NFL 2011 Week 5

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Yeah, take a good look at the standings and you'll probably be asking yourself "What the hell is going on here?" in a Lombardi-esque manner. I know I am...

Panthers 29 - Bears 34: Carolina's a pretty good 1-3 team, really. They (and by they I mean Cam Newton mostly) have made every game they've played in close and interesting to watch. And so's Devin Hester. And Matt Forte.

Bills 20 - Bengals 23: Cincinnati fans must have been on one emotional roller-coaster during this one. Going from looking like they were about to get crushed by the AFC's best team and having their rookie quarterback look terrible to pulling off the upset.

Titans 31 - Browns 13: Kenny who? Chris who?

Lions 34 - Cowboys 30: This past month has seen collapses of epic proportions in professional sports. It's also seen great comeback victories. You had both here. Of course, Tony Romo helped the other team's comeback by throwing two pick sixes.

Vikings 17 - Chiefs 22: Good news, Todd Haley; your job is safe for one more week. And good news Minnesota; you're in the running for Andrew Luck.

Redskins 17 - Rams 10: Not exactly a stellar performance for Washington, but they got the W.

49ers 24 - Eagles 23: You know what's just as scary as Detroit being 4-0? If not for that overtime loss to Dallas, San Francisco would be 4-0, too. I'll leave the dogpiling on Philadelphia for the rest of you.

Saints 23 - Jaguars 10: Results here not too surprising. Moving on.

Steelers 10 - Texans 17: Okay, now you have to be very, very afraid of Houston's running game. And I'm thinking Pittsburgh's in the market for new offensive linemen.

Giants 31 - Cardinals 27: Arizona fans have plenty to be upset about after the Victor Cruz call. Intent? Really? Maybe that was his intent after the fact, after he realized he royally screwed up and gave the football to the other team.

Falcons 30 - Seahawks 28: Give credit to Atlanta. As I said last week, Seattle's a tough place to run an offense.

Broncos 23 - Packers 49: Just as Wes Welker slaughtered real and fantasy teams last week, so too did Aaron Rodgers this week. Six touchdowns. That's a lot of people doing the Lambeau leap.

Patriots 31 - Raiders 19: Whatever you do, don't turn Wes Welker catching a ball into a drinking game. It'll kill you.

Dolphins 16 - Chargers 26: Hmmmmm; at what point do we declare that the traditional slow start for San Diego is over? Obviously, not this week with Miami. Oh, and as of now, Tony Sporano's my top choice for the first head coach getting the midseason axe.

Jets 17 - Ravens 34: Seven turnovers. Seven. All but one touchdown was scored offensively. Teams should be very, very careful about throwing the ball with Baltimore players in the area.

Colts 17 - Buccaneers 24: Not entirely unexpected, but on the other hand the Cots look like they're improving on offense with Curtis Painter at the helm. Still, they may get a win, but they're not going to be over five hundred.

Week 5 Pick 'Em: Here I was thinking that there'd be a bigger spread of selections this past week, but it seems a lot of you were on the ball along with benefiting from that call in the Giants/Cards game. Anyway, here's how it went:

My record: 3-2

Your records:

boogle: 5-0
MilkmanDanimal: 5-0
iaintgotnopants: 5-0
Kush15: 5-0
oldmanscene24: 5-0
Minase: 5-0

Xeknos: 4-1
TheGameGuru: 4-1
Jolly Bill: 4-1
Nightmare: 4-1
bighoppa: 4-1
Enix: 4-1
garion333: 4-1
Atras: 4-1
Gumbie: 4-1
LeapningGnome: 4-1

Jayhawker: 3-2
MisterStatic: 3-2
Landshrk83: 3-2

*Legion*: 2-3
Elliottx: 2-3

And the season to date totals:

My record: 16-4

Your guys' record:

Minase: 18-2

Nightmare: 17-3

Enix: 16-4
TheGameguru: 16-4
garion333: 16-4
oldmanscene24: 16-4
Kush15: 16-4

Gumbie: 15-5
MilkmanDanimal: 15-5

*Legion*: 14-6
Xeknos: 14-6
boogle: 14-6

bighoppa: 13-7
LeapingGnome: 13-7
iaintgotnopants: 13-7

Elliottx: 12-8
Landshrk83: 12-8
Jolly Bill: 12-8

Jayhawker: 11-9

MisterStatic: 3-2*

*Hmmm, what to do about you?

As you can see, it's still anybody's game and this week I hope shall be more of a challenge. On byes this week are the Browns, Cowboys, Rams, Dolphins, Redskins, and Ravens. The all-NFC picks are:

Saints vs. Panthers: Just going by records alone, it should be easy just to give it to New Orleans and be done with it. But, like I said above, Carolina's been competitive in every game they've played. It'd take someone with great cajones to go with the upset...but that ain't me. Saints.

Buccaneers vs. 49ers: Ah, here we have a head scratcher. It might have been easier to lean towards Tampa Bay over a week ago, but that was before San Francisco beat Philadelphia. Ah, what the heck? I feel more comfortable about taking the homer pick this time as opposed to last week. Niners.

Packers vs. Falcons: Yeah, this one could get interesting in Atlanta depending on if Matt Ryan can get it going. He probably won't. Packers.

Bears vs. Lions: Now this should be interesting. A win here and Detroit will silence any doubt that they're a good football team. And I for one actually think they can do it. Lions.

For my wild card pick, I'm going with Jets at Patriots. New England has a shaky defense, but on the other hand, Vince Wilfork has more interceptions than Darelle Revis and there's a guy on their offense named Wes Welker. Patriots.

Enjoy the week, folks.

Saints
Buccaneers
Packers
Lions

Wild Card: New York Giants over Seattle

The Colts aren't improving on offense. Those two long TDs were short passes which featured spectacularly bad tackling; Tampa has absolutely horrible safeties in terms of pass coverage. Sean Jones is good in run support, he's a statue in the passing game, and Corey Lynch was a special teams guy (and still should be). Take away those two long TDs, and Painter was 11/28 for 135 yards and a fumble; he sucks. He was blitzed constantly, and, at one point, they showed a graphic that he was 1/9 for something like 8 yards against the blitz. Cannot handle pressure at all (his long TDs, incidentally were not against the blitz, they were just crappy tackling).

Saints vs. Panthers: Um, yeah.

Buccaneers vs. 49ers: It's a long flight, but Tampa went in there last year and steamrolled the 49ers, and the teams don't strike me as being all that different from the prior year. I'm also a much bigger Alex Smith fan than most (I think he's incredibly average and not actively bad), but he's due for another brain fart one of these days.

Packers vs. Falcons: Wow, the Falcons offensive line utterly stinks. Also, they let Tarvaris Jackson look like an excellent QB. Yeeeeeesh.

Bears vs. Lions: I'll probably keep picking the Lions until Stafford gets injured.

Wild card: Also going Jets at Patriots. Wow, the Jets offensive line looks terrible, and Sanchez played about as bad a game as humanly possible.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

The Colts aren't improving on offense.

I'd argue that they are. The previous week Painter would not of even been able to hit those receivers on short passes. ;D

Took Indy to cover in that game. The offense is icky but the defense is refusing to let them get completely blown out of games.

As for the Niners I think they are proving the difference a coach can have quickly. Be it actual schemes (have no clue) or just confidence they are 1 OT loss from being 4-0 which is a whole lot better then their 0-5 start last year. Obvious difference in strength of schedule between the two years but still valid IMO.

We will figure out if they are serious in the next two weeks vs TB and next away to DET.

I will be bolding, and expect a little snark with my picks from now on.
I'll start things off by picking New Orleans over Carolina. Breesus still has a hold on the southern qb messiah stereotypes cam, I don't care if you are the son of a preacher man.
Have to go with Tampa Bay because we all love hearing ratboy loose hope. Its like everytime he realizes San Fransisco is in another 'rebuilding year he loses his innocence again.
Green Bay. Can't pick against them at this point.
Detroit wins the battle on the pitch, while Chicago maintains literacy and therein wins at life.
Wildcard bitches is Arizona over Minnesota.
Mcnabb looks terrible and Wells has quietly had quite a good start even with his hammy injury.

My beloved Colts are on the long march to Andrew Luck Day. I see a Aaron Rodgers scenario where he sits behind Manning for 2-3 years and then has a coming out party unless Manning's neck is completely FUBAR'd and if thats the case we have a repeat of Manning's rookie season. However, the Colts D is abysmal and the lack of Manning still shows he is both their best O and D player. If they dont get a couple of legit LBs, a decent DT, and some safety help they will wake up in the 2012 season realizing they have become the pre-Manning era Colts again.

Saints vs. Panthers

Buccaneers vs. 49ers

Packers vs. Falcons

Bears vs. Lions

Wildcard: Chargers at Broncos

The big news of the week to me? James Harrison finally pays for his cheap shots.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/04/james-harrison-out-with-eye-fracture-roethlisberger-looks-likely-to-play/

Not taking glee in his injury, but maybe he'll think twice before launching into a player with his helmet.

Broncos 23 - Packers 49: Just as Wes Welker slaughtered real and fantasy teams last week, so too did Aaron Rodgers this week. Six touchdowns. That's a lot of people doing the Lambeau leap.

That was actually the single best performance for a QB ever, stat-wise. No one had ever thrown for 400 yards and 4 tds along with 2tds on the ground. No one. Awesome.

Saints
Buccaneers
Packers
Lions

And, dabbling in the AFC for my wild card: Texans over the Raiders.

49ers 3-1, Philly 1-3. It's funny cause of the talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere. Last year the 49ers were so great, defense was strong, they were going to run away with the NFC West... 0-5 start. This year, Philly is the dream team, super awesome, Vick is so great... 1-3.

New DVOA and DAVE rankings are out.

Texans
Texans
Texans
Texans

Wild card: Texans over Raiders

(All to say, subscribing.)

Just frustrated that both of my teams have bye weeks this week.

Saints vs. Panthers: Saints
Buccaneers vs. 49ers: Buccaneers
Packers vs. Falcons: Packers
Bears vs. Lions: Lions
Wild Card: Chiefs vs. Colts: Colts

(Completely a side note, do not include this in my picks):
Upset Pick of the Week: Broncos over Chargers
Chargers are notorious for blowing similar games early in the season, and I think Kyle Orton shows the Denver fans who the best QB on the roster is..........................either that, or Tebow comes in and shocks the Chargers (like how I slipped that pun in there?)

Saints
Bucs
Packers
Lions
Wildcard pick is Arizona

So far, with the exception of Rat Boy taking the 49ers, its Saints, Bucs, Packers, Lions

Saints
Bucs
Falcons
Bears

Going opposite of RB's picks on the last 3 purely for strategery. I'm either gaining on him this week or losing ground!

Wildcard: Jaguars over Bengals

I figure this is probably the best opportunity for the homer pick I'll get in a little while...

Saints vs. Panthers: Not even close. Cam continues to come down to earth as more film on him gets out there and defenses adjust to him.
Buccaneers vs. 49ers: Close game but East Coast team (well, close enough) on the West Coast proves a little too much for the Bucs.
Packers vs. Falcons: Another not even close. Packers are playing in their own league at this point.
Bears vs. Lions: I never thought I'd live long enough to see the Lions go 5-0. But here we are.

Wildcard: Seabags vs. Giants - Minase picked against his team (again), how could I go against that? I'm not a betting man but this is one I'd put money on, even giving the 10.

Wildcard: Seabags vs. Giants - Minase picked against his team (again), how could I go against that? I'm not a betting man but this is one I'd put money on, even giving the 10.

I would give 10 too. This NYG team is almost perfectly constructed to blow out the Seahawks this year. Once the line gets more time together this may be a different story, but I'm expecting at least 5 sacks and quite possibly a shutout.

Saints - Cam has been a one-man highlight reel, but he needs a team behind him to beat an elite unit like the Saints.
Bucs - Jumping on the Freeman bandwagon again.
Packers - The Falcons collapse continues as they face the Green Bay Unstoppables.
Lions - Keanu Reeves is less wooden than Cutler. Lions D turns him into kindling.

Wildcard: Oakland looks nasty and Houston is missing their best player, but if they can avoid 500 yards in penalties I think my Texans, take another step towards silencing the doubters.

Kush15 wrote:

Saints vs. Panthers: Saints
Buccaneers vs. 49ers: Buccaneers
Packers vs. Falcons: Packers
Bears vs. Lions: Lions
Wild Card: Chiefs vs. Colts: Colts

(Completely a side note, do not include this in my picks):
Upset Pick of the Week: Broncos over Chargers
Chargers are notorious for blowing similar games early in the season, and I think Kyle Orton shows the Denver fans who the best QB on the roster is..........................either that, or Tebow comes in and shocks the Chargers (like how I slipped that pun in there?)

Broncos get beat by more than 20 points.

I'm going to follow up my 5-0 week by making some dumb picks.

Saints
Niners
Packers
Bears

Vikings over Cards

I almost picked the Panthers over the Saints but I need Brees to have a huge game.

From PFT's power rankings:

31. Rams (No. 30; 0-4): Well, at least we now have a better understanding of why the Broncos fired Josh McDaniels.

Bwahahaaahahhaaa!

How weird would it be if the Colts end up with the worst record in football, the #1 pick, and Andrew Luck?

garion333 wrote:

From PFT's power rankings:

31. Rams (No. 30; 0-4): Well, at least we now have a better understanding of why the Broncos fired Josh McDaniels.

Bwahahaaahahhaaa!

How weird would it be if the Colts end up with the worst record in football, the #1 pick, and Andrew Luck?

Honestly don't think it would be weird at all. There's tons of precedent for a team that loses a #1 QB to injury and ends up having to trade him to make room for the guy they drafted after the year he was hurt. Honestly, I'd be shocked if they didn't shut down other players who were injured and go for Luck all the way. An injury of the kind Manning has is the kind where you pay serious thought to trading him and next year or the year after while you can get value for him.

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

DSGamer wrote:

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

I don't think that would be weird at all. More like sad. For him.

garion333 wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

I don't think that would be weird at all. More like sad. For him.

He would be tied with Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypen and many other storied QBs.

DSGamer wrote:
garion333 wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

I don't think that would be weird at all. More like sad. For him.

He would be tied with Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypen and many other storied QBs.

*cough*BrettFavre*cough*

DSGamer wrote:
garion333 wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

I don't think that would be weird at all. More like sad. For him.

He would be tied with Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypen and many other storied QBs.

Which is why ranking players based on Super Bowl wins is utterly ridiculous. It's the ultimate team sport.

I think it just shows Manning should have won MVP every year for like the last decade.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
garion333 wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The weirdest thing would be if Manning finished his career with only 1 title.

I don't think that would be weird at all. More like sad. For him.

He would be tied with Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypen and many other storied QBs.

Which is why ranking players based on Super Bowl wins is utterly ridiculous. It's the ultimate team sport.

Agreed. Sort of why Dan Marino, despite never winning a Super Bowl, is still one of the best QBs to play the game.

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