After coming into last week at a robust 34-14, I laid an egg in week 4, going 5-9. This week I hope will be a return to form, so without further ado, here are the Monkey’s Week 5 picks…..
Miami (0-4) @ Houston (2-2)
Ya gotta take Houston at home in this one. The Dolphins defense looks old. Really old, and not Grumpy at all. Even with Ahman Green and Andre Johnson out with a bum knees, and Ronnie Brown putting up monster numbers, I think Matt Schaub is too good, the Houston crowd will be too loud, and the Dolphins will fall to 0-5, keeping them in the running for the #1 overall pick in next years draft. My pick is Houston by a touchdown.
Jacksonville(2-1) @ Kansas City(2-2)
Will this be the week that Jones-Drew finally hits 100+ yds? Will Fred Taylor be a factor? There’s no excuse for the Jaguars’ anemic offense, but the Chief’s have been just as inconsistent. Who’s on the upswing will be the deciding factor, and that’s the Chiefs. LJ is looking to build on last week, and the emergence of Bowe as Huard’s primary target makes me think that Kansas City takes this one by 3.
Jets (1-3) @ Giants(2-2)
Neither team seemed very good, very talented, or very determined through week 3. Then I picked the Eagles and ended up hanging my head as Donovan McNabb played Jared Leto to Umenyiora’s Ed Norton in last Sundays network premiere of Fight Club. Oh, wait, that was Sunday Night Football. The Giants pass rush will put the hurt on Pennington, and coupled with the return of Brandon Jacobs makes The New York Football Giants my favorite by 10 points.
Carolina (2-2) @ New Orleans (0-3)
New Orleans was happy for their bye week to come after dropping the first three games. The optimist in me says that the NO offense will come around eventually, that they’re too good not too. The optimist in me says Reggie Bush can carry the rushing load all by himself, that Drew Brees can put up MVP caliber numbers, and that Sean Payton is a decent coach. The realist in me says that Steve Smith will make Mike McKenzie wish he was playing the dimeback role in GB, and that the Panthers are undefeated on the road this year. I’m taking Carolina by 6.
Cleveland (2-2) @ New England(4-0)
Ummm. I don’t think I’m gonna pick against NE all year. Pats by 14.
Detroit (3-1) @ Washington (2-1)
Detroit may have one more win than the ‘Skins, but Joe Gibbs’ squad had a bye last week, allowing Clinton Portis to get healthy and Jason Campbell plenty of time to dissect that film of a shaky Detroit secondary. Campbell’s week to week improvement is the key. Look for him to break 300 yds passing this week as Detroit focuses on stopping Portis and Betts by loading up the box. Washington by 7.
Atlanta (1-3) @ Tennessee (2-1)
Joey Harrington is not Matt Schaub. This week will be further proof that Atlanta’s GM is an idiot. When Mike Vick has played ONE, count that again, ONE complete season in his career you do not trade your premium backup before the trading deadline. PERIOD. Even if Vick (hereafter known as the Worlds Dumbest Man) hadn’t been kicked out of the league this year he would miss 1, 2, 5, maybe 10 games, which means that Rich McKay knew he was risking at least one Joey Harrington start this year, and the only thing worse than Joey Harrington being your backup is Joey Harrington starting for your favorite team, just ask a Lions’ fan. (and then ask them about Matt Millen.) How long before the Atlanta fans beg for a svelte Byron Leftwich??
Not to rub it in, but Atlanta traded away Favre in the 90’s, Schaub in the 00’s, which means we’re between 3 and 12 years away from the Falcons sending another solid quaterback to a needy team. They’re the new Make-A-Wish foundation of the NFL.
But enough mocking the Falcons. I’ll let Vince Young and the two headed rushing attack of Brown and White finish the job on Sunday. Tennessee by 14
Arizona(2-2) @ St.Louis (0-4)
I never thought a QB tandem could work. And then Arizona beat Pittsburgh in Wisenhunt’s first game against the team he used to coach. I never thought St.Louis would be winless going into week 5. Here’s my vision of how this game plays out: With no Marc Bulger, Linehan will run Stephen Jackson 20+ times, controlling the clock for the first 2 1/2 quarters before the Rams fall too far behind the Cardinals balanced attack to stay one-dimensional. Frerotte throws a game ending pick with 4:30 minutes to play, and the St Louis crowd gives Kurt Warner a standing ovation as the Rams hang their heads in defeat. Cards by 8.
Seattle (3-1) @ Pittsburgh (3-1)
If there was one player in the NFC with the experience to play well on the road in Pitt, it would be Favre. If there are two, the second is Hasselbeck. With 2 Pittsburgh starters on each side of the ball injured (CB McFadden and WR Ward out and questionable respectively, Big Ben and Troy Polamalu probable) I think the advantage is towards a veteran Seahawks club putting in a strong show. The forecast? Alexander early, followed by play action passes. Look for this game to be close either way, with the Seahawks covering the spread. I have Seattle by 1.
Tampa Bay (3-1) @ Indianapolis (4-0)
If Marvin Harrison can’t play in this one, expect for Indy’s pass game to be severely hindered. Harrison isn’t just Peyton Manning’s security blanket, he ensures single coverage on at least one other Colt’s receiver. Without Harrison. the Colts are in trouble, but Indy will be fine, so long as Joseph Addai is in the lineup. Props to Jeff Garcia, Galloway, and Gruden, but unless Marvin AND Joe are out of the lineup for the Colts, the Bucs will lose this. Look for a closer game than predicted by the Vegas experts. Indy by 5.
Baltimore (2-2) @ San Francisco (2-2)
These two .500 ballclubs are similar on offense, relying on a young running back to carry the load. The difference between these teams is defense. Baltimore’s is good, San Fran’s will be good next year. I’m taking the Ravens by a field goal.
San Diego (1-3) @ Denver (2-2)
Will the Chargers right their ship this week at Mile High? Is Travis Henry lighting a spliff to get a mile high? Finally, picking up Selvin Young in your fantasy league pays off. Or does it matter who runs the ball for Denver? The answers are No, Yes, Yes and No. Denver cruises as Norv Turner struggles to put his pants on and arrives at the stadium midway through the second quarter. Broncos by 10.
Chicago (1-3) @ Green Bay (4-0)
The only constant the Chicago Bears can rely upon is that whoever takes the field to line up under center, he will suck. The Bears made the Big One last year in spite of Grossman, but this year they’ll be lucky to make 8-8. Why? My personal theory is that the Football Gods are paying the Bears back for being so mean to Lance Briggs. I would say the odds are good the Bears will attempt to sign TWDM after his prison sentence is over. But I digress. With the better half of Chicago’s safety combo out Favre will likely have continued success through the air. Also look to the return of Morency to buoy the running game. (OH GOD did I actually just type that????) Factor in a hostile Lambeau crowd, and Appleton natives calling the Paper Valley hotel for Brian Urlacher to ask him if Paris Hilton was a good lay, and I like the Packers by 8.
Dallas (4-0) @ Buffalo (1-3)
Marshawn Lynch is good, but he won’t be enough to beat a Cowboys team with a QB like Romo and a RB tandem like Julius Jones and Marion Barber III. The upside for Buffalo fans is that Losman won’t be playing, and the downside for Buffalo fans is that they have to live in Buffalo. If the Dallas sticks to the gameplan, they should win convincingly, I’d say Cowboys 34, Buffalo 23, unless of course it snows.
So there it is, delivered before noon on Friday. I imagine that next year on week 5 Norv Turner, Wisenhunt, Rich McKay and Lovie Smith will feel like I do right now. Unemployed.