NFL week 5 open thread

Pittsburgh managed to finally beat a good team last week in shutting down the San Diego Chargers, but they made it look a lot more interesting in the fourth quarter than they should have allowed, especially at home. The Steelers need to work on closing out games, but that should not be a problem this week when they visit Detroit. The Lions are a better team than last year’s monument to futility, but they’re not that much better. They’re rebuilding, and in a couple of years could be contenders. The Steelers shouldn’t underestimate them, and if they don’t, they should win with a good running game and tough defense. I’ll predict a 34-13 win for the champs.

So far, I’m 21-4 this season on my picks. Can I keep it going? We’ll see:

  • New York Jets at Miami – Miami is a bit of a mystery, but I think that Mark Sanchez picks himself up from a poor performance last week and wins on the road, 27-17.
  • New England at Denver – Denver is undefeated and playing at home, but Tom Brady’s looking better each week. The Pats give up points, though, and their one loss was on the road. I’m picking Denver for a bit of an upset; they keep finding ways to win, but this one should be close, 27-24. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go into OT.
  • Minnesota at St. Louis – Are you kidding me? Expect both teams to keep their 0’s (the Vikes in the L column and the Lambs in the W column) in a 31-3 blowout. I’m almost ashamed to include this in the picks. Almost. Calling Rush Limbaugh — Mr. Limbaugh, please pick up the red emergency phone now.
  • Houston at Arizona – The Cards have lost both of their games at home and won one on the road. Houston is 1-2 at home and 1-0 on the road. Houston just dismantled Oakland, but I think the Cards win their first home game tomorrow, 21-14. If not, that’s pretty much the season right there, especially if the 49ers keep winning.
  • Atlanta at San Francisco – Is everyone as impressed with Mike Singletary’s work with the 49ers as I am? He has made this a tough, hard-nosed football team playing way above expectations. They are 3-0 in the division and two games ahead of the Cards coming off their Super Bowl appearance. Being a Dodgers fan, I usually root against any team in the Bay, but I like what Singletary’s doing. The 49ers keep rolling with a 24-10 win over Atlanta.

Update: Minnesota, not Minneapolis. Ugh.