Friday, October 9, 2015

NFL Picks, Week 5

This week's NFL TV maps: 506sports

The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
St. Louis at Green Bay (CBS, 1 PM)
Seattle at Cincinnati (FOX, 1PM)
New England at Dallas (CBS, 4:25 PM)

The entire country will see 
San Francisco at New York Giants (NBC, 8:30)
Pittsburgh at San Diego (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

As always, home team in CAPS.

HOUSTON (-4.5) over Indianapolis
I was all set to pick the Colts, because I was past the point of trusting the Houston offense with Mallet as quarterback, but I kept reading all of the stories surrounding Matt Hasselbeck's illness and related hospital stay. In fact, Hasselbeck never practiced this week. Oh, and he's 40 years old. Seemed like a recipe for disaster on the road on Thursday night. But the power of the Texans' suck was too much even for Hasselbeck, even after Bill O'Brien finally came to his senses and left Brian Hoyer in the game.

Jacksonville (+3) over TAMPA BAY 
Jameis Winston is Captain Turnover right now. I'm banking on Jacksonville's D being good enough to force a couple more in this game and that being the difference.

Buffalo (-1.5) over TENNESSEE 
Trying not to overreact to the last game for the Bills. They're going to struggle on offense with a bunch of players out, but the D should hound Mariota and not let him get comfortable.

Cleveland (+6.5) over BALTIMORE
Josh McCown's stats for 2015: 66.3% completion, 746 yards (7.61 ypa), 4TDs, 1 INT. Those aren't bad numbers. Granted, he was awful last year in Tampa Bay and most of his action came against Oakland and San Diego (and Cleveland lost both of those games), but McCown is much closer to his Bears 2013 year than his Bucs 2014 year so far.

Also, who is Joe Flacco going to throw to? No, really? Kamar Aiken? Chris Givens after he's been on the team for 6 whole days?

ATLANTA (-7.5) over Washington 
Kirk Cousins can't keep up with a good offense. Right now, Atlanta is a good offense.

Chicago (+9) over KANSAS CITY 
The Bears aren't a good team, but they're not a hapless team either (unless Jimmy Clausen is prominently involved). I have been waiting for Kansas City's defense to wreck some quarterbacks, and since the first half of the week 2 Denver game, it just has not happened.

PHILADELPHIA (-5) over New Orleans 
I simply don't trust the Saints defense in this one. I know the Eagles have looked disjointed on offense, but they are a better team than the Saints.

GREEN BAY (-9.5) over St. Louis 
If this game were in St. Louis I'd pick the Rams. But in Lambeau Aaron Rodgers is basically untouchable. The Rams defense will put up some resistance, but not nearly enough for Nick Foles to keep up.

CINCINNATI (-3) over Seattle 
Marshawn Lynch is out again. Seattle is down to 3 healthy cornerbacks, and the offensive line's...ummm....
That's it. If Detroit's pass rush can get 6 sacks of Russell Wilson, Cincinnati's might get 18.

Arizona (-2.5) over DETROIT 
Lost amid the hubbub over KJ Wright's apparently illegal bat was just how Lions a thing it was for Calvin Johnson to fumble the ball on the 1-yard line to turn 1st and Goal into a turnover. Tough to bounce back from that when you're already 0-4. Tougher still to do it against a (mostly) rolling Cardinals team.

New England (-8.5) over DALLAS
Brandon Weeden's going to keep up with the Patriots? Unless Greg Hardy takes out Rob Gronkowski, that isn't happening. Okay, you're right. Even without Gronk it still wouldn't happen.

Denver (-4.5) over OAKLAND
Peyton Manning (even this version) owns the AFC West. Oakland isn't going to be the team that makes this statement untrue.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-7) over San Francisco 
Where have you gone, Colin Kaepernick, a city turns its lonely eyes to you. He was always a raw talent, but it is amazing how far he has fallen. Also amazing, how the current coaching staff is not tailoring the offense to his strengths.

SAN DIEGO (-3) over Pittsburgh 
Michael Vick is not at the stage in his career where he gets better with game reps. His limitations simply get more pronounced with game reps. Unless the defense steals this one for the Steelers, they're not winning this one on the road. And the defense isn't stealing this one from Philip Rivers.

This week: 0-1 (D'oh!)
Last week: 7-8 (.467)
Season: 29-33-1 (.468)

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