Now that we are nearing the half way point of this season,
we are starting to see which teams are for real and which teams could
be considered also-rans. I think the divisions have something to do
with at as well. For instance, there is no question that Houston is in
fact for real, especially after Sunday's convincing win against
Baltimore. However, they play in the AFC South, one of the worst
divisions in football, so they likely have at least five automatic
wins. The same holds true for the Atlanta Falcons. They are in fact
very good, but their division, the NFC South, is very poor this year.
Other teams, like Denver, are 3-3 on the year and yet their division
isn't that good. So they will very likely win the AFC West, but how
good they really are is still yet to be determined. There is still half
a season to go, so a lot of questions remain unanswered. Hopefully in a
couple of weeks we will have some answers.
There are some big games this week so let's get to the picks.
As always, home team in CAPS.
Minnesota 7 Tampa Bay
The Vikings continue to surprise, and it will probably last another
week. I am not sure what is going on in Tampa. They had a lot of
promise this year but have really fallen flat. I have no reason to
believe the Vikings won't cover here, so I will take them.
Pittsburgh 4 1/2 Washington
With all of the injuries to Baltimore, the Steelers could have the edge
in the AFC North. They are still pretty good. The Redskins continue to
be maddening, but they at least have someone to watch in Robert Griffin
III. I don't think the Redskins can do much in Pittsburgh though. They
are too inconsistent, and the Steelers are always tough at home. Take
Kansas CITY 2 Oakland
The Chiefs have been a borderline disaster, and they are going to start
Brady Quinn at quarterback on Sunday. He isn't the answer. The Raiders
are still the Raiders, and one team has to win this game. The Chiefs
are desperate. Desperation often wins.
New England 7 St. Louis (London )
The Patriots were lucky to win last week, and I don't think they have
any right being favored by seven points over anybody on the road. Yes,
they are not technically in St. Louis, but they are not in Foxboro
either. The Rams actually aren't that bad, and I think their offense
can put up some points on a porous Patriots secondary. Like their last
couple of games, I think the Patriots will win but not cover the
spread. I think the Rams can keep it close.
New York Giants 1 1/2 DALLAS
The Giants now have command in the NFC East, and they are the best
team. The Cowboys still struggle, and I don't think this week will be
any different. I would like to take them at home but I can't. The
Giants are playing too well right now.
DENVER 6 New Orleans
This should be a pretty good game, as the Broncos are coming off of
their bye week. I think most expected the Saints to get it together
eventually, but it likely will be too little too late. The Broncos are
not in a good division but they are still pretty good. I think they
will win here but the Saints will keep it close.
Tennessee 3 1/2 Indianapolis
Both teams pulled out wins last week, but don't expect too many more.
The Titans have been playing better though, and they should be able to
handle the Colts, who will need a couple of more years.
GREEN BAY 9 1/2 Jacksonville
The Packers could be hitting their stride, and the Jaguars are one of
the worst teams in the NFL. Maurice Jones Drew is hurting. So, this
game will basically be over by half time.
DETROIT 2 1/2 Seattle
I keep waiting for the Lions to get it together but I am not sure they
will. May be this week they can, though the Seahawks are no slouch. The
Lions have to be better than they are playing. I think.
New York Jets 2 1/2 Miami
This is actually a pretty big game in the AFC East. The Jets should
have won last week, and the Dolphins had some time off. I think both
teams are going to be pests as the year goes on. My gut is telling me
that Miami is going to win this game. Sure, why not.
CHICAGO 7 Carolina
Look out for the Bears, who are suddenly 5-1. The Panthers are the
exact opposite, and now they have fired General Manager Marty Hurney
and they have a complaining quarterback. Head Coach Ron Rivera might be
next. I know what is definitely next… another Panther loss.
San Francisco 7 Arizona
The 49ers will definitely be a team to reckon with, while the Cardinals
have really fallen back to earth. Seven points is a lot on the road,
and I have a feeling the Cardinals are going to keep this one somewhat
close. Close enough that they cover the spread.
Game of the Week
PHILADELPHIA 2 1/2
I know the Eagles have struggled a bit lately, but this is a pretty big
game in the NFC. Neither team played last week, but it still comes down
to whether or not I can trust Michael Vick in a big game, or any game
for that matter. I can't.
Stinker of the Week
San Diego 2 1/2 CLEVELAND
Neither team is going anywhere this year… or next year.
Record For Week Seven: 7-5-1 ( 11-2 without the
Record Through Week Seven: 43-57-4 ( 57-47 without
the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-3
Stinker of Week Record: 2-5
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to
with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him
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