PFT’s Week Five picks

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Last week, MDS was getting cocky, again.  After sweeping the three early games on which we disagreed, he’d clinched the weekly win.  But two disagreements remained — and both of them (Vikings and Chiefs) went my way.

Net result?  MDS added a game to his lead.  He’s now up by two games through four weeks.

For the full week, MDS went 7-6.  I went 6-7, a far cry from a 13-3 performance in Week Three.

For the year, MDS leads at 35-26.  I’m at 33-28.  For both of us, that’s sort of pathetic.

Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: The Packers already trail the Lions in the NFC North and with a loss would also trail the Vikings, while having lost head-to-head games with both. If that happens some Green Bay fans might panic. But Green Bay fans can R-E-L-A-X, because it won’t happen.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Vikings 14.

Florio’s take:  Teddy Bridgewater will play.  Unless he doesn’t.  Aaron Rodgers will, and that’s all that matters.  Despite the struggles against Mike Zimmer in the past.  After all, Tom Brady struggled against Zimmer last year, too.  And the Vikings are perhaps the only team that have allowed Brady to look like Brady this year.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 27, Vikings 17.

Bears at Panthers

MDS’s take: This may be the toughest game of the week to pick. Are the Panthers the team that gave the Lions their only loss and shut down a good Detroit offense? Or are the Panthers the team that got blown out by the Steelers and Ravens in the two games since that win over Detroit? I think it’s the latter, and Jay Cutler will have a big day against a defense that misses Greg Hardy’s presence as a pass rusher.

MDS’s pick: Bears 31, Panthers 17.

Florio’s take:  The Bears would rather face Cam Newton than Derek Anderson.  They’ll get their wish, as long as they don’t injure Newton.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 30, Panthers 17.

Browns at Titans

MDS’s take: Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt admitted this week that he may have overestimated how good the team he inherited was. The Browns, on the other hand, have been underestimated this season. They’ve got talent on both sides of the ball, and they’ll earn a big win in Tennessee.

MDS’s pick: Browns 34, Titans 20.

Florio’s take:  The Titans are “piss poor horrible,” according to safety Bernard Pollard.  Browns owner Jimmy Haslam probably will say something a lot stronger than that if Cleveland loses in his home state of Tennessee.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 20, Titans 13.

Rams at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles have been missing a lot of opportunities offensively, with Nick Foles failing to connect on his deep balls. I think the Rams’ defense, which is struggling to rush the passer, is going to give Foles plenty of time to find receivers downfield, and this should be a big win for Philadelphia.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 35, Rams 21.

Florio’s take:  Philly’s offensive line is struggling, but so is the supposedly dominant St. Louis defensive line.  Look for Chip Kelly to draw up a game plan that gets the most out of a quintet of blockers that welcomes back Lane Johnson.  And that shuts down an offense that Austin Davis has wrested from Shaun Hill.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 34, Rams 17.

Falcons at Giants

MDS’s take: After a slow start, the Giants are looking like a better team than most people expected. The Falcons are are a threat to score a lot of points against anyone as long as they have Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White, but the injuries on the offensive line are going to catch up to Atlanta. The Falcons’ pass defense is also going to struggle against Eli Manning and Co.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take:  The home team has won the last two games in this series by the combined score of 58-2.  While a blowout may not be in the offing, the Giants have shown that they’re not the team that stumbled out of the games.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 24, Falcons 17.

Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints are clearly not as good a team as most of us expected, and their defense is a mess. But the Bucs’ offense has its own problems, and the Bucs’ defense is going to allow Drew Brees to put up some big passing numbers.

MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 21.

Florio’s take:  The 1-3 Saints have had only one game at home.  Not coincidentally, it’s the one game they’ve won.  They’ll likely win another one on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 40, Buccaneers 21.

Texans at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The battle for Texas is a battle of two teams that are playing better than most people expected. The Texans have an efficient offense and a strong defensive front led by MVP candidate J.J. Watt, but the Cowboys may have the best offensive line in the league, and they’ll control the game on the ground to win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 23, Texans 20.

Florio’s take:  Did anyone expect either of these teams to be 3-1?  They both are, and barring a tie one will be 4-1.  Advantage home team.  As long as DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo stay healthy.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 24, Texans 17.

Bills at Lions

MDS’s take: Benching EJ Manuel for Kyle Orton may have been the right move in the short term, as Manuel just isn’t playing well enough right now. Orton will probably have a solid game passing against the Lions, and I’m tempted to pick the Bills in the upset, but I’ll count on Calvin Johnson to get healthier and have a big game in a Lions win.

MDS’s pick: Lions 27, Bills 24.

Florio’s take:  Jim Schwartz is back, and the Lions have a chance to show him how good they are without him.  Given that Schwartz’s defense will be offset by an offense led by Kyle Orton, that should be easy to do.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 31, Bills 20.

Ravens at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco both put up big numbers last week, and I think they can both have big numbers this week as well. Look for Luck’s numbers to be a big bigger and the Colts to win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Colts 31, Ravens 28.

Florio’s take:  Thirty years after the Colts bolted from Baltimore, Baltimore’s current team looks to settle the score.  And Indy’s coach used to work for the Ravens.  And Baltimore’s defense could have a hard time against some decisive, quick-strike passing from Andrew Luck.  And the Indy crowd will be extra loud, thanks to John Harbaugh’s joke that they pipe in crowd noise.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Ravens 21.

Steelers at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Steelers lost to one of the worst teams in the league last week. Will they do it again this week? No.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Jaguars 7.

Florio’s take:  Once one of the best rivalries in the AFC Central, the Jaguars actually lead the regular-season series 11-10.  If Pittsburgh doesn’t run its current winning streak over Jacksonville to three, it could be time for folks in Pittsburgh to start watching the Penguins.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 24, Jaguars 10.

Cardinals at Broncos

MDS’s take: The undefeated Cardinals probably aren’t getting as much credit as they deserve for the way they’ve played through three games, but they’ll get all the credit in the world if they can win in Denver. But I don’t see it happening. Arizona’s offense won’t put many points on the board against a good Denver D.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 24, Cardinals 10.

Florio’s take:  The last time both Peyton Manning and his opponent had two weeks to prepare for a game, it wasn’t pretty for Peyton.  But the Broncos likely will be facing Drew Stanton, and Denver has every reason to hold serve at home against the upstarts from the place the Broncos hope to play in February.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 30, Cardinals 17.

Chiefs at 49ers

MDS’s take: Alex Smith would love to win in San Francisco and make the case that the 49ers were wrong to trade him away. But the 49ers weren’t wrong, and Colin Kaepernick will out-play his former teammate in a San Francisco win.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 21, Chiefs 14.

Florio’s take:  Alex Smith returns to San Francisco, nearly two years after a concussion gave Colin Kaepernick an opening to take the job.  Smith will be motivated to prove the 49ers screwed up.  Kaepernick will be motivated to prove they didn’t.  The 49ers still have the better supporting cast, and they’re playing at home.  While the 49ers may have chosen the wrong guy, the 49ers know how to defend Smith far better than the Chiefs know how to defend Kaepernick.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 24, Chiefs 21.

Jets at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Jets’ offense is a mess, and the defense isn’t playing very well, either. The Chargers are better on both sides of the ball and will win an easy one.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  Geno Smith or Mike Vick, these Jets aren’t good enough to beat these Chargers.  Philip Rivers continues to make a case for MVP, and San Diego continues to look like a team that could topple the Broncos when it counts.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 31, Jets 20.

Bengals at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Bengals’ pass defense is excellent, and the Patriots’ pass offense is lousy. (It sounds strange to say about a Tom Brady-led team, but it’s true.) The Patriots won’t be able to move the ball and the Bengals will win a defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 20, Patriots 10.

Florio’s take:  For the Patriots, it’s the last, best chance to show that they remain viable contenders.  For the Bengals, it’s the first, best chance to put the rest of the league on notice that they are ready not just to get back to the playoffs but to win a postseason game.  While New England’s flaws remain significant and potentially fatal to a playoff berth, if they can’t get it together for a nationally-televised prime-time game against a team trying to become what the Pats have been, they never will.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 30, Bengals 27.

Seahawks at Washington

MDS’s take: Kirk Cousins had a miserable night last week. He’s going to have an even more miserable night when the Seahawks’ defense comes to town. This looks like a Monday night game that will have fans going to bed early.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 40, Washington 14.

Florio’s take:  Trent Williams thinks Washington can beat Seattle.  We think Trent Williams needs to take a closer look at the film of his team’s most recent home game.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 34, Washington 13.

61 responses to “PFT’s Week Five picks

  1. The Bears may indeed beat the Panthers, but by 13? No way. Until they can pull that defense together and the offense quits making mistakes in clutch time, the Bears aren’t gonna be blowing out anybody.

  2. Chargers vs. Jets is a classic Jets “on-the-road-no-chance wait what is happening?!” game. It won’t be pretty, but I think they have a real chance to surprise the Chargers.

  3. The Bucs and Saints always play each other close excluding a couple of exceptions. Tampa was playing extremely well the second half against the Steelers on both sides of the ball. I think for my prediction I have the Bucs riding an emotional high going into a Saints team that is a mess.

  4. The ’49ers locker room is as cohesive as Gaza and you two focus on Alex Smith’s return to the Bay Area?

    Did you catch the last session of MNF ?

    Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid are both great coaches, but Reid has a sense of humor which makes him better.

    If you go to Las Vegas this weekend, don’t bet your grocery money on that particular pick.

  5. If the Rams defense is going to do anything this year, now would be a nice time to show up. No one thinks they can keep this game even close to respectable.

  6. Uh, Brady had 149 yards and one touchdown against the Vikings, so I’d hardly say he looked like the Brady of old. It was a comfortable victory because Matt Cassel (remember him?) threw four interceptions and a blocked kick was returned for a touchdown.

  7. I’m kind of surprised that two guys that don’t know the Washington team is the Redskins actually get any picks right. Thankfully it’s a 50/50 shot.

  8. Don’t underestimate the power of Neckbeard!

    Watch the calm and methodical Kyle Orton lead the Bills to dinking-dunking finish-them-off-with-the-run-game kind of upset on the road, over a Lions team that still doesn’t know how to handle a little success.

  9. To the question ctiggs the whiner fan asked. “Who’s got it better than you?” How bout every team that’s better than 2-2 and every Super Bowl champ since 1995. I don’t know why you keep asking that question. The list is massive of who’s got it better than you.

  10. I am extremely saddened by the Vikings, Packers picks. With Teddy at the helm, there is no way the Vikings lose. The dynasty has started. We now have all the pieces. Look out Packer Nation. Its now the division of Purple.

  11. As a pats fan I do not know how on Gods green earth Florio sees them scoring 30 points against the Bengals.

    There is a significant difference between this year and any other year they have started off weak or had some flaws. Receivers can’t catch or defense can’t make a stop, or Brady doesn’t look as sharp. All of those things end up getting figured out, but this year its the offensive line. That is the foundation to the team and it sucks this year worse than ever. The last time they had a terrible O-Line they wore the old blue jerseys.

    – Panicking Pats Fan

  12. Brady had almost identical stats vs. the Vikings as he did vs. the Chiefs (149 and 1 TD vs. 159 1 TD). Yet the Chiefs stifled Brady and the Vikings allowed “Brady to look like Brady.”

    Thanks for the insight.

  13. You guys are really truly awful with your “picks”.

    In my against the spread only pick league I am 34 correct picks, and you two have 35 and 33 picking straight up! Awful!

  14. There is no way I’m watching Monday Night Football this week, lest my head explode from hearing Jon Gruden talk about his brother on the sideline all night.

  15. Just because you blog about food, doesn’t mean you actually know anything about food.

  16. Brave man Florio. No way would I pick the Patriots after watching that game last week.

  17. “the Cowboys may have the best offensive line in the league”

    As a Cowboys fan, I have waited a LONG time to hear that phrase. It’s amazing to think it may be true, after so many years of bad decisions.

  18. Pats will win. Never count out a downtrodden Hall of Fame coach / qb with their back against the wall. They’re playing the Bengals people. Have you no knowledge of football history??

  19. Packers are 9 point favorites at home against the Vikings based on the assumption that Bridgewater is not starting.

    Not sure that will happen.

    In any case, the Vikings are not playing a soft cover-2 with a mediocre secondary and no pass rush like the Packers faced in Chicago last weekend. Even with that advantage the Packers were neck and neck with Chicago until the 2nd half- when Cutler did what the Packer defense couldn’t do- kill their drives.

    In sloppy conditions I don’t see the Packer offense putting up more points than they’ve averaged this year against a solid- and unfamiliar- Mike Zimmer defense.

    Meantime, the Packers have been giving up 175 yards a game on the ground- including over 200 last weekend. That ain’t gonna get any better with Guion faced down in the mud.

    Unless the Vikings fair noticeably worse in the wet conditions than GB, the Vikings will pull this one out. 27-20.

  20. If the Bengals can’t beat the Pats when they’re reeling, then the Bengals aren’t for real again this year.

  21. Viking fans are holding out hope that their team might be decent this year. Hard to tell at this point in the season. With the practice rules the first four games of the regular season are about like preseason uses to be. Now is the point where the better teams will start showing what they have and the bad teams start showing that side. By the end of October, the cream will rise to the top. Don’t expect it to be the Vikings separating themselves from any other teams. They are a couple years away from contention in the NFC North.

  22. The Giants are going to win big. They’ve got a full squad and an offense that is getting in gear quickly. The Falcons offensive line has been weakened and Matt Ryan will have a tough day.

  23. Only one I really differ on is San Fran/KC. I’m not a fan of either team, but after the way SF looked at home against my Eagles coupled with how KC looked on Monday, I think this is the Chief’s game to win. Granted, the 49ers won the game against the Eagles. But they didn’t “beat” us. Had Nick Foles completed two more passes in that game, we’d have won by two scores. That’s not in defense of the Birds, just an evaluation of SF. They played VERY poorly, just not poorly enough to lose to a team that didn’t score any offensive points.

    KC 28
    SF 21

  24. Baltimore is currently the third best scoring defense in the league with only Arizona and Cincy better, and they were on a bye last week with one less game played. Add to that the 5th best scoring offense (6th in yardage) that boasts an offensive line that hasn’t allowed a sack in the last three games (against three good front sevens in Carolina, Cleveland, and a lesser degree Pittsburgh), is also grinding everyone away in the run game, and the big play potential of Steve Smith and the Ravens are doing far better on offense then they previous history has you believing. Indy will get their yardage but no way the Ravens’ defense gets outplayed by an average at best Colts defense and the Ravens’ offense is proving to be just as potent as the Colts’ offense.

  25. ktm300xcwe says:
    Oct 2, 2014 11:44 AM
    Yep. Brady put up a whole 149 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings…..since when is that Bradylike?

    Since this season started.

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