Of the six categories of weekly leaders in the NFL for Week 5, three of them were New York Giants (Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz). That was then. This is now! Welcome to Week 6 of the 2011 NFL season. We are just over one-third of the way through and, as we have discovered already, ANYTHING can happen!
This week, we take another gander into the looking glass of the ESPN braintrust. Week 5 proved some of the ESPN pundits to be kings among men. It also proved that some of them are…well…not so much. How did I do? Who am I picking this week? Continue on for my break/down-beat down and analysis of all this week’s upcoming matchups.
Panthers @ Falcons: OK, I am in the minority with this one. Atlanta may have the better record, by ONE game I should add, but even the home field advantage will not help them much on Sunday. The Panthers W-L ratio is definitely lopsided. However, the games that they lost were to some formidable opponents. It should also be noted that they were just shy of seeing the game go their way in each of their defeats. it’s only a matter of time before Carolina puts a few wins on the board. That time is now. Panthers win.
Colts @ Bengals: I maintain that the Colts will go winless this season in order to get the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Naturally, they’ll pick up a QB…cough, cough…Andrew Luck. Bengals win.
49ers @ Lions: Yes, the Niners had an impressive game last week…against the Bucs. The tables will be turned on them this coming Sunday and should lose by at least as much as they won by last week. Lions continue to roar!
Rams @ Packers:
Bills @ Giants: I could break out the stat sheets, go on about whose defense, offense and offensive line are doing what in the league. But this one is going to come down to one thing. The Giants are not likely to lose two games at home on back to back weeks. It’s just not going to happen. Giants win.
Jaguars @ Steelers: You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But you can’t pick your friends nose…or the Jaguars to beat the Steelers at home, on the road, on the Moon, on Percocets, on ice, on…well you get the idea. Steelers win.
Eagles @ Redskins: I think it’s safe to say that Giants fans are looking for Washington to put a hurtin’ on the already busted up birds, even if it does mean the Skins pulling out another game ahead. Well, rejoice my Big Blue buddies! The Eagles will continue their decline this week, falling to 1-5. The Redskins are fresh off of a Bye Week and looking to keep the top slot in the NFC East. Their only loss of the season came against the Cowboys. Rex Grossman and co. are not likely to forget that if you allow a team to score as little as 2 points on you, it could come back to bite you right in the ass. Philly is in turmoil, the state, the players, the coaches…yes…even the multitude of Cheez Whiz cans inside of Pat’s, Geno’s and Jim’s. Humility goes a real long way for a bunch of dreaming birds, who now find themselves the prey. Redskins win.
Browns @ Raiders: Al Davis passed away last Saturday, one day after my Week 5 Picks were published. I would have most certainly picked the Raiders last week if the timeline were different. Al Davis was truly an unforgettable character and NFL persona. Look for the Raiders to honor his legacy once again this week. Raiders win. R.I.P. Al Davis!
Texans @ Ravens: If you are a football team and going up against the Baltimore Ravens, you need to have all of your weapons working and ready. Unfortunately for Houston, they will be in Casa Del Ravens and down one 5-Time Pro Bowl receiver, Andre Johnson. They will also be missing Mario Williams, who has the 4th most sacks in the league right now. Add these two guys back in the game and my pick might be different. But if the Queen had…mutton chops she’d be king. Ravens win.
Cowboys @ Patriots: The Buffalo Bills proved that the Patriots are not indestructible, as many were presuming in the first two weeks of the season. Many have jumped off of the New England bandwagon and are now wearing large, wedges of rubber cheese on their heads. Speaking of bandwagons, “America’s Team” are not words that pass over too many lips these days, if at all. Them there varmints will be heading up to hostile territory this week, fresh off of a bye week and a relatively decent performance against the undefeated Lions. Well pardners…I’m a-hear t’tell ya that there’s not enough days in a week for the Cowboys to rest up their laurels and come back gunslinging’ against the Patriots. T’aint gonna happen. Patriots win.
Saints @ Buccaneers: It’s a battle for first place in the NFC South! Despite an utterly dismal performance from the Bucs last week, they’re still a pretty good team and not to be taken lightly. Nawlins’, however, have won four straight and are not likely to lose any time soon. Their first, and only, loss this year was in Week 1, against the Packers. This will be the firsts of 2 meetings between these two teams over the next four weeks. The Bucs MAY be able to beat the Saints in a month. It is highly unlikely. One thing is for sure. They won’t be getting that job down this week. Saints win. Eat crawfish!
Vikings @ Bears: If ChiTown loses this game, they will be tied with Minnesota for last place. I don’t think Jay Cutler and co. will be too happy with that result. This is the type of game they have been waiting for…one that they SHOULD win. There aren’t many on their schedule this year either. In all fairness, Chicago lost to some of the best, Green Bay, Detroit and New Orleans. Cutler hasn’t exactly been getting the help he needs from his O-Line to get the job done. Good news for Jay, that fishnet offensive line SHOULD be able to close up some holes this week and perhaps Cutler won’t have as big of a headache as he has been going home with these last few weeks. Bears win.
Dolphins @ Jets: Yes, Jets fans. You and your sovereign hero, Rex Ryan, will be back on your bullhorns shouting from the rooftops, what a Super Bowl bound team you are, after defeating the poor defenseless (and offenseless) Dolphins. You won’t have many opportunities to do so for the rest of the season. Enjoy it while it lasts. Jets win.
That’s my story. What’s yours, tough guy?
**Teams with Bye Weeks: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Titans, Cardinals and Seahawks.**
Tags: Al Davis Andre Johnson Andrew Luck Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Eli Manning ESPN Giants/National Football League Green Bay Packers Jason Pierre-Paul Jay Cutler Mario Williams Minnesota Vikings National Football League New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants NFC East NFC South NYG Philadelphia Eagles Rex Ryan Sean Kerr Super Bowl Victor Cruz Washington Redskins