Week 5 definitely was an interesting one. Returns of 2 starting quarterbacks, led to big victories for both teams. QBs Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb both returned from multi-week rib injuries and looked unimpaired in their respective games, with Seattle pounding Jacksonville into Submission 41-0, and the Eagles soaring past the Bucs 33-14. Tennessee and Kansas City have yet to taste victory and the Raiders would be if they hadn't already won one with the way they're playing, while Indianapolis, Denver, Minnesota, and the New York Giants remain undefeated another week. Going into week 6, it's still anybody's season, with plenty of time to make mice into men.
Lets start my picks with the Minnesota Vikings against the Baltimore Ravens. This game is a tough one, with the Vikings offense looking as good as ever with QB Brett Favre at the helm. This talented offense invites in one of the NFL's stingiest, hard hitting defenses, led by MLB Ray Lewis. Last week the Ravens were humbled by a surprisingly tough Bengals team, and I know this "D" would love to take their frustrations out on Favre, Peterson and company. Expect Favre to have a decent game, trust he doesn't take too many chances in Ed Reed's direction. Adrian Peterson is talented enough to break 100 yrds but don't expect too much more. He'll have to earn every yard of that against a Ravens defense that has allowed one RB to reach the century mark in 40 games (the cherry on top of the sting sundae from last week). On the other side of the ball the Vikings defense had been playing some good ball, while the Ravens offense led by QB Joe Flacco can look a bit stagnant and unremarkable. For this pick, I'm going to go with the more complete team, and will take the Vikings in a low scoring slug fest. Final Score: Vikings 17 Ravens 7
Next one is another tough one, in a battle of undefeateds with the New Orleans Saints take on the red hot New York Giants. The Saints, coming off a bye week, are still the top team in the NFL in regards to points scored and are beating their opponents by an average in excess of 20 points. The Giants, essentially having a bye week, put on a pain clinic in Oakland, looking to keep their blemish free for another week. This game is going to come down to who can slow down each other's high flying offense. Saints QB Drew Brees has never hesitated to throw the deep ball and expect him to challenge the Giant secondary early and often. He'll be hungry for a TD pass considering he hasn't had one in 2 games, which is extremely rare. Receiver Marques Colston isn't the only threat for the Giants to worry about, receiving only 3 of Brees' 9 touchdown passes. Brees will use use every weapon he has, and will need to. For the Giants, Eli Manning is on track for a Pro-Bowl Season. He doesn't seem to be heavily affected by a plantar fascia injury. The only indication I saw of it was his limited playing time in Oakland. Expect to see WR Steve Smith at least once in this game. RB Ahmad Bradshaw could also prove to be a problem especially if Manning can get a pass game going. The Giants on defense had better stay on Brees' heels all game though or he'll bomb them out. Look to see more than a few blitzes. All in all don't expect to see a hugely lopsided score for either team, but remarkable offensive numbers regardless. I see this game going to the Saints though, the Giants falling in their first major challenge of the season. Final Score : Saints 27 Giants 21
Last one I'll take into detail will be the Houston Texans taking on the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are playing their best football in years, led on offense by QB Carson Palmer, WR Chad Ochocinco, and RB Cedric Benson. The defense needs some work in the coming weeks to stay atop the AFC North, because it'll be their fall if they have to rely on the offense to win games. Especially with rematches against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and a late season tangle in Minnesota. The Texans on the other hand are playing better ball than their record would state, with rays of a potential powerhouse clouded by inconsistency. They have a lot of talent. but need to key things up to play to their potential. QB Matt Schaub will need to ask everything of receivers Andre Johnson and Andre Davis, while RBs Steve Slaton and Chris Brown will need to punch and slice up a shaky Bengals D to keep things even going into week 7. The Texans secondary will be in trouble if DT Amobi Okoye and DE Mario Williams can't get Palmer pressured, and if the front 7 can't stop Cedric Benson, because what the Bengals do bring is synced receiving talent if Palmer has time ( and if Ochocinco remembers how many points of pressure to put on a ball. I see this one going to the Bengals, though. Their offense's ability to sync up will surpass the Texans ability to. Final Score: Bengals 17 Texans 14
And this is how I See the rest of the league going.
St. Louis won't get on track this week, as Jacksonville will take their brow-beating frustration by Seattle, out on them. Jaguars: 23 Rams: 10
Tampa Bay Will finally untangle their own feet against Carolina, proving Jake Delhomme may not be their answer. Bucs: 10 Panthers: 3
Poor Detroit's woes will continue until their line can protect its quarterbacks consistently. The Pack will bring the pain. Packers: 21 Lions: 10
Cleveland's win streak will end at one. Pittsburgh will prove too tough for them even on a good day. Steelers: 28 Browns: 13
Kansas City will break their downward spiral, while Washington will continue on their's. Jason Campbell will put up a good fight though. Chiefs: 17 Redskins: 14
Seattle won't look back at the 3 weeks before Jacksonville. They will hit a good stride of Hasselbeck is protected. Seahawks: 24 Cardinals: 10
Philadelphia will continue to demonstrate why Al Davis needs to step back or step down. Oakland needs some serious football viagra to give this flaccid team even a dismal season. Eagles: 38 Raiders: 9
The Jets will regain their stride against Buffalo. The Bills can't seem to catch a break. Jets: 17 Bills: 10
New England may not be what it was expected to be, but it'll still be good enough to keep the Titans winless. Let Vince play. Patriots: 23 Titans: 17
Atlanta will show it's legitimacy, Jay Cutler will fight hard and the Bears D will be a tough one, but fall to Atlanta's running game in a close one. Falcons: 10 Bears: 7
Denver continues on it's "I Believe" campaign, as The Chargers have a case of the Mondays. Orton is as consistent as ever for the Broncos, while Sproles won't get an easy yard for the Chargers. Broncos: 21 Chargers: 14