I love going to places like sportsline where the “experts” make their picks every week, and it’s usually hit or miss. It always makes me feel like they’re totally guessing, even though at least one of them will explain why he picked the teams he picked, and he’ll even give you a general score that you’re supposed to take as the god’s honest truth. Yet, when the dust settles on Tuesday morning and the week is in the books, you see that he only picked five of the games correctly, at least as it came to the winner, and those five games were usually the ones that were the most “obvious” anyway. Yes, I also thought Seattle would beat Jacksonville, and the margin would be huge. I don’t think that makes me an expert, or makes him an expert. But to correctly pick a game like this week’s Green Bay vs. Detroit game, or Thursday night’s Cleveland vs. Buffalo game, that might just mean something.
So, I decided to do my own spin on posting picks for the week every Wednesday, and I’ll keep a running tally on here telling you how well I did from week to week and overall. Here are my picks for week 5:
Buffalo @ Cleveland – Cleveland is riding a high from winning the last two games, so they have to come down sometime. They’re just not as good as that, but this week isn’t the week. Buffalo is coming off a game where their supposed #1 receiver had one catch for -1 yards, and both of their running backs got hurt. This is a short week, and maybe they get one or both running backs into this game, but neither one will be 100%. I like Hoyer’s chances against a banged up Buffalo defense, too, and Cameron will get his yards and score. It may still be close, though, but Cleveland wins at home. Pick – Cleveland.
New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears – Chicago is a little angry, letting Detroit rack up points on them, and they’re playing at home. Chicago at home is still a major advantage. As long as Cutler gets the pass protection he’s gotten most of this year so far, he has a huge game and Chicago wins a close one to end New Orleans’ undefeated season. Pick – Chicago.
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals – Is this the Cincinnati team that beat Green Bay or the one that looked lost in losing to Cleveland? I think they’re somewhere in-between, but I think they will still be ready for New England. This is my third straight win for the home team, and I don’t see it being close. A.J. Green has a huge game. Pick – Cincy (by 10).
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers – I know, they’re in Green Bay, and the Pack is coming off of a bye week, but I just don’t see Detroit slowing down here. Stafford is getting time in the pocket and getting the ball downfield. Green Bay doesn’t have the secondary to hang with Detroit’s receivers, and Rodgers will be playing catchup just like Cutler did last week. While Rodgers is a better quarterback than Cutler, I see them also coming up short. I pick the upset as the road team wins a close one here. Pick – Detroit.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans – I have Tennessee as my surprise team of the year so far, but even though they’re at home, I think Kansas City is a superior team on both sides of the ball. As long as Charles plays this game is no contest. Alex Smith is the most underrated quarterback in the league, but he will earn his money again this week. Kansas City stays undefeated. Pick – K.C.
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts – Seattle showed grit and resolve in winning at Houston on Sunday, but that win was as much a gift from Matt Schaub and the disappointing Houston defense at crunch time as it was a dramatic job on the part of the Seattle offense. They were exposed on the road, and I think it continues again here against a strong Indianapolis team playing well. Luck does well, and Richardson has a huge day, both running and receiving. Colts win a close one at home. Pick – Indy.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ St. Louis Rams – The Rams are horrible on the defensive side of the ball, but Jacksonville is awful on both ends, and that includes (at least so far this year) Maurice Jones-Drew as well. This one won’t end well for Jacksonville in a season where they will be lucky to win one game. Rams win big. Pick – St. Louis.
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins aren’t as bad as they looked against New Orleans on Monday night. I think it was just a hiccup and they will come out strong here at home. Ravens will hang tough, like they did against Buffalo on Sunday, but I think the Dolphins are hungry this year, they’re at home, and Lamar Miller outruns Ray Rice. Miami in a squeaker. Pick – Miami.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants – The defenses won’t be featured in this game, except when the offenses are exploiting them. This is going to be an offensive slugfest, as most Eagles/Giants games tend to be. But the Giants just look down right now in all facets. They will get up for an Eagles game, but they have to protect the football. Too many turnovers so far this season have doomed them. I think they do again. Eagles force at least three turnovers that lead to points, the difference in the game. Eagles win a close one on the road to get closer to .500. Pick – Eagles.
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals – The Cards showed us all something by pulling out that come from behind victory against Tampa Bay, but Carolina is a tougher opponent. I see Cam Newton doing the little things in this game, and using his legs as well, in order to make sure Carolina comes out on top and keep Arizona out of sorts. Palmer throws a couple of interceptions and Panthers win on the road. Pick – Carolina.
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys – It’s funny to me all the experts thinking Dallas will keep up in this game. Haven’t they all seen the Denver offense like I have over these past four weeks? Even if Peyton Manning has a so-so game, the Broncos will still win, at least against these kinds of teams. The Cowboys defense isn’t anything special, definitely not the caliber of Seattle, the only team I think might have a solid chance against the Broncos at this point. Pick – Denver (by 10).
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – Are the 49ers back? I don’t think so, not with the way they played against St. Louis on last Thursday. They need to get back to the read-option as a legitimate attack plan like they did in the playoffs last year. Until then they won’t be as strong as many people thought going into the season. The defense has to play tougher against the run, too. I think they do that here, and limit Foster and Tate. That will decide this close game. Pick – San Francisco.
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders – The Chargers are the real deal, in my opinion. No, they aren’t going to roll over many teams, but in Oakland they find a team they match up well against. Danny Woodhead will have so much space to roam as Rivers checks it down to him at least a dozen times during this game. Look for a long catch-and-run by Woodhead, and look for Rivers to have over 300 passing yards in this game. Chargers win on the road. Pick – San Diego.
New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons – Falcons rebound in a big way here from a devastating loss to the Patriots on Sunday night. They hardly ever lose at home. It just happened, so they’re due for a big win. The Jets aren’t as good as their record would suggest, and the Falcons aren’t as bad as 1-3, what they’re sporting right now. Falcons force Jets turnovers, Powell gets stuffed at the line, and Atlanta wins big. Pick – Atlanta.
My pick of the week is St. Louis at home over Jacksonville.