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Week 5 Picks

The Autumn Leaves Are Falling
And So Is My Winning Percentage

The color of the leaves are turning, and so is my stomach.

After last week, I think better served by limiting my comments to a couple observations and sarcastic comments.

Here are the picks:

Sunday, Oct. 7
Miami (0-4) at Houston (2-2), 1 p.m.
Miami will win some time. Probably not today. Houston is missing two wide receivers, but Miami's problems run deeper than pass defense.
Prediction: Texans, 21-14.

Jacksonville (2-1) at Kansas City (2-2), 1 p.m.
Jacksonville has scored 12 points more than they've allowed. Kansas City has allowed 10 more than they've score. Jacksonville defense vs. Kansas City offense decides the game.
Prediction: Jaguars, 17-7.

Cleveland (2-2) at New England (4-0), 1 p.m.
Cleveland leads the all-time series, 11-8. The Browns led 10-5 before Bill Belichick came to New England. That includes a 9-3 win the last time Cleveland visited Foxboro. Romeo Crennel was Belichick's defensive coordinator.
Prediction: Thank you for your continued and loyal support.

Carolina (2-2) at New Orleans (0-3), 1 p.m.
Like Miami, New Orleans will win some day. Carolina won both meetings last year. The Ain'ts are being outscored by their opponents by a league-worst 65 points -- and that's just three games. (St. Louis is second with a 64-point deficit in four games.)
Prediction: Panthers, 20-10.

New York Jets (1-3) at New York Giants (2-2), 1 p.m.
I wonder how the oddsmakers count home-field advantage in this one?
Prediction: Giants, 27-23.

Seattle (3-1) at Pittsburgh (3-1), 1 p.m.
A rematch of Super Bowl XL. Ninety minutes before game time, Seattle already has two penalties, and the explanations make no sense.
Prediction: Steelers, 24-23.

Arizona (2-2) at St. Louis (0-4), 1 p.m.
You know, Arizona just might be the surprise team of the year.
Prediction: Cardinals, 24-14.

Atlanta (1-3) at Tennessee (2-1), 1 p.m.
It's not because Michael Vick isn't playing. Really.
Prediction: Titans, 28-13.

Detroit (3-1) at Washington (2-1), 1 p.m.
I still say Arizona has a better chance of being the surprise team. We'll see in Week 17. Maybe. I have to throw out a couple stats. Washington has scored 53 and allowed 49. Detroit has scored 114 and allowed 121. And you wonder why these games are so hard to predict.
Prediction: Redskins, 20-17.

Tampa Bay (3-1) at Indianapolis (4-0), 4:05 p.m.
Both teams have big-name players injured. Half of the Colts are on the injury list (that's hyperbole) and they say they have no idea how many players could miss the game. And then they complain about other teams manipulating the injury report.
Prediction: Colts, 27-14.

San Diego (1-3) at Denver (2-2), 4:15 p.m.
Amazingly, the Chargers are just a game out of first place. They have lost one game more than they did of all of last season. Personality conflicts aside, I wonder if A.J. Smith realizes you need to make the playoffs before you worry about losing in them.
Prediction: Broncos, 21-17.

Baltimore (2-2) at San Francisco (2-2), 4:15 p.m.
For lack of a better idea, I'll take the AFC team over the NFC team. Plus a bird of prey can beat a gold miner. I think.
Prediction: Ravens, 14-13.

Chicago (1-3) at Green Bay (4-0), 8:15 p.m.
I was surprised to see that Chicago has actually scored 60 points this season. Green Bay has allowed just 66. Meanwhile, the Pack has score 105 and the Bears have allowed 95. Such symmetry. With Chicago's secondary so beat up, I don't think this is the week Brett Favre breaks the all-time interception record.
Prediction: Packers, 31-17.

Monday, Oct. 8
Dallas (4-0) at Buffalo (1-3), 8:30 p.m.
This probably looked like a pretty good matchup in the preseason before half of Buffalo's roster was lost for the season.
Prediction: Cowboys, 42-13.

Open Date: Cincinnati (1-3), Minnesota (1-3), Oakland (2-2), Philadelphia (1-3)

Last week: 4-10 (.286)
Um. Let's never speak of this again. (I seem to say that once or twice every year.)
Season: 42-28 (.600)
I was 35-25 (.583) last year. Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better.