With approximately one quarter of the season gone, here’s what we have learned so far from the 2014 NFL season:
- There does not seem to be any standout teams so far – the only two undefeated sides, Cincinnati and Arizona, have both only played three games and, although the Bengals have played better than anyone else overall thus far, neither has the aura of invincibility.
- Green Bay are 2-2, but looked great on the road against Chicago and only have 5 games remaining away from Lambeau Field, so their early struggles could be behind them (speaks the ardent fan).
- Teams that might be far better than I thought heading into the season: Dallas; Detroit; Kansas City; Cincinnati. Teams that might be much worse than I predicted: New England; New Orleans; Tennessee. Teams that look as bad as everyone thought they would be: Jacksonville; Oakland.
- I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, to point out the hypocrisy that will be on show this weekend and for the rest of October as NFL players wear pink to show how much they care about women during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Perhaps if the Commissioner, Owners and players gave up some of their earnings to charities that help battered women, it might be more believable that they give a fuck.
Week 5 Picks
Last week, 7-6; Season, 34-27
Home teams in bold
Packers -9.5 over Vikings – Even though when I pick against Green Bay, they win and lose when i back them, Teddy Bridgewater is an injury doubt for this Thursday night NFC North matchup and I think even the Packers’ defense can contain Christian Ponder.
Falcons +3.5 over Giants – Okay, so the Giants won two games, I still do not think they’re that good.
Bills +7.5 over Lions – Buffalo won in Chicago, I think they will at least keep it close in Detroit.
Bears +2.5 over Panthers – Comeback game for Cutler who looked good for 29:59 against Green Bay, just missed a game-tying touchdown at the end of the first half and then went to pieces in the third quarter. Also, Chicago are 0-2 at home and 2-0 on the road so far this season.
Titans -2.5 over Browns – I still think Jake Locker is a good quarterback and is going to come good at some point this year.
Texans +4.5 over Cowboys – It would be vintage Dallas for them to have started so well this season, then disappoint their fans by losing a cross-state rivalry game.
Ravens +3.5 over Colts – Baltimore’s last road game was in Cleveland, the town the franchise left to setup in Maryland, replacing the Colts who had left two decades before. This does not mean anything for the game, but I’m picking the Ravens just because I think they’re playing better right now.
Rams +7.5 over Eagles – Starting to get a little worried that I’ve picked seven road teams in succession, but I think St. Louis’ defense will cause problems for Philadelphia, even if they do not have enough to win the game they should keep it within a touchdown.
Saints -10.5 over Buccaneers – Last chance, New Orleans. Lose this and I’m picking against you for the rest of the year.
Jaguars +6.5 over Steelers – Jacksonville spent the first half of last season being awful and losing by double digits to every opponent, then flipped it in the second half of the year and covered – then won – most of their games. I’m thinking a home fixture against Pittsburgh is exactly what they need to avoid an 0-5 start and they win this outright.
Broncos -7.5 over Cardinals – Really wanted to take Arizona and their awesome defense for this, but Denver has had two weeks to prepare (as have the Cardinals) and I think they will have too much for the leaders of the NFC West.
Chiefs +7.5 over 49ers – A battle between the two cities whose teams won the baseball wild card games – I’ll take Kansas City to keep this one close against San Francisco.
Chargers -7.5 over Jets – At least the Jets will not be losing in prime-time this week.
Bengals +2.5 over Patriots – Why would New England be favored?
Seahawks -7.5 over Washington – So the Kirk Cousins > RG3 debate is not necessarily over, but might just be irrelevant right now. Cousins looked awful against the Giants and against the best defense in the league, it is hard to see things getting better.