The Dinner Menu Week 5: Redemption Week For Many
Cleveland Browns (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (1-3)
Jake Locker is the probable starter for Tennessee entering Week 5, which will benefit the Titans offense that was useless last week against the Colts. Delanie Walker has been the only productive offensive weapon for the Titans, scoring a touchdown in 3 of 4 games this year. Cleveland is sticking with the hometown kid, Brian Hoyer, and are riding their bye week towards one of the weakest defenses in the NFL. The possible return of Ben Tate only lessens Tennessee’s chances. Cleveland wins by a touchdown.
Cleveland 14 - Tennessee 21
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
The only franchise that has won 6 Super Bowls finds themselves in the Salad section once again. One reason being that the Steelers defense crumbled in the fourth quarter and handed Tampa Bay a suprising win. The second reason being they are playing the Jaguars this week. Antonio Brown may set some NFL records facing the worst passing defense in the league. With the number 1 pick, in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select…
Pittsburgh 24 - Jacksonville 7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) at New Orleans Saints (1-3)
Two of the biggest disappointments a quarter of the way into the season have resided in the NFC South. Tampa Bay never seemed to click with Josh McNown under center. With McNown out last week, the Bucaneers earned their first win of the season against Pittsburgh in the final seconds. New Orleans was bullied by the Cowboys for 4 quarters last week. The Super Bowl hopes that Brees and Co. had entering the season have all but faded. However, the Saints rarely lose at home and their offense still has firepower to boost them past the Bucs. Saints win at home.
Buccaneers 17 - New Orleans 35
Atlanta Falcons (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2)
Atlanta obeyed my “upset of the week” pick by collapsing against the Vikings 41-28. The Falcons were torched on the ground by the Vikings, giving up 241 yards rushing (and Adrian Peterson wasn’t even playing). The Dirty Birds head to Metlife stadium to take on the red-hot passing attack of the Giants. Last Thursday night, the Giants had their statement win of the year, crushing the Redskins 45-14. Eli Manning will get to pick apart the Falcons secondary and the ground game will continue to punish this Atlanta team.
Atlanta 24 - New York 35
Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Detroit Lions (3-1)
Boy, the Lions have looked great so far this season. 7th in passing yards, 2nd in passing defense, 6th in rush defense, Detroit has been unstoppable on both sides of the ball. The Lions will be facing one of the leagues worst passing defenses in the NFL (hello Calvin Johnson). Kyle Orton may be the newer play-caller for the Bills, but I don’t think that will increase this hampered offense’s productivity. Detroit wins big.
Buffalo 10 - Detroit 30
New York Jets (1-3) at San Diego Chargers (3-1)
Geno or Vick, Vick or Geno. New York may finally have to bench their second-year Quarterback. The turnovers have led to a 1-3 start for the Jets, even with a superb defense led my Muhammed Wilkerson. The Jets will be flying out west to face a high powered San Diego offense led by Philip Rivers. Don’t look past the San Diego defense, however, as the Bolts are ranked in the top 10 in both passing and rushing defense. If the Chargers take the lead early, the Jets will not have an accessible plan to comeback. Rex Ryan, start updating your resume.
New York 13 - San Diego 27
St. Louis Rams (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles forgot to pack an offense in their luggage when they traveled to San Francisco. The Eagles were unable to score any points on offense, while their “best back in the league”, Lesean McCoy, managed only 17 yards on the ground. Two things are in the Eagles favor heading into Week 5. One, the team’s 2014 first round pick Lane Johnson returns from his four game suspension. Secondly, the team will be facing a defense that has given up 155 rushing yards a game this season. McCoy returns to his normal form.
St. Louis 17 - Philadelphia 21
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
The Ravens try to continue their redemption against Baltimore’s former team, the rejuvenated Colts. Steve Smith torched his former team for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. The running game has continue to excel for Baltimore since the release of Ray Rice, averaging 134 rushing yards a game. For Indianapolis, Andrew Luck has solidified himself as the front-runner for the MVP award. Luck’s numbers may be inflated after the past 2 games against lowly AFC South teams. I believe Baltimore’s linebacking corp, led by Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, will disrupt Luck’s timing throughout the game. Baltimore wins on the road.
Baltimore 24 - Indiannapolis 20
Chicago Bears (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (2-2)
Chicago was picked apart by Aaron Rodgers last week at Soldier Field. Fortunately for Chicago, Carolina does not possess the offensive weapons that Green Bay has. The Panthers are decimated at running back and has a receiving corp that has been reliant upon rookie Kelvin Benjamin. Without Greg Hardy, the Panthers’ defense has not been one of the league’s best like they were last year. For Chicago, the receiving corp is still banged up but Matt Forte returned to prominence against Green Bay. Forte has another 100 yard game against the Panthers. Chicago wins a close one.
Chicago 17 - Carolina 13
Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
Alex Smith will finally face the team that drafted him #1 overall in 2005. Smith and the Chiefs are coming off an astounding performance against the New England Patriots on Monday Night. With Jamaal Charles back in the lineup, Kansas City becomes one of the perennial offenses in the league. However, this team travels to San Francisco to face a team that did not allow a point to the opposing teams offense last week. Running the ball and playing defense, the 49ers looked like themselves. Even with Charles back, I do not believe Alex Smith will come out of San Fran with a win. The running game for the 49ers will keep the Chiefs offense off the field.
Kansas City 24 - San Francisco 28
Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at Denver Broncos (2-1)
Both of these teams are coming off the bye week rested and healthy. Arizona looks to get Quarterback Carson Palmer back for this game, and they will need him. Of course, the strength of this Arizona Cardinals team is their defense, allowing an average of 15 points a game so far this season. The defense will have their toughest task of the season, battling against Peyton Manning and the high powered Denver offense. If Denver is able to surpass 17 points in this game, than Arizona will not be able to make up the debt on offense. Manning becomes the first Quarterback to pick apart this Arizona defense this season.
Arizona 17 - Denver 30
Houston Texans (3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
The battle for Texas will include an electrifying offense and an immovable defense. Dallas is coming off a 38-17 beat down of New Orleans. Alongside Andrew Luck, Demarco Murray is at the forefront of the MVP race so far this season. The former Sooner is averaging an astounding 135 yards per game. Romo and crew will try to continue their success against a mean pass-rushing Houston defense. Houston’s D is led by All-Pro JJ Watt and Middle Linebacker Brian Cushing. If the defense is able to get to Romo, than they will be rewarded with a handful of interceptions. I have Houston stumping Dallas’ offense this Sunday.
Houston 20 - Dallas 13
Cinncinati Bengals (3-0) at New England Patriots (2-2)
New England is coming off their 2nd worst loss in the Bill Belichick era. The offense was invisible in the passing game and the defense was stretched out by Kansas City’s rushing attack. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they are again facing a team that runs the ball and defends the pass well. The undefeated Bengals are clearly the best team in football, but they are traveling to Foxborough and will encounter an angry Brady and Belichick. This may be the final year that New England is a football powerhouse, but I think they get their signature win in Week 5.
Upset of the week
Cinncinati 24 - New England 27
Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at Washington Redskins (1-3)
This is going to be a very one-sided game. Mistake-prone Kirk Cousins will be facing the Legion of Boom. Marshawn Lynch has been unstoppable so far this season and will have rested legs after coming off the bye week. I predict another blowout game for Dessert. Boy, we have had that a lot of those so far this season.
Seattle 35 - Washington 6
Last week: 15-12