Last week I went 9-6, bringing my season total to 42-27. Here are my picks for Week 5:
Houston over Indianapolis
Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in Indy? No. But Matt Hasselbeck had a great game in Andrew Luck‘s absence. This quick-read offense is what the Colts should have been running all season long. Meanwhile, Houston’s quarterback situation is a complete dumpster fire. Whether Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett start next game, it’s rare to see a team hampered this much by bad QB play.
Kansas City over Chicago
My “Jay Cutler isn’t as bad as you think he is” stance could take a hit today. The Bears are missing both Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal, putting even more pressure on Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett to carry the load. The Chiefs aren’t playing good football right now, but they should do enough to win.
Cincinnati over Seattle
Seattle’s home win against Detroit was even uglier than their usual home wins; they were a bad fumble/missed penalty call away from losing to the 0-4 Lions. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton is finally playing like he’s surrounded by one of the best offenses in the league. I’m surprisingly confident in this pick, so expect Seattle to win in a blowout.
Atlanta over Washington
Speaking of offenses being great again, Devonta Freeman has added a dangerous dimension to this Falcons offense. Matt Ryan doesn’t have to carry the entire load with his arm now and Julio Jones is back to being the best receiver in the league. Not to mention their defense is improving. Good luck, Washington!
Jacksonville over Tampa Bay
Your guess is as good as mine here. I’m not high on Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense, but Julius Thomas is playing in his first game of the season. It may not help a ton today, but I’m anxious to see how he fits into the offense going forward.
Philadelphia over New Orleans
This is really a matter of which team I’m less pessimistic about. The Saints picked up their first win against Dallas last week, but it was a nail-biter at home. Meanwhile, Philadelphia still doesn’t know how to utilize their best players. Drew Brees could very well torch the Eagles secondary, but the rest of the team should hold up fine at home.
Baltimore over Cleveland
More “zero confidence” picks. The odds of Josh McCown passing for another 350+ yard day are pretty low, but Baltimore won’t be able to get much done unless Steve Smith gets around 15 targets. And he’s on the sidelines today. But if both of these teams play their worst football, I’d lean toward Baltimore.
Green Bay over St. Louis
The Packers should win no problem, but I’m excited about what Todd Gurley can bring to the Rams offense. Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
Buffalo over Tennessee
Most don’t realize how well Marcus Mariota has held up through three games. Unfortunately for him, the Bills defense is pretty good. And with Sammy Watkins active this week, they have a number of options on offense.
Arizona over Detroit
Don’t look too much into Detroit’s Monday night performance last week. Unless their defense can play that way every week, this is still a pretty bad team. The Cardinals suffered a surprising defeat to St. Louis last Sunday, but Carson Palmer and company should bounce back nicely.
New England over Dallas
Tom Brady and the Patriots will probably continue with the short-passing game, but I’d like to see how they fare throwing the ball downfield on the Cowboys today. The openings will be there. Either way, they should win comfortably.
Denver over Oakland
It only took 18 seasons, but it’s finally true: even if Peyton Manning has a bad game, the rest of the team can make up for it. Manning’s team’s used to live and die by his arm. Luckily for Denver, that hasn’t been the case so far. Khalil Mack and Justin Tuck should put him on his back multiple times today, but can Oakland put up enough points?
New York Giants over San Francisco
Believe it or not, the Giants are the best team in the NFC East right now. They should at least be 3-1 right now, if not 4-0. The Niners, meanwhile, are the Niners.
San Diego over Pittsburgh
Maybe Michael Vick‘s second start of the season will see him air the ball out more. Going 19-for-26 doesn’t mean much when you only net 126 yards. Philip Rivers is better than his first three games indicated. This is the perfect matchup to put San Diego back on the right track.
Record (Week): 9-5
Record (Season): 51-32