The Good and Bad of Cleveland and the Week 5 NFL Picks
Locks of the Week:
CINCINNATI PK over New England
Two weeks ago, I told you to look out for the Bengals at home against the Packers. It may have taken a late defensive touchdown to do it, but it happened. I can't tell you what exactly happened in last week's dismal showing on the road, but I like them back at home this week. It's possible that they weren't motivated for last week's sandwich game or maybe Andy Dalton wouldn't be any good without A.J. Green. The whole offense will look better when facing the Patriots without Vince Wilfork and New England's offense will get shocked back to reality against a legit defense.
Reggie: New England
Baltimore +3 over MIAMI
Baltimore’s been all over the map this year. They’ve historically played better when they make the commitment to Ray Rice and that’s the plan this week after the Ravens inexplicably went away from the run last game. I don’t think that was the NFL’s fault, but you might have to ask Terrell Suggs.
San Diego -4.5 over OAKLAND
Hope you’re ready to stay up until 230 a.m. on the East Coast if you have fantasy implications in this game. Oakland won’t be nearly as effective offensively without Darren McFadden, who looks poised to sit this one out, even if Terrell Pryor is back. San Diego has faced four decent teams so far this year and has been in every game. They finally get a cream puff, so I could see them rolling in this one.
Reggie: San Diego
Trap Game of the Week:
Kansas City -2.5 over TENNESSEE
I went back and forth on this game a few times, but I think Tennessee is going to be a different team without Jake Locker. Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t look all that bad, but there’s a reason he’s no longer starting games. He’s a caretaker who can win games against bad teams, but he won’t fare well against one of the league’s best defenses.
Reggie: Kansas City
Rest of the Picks:
Seattle -1 over INDIANAPOLIS
The Seahawks really pulled something out of their ass last week with the overtime win in Houston. They got the pick-six gift from Matt Schaub and, next thing you know, they're still undefeated. There's something to be said about teams who find a way to win and Seattle has done that now twice on the road despite being 3-5 in away games last year. Despite winning in San Francisco two week ago, I'm still not willing to give the Colts respect. The Seahawks are winning this game, which means they're likely covering.
Jacksonville +12 over ST. LOUIS
Could you ever imagine St. Louis being a 12-point favorite after what you've seen from them in the last three weeks? It could only happen against the team who's clearly the worst in football. Jacksonville's average losing margin this year is 24.5 points, but they only lost by 10 at Oakland. The Rams are similarly skilled to the Raiders, so I’m taking a chance Jacksonville can keep this game within reach. They have nothing to lose, so they should attempt something like this. I hate myself already.
Philadelphia +1 over N.Y. GIANTS
I’ve given up on the Giants. Now Antrel Rolle says the team can win 12 straight games. How about you win one before you worry about 12, Bro? If only the Giants showed the passion in a game that Patrick Roy shows behind the bench.
Reggie: New York Football Giants
CHICAGO PK over New Orleans
The bad Jay Cutler returned last week to the dismay of Bears’ fans. He’s been working on his mechanics all week to return to his form earlier in the year. The Saints never seem to play quite as well outdoors and the Bears’ Cover-2 defense will keep the Saints in front of them.
Reggie: New Orleans
GREEN BAY -7 over Detroit
Here’s another game I’ve bandied back and forth on. I’m worried about how Green Bay’s weak offensive line will deal with Detroit’s front four, but I know that the rest of their defense can be attacked. The Lions could easily lose this game by a couple touchdowns with an ill-fated pass or two from Matt Stafford.
Carolina -1.5 over ARIZONA
I gave up on Arizona midway through last week’s game in Tampa Bay even though I had picked them to win. Their offense looks quite miserable even with a seeming upgrade at quarterback from last year’s pu-pu platter to Carson Palmer. You might think back to Week 2 when Arizona was a home dog against Detroit and came out with a win, but I’ve seen too much of them over the last two weeks to think they’re clicking as well offensively as they were then.
Denver -7 over DALLAS
There is a plain and simple explanation for this one: Denver’s scoring 40 points a game until some team tells me otherwise.
Houston +7 over SAN FRANCISCO
The 49ers don’t deserve this many points after beating the Rams because their offense was so dreadful in the two weeks before. They shouldn’t be able to run the ball as successfully as they did last week and their secondary can be exposed even by Matt Schaub. Yes, the same Matt Schaub whose jersey got burned last week.
Reggie: San Francisco
ATLANTA -9.5 over N.Y. Jets
As explained in yesterday’s survivor pick, the Jets aren’t going to be able to bring much from their passing game this week. Look for the Falcons to stack the box, grab an early lead in a rebound effort, and coast to victory.
Last Week: 10-5-1
This Week: 1-0