|This is a picture of Jared Allen holding a Bears head. After Sunday night, I'll see if I can Photoshop a picture of Jay Cutler's head in there.|
As I mentioned yesterday, my wife and I had a baby on Wednesday and I’ve been severely limited in what I’m able to post on the site. Amazingly, I got my picks column done in time for the weekend. Unfortunately, it was severely rushed and none of it makes any sense. So, basically, it’s business as usual.
Week 5 Results (point spread in parentheses)
Landrum: 9-4 (9-4)
Prince: 11-2 (11-2)
I feel like I should be pretty happy with 9-4 (9-4), but it’s hard to feel good about it when Prince pretty much took a frying pan to my face. Sadly for Prince, he didn’t actually wager any real money.
Results through Week 5 (point spread in parentheses)
Landrum: 47-30 (36-34)
Prince: 51-26 (39-31)
Overall Leader: Prince +7
Well, now that I find myself facing a big deficit, it’s probably time to get things rolling. If only Prince could stop getting his picks right, this whole thing would go a lot smoother. Let’s get to the Week 6 picks and see if I have any prayer of catching up.
Carolina at Atlanta (ATL -5.5)
Jon: Carolina (CAR +5.5)
Prince: Carolina (CAR +5.5)
Cam Newton and the Panthers have come agonizingly close to scoring a big upset several times this season, and I’m thinking that now is the time. With each passing week, Newton seems to get better and better in late game situations, culminating in an impressive 4th quarter drive last week to take the lead over New Orleans. Of course, the defense promptly gave those points back and cost the Panthers the game. That was New Orleans though…this is the Falcons. Regardless of record, the Panthers have had no trouble putting up points. I’m thinking this game won’t be any different, except that Atlanta probably won’t be able to keep up in a shootout.
Indianapolis at Cincinnati (CIN -6)
Jon: Cincinnati (IND +6)
Prince: Cincinnati (IND +6)
Ugly, ugly, ugly. That pretty much summarizes how this game is going to be. Even at 3-2, it’s hard to take Cincinnati seriously as a -6 favorite. Throw in the fact that Indianapolis has done a remarkable job of keeping in games (and then losing them) and you have a fantastic recipe for a Cincinnati win on a last second field goal. Or it could be Curtis Painter taking a safety. Whatever.
San Francisco at Detroit (DET -6)
Jon: Detroit (SF +6)
Prince: Detroit (DET -6)
This should prove to be one of the most informative games of the week. Despite their sterling records, questions abound about both teams. At this point, I think we all know they’re both playoff teams, but we aren’t totally sure if they’re legit Super Bowl contenders. My guess is that question will still be there after this one, but one of these teams is going to make a strong statement. For me, it came down to Matt Stafford vs. Alex Smith…hence picking Detroit. I know Harbaugh has Smith playing out of his mind, but he has serious limitations and Detroit is in a pretty good position to take advantage of those. If the ‘Niners can somehow slow the Detroit pass rush, then they very well could steal this game. Either way, a strong running game and an even stronger defense should keep San Fran in this one till the end. Then Calvin Johnson will probably catch the game winner while fighting over quadruple coverage. Yay NFL.
St. Louis at Green Bay (GB -10.5)
Jon: Green Bay (GB -10.5)
Prince: Green Bay (GB -10.5)
It’s always fantastic to face off against Aaron Rodgers when your top two CB’s are out for the season! The Rams are an absolute train wreck right now and this is the worst possible situation for them. Unless Stephen Jackson can break the single game record for rushing yards, the Rams don’t have a prayer. You couldn’t possibly give me enough points to pick St. Louis here.
Buffalo at New York Giants (NYG -2)
Jon: New York (NY -2)
Prince: Buffalo (BUF +2)
The unfortunate news that Justin Tuck will miss a second consecutive game has me questioning my pick, but I still think the Giants find a way to win this one. After a shocking loss at home to Seattle, pulling out a tough victory over a good Bills team is the kind of thing that the Giants do. Of course, they always follow that up with another shocking loss…but still. Buffalo has been surviving on turnovers so far this season and I have a hard time buying into that kind of unsustainable success. Eli is NOT going to throw 4 INT’s and the defense is NOT going to miss a million tackles.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (PIT -9.5)
Jon: Pittsburgh (JAX +9.5)
Prince: Pittsburgh (PIT -9.5)
The Steelers finally got it rolling last week against the Titans and they’ll have a great shot to maintain that type of success against a bad Jaguars team. Still, just because they blew up Tennessee doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten their injuries and their early season struggles. Pittsburgh can be run on and a good game by Mo-Jo could keep this one interesting into the second half. I don’t think Jacksonville has a chance to win, but I think they keep it in single digits.
Philadelphia at Washington (PHI -3)
Jon: Philadelphia (PHI -3)
Prince: Philadelphia (PHI -3)
Call me hard-headed, call me stubborn, call me an idiot, call me whatever you like. I just can’t stop picking the Eagles! Even on the road, -3 against Rex Grossman is far too tasty to pass up. I mean, they can’t suck forever, right? Right? Hey, Andy Reid said he was encouraged!!!
Cleveland at Oakland (OAK -3)
Jon: Oakland (OAK -3)
Prince: Oakland (OAK -3)
Hard to believe, but a Raiders victory would get them to 4-2. Given Cleveland’s offensive struggles so far this season, I’m thinking the Raiders aren’t going to have much trouble getting that done. Still, there’s a chance Cleveland could be the big winner from the Week 5 byes. They’ve clearly had trouble adjusting to Pat Shurmur’s system and the extra week of practice, as well as the added health of several key players, can only benefit them. I still think Colt McCoy has a breakout coming. Sadly, I doubt this is it. Darren McFadden will likely plow right through the Cleveland defense and carry the Raiders to victory.
Houston at Baltimore (BAL -7)
Jon: Baltimore (BAL -7)
Prince: Baltimore (BAL -7)
No Andre Johnson, no Mario Williams, no chance. Houston sent a clear message last week that they have no interest in taking control of their division. Until they change their minds (and prove it), I’m going to have to assume they’re the same old underachieving Texans. Coming off their bye week, I guessing that Good Joe Flacco makes an appearance and crushes the Texans.
Dallas at New England (NE -6.5)
Jon: Dallas (DAL +6.5)
Prince: New England (DAL +6.5)
I can’t believe I’m picking the Cowboys, but this just feels like the type of game they would win. Now that everyone has written them off following their unbelievable collapse in Week 4, it’s time to get everyone on board (including me) with a huge, unexpected win…only to follow that up with a shocking Week 7 loss to the winless Rams. That might not make sense to you, but it surely does to a Cowboys fan like me! Seriously though, I think Dallas has a great opportunity here. As we’ve seen this year, you can pass on New England. A lot. With their abysmal pass rush, Tony Romo should have all day to sit back and pick apart the Patriots secondary. Thanks to the return of Miles Austin and the extra week of recovery for Dez Bryant, the Cowboys should put up tons of points. Not that I feel comfortable picking against Tom Brady in a shootout, but there’s some definite matchup issues that could affect the New England offense. If they insist on sending out their TE’s, then blocking up DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer is going to be a huge problem. If they keep them in to block, then they’re whole offensive philosophy goes out the window. Either way, I think it will be an entertaining game that could very well result in me suffering a massive stroke.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay (TB -3.5)
Jon: New Orleans (NO +3.5)
Prince: New Orleans (NO +3.5)
I don’t understand this opening line at all, but I’m grateful for the free gift. Simply put, New Orleans is A LOT better than Tampa Bay. The Bucs have struggled mightily early in the season and they’re extremely fortunate to be sitting at 3-2. Against a powerful Saints offense however, they’re luck is likely to run out.
Minnesota at Chicago (CHI -3)
Jon: Minnesota (MIN +3)
Prince: Minnesota (MIN +3)
I’m severely un-impressed with both teams and there’s a decent chance I skip this game entirely. While the Bears might have more overall talent, it’s hard to imagine Jared Allen being held to fewer than 7 sacks. No, seriously, he might kill Cutler by the end of the game. If they can establish AP early in this contest, they’ll have no problems controlling the TOP and notching enough points to pull out a win. Of course, that’s assuming McNabb can avoid throwing the ball directly to Bears defenders.
Miami at New York Jets (NYJ -6)
Jon: New York (NYJ -6)
Prince: New York (NYJ -6)
So…Matt Moore, eh? Great. Let me mark this game down in my calendar. Wouldn’t want to miss it.
Seriously, whoever is in charge of scheduling these games should probably be fired. Like, right now. Oh you want me to say something about the game? OK. Matt Moore sucks. The Dolphins suck. Jets don’t suck quite as bad. Jets win big.