Sunday, October 08, 2006

NFL Week 5 Preview

I'm going to take a different approach this week- instead of giving 5 games to watch, I'm going to run down each game today( I know- original) If it doesn't work out I'll go back to my old method, cause it's my blog and my prerogative (little shout out to Bobby B. there- he's in a rough place right now, can't even get into Hollywood hot spot Hyde)

1:00 PM Games:
Dolphins (1-3) @ Patriots (3-1)
If the Pats are truly back, like last weeks' pasting of the Bengals suggests, and if the Fins are truly horrible, like last weeks' loss to the lowly Texans suggests, then this one should be a laugher. If not, then the Pats better go back to the drawing board. Look for Lawrence Maroney to run like the wind, and Tommy Boy to throw to 17 different receivers until he finds a go-to-guy to replace Branch. Oh and Joey Harrington makes his first Miami start (get ready, Tedy.)
MY PICK: Pats 34-13

Bucs (0-3) @ Saints (3-1)
Boy could this get ugly. Not only are the Bucs without starting QB Chris Simms due to that little spleenectomy 2 weeks ago, forcing Bruce The Rocket Gradkowski to start in his first NFL game, but now starting LT Kenyatta Walker is out for the season as well. Plus the Saints are playing their 2nd home game since Katrina (ask the Falcons how the first game went), and they are coming off a disappointing loss at Carolina last week. My hoodoo powers see a Bucs team being battered like a crash test dummy, and Reggie Bush to have his NFL break-out game.
MY PICK: Saints 27- 10
Skins (2-2) @ Giants (1-2)
A good ol' hate-filled division battle, complete with colorful characters (Shockey, Portis), contrasting coaches (Grampa Gibbs & Crotchety Coughlin) and plenty of offense: the Giants avg. 27PPG (5th in NFL) , the Skins over 23 (10th.) But WASH is coming off a tough, emotional 36-30 OT win vs. Jax'ville, so I give the edge to the home team.
MY PICK: Giants 30- 24

Lions (0-4) @ Vikings (2-2)
Although Detroit showed signs of improvement by scoring 34 pts vs. St. Louis last week, they still allowed 41pts and lost; the offensive weapons at Coach Marinelli's disposal, RB Kevin Jones (99 yds, 2TDs) & WR Roy Williams (139 yds) are finally coming through. Brad Johnson & the Vikes have been in every game this year, but they cannot score more than 20 points. I think the winless Lions will ride the Tigers karma to Marinelli's first NFL win
MY PICK: Lions 19-17

Browns (1-3) @ Panthers (2-2)
The Brownies "shocked the world" last week when they scored 21 straight points to come from behind and beat the raiders in Oakland. Congrats, Cleveland, that was your last road win for a while. Things return to normal today when the Panthers continue to get healthy, courtesy of the
improving but not-there-yet Browns.
MY PICK: Panthers 28-12

Bills (2-2) @ Bears (4-0)
A couple of weeks ago I would have said this will be a low-scoring defensive battle; then Da Bears went out and hung 37 on Seattle Sunday night. Buffalo has surprised many by being in every game and boast the league's leading rusher, Willis Magahee, while Chicago & QB Rex Grossman have been the surprise of the league and the Bears have a sound run defense. Could be close, but Da Bears take it in Chitown.
MY PICK: Bears 26-14

Rams (3-1) @ Packers (1-3)
The Rams broke out the 'Greatest Show on Turf' offense last week, scoring 41 pts with QB Mark Bulger playing Kurt Warner (328 yds, 3TDs) and Torrie Holt (102 yds, 1TD) & Issac Bruce (100 yds, 1TD) playing their old selves. If that offensive juggernaut is back it spells bad news for the horrible-and-getting-worse Pack, who got hammered by Philly on Monday night. Favre(3 INTs, concussion) got battered in that one, and RB Ahman Green didn't play, so it could get ugly today.
MY PICK: Rams 27-16

Titans (0-4) @ Colts (4-0)
The Mannings may be undefeated, but it took a last-minute drive against the hapless Jets to get there. To me they appear to be struggling without RB Edge James (who himself is struggling in Arizona), although Joeseph Addai & Dominic Rhodes (396 yds, 4 TDs) have filled in adequately. The Colts cut K Martin Gramatica earlier this week and then re-signed him yesterday, meaning Vinatieri is still hobbled by his sore groin, and DT Corey Simon is done for the year with an arthritic condition. No matter, the Mannings get fat off of Vince (still too) Young & the terrible Titans.
MY PICK: Colts 38-9

4:00 PM Games:

Jets (2-2) @ Jaguars (2-2)
Interesting matchup because the Jets are 2-0 on the road and the Jags are 2-0 at home. But stuck at 2-2 neither team knows its true identity yet, and one of them needs to establish one today. The Jags are a much more psychical and tougher defensive team, but the Jets offense has been solid (8th in the NFL), so something's gotta give. My guess is that it might be Pennington's fragile body.
MY PICK: Jags 21-17

Raiders (0-3) @ 49ers (1-3)
Despite the similar records San Fran is the much better team- they are improving, while the Riders are regressing into a Black Hole of NFL futility. Their 2 star receivers (Moss & Porter)are disinterested and distracting,a nd they blew a 21-pt lead at home in their loss to the browns last week. Yikes. the 49ers had looked decent before last week's 41-0 whitewashing by KC; QB Alex Smith is improving (not quick enough for the No. 1 overall pick) and RB Frank don't call me Al Gore has led a solid rushing attack (4th in NFC in rushing, but 4 fumbles too.)
MY PICK: Niners 24-3

Chiefs (1-2) @ Cardinals (1-3)
The Matt Leinart Era officially begins in the Arizona desert as the former USC BMOC and #10 pick makes his NFL starting debut today. The Chiefs racked up 41 points without starting QB Trent Green (concussion) last week, and the "zona D will have trouble stopping them again. But if the Cards want to live up to their preseason hype, today would be a good day to start.
MY PICK: Cards 26-23

Cowboys (2-1) @ Eagles (3-1)
Maybe you've heard a little bit about this one- you know, the return of T.-O.D. to the City of Brotherly Hate. It's always nice when you have to have some much extra security that the Dept. of Homeland Security has to take the day off due to lack of agents. But seriously this is going to be a blood feud with enough vitriol hurled toward the former Eagle malcontent, and if QB Donovan McNabb wants to win any game more than the Super Bowl, this is it. My advice to O.D. - pledge the NFL to wear full body armor.
MY PICK: Eagles 31-28

Steelers (1-2) @ Chargers (2-1)
The Steelers are going through the classic Championship hangover year (ask the '05 Bosox about that) and appear as dazed and confused as A-Ben-dicitis did after his motorcycle wreck. The Chargers are coming off a heartbreaking last-second loss to Baltimore. they will be eager to get back on the winning track, and after their bye week San Diego is not the best place for Pittsburgh to cure what ails them; maybe some Hangover Helper would work.
My PICK: Chargers 24-21

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