We are really getting down and dirty in the NFL now. I can't remember the last time that eight teams in the AFC were still in the playoff hunt this late into the season. Denver and Baltimore are both 8-6, and six other teams are all tied at 7-7. A lot will be settled after this weekend, with many games deciding teams playoff fates. The NFC isn't nearly as muddled, because four teams are vying for the last playoff spot. The Eagles have technically already clinched at least a wild card, leaving only one wild card spot available in the NFC. There are huge games all over the place this weekend, so I'll get right to it.

As always, home team in CAPS.

TENNESSEE 3 San Diego
The Titans are on fire, but it might be too little too late. The Chargers are also hot, and they still haven't lost a game in December under Philip Rivers. It will be fun to see if Chris Johnson can break the NFL yardage record. But it won't be fun for the Titans' fans to see the Chargers win this game.
Chargers 30-20


GREEN BAY 14 Seattle
The Packers are in great shape to get to the post season, while the Seahawks looked pathetic last week. Nobody talks about them in conversation about the worst team in the league, but they should be included. This should be a piece of cake for the Cheeseheads.
Packers 34-13


CLEVELAND 3 1/2 Oakland
The Browns are favored in this game. I repeat, the Browns are favored in this game. Ah, who cares.
Raiders 23-20


CINCINNATI 13 1/2 Kansas City
The Bengals have wrapped up a postseason berth barring a catastrophe, and playing the Chiefs this week, that isn't likely to happen. The Bengals have sometimes struggled against weaker teams this year, but I don't see any problems this week.
Bengals 33-17


ATLANTA 8 Buffalo
The Falcons are out of the playoff chase, and the BIlls were out after week one. Atlanta would like to finish strong, and the Bills are too banged up to provide much competition.
Falcons 27-17


MIAMI 3 Houston
This is a huge game in the AFC, as both teams are vying for the final playoff spot. Neither is likely to get there, but I think the Texans are the better team. May be next year for the Texans. I said that last year too.
Texans 26-23


NEW YORK GIANTS 5 Carolina
The Giants looked great Monday night, but right now they are still on the outside looking in for the post season. They need to win out and get some help. The Panthers looked like world beaters last week, but I don't see them providing much competition here. I like the Giants.
Giants 30-19


NEW ORLEANS 14 1/2 Tampa Bay
May be the Saints losing last week might be a better thing. They are still the best team in the NFC right now until proven otherwise. This game might be over after the first quarter.
Saints 41-10


NEW ENGLAND 7 1/2 Jacksonville
The Patriots were less than impressive last week, and another performance like that will not beat the Jaguars. The Jags are on a little bit of a slide, and need to win out and get some help to get to the post season. I don't think that is going to happen. I also don't think the Patriots are going to cover here. Too many injuries and too little talent, but just enough to get the job done here.
Patriots 24-21


PHILADELPHIA 7 Denver
This is a big game for the Eagles, but probably much bigger for the Broncos. The Eagles are already in the post season, while the Broncos are in - as of right now. The Eagles are playing very well, and they still want to win the NFC East. I like Philadelphia here.
Eagles 33-24


ARIZONA 14 St. Louis
The Cardinals are in the playoffs due to their awful division, and the Rams are one of those awful teams. Ho Hum. This one will be a yawner.
Cardinals 35-12


INDIANAPOLIS 5 1/2 New York Jets
The Colts continue to roll, while the Jets need to win and get a lot of help. Neither is going to happen. This could be a tough game for the Colts, but as usual they will pull it out in the fourth quarter. No reason to go against them here.
Colts 24-17


WASHINGTON 1 Dallas
The Cowboys need to keep winning to keep their playoff hopes alive, and possibly Wade Phillips job. Tony Romo has actually been pretty good this December, but the month isn't over yet. The Redskins are up and down. They got pasted Monday night, and will possibly get pasted again this week.
Cowboys 28-24


Minnesota 7 CHICAGO
Brett Favre once again shows his selfish side when he refused to come out of the game when they are getting waxed. It would have been interesting to see what happened if Baby Brett got hurt. No matter, the Vikings will be a tough out in the playoffs, but Favre has not looked that good lately.
Vikings 29-13

Game of the Week

PITTSBURGH 2 1/2 Baltimore
I had many games to choose from here, but I think this game might be the best. The Ravens are leading the AFC Wild Card chase right now, but are certainly not a guarantee. Nor are the Steelers, whose mid season slide will likely keep them out of the post season. I am taking a slight chance with the Ravens here, but I think they pull this one out.
Ravens 24-23

Stinker of the Week

SAN FRANCISCO 11 1/2 Detroit
Hard to believe the 49ers are double digit favorites over anybody, but they are here. The Lions have actually been competitive this year and look to be going in the right direction. I think they will cover here.
49ers 31-21

Record For Week 15: 7-7-2 ( 8-8 without the spread )
Record Through Week 15: 96-99-2 (132-65 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 6-7
Stinker of Week Record: 6-7

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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We are really getting down and dirty in the NFL now. I can't remember the last time that eight teams in the AFC were still in the playoff hunt this late into the season. Denver and Baltimore are both 8-6, and six other teams are all tied at 7-7. A lot will be settled after this weekend, with many games deciding teams playoff fates. The NFC isn't nearly as muddled, because four teams are vying for the last playoff spot. The Eagles have technically already clinched at least a wild card, leaving only one wild card spot available in the NFC. There are huge games all over the place this weekend, so I'll get right to it.

As always, home team in CAPS.


The Titans are on fire, but it might be too little too late. The Chargers are also hot, and they still haven't lost a game in December under Philip Rivers. It will be fun to see if Chris Johnson can break the NFL yardage record. But it won't be fun for the Titans' fans to see the Chargers win this game.



The Packers are in great shape to get to the post season, while the Seahawks looked pathetic last week. Nobody talks about them in conversation about the worst team in the league, but they should be included. This should be a piece of cake for the Cheeseheads.



The Browns are favored in this game. I repeat, the Browns are favored in this game. Ah, who cares.



The Bengals have wrapped up a postseason berth barring a catastrophe, and playing the Chiefs this week, that isn't likely to happen. The Bengals have sometimes struggled against weaker teams this year, but I don't see any problems this week.



The Falcons are out of the playoff chase, and the BIlls were out after week one. Atlanta would like to finish strong, and the Bills are too banged up to provide much competition.



This is a huge game in the AFC, as both teams are vying for the final playoff spot. Neither is likely to get there, but I think the Texans are the better team. May be next year for the Texans. I said that last year too.



The Giants looked great Monday night, but right now they are still on the outside looking in for the post season. They need to win out and get some help. The Panthers looked like world beaters last week, but I don't see them providing much competition here. I like the Giants.



May be the Saints losing last week might be a better thing. They are still the best team in the NFC right now until proven otherwise. This game might be over after the first quarter.



The Patriots were less than impressive last week, and another performance like that will not beat the Jaguars. The Jags are on a little bit of a slide, and need to win out and get some help to get to the post season. I don't think that is going to happen. I also don't think the Patriots are going to cover here. Too many injuries and too little talent, but just enough to get the job done here.



This is a big game for the Eagles, but probably much bigger for the Broncos. The Eagles are already in the post season, while the Broncos are in - as of right now. The Eagles are playing very well, and they still want to win the NFC East. I like Philadelphia here.



The Cardinals are in the playoffs due to their awful division, and the Rams are one of those awful teams. Ho Hum. This one will be a yawner.



The Colts continue to roll, while the Jets need to win and get a lot of help. Neither is going to happen. This could be a tough game for the Colts, but as usual they will pull it out in the fourth quarter. No reason to go against them here.



The Cowboys need to keep winning to keep their playoff hopes alive, and possibly Wade Phillips job. Tony Romo has actually been pretty good this December, but the month isn't over yet. The Redskins are up and down. They got pasted Monday night, and will possibly get pasted again this week.



Brett Favre once again shows his selfish side when he refused to come out of the game when they are getting waxed. It would have been interesting to see what happened if Baby Brett got hurt. No matter, the Vikings will be a tough out in the playoffs, but Favre has not looked that good lately.


I had many games to choose from here, but I think this game might be the best. The Ravens are leading the AFC Wild Card chase right now, but are certainly not a guarantee. Nor are the Steelers, whose mid season slide will likely keep them out of the post season. I am taking a slight chance with the Ravens here, but I think they pull this one out.



Hard to believe the 49ers are double digit favorites over anybody, but they are here. The Lions have actually been competitive this year and look to be going in the right direction. I think they will cover here.


7-7-2 ( 8-8 without the spread )
96-99-2 (132-65 without the spread )
6-7
6-7

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