NFL Picks Week 5: Survivor Pool Locks and Games to Avoid

RM HeroldFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2010

NFL Picks Week 5: Survivor Pool Locks and Games to Avoid

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Heading into Week 5 of the NFL schedule we are starting to get a feel for what each of the teams are bringing to the table.

    Curiously enough, the NFL schedule-makers decided to take three of the four teams fresh off bye weeks and send them on the road for games.

    Here's a list of games with spreads, and what to expect from the teams.

14. Jacksonville at Buffalo

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    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Line

    Jacksonville  at - 1

     

    Why the Bills Could Win

    Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven he can make passes when given time, and now that Marshawn Lynch has been traded, Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller will know that they are guaranteed carries.

     

    Why the Jags Could Win

    Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off a 100-yard game, and the team is still buzzing from knocking off the Indianapolis Colts.

     

    Prediction

    I think Jacksonville is finding their stride. Don't be surprised if it is a shootout.

     

    Jacksonville 24 Buffalo 21

    Josh Scobee comes through again.

13. Tampa Bay at Cincinnati

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    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Line

    Cincinnati at - 6.5

     

    Why the Bengals Could Win

    Terrell Owens has found his mojo, and so has Carson Palmer. Not sure what to call last week against Cleveland, since division games are always tough to figure out. Tampa doesn't have a Peyton Hillis to run over Cincinnati.

     

    Why the Buccaneers Could Win

    They were 2-0 before getting beat up pretty badly in Week 3 against the Steelers. If Josh Freeman can keep getting better and the the running game supports him they could catch the Bengals on one of their many off weeks.

     

    Prediction

    I think the Bengals start to look for consistency from week-to-week and win this one by more than a touchdown.

     

    Bengals 27 Bucs 17

12. Atlanta at Cleveland

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Line

    Atlanta at - 3

     

    Why the Falcons Could Win

    Matt Ryan could still be on the high from bringing his team back from behind and fighting through his interception to lead the team to a game-winning field goal over the Niners.

     

    Why the Browns Could Win

    In Peyton they trust. Hillis, that is. And they might get a boost from getting their starting quarterback, Jake Delhomme, back from injury, though Seneca Wallace has kept them close in all the games that he has played in this year.

     

    Prediction

    Matty Ice and the Falcons prevail. Cleveland is going to keep it close, though. Ironically, the quarterback change might be detrimental to what they are putting together.

     

    Falcons 21 Browns 13

11. St. Louis at Detroit

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    Line

    Detroit at - 3

     

    Why the Lions Could Win

    Shaun Hill is throwing the ball like no one's business, almost catching the Packers last week. If Jahvid Best is healthy, they will be a very explosive offense.

     

    Why the Rams Could Win

    All you need is a fully-functioning Steven Jackson and the gun-slinging rookie Sam Bradford and you have excitement.

     

    Prediction

    I don't see the Lions stopping this Rams team. Bradford is playing like a veteran, and the healthier Jackson gets the more they can breeze through this schedule.

     

    Rams 27 Lions 21

10. Kansas City at Indianapolis

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Line

    Indianapolis at - 8.5

     

    Why the Chiefs Could Win

    They might play the no-respect card. They are the only undefeated team left in the league, and they are eight-and-a-half point underdogs? That is cold.

     

    Why the Colts Could Win

    Because Peyton Manning won't let them lose two games in a row. Manning will make sure it doesn't come down to a field goal.

     

    Prediction

    The Colts have lost two key members of their secondary in Bob Sanders and Melvin Bullitt. Maybe Matt Cassel can take advantage of that, but I doubt it.

     

    Colts 30 Chiefs 24

9. Green Bay at Washington

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Line

    Green Bay at - 2.5

     

    Why the Packers Could Win

    Even though their running game  has problems, Aaron Rodgers is playing as well as any quarterback in the league. He is even up high on the team's rushing charts.

     

    Why the Redskins Could Win

    McNabb and his Redskins are as up-and-down as any team in the league. If they put forward a full game, they can hang around with anyone.

     

    Prediction

    New Redskins running back Ryan Torain might find it hard to find creases in the Packers running defense. Skins will also suffer let down from the emotional Eagles game.

     

    Packers 30 Redskins17

8. Chicago at Carolina

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Line

    Chicago at - 2.5

     

    Why the Bears Could Win

    If Jay Cutler is healthy, and Matt Forte can find some holes, they will be more than fine this week. It's very important that the Bears bounce back after getting beat up by the Giants.

     

    Why the Panthers Could Win

    If Steve Smith can make it through his high ankle sprain and play this week, they will at least have a chance. Without him they will be going with a batch of unproven receivers and a rookie quarterback.

     

    Prediction

    Chicago gets healthy and back on the winning path on Carolina's watch.

     

    Bears 24 Panthers 10

7. Denver at Baltimore

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Line

    Baltimore at - 7

     

    Why the Broncos Could Win

    If the Broncos can rediscover their running game and make the Ravens remember how it was to face Cleveland and Peyton Hillis, they might then have a shot for Orton to get it downfield to any one of his four receivers.

     

    Why the Ravens Could Win

    Joe Flacco is finally getting the ball around to both his new receivers as well as his old reliable ones. If they can finally get something out of Ray Rice, this team will be hitting on all cylinders.

     

    Prediction

    The Ravens win, but Orton makes a furious late comeback.

     

    Raven 27 Broncos 21

6. NY Giants at Houston

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Line

    Houston at - 3

     

    Why the Texans Could Win

    If the Texans can get protection for Matt Schaub so that he doesn't go down nine times like Jay Cutler, this could be a shootout. And don't forget Arian Foster.

     

    Why the Giants Could Win

    Simple, get to the quarterback...and get to the him as often as possible. If Ahmad Bradshaw keeps running hard, they will out-muscle the Texans.

     

    Prediction

    The Texans protect Schaub, and he tosses the ball around for a close win. Keep in mind though that the Texans might be without Jacoby Jones and Andre Johnson.

     

    Texans 28 Giants 24

5. New Orleans at Arizona

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Line

    New Orleans at - 7.5

     

    Why the Cardinals Could Win

    If Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower take over and if the few passes that Larry Fitzgerald gets thrown to him are long ones, Arizona might pull off the upset.

     

    Why the Saints Could Win

    Drew Brees goes back to throwing to all of his receivers, and if Pierre Thomas isn't back but they can get significant yards from Chris Ivory and Ladell Betts they will be fine.

     

    Prediction

    I can't believe the spread is this low. I think New Orleans gets back some of it's high-powered scoring from last year by getting some turnovers and throwing some long bombs.

     

    Saints 31 Cardinals 10

4. Philadelphia at San Francisco

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

     

    Line

    San Francisco - 3

     

    Why the 49ers Could Win

    How often is an 0-4 team favored over a 2-2 team? When that 0-4 team was predicted to win their division and is desperate for a win. And when they have Frank Gore.

     

    Why the Eagles Could Win

    Kevin Kolb has to play better. Period. He has to get the ball to his wide receivers and not just to his running back on check downs. He can't play scared.

     

    Prediction

    I have been saying this for weeks: The Niners get their first win.

     

    49ers 17 Eagles 13

3. San Diego at Oakland

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Line

    San Diego at - 6

     

    Why the Chargers Could Win

    This could be Philip Rivers' MVP season. If he keeps tossing the ball around like he has and carries the team to a division title, he could get it.

     

    Why the Raiders Could Win

    Bruuuuuuce. As in Bruce Gradkowski, the leader of the Raiders. If he can keep them in it and Michael Bush can break a few, this could be a high scoring game.

     

    Prediction

    Rivers gets help from his rookie back Ryan Mathews, and they win in Oakland.

     

    Chargers 27 Raiders 20

2. Tennessee at Dallas

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Line: Dallas at - 6.5

     

    Why the Titans Could Win

    Chris Johnson is having a down year by his standards, but all it takes is one 200-yard game to get him back to where he was. And he can do it at any time.

     

    Why the Cowboys Could Win

    Fresh off a bye and still feeling good about their last game, they can ride that momentum and pressure Vince Young into some turnovers.

     

    Prediction

    Dallas does just that and wins their second straight.

     

    Cowboys 30 Titans 17

1. Minnesota at NY Jets

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Line

    New York Jets at - 4.5

     

    Why the Jets Could Win

    They are clicking on all cylinders and are getting a big weapon back  in Santonio Holmes. If they keep the turnovers down, they will win and cover.

     

    Why the Vikings Could Win

    Their two marquee names show up on the big Monday Night stage. Adrian Peterson runs wild, and Brett Favre does what Favre does on Monday night. Look for Jared Allen to put pressure on Sanchez.

     

    Prediction

    Vikings in the upset.

     

    Vikings 27 Jets 24

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