The Boston Irish NFL picks – Week 5
NFL Week 4 results 9-5
Season to date 37-25
Denver Broncos (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
The Broncos failed to score on five trips in the red zone against a mediocre Colts defence. That doesn't auger well for a trip to the Ravens. Last weeks terrific win in Pittsburgh, doubled with their win in week one in New York both point towards the Ravens being potentially the team to beat this season. The Broncos look a little confused, lack identity right now, and this is a bridge too far for them.
Pick: Baltimore 29-20
A little extra for the weekend: Baltimore defence or special teams to score a touchdown at any stage (3/1)
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-4)
Carolina caught a huge break with Jay Cutler being ruled out of this game by injury. More worrying perhaps for the Bears is how poorly they played last week. The short week combined with the Panthers desperation for their first win, combined with Chicago starting a guy called Todd Collins at QB, combined with the game being at Carolina combined with...well, I am sure you can see where this is going...
Pick: Carolina 19-17
A little extra for the weekend: Todd Collins v Jimmy Clausen!! Whatever the under is, go under the under.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Buffalo Bills (0-4)
Game of the week? Not so much. The Bills are making a stream of moves they should have made in the off-season. They appear to be using '10 as a testing ground for '11. The Jags have more urgency (and two more wins!), Coach Del Rio is coaching for his job and David Gerrard is playing for his. The Jags should have just too much for the pathetic Bills.
Pick: Jacksonville 21-17
A little extra for the weekend: CJ Spiller any time touchdown scorer (11/10)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Two teams potentially going in very different directions. Tampa has loaded up on young talent and are going to be a force the next few seasons. Quarterback Josh Freeman is learning fast and is a couple of big showings away from being national news. Meanwhile, it appears to me the Bengals tried to paper up some cracks in the off-season by bringing in T.O. Palmer and Benson (QB and RB) appear to have regressed (Benson is rushing for a full yard a carry less than last season). One thing you can't deny though is The Bungles are a tough team to beat on their own ground, just ask the Ravens. Bengals to win, but not by as much as Vegas thinks.
Pick: Cincinnati 27-24
A little extra for the weekend: The under/over of 38 is too low. Bengals will score on their home turf, and Bucs will play catch up.
Atlanta Falcons (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-3)
The Browns are playing better than their record shows. Their losses have been close games (even against the Ravens they covered the spread easily). The Falcons, meanwhile, have not as yet fully taken off, they are winning tough games by making the plays when they need to. Look for Matt Ryan to lead a game winning drive in the fourth quarter against a battling Browns team.
Pick: Atlanta 24-21
A little extra for the weekend: Atlanta to be behind half time but to win (9-1)
St. Louis Rams (2-2) at Detroit Lions (0-4)
What a misleading couple of records. Have a look at the teams St Louis has beaten. A Seattle team that turns to pulpy mush on the road, and a Redskins team that isn't exactly your 1980's Skins. The Rams have also lost to two of the league's doormats, Oakland and Arizona. Meanwhile, the Lions have lost all four, but all four to good/great teams and three of those were incredibly close. The Lions have lost by 2 to Green Bay, five to Chicago and three to the Eagles. In all three losses they had the ball with a chance to win at the end. Well, that win comes this week at home against the Rams. Possibly the lock of the week! Seriously!
Pick: Detroit 30-24
A little extra for the weekend: This one is going over the under/over of 43.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
It has been a fun ride, but the Kansas winning streak comes to an end this week. They have over come the 49ers and the Browns the last two wins, the Colts is a big step up in class. What seals the deal is, the Colts will be licking their wounds after losing a very winnable game last weekend. The Chiefs will suffer a backlash.
Pick: Indianapolis 34-21
A little extra for the weekend: Under/Over 46 is there to be taken, Colts can put up 30 easily while Kansas will be chasing the game and will put up 20 easily enough on a soft Colts secondary missing key parts.
New York Giants (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1)
Which Giants team will show up this weekend? You could ask the same of Houston. Their win over Oakland wasn't impressive at all. Doesn't really matter though, don't think too hard about this one, home field advantage and a short week turn around for the Giants means a win for Houston. Just don’t go putting your house on it.
Pick: Houston 21-17
A little extra for the weekend: Jacoby Jones any time touchdown (3/2). Jones hasn’t fully delivered on his promise as yet. He has the tools to be a great NFL wide man, and this week he finally catches a touchdown. Say so right here.
Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
In England they have a term to describe a let down after a big win against a big team. They say 'after the Lord Mayor's show'. The Skins put maximum effort into beating the Eagles, and will come back down to earth against the Packers. Mason Crosby to kick the game winner as time expires.
Pick: Green Bay 29-27
A little extra for the weekend: Ryan Torian any time touchdown (Evs). The Skins RB will get most if not all carries and should therefore have a good percentage chance of rumbling into the end zone.
New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
Another very misleading record, Arizona are a bad, bad football team and have no business being 2-2. They have a guy called Max Hall making his NFL debut this weekend (If only his surname was Power!). The Saints have issues of their own, but will eat from the bowl of plenty for one more week at least. Brees and the gang will walk up and down the field at will against these guys.
Pick: New Orleans 36-13
A little extra for the weekend: New Orleans to be ahead at half time and full time (4/5)
Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
For all the fuss about Chris Johnson having a down season, he is running for 3.7 yards a carry. My math is not great but do that three times and you have a first down, correct? What stands out most about this game is the line, with Dallas favoured by a mind boggling 7 points. Dallas has lost games to Chicago, The Vikings and the Redskins this season. Are Tennessee that inferior to those sides?! A full touchdown start and Chris Johnson banging at the door? Ill take the Titans thanks. Plus, I actually think they can win it anyway, against a wildly over rated Cowboys side who only a week ago were in serious turmoil at 0-3.
Pick: Tennessee 21-17
A little extra for the weekend: Tennessee to score over 16.5 points (10/11)
San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3)
Looks like an easy win for the Chargers, doesn't it? Not so fast! San Diego are absolutely abysmal on the road. Their loss to Seattle was particularly worrying. They should have too much talent for the Raiders, but a touchdown on the road is a hill too steep for this Chargers team.
Pick: San Diego 21-17
A little extra for the weekend: Over/Under of 45, good chance this goes under. Chargers struggle on the road and Oakland just struggle everywhere. Kind of a local ‘derby’ match too, so they will be too busy kicking lumps out of each other to worry about scoring points.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (0-4)
When does the big shakeup happen in San Francisco? I say this week. The Eagles will bounce back after a tough loss to the Skins. The 49ers will fall to 0-5. There is just something seriously wrong with that football team.
Pick: Philadelphia 23-20
A little extra for the weekend: Brent Celek to score first Philadelphia touchdown in the game (8-1). Kolb is going to be looking short, to check downs and tight ends, and Celek is a good pass catching end. Good outlet for Kolb, who will be playing conservatively.
Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1)
The same people that thought T.O would change the Bengals fortunes probably think Moss is going to mean Vikings wins. Football is won by the big guys in the trenches, not the 'me first', flakey guys on the wings. The Jets are rolling right now, and will roll all over this Vikings team that's struggling to find their form.
Pick: New York 24-17
A little extra for the weekend: The Jets defence to score a touchdown anytime (3-1). C’mon man, you can see it, right? Favre has thrown two touchdowns and six interceptions so far! You know the game Madden? Well their developers did some data mining and found that, since the game was released a month ago, people playing as Favre have thrown 7,500 interceptions. Sounds about right, eh?!
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