Week 5 of the NFL regular season is here. The Panthers, Falcons, Cardinals, and Eagles are fresh of byes and ready to continue (or start) winning some games. Here are my picks and home teams in CAPS.
BILLS (-6.5) over Browns
The Browns are one of the worst is the NFL and they just traded star wide out Braylon Edwards to the Jets after he beat up a friend of LeBron James. So, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out, Clevelanders may be happy to know that one city isn’t big enough for Edwards and LeBron, and New York already has Braylon, so LeBron may not end up going to New York. So all you Clevelanders finally may have something good come out of bringing Eric Mangini to coach the Browns.
Steelers (-10.5) over LIONS
Even though only one game separates the Steelers and Lions in the standings, don’t be fooled. These are still the same teams that won the Super Bowl and went winless last year. Also, look for second year runningback Rashard Mendenhall to have another huge game against the horrific Lions’ D.
Cowboys (-8.5) over CHIEFS
Both teams have been severely overrated this year and have their records to show for it. Both quarterbacks, Tony Romo and Matt Cassel have not been as good as they were the year before. But, the Chiefs are much worse in every way, except their stadium’s crowd. But unfortunately for those already unfortunate enough to be a sports fan in Kansas, a home crowd isn’t going to let help you beat Dallas.
Vikings (-10.5) over RAMS
Just like the last two games, there is one solid to great team, and a downright awful team. The Rams certainly don’t fit the solid to great role and the Vikings do. This will be a blowout and Adrian Peterson, like Rashard Mendenhall, will run right over the Rams. St. Louis is so limited on offense and the Vikings are so good defensively, I would be shocked if the Rams scored more than a field goal.
GIANTS (-16.5) over Raiders
Like last week, Vegas is begging us to pick the Raiders to win, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. The G-Men are just too good up front, and the only way they won’t cover the spread is if Eli can’t play because of his hurt ankle and the incompetent David Carr has to start at QB. Just to let you know how bad the Raiders are, free-agent Jeff Garcia, who started the year with the QB-thin Raiders, called Oakland “an unfortunate situation.” Garcia could have started in the Black Hole, but he chose wisely to stay away.
EAGLES (-13.5) over Buccaneers
Again, we have a great team playing an awful team. Could this week get any less boring? We are looking forward to the Pats and Broncos playing! We thought the Broncos would only win 4 games total this year, not 4 games to start the year. Back to the game, gimme the Eagles, no matter how high the spread goes.
PANTHERS (-3.5) over Redskins
Both teams have played really poorly this year, the Redskins just happened to play the Rams and Bucs. Just in case you forgot, the Panthers went undefeated at home until the playoffs and were 12-4 last year. I still believe in this team, with the exception of Jake Delhomme and John Fox.
RAVENS (-8.5) over Bengals
The Bengals and their defense have been great year. But they are no Baltimore. Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Trevor Pryce are scary good. Unless you are scared of Rey Maualuga, Keith Rivers, and Antwan Odom, you shouldn’t be scared of the Bengals D. The Bengals need this game, but Joe Flacco and a very improved offense won’t let Baltimore lose two straight.
Falcons (+2.5) over 49ERS
The Niners are off to a great start, but to keep it in prospective, they play in the NFC West. The Falcons have great players at almost all skills positions: Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, John Abraham, Curtis Lofton, and Mike Peterson. San Fran may be the Falcons of this year, but Atlanta is the real Falcons.
Jaguars (+.5) over Seahawks
Although I loved the Seahawks as a sleeper this year and didn’t really like the Jags, times have changed. Matt Hasselbeck is hurt, and I can’t come to pick Seattle with Seneca Wallace, a part time wide receiver, starting at quarterback. To Jacksonville’s credit, beating the Titans when they really need a win, is no small feat. The Hyphen Bros (Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker) should lead the Jags to a third straight win.
Texans (+5.5) over Cardinals
The Texans are a great, young team on the rise, and the Cardinals are an aging team on the decline. If it weren’t for a hot streak last January, Arizona would be considered a bottom 10-15 team. Their quarterback is 38, and they have a first- and second-year runningback (one of whom is a Big-10 back) and their defense has been mostly hype. The Texans, like the Falcons, are jam packed with young studs at all of the important positions and will make a deep postseason run in a short amount of time.
Patriots (-3.5) over BRONCOS
Surprisingly, the Bronco have one more win at this point in the season than the Patriots at this point in the season. Also, this would be the game of the week because of all the awful and mismatched games played earlier in the week. The Broncos have a Bill Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels, who apparently also digs the hoodie. But we all know which is the real Hoodie. And you never doubt him.
Colts (-3.5) over TITANS
No matter how good you were last year, after losing four games to start the year, you can’t make too many excuses. The Titans lost mammoth defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, but otherwise, they have the same team. It looks like they will start the year 0-6 with the next two games against Indy and New England. Maybe that will change if they put Vince Young back into the starting QB role. That is a change in Week 7, of course.
Jets (-1.5) over DOLPHINS
This AFC East battle is way more lopsided than the spread indicates. The Jets are 3-1 and just added a great receiver, Braylon Edwards, to help build around Mark Sanchez. They have a great defense and a great coach. The Dolphins have none of that except the coach. Chad Penninton is out for the year and Ted Ginn Jr. is their best receiver. That spells trouble for Miami. I guess the good news is that Dolphin fans still have South Beach…this is the Lock of the Week.
Last Week: 6-8
Lock of the Week: 2-1