As the NFL season rages on, I think I have a theory about
the New England Patriots. They are 7-3, will win the AFC East again,
and will likely be the second or third seed in the upcoming playoffs.
My theory, though likely coincidental, is that they always play the
exact opposite of what most fans and "experts" think they are going to
do. The opening game this year against Tennessee and the loss to
Baltimore are the only exceptions.
In week two, most expected the Patriots to win fairly easily against
Arizona. They lost. In week four, many expected a pretty tight game
against the Bills. Buffalo got crushed. Week five had the Broncos in
town, and though the Patriots did win, it was closer than many
expected. Week six brought New England to Seattle, and the Patriots
lost after most expected a fairly easily victory. The New York Jets
then came to Foxboro, and of course most expected the Patriots to
cruise ( I was an exception). New England did pull it out, but they
needed overtime to seal the deal.
The Patriots then traveled to London and many feared a tough game,
possibly even a New England loss. Wrong again. The Bills were on the
schedule again, and many thought because of an earlier blow out, this
game would be over quick. The Patriots did win, but it could have been
a loss if a couple of plays went the other way. And last week, a lot of
people thought Andrew Luck would come to Gillette and keep the game
close, and he did. For about a quarter.
We will see what happens on Thanksgiving with the Jets. My
theory certainly is coincidence, but it is interesting nonetheless. Of
course, now that I have mentioned it, things will change. That might
not be a bad thing.
I want to wish everyone and their families a tremendous Thanksgiving
holiday. Be safe, have fun, think of what we are thankful for and of
course, watch some NFL Football. As always, home team in CAPS.
DALLAS 3 Washington
Fortunately, this is the early Turkey Day game, and I think many will
miss it. That isn't a bad thing.
Houston 3 1/2 DETROIT
The Texans won a ridiculous game last week. The difference is in years
past Houston loses that game. They have two big games left on their
schedule, this one and New England. They will start 1-0 in those two
New England 6 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
This is one of those opposite games I mentioned earlier. For some
reason Patriots fans think they will blow out the Jets EVERY time they
play them. It just isn't true ( at least lately anyway ). The Jets were
much better last week, are at home, and have a VERY easy schedule the
rest of the way. If they can beat the Patriots it could give them some
momentum for the rest of the regular season. I think they will.
Pittsburgh 4 CLEVELAND
I had a good feeling with the Browns last week, but that stops here.
The Steelers are beat up and bruised, but they should be able to sneak
out of Cleveland with a win.
INDIANAPOLIS 3 Buffalo
The Bills had a nice game in Week 11, but it is tough to see which team
shows up every week. The Colts got roughed up, and I don't think they
are that good right now. However, they are a much better team at home
then on the road. So, I will take them here.
Denver 10 1/2 KANSAS CITY
The poor Chiefs. I'm not sure they will win the rest of the year. I do
know this. The Broncos will, including this week.
CHICAGO 1 1/2 Minnesota
The Bears looked bad Sunday Night, and somehow the Vikings are still
hanging around. Jay Cutler is expected to still be out, so the Bears
defense really has so step it up a notch. I can't see the Bears losing
three in a row.
Atlanta 2 TAMPA BAY
The Falcons lost two weeks ago and barely pulled out a win last week.
The Bucs are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and they are
right in the thick of it in the NFC. I like them this week. I think
they are catching Atlanta at the right time, and I think they will pull
the mild upset.
Seattle 3 MIAMI
The Seahawks were off last week, and it was well deserved. The Dolphins
played like they were, and I have a feeling they won't be at the top of
their game this week either. They got off to a fast start, but the real
Dolphins showed up. I'll take the Seahawks at home.
SAN DIEGO 1 Baltimore
I can't remember the last time the Chargers were this irrelevant. They
really haven't been for a couple of years now. The Ravens still are,
and miraculously, with all of their injuries, they could have the top
seed in the AFC. But that's getting a little ahead of
ourselves. They probably are due for a loss. I just don't see it here.
NEW ORLEANS 2 1/2 San Francisco
It looks like Colin Keapernick will get the start for the 49ers, and
they are already talking quarterback controversy out there. It's a
little early for that. The Saints have been playing well lately, and
are absolutely in the chatter for the playoffs. This is a tough pick,
but I have to go with the home team.
ARIZONA 2 1/2 St. Louis
This is another one of those games where most fans hope there
is another game on television.
CINCINNATI 7 1/2 Oakland
Carson Palmer is going against his old team, and he should be able to
light it up. I don't think so. The Raiders are still the Raiders, and
the Bengals have put together a pretty nice season right now. That nice
season should continue.
PHILADELPHIA 1 Carolina
Another doozy, and a very good candidate for Stinker of the Week. There
are better television shows on Monday Night. The Eagles are desperate,
and so are the Panthers. The desperate home team gets my pick.
Game of the Week
NEW YORK GIANTS 3 Green Bay
The Giants have been playing poorly lately, and last week's bye week
came at a perfect time. The Packers have been playing well lately, and
I am sure that they would really like to beat the Giants. New York has
lost two in a row, and I can't see them losing a third. They had a
decent lead in the NFC East, but another loss would be brutal. I like
the Giants here in this great match up.
Stinker of the Week
Tennessee 3 JACKSONVILLE
Definitely the right choice for Stinker this week. The Jags are due for
a win. But that doesn't mean they will get it.
Record For Week 11: 8-6 ( 10-4 without the spread )
Record Through Week 11: 68-78-3 ( 85-64 without the
Game of Week Record: 5-6
Stinker of Week Record: 4-7
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to
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