Week 5 of the NFL season is sure to be great.
Highlighted by the classic Patriots-Jets and Broncos-Chargers rivalries, this weekend's slate also features games between top teams like the Packers-Falcons matchup and the Buccaneers-49ers game.
Cam Newton and the suddenly high-octane Carolina Panthers face off with the always high-scoring New Orleans Saints.
A bunch of teams are looking to get off the schneid, as the Chiefs take on the Colts and the Cardinals look to keep the Vikings winless.
A great week of action with every game picked right here.
Pick: New Orleans Saints by at least 13
One of the first games on the schedule is one of the games I'm most confident about. Absolutely nothing against Cam Newton and company, I just don't think they're ready for prime time just yet.
The Saints have been here before and can outscore anyone. When it comes to finally getting a stop, the Saints can and the Panthers D just won't.
Picking the Saints to win this one as Brees is able to keep calm under pressure and Newton should falter late.
Pick: Colts by a late defensive touchdown
Both the Colts and the Chiefs are better teams than they'll be given credit for, however both have big injuries that their teams aren't capable of dealing with.
Curtis Painter isn't a legitimate starting QB in the NFL and some might say the same about Matt Cassel. However, the biggest difference here is on defense. The Colts can apply plenty of pass rush and stop teams up the middle, while the Chiefs have talent, but can't seem to put it all together.
Best case scenario for the Chiefs is my pick listed above, a late sack fumble by Dwight Freeney to ice the game. Worst case scenario would be the same thing happening in the third quarter and the wheels coming off.
Pick: Buffalo Bills in a blowout
Speaking of the wheels coming off, it's just about that time for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles have too much talent to keep losing, but it still feels as if things will get worse before they get better. The linebacking corps couldn't slow down a pee-wee team and the defensive scheme isn't helping matters in the secondary.
When you have issues on defense, the Bills will put a 50 spot on you quickly.
I'm not super confident in this pick because the Eagles could easily man up and prove me wrong, but when push comes to shove, I have to pick the Bills, and if the Bills win, it should be by a lot.
Pick: Giants by at least 10
There's a lot to like about the Seahawks. They should be able to get their rush game going against the Giants injured front and Tarvaris Jackson is doing his annual "play just well enough to keep the coaches happy but the fans pissed" routine.
Still, the Giants are rolling (for the most part) and seem like their best football is ahead of them. Eli Manning seems to be "staying out of the way" of the offense and Ahmad Bradshaw has stepped his game up to the next level.
The biggest factor in this game is the location, the Seahawks are a young, mostly inexperienced team, and that kind of team never does well across country.
Pick: Bengals by three
It's the battle of the rookie QBs neither team really wanted to start this year!
So far, Andy Dalton has performed admirably, while one can hardly fault Blaine Gabbert's issues, who is the Jaguars third starting QB since training camp. Expect the Bengals to control the ball and the tempo of this one from start to finish as Gabbert scuttles early and often.
Maurice Jones-Drew is obviously the wildcard here, but the Bengals are only allowing 3.1 yards per carry this season and that trend should continue.
Pick: Titans by 10
The downfall of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise isn't nearly as catastrophic as some might like you to believe, but it's happening suddenly and in a very public way.
Injuries along the offensive line can cripple any team, but the Steelers already had line troubles. Without protection, Big Ben is in serious trouble (pun intended) and the wide receivers have no chance of getting the ball no matter how open they may be.
Matt Hasselbeck isn't the best QB in this matchup, but he'll be the most effective.
Pick: Texans by 5
This game could (and should) be a running back battle.
Arian Foster vs. Darren McFadden, who can rush more times without completely falling apart at the seams?
Foster is a workhorse and has a great offensive line in front of him. Yet, the Raiders have a great offensive line as well, if unheralded. McFadden is also more dynamic of a back.
These two teams will trade punches, but when the trigger needs to be pulled, expect Matt Schaub to have more success late in the game as he needs to take to the air.
Pick: Cardinals by a late Kevin Kolb touchdown followed by a late Donovan McNabb pick
This game is setting up to really twist the knife in the collective heart of Vikings nation.
Kevin Kolb is the QB many of the fans wanted, now he comes to town to crush their hopes and dreams. He's bringing Beanie Wells along with him, who may not be a great NFL back, but he's hot right now and the Vikings D is not.
On the other side of things, McNabb is just about done as Vikings QB. The Arizona defense is bendable, but opportunistic, and should be able to take advantage of one of his many maddening mistakes.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers by 10
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team everyone expected to be good and then forgot about. The San Francisco 49ers are a team most people assumed would be middle-of-the-road and have opened a lot of eyes. Overall, both teams have a lot of talent and both teams will make it hard to ignore them for the rest of the season.
The quarterbacks are on separate trajectories. Alex Smith, long hated by Niners fans, has done more than enough to keep his team in games this year. Josh Freeman has been excellent as well for the Bucs, as the running game has had trouble getting off the ground.
In this matchup, look for the 49ers rush defense to continue to hassle LeGarrette Blount, and Frank Gore to get rolling early. The Buccaneers should keep it pretty close, but fall short on the road.
Pick: Patriots by 10
The best thing about this game is the lack of foot jokes surrounding it, and the absence of any talk of Rex Ryan's proclivities.
Oops, sorry for bringing it up.
In Foxboro, the Patriots are always dangerous, and the Jets seem to be reeling right now. They're not out of it, but a solid punch could certainly knock them down for the afternoon. Shonn Greene is quickly becoming "yesterday's news" and Mark Sanchez isn't good enough to win this one by himself.
Tom Brady is, and he'll have plenty of help anyway.
Pick: Chargers by at least two touchdowns
I may be Kyle Orton's last fan club member.
He's gotten too big of a rap for being the face of a talentless team and near-constant turnover of coaches, personnel and scheme. He's probably the most talented player on that offense and he will never get any credit for it, just like he didn't in Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Chargers are probably America's least respected team. Normally a slow-starting team, they're 3-1 this season and the only theme is "who have they beaten?"
The Chargers have a high-scoring offense and a seriously unappreciated top 10 defense. They should be able to win big in this one.
Pick: Packers By 10
Things get serious as the NFL's best team heads to Atlanta to take on the Falcons who are much better than their 2-2 record would indicate.
The Falcons traded away their future for Julio Jones and didn't figure out how to best integrate him into their offense until recently.
Thanks a lot lockout.
The Falcons bring a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and may end up winning the NFC South despite their slow start. Yet, the Packers have fired on all cylinders as if they're still marching toward the Super Bowl. No team looks better, and that should continue on Sunday night.
Pick: Lions by two after a late field goal
It wouldn't be a Lions win if they weren't making it interesting.
The storylines here are endless, perfect for a Monday night matchup, as both Bears coordinators formerly coached for the Lions, and Roy Williams was long a posterboy for both Matt Millen's ineptitude and Martin Mayhew's genius.
This game should be a battle in the trenches, as both offensive lines are suspect, and both teams field a tenacious defensive line.
The Bears should be able to score here and stop the Lions offense for much of the game. However, if the Lions have proved one thing on their seven-game winning streak, it's that they can score when it counts.
A late drive will put them in position, and Jason Hanson should seal the deal.