I am not going to spend too much time in this space this
week. Fans everywhere know what is going on in the league, from
injuries to lousy teams, surprises to hot players. It is my
responsibility to provide analysis of every game and project a winner,
and hopefully I am doing that to the delight of my readers.
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
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
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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