Site Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 5

Fred Jackson of the Bills
A successful week against the spread last week, going 7-6, and now sitting at 32-27 on the season. It’s going to be a tough week, so here we go with the lines and games as well as who I am taking:

Indianapolis (-3) at Houston

Who wants it more? That’s what this matchup between two AFC South teams that need a win in the worst way Sunday will come down to. Sure the Colts are a team many thought would be a favorite in the AFC, but have yet to play up to it. The Texans are hoping home cooking will pay off, as they have yet to play at home this season. Tough one to call, but you have to believe that the Colts realize a loss and their hopes of even making the playoffs at 1-3 would be in deep trouble. I like the Colts of old to finally show up and win a close one. Indianapolis 27 Houston 23

Tennessee (-3) at Baltimore

The Ravens could have walked out of Heinz Field at 3-0 after beating the Steelers, but couldn’t finish, and now are 2-1 and feeling bad about a blown chance. They now have to face the red hot Titans, who are 4-0 and running the ball and playing D as tough as anyone. Look for the Titans to use that backfield of Chris Johnson and LenDale White to wear down the tired Ravens, who by the fourth quarter will be a very spent football team. Tennessee 23 Baltimore 13

San Diego (-6.5) at Miami

It took awhile for the Chargers to find their legs vs the Raiders last week, but they did, and as they usually do they came out on top vs their west rivals. Now they go to Miami, where the Fins got a week of rest after their thumping of New England on the road two weeks ago. Now that they have won a game, the Dolphins won’t be looked at as the same 1-15 team from a year ago. Look for Phillip Rivers to pick apart the Fins secondary, and the run D of San Diego to come up with a plan to halt Ronnie Brown and Rickey Williams to win their third in a row. San Diego 23 Miami 10

Kansas City at Carolina (-9.5)

I love the turnaround of the Panthers, and think this could be one of those sleeper teams that make a solid run deep in the playoffs. Back to today though, they have the fiesty Chiefs in town this week, and should have enough on both sides of the ball to halt the Chiefs one-game winning streak. Look for the D to put the pressure on Damon Huard, and for that Panthers 1-2 punch of the running game to be able to move the ball. Jake Delhomme should also have a good day vs the two rookie CB’s of the Chiefs. Carolina 29 Kansas City 10

Washington at Philadelphia (-6)

The Skins are playing well, but likely will be without Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor, which are both big blows on defense. The Eagles are smarting after a loss to the Bears that they feel should not have happened last Sunday night in Chicago. Philly will look to pressure Jason Campbell and beat on Clinton Portis enough to eventually wear out a Skins team that looked great in Dallas 26-24. Donovan McNabb will hopefully get RB Brian Westbrook back, but if not, the Eagles will find a way at home to get the job done. Philadelphia 17 Washington 14

Chicago (-3.5) at Detroit

The Lions are coming off a bye in which they have to feel a sense of relief with the dismissal of GM Matt Millen. Now it’s time for them at 0-3 to finally start playing some defense, as they are the worst in the league in a lot of areas so far after the first month of the year. The Bears bring a tough test to town, as Kyle Orton is playing well, and rookie RB Matt Forte is running well. Detroit needs a fast start. They cannot look up and see themselves down 21-0, if they do – it’s 0-4. I think that the Bears are a better team, and will find a way, but at the same time, the Lions will keep it within the three. Chicago 20 Detroit 17

Atlanta at Green Bay (-7)

Can’t see this line staying put if Matt Flynn starts for the Packers. I admire what the Falcons have done after four weeks, and think that for a team that we most thought would be hard pressed to win 4-5 games, now looks like they can play with just about anyone. Let’s see if they can take the pressure of playing at Lambeau vs a team that needs a win in the Packers and lift their game up. Michael Turner can have a big day on the Packers D, and with Flynn coming out for his first start, I think the Falcons take a big step forward with an upset here in GB. Atlanta 16 Green Bay 14

Seattle at New York Giants (-7)

The Hawks get some of their WR’s back, but against a tough Giants D it may not matter much. New York will be without Plaxico Burress, and that could hurt, but at the same time, they seem to overcome things like that and still have enough to win. While they got a scare two weeks ago vs the Bengals, they won’t take the Hawks lightly. Look for Seattle to struggle with points, while Eli Manning and the Giants to be able to get the job done and move to 4-0 with somewhat ease. NY Giants 31 Seattle 17

Tampa Bay at Denver (-3)

This is a critical game for Denver, which has been terrible on defense even with their 3-1 start. It finally caught up with them in KC last week, and if they are not careful, the Bucs can come into Denver and win their fourth straight. A big key here will be Brian Griese, and if he can keep the ball safe and not throw picks. The Bucs will move the ball, but will they be able to move it enough? For Denver, the Chiefs D did a nice job, and the Bucs D is better than them. This is a coin flip, and while the Broncos don’t impress me as much as others, I’ll take the home team in a tight game. Denver 24 Tampa Bay 23

New England (-3) at San Francisco

Will the real New England Pats please stand up? That is the question here. Can New England find the form of three weeks ago when they went in the Meadowlands and took care of Brett Favre and the Jets? It’s a tall task, and they will need that type of effort against a solid 49’ers team that is looking to make a statement at home after a tough game in New Orleans a week ago. Matt Cassel has a lot of pressure on him to step it up, and I think that along with a defense that was awful two weeks ago vs Miami a week off did them good. I like New England to get it done on the coast. New England 23 San Francisco 13

Buffalo at Arizona (-1)

It was a nightmare two weeks for the Cards, losing to the Skins and then falling behind 34-0 to the Jets before making it somewhat of a game. Kurt Warner had better play better, or Matt Lineart may make it on the field before too long. They also have to run the ball better, and get back to playing more sound on defense. For the Bills, pretty much all has gone right in starting 4-0, and this may be the toughest task simply due to the distance and atmosphere for a young team trying to stay hot. I think they will again have their issues, but in the end, have enough to pull out a tough game. Buffalo 27 Arizona 24

Cincinnati at Dallas (-17)

My oh my can it get any worse for the Bengals? They have a good game two weeks ago vs the Giants, only to fall in OT, but then when it looks like they have a winnable game vs the Browns, Carson Palmer is forced to sit and they lose with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting 20-12. Palmer playing here may make an impact, but they are playing a Dallas team that is ticked off after a two-point loss to the Redskins. Dallas is too good on both sides of the ball, will run it and throw it down the Bengals throats, and even if Palmer plays, this will be ugly. Dallas 34 Cincinnati 14

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville (-4)

The Steelers are awfully banged up after their tough OT Monday night win vs the Ravens. I can’t see them with a banged up O-line, backup running backs starting, and Ben Roethlisberger hurting heading to J-Ville and winning. The Jags are getting better, and their running game is getting more and more steam with an O-line that is starting to play harder. David Garrard seems to have the Steelers number, and I think that this is going to be a night for the teal down in steamy Jacksonville. Jacksonville 21 Pittsburgh 9

Minnesota at New Orleans (-3)

The Saints played well at home last week vs the Niners, and I expect them to again at home put the pressure on a banged up Gus Frerotte and the Vikings. Look for Adrian Peterson to get even more carries, and for the Vikings to try and pressure Drew Brees, which is something they have not done enough on D this year. The Saints passing game is going to be too much for Minnesota, and in the end that will be the Vikings downfall in falling to 1-4. New Orleans 30 Minnesota 19

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