I did crawl back to .500 for the year, and hopefully this week I can get back over that hump. There are some good games this week so let's get right to it.
As always, home team in CAPS.
BALTIMORE 7 Houston
The Ravens are coming off of a bye week and could be the favorites in the AFC this early in the season. The Texans, as usual, have injuries, and Mario Williams being out for the season is the main one. I think the Ravens will prove their dominance here, and Matt Schaub could have a long day.
OAKLAND 7 Cleveland
The Raiders had an emotional win last week, but I don't know how long that will last. The ownership might not be a big question, with a possible move back to Los Angeles in the future. The Browns are coming off of a bye, and I think they will keep this one close.
NEW ENGLAND 7 1/2 Dallas
The Cowboys are coming off of a bye week, but remember that Tony Romo is still their quarterback. The Patriots defense still stinks, so this could turn in to a shootout. If it does, I'll take Tom Brady over Romo, any day. The game could be close, but New England will cover the points by the end of the day.
New Orleans 4 TAMPA BAY
I don't know what is going on with Tampa Bay. They got destroyed last week, and have not looked good at all. The Saints haven't been blowing anybody out, but they have been winning. I would like to think the Bucs will turn things around, but until they do I can't trust them. I like the Saints here.
ATLANTA 4 Carolina
The Falcons are another team really struggling. I am not sure that Matt Ryan is as great as everybody thinks he is. Cam Newton, however, could be over time. I think the Panthers will keep this one close. I have no reason to think the Falcons can beat anybody easily right now.
Pittsburgh 13 Jacksonville
Last week's blowout win might be a boost to the Steelers, who have been ravaged by injuries. The Jaguars are ok, not bad and not good. The points are high but I think Pittsburgh covers at home.
CHICAGO 3 Minnesota
The Bears had a Monday Night game, and the Vikings finally won last week. I think their streak will end at one game. The Bears aren't great, but they should be able to take care of a Minnesota team that simply isn't very good.
Philadelphia 1 Washington
I have absolutely no idea how the Eagles are favored here, but they shouldn't be favored against anybody right now. The Redskins are coming off of a bye week and are a surprising 3-1. I don't think their good record will last, but I think the Eagles losing streak will. I like Washington here.
New York Giants 3 1/2 Buffalo
The Giants looked awful last week, and Eli Manning continued his perfect imitation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In fact, the entire team plays like that. It is hard to go against the surprising Bills right now, so I won't. I like them to at least cover here, and win outright.
GREEN BAY 15 St. Louis
The Packers look like the best team in the league right now, and I don't see the Rams getting in their way. They had a bye week to prepare but I don't see St. Louis competing at all this week. The points are high, but I'll take them.
New York Jets 7 1/2 Miami
I am not sure which team is doing worse right now. The Dolphins haven't won a game and the Jets have lost three in a row. The Dolphins aren't as bad as their record, but now Chad Henne is gone and Matt Moore takes over at quarterback. The Jets are better than they are playing, at least I think they are. If the game was in Miami I might take the Dolphins, but it is in New York. I think the Jets will cover.
GAME OF THE WEEK
DETROIT 5 San Francisco
I don't think anybody would have thought at the beginning of the season that this would turn out to be such a big game. The 49ers pretty much already have the NFC West wrapped up, and the Lions are still undefeated. And they will remain undefeated after this week. I am not sold on the 49ers, but I am very much sold on Detroit. They should cover here.
STINKER OF THE WEEK
Cincinnati 7 Indianapolis
The pickings were slim for a Stinker this week, but this was the best choice. The Bengals have been ok, and the Colts have been playing hard despite their dreadful record. They might as well keep starting Curtis Painter the rest of the year. I don't know if the Colts will win, but I think they will at least cover.
Record For Week Five: 7-6 ( 6-7 without the spread )
Record Through Week Five: 37-37-3 ( 48-29 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-1
Stinker of Week Record: 1-4
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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