I was on travel last week and didnt get my predictions in on time, but never fear I’m here this week to give my picks. Let’s go
Houston Texans (2-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
I want to root for the Texans..I really do. Every year it seems they get close to having it all together and somewhere it falls all apart. When Houston drafted Mario Williams everyone laughed at the pick yet he has turned into a helluva DE. Matt Schaub plays inconsistent.. 1 week he’ll be good the next week terrible. Bengals in the meantime have been on a roll since the week 1 debacle. They have gone on to win the last 4 in a row including a tough battle against division rivals Browns & Ravens. Bengals have a top 10 D & Palmer has been playing very consistent. I’m picking the Bengals.
Detroit Lions (1-4) vs. Green Bay Packers (2-2)
OK so they were able to break their losing streak and finally win a game 2 weeks ago, but the Lions still dont have enough of a D to be able to stop their opponents from scoring on them. I mean I really do like Stafford to Calvin Johnson, but if your D is getting scored on at will, what chance do you have? Stafford is questionable this week after the injury to his knee and they are not the same team w/o him. Packers last faced the Vikings who took it to them. Aaron Rodgers had a good game but couldnt keep pace with the Vikes. I think they rebound this week after their bye and take it took the Lions. I’m picking the Packers.
St. Louis Rams (0-5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
The Rams are awful. I’m sorry I want to say something good about them but they are just a hot mess. Bulger is questionable again this week and last week Boller threw for 209 yards 0 TDs and 1 INT. Steven Jackson only managed 84 yards on 21 carries and 0 TDs. Their O line cannot keep the opposing D out the backfield and the Rams D cannot stop their opponents at all. The Jags last week were not only blown out and shut out but completely embarassed in a sad pathetic loss to the Seahawks. Garrard was held to just 188 yards passing and Jones-Drew was held to just 34 yards on the ground. After such an embarrasment I expect the Jags to come back ready to whip up on the pathetic Rams. I’m picking the Jaguars.
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
The Ravens lost a shocker last week at home to their division rival Bengals. I mean honestly who would pick against the Ravens at home? But Flacco threw 2 picks and Ray Rice was held to just 69 yards on the ground. They will be looking to recover from last week’s lost. The Vikings have looked more and more remarkable each week. Whether it is Adrian Peterson running all over the place or Brett Favre throwing game winners it has been exciting to watch them week to week. Last week against the bumbling Rams Brett only threw for 232 yards 1 TD and 1 INT but Peterson ran for 2 more bringing them to a remarkable 5-0. I think Ravens D will play very tough this week but I still think that high powered offense of the Vikes will get it done. I’m taking the Vikings.
New York Giants (5-0) vs. New Orlean Saints (4-0)
The battle of the unbeatens. Giants have been racking up wins on the strength of their passing game and that crushing D which has kept teams from running up the score on them. However, Manning is questionable this week after injurying his foot early in last week’s game against the Raiders. The ground game is still stable though with Ahmad Bradshaw rushing for 11o yards on 11 carries and 2 TDs. It is their defense that has been incredible. New Orleans has been playing high scoring games. Even when Brees hasnt been playing up to the same speed as week 1 and 2, the ground game has stepped up and kept them on the winning track. The team is coming back refreshed after a week 5 bye and should be ready to play in front of their home crowd. However the Giants stingy D is not going to let Brees throw all over them nor let Reggie Bush and company run all over them. I think Eli will get a good welcome home. I’m picking the Giants.
Cleveland Browns (1-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)
The Browns dumped veteran receiver Edwards and got their 1st win but looked awful in the process. They won the first game so far this season in a stinky 6-3 field goal battle with the Bills where Anderson only threw for 23 yards. It was an awful game almost that was almost unwatchable. Jamal Lewis ran for 117 yards on 31 carries. Steelers last week beat the awful Lions in a game that was surprisingly closer than many thought it should’ve been. The D has really been struggling w/o Polamalu which is why they are only 3-2. Roethlisberger threw for 277 yards and 3 TDs w/ 1 INT (almost a given w/ a gunslinger). Mendenhall ran for 1 more. I think while the D has struggled a bit the offense has continued to play their game even w/o the often injured Willie Parker. This is a good divison match up but the Browns offense is terrible and defense is worse. I’m taking the Steelers
Carolina Panthers (1-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5)
The battle for worst in the NFC South. Panthers managed to scrape out a win against the tumbling Redskins. Delhomme has been playing consistently terrible throwing for another INT last week for a total of 8 already this season. Not much can be said about the D that is positive so we’ll just move on. The Bucs are in a rebuilding year. Sadly so far there really hasnt been much positive to build on. Josh Johnson threw for 240 yards and 2 TDs last week, but also 3 INTs. Nothing can be said about the running game because they really dont have one. Their defense is struggling and cannot stop the run of the opposing offense. I would like to go out on a limb on this pick but not a limb to go out on since they are both playing bad. I’m picking the Panthers.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-5) vs. Washington Redskins (2-3)
The Chiefs ALMOST pulled up a serious upset last week facing the Cowboys at home, but alas they lost in overtime. *sigh* The team is better than their record indicates, they have lost some close games, but somehow all the parts arent gelling and getting them the Ws they desperately need. Cassell threw for 253 yards and 2 TDs last wee, showing that he may be the QB that they have so desperately needed for years. If they can just get that defense to step up for them a little more and stop losing it for them at the end of games they’d be ok. Washington has turned into a major disappointment. So far they are 2-2 against teams coming in with no wins (not counting the Giants since that was the season opener). Campbell only threw for 145 yards and 1 TD last week and Clinton Portis only rushed for 57 yards and 1 TD. Their offensive line is horrendous forcing Campbell to run for his life every week. Haynesworth seems to stay injured each week as the defense seems to not be turning into the powerhouse everyone seemed to think they were. Neither team is that good but I’ll throw the Redskins a bone on this one. I’m picking the Redskins.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-4)
Donovan McNabb came back last week to put the smack down on the Bucs. He threw for 264 yards and 3 TDs. Their defense has been playing solid which has resulted in some really exciting (and sometimes blowout) games for them. Their only loss was to the Saints who are still undefeated. The Raiders are awful terrible sad and pathetic. The offense is horrendous and the defense is atrocious. I cannot say anything positive about this team so I’ll make this real simple: I’m picking the Eagles.
Arizona Cardinals (2-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
The NFC West seems to be mired in mediocrity. The Cardinals started fast out the gate and faded back to so-so. Last week Warner completed 26 of 38 for 308 yards and 2 TDs & Larry Fitzgerald had 5 receptions for 79 yards and 2 TDs. It was a good game against a struggling Texans team. The Seahawks lost 2 weeks in a row while Hasselback was out due to a rib injury. Last week he returned and completed 18 of 30 for 241 yards and 4 TDs & Nate Burleson has 6 receptions for 98 yards and 2 TDs in a blowout win against the Jaguars. But let’s be honest, the Cards arent the Jags and Seahawks arent the Texans. This should be an interesting divisional match up. Seahawks are at home where they always play better. I’m picking the Seahawks.
Tennessee Titans (0-5) vs. New England Patriots (3-2)
Poor Titans. After going 13-3 last season, this season has started off terrible for them. They cannot get a win for trying. Kerry Collins has been playing awful in the last 3 weeks, so bad in fact that last week they finally pulled him and started Vince Young at the end of the game (though he couldnt do enough to salvage a win for them). Collins has thrown 7 INTs in the first 5 weeks of the season. Last week he threw for 164 yards 0 TDs and 1 INT. Titans offense are struggling but their defense isnt helping them either giving up more than 200 yards of offense each week. They will win this season, but at the rate they are playing right now, who knows for sure when that will be. Maybe starting Vince Young this week will give them a new spark to play better. The Patriots lost a close on in overtime last week against the Broncos in Denver. But the Pats are 3-2 and playing pretty well with a healthy Tom Brady. Last week Brady threw for 215 yards and 2 TDs and while Randy Moss was held to just 1 reception for 36 yards last week, his career against the Titans is solid with 215 yards and 2 TDs. Fred Taylor will be out this week but even without Taylor they still have Lawrence Maroney and their passing game. Patriots always play on a higher level when they are at home in Gillette Stadium. This will not be the week that the Titans get their first win. I’m picking the Patriots.
Buffalo Bills (1-4) vs. New York Jets (3-2)
The Bills have had another terrible start to their season. It seems even the addition of Terrell Owens in the off-season couldnt help the Bills to play better. They have only 1 win so far this season against the rebuilding and equally awful Bucs. Last week Edwards threw for 152 yards 0 TDs and 1 INT. His career against the Jets is 2 TDs but also 4 INTs which doesnt seem promising for them. Fred Jackson still has 0 TDs so far this season so their running game really needs to get it going. The defense is not playing well giving up yards both on the ground and through the air. This will not be a good week. Jets have lost the last 2 weeks in a row so will be looking to redeem themselves at home. After an awful week against the Saints is week 4 w here he threw 3 INTs, Sanchez recovered last week to throw for 172 yards and 1 TD, 0 INTs. Against the weak Bills D the Jets offense will play great. I’m picking the Jets.
Chicago Bears (3-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Cutler had a fantastic game against the horrible Lions in week 4 in Chicago completing 18 of 28 for 141 yards and 2 TDs. Matt Forte rushed 12 times for 121 yards & 1 TD. The defense has played very well even without Urlacher. They are fresh off a bye and rested so should do well. Falcons came into last week’s game against the 49ers fresh off a week 4 bye and smashed San Fran at Candlestick Park 45-10. Matt Ryan threw for 329 yards and 2 TDs (1 INT). Michael Turner rushed for only 97 yards but 3 TDs. It is going to be a great match up. Bears are coming to Atlanta and playing in a dome. Hester is supposedly playing hurt. I’m picking the Falcons.
Denver Broncos (5-0) vs. San Diego Chargers (2-2)
Broncos have gotten off to a phenomenal start racking up 5 straight wins. Last week they won a shocker at home against the Pats in overtime 20-17. Kyle Orton completed 35 of 48 for 330 yards and 2 TDs & his 1st INT of the season (at the end of the 1st half as time expired). Brandon Marshall caught both of those TDs. Moreno rushed for 88 yards on 21 carries but also had his 2nd fumble so far this season. Despite this the offense has played well and kept them in games. But the biggest shocker has been the superb play of their D. The offseason acquistion of Dawkins and other free agency pickups has turned this defense around a complete 180. Chargers have played inconsistent which has left them with a modest 2-2 record. They lost to the Steelers in week 4 38-28. Despite this Rivers completed 21 of 36 for 254 yards and 3 TDs. Ladainian Tomlison was held to just 15 yards of rushing. The defense for the Chargers has been playing hurt and poorly but are supposedly coming back healthy. Chargers always play better at home, are fresh and rested off a week 5 bye and always bring their A game against division foes especially the Broncos. They will need to win this game to keep the Broncos from taking a full 3 game lead in the division (they are up 2.5 games right now). I’m picking the Chargers.