The NFL regular season is already a quarter of the way complete. Hard to believe, but true. Teams are starting to flash their true colors and people are starting to separate the contenders from the pretenders (sort of).
In the pick’em challenge, the scoreboard reads as follows:
TheSportsKraze: 38 CV3: 37
Jaguars at Bills: The Jaguars are coming off an amazing win in which they hit a 59 yard field goal as time expired to shock the Indianapolis Colts. I will admit I am still shocked that the Jaguars won this game. The Bills continue to struggle with stopping the run and are in search of their first win. Well this is their week. Home field advantage means a lot in the NFL and I expect Jacksonville to fall hard after such a great high they experienced last week. Bills will surprise the Jags by 3 at home behind a big day for CJ Spiller.
Buccaneers at Bengals: The Who Deys are coming off of a disastrous loss at in state rival Cleveland. The Buccaneers looked solid in their first two games, but were absolutely molly whopped by the Steelers in their last game. The physical nature of the AFC North proved to be too much. Though the Bengals have struggled all year, I do expect them to take care of business at home. Maybe Chad and TO can each play well on the same day? Also this looks to be a day where Cedric Benson can get back on track with some smash mouth running against a Tampa team that struggles to stop the run. Bengals by 7 at home.
Falcons at Browns: Atlanta will fly into the Pound on a 3 game winning streak. The Brownies may still be excited about their big win in the Battle of Ohio, but sadly this week, the Falcons are going to shred them apart. Look for Atlanta’s extremely balanced offense, led by Matt Ryan, to have a field day both passing and running the ball. I got the Falcons by 9 on the road.
Rams at Lions: The Rams are 2 and 2. Yes, 2 and 2. I will admit that I have picked against them every week. And sadly, I am going to pick against them for a 5th straight week. The Lions are a team that has been very close to winning in 3 of it’s 4 contests. Well this is the week where they notch one up in the win column. Look for Calvin Johnson to reel in a couple of TDs and for the Lions to win a shootout by 6 at home.
Chiefs at Colts: Do you know who the lone undefeated team in the National Football League is? I will give you a hint. Their home field is in Kansas City and they once had a star running back by the name of Priest. But this is a team that has lived on a smash mouth rushing attack offensively, and a great defense against the run. They have not been too good at passing the ball or defending against the pass. But their rushing attack, led by the 2 headed monster that is Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones has been simply outstanding. The Colts on the other hand have struggled to stop the run all year, as they are off to their worst start in recent memory. So all directions would say to pick the Chiefs monster rushing attack to run over the weak Colt’s defense right? Wrong. Do not expect a Peyton Manning team to fall under 500. I got the Colts by 6 at home.
Packers at Redskins: There is one major statistic in this game that will be the differentiating factor. The Redskins are 31st in the League at defending against the pass. Do you know who Green Bay’s quarterback is? Look for a monster day for Packer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay takes one in the nation’s capital. I got the Cheesesheads by 10 on the road.
Bears at Panthers: Can the Bears redeem themselves after an embarrassing performance on Monday Night Football by their offensive line? Honestly, I am not sure. But I do know that the Bears defense against the run can be flat-out scary at times. And with a young quarterback in place in Carolina, the Panthers will continue to rely heavily on their ground attack. Sadly, they will not be able to muster up enough offense to beat Da Bears. I got Chicago by 3 on the road in a very lackluster game.
Broncos at Ravens: The Edgar Allen Poes are coming off their biggest win of the season in which they took care of business against the divisional rival Steelers. Can the Ravens continue to fly against a 2 and 2 Denver team? Well this matchup pits the number 1 passing team in the League (Denver), against the number 1 ranked defense against the pass in Baltimore. Talk about an exciting scenario. Great defenses normally prevail over great offenses. The Broncos have still not really developed an identity as they play great one week, then awful the next. I got the Ravens winning by 9 at home.
Giants at Texans: What a performance the Giant’s defense put on against the Bears on Monday Night. It was quite the show and brought back memories of the Giant’s Super Bowl Team back in 2007. Sadly for the Giants, they now take on a team that is one of the League’s elite in rushing and passing. Matt Schaub can rely on the run if the Giant’s pass rush becomes too much. Too many weapons offensively for the Texans. I got Houston at home by 7.
Saints at Cardinals: The defending Super Bowl Champs head to Arizona to take on the NFC West leading Cardinals. The Saints are struggling offensively without Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Luckily for the NOLA boys, they are taking on a Cardinal’s team that has not been able to stop any offense through the air or on the ground all season. I got the Saints gutting out a tough road victory due to the amazing poise and intelligence of their quarterback, Drew Brees. Expect a patented Bree’s two-minute drill to win this one. Saints by 7.
Chargers at Raiders: In an old school AFC West rivalry, San Diego heads to Oakland to take on a Raider’s team that has suffered two very tough losses in a row. Believe me, San Diego will show no sympathy. The Charger’s balance offensive attack will prove too much for the Raiders to handle as Rivers demonstrates a his great arm, and lets his tandem of running backs, Mike Tolbert and Ryan Matthews shred a weak Oakland defense against the run. I got the Chargers by 10 on the road.
Titans at Cowboys: Tennessee heads to Dallas for a rendezvous with Cowboy Nation. The Titans have been extremely hard to understand this year with their lack of consistent play. This is a very unusual for Jeff Fisher led team. The Cowboys are coming off of their bye week and looked revitalized the last time they took the field, when they smashed a formerly undefeated Texans team. Expect more of the same in this one. The Cowboys are just too talented not to make a run at the playoffs. Look for Dallas to contain Chris Johnson on their way to a hard-fought 6 point victory at home.
Eagles at 49ers: Philadelphia takes on a highly disappointing 49ers sqaud. This was a San Francisco team that many picked to win the lowly NFC West and make a run in the playoffs. Well that has not happened thus far. Could this be the day where they finally leave the League’s “defeated” ranks? I think it is. Look for Frank Gore to make a statement in the Sunday Night Game and for Patrick Willis and the boys to take advantage of a Michael Vickless Eagle’s squad. 49ers by 3 at home.
Vikings at Jets: What a matchup this is. You got the “Return of the Moss” in Minnesota. And wouldn’t you know his first game with his former team is the Monday Night Game. Other than last week, the MNF slate has been outstanding and hasn’t disappointed anybody. Well expect another great one tonight. Minnesota’s main weakness this year other than Favre’s inability to take care of the ball has been a weak passing attack in general. Well Moss could be just the medicine the Vikes need. Either way, I got the Jets winning this time on the bright lights by 3 at home. Expect an awesome game.
Jaguars over Bills by 3- The Bills are a struggling team and they are not very good at defending the run. MJD is averaging almost 4 yards a carry and if Jacksonville plans well this game belongs to them. They are the better team and should beat the Bills.
Falcons over Browns by 7- The Browns are on a high after a rare win. They will now be brought back down. The Falcons will not make the same mistakes that the Bengals did and will handle the Browns, no matter how much Hillis rushes for.
Rams over Lions by 1- The Rams are on the rise and are beginning to gel. They also have a very stingy defense. The Lions have been able to move the ball very well lately but they make more mistakes than anyone in the league. These mistakes should limit the Lions on offense and defense.
Colts over Chiefs by 7- The Colts are at home and are not happy coming off of a division loss. Peyton should stop the Chiefs surprising run of 3 straight victories. I don’t think the Colts will be shocked again.
Packers over Redskins by 6- With the Packers having a better defense than the Redskins and both having pretty even offenses, I go with the Pack. Aaron Rodgers will outperform the elder McNabb who has nothing special to play for this week after beating the Eagles last week.
Bears over Panthers by 10- The Panthers have a lot more to build before they can win a game this season, especially against the high powered Bears. The Bears new offense will be too much for the Panthers to handle.
Saints over Cardinals by 10- The Saints have not completely gelled yet this season but they have too many weapons for the Cards to handle. The Cards have won two games against lower level teams and been dominated by good teams. The Saints are a good team that will roll.
Texans over Giants by 3- This should be a close game but the Texans are a good team, solid on offense but they give yards through the air. This could be a shootout but the game will end close.
Cowboys over Titans by 7- The Boys are fresh coming off of a bye and have had two full weeks to prepare for this game. They will get to .500 after this week and begin a roll towards making the playoffs. They have all of the right pieces and once they put them all together they will be dangerous.
Raiders upset Chargers by 3- The Raiders have not beat the Chargers in their last 13 games. However, the Raiders can now run the ball and stop the pass. This is my upset pick for the week.
Ravens over Broncos by 3- While the Broncos seem to be passing at will and the Ravens cannot get anything going on offense, you would expect the Broncos to just outscore the Ravens. However, the Ravens can run the ball and the Broncos cannot. The Ravens will also have a good defensive game plan to stop the pass. The Ravens are at home and remind me of the 2006 Steelers. Just barely getting by, but getting by.
49ers over Eagles by 6- With Vick gone it will be tough for the Eagles to win the game. San Fran should get their first victory in this by limiting Kolb in Vick’s absence.
Jets over Vikings by 6- Randy Moss will not go off against the Jets this time. They will be prepared for the Vikings passing game. If they can hold AP they should be able to limit the Vikings in this one.
Bengals over Bucs by 6- Bengals will limit mistakes and be able to outscore the Bucs bruising run game. I don’t know the exact statistic but when Benson gets the ball 25+ times they are hard to beat. Go back to the run Bengals and make some big plays in the passing game.
So there you have the picks for Week 5. It should definitely be a dandy capped off by an awesome Monday Night matchup. You got to love the NFL.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.