Welcome back all! Time for some Week 5 Picks. Last week I went 8-6, not one of my personal best outings. Hopefully I can rebound this week.
NY Giants vs Houston
The Giants are coming off a week where they made the Bears offense look like a JV football team. They knocked both Jay Cutler and Todd Collins out of the game. The offense still looked a bit sloppy, but the defense played much better than in previous weeks. They'll need to keep up that play to stop the Texans high-powered offense. Even without Andre Johnson last week, they still looked good behind Arian Foster. I don't see the Giants producing the same defensively this week as they did last week. Andre Johnson is expected to play this week, and that should be enough for the Texans offense to stay on track, and out power the Giants.
Houston 31 NY Giants 21
Jacksonville vs Buffalo
Expect this one to be high scoring. Both defenses are terrible. The Jaguars are coming off a great win against the Colts. David Garrard looked like the Garrard of old. Maurice Jones-Drew should have a big game this week, since the Bills defense is doing as good a job stopping the run as Elmer Fudd does catching Bugs Bunny. With Marshawn Lynch gone, expect a good game from Fred Jackson, who has been seldom used this year and is looking to prove he should have been. This game is pretty much a toss up, but I'm leaning towards the Bills here because it's at home, even though there are still 10,000 seats left for the game.
Buffalo 35 Jacksonville 30
Chicago vs Carolina
No Jay Cutler for the Bears this week. He's still suffering the affects of getting schooled, I mean the concussion, by the Giants defense. That means journeyman Todd Collins will get the start this week. That's not good news for the Bears. They'll need their defense, specifically Julius Peppers, to put pressure on Jimmy Claussen. Steve Smith isn't expected to play for the Panthers either. This has the receipe to be one ugly game with each team missing key pieces on offense. I'll take the Bears because they're a little better defensively.
Chicago 13 Carolina 9
Atlanta vs Cleveland
The Falcons are coming off another good win last week against San Francisco. They have to be taken as serious contenders in the NFC. And Matt Ryan and Company should be able to take advantage of a hideous Browns secondary. Sure they won last week, but the Browns secondary got absolutely torched by Terrell Owens. I don't even think this will be that close of a game. This is my lock of the week.
Atlanta 34 Cleveland 16
Tampa Bay vs Cincinnati
The Bucs are coming off a bye, probably a much needed one after they were brought back down to earth by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Too bad they are going on the road to play a very frustrated Cincinnati team. I think this will be another high scoring game. Carson Palmer may struggle a bit against a decent Tampa secondary, but Cedric Benson should be able to gash the Tampa run defense. Tampa's nice start was just that, nice. I don't think they're for real.
Cincinnati 28 Tampa Bay 20
Kansas City vs Indianapolis
Time to see if this Chiefs team is for real. They're 3-0, and go on the road to face a very good Colts team, at least offensively. The Colts defense was embarrassed by Jacksonville last week. They can't rely on Peyton Manning bailing them out every week. The Chiefs running back tandem of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles should be able to run through the Colts defense. It will be up to Matt Cassel to prove if he is the QB the Chiefs want him to be. However, I would never bet against an angry Peyton Manning, which is why I'm picking the Colts here.
Indianapolis 33 Kansas City 21
Denver vs Baltimore
Both of these teams picked up nice road wins last week. Denver won at Tennessee by slowing down Chris Johnson. Baltimore won at divisional rival Pittsburgh behind a great effort from their defense. Kyle Orton should continue his hot streak against the Ravens, as the secondary is a little suspect. They'll be without Knoshown Moreno again this week, however, which should allow the Ravens to drop more people into the secondary. Joe Flacco will need to be able to find his secondary targets this week, as Anquan Boldin will be covered by Champ Bailey, and Todd Heap will have to deal with Brian Dawkins over the middle. I'll take the Ravens here in a close one.
Baltimore 21 Denver 17
St. Louis vs Detroit
Can you say shootout? Neither defense is that good, but the Lions secondary is REALLY bad. Expect Sam Bradford to come out throwing. The Rams are playing better than people expected, and could even push for a playoff spot this year because the NFC West is that bad. The Lions have been in every game this year, but always find a way to lose. They might be 2-2 as well if they had Matthew Stafford playing. I'm going to go with the Rams here, mostly because they're the team with more confidence right now.
St. Louis 41 Detroit 31
Green Bay vs Washington
Washington is coming off a nice road win last week in Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia. However, they still didn't look that good. And this week they go up against Aaron Rodgers and Company, who should be able to tear apart the Washington secondary. Even without a run game, the Packers passing offense has looked almost unstoppable at times this year. Don't expect anything to change here.
Green Bay 28 Washington 16
New Orleans vs Arizona
Expect this to look very similar to their playoff match-up last year, where the Saints offense absolutely tore apart the Cardinals. And if they held Kurt Warner to 14 points, what do you think they will hold rookie QB Max Hall to? You have to feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald. This has blowout written all over it.
New Orleans 34 Arizona 10
Tennessee vs Dallas
Dallas is coming off a bye and a much needed win against Houston. Now they're at home playing a Tennessee team that is coming off a surprisng home loss against Denver. In that game, Chris Johnson was surpringly held in check. Expect the Cowboys to put 8 men in the box to start in order to contain Johnson, which will put pressure on Vince Young to perform well and find open receivers. However, I expect the Cowboys to find ways to stop Young & Johnson, and Tony Romo to find openings agianst a weak Titans secondary.
Dallas 27 Tennessee 17
San Diego vs Oakland
The Chargers need this win to keep up with the Chiefs in the AFC West. However, the Raiders always seem to play the Chargers tough at home, and I think I can see them finally pulling off the upset this week. Oakland played Houston close last week, and I can see them taking advantage of a not so great Chargers team at home.
Oakland 30 San Diego 28
Philadelphia vs San Francisco
This is a Sunday night game that has lost some of its luster. No Michael Vick for Philadelphia. And the 49ers are 0-4 and looking for their first win this year, which is disappointing considering they were the pre-season favorites to win the NFC West. Alex Smith has regressed at QB. However, I can see them pulling off their first win this week. Kevin Kolb did not look good last week replacing Vick, and LeSean McCoy is not 100 percent. This will proably be close the whole way, which is why I'm giving the edge to the home team in primetime.
San Francisco 20 Philadelphia 14
Minnesota vs NY Jets
A game that was all about Brett Favre's return to New York is now also about Randy Moss's first game as a Viking, going against rival Darrelle Revis. The Vikings are coming off a bye week and should be well prepared. However, that won't stop Brett Favre from making his usual handful of questionable calls. I expect him to force a couple of throws. I also expect the Jets defense to shut down Adrian Peterson early and often. I see the Jets offense making just enough plays to win this one in a low scoring affair.
NY Jets 17 Minnesota 13
Well those are the picks for this week. I should be back over the weekend to do a review of all things WWE from this past week, including the Cena/Nexus angle, and where it should go from here.
Until Next Time,