MIchael Vick

Jim Poore is back with his Week 4 picks column against the spread...

 After Monday Night's game between Green Bay and Seattle, it was pretty obvious the talk the next day would be about the replacement officials. I was always one to say that in any sport, especially football, teams need to play around the referees and that the stripes really don't cost any team a win. I don't think that anymore after Monday's debacle.  It was embarrassing, disgraceful, and something needs to be done about it now. The league has actually been in talks with the referee's union since last October, because it was known it was going to come to this. I find it disturbing that this hasn't been solved yet. I am not necessarily saying give the officials anything and everything they want, because that is wrong. They should not be allowed to get pensions as part time employees because full time employees of the league do not receive that benefit. But something should have been done to keep everybody happy.

  The regular officials must be loving what they see right now. Total incompetence, confusion and outright terrible calls. They have all the power right now and they know it. I think the league ( and especially the greedy owners ) thought the games would be ok with replacement officials and the integrity of the game wouldn't be lost. They could not have been more wrong. The planning was so poor that the official who made the terrible touchdown call in Monday Night's game was a HIGH SCHOOL official. Not a Division One college ref. High School. The league and owners made their bed. Now they have to lie in it.
As always, home team in CAPS.
BALTIMORE  13  Cleveland
The Ravens are coming off of a big win Sunday Night, and now basically have a bye week. Even with the short week I don't see any issues for Baltimore here.
Ravens  27-10
Seattle  2 1/2  ST. LOUIS
Even though the Seahawks got a gift win Monday Night, they aren't too bad. The Rams are about evenly matched. I would like to think that Seattle has some momentum from Monday's win, but I think the Rams take it here.
Rams  23-21
ARIZONA  6  Miami

The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time in their history, and they deserve it. I don't know how long it will last, but I think it goes on for at least one more week. I don't think Miami is terrible, but they aren't good either. I'll take Arizona.
Cardinals  24-16
ATLANTA  7  Carolina
The Falcons are a mild surprise at 3-0. They have looked good. I thought Carolina looked pretty decent until last week's pasting at the hands of the Giants. They aren't that bad, but I don't think they are good enough to be a hot Atlanta team right now either.
Falcons  26-17
DENVER  6 1/2  Oakland
This should be a nice bounce back game for the Broncos, who have lost two in a row. The Raiders did win last week, but they aren't much. I think the Broncos win this game, fairly easily.
Broncos  30-14
Cincinnati  2 1/2   JACKSONVILLE
The Bengals have won two in a row, and they could be a dark horse in the AFC. As for the Jaguars, um, no. They will end up being one of the worst teams in the league despite winning last week. I don't think the Bengals win easily, but a cover shouldn't be a problem.
Bengals  26-14
San Francisco  4   NEW YORK JETS
The 49ers got stunned last week, and with the emergence of the Cardinals, they need to get the ball rolling. This one won't be easy, but the Jets did lose Darrell Revis for the year. That is a big loss. Something tells me though that the Jets pull this one out. May be being at home will help.
Jets  20-17
New England  4  BUFFALO
The Patriots are below .500 for the first time in years, and have gotten off to a very disappointing start. Buffalo is 2-1, and they could be interesting down the stretch. I think, though, that the Patriots vent their frustrations this week. I can sense a blow out in Buffalo. If the Patriots lose and fall to 1-3, I think all hell might break lose in New England. To some, I think it already has.
Patriots 38-17
TAMPA BAY  2 1/2  Washington
This is a battle of the mediocres, and I think Tampa has the better team. I had a feeling that the Redskins would slip, but it is a long season. I'll take the Buccaneers at home.
Bucs 21-16
KANSAS CITY  1  San Diego
The Chiefs finally won last week, and may be they will finally go on a run. The Chargers are no longer undefeated, but I don't think they were that good anyway. Winning here could propel the Chiefs a little bit. San Diego doesn't impress me. I'll take the Chiefs.
Chiefs  27-24
HOUSTON  12  Tennessee
The Texans passed their first big test last week, so they can't afford a let down against an inferior team. Right now they are the class of the AFC. I don't think the Titans get in their way this week.
Texans  29-14
DETROIT  4 1/2  Minnesota
There is no doubt the Lions have been a disappointment. The Vikings are what everybody expected, though they did stun San Francisco last week. If the Lions are to be taken seriously, they need to start winning. No better time than the present.
Lions  31-21
DALLAS  4  Chicago
Both teams are pretty good, but I am not sold on Chicago. I am never sold on Dallas as long as Tony Romo is under center. I think Dallas needs this game more because Chicago is suddenly playing in a weaker division, for now. I'll take the Cowboys at home.
Cowboys  23-17
Game of the Week

PHILADELPHIA  2  New York Giants
Michael Vick has been borderline terrible this year, and it is amazing he hasn't gotten seriously hurt. The Giants are good, and could be really good by year's end. I can't trust Michael Vick right now. I can trust Eli Manning. I'll take the Giants in this one.
Giants  26-21
Stinker of the Week

GREEN BAY  7  New Orleans

I can't believe I am doing this, but this has to be the Stinker. I do believe, as do most people, that the Packers should be 2-1. But they are not. The Saints are an unbelievable 0-3. They really miss Sean Peyton. The Packers are likely going to be in a really bad mood, but so are the Saints. I have to take Green Bay. I think the Saints are an absolute mess right now.
Packers  30-20
Record For Week Three: 5-10-1 ( 8-8 without spread )
Record Through Week Three: 20-25-2 ( 27-21 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 1-2
Stinker of Week Record: 1-2

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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