Thursday, October 6, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 5: Because the Detroit Lions are on Monday Night Football!

Week 4 NFL Picks: 8-8
NFL results season to date: 36-25-3

Week 4 College Football results: 2-2
College Football results season to date: 7-10

Week 5 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Indianapolis vs. Kansas City (Indianapolis, home, -3) The winner of this game may eliminate themselves from the Andrew Luck lottery. The Colts seem to be playing slow and conservative just to keep themselves in games without Peyton Manning, while the Chiefs have simply been misfiring with internal issues between Todd Pioli, Todd Haley, and Matt Cassel. With all three of the aforementioned Chiefs likely out of a job come next season, I think the Chiefs want Luck more than the Colts do, which means they lose this game.      
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (Buffalo, home, +3) One of the reasons that the Eagles have underachieved this season has been their brutal offensive line, and now they are going to be without Jason Peters due to injury.
Minnesota vs. Arizona (Arizona, road, +3) Arizona is the more talented team, but can they handle the Vikings and their Metrodome home crowd advantage? 
Houston vs. Oakland (Oakland, road, +6) The Raiders have won 2 of the last 4 against the Texans, and that was before Oakland got good and Houston lost Andre Johnson due to injury.  
New Orleans vs.Carolina (New Orleans, home, -6.5) The Panthers have exceeded all expectations to this point, but asking them to match-up with emerging star Jimmy Graham at TE and Defensive Coordinator's blitz heavy schemes is probably too much to ask with an inexperienced rookie quarterback on the road in a loud dome.
Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati (Cincinnati, road, +1) So far second round rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has looked better than the quarterback that the Jaguars traded up to get in the first round in Blaine Gabbert. Believe it or not, but the Bengals are not half bad...They're not good, but they're not half bad.
Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee (Tennessee, road, +3.5) The Steelers are simply NOT a good team this year. Their offensive line problems are even worse than they were last season, and their defense was becoming a major concern even before James Harrison was lost for 2-3 weeks due to a fractured orbital bone in his face. Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck has been the free agent acquisition of the year and has made the Titans a AFC South division contender.

Maybe this will teach James Harrison to stop leading with his head, but probably not.
New York Giants vs. Seattle (New York Giants, home, -10) I bet on the Seahawks at home, and bet against them on the road. Ten points is a steep point spread given the Giants beat-up secondary, but we are talking about Tavaris Jackson trying to take advantage of them.
San Francisco vs. Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, road, +2.5) San Francisco is 3-1 thanks to an easy schedule and a Philly meltdown. Reality should set in this week against a solid Buccaneers team.  
New York England vs. New York Jets (New England, home, -9) The Jets are flat-out struggling on defense this year, which is bad news considering that they are going against a Tom Brady lead Patriot offense that they bad-mouthed last year in the AFC Playoffs.
San Diego vs. Denver (San Diego, road, -4) Denver fans need to realize that Tim Tebow is NOT the answer, and that Kyle Orton is a good quarterback no matter how bad the rest of their Broncos team is this season. Actually, I don't even think that Denver fans want to see Tebow, it's all the religious zealots who have jumped on his celibate bandwagon. BTW, there's no truth the rumor that Tebow's dating Bristol Palin. The Chargers should win this game in a blow-out.

Bristol Palin will give it to Tim Tebow, no matter whether he prefers getting it from the "shotgun" or the "pistol."

Green Bay vs. Atlanta (Atlanta, home, +6) The Packers lost to the Falcons in Atlanta late last year in the regular season, then turned around and destroyed them in the ATL in the playoffs. Given that this is a night game on national TV, I look for Atlanta to at least hang close by running the ball and taking an occasional deep shot to Roddy White or Julio Jones.

Detroit vs. Chicago (Detroit, home, -6) The 4-0 Lions are going to have a HUGE home-field advantage playing their first MNF game since they moved out of the Silverdome in 2002. Mike Martz needs to run the ball and avoid his offensive system's classic 7-step drops in order to keep Jay Cutler upright and out of a 12-Step program in facing the Lions front seven. My guess is that he'll be too stubborn to do that given that he was run out of Detroit when he briefly served as their offensive coordinator. As a bonus, I'll put up 2-1 odds that Martz burns at least 2 time outs due to crowd noise that end up coming back to bite the Bears in the ass.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Michigan vs. Northwestern (Northwestern, home, +7.5) Not only is Northwestern at home, but they're the superior team now that Dan Persa has come back from injury.
LSU vs. Florida (LSU, home, -14) With QB John Brantley out for the season, the Gators lost any chance they had to give LSU a game. However, they'll still probably see them again when a mismatched East takes on the powerhouse West in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Oklahoma vs. Texas (Oklahoma, road, -10) The Longhorns are still trying to settle their quarterback position, while the Sooners have an emerging Heisman candidate in Landry Jones.    
Nebraska vs. Ohio State (Nebraska, home, -11) Bo Pelini looks and acts like a re-tarTed guy that Tom Osborne let hand around the program just to be nice, only after Frank Solich got run out of town, the Nebraska Board or Regents decided to hand him the job because he had been around the team the know, because their Board of Regents is stacked with people from Nebraska. Sadly, Pelini should still be able to put together a game plan that will shut down the Buckeyes one dimensional running based offense.

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