NFL Week 5 is upon us as we move past the first quarter of the season. The NFL will try and capitalize off of the success of Monday Night Football. The Vikings-Packers game was the most watched program in cable history. To the new fans that tuned in on Monday, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
The AFC will take the headlines this week with several rivalry games. The AFC South, North, and East all have excellent grudge matches. The first one that catches my eyes will kick off Sunday at 1 at M & T Stadium and pits the 3-1 Baltimore Ravens against the 3-1 Cinncinatti Bengals.
Fun NFL Week 3 Camelclutchblog.com Fact- 64 % of 3-1 teams has made the NFL playoffs since 1990.
The Ravens and Bengals both are coming off of disappointing weeks. The Bengals were able to pull out a win in OT after struggling with the winless Cleveland Browns. In the end a win is a win, even after a lackluster offensive effort out of the Bengals. The Ravens are still crying about their loss to the Patriots and questionable calls. Both teams are looking to make a statement about their 3-1 records. This one has the likelihood of turning into a shootout with two poor passing defenses and two very good quarterbacks going nose to nose in a divisional game.
In my opinion, both teams have been overachievers thus far this year. The Ravens are usually good, but nobody expected an air attack like we have seen out of Baltimore. The defense is much more vulnerable than usual thanks to the departure of Rex Ryan. The Ravens are giving up over 230 yards a game in the air and five touchdowns thus far. The rushing attack is even better than it was last year. Willis McGahee is finally starting to pay dividends for the Ravens. The Ravens may have the most dangerous combination of passing and rushing in the NFL.
These aren’t your daddy’s Bengals. For the first time in years, the Bengals are playing the kind of defense that Cinci fans expected when Marvin Lewis came over. The rushing defense has been outstanding, only giving up three touchdowns thus far on the ground. Conversely, Cedric Benson has found new life and is starting to turn into the running back that he was expected to be. Carson Palmer has looked sharp and has come up clutch several times this season. As much as it pains me to say it, even Ocho is finally starting to catch the ball when it counts.
The Ravens need this win badly. A win would put the Bengals two up in the division. The Ravens also need to put last week behind them. The Ravens beat the Bengals in their last meeting in Week 13 last season 34-3. Keep in mind that the Bengals were without Carson Palmer last season. How much do the Bengals remember the drubbing at home? I predict a rare shootout between these two teams. I think Chris Henry plays a big part in this one. I predict in the end a Ravens win, with the Bengals getting the split at home later in the year.
The winless Tennessee Titans host the undefeated Indianapolis Colts in a battle of 4-0 vs. 0-4. The Titans -Colts series has turned into a great NFL rivalry. The Titans have played spoiler to Indy several times over the last few seasons. This is a very dangerous game for both teams. The Colts could easily overlook the winless Titans and get caught with their pants down. At the same time, the Colts have the opportunity to kick Tennessee while they’re down and seal any hopes that Titans fans have of seeing their team in the playoffs.
For the last few weeks, NFL analysts have been predicting that the Titans would turn it around. Last week’s game sent a clear message to every analyst and talk show host who said that the Titans are better than their records, that they aren’t. The Titans looked exactly like who they are last week, receiving a beat down from the Jacksonville Jaguars. A loss this weekend would put them at 0-3 in the division and at 0-5, virtually out of any playoff hunt.
On the other hand, the Colts are taking care of business. The Colts continue to win quietly, embarrassing the Seattle Seahawks at home last week. Pierre Garcon has stepped right in for Anthony Gonzalez and is looking like an All-Pro receiver. Peyton Manning looks unstoppable thus far. Even more impressive is the running game. Donald Brown and the Colts running game have been getting it done in the red zone. Keep in mind that the Colts at 4-0 have won 13 consecutive regular season games. Are the 0-4 Tennessee Titans really going to change that?
The Titans very well could be that team. If there is even one flaw on the Colts it is their rushing defense, which was exposed by Miami. The Titans’ Chris Johnson is the type of player who can give the Colts nightmares. The Colts did do a decent job of stopping Johnson last season in the only game in which he played against them. Nonetheless, in 14 games against the Titans Peyton Manning has 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Make it 26 after Sunday as the Colts roll over the Titans.
The final two marquee games pit the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins against Braylon and the Jets. This is a huge game for Denver at 4-0. Even after beating Dallas at home last week, I still hear from people who question the validity of this team. After last week, I believe in the Broncos. There is definitely something magical going on in Denver this year. I also think that Josh McDaniels knows the Patriots well enough to pull off a win.
MNF gets another great rivalry game this week. The Jets with new wide receiver, Braylon Edwards host the Miami Dolphins with their new quarterback. It will be no homecoming for Chad Pennington, as he will be replaced by Chad Henne. Henne was never a big game quarterback in college, and I don’t expect much to change here. He has the honor of being the first Wolverine to go 0-4 against Ohio State and in Michigan, there is no bigger game than OSU-Michigan. The Dolphins do tend to handle the New York rushing attack fairly well and the new receiver has the possibility of throwing the Jets passing game out of sync. In the end, I see a long and at times tedious game with the Jets squeaking out a victory.
Quick Hits – The Dallas Cowboys have a great chance to rebound this week as they get the Kansas City Chiefs. However, keep in mind that even bad AFC teams have a way of making good NFC teams look very average. The Eagles host the Bucs and if there is one bet you are ever going to make in your life, bet Andy Reid after the bye week. He is undefeated off of the bye. Houston vs. Arizona is screaming shootout. The Lions have been putting up points all season, and never seem to quit. They have the potential to be a nightmare for a team like the Steelers who have struggled to close games. The Steelers need to play every minute of the game to beat Detroit and thus far, they have failed to do that. JaMarcus Russell could wind up on the bench facing the nasty Giants defense. Atlanta can really make a statement with a win over San Francisco this Sunday.
Fantasy Fix – Play the hot hand and keep Glen Coffee in your lineup. All indications are that Gore will miss Sunday barring a miracle. Even if Gore miraculously plays, Coffee is bound to get the majority of touches. Fred Taylor and the Patriots diced the Falcons defense two weeks ago. The Falcons have some real issues against the run. Coffee came up a little small last week, but has a great opportunity to be a waiver wire wonder this Sunday at home.
Remember the name Mohamed Massaquoi. As of Wednesday morning, this guy has gone from a virtual unknown to a number one receiver in the NFL. He is exactly the kind of player you need to take a run at if you have the spot on your roster. Unlike current waiver wire wonder Pierre Garcon, Massaquoi isn’t going anywhere after someone comes back from injury. Massaquoi has a great match against the Bills defense. Derek Anderson and Massaquoi had great chemistry last Sunday. Anderson is dangerous with the right receiver. Massaquoi is also a great fill-in if you have your receiver on a bye week, and even better trade bait.
Give me some of them Houston Texans! Don’t call it a comeback Steve Slaton! Double S had a tremendous fantasy day last week, putting up over 20 points in my league. Slaton and the Texans travel to Arizona this week. The Cardinals have a horrendous passing defense. They are exceptionally vulnerable to speedy backs like Slaton in the flat. The Cards aren’t too bad against the run, but you will take your points any way that you can get them if you own Slaton. Slaton is your man this week and whatever you do, start Matt Schaub. Schaub is being ranked as the overall number one quarterback by some experts this week with Drew Brees on a bye week.
As stated before, Andy Reid is money after the bye week and so are the Philadelphia Eagles. Brian Westbrook had 2 touchdowns and over 160 yards last season with a week of rest. This year, Wesbtrook gets the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. Tampa Bay gives up over 170 yards a game this year on the ground. Tampa is stingy with the points, but I believe that a well-rested Westbrook will tear up the defense and get a few scores. Donovan McNabb is also back and chances are that Andy will do a little more running to take the pressure off of his quarterback this week (only). This game has B’West written all over it.
I love Joe Flacco this weekend. Flacco and the Ravens play the 26th worst defense in the NFL against the pass. This is going to be a close game and that means more Joe Flacco, and less of the run as they get into the fourth quarter. I also expect the backs to have good days in the flats. Look for Ray Rice to possibly break a short dump for six. I would put Flacco very close to the number one ranking this week, which means he should be in your starting lineup.
CamelClutchBlog.com Fantasy Football Standings
Team We Own You 3-1(Erik Espenberg)
Team Nuetral Zone 3-1 (Brett Clendaniel)
Dusty’s RedBellySpot 2-2 (Eric Gargiulo)
Team Wheelhouse Radio! 1-3 (Jeff Peck)
Havertown Spoilers 1-3 (Bryan Reigel)
Team The Nice Guys 4-0 (Jeff Porrini)
…Not You!!! 3-1 (John Yomtov)
The Kings of Krista 2-2 (Josh Usher)
1st Place 1-3 (Derek Sabato)
Team Rowland 0-4 (Justin Rowland)
NFL Week 5 Picks!
I had a decent week last week going 11-3. That is two straight 11 win weeks of picking NFL games straight up with no spread. I am 42-20 overall on the season. Now for the NFL Week 5 Picks (Picks in BOLD) –
Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys vs Kansas City Chiefs
Minnesota Vikings vs St Louis Rams
Oakland Raiders vs New York Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Detroit Lions
Washington Redskins vs Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens
Atlanta Falcons vs San Francisco 49ers
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Seattle Seahawks
Houston Texans vs Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos
Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans
New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins
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