2009 NFL Football Week Five Preview and Picks

Week Five Preview
Week Five Preview

Who Will Win Each Game, and More Importantly, Who Will Cover the Spread

For the most part, week four was another good week for the NFL. At least in terms of watching the games. Turns out Denver isn't quite as over-rated as I had thought and San Diego still can't win in Pittsburgh. Betting on them wasn't such a walk in the park for me, though. Unlike last week, I had good reasons to be wary of all the giant point spreads because a couple of them reached out and bit me pretty hard. That whole being over the hump with a winning record against the spread thingy kinda went up in flames real quick last week. A few of them I can only blame myself for, though. I definitely should have known better than to hitch my wagon onto Oakland's falling star. They are just god awful on offense and they weren't much better on defense last week either.

Last week, I had a bit of an opposites thing going on and I ended up with a 9-5 record straight up and a rather ugly 5-9 record against the spread. Which leaves me with an overall season record of 42-19 straight up and a 30-31 record against the spread. So, now I'm back to fighting to get back to the positive side of the dial with my picks against the line, but I'm still doing pretty decent picking straight winners. I'm pretty sure I'm due a break out week against these bookies. Maybe this week is the one.

Recently the Detroit Lions Received a Visit From Some Actual Professional Football Players

Darren Sharper and the Saints defense had reason to celebrate against the Jets.
Darren Sharper and the Saints defense had reason to celebrate against the Jets.

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week four?

  • The Saints defense outshining its offense
  • Pittsburgh might be able to rush the ball after all
  • Matt Forte and Johnny Knox came up big for Chicago last week
  • Donovan Mcnabb is back behind center for the Eagles
See results without voting

What I liked in Week Four

  1. The Saints Defense Leading the Way - I predicted that the Saints would beat the Jets last week, so I wasn't surprised that they did. However, if you would have told me that the winning team was going to dominate defensively and outscore the other team's offense via turnovers, I would have picked New York to be the team that came out on top. But instead it was New Orleans who managed to be the first team to remind Mark Sanchez that he's actually a rookie. The fact that the Jets were able to for the most part shut down the Saints' high-powered offense was negated by their own offense's four turnovers, including an interception Darren Sharper returned 99 yards for a TD and a fumble during a Will Smith sack that Remi Ayodele recovered in the end zone for another TD. New Orleans, who already looked like to be on of the top five teams just based on their passing offense, has taken on an even more formidable air in the past couple weeks while beating Buffalo and New York with dominating rushing and defensive performances. My pick for them to win the Super Bowl is looking better all the time.
  2. Some Signs of Life From the Pittsburgh Run Game - Four weeks into the season, it appears that the cure for a team that is having problems rushing the ball is a game against the San Diego Chargers and their 29th ranked run defense. With that caveat being acknowledged, Rashard Mendenhall had a great game and finally gave the Pittsburgh Steelers the run threat that it has been desperately missing in the first three weeks. The 165 yards he gained represents more yardage than starter Willie Parker had in the opening three games combined before he was forced to sit out with an injury. The million dollar question is whether it will hold up or if it just a product of the Chargers bad defense.
  3. Chicago Found Gold in Forte Knox Against Detroit - Much like Mendenhall, Matt Forte finally came to life for the Bears against a less than stellar defense. The lions are much closer to the middle of the pack at number twenty in run defense. So there may be an even better chance that Forte's 119 yards rushing will be a sign of things to come after averaging less than three yards per attempt in the first three weeks. Johnny Knox, on the other hand, has been playing well all season especially when returning kicks. Before leaving the game with a minor injury, he was leading the Bears with five receptions for thirty-one yards and had returned a kick 102 yards for a touchdown.
  4. The Announcement That Mcnabb Will Be Back in Week Five - As I pointed out two weeks ago and the Eagles made abundantly clear against the Chiefs in week three, the next few games on Philadelphia's schedule could be won even with Kevin Kolb playing in place of Donovan Mcnabb. Which is why I hope he did wait until he is healed enough that his previously fractured ribs won't bother him in future. Provided that is the case and he isn't at risk of re-injuring them, the Eagles are definitely in a position to real off a bunch of wins and give themselves a good chance to contend for a playoff spot.


Pretty much how it went all day long for Marshawn Lynch and the Bills offense.
Pretty much how it went all day long for Marshawn Lynch and the Bills offense.

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week four?

  • Marshawn Lynch might as well have been suspended four games the way he played last week
  • Everybody in Green Bay should be fired and replaced by clones of Aaron Rodgers
  • The Ravens receivers' new nicknames should be "Hands of Stone"
  • Eli Manning might be risking the season by trying to play while injured
See results without voting

What I Didn't Like in Week Four

  1. Marshawn Lynch's Less Than Triumphant Return - Much of the talk leading up to Buffalo's week four game with Miami revolved around the return of Marshawn Lynch and the positive impact it was going to have on the Bills' offense. He did indeed return after being suspended for the first three weeks, but it didn't quite have the impact that everyone was expecting against the Dolphins. Pretty much nobody had predicted that he would have a whopping 1/2 yard per carry average (eight attempts for four yards) Not quite what you would label as "beast mode." After starting out with a fairly promising showing in the first two weeks, things continue to just get worse in a hurry in Buffalo, especially on offense.
  2. Every Member of the Green Bay Packers Organization Except Aaron Rodgers - What's been buried in all the accolades being flung Brett Favres' way (we'll revisit that later), is the fact that that Monday game in Minnesota said a lot more about what is wrong with the Packers than it did about what is right about the Vikings. Which is to say just about everything, except for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is actually the one that kept any hope alive for Green Bay to win that game. Even while getting sacked eight times in one game and running for his life the rest of the time, he still managed to throw for 384 yards with a QB rating of 110.6 and over 70% accuracy. Aaron Rodgers obviously wasn't the problem against Minnesota. There certainly is plenty of blame to go around though. As usual, it starts with the offensive line that is allowing an average of five sacks a game through the first games. Next up is the "new improved' defense that never even came close to pressuring Favre, so he could just sit back and look for his receivers to get open, and played such soft coverage that there were no shortage of wide open Vikings receivers once Brett decided he was ready to toss the ball to them. Of course, you have to give credit to Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy who assembled all that talent, failing to use even a single first round draft pick on the offensive line in the process. Special recognition goes to McCarthy failing to give Daryn Colledge any help against Jared Allen, who had four and a half sacks by himself, and for panicking and going for a touchdown on fourth and goal instead of kicking a field goal in the third quarter. Had they taken the easy points instead of chasing points when they didn't have to, they would have only been down by six on their final drive (10 points minus the FG and a failed two point conversion that they wouldn't have needed to try) and therefore in a position to win it with a touchdown instead of having to go for a field goal and then also recover an onside kick.
  3. The Ravens Dropping It Like It's Hot - Even as badly as Baltimore played in the first half of their game against New England, they still had a great chance to win. Instead the Ravens receivers dropped three passes in the final seventy seconds of the game all of them from inside the Patriots twenty yard line, while trailing by six points. First, Mark Clayton dropped what would have been a touchdown in the end zone. Then Derrick Mason dropped a pass on third down that would have given them a first down. Finally, Clayton sealed the deal by failing to catch a perfectly thrown pass that would have given them a first and goal inside the eight yard line with 28 seconds remaining. Even Terrell Owens said, "WTF!?!" when they told him about that little stretch of the dropsies.
  4. Eli Manning Pulling Up Lame Early in the Season - This is one particular situation that could ultimately end up being nothing or could be something. However, if it does turn into something it could be a big something. The reason is that plantar fasciitis, can be a chronically painful and lingering condition that usually doesn't go away unless the person afflicted with it rests long enough for it to recover. It's also something that can effect the person suffering from it's mobility and ability to put weight on the effected area, which might affect a QB's ability to plant his leg properly when throwing the ball. With David Carr being the only back up QB for the Giants, there is much chance of Eli Manning resting during the season unless he absolutely has to. Which means, if things get worse, it could be in the middle of or toward the end of the season before New York decides to pull the plug on Eli and that would be too late for him to recover and return this season.

Roy Williams after one of several viscous hits Dallas receivers have suffered reaching for overthrown balls.
Roy Williams after one of several viscous hits Dallas receivers have suffered reaching for overthrown balls.

Have Your Say

What is the most significant thing you learned in week four?

  • Tony Romo has a habit of hurting the ones who love him most
  • The Broncos were still taking advantage of weak competition last week
  • When people talk about Steve Smith these days, they mean the guy up north
  • The Steelers just can't close the door on teams this season
See results without voting

What I Learned in Week Four

  1. Tony Romo Must Hate His Receivers - Amongst all the things that are being mentioned about the problems with Tony Romo this season, the worst of the bunch is the way he keeps putting his receivers in a position to get killed by defenders. It was especially bad in the Denver game, but all season long he has been over throwing Dallas receivers just enough that they have to stretch out to try and catch the ball. Unfortunately for them, this leaves them wide open for a defensive player to hit them hard while they are completely defenseless. Roy Williams was a victim of one such play against the Broncos and will be out of the Cowboys' game against the Chiefs this week because of the resulting rib injury. Even if the other receivers don't end up injured from Romo's habit of throwing passes high and away, they might be prone to a couple related afflictions. One is a shortening of the arms that gives a receiver an alligator like appearance when they reach for passes. The other is a thumping sound in their head similar to the sound of footsteps, which tends to divert their concentration away from trying to catch the ball.  
  2. The Broncos Might Just Finish Slightly Better Than 8-8 - Similar to the Vikings/Packers game, the Denver/Dallas game was one of those instances where a game says much more about what is wrong with the loser than it does about how good the winner is. To their credit, the Broncos did play better than I thought they would. However, the Cowboys truly earned that loss and they played much worse than I had expected they would, especially on offense. As already mentioned above, Tony Romo was way off on many of his passes and couldn't even keep track of the fact that it was fourth down after throwing his second of two off target passes from the Broncos two yard line to seal the game away. Plenty of bad play calling pushed Wade Philips that much closer to the dreaded Dead Coach Walking list (along with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who at one time was the most likely candidate to replace Philips). So between the Cowboys gift wrapping a victory for them, and them looking a little than I thought they would, I'm revising my assessment from the Broncos being lucky to 8-8 this season to them being likely to finish 8-8 or even 9-7. The Broncos have a habit of starting off with four or five wins and playing defense at a record breaking pace early in the season and then folding up shop at the midway point and fading down the stretch. This week against the Patriots is where they begin the long road south.  
  3. The Real Steve Smith Resides in New York City - There used to be the original Steve Smith down in Carolina and that other guy named Steve Smith up in New York. The one in Carolina was arguably the best receiver in the league and instantly made the Panther's offense better anytime he was on the field. The other guy up in New York wasn't too bad, but was pretty much a role player. Except this season the guy in Carolina has "only" caught fifteen passes in three games, while the guy in New York has already caught thirty four passes in just four games. Original Steve's best game was in week two when he caught eight passes, while New Improved Steve is averaging eight and a half catches a game putting him on a pace to challenge Marvin Harrison's season record for receptions in a season (143). Granted Carolina Steve has been handicapped by Jake Delhomme habit of closing his eyes and just tossing the ball out in a random direction, but still that's a hell of a pace for New York Steve so far.
  4. It's Never Over 'Til it's Over Against Pittsburgh- Well I guess all good things don't have to come to an end after all, as I said when predicting that San Diego would finally win a game in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers sure did try to give them every chance they could want to come back and win it after running away with it early. After being up 28-0 in the third quarter, Pittsburgh was outscored 28-7 by San Diego before they finally put the game away with a field goal that gave them a ten point lead with less than a minute remaining. It was that close to the fourth time in four games that they let a team come back from a big lead to either force overtime or beat them. The Steelers definitely need to find a fat lady who knows how to sing soon or they will be in big trouble this year.

The Raiders are no longer honoring their commitments.
The Raiders are no longer honoring their commitments.

Have Your Say

What is the thing you were least surprised by in week four?

  • The Raiders just keep finding new lows to sink to
  • Some teams are actually as bad as Oakland on offense
  • Michael Crabtree wasn't going past October without a contract regardless
  • The refs lied, Cleveland really tied
See results without voting

What I already Knew

  1. The Raiders are Committed to Anything But Excellence - In terms of dysfunction, the Browns and Raiders are in a fierce race to the bottom. Both of them have got issues that permeate the whole franchise and make it hard to pick a winner, but I'd have to give Oakland the nod based on consistency and the fact that the consistency is pretty much guaranteed by the fact that their owner, Al Davis, is one of the most dysfunctional elements in the mix. You can fire a coach, but their is no rule like in Star Trek where someone else can take over the franchise if the owner has obviously become incompetent. Every time you think the Raiders have hit rock bottom they pull another rabbit out of that hat and sink a little lower. Whether it is their head coach facing arrest for punching an assistant coach, the front office (i.e. Davis) trying to ban a reporter from broadcasting their games because he pointed out some of the wacky stuff going on, or their number one pick at quarterback compiling a less than impressive 30% career pass completion percentage, there doesn't seem to be a category they don't embarrass themselves in as an organization.
  2. Oakland Does Have Some Competition for the Worst Offense in the World - As bad as the Oakland is in the all round category they do have some company in the area of offensive ineptitude. In fact, the Rams are actually outpacing everyone with an average of just six points a game, which is four and a half points below the Raiders, and they've been outscored 108-24 in the first four games of the season. Washington is putting up a pretty good fight too, having failed to score more than seventeen points in thirteen out of their last twenty games. It's that kind of consistency at sucking that keeps them in the hunt every year. The Browns and the Panthers are in the mix as well with averages of just over twelve points a game, while Tampa has a chance, although their 13.5 points a game makes them the dark horse.
  3. Michael Crabtree Would Be In Uniform By the End of October - As foolish as it was for him to sit out this long, it would have been criminally stupid for Michael Crabtree to skip the entire season and likely end up being drafted in a worse spot. It obviously would have been bad for 49ers also if they were unable to sign him, but at least they would have had the option of trading his rights for something. The deadline to sign him would have been November 17th or he could not play for San Francisco and they would have had no option but to try and trade him within the next seven weeks after that. Based on that, my estimation was that it would come sometime within the last two weeks of October, because neither side would want to get too close to that deadline plus the Niners' bye in week six would make for a good transition. So it came about a week early, but I wasn't particularly surprised when he signed all of a sudden.
  4. The Bengals Missed That Field Goal - Cincinnati should rightfully be 2-1-1 because that kick looked way off. And Rob Ryan, the Browns defensive coordinator, even claims he has a video tape that shows it wide to the right. Not that I'm particularly complaining since I hate ties and they screw the standings up, but I'm just saying that thing outside the poles.


Brett Favre was named player of the week after a huge game in week four...of the 2008 season.
Brett Favre was named player of the week after a huge game in week four...of the 2008 season.

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

  • The Brett Favre love might go horribly wrong like it did last season
  • The reports of the Patriots' death are greatly exaggerated
  • Braylon Edwards could push the Jets over the top
  • he Titans might not even win a game until the second half of the season
See results without voting

Predictions for Week Five

  1. It's Deja-Vu All-Over Again For Brett Favre - Brett Favre has played well thus far this season, that much is true. But people seem to be forgetting that he was playing great at the beginning of last season and Jets fans were carrying on about what a great move it was to pick him up. It's a long season and things can change fast, especially when someone is forty years old. I'm not necessarily saying they will, but don't get too worked up four games into the season
  2. The Patriots are Getting Back On Track - Speaking of old people that are playing well again. Guess who has returned from the dead all of a sudden over the course of the past two weeks. Admittedly, the Patriots haven't overwhelmed anyone the past couple, but they have managed to grit it out against two teams that were considered among the top in the NFL and come out on top. In the process, Tom Brady has progressively gotten better and don't now, but Wes Welker is back, which can only be a good thing for Brady.
  3. The Braylon Edwards Trade Could Put the Jets Over the Top - Braylon Edwards obviously has some baggage, both on and off the field. However, most of the criticism against him has been about his lax attitude and lack of concentration. Thing is, playing for a perennially horrible team can tend to give a player a bad attitude. As he showed in the 2007 season when he caught eighty passes, the potential is definitely there and the Jets will be in the thick of the fight this season. With their already brutal defense, if Edwards lives up to that potential, the Jets will be a huge favorite to win it all.
  4. Turn Out the Lights, the Party is Over For the Titans - It's time to officially stick a fork the Titans. With the way Tennessee got spanked by a mediocre Jacksonville team, they might just end up starting out 0-8, before they get a team they could beat (Buffalo). Which would make them 4-22 without Albert Haynesworth, since he became a starter. As bad as they are playing on defense right now, I'd be surprised if they win five games this year. And it's all defense, Kerry Collins is actually playing on par statistically with where he was at this time last year.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Five NFL Games

Sun, Oct. 11
10:00 am (PST)
11:00 am (MST)
12:00 pm (CST)
1:00 pm (EST)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against The Spread
Buffalo
Cleveland
6.0
Buffalo
Cleveland
Pittsburgh
Detroit
10.5
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Minnesota
St. Louis
9.5
Minnesota
Minnesota
Dallas
Kansas City
8.5
Dallas
Dallas
New York Giants
Oakland
15.5
New York Giants
New York Giants
Philadelphia
Tampa Bay
14.5
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Carolina
Washington
3.5
Washington
Washington
Baltimore
Cincinnati
8.5
Baltimore
Cincinnati
Sun, Oct. 11
1:00 pm (PST)
2:00 pm (MST)
3:00 pm (CST)
4:00 pm (EST)
San Francisco
Atlanta
2.5
San Francisco
San Francisco
New England
Denver
3.0
New England
New England
Arizona
Houston
5.5
Arizona
Houston
Seattle
Jacksonville
2.0
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
Sun, Oct. 11
5:20 pm (PST)
6:20 pm (MST)
7:20 pm (CST)
8:20 pm (EST)
Indianapolis
Tennessee
3.5
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Mon, Oct. 12
5:35 pm (PST)
6:35 pm (MST)
7:35 pm (CST)
8:35 pm (EST)
New York Jets
Miami
1.5
New York Jets
New York Jets
Teams With Byes This Week: Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego

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4 comments

ShyneIV profile image

ShyneIV 6 years ago from Montreal

We have the exact same picks except for two games: I picked Carolina and Seattle to win. I'm planning on sweeping every game this week (mind you, that's my objective every week, so take that with a grain of salt); let's see how this thing shapes up.


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Uh oh, it's not looking good for the home team. I just took a shot for a slight upset with Jacksonville and I was hoping the Redskins would make some plays on defense. It'd nice if the Jaguars would have announced they weren't gonna play their best receiver a bit earlier than the morning of the game.


richbrown80 profile image

richbrown80 6 years ago

how about dem atlanta falcons...ohhh yeaa


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

They bounced back pretty good. I wasn't surprised they won, even though I picked the Niners. The way they won was a bit unexpected. I figured that game could have gone either way.

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