I apologize for a lack of Friday Flashback this week, been a little busy. But not too busy to bring you faithful readers your week five primer, which as always concludes with some fantasy advice for your consideration.
Week 5 Picks
New Orleans 27 – Chicago 21
The Saints aren’t the same team on the road, but they’ve proven up to the task so far this year. The revamped defense will keep Cutler and company from breaking out, and Brees will do just enough to pull off a substantial victory in hostile territory.
Cincinnati 28 – New England 24
In a bit of an upset, I expect the loss of Vince Wilfork to free up a combination attack of the Lawfirm and Giovanni Bernard, holding Brady on the bench longer than he’d care for and shifting the game in the Bengals’ favor. This one could swing both ways, and should be one of the best games to watch this week.
Green Bay 38 – Detroit 28
The bye week will have the Packers reset in their determination to not let a challenging NFC North pass them by, and the Lions, even with a healthy and productive Reggie Bush, will be hard pressed to match the production of Rodgers and his plethora of weapons. Interior push by the Lions’ front four could tip the scales, but I’m putting my faith in the Pack defending their home turf, where Detroit hasn’t won since I was six years old. (1991)
Seattle 23 – Indianapolis 16
The league’s co-leader in sacks (Robert Mathis) will find that catching Russell Wilson is as hard as he makes it seem, and the defense will batten down the hatches against Luck in a close game, preventing one of Luck’s notable 4th quarter comebacks with a timely turnover or two to seal the deal.
Miami 30 – Baltimore 24
The Dolphins should return to their winning ways against a Baltimore team they match up favorably against. The Dolphins have been killed by tight ends for most of the year, and the lack of help from that position for the Ravens is going to allow Miami to do what they do best defensively; man up and harass the QB while limiting the running game. It will be a huge help if Baltimore decides to abandon Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce as quickly as they did against Buffalo last week, but how many times can you make the same mistake and not learn from it?
Philadelphia 38 – New York 21
A perfect opportunity for Chip Kelly to get his uptempo offense rolling, giving the Philly hopeful something to brighten their spirits since coming up short the past three weeks. The Giants have to leave everything on the field in this one, but something tells me Coughlin has been telling these guys exactly that since week three…it isn’t working.
St. Louis 27 – Jacksonville 14
I was hesitant on giving the Rams the win here, despite them playing the worst team in football. The Rams aren’t too far off from being a bad team, are banged up, and have been experiencing some internal shakiness from their playcallers. Still, it’s the Jaguars, and until they actually win a game, you pick against them.
Kansas City 33 – Tennessee 21
While Jake Locker’s injury isn’t season-ending, the Ryan Fitzpatrick period is going to be shaky. I would have still tipped the scales in the Chiefs’ favor this week, despite not being at home. They’re playing the smartest football in the NFL right now, and considering some of the decisions Andy Reid (appeared to) sign off on during his last years in Philadelphia, it’s an absolute shock. Expect the Titans to be shocked at home this week.
Arizona 28 – Carolina 20
The Cardinals defense has been playing underrated football, and coming off of a bye week and an utter massacre of the New York Giants, the Panthers are going to come into this game a little overconfident. Palmer will find enough room to get Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd working against a suspect secondary, and the Cardinals will generate more questions about the future of the Panthers organization with their victory.
Denver 41 – Dallas 28
This may be their toughest challenge yet, but it won’t be tough enough. The Broncos are on an historic roll, and the Cowboys are the Cowboys…good enough to beat any team, bad enough to lose to teams inferior in talent. Doesn’t matter which shows up this week, they’re not going to win unless the Broncos give it away.
San Fransisco 23 – Houston 21
This is the game I’m most looking forward to, a great Sunday Night matchup in Candlestick Park with two teams that started the year with expectations that, so far, don’t match their records. The 49ers arrow is pointed upward, while the Texans are slowly beginning to realize that there are changes that need to be made somewhere in the organization (QB, playcalling, both) if they’re ever going to maximize the talent they possess.
San Diego 38 – Oakland 20
I doubt I’ll be awake for it, but I fully expect Phillip Rivers to run rampant on the Raiders secondary. Even with a healthy Terrelle Pryor and the Black Hole factor, San Diego has no right losing this game. Of course, that’s usually when they lose, but I’m not sensing the upset factor enough to pick against the Chargers.
Atlanta 24 – New York 17
It’s time for the Falcons to get back on track. Right? No better time than against the Jets, who despite fighting to a couple of close victories are still a major work in progress. Geno Smith will provide the Falcons with the extra opportunities (aka turnovers) they’ll need to take this win. If the Falcons lose this game, the Saints may have already won the NFC South in every sense beyond actually winning it.
Week Five Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Phillip Rivers – QB – San Diego Chargers
Michael Vick – QB – Philadelphia Eagles
Frank Gore – RB – San Fransisco 49ers
Giovanni Bernard – RB – Cincinnati Bengals
Roddy White – WR – Atlanta Falcons
Eddie Royal – WR – San Diego Chargers
Charles Clay – TE – Miami Dolphins
Zach Ertz – TE – Philadelpha Eagles (BIG risk-reward, but I’ve got a hunch…)
Ryan Succop – K – Kansas City Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons D/ST
Jay Cutler – QB – Chicago Bears
Andrew Luck – QB – Indianapolis Colts
Maurice Jones-Drew – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
DeMarco Murray – RB – Dallas Cowboys
Mike Wallace – WR – Miami Dolphins
Steve Smith – WR – Carolina Panthers
Jermaine Gresham – TE – Cincinnati Bengals
Owen Daniels – TE – Houston Texans
Stephen Gostkowski – K – New England Patriots
Chicago Bears D/ST