Week 5 Game Picks


            Denver has carried over their 2015 success into the 2016 season remaining as one of the three undefeated teams in the league.  Trevor Siemian is not likely to play this week after spraining his AC joint last week in Tampa.  Rookie Paxton Lynch was relatively impressive in relief after John Elway selected him in the first round.  Denver benefits obviously by playing this game at home against a hot Falcons team who bludgeoned the Panthers last week at home.  Matt Ryan won’t throw for 500 yards and Julio Jones won’t have 300 receiving yards against the Denver defense.  Regardless of who plays quarterback the Broncos stay undefeated at home.


            I had Dan Quinn on my list of coaches that could be in trouble before the season started.  I wasn’t impressed with this Falcons team and I wasn’t impressed with Matt Ryan.  My feelings aside this team is playing well.  Are they better than the team that started 5-0 last year?  I think they are but they are having issues on the defensive side of the ball.  The Broncos come in at 4-0 and haven’t missed a beat.  They have some questions of their own, mainly who will start at QB?  Trevor Siemian has an AC sprain similar to what Jimmy G had for the Patriots early this year.  Signs point to Siemain playing but time will tell.  I think he ultimately plays.  Broncos at home are tough to beat especially with that defense.


            Washington silenced some of the naysayers the past two weeks with wins to climb back to 500. Kirk Cousins still has a long ways to go before he can be considered a franchise quarterback, but his play has improved during the wins.  Baltimore suffered their first loss last week against Oakland.  The Ravens are an interesting team as their three wins thus far have come against lesser opponents.  Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense is still going through a feeling out process as the running game looks to round into form.  I think Baltimore will struggle to move the ball through the air this week leading to a second straight loss at home.


            One of the more interesting games of the weekend the Skins travel up I95N to Baltimore to face the Ravens.  Is it possible the Redskins could be looking ahead?  I’ll reference this in a bit with the Eagles but there is a big division game looming on in week 6.  The Redskins have bounced backed after a potential 0-3 start with a season saving win vs the Giants.  They weren’t perfect vs the Browns but netted a win nonetheless.  A 2-2 the Ravens present a different test.  I want to pick the Redskins here.  I think they can beat this team.  They are playing well and have gained some momentum.  However, I can’t pick the Redskins based on what I’ve seen from the Ravens this year.  Not to mention it’s at home for Joe Flacco and company.  Cousins throws a late pick.


            Dallas takes a step up in class this week against the Bengals after disposing of Chip Kelly on the road in Week 4. Dak Prescott has played just as well as Carson Wentz allowing the Cowboys to start 3-1.  Tyron Smith is expected to return this week after missing the last two games with back spasms.  Cincinnati is still trying to get going this season as tight end Tyler Eifert is once again unlikely to play this week.  I don’t trust the Bengals on the road against a Dallas team not turning the football over.


            This could be one of the best games of the weekend.  Tyler Eifert was supposed to play this week and give a much needed boost to the Bengals.  News broke yesterday he had a setback and hurt his back and thus will not play.  I don’t think it’s a big deal for the Bengals.  He doesn’t make them much better.  Personally I think Eifert is overrated.  I said this in our NFC East weekly blog but the Cowboys need to get off the field on 3rd down.  Give their defense a break and control the clock and they have a great shot to win the game.  AJ Green will get his.  The Bengals don’t have many options.  They just need to limit him when they can similar to what the Eagles did with AB.  I actually like Dallas in an upset.

Brian: EAGLES 22, LIONS 15

            My colleague and I have expressed our collective uneasiness in regards to this game after the bye in Detroit. We really don’t know what to expect coming out of the bye with Doug Pederson and company despite the first three games.  The opponent being the Lions certainly helps along with two of their key defenders, Ziggy Ansah and Deandre Levy, being ruled out.  Lane Johnson being active for one more game before his presumed suspension doesn’t hurt either.  I expect the Eagles to win by a touchdown so long as they win the turnover battle in Detroit.

Ryan:  EAGLES 21, LIONS 13

            I put out on twitter last night that this game worries me.   I just have a feeling this is going to be a close game.  Possibly a game decided in OT.  I know it’s probably paranoia but we’ll see.  I’m worried the Eagles might be feeling themselves with a 3-0 record.  During the bye all they heard was how they good they were.  Wentz went back to Fargo and was filming commercials.  Matthews was on SportsCenter.  Nigel Bradham was getting arrested.  I understand it’s their time off and they can do what the please but don’t be shocked if it’s a sloppy 1st Half.  The Lions are banged up.  No Ziggy Ansah or Eric Ebron this week.  An injured team is a dangerous team.  I mentioned the Redskins looking ahead.  Could the Eagles possibly be looking ahead to a week 6 match up with the Redskins?  The Lions are still the Lions.  I’ll take the Eagles in a close one.


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Brian’s Record:          8-8

Ryan’s Record:           7-9


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