Well Folks…First and Foremost, My Condolences, Thoughts, and Prayers Go out to Adrian Peterson and his entire family, extended football family, and friends for the loss of his son in this terrible tragedy. It is during times like this that we have to take a step back and put into perspective what is really important in life. Yes, Sports are a huge part of American Society, but these athletes are just like you and I…human beings, flesh and blood, sweat, and tears. Life is too short and tragedies like this just are a further example of that. So, once again my thoughts and prayers go out to Adrian Peterson. God, please grant Adrian the ability and strength and courage, as he goes through the valley of the shadow of death. RIP…You will not be forgotten young boy and may God take you into his arms as his own.
Ok, before we Get to My Week 6 Picks in the NFL, let us quickly review the results of last weeks picks. As I have said week after week, the NFL has become one of the hardest sports to pick on a weekly basis. The Haves and Have Nots have declined and there is more parity than ever in the NFL today. So to look back at last week, THE SAV, ROBAKERS, and DABIRD (Me) all went 6-8 in with our picks. So far, there have only winning week and mine was way back in Week #1. After Week #5, the records stand as follows: DABIRD (36-38 ATS), SAVAGE (33-41 ATS), ROBAKER’S (13-14 ATS). So while we enter Week Six, no one has claimed an advantage thus far.
A Quick Review of Week Number Five saw the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and New Orleans Saints move on as the only Un Beaten Teams. The Seahawks, Patriots, Colts, and Bears are all standing at Four Wins. The NFC LEAST is still anyone’s Division as there are no winning records and the Philadelphia Eagles lead the Division at 2-3. The New York Football Giants are 0-6…(Who would have Thought). The Pittsburgh Steelers are (0-4), the Jacksonville Jaguars are (0-5), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are (0-4). So in conclusion, there are Three Un Beaten Teams and Four Teams without a Win. So far, the Surprises have to be the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and New Orleans Saints. The surprise Disappointment Teams are the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, and New York Giants, all of who have records under .500 besides the PATS. The Denver Broncos have picked up where they left off last season and are BEASTS at this point. Last week saw a Shootout against the Dallas Cowboys, in which a last second field goal gave Denver a 51-48 Win to make them 5-0. Peyton Manning now has 20 Touchdown Passes, 1 Rushing Touchdown, 1 Interception, 1,800 Yards Passing and Five Wins. Can we Say MVP?? Anyways, let us move on to Week #6 in the NFL. And as I wake up on this crisp Saturday morning…Football is in the Air. Yes folks, this is Hoody Weather. I love this season more than any other.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-3)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by 8.5 Points at home against the Road Dog Raiders. Along with the Denver Broncos, The Kansas City Chiefs have been the toast of the AFC. I bet there are many Eagles Fans screaming (wishing Reid was back). I think the way things have gone so far with the Chiefs and Eagles, it is apparent that the Eagles misfortunes were not Andy Reid’s fault. Anyways, Jamal Charles is a bruiser at Running Back and the Chiefs are well balanced on Offense. However, the Chiefs really rely on their Defense, which is one of the Best in the Game. The Raiders are coming off an emotional Sunday Night upset of the San Diego Chargers on a special Sunday Night Football Edition. The Raiders are Seventh in Rushing Offense and the Chiefs are Tenth. However, Oakland is Tenth against the run, while K.C. is in the bottom half. So this game could come down to passing where we have the consistent Alex Smith for the Chiefs while the Raiders go with unproven Matt Flynn. I think this game comes down to turnovers and scoring defense where the Chiefs have the edge in both. My pick: The Chiefs go to 6-0 and beat the Raiders 21-10 while covering the spread.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-3)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-4)
How Ironic is it that two teams that were both thought to be much improved have not performed up to expectations. The Eagles Defense was supposed to be so much better this season, but yet they are worst in the league. In contrast, Tampa who always has a good defense, was supposed to improve on Offense, but yet they are ranked at the bottom. Tampa now comes into this game with a rookie Quarterback Mike Glenon, after they parted ways with Franchise Quarterback Josh Freeman. This team seems to be in disarray. And now this week a MRSA Breakout (Three Players Contacted the Germ). The Eagles are only favored by 2.5 Points on the road on this one. Mike Vick is questionable and Nick Foles expects to get the start. However, The Eagles do have the Number 1 Rushing Offense in Football (What????) with over 950 Rushing Yards. They are actually the First Team in NFL History to have over 900 Yards Rushing and 1,300 Yards Passing after Five Games. So, what will give. The Eagles Number One Offense or Their Number 32 Defense. I am going to take the Eagles, even though they have been so inconsistent. They need to get pressure on the opposing quarterback as they have had a habit of letting these quarterbacks stand in the pocket like statues and pick apart their secondary. Nonetheless, Eagles win 34-20 and cover.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-2)
BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-2)
The Packers are Third in the NFC North while the Defending Champs are Leading their Division, despite all of their key player losses in the off season. Green Bay comes into this game Third in Total Offense. However, Green Bay’s Defense which is usually at the top has struggled and is at the bottom half of the league. The Ravens have also struggled on Defense where they are right in the middle of the pack. The Ravens star Running Back comes into this game with only 197 Rushing Yards and Two scores, although he looked like he elevated his game last week. Green Bay is favored by a Field Goal on the Road, but my gut tells me that Baltimore will prevail in this game. My Pick: The Ravens win 24-21.
DETROIT LIONS (3-2)
CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-2)
The Cleveland Browns have been a huge surprise this year. Especially, after Brian Hoyer took over at Quarterback and Josh Gordon(WR) returned from his two game suspension. Cleveland comes into this contest with the Number 4 Total Ranked Defense. They have given up a little over 18 Points a game which is pretty stellar. They are Ninth against the Pass and Tenth against the Run. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions high Flying Offense comes in Ninth in Total Yards. The addition of Reggie Bush has definitely made this team more dangerous. However, the Lions go as “Megatron” goes. Last week Calvin Johnson sat out with an injury. The game plan is totally different when he is out of the game. Detroit is favored by 2.5 Points on the Road. I am taking the Lions regardless of Johnson’s playing status, however if “Megatron” plays I see the Lions beating the Browns pretty handily at 28-17. If he does not play the game will be much closer with the Lions winning 20-17.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-3)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-3)
I hate to speculate on this game as there are more important things on everyone’s mind going into this game. Minnesota is favored by 2.5 Points at home. After the recent tragedy, I am not sure that Adrian Peterson will play this week, nor would I blame him if he does not. Regardless of Peterson’s status, The Vikings come out fired up and win this game in a blowout for A.P., Vikings 34- Carolina-10.
SAINT LOUIS RAMS (2-3)
HOUSTON TEXANS (2-3)
Despite the recent travails of Quarterback Matt Schaub, the Texans remain Seventh in Total Offense. However, it is the PICK6 that’s killing this team. Houston has the Number One Total Defense, giving up less than 270 Yards per game to opposing teams. The Rams are at the bottom in both categories but have somehow been able to win two games. Of course, their wins were against the Jaguars and Arizona, two teams that have not necessarily knocked any one’s socks off. Houston is favored by 7.5 Points at Home. I expect a breakout game from Arian Foster. He has been relatively quiet up to this point, however, they have to turn to the running game with Matt Schaub playing like a rookie. The Texans win this game easily 31-17.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (0-4)
NEW YORK JETS (3-2)
Wow…Who would have thought the New York Jets would be 3-2, behind rookie QB Geno Smith while the New York Giants would be 0-6! Even more surprising…The Steelers are 0-4. The Steelers are 1 Point Underdogs on the road at the Meadowlands. Even though the Jets have improved, they are coming off a short week. The Steelers are at a win or die point in their season. Ben Rothlisberger is too experienced to let his team fall apart this early. The Steelers come out strong and win this one 20-14.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-2)
BUFFALO BILLS (2-3)
The Bengals have been improving as this season has went on. Their defense who many picked to be at the Top is getting better results. They are now ranked Eighth in the entire league in defense. The Bills are playing charades and musical chairs at Quarterback. The injury to EJ Manuel is a huge blow. Fred Jackson has been carrying the Rushing Game, as CJ Spiller has been pretty much non-existent besides a few breakout touchdown runs. Despite Spiller’s Struggles, The Bills are Third in Total Rushing and have scored 5 Touchdowns Via the Ground. However, the Bills are 27th in the Pass. So, I expect the Bengals Dynamic Defense to stack the box and bring the Blitz. My Pick: The Bengals win and cover the Spread by a score of 24-10.
TENNESSEE TITANS (3-2)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-1)
The Seahawks are favored by 13.5 Points at Home. Let’s see…They are coming off their first loss of the season. They have the Twelfth Ranked Total Offense including the Second ranked Rushing Offense. Tennessee is in the middle of the pack as far as rushing defense while they are at the bottom against the pass. Tennessee has played good football and have upset some good teams. However, the Seahawks will be the most balanced team they have faced yet. The Seahawks get back in the winning column and cover winning the game at home, 42-24.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (0-5)
DENVER BRONCOS (5-0)
This is a tale of two teams that are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Denver is 5-0 (The Best Team in the NFL). Jacksonville is 0-5 (The Worst Team in the NFL). The Broncos are favored by 27 Points at home. Honestly, I do not remember a point spread ever being this high, not in recent times anyway. However, Jacksonville is so Horrible and Denver is so Great. Peyton Manning tosses another Five Touchdowns and the Broncos get another special teams score. The Broncos win in big fashion…52-10. Sorry Jacksonville, but you are the BIGGEST LOSER.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-2)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-2)
This is a Divisional Rivalry Game between two teams that are both 3-2. The 49ers are Fifth in Total Defense. However, they have struggled this year on Offense. Nonetheless, the Niners are Fifth in Rushing and Frank Gore has found new life. As long as Gore can stay healthy the Niners have the Ingredients (Rushing Attack/Defense) to go far in the playoffs. Arizona is and has been my sleeper team all season. Arizona is really not strong on either side of the ball stats wise but they have been able to capitalize on turnovers all season. The Niners are favored by 10.5 Points at home in this one. I do not see them blowing out an underrated Cardinals team. So I am picking the Niners to win but they will not cover. Final Score:49ers-23 Cardinals-17.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-0)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-1)
Tom Brady has not been up to par this season. However, let us not forget…he lost Aaron Hernandez his Number 2 Tight End and Rob Gronkowski has been injured all season. These two players were to Brady like Jerry Rice was to Joe Montana. The Saints on the other hand have been another surprise team. However, its not a surprise to many as they have their coach back. Tight End Jimmy Graham is on pace to set all kinds of records. New England is favored by 2 Points at home. I usually never go against the Pats at home, however, the Saints look for Real. The Saints upset the Pats 35-31.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (1-3)
DALLAS COWBOYS (2-3)
Ok, I do not proclaim to be a Football Expert in any stretch of the imagination. However, I am dumbfounded after last weeks loss to the Denver Broncos, that people are saying Tony Romo needs to bounce back. The experts keep referring to all of his prior mistakes in prior seasons. The fans cite all of his Interceptions in key games at key times. However, How can you blame Tony Romo for last week. He took the Cowboys on his back and almost single handedly beat the Denver Broncos, the best team in Football. He took Peyton Manning to task. C”MON Guys! Tony is only the Fifth Player In NFL History to have 500 Yards Passing and 5 Touchdowns in One Game. So, I say, the Cowboy’s Defense should be getting the blame. The Redskins are coming off a Bye and are obviously a different team when RGIII game is one dimensional. His injury has limited and almost totally stopped his ability to run. RGIII needs both of his skills sets to be successful. The Redskins will not win when RG is throwing the ball Forty Times a Game. Dallas is favored by 5.5 Points. This is a Rivalry game, however Dallas will bounce back after an emotional loss last week. And please everyone, I am not a huge Tony Romo fan but get off of his back. He is having his best game as a Pro. Dallas wins 35-21.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-1)
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (2-3)
Indianapolis has the better Defense. San Diego has the better Offense. Indy is only favored by 1.5 Points. I am taking the Chargers on Monday Night Football after their emotional loss last week on National TV. The Chargers win 24-17.
OK…There You have it. DABIRD has spoken. My picks are always made according to match ups. Stay tuned for THE SAV and ROBAKERS as they try to jump ahead in the standings. Also, look for my next installment of Top Players/Teams as I will Submit my Top 10 Defenses Post 1990. Have a great Saturday Afternoon and enjoy the Hoody Weather. And once again…prayers go out to Adrian Peterson. Hopefully God brings this Criminal to Justice.