Week 5: NFL Picks & Pans

After a pretty decent last week of picks (9-4), including the sad, but true pick of the hated Steelers over my upstart Ravens, I look ahead to this coming week's games with some rebounding by not only the Ravens, but some of the other losers from last week. Here goes:

Carolina over Kansas City: Props to the Chiefs for running all over the Broncos surprisingly horrible defense last week, but now they have to go on the road to face a Panthers defense who held Atlanta's Michael Turner to under 50 yards and a much improved Carolina passing attack bolstered by the return of Steve Smith.

Detroit over Chicago: Here is my first upset pick of the weekend. The Lions have made changes in the Front Office and the Bears were beaten at home last week. Together the combination is my recipe for the Lions first win of the season.

Green Bay over Atlanta: Doesn't matter to me who takes snaps for the Packers, as their defense will trump the Falcons either way.

San Diego over Miami: Chargers are beginning to get their game in gear, as their offense has been great behind Phil Rivers and their defense is beginning to catch up. The Dolphins may be improved over last year, but not good enough for an upset.

NY Giants over Seattle: The Giants may be without Plaxico Burress but coming off a Bye week and being undefeated should sort of help their cause. Besides, Seattle has struggled, even though Matt Hasselback gets a couple of his WR's back.

Philadelphia over Washington: Eagles looked good enough to win at Chicago last week and so did the Redskins at Dallas. However, to expect the 'skins to do it twice in a row on the road is a little to much, while Eagles secondary is better than the Cowboys.

Indianapolis over Houston: Colts coming off a Bye week are nearly unbeatable as Manning & company have had an extra week to get their act together. Texans re-open Reliant Stadium in what should be an emotional game, but not a win.

Tampa Bay over Denver: What the heck has happened to the Broncos defense!? If they can't hold Kansas City under 30 points, then the Buccaneers should run and pass all over them, plus play hard pounding defense against a real good passing attack, led by emerging stars Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall.

Buffalo over Arizona: This game is a toss up, as I'm not too sure which Cardinal team will show up. The one who scored 35 points last week in their loss at the Jets, or the same one who turned the ball over a ton and gave up 50+ points. On the other side, the Bills are undefeated for a reason and a legit threat as they play great defense and have a well balanced, yet underrated offense.

New England over San Francisco: Many will look for the 49ers to upset the crippled Patriots, but me thinks the Bye week and Bill Belichick will come up with a gameplan for QB Matt Cassel to make sure they don't actually lose two games in a season (for now), much less two in a row!

Dallas over Cincinnati: The Cowboys are 17 point favorites in this seemingly one sided affair and although I expect their offense to overwhelm the Bengals, their defense hasn't impressed me. With Carson Palmer reportedly returning to action, I expect the Bengals to cover, but of course still lose again.

Jacksonville over Pittsburgh: While the fan in me is rooting for the Jaguars, my head also sees a Steeler team that was beaten on the field but not on the scoreboard last Monday night. Jacksonville plays a tough, physical defense and their running game should be successful behind the option skills of QB David Garrard. Too many Steelers are hurting and it might only take one big hit on Ben Roethlisberger to bring back former Jag QB Byron Leftwich, albeit in an enemy uniform.

New Orleans over Minnesota (Monday Night): This might be the perfect example of the inability of a great running game (Vikings) unable to keep up with a great passing attack (Saints). The Vikings will have to grind out drives with AP, while Drew Brees will chuck the ball all over the field, regardless of who his receivers are. The Saints will come marching in, at home in the New Orleans Superdome.

(NOTE: I will pick & pan the Ravens-Titans slugfest in tomorrow's posting.)

Last Week:  9-4

Season Record:  39-20

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