Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week Five Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 3, 2008

One quick follow up on the Raiders mess before we get into the picks this week.  It is clearer than ever that Al Davis needs to go.  There has never been an owner in sports who has messed up an organization worse than he has.  Check out what former Raider Warren Sapp had to say about his time playing for the Raiders.  I’ll let that speak for itself.  We now have proof that Davis actually calls plays sometimes during games.  Al Davis needs to go.  He is bad for the game, and he is an embarrassment in every way. 

Last week: 8-5 (.615)  Season: 38-22 (.633)

– Cardinals over Bills: This pick may seem strange considering the Bills are one of just three undefeated teams coming into this week.  They have seized the opportunity Tom Brady’s injury has given them in the AFC East.  They have given two spectacular fourth quarter performances in the last two games, so they should continue to roll right?  The flip side says they have trailed the Raiders and Rams entering the fourth quarter the past two games.  Arizona is hungry, returning home after a two game east coast skid.  In spite of their defensive struggles last week, the offense is really lighting it up though putting up big numbers.  Both offenses should put up big numbers making this game a fantasy players’ dream.  The Cardinals are tough at home, and that will prove the difference as Arizona wins in a mini-upset. 

– Chargers over Dolphins: The Chargers overcame a slow start to beat the Raiders last week, and seem to be hitting their stride offensively.  Meanwhile, the Dolphins have had two weeks to congratulate themselves for killing the Patriots.  On the surface this seems like a recipe for a trap game.  The Dolphins seem like they should be dangerous at home, but it’s easy to forget how awful Miami looked against Arizona the week before their big game in New England.  San Diego is two plays away from being 4-0, and they feel like they have something to prove.  Miami will keep it close early, but a hunch says the Chargers pull away late.

– 49ers over Patriots: This is a very intriguing game.  We’re still not sure what the Patriots really have with Matt Cassel at quarterback, but they have now had a bye week to figure it out.  What we know is that Bill Belichick decided not to bring anyone else in, so he is sticking with Cassel for better or worse.  New England also has had two weeks to stew over the loss to Miami.  Meanwhile, the 49ers have been up and down the first four games, but will have a charged atmosphere at home.  The crowd will be in a particular frenzy because the Niners are retiring Steve Young’s number.  I’m definitely going against the grain on this one, but I have a feeling J.T. O’Sullivan and company will have offensive success at home, and that will be enough to bump off a Patriots team that doesn’t come close to resembling the one that threatened history last season. 

– Cowboys over Bengals: The line on this game is 17, which no doubt ranks it among the biggest lines in recent memory.  Dallas is angry after a home loss to Washington last week, and the offense should break out against Cincinnati’s more than porous defense.  Carson Palmer should be back under center for the Bengals, but will it really matter?  Then you have Chad Johnson’s latest antics.  Everything points to Dallas winning this game so easily it will be over before the first quarter is half over.  Then again, it seems like every time I say a game is going to be a mismatch it ends up being competitive.  Still, I can’t come up with any scenario where Dallas doesn’t win this game by at least two touchdowns.

– Ravens over Titans: Another surprise pick, and another undefeated team going down.  Tennessee has been terrific defensively its first four games, but Baltimore’s defense has been very stingy as well.  I will honestly be surprised if either offense is able to move the ball much in this one, so field position and turnovers will decide this game.  Baltimore has already won two home games they weren’t supposed to win (both of which I picked correctly, but that’s beside the point), so a hunch says they make it a perfect three for three at home in this one.  There is no question the Ravens at 3-1 would have to rank among the top surprises of the NFL season in the early going. 

– Colts over Texans: This is a must win game for both teams.  Indianapolis is 1-2 heading in and is already looking up at both Tennessee and Jacksonville in the division.  The Colts have not looked like themselves in the early going, but they also are coming off the bye week.  Houston gave a gutsy performance in a tough road loss to Jacksonville, and now finally gets to host its first game of the season (the first was wiped out due to Hurricane Ike).  This is a really hard game to figure.  Will the Colts be back to their form from the past several years?  Which Houston offense will show up, the one from the first two games, or the one from last week against the Jaguars?  I go with the Colts only because I would be very surprised if they continued to slump that badly after the bye week, especially with Peyton Manning under center. 

– Broncos over Buccaneers: This should be a great game with both teams coming in 3-1.  Brian Griese gets to go against Denver for the first time, and he will no doubt be motivated to give a good showing after getting run out of Mile High following the 2002 season.  Tampa Bay is coming off a big win against Green Bay, and is looking to keep pace in the NFC South.  The Broncos are also motivated after last week’s embarrassing performance at Arrowhead, and the offense will look to get back to putting 30 points on the board.  A tough chore against the Tampa D for sure, but keep in mind that Jay Cutler actually threw for a career high 361 yards last week in Kansas City, with both Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal going over 100 yards.  Home field advantage will be enough to lift the Broncos in a close game.  It’s doesn’t hurt for the Broncos that Mike Shanahan is 8-1 lifetime against Jon Gruden. 

– Panthers over Chiefs: I sense a big letdown for Kansas City after their first win in almost a year last week.  Yes, the Chiefs offense did break out last week, but something tells me John Fox has had his team focused on stopping Larry Johnson all week.  Carolina does have two offensive linemen out, which could cause some protection problems for Jake Delhomme, but the Panthers should still be able to move the ball very effectively, especially at home.  Carolina has quietly been one of the more impressive teams in the first quarter of the season, particularly with the return of Steve Smith.  This should be a relatively easy win for the Panthers.

– Giants over Seahawks: Seattle is starting to get some its receivers healthy, which is good news for Matt Hasselbeck, but going into Giants Stadium these days is still a difficult chore for any team, let alone with one that has as many flaws as the Seahawks.  The Giants are without Plaxico Burress, who is serving a one game suspension, but they still have enough weapons to move the ball effectively against Seattle’s defense.  A win here could potentially leave the Giants as the only undefeated team in the league.  Anyone else think Tom Coughlin would be privately chuckling at all the “experts” who predicted the Giants would miss the playoffs this year?  I still laugh when I think about how anyone could possibly have come to that conclusion about the defending champs, especially considering their less than difficult early season schedule. 

– Eagles over Redskins: This is the game of the week, if nothing else because there is no question the NFC East is the best division in football.  Philadelphia suffered a tough road loss at Chicago last week, and returns home to play a Washington team that stunned the Cowboys.  Washington has had an impressive turnaround after their sloppy season opening loss to the Giants.  It will be very tough for Washington to win two straight division road games, so Philadelphia gets the nod here, but it won’t be easy.  The health of Brian Westbrook is extremely important for the Eagles, for they will need him as the season wears on to stay efficient on offense. 

– Bears over Lions: Detroit fans have to be happy that Matt Millen finally got dismissed after seven years of ineptitude.  I’m not sure though that the firing of the embattled GM will really have any effect though until the offseason.  It’s not like a coaching change where players sometimes get fired up.  Chicago meanwhile is arguably two plays away from being 4-0, and their defense did enough to beat an excellent Philly team last week.  The Bears shouldn’t have much trouble winning this one at Ford Field.   

– Packers over Falcons: Aaron Rodgers’ injured shoulder could be a potential issue here for Green Bay, but it seems as though he’s going to play.  The Packers struggled last week against Tampa Bay’s tough defense, but they still had chances to win the game.  The Packers have lost two straight, but those losses have come against two of the better teams in the NFC.  Atlanta has yet to prove it can play well on the road, and the hunch is that trend will continue at Lambeau Field.  That being said, the Falcons gave a better than expected performance in the loss to Carolina last week, and they should continue to improve as the season goes along. 

– Jaguars over Steelers: The Sunday night game should be another smashmouth game where running and defense will carry the day.  Jacksonville has finally gotten its running game together, thanks in part to David Garrard’s ability to scramble when needed.  The Steelers suffered a big blow last week with the season ending injury to Rashard Mendenhall, so they will have to find other ways to move the ball against the Jaguars’ defense.  Jacksonville will get a lift playing at home, and that will be enough to lift them to victory in this playoff rematch.  Keep in mind the Jags actually beat Pittsburgh twice last year, and both wins came on the road. 

– Saints over Vikings: This should be an entertaining Monday nighter.  The Vikings schedule really eases up after this game, so if they could pull a surprise at the Superdome they could easily get back on track.  Thing is, this is also a big game for New Orleans.  The Saints offense has been among the best in the league in the early going, and that trend should continue with Deuce McAllister easing back into the offense.  The Saints know they need to win this game to keep pace in the NFC South, and the home crowd will give the Saints a life to win this game. 

BYE: Jets, Browns, Raiders, Rams

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