Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 5 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 7, 2010

Last week: 8-6   Season: 34-28

It was without saying that the big news this week is the trade that sent Randy Moss back to Minnesota.  The Patriots have a bye this week, so it remains to be seen how this will affect them, but something tells me that Brady and company will be just fine.  They destroyed the Dolphins on Monday night when Moss didn’t get a single ball thrown his way.  New England has a way of plugging in a random season ticket holder at receiver and plugging right along, so something tells me they’ll make it work with what they have.  I think this also really benefits the Vikings, giving Brett Favre a deep threat that he hasn’t had during the first three games.  It will be a bit of an adjustment to see Moss back in purple, but his presence should really help the Vikings in the NFC North race.  Now on to the picks:

– Jaguars over Bills: Jacksonville picked up a monster win last week against the Colts, one of its biggest wins in team history.  For all the talk of David Garrard not being the answer at quarterback, he keeps managing to make plays with his feet and has been very adept at making throws in the red zone.  Maurice Jones-Drew broke out with two touchdowns last week, and I think he has a very favorable matchup for another big day against the Bills.  Buffalo’s defense has not come close to stopping anybody, so it will be interesting to see if the Jaguars can keep up their surprising offensive play from last week.  The Bills are very much a mess and while they do have the home field, it hasn’t helped them much so far.  I like the Jags to keep up the momentum from last week’s big win. 

– Ravens over Broncos: The Broncos have traditionally not played well in Baltimore.  In fact, they’ve never won there in the Ravens’ existence.  To boot, the Broncos have averaged just nine points in their four trips to Maryland.  The Ravens gave an impressive performance in their comeback win against the Steelers last week, and their defense is playing as well as it ever has.  What will be fun to watch is Denver’s top ranked pass offense against Baltimore’s top ranked pass defense.  The Broncos’ inability to run the ball is what will doom them in this game, because it’s unrealistic to expect that Kyle Orton will be able to pass for 350 yards against a defense as good as the Ravens.  This could be closer than previous meetings, but I still like Baltimore to win at home.

– Bengals over Buccaneers: Cincinnati is a somewhat perplexing team.  They have talent all over the place on both sides of the ball, but have yet to really put something together consistently at every position for an entire game.  Still, Terrell Owens showed last week he can still play, and he and Ochocinco will be a very potent combo by year’s end.  The defense is still the strength of the team, and that will be enough at home against a Buccaneers team that pulled two wins out of nowhere but is rapidly falling to Earth.  This might not be close.

– Falcons over Browns: Roddy White may well have saved Atlanta’s season with his hustle in the final minute last week, chasing down Nate Clements and allowing the Falcons to retain possession and set up the winning field goal.  I think the Falcons are very much a playoff team, and if they are going to show it they need to be able to win games like this on the road against teams they should beat.  Cleveland got a nice win last week, and they running the ball with surprising effectiveness, so they should be able to make it a competitive game.  I think Atlanta simply has more playmakers and that should be the difference, but this should be interesting.

– Texans over Giants: Both teams are coming off wins, and in the Giants’ case their defense was dominant.  They will have a much harder test stopping the high octane Texans’ offense, especially with Andre Johnson coming back.  The Houston defense also gets a tremendous shot in the arm with the return of linebacker Brian Cushing, who returns from a four game suspension.  The Texans currently reside in the first place in the AFC South, which is certainly unfamiliar territory with the Colts’ dominance, but to stay there they need to defend their home field.  I think they will do it thanks to some big plays on offense.  The Giants should be able to get some running success with Ahmad Bradshaw, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to keep up.

– Colts over Chiefs: It is very hard to process the fact that the Chiefs are the lone unbeaten team remaining in the league.  Their defense and special teams play has been terrific, but I still have long term doubts about the offense as long as it is led by Matt Cassel.  I also think they are crazy not to make Jamaal Charles the feature back when he is so much better in virtually every way than Thomas Jones.  The Colts on the other hand are coming off a rare loss, and generally they will not lose two in a row even if they were playing an all-star team.  I think Peyton Manning will have a monster day and the Chiefs will get a slap of reality.  This is my eliminator selection for this week.

– Cowboys over Titans: The Cowboys have had the bye week to figure things out, and I sense a big winning streak coming.  The defense was outstanding in their last game before the bye, and I think the offense has too many playmakers not to break out eventually.  Chris Johnson has been completely shut down in two of the Titans’ four games this season, and it’s no coincidence those are the two games they didn’t win.  The Titans need Johnson to be effective, and this will be another tough matchup for the highly touted running back.   I think the Cowboys defense will be able to contain him and the offense will score more than enough to win. 

– Chargers over Raiders: I think it’s more than likely we’ll have blackout number three in the Bay Area.  The Raiders drew just 32,000 fans for their last home game, and there is no reason to think they’ll get any more coming off a loss.  San Diego has played extremely well at home and has been awful on the road, so this will be an opportunity for them to make a road statement.  The Raiders are always a tough team to figure out because you never know when they are going to play with effort and when they’re going to mail it in.  I think they might show up for this one, and the running of Darren McFadden will keep them in it, but  there is no way San Diego should lose this game if they play as they should. 

– Packers over Redskins: This should be a highly entertaining game.  The Redskins are still trying to find an identity, especially with Clinton Portis being shelved for 4-6 weeks due to injury.  Ryan Torain ran hard in last week’s win over the Eagles, but the Packers have one of the best run defenses in football so this will definitely be a bigger challenge.  The Packers’ are a threat to score 30 points every week thanks to the potent passing game, so it will be up to the Redskins to keep up.  Santana Moss got shut out last week, and that certainly won’t happen again, but even so I just don’t see Donovan McNabb keeping up with Aaron Rodgers. 

– Panthers over Bears: Jay Cutler is out with a concussion, but it doesn’t matter who is back there as awful as their offensive line was last week, allowing a staggering 10 first half sacks.  Given that the Bears offense is guaranteed to struggle with Todd Collins under center, it will be up to the defense to win a low scoring game.  I think the Panthers will control the clock with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and they aren’t going to ask Jimmy Clausen to do much in this game.  This game might well end up 6-3 and you have my sympathies if you’re stuck with it.  I pick the Panthers in what amounts to a coin flip since they are the home team. 

– Lions over Rams: St. Louis has won two in a row and finds themselves in first place in what is easily the NFL’s worst division.  While the Rams have proven they can play at home, we all know the road is a different deal, even if the road destination is the Motor City.  I thought the Lions showed incredibly well at Lambeau Field last week, and I think the home field may be enough to turn things in their favor against a team they certainly should be able to compete with.  Jahvid Best is making many other teams wish that they drafted him in April.  I think Detroit gets the home win, in a game that could quietly be one of the more entertaining offerings of the week.

– Saints over Cardinals: The Saints slaughtered Arizona last year in the playoffs, and that when the Cardinals still had Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner.  Now, the Saints get an Arizona team that benched a woeful Derek Anderson this week and will start rookie Max Hall at quarterback.  It remains to be seen if the QB switch will actually help the Cardinals, but the Saints continue to show that they can score lots of points, and even though they are on the road, I think they will have enough to win this game.  The Cardinals are clearly not the same team they were last year, and the experienced Saints have more than enough to exploit that. 

– 49ers over Eagles: San Francisco has to be heartbroken by the way they lost week against Atlanta.  If Nate Clements simply ran out of bounds after his interception, the game would have been over.  Instead, he fumbled and the Falcons drove for the winning field goal.  The funny thing is they are still very in the division race even though they are 0-4 because the NFC West is so awful.  The Niners actually played very well in their last home night game, and I think the crowd will give them a lift.  The Eagles won’t have Michael Vick, who is out with a rib injury, and I just don’t think Kevin Kolb gives them the same oomph offensively.  I like San Francisco in the mini-upset.

– Vikings over Jets: For once it seems like the Monday night game is actually a good choice.  Randy Moss makes his Vikings debut and he will do so going against Darrelle Revis.  Three weeks ago, Moss made a spectacular one handed TD grab for the Patriots with Revis guarding him.  I think the Vikings will be fresh and motivated coming off the bye, and the Moss acquisition gives them some excitement as well.  The Jets have played well in each of their last three games, and I do think they will play well again at home with the Monday night home crowd, but the Vikings know they are already chasing the Packers.  I think Favre and Moss will mesh together immediately and it will open up Adrian Peterson and the running game.  I also sense a couple of turnovers for the Vikings’ defense.

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