As we head into the sixth week of NFL action, the league is still dealing with awful PR. Adrian Peterson seems a little less stable each week. They’re fining players for wearing Beats headphones due to a deal with Bose (is this real life?). But hey, the two people who read this aren’t here for that kind of stuff, they’re here for half assed analysis from a guy with too much free time.
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Houston Texans (3-2) – Thursday, 8:25pm, CBS/NFL Network
Somehow, this matchup is for the division lead. But then you look at the Titans and Jaguars and it makes perfect sense. The Texans defense has been employing the old bend-but-don’t-break strategy (4th in points/game, 26th in yards/game). Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting to Fitz it up with more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (5). But he’s got a good pair of ball-catching Andres in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins . Arian Foster looks healthy again, at least for now.
In Indy, Andrew Luck is the man. He’s leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns. But beyond his two primary receivers, he doesn’t have a ton of support. I like the Colts in this game, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Houston pull it out at home.
Oh god did that sound dirty.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) at Tennessee Titans (1-4) – Sunday, 1:00pm, CBS
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4) – Sunday, 1:00pm, CBS
Baltimore is an odd little team. I’m not willing to underestimate the Bucs after that Steelers victory. So the Buccos have a sliver of a chance. Still, the Ravens and the cast of The Wire and everyone who has ever even visited Baltimore should be embarrassed if they lose this one.
Denver Broncos (3-1) at New York Jets (1-4) – Sunday, 1:00pm, CBS
As someone who owns Demaryius Thomas on his fantasy team, I am very excited for this one. Demaryius had a bit of a slow start to the season. Then he came out of the bye week and stomped all over the Arizona Cardinals to the tune of 226 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Jets don’t have a great secondary. They don’t have a great anything, really. Sorry, Eric Decker, looks like you’re going to be on the wrong sideline for this massacre.
Detroit Lions (3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (2-3) – Sunday, 1:00pm, FOX
The Vikings have some fun, young talent coming up. The underutilized Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the fastest guys in the game. Jerick McKinnon has shown flashes of brilliance. Teddy Bridgewater might generate the most buzz out of the bunch. The Vikings haven’t had a competent quarterback since Brett Favre was wranglin’ and gunslingin’ every which way. National audiences got stuck with Christian Ponder last week as Bridgewater was sporting an ankle injury. I’m curious to see what Bridgewater can do in a big divisional matchup with a tough defense.
The Lions are sweating a bit as Calvin Johnson is dealing with a high-ankle sprain. He’s been used as little more than a decoy for a couple of weeks now. Their running back pool is getting awfully thin (although it’s looking like Joique Bell should be back this week). Even with these problems, the Vikings aren’t really all that good. It could be a fun game, but Detroit’s defense should lead the way to a Lions win.
New England Patriots (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (3-2) – Sunday, 1:00pm, FOX
That FOX broadcast part is apparently not a typo. Typically, this game would be on CBS where Jim Nantz’s dulcet tones would lull you off to a friendly slumber. Instead, Pats and Bills fans will be treated to Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and the bombasity of Tony “Goose” Siragusa – a plague upon mankind. Sorry, guys.
Tom Brady spent last week torching one of the NFL’s best defenses to prove that he’s still got it! It’s perfect timing for Buffalo and their 21st rank passing defense. This is one of my favorite times of year. The air is crisp. Pumpkin coffee rules. And the Bills come crumbling back to Earth.
Carolina Panthers (3-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – Sunday, 1:00pm, FOX
I mentioned the Lions’ poor running situation, but I assure you, the Panthers’ is worse. At least Detroit started off with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. The Panthers have the always mediocre DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart combo on their best day.
Cincy was embarrassed by the Patriots on Monday Night Football, so they’re not happy. A.J. Green probably won’t play on Sunday, so the Bengals should be relying more on their ground game. They’re pretty solid there with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Hell, Bernard will probably end up leading the team in catches. If I was a hack(ier) writer, then I would write that the Bengals won’t bungle this one. But that would be dumb.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2) – Sunday, 1:00pm, CBS
Would ya look at that, the Browns are a .500 football team. they’re half decent on offense to boot. Their defense, however, is mush. Cleveland was able to sneak by the Titans last week, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for continued success.
The Steelers haven’t impressed anyone, but they’ve been ok. They barely beat Cleveland in week 1. I’m giving the edge to the Steelers, but this one is more of a toss-up than the Browns’ name implies.
Green Bay Packers (3-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-2) – Sunday, 1:00pm, FOX
Yes, the Dolphins are still in the NFL. I couldn’t name 5 players on their roster, but they’re there, and they apparently have a decent defense and ground game. Green Bay is coming off of two straight divisional wins and is riding high. This could be a classic trap game. Not a trap as in the Dolphins are bad, but a trap as in the Packers thought this was the bye week until practice started up mid-week. Name 5 Dolphins off of the top of your head. I dare you!
San Diego Chargers (4-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-4) – Sunday, 4:05pm, CBS
Go home and stay home Oakland, you’re drunk. The Raiders are so sad that they make the Jaguars seem promising. San Diego stays in first place and a number of sad people in KISS makeup and spikes wander the streets of Oakland.
Chicago Bears (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (2-3) – Sunday, 4:25pm, FOX
I’m not quite comprehending how both of these teams are 2-3. Both should be better than they’ve been. This is a tough matchup for the Bears. The Falcons’ two wins this season have both come at home, with a roof over their head, the strippers they know in their laps, and the offense a-clickin’. The Bears’ pass defense has been positively mediocre, which is no good when their opponent has one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. This could be a wild one.
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at Seattle Seahawks (3-1) – Sunday, 4:25pm, FOX
Dallas has surprised everyone outside of the Lone Star state with three straight wins after getting beaten up by the 49ers defense in week 1. However, their wins have come over the Titans, Rams, Saints, and Texans. that’s not exactly elite company. Seattle is the perfect test to see just how good the Cowboys are. DeMarco Murray has been insanely good for Dallas, but how will be fare against the Seahawks top ranked run defense? I would love to see Jerry Jones punch his hand through a ten gallon hat in frustration.
Washington Whoozywhatsits (1-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-1) – Sunday, 4:25pm, FOX
Washington is a complete mess. Arizona should ashamed if they don’t win this game by double digits.
New York Giants (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) – Sunday, 8:30pm, NBC
The Eagles are off to one of the worst, messiest successful starts that I’ve ever seen. LeSean McCoy has a total of 273 rushing yards in five games. He had 514 at this same point last season. The defense has scored a bunch of touchdowns, but also let up a bunch of points. Nick Foles has thrown for the sixth most yards in the league, but he’s completing just under 60% of his passes.Their offensive line is in tatters. No one knows what to expect out of the Eagles week to week.
The Giants are on a roll, having won three straight after starting the season 0-2. Eli Manning has recovered from his lousy start, having thrown 4 picks in the first two games and only 1 over the past three. The Giants will be without running back Rashad Jennings, who is out with a sprained MCL. Rashad Jennings has no idea what a healthy MCL feels like. He gets this injury annually, like a gift from the Great Pumpkin. Rookie Andre Williams will fill in for Jennings. Williams is only averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but he hasn’t really had time starting.
As an Eagles fan, I really want to call this one for Philly. But it’s not looking too good for the team that will be in all black on Sunday*…
*All black? Really guys? The great Nike green shortage of ’14 continues its reign of terror.
San Francisco 49ers (3-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-3) – Monday, 8:30pm, ESPN
What moron chose this for a Monday Nighter? Did you hear Twin Peaks is coming back? Watch Twin Peaks on Netflix instead.
Oh yeah, um, 49ers should win.