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NFL Week 5 Picks And Preview

Michael Green |
October 8, 2010 | 2:31 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Every week, Neon Tommy NFL analyst Mike Green predicts winners and breaks down the weekend's biggest games. Last week he was 7-6. Can he bounce back?

Here are his picks for Week 5.

The Big Three:

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

Before the season started, the Chiefs going into Lucas Oil Stadium seemed like a more precarious situation than Tiger Woods taking his nine iron into the Playboy mansion. But when Kansas City takes on the Colts this Sunday, it will be Indy with something to prove.

Kansas City is a perfect 3-0 to start the season and its running game has the third-highest rush average in the league. Meanwhile, the Colts have stumbled out of the gate and are coming off a disappointing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Chiefs have gotten by with a weak pass defense through their first three games but two of those matchups were against Alex Smith and Seneca Wallace. Peyton Manning represents a matchup nightmare of Freddy Krueger proportions for them. The secondary will have to step up for Kansas City because noodle-armed quarterback Matt Cassel won’t be able to keep up if this game turns into a shootout.

The Verdict: This showdown will come down to Kansas City’s running game versus the Colts’ passing attack. Look for Manning to put Indy up early and force Kansas City to garage their ground assault. 

Predicted Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Denver Broncos (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Kyle Orton has officially become the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL quarterbacks. Denver’s signal caller leads the league in passing yards, but he still can’t get no respect. With Denver’s running game struggling, Orton has put the offense on his shoulders.

Baltimore’s pass defense will try to put the clamps on Orton’s success. The unit is allowing an NFL-best 119 yards per game through the air. While the offense has struggled to open the season, Joe Flacco and the gang showed some signs of life in a close win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

The Verdict: Both Orton and Baltimore’s pass defense have played above and beyond expectations so far this season. Something will have to give when Denver visits the Ravens. Ray Lewis will lather up the Old Spice Swagger in this one and keep the Broncos’ offense at bay.

Predicted Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1)

Players like Randy Moss can only be had for a third round draft pick once in a blue moon. Fortunately, both Moss and the Vikings have plenty of experience with that.

After pulling off a blockbuster deal for the dynamic wideout, the Vikings will hope to improve a passing attack that has been among the worst in the league. But with Revis Island expected to be reopened this week, Moss’ debut could be a quiet one. Fortunately for Minnesota, Adrian Peterson’s shuttle service is open all day and will be ready to pull a double shift against New York.

The Jets have played well against the run, despite losing defensive tackle Kris Jenkins early in the season to a torn ACL. AP, however, will provide the front lines of New York’s defense with a tough test on Monday night. On the other side of the ball, the Jets' offense will get a boost with the return of receiver Santonio Holmes from suspension.

The Verdict: In what is easily the most appealing game of the week, Minnesota and New York match up pretty evenly on both sides of the ball. The addition of Moss will prevent the Jets from stacking the box against Peterson. That should be just enough to put the Vikings over the top on the road.

Predicted Winner: Minnesota Vikings

The S.H.I.T. (Super Horrible Infinitely Terrible) Game of the Week

St. Louis Rams (2-2) at Detroit Lions (0-4)

The two worst teams from 2009 join forces this Sunday to create an evil the likes of which has not been seen since Kevin Federline reproduced with Britney Spears. 

To their credit, the Rams have actually played some respectable football under rookie quarterback Sam Bradford as of late. But St. Louis still ranks in the nether regions of the NFL in both offense and defense.

Conversely, Detroit has looked better statistically than its 0-4 record indicates. It seems like every time the lowly Lions get close to a win, they pull a Charlie Brown and whiff in the final minutes.

Look for Lucy to finally hold the ball in place this week as the Lions earn their first win of the season.

Predicted Loser: St. Louis Rams

Chicago Bears (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-4)

Journeyman Todd Collins will get the starting nod over a concussed Jay Cutler this week. The highlight of this game will be a wide-eyed Jimmy Clausen approaching the veteran quarterback and asking him what the 70s were like.

Predicted Winner: Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

Terrell Owens’ 10 receptions for 222 yards were overshadowed by a disappointing loss to Cleveland last week. Owens and the Bengals better get their defense ready, along with the popcorn, if they hope to avoid another embarrassing loss.

Predicted Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

New York Giants (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1)

Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck was chasing Jay Cutler like he was a Subway sandwich last week. But it will be Houston’s star linebacker, Brian Cushing, who gets most of the attention this Sunday as he returns from suspension. Look for the Texans’ defense to get a big boost from his presence as they triumph over the G-Men.

Predicted Winner: Houston Texans

Atlanta Falcons (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-3)

The Browns earned their first win last week largely thanks to Peyton Hillis’ 102 yards on the ground. Finding running lanes will be tougher against a Falcons defense that held Frank Gore in check last week. As a result, the birds will fly out of the dog pound with a win on Sunday.

Predicted Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Buffalo Bills (0-4)

There is some suspicion that Bills’ president Ralph Wilson, Jr. is trying to take a page out of The Replacements and get rid of as many starters as possible in order to achieve success. The most recent roster casualty is Marshawn Lynch, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks this week. In honor of Mr. Wilson’s favorite film, let’s predict a conclusion to this game that makes absolutely no sense.

Predicted Winner: Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2)

The running game in Green Bay has been more stagnant than Betty White in a flag football game. Washington has also struggled offensively in recent weeks and will be without the services of injured running back Clinton Portis for the foreseeable future. With no ground game on either side, the nod has to go to Aaron Rodgers in an aerial battle.

Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers

New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

The Saints are not making anything look easy this season but have still managed to limp to a 3-1 record. New Orleans will face Arizona rookie quarterback Max Hall this week. But the undrafted BYU product isn’t going to evoke comparisons to Steve Young any time soon. New Orleans should win this one in a blowout but will likely find a way to barely eek out a victory.

Predicted Winner: New Orleans Saints

Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2)

Dallas finally seemed to get the Super Bowl express back on track before the bye week against Houston. The Titans, on the other hand, still seems to be vacillating on whether or not they want to be contenders. After having two weeks to game plan, Wade Phillips and the Cowboys will take this one easily.

Predicted Winner: Dallas Cowboys

San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3)

Matchup nightmare alert: Antonio Gates, who leads all tight ends in receiving yards and touchdowns, will be going against a Raiders defense that just gave up 73 yards and a touchdown to Joel Dreessen of the Houston Texans. In case you were wondering, Gates is slightly better than Dreessen.

Predicted Winner: San Diego Chargers

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (0-4)

With Michael Vick almost certainly out and LeSean McCoy highly questionable, the Eagles offense may look dramatically different on Sunday night. Meanwhile, San Francisco fans can only hope that their defense diverges from the norm this week. The 49ers came within a last second field goal of pulling of a huge upset against the Saints at home in Week 1. This time the ball will bounce differently for them as they earn a desperately needed win.

Predicted Winner: San Francisco 49ers


To reach staff writer Michael Green, click here.

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