Jazz: Week 5 was another mediocre outing for yours truly. I went 4-3 again, edging my season record forward slightly to 19-16, but still only one crashing bad week away from being underwater. At least the Jets had a strong showing against the Broncos. Or so I heard anyway. Not only was I unable to watch the game because Spectrum cable is Teh Debil, but ESPN radio was offline all day so I couldn’t even listen to it. That, however, is a rant for another day. On to the races.
Ed: Week 5 was a little better to me than last week, anyway. I also went 4-3 to move my season record to 16-19, a mirror image of Jazz. Still not quite believing that Minnesota won on the road in Philly last week, but I’m glad they did. And the Steelers beat a quality team last week, too, so things are looking up all over.
Jazz:The Colts come to vist the Jets this week (1:00 pm, CBS). in a rematch of the upset of the century fifty years ago when New York kicked their butts in Super Bowl III. Somehow I don’t think this game will be quite as historic, but the Colts will be playing without the services of T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck hasn’t exactly been setting the field on fire. The Jets score a lot more points on the ground and Indianapolis has a questionable run defense. I’ll go with the oddsmakers and pick Gang Green for another home win 27-21. The Steelers are also coming off a good week and traveling to play the Bengals (1:00 pm, CBS). It’s a divisional rivalry which could spell trouble for the loser in terms of making the playoffs. The Steelers are almost even money on the Vegas line, but they’re on the road with a suspect pass defense trying to contain Tyler Boyd. Combined with Joe Mixon running the ball, I think Cincinnati will be a wee bit too much for Pittsburgh. I’ll take the Bengals, 24-17. Our final feature game sees the Cardinals visiting the Vikings (1:00 pm, FOX). Minnesota hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts but Arizona just looks dreadful this year. The Vikings win this one easily and run up the score, 34-16.
Ed: The Colts seem to not have much luck even when they have Luck. The Jets aren’t worldbeaters, but they’re playing at home and look a little more competitive. I’ll also pick the Jets but with a lower score, 21-17. The Steelers’ D finally showed up last week in their shutdown of the Falcons. The Bengals lead the division but they’re stuck in the middle of the league on both sides of the ball. They have to win this game to have any hope of contending this year, so I’ll pick them over Cincinnati, 28-20. The biggest problem the Vikings will have on Sunday is looking past the visiting Cardinals — and they may just fall into that trap. Probably not, though. Vikings 31-14 over the Cards.
- Panthers at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – The 3-1 Panthers have been putting up more points than the Redskins, but they’re also allowing more points. Also, Cam Newton hasn’t been awful, but he’s definitely not the Cam we saw in 2015 and 2016. The Redskins looked terrible against the Saints on Monday night, but they’ll bounce back this week. I’ll go with the slight upset and take Washington in a close one 24-20.
- Ravens at Titans (4:25 pm, CBS) – This game is interesting mostly because it pits two divisional contenders with questionable offenses but still relatively solid defenses against each other. The Titans are hanging on to 1st in the South, while the Ravens are one game out in the North. Baltimore has been questionable on the road this season but they’ll get it done today and deflate the Titans in a low scoring, defensive struggle 16-12 .
- Chiefs at Patriots (8:20 pm, NBC) – I’m mostly excited about the Sunday night game because the much hated Patriots are running into a brick wall in the form of the undefeated Chiefs. New England is the favorite by a field goal, but I’m tossing that out the window and going with the upset. Chiefs win on the road in a shootout 31-27.
- 49ers at Packers (Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN) – If this wasn’t the MNF game I probably wouldn’t have picked it. The 49ers look terrible this season and even if Aaron Rodgers is looking a little long in the tooth these days he’ll have more than enough targets to pick apart San Francisco’s secondary. Packers take it 31-16.
- Panthers at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Redskins disappointed last week, but they still have the #2 defense in the league. Carolina’s is #4, though, and the Panther’s offense scores six points more a game. I’ll stick with even a slightly diminished Cam Newton and the Panthers 26-20.
- Ravens at Titans (4:25 pm, CBS) – Oh, pleeeeaaase let the Titans beat the Ravens. I … don’t see it, though. Baltimore scores nine more points a game than Tennessee, and give up two points fewer per game. As much as it pains me to do, I’ll pick the Ravens 28-17 over the Titans.
- Chiefs at Patriots (8:20 pm, NBC) – The Pats have picked up their game recently, but they’re still looking vulnerable — and the Chiefs aren’t. KC ranks last on defense, so Tom Brady will get his opportunities, but New England ranks just 16th — so Patrick Mahomes will get his, too. This will be a high-scoring game, so I’d expect a 42-35 Chiefs win. Should be bananas to watch.
- 49ers at Packers (Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN) – Wanna bet that ESPN would want to swap with NBC for this week’s matchups? If Jimmy Garroppolo was still on the field, maybe the 49ers would give more of a challenge to the Pack’s #6 defense. In Lambeau, with Aaron Rodgers under center, the Pack should easily handle C.J. Beathard, 28-14.