I went 12-2 last week straight up, and 7-7 against the spread. That puts me at 45-32 straight up for the season, and 33-41-3 against the spread. For a comparison, check out the “experts” over at ESPN.
Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week Six:
*Thursday, October 11*
Pittsburgh (2-2) at Tennessee (1-4) 8:20 p.m. [Line: Steelers by 5.5]
Unfrozen Caveman Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is quietly having arguably his best season, with a 100.6 passer rating, eight TD passes, and just one INT. He’s completing about 66% of his passes, and is on pace for nearly 4,500 passing yards this year. Also, no lost fumbles. RB Chris Johnson has rushed for more than 24 yards in a game only once this season. He has a total of 210 rushing yards through five games. At this rate, the Titans are paying him about $12,000 per yard. (Note: I did not make that number up.)
-RJ’s Pick: Steelers by 15
*Sunday, October 14*
Detroit (1-3) at Philadelphia (3-2) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Eagles by 4.5]
The Lions have the league’s ninth best defense in terms of yards allowed, but are allowing nearly 29 points a game, among the most in the NFL. That’s what happens when your special teams unit plays like they are made up of Special Olympians. QB Michael Vick has turned the ball over 11 times so far this season, including five lost fumbles. He needs to hang on to the ball with the same kind of grip he used when strangling dogs.
-RJ’s Pick: Lions by 1
Mismatch of the week: Oakland (1-3) at Atlanta (5-0) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Falcons by 8.5]
The Raiders are ranked dead last in rushing yards per game. Their defense is pretty awful, too. The Falcons, meanwhile, are undefeated, and their QB is playing like an MVP.
-RJ’s Pick: Falcons by 14
Cincinnati (3-2) at Cleveland (0-5) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Bengals by 1]
Former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones pleaded guilty this week to making a 17-year-old extremely happy. The Browns, who have a roster comprised largely of adolescents, are rather unhappily the NFL’s last remaining winless team. If I was Pat Shurmur, I’d hire Ms. Jones as the team’s “equipment manager.” It couldn’t hurt. And, let’s be honest, if you’re playing for Cleveland, you’re already pretty much fucked.
-RJ’s Pick: Bengals by 5
Competitive But Sorta Boring Game Between Mediocre Teams of the Week: St. Louis (3-2) at Miami (2-3) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Dolphins by 3.5]
The Rams have won two in a row, and have allowed just 13 points per game over their last three contests. The Dolphins have the league’s best defense against the run. The over/under for this one is just 37.5 points.
-RJ’s Pick: Rams by 2
Indianapolis (2-2) at New York Jets (2-3) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Jets by 3]
The Colts played with emotion last week, coming from behind to beat the Packers 30-27 in a win dedicated to head coach Chuck Pagano, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Owner Jim Irsay was so impressed with his team’s performance under those circumstances that he immediately injected offensive line coach Harold Goodwin with the virus that causes AIDS. Jets QB Mark Sanchez has not completed more than 47% of his passes in a game since Week One. He now has a passer rating of 66.6 after playing in the 666th Monday Night Football game. If this isn’t a sign that it’s time to start Tim Tebow, I don’t know what is.
-RJ’s Pick: Colts by 4
Kansas City (1-4) at Tampa Bay (1-3) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Buccaneers by 3.5]
Those classy fans at Arrowhead cheered last week when their own quarterback, Matt Cassel, had to leave the game with a brain injury. You know what’s more painful than a brain injury? Watching Brady Quinn play quarterback. The Buccaneers are giving up more passing yards per game than any other team in the league. Josh Freeman does not look like the long-term answer at QB for Tampa Bay. He may, however, be the long-term answer at the drive-thru window for Taco Bell.
-RJ’s Pick: Buccaneers by 1
Dallas (2-2) at Baltimore (4-1) 1:00 p.m. [Line: Ravens by 3.5]
The Cowboys have the top ranked passing defense in the NFL. Unfortunately, Dallas is averaging just 16 points per game. Tony Romo’s eight interceptions may have something to do with that. And DeMarco Murray’s 3.9 yards per carry aren’t helping much either. The Ravens are averaging 4.9 yards per carry, led by Ray Rice with 419 yards on the ground.
-RJ’s Pick: Ravens by 11
New England (3-2) at Seattle (3-2) 4:05 p.m. [Line: Patriots by 3.5]
The Patriots have the NFL’s top offense. They also have a +10 turnover ratio, which is kind of a big deal. They’ve been gobbling up more loose balls than Honey Boo Boo’s mom at an all-you-can-eat Rocky Mountain oyster buffet. But they are just one game ahead of the Bills, the Jets, and the Dolphins in the AFC East. The Seahawks have the same record as New England, but they are in last place (tied with St. Louis) in the NFC West. Seattle is allowing the fewest yards per game and the second-fewest points per game. CenturyLink Field is not a fun place for visiting teams to play, but I expect the Patriots to win.
-RJ’s Pick: Patriots by 7
Buffalo (2-3) at Arizona (4-1) 4:05 p.m. [Line: Cardinals by 4.5]
The Bills have allowed 97 points over the last two games. That defense is more porous than Octomom’s diaphragm. Cardinals RB Ryan Williams is out for the season with a shoulder injury. While Williams had been abysmal, it’s not clear that Arizona has a healthy, credible replacement. Expect QB Kevin Kolb to put up some nice fantasy numbers this week.
-RJ’s Pick: Cardinals by 13
New York Giants (3-2) at San Francisco (4-1) 4:25 p.m. [Line: 49ers by 5]
This is a rematch of January’s NFC Championship game. The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants are averaging more than 30 points per game. The 49ers are allowing less than 14 points per game. Something’s gotta give.
-RJ’s Pick: Giants by 3
Minnesota (4-1) at Washington (2-3) 4:25 p.m. [Line: Redskins by 1.5]
The surprising Vikings have allowed just 33 points in their last three games. The Redskins may end up starting rookie QB Kirk Cousins over rookie QB RG3, who suffered a concussion last week. Either way, I think Minnesota wins a close one.
-RJ’s Pick: Vikings by 4
Green Bay (2-3) at Houston (5-0) 8:20 p.m. [Line: Texans by 3.5]
Aaron Rodgers got sacked five times last week. He was sacked five times in Week Two as well, and eight times in Week Three. It’s kinda hard to do a Discount Double Check when you are lying flat on your ass. The Texans are the AFC’s lone remaining unbeaten team. Linebacker Brian Cushing is out for the season after tearing his ACL last week. DE J.J. Watt has 8.5 sacks already this year, making him the current front-runner for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
-RJ’s Pick: Texans by 8
*Monday, October 15*
Denver (2-3) at San Diego (3-2) 8:30 p.m. [Line: Chargers by 1.5]
The Broncos have been very consistent offensively, scoring 31, 21, 25, 37, and 21 points in their first five games. Peyton Manning has just three interceptions this season, all of which were thrown in a single quarter back in Week Two. The Chargers have dropped two of their last three, and have allowed an average of 26 points per game during that span.
-RJ’s Pick: Broncos by 6
Bye Week teams: Chicago (4-1), New Orleans (1-4), Carolina (1-4), and Jacksonville (1-4)
If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan’s Odds here.