NFL Week 5 Picks

Eric QuackenbushSenior Analyst IOctober 2, 2008

Can you believe this week starts the Second Quarter of the NFL regular season? The first four weeks zipped by seemingly unnoticed, and now the picture becomes a little less hazy—in terms of which teams are starting to look more like playoff contenders, and which teams are already seemingly out of contention...

So far all of my teams are doing fairly well. One or two bumps in the road here and there, but otherwise everything is going according to plan—unlike my weekly picks which get worse every week.

Well, here we are, the moment everyone's anticipating...

You know, if you look at my win-loss record—my advice to you is pick the teams I don't pick. Having said that, you may not want to take that advice either. Maybe you should just read this article and get some amusement from it.


Tennessee(4-0) at Baltimore(2-1*):

I never would have even imagined that the Titans would be 4-0, and with Kerry Collins as their starting quarterback no less!

The Titans looked impressive yet again, as they laid waste to the Minnesota Vikings. Both the offense and defense did a terrific job at handing Minnesota their third loss of the season.

The Ravens took one on the chin last week, as the Steelers came from behind to pull out a three-point win in OT, thus improving their record to 3-1, while dropping the Ravens to 2-1.

This is a tough game to predict. The Ravens are raving mad about losing to their division rivals, and Tennessee may be in for a surprise this week.

I do not see trap written on this game as the Titans keep their streak alive however, defeating  Baltimore by two points.

Kansas City(1-3) at Carolina(3-1):

The Chiefs pulled off—in my opinion—a real upset when they upended the Denver Broncos 33 to 19! I could not believe my eyes!

The Panthers took Atlanta down with no problem, and they await the arrival of the Chiefs in Charlotte for this Sunday's NFC/AFC matchup.

Carolina is on a roll it seems, so I'm gonna roll with them, and pick the Panthers over the Chiefs by ten.

Chicago(2-2) at Detroit(0-3):

The Lions are right on track with their losing record of 0-3.

Chicago is only one game better than Detroit, while coming off a win in Philly. 

This will be a close game however, and I am going with Da Bears in this heated division rivalry to win by seven.

Atlanta(2-2) at Green Bay(2-2):

The Falcons were looking like a great team until they ran into the proverbial brick wall, better known as the Carolina Panthers.

Green Bay had it rough last week too however, as they were shown the door on their way out of Tampa Bay with a loss.

I think the Packers will rebound from their loss, plus they're playing at home.

The Falcons are hurting after their loss, and they have to travel to Green Bay which makes for a short week of preparation.

Green Bay wins this game by 14.

San Diego(2-2) at Miami(1-2):

Two weeks ago Miami soundly and convincingly beat the Tom Brady-less Patriots.

Coming off a bye week they better hope the Chargers are Rivers-less and without LT, because San Diego is bringing it this week.

Chargers by 17.

Seattle(1-2) at NY Giants(3-0):

Both teams are returning from their Bye Weeks. Both teams went into the Bye Week with a win—the Giants win a close one over the Bengals in OT, and the Seahawks over the Rams.

This week will show everyone that either Seattle is almost completely horrible—with at least one win—or they are a team on the mend who will play a respectable game.

Obviously, I am going with the Giants in this one—without Burress—to beat Seattle by a respectable 10 points.

Washington(3-1) at Philadelphia(2-2):

Whatever committee or person makes the schedule must have really wanted to test the Redskins strength, otherwise this is just a cruel joke on a team that must—yet again—learn a whole new playbook this year. 

Washington is coming into this—the second of two consecutive division games—with a road win over Dallas, while the Eagles enter this game with a disappointing loss to Chicago.

My feeling is the Eagles will manage a close—albeit ugly—win over the Redskins by three points.

Indianapolis(1-2) at Houston(0-3*):

Come on—do you really think Peyton is going to play this poorly all season? I don't think so either.

Granted, the Colts are only 1-2 coming off their Bye Week, but with Peyton Manning recovering from his knee surgery, something's gotta give. So Peyton's playmaking abilities have suffered a little from a combination of his knee and no (Jeff) Saturday protecting him from the blitzes on Sundays.

With any luck—at the very least—Saturday will be on the offensive line helping to protect Manning from any blitzes the Texans may want to try out on the Colts offensive line to get at Manning.

I will take the road most of you probably would, and pick the Colts to win it by seven.

Tampa Bay(3-1) at Denver(3-1):

I know Denver got their butts kicked last weekend by Kansas City, but they're at the Mile High this weekend, and Tampa Bay is coming to town—I hope the Bucs bring plenty of oxygen.

Not to discredit the Bucs however, they did beat the Packers last weekend, and improved on their record to 3-1; I just can't see Tampa winning this game in Denver though. It's another one of those games where one team has to come down from their win while the opponent is amped up from losing—and to a division rival too no less.

Denver takes this one by six points.

Buffalo(4-0) at Arizona(2-2):

Well, here we—er, I go again; Buffalo is a team you must watch out for. I will continue to say this until the Bills have lost a game.

At 4-0, the Bills are looking like—well, the Patriots did last year, only without the complete blowout scores and the whole SpyGate goings on.

My thoughts and prayers still go out to Anquan Boldin and his family and friends from the massive hit and concussion he received last week against the Jets.

Unfortunately, with or without Boldin I don't foresee a win in the Cards—original, huh?

Bills trample the Cardinals by ten.

New England(2-1) at San Francisco(2-2):

It's very surreal that the Patriots are without Tom Brady, yet they rank second in their division. Matt Cassel is proving himself to be a bit more than just a backup quarterback.

San Francisco is playing some good football this season. They have a winning record so far, and quarterback JT O'Sullivan is looking pretty good as their starter.

San Franciso's offense is playing a lot better this year than in the past few years—since the departures of Terrell Owens and Jeff Garcia, the 49ers have not had a winning season to speak of.

I see New England being able to pull off a win, but it won't be a pretty win—better an ugly win than a pretty loss—of nine points.

Cincinnati(0-4) at Dallas(3-1):

The Bengals just can't win—literally, they cannot win! They are a pathetic 0-4, and going up against Dallas is not only rubbing salt in the wound, but also a torture comparable to twisting the knife.

To put it simply, Dallas is going to walk all over Cincy, and when they're done with them TO will have popcorn ready for anyone who wants it.

There's not a whole lot I can say in defense of the Bengals, and Dallas's playmakers speak for themselves.

Dallas by 21.

Pittsburgh(3-1) at Jacksonville(2-2):

Pittsburgh had a good first quarter, even though the offense (mainly halfbacks) is riddled with injuries—some players who are officially out for the season; Rashard Mendenhall being one of them.

The next big question is, will Big Ben be out this weekend? That's the gist I am getting while reading around the B/R.

If in fact Roethlisberger sits out this game, I can't see Byron Leftwich—the former Jaguars quarterback—doing much better.

Jacksonville is too fast, and has some very elusive playmakers.

Jaguars by nine.

Monday Night Football

Minnesota(1-3) at New Orleans(2-2):

This will be a rough one for Minnesota.

New Orleans at home, huge crowd of Saints fans, stadium and crowd noise reverberating off the ceiling and walls of the Superdome, and the clincher—a Monday Night, nationally televised game.

Drew Brees is a better quarterback than Gus Frerotte, the Saints have an array of weapons at receiver and tight end, and to totally dispel any hopes of the Vikings winning, Deuce McAllister makes his return to the lineup to complement Reggie Bush's efforts.

Saints take this one in a landslide of 14 points.

BYE Week: Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis, NY Jets (These teams need a break)

*Denotes early Bye Week in postponed game Ravens at Texans.

Last week was a horrible finish to my already appalling season-long record.

I finished 3-10 last week, and since starting in Week Two, my overall record is 16-24.

Check back every week for my picks!


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