Thursday, October 6, 2011

NFL Week Five Picks: I Miss The NBA

Did I alienate all of you with that headline? Pretty sure I did... but don't you worry your pigskin heads about it. You see, right now I should be preparing for my secret salvation from a meandering fantasy football year, by grinding the numbers for hoop. But hoop no longer exists, at least not for people in this hemisphere, and instead we get to grind our way through the disturbingly white baseball playoffs and a football year that features pinball QB numbers for lots of guys who I don't root for. Oh, and there's also the ever-increasing number of replays, the routine examination of whether defensive players can still be violent towards anyone but linemen, and months of hating my laundry, and hating the people who hate my laundry.

Let's just say this isn't how I was hoping things were going to go this year, and leave it that. Maybe we'll hold and NBA roto draft anyway, just to ensure there is no season. Sigh.

And with that... on to the picks!

* * * * *

Philadelphia at BUFFALO (+3)

What more do we have to say about this Eagles' team? That they are going to lose on the road to a Buffalo team that's actually a team. And even if you believe in the bounce-back and track record of Reid resurrecting teams, consider that they will be missing Jason Peters and Trent Cole -- aka, the best two line players from units that were already losing at the point of attack. Buffalo also needs the game, having already had their Letdown Moment in Cincy last week, and the secondary is pretty good. I'll probably watch out of habit, or self-hatred. Three more months until Andy Reid's gone, folks... but with so much veteran talent on hand, it's more like 3-4 years before you'll actually get a team you want to root for again. Since when did this team and the Lions change places?

Bills 31, Eagles 23

KANSAS CITY at Indianapolis (-3)

Wow, this game should count as community service. The Chiefs started to work out something for the past two games, while the Colts would have lost by plenty to the ordinary Bucs on MNF had the Tampa secondary made any of the wide number of catchable INTs. On the short week, against a team that's also horrible... well, um, whatever. This game is proof of my gambling problem.

Chiefs 24, Colts 17

Arizona at MINNESOTA (-3)

So much for the idea that the Eagles once had an embarrassment of QBs; Donovan McNabb is 0-4 and a dead man walking, and Kevin Kolb is 1-3 and struggling to avoid turnovers. There's no good reason to pick either of these teams, other than the fact that the Cardinal secondary is worse, Adrian Peterson is better than Beanie Wells, and Jared Allen can still get to the passer. And to think, both of these fan bases had some hope when the year started.

Vikings 20, Cardinals 16

Seattle at NY GIANTS (-10)

I want to take the Seahawks to cover here, I really do. QB Tarvaris Jackson has shown signs of life, the Giants aren't as good as they look, and 10 points is just a big number. But the Seabags have been a bad road team forever, and Jackson's not good enough to avoid turnovers on the road. If the Giants had just taken care of the Redskins in Week One, this division would already be pretty much locked up.

Giants 27, Seahawks 16

Tennessee at PITTSBURGH (-3.5)

This is what you get when the team gets too old, Yinzer Fan; inconsistency and trouble with real teams. But I'm not ready to give that status to the Titans yet. QB Matt Hasselbeck has had a marvelous first month, but there's a reason why he was freely available talent, and RB Chris Johnson is far from the game-breaker that he used to be. With Big Ben making a battered start and the Steeler WRs finding holes, this will be a mirage win for the home team.

Steelers 27, TItans 13

NEW ORLEANS at Carolina (+7)

This game is always closer than expected, mostly because the Saints don't travel all that well, and with the Panthers getting lots of yards and love from QB Cam Newton, there is definite upset potential... but Newton's also been turnover prone, and the Panthers don't stop the TE or run the ball well enough to avoid mistakes. Besides, I'm starting to think that teams are going to figure out this attack pretty soon.

Saints 31, Panthers 20

CINCINNATI at Jacksonville (-3)

The battle of QBs that show that rookie QBs can be useful after all. I like the Bengals, who rode ginger Andy Dalton to a nice slugout win over Buffalo last week at home, to come up with the win at the least imposing home crowd in the NFL. The Bengals' secondary is also sneaky good, somehow. That won't last, of course; this is Cincinnati.

Bengals 24, Jaguars 20

OAKLAND at Houston (-6)

Where is the Texans' team that we've all known and gotten jobbed by for years? After four weeks, they are actually playing to their talent and opportunity level, and will lock this division up as soon as the Titans fall back to earth... or will they? Oakland wins in the trenches more than just about any team in the league, and while the skill players are all meh beyond Darren McFadden, and they commit so many penalties that they can lose any close game... well, winning in the trenches on the road says cover or better to me. Especially with WR Andre Johnson missing the game, and the Texans' running game down to Arian Foster and hurt guys. The Raiders have a way of hurting guys, is all I'm saying...

Raiders 27, Titans 20

TAMPA at San Francisco (-3)

If we've learned anything from watching MNF over the years, it's that ESPN can suck the joy out of anything, and that you can analyze any game with superlative over-examination of the QB position. Anyway... from watching this Bucs team last week, I saw talent all over the place, QB Josh Freeman starting to look like his 2010 self, and the ability to actually put a game away with RB LeGarrete Blount. The Niners are going to come in too high from their big comeback win on the road, and lose their pretty defensive reputation a bit. Oh, and QB Alex Smith is still freaking horrible, and RB Frank Gore isn't what he used to be, especially against a defense that isn't light in the loafers.

Bucs 26, Niners 13

SAN DIEGO at Denver (+4)

As bad as the Chargers are as a road favorite in Denver... well, there's just something cursed-smelling about QB Kyle Orton right now. It doesn't matter how he plays, or what the real problems in Denver are (hint: both lines); he's going to take the blame, and Bronco Fan is going to pule for Tim Tebow until they get their binkie. When that happens, by the way, the Chargers will really put the petal to the metal. The Ryan Mathews Redemption Tour continues.

Chargers 34, Broncos 20

NY JETS at New England (-9)

First things first: the Jets aren't nearly as bad as they looked in Baltimore last week. And the Patriots aren't nearly as good as that final score in Oakland looked, either. Neither of these teams is as advanced as the press would leave you to believe; the Patriots are still a mess on defense, don't really win one on one matchups on offense beyond the TE, and are starting to come to grips with the idea that Stephen Ridley is going to be the bell cow in the backfield. (Which will work, so long as he doesn't get hurt or worn out. Lots of luck, rook.) The Jets will get C Nick Mangold this week, and he's merely their everything; look for the run game to perk up a bit, and a rebound game from QB Mark Sanchez. I like the Jets to cover this game, and threaten to win it, but falter at the close in a shootout. (Why so many points? Because early on, the defenses will score, and later, they'll both completely fail to get pressure on the QB.)

Patriots 31, Jets 28

GREEN BAY at Atlanta (+6)

Ah, the Revenge Game for Atlanta, who got de-pantsed in the playoffs at home... expect for the fact that the Packers are just scary good right now, and starting to figure it out on defense. Atlanta's best chance is to control the clock and tempo, but against an offense that puts up seven just about every time they touch the ball, patience is a hard thing to have. This will get away from them in the second half.

Packers 38, Falcons 24

Chicago at DETROIT (-6)

Can the Lions really go to 5-0? Sure. They'll be at home in front of a ravenously enthusiastic crowd, with a defensive line that controls games, against a team that's doing it with smoke, mirrors, and special teams. Besides, on national television, the Bears really like to see Jay Cutler get smacked around. It's fun for all of us, really!

Lions 30, Bears 20

Last week: 6-10

Year to date: 34-27-3

Career: 441-432-18


Anonymous said...

I dunno, the Eagles may come roaring back due to being the underdog. Are you picking against them in the hopes they'll win? :P

DMtShooter said...

That's just the thing -- they aren't the underdog. And this Buffalo team is better than, say, Joe Webb on the road. It's not exactly a high barrier.

Anonymous said...

Nice picks this week,straight up

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