Friday, October 09, 2009

NFL picks, Week 5

Picks for week 5 of the 2009 NFL season...

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-9) - Obviously, the Bengals have been competitive thus far, and it wouldn't be shocking if they were competitive this week. 9 seems like a lot, but I generally go with the team that's going to win the game, and that's Baltimore.

Cleveland at Buffalo (-6) - If both of these teams play the way they did last week, the Browns might win. But I don't think Cleveland's as good, or Buffalo as bad, as they played last week.

Washington (+4) at Carolina - Washington has shown nothing thus far, and there's no good reason for me to pick them. Which I'm not. I'm picking against the Panthers.

Pittsburgh (-10) at Detroit - Yes, the Lions are progressing. Yes, they'll win another game this season. No, it won't be this week.

Dallas at Kansas City (+9) - The Cowboys December collapse has started early this year. They probably win this, anyway, and go back to Texas with their chests puffed out, confident that they've figured it out.

Oakland (+17) at N.Y. Giants - Obviously the Giants win this. But does Eli play? Do they take it easy? Do the Raiders pretend to be a good team for a half? Does Oakland make up a touchdown in the fourth quarter while the Giants try to run out the clock? 17 is just too many points to give.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (-16) - "So," I hear you cry, "17 is too many, but 16 isn't?" Hey, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. (Not original, that - cribbed it from some lad named Emerson. But, as Diane said to Sam, "you remembered it, and used it in context.")

Minnesota (-10) at St. Louis - Last week the Rams played the 49ers. This week, they're playing the Vikings. Frankly, I see no reason to use a different comment for this game than I used for that one. To wit: "We used to think it impossible for a team to go 0-16. Now we wonder whether it is possible for it to happen two years in a row."

Atlanta at San Francisco (-2.5) - Just about a year ago, I wrote that "Mike Singletary is going to wake things up in San Francisco. Whether that intensity level is going to work as a head coach is another question entirely." Well, we know the short-term answer...

Houston at Arizona (-5.5) - Arizona may have expected to easily win the NFC West again, but if it does win, it won't be easy. This one game, on the other hand, will probably go pretty smoothly.

New England (-3.5) at Denver - I ought to have more to say about this than I do, but I don't. The Broncos are 4-0, largely on the strength of their schedule. I believe that the Patriots are a better team in pretty much every aspect of the game, and I think that they'll win comfortably.

Jacksonville at Seattle (-3) - This should be scintillating. Showing tapes of this game to prisoners has been pre-emptively banned by the Geneva convention and the laws of 49 states. ("Just 49?" "Yes. You don't want to get arrested for armed robbery in Texas...")

Indianapolis (-4) at Tennessee - The question - the ONLY question - about this game is, "why is the spread just 4?"

N.Y. Jets (-1) at Miami - The Dolphins looked better - a lot better - than the Jets last week. That won't be the case this week.

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