PFT’s Week Five picks

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Last week was a very good week.  But for a late field goal by the Redskins, misplaced faith in the Chiefs, and a failure to realize that, as Joe Theismann says, Tony Romo “isn’t that good,” I would have generated the first perfect week of picks in the however-many-year history of doing this.

Instead, I finished 12-3.  Which gave me the win in Week Four over MDS, who was 11-4.

For the year, I’ve won three weeks, he’s won one, and I lead the overall contest by two games.  I’m at 39-24; MDS is 37-26.

We’re gradually becoming less pathetic.  Read on to see whether we’ll end up more pathetic this week.

Cardinals at Rams

MDS’s take: The Cardinals keep winning close games, and eventually the breaks have to go against them late in a close one, right? Probably, but not this week. The Cardinals win yet another close one.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 21, Rams 20.

Florio’s take:  It’s “correction week” in the NFL.  And if I’m correct (which I rarely am), it begins on Thursday night in St. Louis, when the Cardinals’ ability to find a way to win will be temporarily suspended.  Greg the Leg a/k/a Young G.Z. a/k/a Legatron a/k/a Greg Zuerlein saves the day, again.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 16, Cardinals 13.

Dolphins at Bengals

MDS’s take: I love the way the Bengals’ offense is running under coordinator Jay Gruden, who keeps finding ways to get the ball in his playmakers’ hands. I see A.J. Green getting open in the Dolphins’ secondary all day. This should be a big win for Cincinnati.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 35, Dolphins 14.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins could be shorthanded at cornerback, which will make it even harder to stop receiver A.J. Green.  The good news is that through five weeks the Dolphins will be only two games out of first place in the AFC East.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 31, Dolphins 16.

Packers at Colts

MDS’s take: Clay Matthews will make Andrew Luck’s life miserable, while Aaron Rodgers will have his best statistical game of the season. The Packers win in a mismatch.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Colts 10.

Florio’s take:  Though the Colts have become the most sympathetic team in the NFL this week, the Packers desperately need to find their groove on offense.  If they don’t, it could be a long year.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Colts 20.

Ravens at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Florio did me a favor and picked the Chiefs last week, and I’m hoping he does it again. The calls to bench Matt Cassel will only grow louder as the Ravens’ defense has its way with him.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Chiefs 14.

Florio’s take:  When the Chiefs were a playoff team, they couldn’t handle the Ravens at home.  Rested and ready after four games that kicked off 17 days apart, the Ravens are ready to put the Texans on notice that Baltimore won’t step aside for them.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 35, Chiefs 24.

Titans at Vikings

MDS’s take: Other than their miraculous win over the Lions — which they did their best to blow despite scoring an improbable five 60-plus-yard touchdowns — the Titans have looked lousy all season. The Vikings, on the other hand, have been one of the NFL’s pleasant surprises this season. Adrian Peterson will have 100 yards, Chris Johnson will have 10 yards, and the Vikings will win this one handily to improve to 4-1 and exceed their 2011 win total.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Titans 13.

Florio’s take:  To do justice to their wins over the 49ers and Lions, the Vikings can’t stumble against the Titans.  Though Matthew Hasselbeck’s savvy and skill could keep it close, Adrian Peterson seems poised to finally have a big day.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 27, Titans 17.

Browns at Giants

MDS’s take: It’s been largely overlooked because the team around him is so bad, but Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has bounced back from his disastrous Week One performance and given Cleveland three straight solid starts. Unfortunately, the team around him is really bad. The Giants should take this one easily in a week that’s shaping up to have a lot of blowouts.

MDS’s pick: Giants 35, Browns 21.

Florio’s take:  This one has “upset” written all over it.  Last year, in three consecutive home games, the Giants were less than impressive against the Seahawks, Bills, and Dolphins.  With a crippling slate of games on the horizon, the Giants can’t afford to fall to 2-3.  Eli Manning finds a way.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 35, Browns 27.

Eagles at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers are getting healthier, with running back Rashard Mendenhall, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu all ready to play Sunday. Look for Harrison and Polamalu to force Mike Vick into a couple of turnovers and the Steelers to win a close and low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 13, Eagles 10.

Florio’s take:  I’ve lived within 100 miles of Pittsburgh long enough to know that the Steelers, with a 1-2 record and two weeks to prepare, don’t lose this game.  Not at home.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 20, Eagles 10.

Falcons at Redskins

MDS’s take: The Falcons have been playing very well in all three phases of the game, and they’re just too complete a team for the Redskins to handle. Washington’s defense will emphasize shutting down Roddy White, and Julio Jones will step up with a big game.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Redskins 20.

Florio’s take:  It wouldn’t be “correction week” if the undefeated teams don’t lose.  A week after the Falcons struggled to contain Cam Newton, they’ll likewise have a hard time with RG3, who is overdue for his first home win.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 41, Falcons 38.

Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: Marshawn Lynch will have a big game against the Panthers’ porous run defense, but I think this is the week when Cam Newton finally reminds us all why we were so excited about him last year. Newton will put points on the board with his arm and with his legs and lead the Panthers to an impressive win that quiets Newton’s critics, at least for one week.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Seahawks 21.

Florio’s take:  With the bye week looming, the Panthers need to pull together and get a win via methodical use of the running game and patient defense that forces rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to sustain drives.  There’s a huge difference between 1-4 and 2-3, especially with two weeks to stew about the outcome of this one.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 20, Seahawks 14.

Bears at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been careful with the ball this season, throwing just one interception in four games. But the opportunistic Chicago defense that took advantage of Tony Romo on Monday night will force Gabbert into his first multiple-interception game of the year, and the Bears will cruise to 4-1.

MDS’s pick: Bears 21, Jaguars 6.

Florio’s take:  The Jaguars have played twice at home this year.  And they’ve looked horrible in both.  Against the Bears, they won’t look much better.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 28, Jaguars 6.

Broncos at Patriots

MDS’s take: I’m sold on Peyton Manning being all the way back to his pre-neck surgery form, but I’m less sold on the Broncos’ defense being able to stop Tom Brady.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 28.

Florio’s take:  Normalcy returns for Peyton Manning, sort of.  He has played in New England nine times during his career.  And it could be the moment that finally makes him feel like everything is back to normal.  In this case, of course, “normal” includes losing to the Patriots, again.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 28, Broncos 24.

Bills at 49ers

MDS’s take: San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith will have his first 300-yard game of the season against a shaky Bills secondary. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick probably won’t be quite as bad as Mark Sanchez was against the 49ers’ defense, but that’s not saying much.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Bills 3.

Florio’s take:  The perennial Chris Berman Super Bowl prediction that never happened will finish the same way it would have if the team that never loses Super Bowls played the team that never wins them.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 34, Bills 14.

Chargers at Saints

MDS’s take: Drew Brees will break Johnny Unitas’s NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass — and he’ll do it in style, as the Saints finally win their first game of the season.

MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Chargers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs beat the Saints and the Chargers beat the Chiefs so it makes sense for the Saints to beat the Chargers.  Sunday night will be one of those rare nights when everything falls together for the Saints.  If it doesn’t, it may not again.  Ever.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, Chargers 24.

Texans at Jets

MDS’s take: For the second straight week, it’s going to get ugly for the Jets. They look like a team whose season could spiral out of control in a hurry, while the Texans look like a team that will clinch its division by Thanksgiving.

MDS’s pick: Texans 45, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  Tim Tebow should be starting this week, but the Jets know not to throw a Christian to the Texans.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 41, Jets 10.

46 responses to “PFT’s Week Five picks

  1. And you guys clearly do that and I just never read the top. Don’t I feel ridiculous.

  2. Thinking the Chargers are only going to score in the 20’s vs. the Saints horrid defense is laughable. The Aints are 0-4 for a reason. SD is giving up an average of 17.8 points a game. NO is giving up 32.5. Do the math …

  3. It’s still weird seeing the Redskins get picked to score points…It seems like it was just yesterday Rexy/Beck were leading them to a 16 ppg average.

  4. This should cover the bases: these picks suck and change the damn formatting. Also “something something” Goodell is ruining this game. Did I miss anything?

  5. Cincy’s corners haven’t been all that healthy either – I can see the fins scoring some points too and I think it will be a close game.
    Fins 27 -bungals 24

  6. Dolphins defense wont give up 30+ points this week. Have you been watching?

    Bengals have done some nice things but they are hardly world beaters.

  7. Mike can we lose the people who troll for their team writing the SAME thing in every article ala skins1982 who seems eerily like voiceofreasonsays.

  8. The Bills will score more than 3 points. The offense isn’t all THAT bad. However, the defense is another story. With Mario Williams’ hurt wrist (LOL!!!!!), who knows if he shows up. Even if we do only score 3 points, it’s still better than what the Jets did, so that’s a plus!

  9. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith will have his first 300-yard game of the season against a shaky Bills secondary.

    Shaky Bills secondary? Seems to me that the Bills secondary has been pretty solid this year. Its the front four and Linebackers that have been struggling, especially against the run.

    Yeah, the D-line had a good game against Trent Richardson and a solid Browns O-line, but they were gashed by the lopsided Patriots running game and the Linebackers struggled keeping the Pats TE’s under check. Gilmore, Williams, Wilson and Byrd have done better than what they were expected to do.

  10. I don’t troll. I just have the privalage of watching in awe the Michael Jordan of the NFL. Hate on brother. Rg3 will show you and the rest of the football world that he is the best that is, the that was and the best there ever will be. Feel privalaged. The division has flipped!!!! You’ve been warned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. tennis22drew says:
    Oct 4, 2012 10:27 AM
    Alex Smith has never thrown for 300 yards in a win. At least, I think that is still the case

    That is not coincidence. Niners winning formula is defense, rushing, and lots of field goals. If he throws for 300 it’s most likely the formula broke down and they had no choice but to pass it.

  12. @gtodriver

    Dude you really don’t like the Saints, do you? What exactly did they do to you? Did they leave you orphaned at a young age? Did they kill your puppy? Every Saints related thread on PFT, you say the same thing, and I quote,

    “Who dat nation proclaimed that having Vilma and Smith at the season opener would give the team a huge emotional lift.

    How’d that work out for you…”

    I’ve seen this from you 3 times. Just because your team isn’t as good as the Saints, and the only way anyone could stop the Saints from going to the Super Bowl in their own city was to falsify claims and unjustly suspend innocent people who are integral pieces of their success doesn’t mean they suck. It just means that your team sucks, and needed the Saints punishments to have a chance at being better than them.

    Personally, I think all the hatred towards the Saints is hilarious. You see people hate on the Saints all the time…just like you see them hate on the Steelers, the Patriots, the Packers, etc. Why? Because they’re the best teams, and you need outside-of-the-game help to beat them. So keep means we’re doing something right.

  13. I had a perfect week first week ever in work pick pool, solely impressing everyone. Never did it again but had a few closer calls.

  14. Seahawks defense is better than panthers offense. Gonna be a low scoring game with defense and special teams determining the winner.
    Also no way the saints win. I know Brees wants to put it to the chargers but he doesn’t play on defense which has been horrid this year. I see 350+ for rivers and Brees throwing it up late to try to catch up.
    Oh and the Vikings show cj what a premier running back looks like.

  15. Though Matthew Hasselbeck’s savvy and skill could keep it close, Adrian Peterson seems poised to finally have a big day.

    I call him Matt because we have a good vibe. Also, AD had 100 yards last week and two TDs in Week 1, so it’s not like he hasn’t done anything.

  16. tennis22drew says: Oct 4, 2012 10:27 AM

    Alex Smith has never thrown for 300 yards in a win. At least, I think that is still the case

    Correct.. 299 vs Saints and that type of game is a rarity by design of the team. Only way I see it happening is against a team that can score a lot of points as well. Giants, New Orleans rematch, Patriots maybe. Problem there is other than the Giants They will be able to run the ball at will and still won’t pass much. Maybe if the receivers would catch the ball he’d have better odds too. Worst in the league for drops right now.

  17. Alex Smith is not meant to throw a lot…otherwise that means the Niners are down double digits early. Smith for 125yds and combined RBs go for 200+. Stick with the winning formula…run first, run second, run third…ok here’s a pass. We’ll see more of Kaeper option if the front four is so bad.

  18. Last week was a very good week. But for a late field goal by the Redskins, misplaced faith in the Chiefs, and a failure to realize that, as Joe Theismann says, Tony Romo “isn’t that good,” I would have generated the first perfect week of picks in the however-many-year history of doing this.


    seriously? i mean, if you had one wrong and could have said that it was one of those things but come on – 3 wrong and you make it sound like you were robbed of a perfect week…….3 wrong is pretty good but no where near perfect.

  19. I am a Bengals fan and I feel we will win this game, but not by a whole lot. The Dolphins defense is doing really well and I could see them scoring a touchdown off of a turnover.

  20. “Alex Smith has never thrown for 300 yards in a win. At least, I think that is still the case.”

    Correct. A quick check on and one will see that Alex Smith has only had 2 games in his entire NFL career in which he cracked the 300 mark. In 2010 he threw for 309 yards in a tough loss to the Eagles, and in 2009 he threw for 310 yards in a heated showdown with the Seahawks.

    Alex Smith is looking much more like a quarterback who is “finding a way” and less like a “game manager” but he’s not really a yardage machine. I don’t see him cracking the 300 yard mark in the offense they are running… They don’t play the Jets every week.

  21. I can understand picking the Dolphins to lose, but double didgets? I know we are 1-3, but the bengals arent world beaters. If its a close game we lose as always, if its a blow out, it will be in our favor.

  22. Cards win…too much talent on special teams and defense. They make their own luck with blocked punts, fg’s, tipped passses, QB pressures, QB hits, sacks, and an unreal redzone defense. Their aren’t enought trick plays left for St. Luis to pull it off.

  23. Fish may give up 30+ this week, and oh yeah bengals get Hall & Clements back.

    Bengals 31 Fins 13

  24. Everyone is sleeping on the bills. there is a stampede coming to candlestick park. the defense was called out last week,they will show up. donte whitner opened his trap about coach.(locker room material) and Fitzpatrick has the most touchdowns in the NFL. the reason buffalo is 2-2 is not lack of talent or coaching it’s turnovers. which means lack of focus they will be zoned in this week upset special 24-21 bills win. call me crazy all you want you’ll see Sunday its a great match-up and even if the bills fall short this game will not be a blowout

  25. The fact you have Seattle scoring more than 10pts is nuts. Wilson can’t throw his way out of a wet paper bag, and that is exactly what Panthers secondary defense is.

    However to say Panthers score 31 is also crazy.

    Panthers 10 Seattle 6

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