POORE'S PICKS: Week 16

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Jim Poore is back with his Week 16 picks against the spread. Take a look at Jim's picks and let him know what you think.

Every game in the NFL counts, especially ones at this point in the season. So it really surprised me how many teams totally stank up the joint last week in games that they really needed to win. The New York Giants were the biggest example, as they needed to win to keep alive in the NFC East. They got absolutely smoked by a very mediocre Redskin team, and now are on the outside looking in for the post season. Then Tennessee loses to the winless Colts in a must win game. The Ravens, though already in the postseason, got blown out in San Diego. The loss was potentially devastating to Baltimore, who were looking for a first round bye. Houston, also looking for a first round bye, looked awful in losing to Carolina. However, the loss really isn't that big of a deal because the Texans likely would have ended up with the third seed no matter what happened the rest of the way. As has been said many times, any team can win at any time in the NFL. Last week was a perfect example.

  Speaking of perfect examples, I showed last week a perfect example on how NOT to pick games. I was an awful 6-10 against the numbers, and I actually had the same results straight up. I need to have two real good weeks in a row to finish at .500 or better. Also note that most NFL games are on Saturday this weekend due to the Christmas holiday. And speaking of the holiday, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Please enjoy the games and the holiday responsibly.
 
As always, home team in CAPS.
 
Houston  6  INDIANAPOLIS
The Texans are heading for the post season, and since their position really isn't affected they should rest everybody. The Colts finally won last week but I can't believe they play hard here. This should be a good warm up for the Texans on their way to the Super Bowl.
 
Texans  23-7
 
DALLAS  2 1/2  Philadelphia
The Cowboys now have their destiny in their hands after last week's Giants' loss. The Eagles have actually been better lately, but who cares at this point. Philadelphia would love to be a spoiler but I think the Cowboys need this game too badly. I like them here.
 
Cowboys  27-17
 
San Francisco  1 1/2  SEATTLE
The 49ers actually have a lot on the line here, as they are fighting for a bye week in the playoffs. The Seahawks have actually been decent this year, and have a real outside shot at the post season. The 49ers need this game more though. I like them here.
 
49ers  21-16
 
DETROIT  2 1/2  San Diego
This is actually a huge game for both teams, as the Lions need a win to keep their post season hopes alive. The Chargers are surging, and might end up winning the AFC West. As usual, though, they won't go anywhere. The Lions really need to win this game. So does San Diego. I like Detroit at home though.
 
Lions 30-26
 
PITTSBURGH  8 1/2  St. Louis
Ben Roethlisberger is really hurting, and his status is up in the air, but it won't matter. Big Ben should take a breather against the lousy Rams, who likely will provide little competition. With or without Big Ben, this should be an easy one for the Steelers.
 
Steelers  31-13
 
CAROLINA  7 1/2  Tampa Bay
The only thing worth seeing here is if Cam Newton can pad his impressive rookie stats.
 
Panthers 26-17
 
BALTIMORE  13  Cleveland
The Ravens looked awful last week, and they need a win to get their momentum back. They will be very tough to beat in the playoffs if they are at the top of their game. The Browns are just finishing out the season, waiting for it to end. This game won't end soon enough for them.
 
Ravens 36-10
 
NEW ENGLAND  9 1/2  Miami
I have a feeling the Patriots might look past the Dolphins, who have been pretty good lately. They need to win to keep the number one seed in the AFC. I think they win, but something tells me the Dolphins will keep it pretty close. Just a feeling.
 
Patriots  30-23
 
CINCINNATI  4  Arizona
The Bengals really need to win, and somehow, some way, the Cardinals are still mathematically alive for the post season. Incredible. They won't be after this week. I don't see any problems for the Bengals at home.
 
Bengals  29-14
 
TENNESSEE  7 1/2  Jacksonville
The Titans had an inexcusable loss last week, and now have to win their last two to possibly make the post season. I don't see Jacksonville doing much, so expect the Titans to pounce.
 
Titans  28-13
 
Denver  3  BUFFALO

The Tim Tebow craze slowed down last week, but it hasn't gone away. It will likely pick up again this week because the Broncos can still win the AFC West. The Bills are on an absolute free fall. I expect it to continue.
 
Broncos  20-16
 
KANSAS CITY  1  Oakland
The Chiefs had a huge win last week, but truth be told they have a lot of problems. So does Oakland, but they can still win the AFC West. The Raiders need the win more than the Chiefs, so I will take them here.
 
Raiders  27-24
 
GREEN BAY  10 1/2  Chicago
The Packers suffered a stunning loss last week, but I think it might actually have helped them. The Bears are going nowhere fast, and they could be in for a long day facing Green Bay on the road. I think the Packers will take out their frustrations on the Bears.
 
Packers  32-14
 
NEW ORLEANS  6 1/2  Atlanta
The Saints might actually be playing the best football right now, but nobody is talking about them because of the Packers. They will be soon. The Falcons are likely headed to the playoffs, but a loss here will hurt them. Too bad for them it is going to happen.
 
Saints  35-24
 
Game of the Week

NEW YORK JETS  3  New York Giants
The Jets are the "home" team here, and both teams are absolutely desperate to win. They both looked awful last week. I think the Jets are actually better, and I still believe they sneak into the playoffs as the sixth AFC seed. I thought they Giants were headed to the post season too, but last week's loss was crushing. I don't think they will recover.
 
Jets  26-20
 
Stinker of the Week

WASHINGTON  6  Minnesota
Oh yeah, this is a Stinker alright.
 
Redskins  27-17
 
Record For Week 15: 6-10 ( 6-10 without the spread )
Record Through Week 15: 104-112-8 ( 139-85 without the spread )
Game of Week record: 9-5-1
Stinker of Week Record: 4-11


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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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