NFL Picks. Week 5, 2014
Rough week, only bounced up to 32-29.
A couple of those upsets were not kind to me.
Minnesota @ Green Bay- Green Bay.
This is an easy one.
The Packers finally figured things out last weekend and just lit up a Bears team that was on a roll.
Now... It's true that Jared Allen was out and maybe the Bears weren't 100%, but that didn't stop Rodgers from putting on a passing clinic, passing for 300 yards and 4 TDs.
Are the Vikings as good as the Bears?
I don't care if Brett Favre dusts off his purple helmet and gets under center for the Vikings, without Adrian Peterson, they're not a threat to anyone.
I mean, maybe we should make a separate league for teams like this.
The Jaguars, Bucs, my Raiders, and the Vikings can play a short schedule and everyone will be happier.
Competitive games, fewer blowouts, and less of an urge for me to break my sobriety.
The Packers continue TNF's trend of blowouts with a pretty win over the VIkes.
St. Louis @ Philadelphia- Philadelphia.
Bye week or no, the Rams are not good.
Their young back-up has been playing well under center, but not well enough to come out and take advantage of a streaky Eagles defense.
Meanwhile the talented defensive line of the Rams is either hurt or playing badly.
I think this is the game where LeSean McCoy finally gets traction and rushes like he did last year.
I mean... They have to... RIght?
After the way they played last week, it's only common sense that they get back to basics.
This one is boring.
Chicago @ Carolina- Chicago.
Most teams complain about having an early bye week, I honestly think that the Bears would benefit in the long run if they were allowed to take a week off and get healthy.
Get those receivers back on track, get Jared Allen back, and get refocused.
Instead, they've gotta keep limping on and try not to fall behind the Packers and Lions.
Thankfully they get to play against the Panthers, who are completely out of sync.
They can't run the ball, Cam isn't finishing the games that he manages to play, and the secondary is getting torched regularly.
The only thing going right for the Panthers is the young Luke Kuechly.
I saw Steve Smith destroy the Panthers secondary last week, and while Marshall, Bennett, and Jeffrey aren't as emotionally invested as he was, I believe they'll have a field day as well.
Atlanta @ New York (Giants)- Atlanta.
This is a weird game.
If it were in Atlanta, I'd pick the Falcons and call it a day, but...
it's in windy New Jersey, and I question how well the Falcons will be able to throw the ball around.
I'm gonna strike out here and pick against the Giants for one last time.
If they surprise me again, then I'll have to start considering taking the G-Men.
As for the Falcons, if they're going to keep struggling on the road, then they're going to get the New Orleans treatment.
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans- New Orleans.
What a fun finish by the Bucs last week. Insane props to Lovie Smith for being able to get his team to rally.
BUT! This game is in New Orleans, and Drew Brees will be able to dink and dunk his way to a big win.
Not much to talk about here.
I'll go out on a limb and say that Jimmy Graham has multiple touchdowns and the Saints have a 100 yard rusher.
Houston @ Dallas- Dallas.
The Cowboys simply have too much firepower to lose to the Texans.
The Bills made it a close game, and they didn't have a steady QB, an explosive receiver, or a consistent runningback like the Boys do.
It won't be a blowout, but eventually the Cowboys will find the big plays that the Texans can't match.
Expect the Boys to keep feeding Murray the ball and trying to find Dez open down the field.
Plenty of points for Dallas.
Buffalo @ Detroit- Detroit.
I'm not going to hop off of the Detroit bandwagon.
Calvin Johnson is too explosive to have back to back underwhelming weeks, and the Bills are too streaky to be dependable.
Matt Stafford is quietly having an impressive year, and this version of the west coast offense has been kind to Reggie Bush.
Unless Kyle Orton is going to have some monumental breakthrough, the Bills are going to slowly fade back into AFC East purgatory.
Baltimore @ Indianapolis- Indianapolis.
Wow! What a game!
I honestly don't know!
The way that the Ravens have been playing offensively has been impressive, but a lot has changed since Andrew Luck's last match with Baltimore.
I'm going to pick...
Partially because I suspect that Fleegle's heart will win out and I want to extend MY LEAD, and partially because if it comes down to a duel, I'd pick Andrew Luck over Joe Flacco three times a week and six times on Super Bowl Sunday.
Luck has finally arrived, and after close losses to the Eagles and Broncos, he needs a signature win.
Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville- Pittsburgh.
As a rule, I'm hesitant to pick the Jags over anybody, even the Steelers, who were humiliated against the Bucs last week.
Here's how I see this game going.
The Jags won't be able to get the run going, and this will force Blake Bortles to make plays with his arm.
Seeing as he's a rookie, it won't end well, and the Steelers will simply win the turnover battle.
The Steelers will force-feed the Jags a healthy helping of Bell and Brown and the Steelers win by double-digits.
Arizona @ Denver- Denver.
This is an easy pick for me.
The Broncos are healthy and well rested, and playing against the Cardinals.
Arizona has been the Cinderella team of 2014, but I think it's time she lost her shoe.
The Broncos are going to outscore the Cardinals without a shadow of a doubt.
Their best defensive player, Patrick Peterson, has been questionable at best in coverage so far this year, and now they have to find answers for Thomas, Thomas, Sanders, and Welker...
Hey, no reason to be upset Cardinals fans, you were one of the last undefeated teams in the NFL!
With the 49ers struggling and the Rams collapsing under the weigh of pre-season expectations, this is when the Seahawks lay their claim as NFC West champs.
Kansas City @ San Francisco- San Francisco.
Two teams from the west who are struggling mightily to get back to where they were this time last year.
The Chiefs came up big on Monday Night and put the Patriots down at home.
And the 49ers offense and special teams all but handed the game to a reluctant Eagles team.
I'm not sure how to call this one.
The Chiefs finally turned it up on offense and got Jamaal Charles the ball... Or are the Patriots just that bad?
I'll go with the better pedigree and say the 49ers shut Charles down and steal the win.
New York (Jets) @ San Diego- San Diego.
The Jets just can't seem to get a break.
Every week it seems like their defense puts them in a situation where they should be able to steal a win and...
They get let down.
And now they face off with the Chargers, a proven contender.
That New York secondary is terrible.
I mean, really inexperienced and just devoid of talent.
The Chargers have a field day and Keenan Allen is a great fantasy start.
Cincinnati @ New England- Cincinnati
New England has struggled with the two worst teams in the AFC West over the two weeks, and now they face off against one of the very best teams in the NFL in primetime? I'm sorry but even if the Patriots offense does wake up, and Brandon Browner does play well, the Bengals just have too many weapons for a pitiful defense.
Seattle @ Washington- Seattle.
Reasons to pick the Redskins.
1. The Seahawks are away.
2. The Seahawks have to travel to a different time zone.
3. It might be a trap-game for the Seahawks.
See the theme?
Nothing about the Redskins.
That secondary is awful, and last week, the honeymoon ended with Kirk Cousins.
This is simple.
If the Seahawks show up. They win.
They stop the run.
The expose the burn-friendly safeties.
They shut down the receivers.
Easy win for the defending champs.
31-30... Be careful.
To say my picks took a beatdown last week would be an understatement. But, what made me laugh was when Ryan tweeted me after Buffalo lost to Houston, telling me the competition was over because he took the lead. Dude, it was week 4!!!!! Anyhow, on to this week, when I will make my comeback and retake the lead.....maybe.....
Minnesota @ Green Bay: Teddy Bridgewater looked good in his first start against Atlanta last week, aaaaand then he hurt his ankle. Green Bay recovered from a slow start and wound up blowing out the Packers, as Aaron Rodgers finally remembered that he is...well, Aaron Rodgers. All the Thursday night games have stunk this year. The closest one has been 20 points. Seriously? I think that trend will break this week, but with Bridgewater's health in question, and the game being at Lambeau, I'll roll with Rodgers and the Packers.
Baltimore @ Indianapolis: This game is very intriguing. The Ravens blew out the helpless Panthers last week thanks to Steve Smith going BONKERS against his former team. I wish he would play with that same motivation every week, although, he does already have over 400 yards. Nice to see Torrey Smith finally be remembered in the gameplan too. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck has been playing out of his mind and leading the Colts to two easy wins the last two weeks against terrible teams. The competition gets tougher for him this week! The Ravens defense is still a slight concern, but the O-Line looks great. Going with my gut here (and maybe a little bias), but, I think Baltimore finds a way to eek out a close win.
Chicago @ Carolina: A pair of teams that both need a big win. Da Bears completely fell apart last week against the Packers. And I know Jay Cutler has been taking a lot of the blame for throwing 2 picks, but his defense didn't exactly do him any favors by allowing the last 24 points of the game. Carolina, well.....they're terrible right now. And I mean TERRIBLE. 2 big losses in a row and staring a third right in the face. It'll be a tough road trip, but I think Matt Forte will have his second straight huge week against a terrible Panthers rushing defense and allow Cutler to open up the passing attack. Bears get the win on the road.
Cleveland @ Tennessee: I mean, do I have to actually make a full, educated prediction on this game? I do? Well, okay.....Tennessee sucks. I mean, sucks. I'm actually picking Cleveland to win as the road team this week. BONUS PREDICTION: expect to see some Johnny Heil Manziel this week!!!
St. Louis @ Philadelphia: Welcome back from the bye week, Rams fans! However, your team is still bad. That's my Rams analysis. Ya like it? As for Philly, good news, you got 21 non-offensive points last week. Bad news? Your offense got ZERO points and you lost. How?!? Look for the Eagles to lay a pissed off beatdown on the Rams this week.
Atlanta @ NY Giants: A very interesting game. Atlanta has looked unbeatable in their two games in the dome this season. However, in their two outdoor games? They look like a completely different team. As for the Giants, two straight wins for the G-Men after their DC blowout last week. Eli Manning is finally starting to look like the old Eli again. And guess what? The Giants get their third straight win this week, as I think Matt Ryan and the Falcons will continue their outdoor struggles. A close game, but a Giants win.
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans: TAMPA BAY WON A GAME LAST WEEK, YOU GUYS!!!!! Better yet they beat the Squeelers!!!! Anyhow, good for the Bucs for winning on the road last week. Mike Glennon looked good and composed when he had to. And the Saints.....you let me down, Drew Brees. Seriously, what the hell kind of effort was that from the Saints against the Cowboys? Didn't anyone tell you they suck on primetime football?!?!? I think the Saints win this week, not because they should, but because they HAVE too. That division is still theirs to take. They just need to step up and do it. Saints win.
Houston @ Dallas: The Battle For Texas! (even though it will still be controlled by the Cowboys, win or lose). Houston made me look like a fool for picking the Bills last week. And JJ Watt is still a beast. And as I mentioned, Dallas just completely took the Saints behind the woodshed. DeMarco Murray looks unstoppable right now, which is exactly what Tony Romo needs, a great running game. Should be a good game for a while, but I think it's too much Dallas in the end in this one.
Buffalo @ Detroit: Out goes EJ Manuel, in comes Kyle Orton. That didn't take long, did it Bills fans? Buffalo is proving to everyone that they are who we thought they were after their first two wins. As for Detroit, Calvin Johnson was completely ineffective last week and they still got a good road win. Back home in the dome this week equals another W in the column for the Lions.
Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville: This game, is actually more intriguing, than one might think. And yes, I just said that. Call me crazy, but I really think the Jags have a chance this week. Pittsburgh is coming off of a crushing home loss to the Bucs, and aside from a couple of rookie mistakes, Blake Bortles looked decent last week against the Chargers. The biggest problem here is that the Jaguars defense is still terrible. Man, I tell you guys, I'm REALLY tempted to pick Jacksonville this week. But in the end.......I just can't do it. Yes I can.....wait, no I can't. Steelers find a way to get it done.....I think.
Arizona @ Denver: A lot of people are saying this is the game of the week. I don't see it that way though. I really think that Arizona's QB situation will catch up to them this week, because they're facing off against a good Denver defense. And on the other side Denver has, you know, that Peyton Manning guy. I could be wrong, but I don't see this being all that close of a game. Broncos roll at home.
Kansas City @ San Francisco: All of a sudden, this looks like it could be a great game. Funny how a week can change things, isn't it? The Chiefs absolutely destroyed and exposed the Patriots for what they were this Monday night, while the 49ers defense looked great, special teams looked bad, and offense did just enough to overcome an Eagles offensive unit that didn't produce a single point. Another game in which I'm tempted to pick the "upset" special. But in the end....ahhhhh screw it, the Chiefs are going to win this game. Yeah that's right, I said it. The Chiefs. Are going to beat. The 49ers. This Sunday. Book it!
NY Jets @ San Diego: The Jets have problems. Lots of problems. The biggest of which is the most important position: quarterback. Add in the fact that they have to fly cross country to face off against a hot San Diego team? All the ingredients for a beatdown. Chargers win at home.
Cincinnati @ New England: "Can we PLEASE get this game flexed?"-----NBC executives after watching the Pats get blown out by the ChiefsMonday night. Seriously, I think Tom Brady and that offense were exposed by the Chiefs D this week. Brady hasn't looked good in a single game so far this season, and this past week was no exception, as he suffered one of the worst losses of his entire career, so bad that he wasn't even in the game at the end (and no, I'm not gonna be one of these people who sits here and says that Jimmy Garopollo or however you spell it should be the starter. Lets get real people). And the Bengals roll in on Sunday night as one of only two unbeaten teams left in the league, off to their best start in a long time, and fresh off a bye week. Ya think they're licking their chops in this one? I do. Bengals win on Sunday night.
Seattle @ Washington: The string of crappy MNF games continues! Seattle is fresh off a bye week, while the Redskins have had a few extra days to lick their wounds after that beatdown they took from the Giants. Seattle should win this game going away, quite frankly. Then we can start having more Cousins/RGIII debate. Yay!
I'm certain that Ryan and I will have quite a few different picks this week. Gotta create some separation at some point, right?
Ryan vs Fleegle.
There are actually a few differences this week!
I picked the Colts, he picked the Ravens.
He picked the Giants, I picked the Falcons,
I picked the 49ers, he picked the Chiefs.
Three big games! Just enough for Fleegle to get the lead... or for me to extend mine.