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RJ’s 2011 NFL Season Picks: Week Five

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I went 13-3 last week straight-up, and 11-5 against the spread. For the season, that puts me at 44-20 straight-up, and 35-26-3 against the spread. For a comparison, check out the “experts” over at ESPN.

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week Five:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9

Tennessee 3-1 at Pittsburgh 2-2 1:00 PM [Line: Steelers by 3.5]

Steelers LB James Harrison is out with a broken eye socket. QB Ben Roethlisberger has a sprained left foot, but is expected to play. The Titans have allowed the fewest points in the league. QB Matt Hasselbeck has a 104.7 passer rating through four games. (If the Titans make the playoffs, Hasselbeck could get some serious MVP consideration.)

RJ’s Pick: Titans by 3

Seattle 1-3 at New York Giants 3-1 1:00 PM [Line: Giants by 10]

The Seahawks have the least productive offense in the NFL in terms of yards per game. The Giants have won three straight. (All signs point to a blowout.) 

RJ’s Pick: Giants by 20

Cincinnati 2-2 at Jacksonville 1-3 1:00 PM [Line: Jaguars by 1.5]

Bengals RB Cedric Benson is well on his way to a 1,000 yard season. The Jaguars have dropped three in a row. (The Jags haven’t had a winning season since 2007.)

RJ’s Pick: Bengals by 4

New Orleans 3-1 at Carolina 1-3 1:00 PM [Line: Saints by 6.5]

The Saints are ranked second in the league in passing yards. The Panthers are ranked third in the same category. (Expect a lot of scoring in this one.)

RJ’s Pick: Saints by 2

Oakland 2-2 at Houston 3-1 1:00 PM [Line: Texans by 6]

The Raiders have the league’s top rushing offense. RB Darren McFadden is averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 117 yards per game. The Texans have the NFL’s 4th ranked rushing offense. Both Arian Foster and Ben Tate are averaging 4.7 yards per carry. (The Texans have never made the playoffs, but that looks likely to change this season.)

RJ’s Pick: Texans by 11

Philadelphia 1-3 at Buffalo 3-1 1:00 PM [Line: Eagles by 3]

The “Dream Team” Eagles have lost three straight and are alone in the NFC East cellar. They blew a 23-3 3rd quarter lead last week, and a 31-21 4th quarter lead back in week two. The Bills are undefeated at home. RB Fred Jackson is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. (Why is Philly favored in this one?)

RJ’s Pick: Bills by 3

Kansas City 1-3 at Indianapolis 0-4 1:00 PM [Line: Colts by 1.5]

The Chiefs got a win last week, but still have the league’s worst point differential. The Colts remain winless, although they have kept games close the last three weeks. (Would the Colts be 3-1 with a healthy Peyton Manning?)

RJ’s Pick: Colts by 6

Arizona 1-3 at Minnesota 0-4 1:00 PM [Line: Vikings by 3]

The Cardinals have lost by 1, 3, and 4 points this season. The Vikings have blown second half leads in all four games this year. (Both teams are better than their records.)

RJ’s Pick: Cardinals by 1

Tampa Bay 3-1 at San Francisco 3-1 4:05 PM [Line: 49ers by 2.5]

The Buccaneers have won three straight. 49ers QB Alex Smith has thrown just one INT this season. (The Bucs have already played three home games this season, and one of their five remaining “home” games will be played in London, so their schedule is pretty tough the rest of the way.)

RJ’s Pick: 49ers by 8

New York Jets 2-2 at New England 3-1 4:15 PM [Line: Patriots by 9.5]

The Patriots have scored more points than any other AFC team. Jets QB Mark Sanchez has a passer rating of 75.9 and has thrown five interceptions and lost four fumbles. (This is a heated divisional rivalry, so expect the Jets to keep it close.)

RJ’s Pick: Patriots by 4

San Diego 3-1 at Denver 1-3 4:15 PM [Line: Chargers by 4]

Chargers QB Philip Rivers has a 68.2% completion percentage, but has thrown six INTs. Broncos QB Kyle Orton has also thrown half a dozen interceptions, and I suspect he’ll lose his starting job to Tim Tebow should Denver fail to get a win this week. (That would mean Tebow playing in week seven at Miami, where he would probably have a somewhat friendly Florida crowd.)

RJ’s Pick: Chargers by 9

Green Bay 4-0 at Atlanta 2-2 8:20 PM [Line: Packers by 5.5]

The undefeated Packers have scored more points than any other team in the league. The Falcons have the worst point differential in the tough NFC South. (Is there anyone who doubts that the Pack are the best team in the NFL right now?)

RJ’s Pick: Packers by 14

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10

Chicago 2-2 at Detroit 4-0 8:30 PM [Line: Lions by 5.5]

Bears RB Matt Forte is averaging 5.4 yards per carry, and he had over 200 yards last week against the Panthers. The Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980. They have the NFC’s best point differential. WR Calvin Johnson has made two TD catches in every game so far this season. QB Matthew Stafford has a 100.3 passer rating. The last time the Lions played a game on Monday Night Football was in 2001. (Can you tell I’m a little excited?) 

RJ’s Pick: Lions by 17

[Bye Week: Cleveland, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, Washington, & Baltimore]

If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan’s Odds and ESPN’s NFL “Expert” Picks.

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About RJ

  • C2E

    I’m 47-17 thus far, but not feeling real confident this week. We differ only on the Bengals-Jaguars matchup. Good luck!

    My picks:

    Colts over Chiefs
    Cardinals over Vikings
    Bills over Eagles
    Texans over Raiders
    Saints over Panthers
    Jaguars over Bengals
    Titans over Steelers
    Giants over Seahawks
    49ers over Buccaneers
    Patriots over Jets
    Chargers over Broncos
    Packers over Falcons
    Lions over Bears

  • C2E

    Worried about my Texans. Hard to tell what sort of effect Davis’ passing will have on the Raider’s team and individual performances.

  • RJ

    Interesting point, C2E.

  • C2E

    Jags should have taken that one…did you see that snap! Should have just taken a timeout.

    Texans are just falling apart. Hard to watch.

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Steelers 38, Titans 17 – RJ 0-1 [0-1 ATS]

    Seattle 36, Giants 25 – RJ 0-2 [0-2 ATS]

    Bengals 30, Jaguars 20 – RJ 1-2 [1-2 ATS]

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Saints 30, Carolina 27 – RJ 2-2 [2-2 ATS]

    Raiders 25, Texans 20 – RJ 2-3 [2-3 ATS]

    Bills 31, Eagles 24 – RJ 3-3 [3-3 ATS]

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    KC 28, Colts 24 – RJ 3-4 [3-4 ATS]

    Vikings 34, Arizona 10 – RJ 3-5 [3-5 ATS]

    SF 48, TB 3 – RJ 4-5 [4-5 ATS]

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Final Scores:

    NE 30, Jets 21 – RJ 5-5 [5-5 ATS]

    SD 29, Denver 24 – RJ 6-5 [6-5 ATS]

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Final Score:

    GB 25, Atlanta 14 – RJ 7-5 [7-5 ATS]

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Final Score:

    Lions 24, Bears 13 – RJ 8-5 [8-5 ATS]

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    ESPN’s NFL “experts” in Week 5:

    Allen
    8-5
    Golic
    8-5
    Hoge
    10-3
    Jaworski
    9-3
    Mortensen
    6-7
    Schefter
    7-6
    Schlereth
    7-6
    Wickersham
    6-7
    Accuscore
    10-3
    Pick ‘em
    9-4

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    ESPN’s NFL “experts” through five weeks:

    Allen
    50-27
    Golic
    55-22
    Hoge
    56-21
    Jaworski
    51-21
    Mortensen
    46-31
    Schefter
    51-26
    Schlereth
    54-23
    Wickersham
    51-26
    Accuscore
    54-23
    Pick ‘em
    55-22

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    RJ through five weeks:

    52-25 straight-up

    43-31-3 against the spread