2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 5

October 8th, 2010 - 8:36 am

At least I can pat myself on the back for correctly predicting not only the winner but the exact score of the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game last week. That’s about all the joy I can take out of the week. For the second straight week I finished with just above a .500 record with my picks and I’m dumbfounded as to why making predictions this year has been so difficult. But while perusing other NFL predictions sites, I’ve been encouraged. I have the third best mark when compared with ESPN’s panel of experts and my picks against the spread would rank second among CBS’ experts. So I feel a little better despite wanting to have a better success rate.

We’ll see if Week 5 goes any better.

Point spreads come from Vegas.com as of Friday morning.

Last Week: 8-6
Last Week against the spread: 9-5

This Week: 7-7
This Week against the spread: 8-6

Overall: 44-32
Overall against the spread: 40-33-3

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Buffalo Bills (0-4)
This is one of the few games all season the Bills have a shot at winning, but I don’t know how their defense, worst in the league against the run, will stop Maurice Jones-Drew.
Prediction: Jacksonville 24, Buffalo 21
Actual Score: Jacksonville 36, Buffalo 26
Spread Pick: Jacksonville -1
Actual Score: Jacksonville 36, Buffalo 26

New York Giants (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1)
The Giants are riding high after their dismantling of the Bears last week but they face a pretty good Texans offense with a solid run game a good quarterback. I think they’ll have trouble stopping Arian Foster and the Texans’ No. 2 run defense will contain Ahmad Bradshaw.
Prediction: Houston 24, NY Giants 23
Actual Score: NY Giants 34, Houston 10
Spread Pick: NY Giants +3
Actual Score: NY Giants 34, Houston 10

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
I’m not ready to believe in the Chiefs yet, but if they can somehow beat the Colts in Indianapolis, I’ll probably jump on the bandwagon. The Chiefs will likely have problems defending the pass and will come up short.
Prediction: Indianapolis 21, Kansas City 17
Actual Score: Indianapolis 19, Kansas City 9
Spread Pick: Kansas City +7
Actual Score: Indianapolis 19, Kansas City 9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
I don’t know what to make of the Buccaneers yet. I like Josh Freeman; I think he has a bright future in this league, but the Bucs have one of the worst run defenses and the Bengals will want to grind it out.
Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Tampa Bay 16
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 24, Cincinnati 21
Spread Pick: Tampa Bay +6 1/2
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 24, Cincinnati 21

Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
The Packers certainly haven’t looked like future Super Bowl champions this season as so many have predicted, but they’re still a good team. The Redskins may have pulled off a divisional road victory last week in Philly, but I think the Packers will spoil their homecoming this week.
Prediction: Green Bay 24, Washington 17
Actual Score: Washington 16, Green Bay 13
Spread Pick: Green Bay -2 1/2
Actual Score: Washington 16, Green Bay 13

St. Louis Rams (2-2) at Detroit Lions (0-4)
The Rams have been a pleasant surprise this year while the Lions have still been a big disappointment. Choosing between these two teams is tough because neither one is consistent enough to be good, and inconsistent teams never play as one predicts. The Lions have been in almost every game this season, so they’ll keep this one close. I think they should be able to finally pick up their first victory.
Prediction: Detroit 22, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: Detroit 44, St. Louis 6
Spread Pick: Detroit -3
Actual Score: Detroit 44, St. Louis 6

Chicago Bears (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-4)
The only thing that Jay Cutler’s absense from this game means is that it’ll be a lot closer than it needs to be. I think the Bears have a better run defense than they let on last week against the Giants and they should be able to contain the Panthers’ running attack and force pressure on rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
Prediction: Chicago 16, Carolina 10
Actual Score: Chicago 23, Carolina 6
Spread Pick: Chicago +1
Actual Score: Chicago 23, Carolina 6

Atlanta Falcons (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-3)
I was flat out shocked that the Browns beat the Bengals last week but I don’t think lightning will strike twice for them. The Falcons are a solid team and should put the Browns away in due time.
Prediction: Atlanta 21, Cleveland 17
Actual Score: Atlanta 20, Cleveland 10
Spread Pick: Atlanta -3
Actual Score: Atlanta 20, Cleveland 10

Denver Broncos (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Sorry, Kyle Orton, but your Cinderella season goes the way of the midnight pumpkin here. The Ravens have the league’s No. 1 defense, including the No. 1 pass defense. I think the Ravens win this one at home.
Prediction: Baltimore 17, Denver 13
Actual Score: Baltimore 31, Denver 17
Spread Pick: Denver +7
Actual Score: Baltimore 31, Denver 17

New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
The Saints haven’t looked like the version of themselves that won the Super Bowl last year but they’re still a dangerous team, even without Reggie Bush. I don’t think the Cardinals are any good this year and if this game becomes a shootout, they have no chance.
Prediction: New Orleans 24, Arizona 14
Actual Score: Arizona 30, New Orleans 20
Spread Pick: New Orleans -6 1/2
Actual Score: Arizona 30, New Orleans 20

Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
If we saw the Chris Johnson of last year, the one that rushed for 2,000 yards, I’d say the Titans have a good shot at winning this game. But Johnson has been stifled by run defenses this year and is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. I believe the Cowboys will force Vince Young to beat them, and I don’t think he can do that.
Prediction: Dallas 21, Tennessee 17
Actual Score: Tennessee 34, Dallas 27
Spread Pick: Tennessee +7
Actual Score: Tennessee 34, Dallas 27

San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3)
This used to be a good rivalry when both teams were good. After what I saw from the Chargers last week, I’d be shocked if they fell victim to a letdown this week. The Chargers have the No. 1 offense in the league with the No. 3 passing game. The Raiders have the No. 3 passing defense, though, so that should be an interesting matchup.
Prediction: San Diego 27, Oakland 17
Actual Score: Oakland 35, San Diego 27
Spread Pick: San Diego -6
Actual Score: Oakland 35, San Diego 27

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (0-4)
I picked the 49ers in the first three weeks and got burned for it. Then I picked against them last week and they nearly pulled off the upset. With Vick probably out for this game, I like the 49ers’ chances of picking up their first victory of the season at home.
Prediction: San Francisco 20, Philadelphia 16
Actual Score: Philadelphia 27, San Francisco 24

Spread Pick: San Francisco -3
Actual Score: Philadelphia 27, San Francisco 24

Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1)
What an interesting matchup this should be. Randy Moss returns to his first team but will face a defense he’s been seeing twice a year for the past three years. Not to mention, Brett Favre returns to a team for whom he played one year. The Jets really have stepped up their efforts since a Week 1 loss and the Vikings are coming off a week of rest. I like the Jets defense to help put them over the edge.
Prediction: NY Jets 20, Minnesota 14
Actual Score: NY Jets 29, Minnesota 20
Spread Pick: NY Jets -4
Actual Score: NY Jets 29, Minnesota 20