Week 5 NFL Picks

I solved New England’s Mac Jones problem, Daniel Jones needs help, and the NFL’s three most disappointing offenses cut me deep.

I went 8 – 7 – 1 again last week. The outcome of my picks are like most things I try in life; completely and hopelessly average.

Last Week:   8 – 7 – 1
Season:       31 – 29 – 4

Thursday (8:20PM ET)

Bears 40 at Commanders 20
Welp… the Eagles clearly suck. I confidently picked the Commanders because they hung with what I thought to be one of the better teams in the league last week. Sam Howell looked composed against an elite pass rush and was within striking distance of upsetting the defending NFC Champions. Nope. Washington is bad, which obviously means the Eagles are only slightly better than bad. It’s science.

Early, Early Game (9:30AM ET)

Jaguars at Bills
The Bills looked awesome last week. Flopping in Week 1 in front of a national audience takes a toll on the reputation, so it’s somewhat understandable that Josh Allen had been left out of the MVP conversion before dismantling Miami. With that said, Allen is unquestionably the only contender at Patrick Mahomes’ level right now. Allen has 10 touchdowns (2 rushing) to only one interception since opening night and the Bills have averaged 41 points over that time. Maybe a new time zone will slow him down. JAGUARS +5.5

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Texans at Falcons
I, like most everyone else, don’t believe Desmond Ridder is any good. On the other hand, I, unlike most everyone else, am not convinced Kyle Pitts and Drake London are all that good either. Let’s start with Pitts. Tight ends are often young quarterbacks best friends. Pitts has 11 receptions through three games and receptions on only half his targets (okay, 52%). It could be scheme. I don’t love Arthur Smith’s offense, but Jonnu Smith… another tight end… leads Atlanta receivers in yards and is second only to Bijan Robinson in receptions. And guess what? Smith actually trails both Pitts and London in targets. I could easily be swayed on London. He’s a big receiver who had an impressive rookie year despite instability at quarterback. On the other hand, a receiver as big as London should not have a reception to target ratio of 50%. Ridder is definitely not the answer, but the Falcons need more out of their top picks on the outside, too. TEXANS +2

Giants at Dolphins
I’d like to preface what I’m about to say by making it clear that I do not think Daniel Jones is or can be an elite level quarterback. However, look at all the successful, young quarterbacks around the league. I’m talking about Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. What do they have in common? We can all name at least two of their receivers. Try to name one Giants receiver. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Jones is throwing to 3rd and 4th receivers. He doesn’t even have a legitimate number two. In my humble opinion, the two most important things to successfully develop a young quarterback are protection and options. The Giants clearly have neither. I hate to do this, but this is New York’s season on the line here, so I’m taking the points. GIANTS +12

Panthers at Lions
Speaking of not offering your young quarterback protection and options… the Carolina Panthers decided to arm their young franchise quarterback with marshmallows and rainbows. I’m not going to declare a verdict on a trade after just four weeks, but heavens to Betsy does this look like a train wreck for the Panthers. Despite my preseason optimism, it appears a top 5 pick is headed to Chicago next year. That’s on top of surrendering the Panthers top offensive player. To make matters worse, it’s very likely and even probable that Carolina took the wrong quarterback. That’s three very big strikes on one trade. Yeeesh. LIONS -10

Titans at Colts
You know what division is a lot of fun and is the only division without a losing record? The AFC South! I hope Jonathan Taylor returns to action Sunday just so I can see how Shane Steichen uses Anthony Richardson and Taylor in the same backfield. Tennessee’s defense is stout against the run, though, so it’ll likely be a grind for Taylor in his return to action. COLTS +2.5

Saints at Patriots
I’ve solved a big issue for both the Patriots and Dolphins. The Patriots need to move on from Mac Jones. It’s an almost certainty at this point. I don’t think Jones is actually this bad, but last season in New England short-circuited his quarterbacking abilities to the point where he needs a reset elsewhere. Jones needs more talent on the outside to be successful. In college he was throwing to DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie. The Dolphins need insurance for Tua. Who better than to replace Tua if needed than the guy who replaced him at Alabama? Did I mention Jaylen Waddle is also on the Dolphins? It’s a perfect match. Miami can send New England a 3rd rounder and call it a day. You’re welcome. PATRIOTS -1

Ravens at Steelers
I don’t know what I’m talking about a lot of times. If someone said I’m an idiot, I’d probably shrug in agreement, so me getting stuff wrong is nothing new. However, I was way wrong x3 on the Steelers, Jaguars and Commanders offenses this year. I bought the hype hook, line and sinker. Through four weeks, the Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Washington offenses rank 25th, 21st and 19th, respectively, in points scored. In yards per game they rank 29th, 16th and 17th. The Steelers rank dead last in the NFL in first downs. All three of these offenses garnered a ton of preseason hype about how explosive and aggressive their offenses would be and for the most part they’ve been cheeks. I’m not angry, just disappointed. STEELERS +4

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Eagles at Rams
The controversy over the Brothery Shove or Tush Push is absurd. First of all, watch the Eagles run the play and tell me how many times Jalen Hurts needed the secondary push from behind to convert the first down. The answer is almost zero. By the time the secondary push arrives he’s already gotten a yard or two. We’ve seen several other teams try the same play in recent weeks and fail to convert. The play is successful because of the offensive line’s leverage and push. For the NFL and its media cronies to bitch about the play ad nausea is pathetic. Hey, let’s eliminate the most physical play from a physical sport. Okay! Great idea! It’s moronic. If you want something to go away, find a way to stop it. Also, I am terrified of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua after what the lowly Commanders did to the Eagle defense last week. RAMS +4

Bengals at Cardinals
Joe Burrow has a great demeanor and his disposition is built for times of crisis. I do not think Ja’Marr Chase shares those qualities. Chase is a playmaker and he needs the ball in order to make plays. The Bengals better kick this thing into gear now or things are about to pop off in Cincinnati. BENGALS -3

Jets at Broncos
I thought the pass interference call against the Jets on Sunday night was soft. I also thought the Jets got away with a number of pass interference penalties. I understand Robert Saleh is coaching for his life and his season went up in flames within the first five minutes, but this is on him, too. Why not bring in a veteran quarterback to at least challenge Zach Wilson? Maybe competition gets Wilson to where he was Sunday night two weeks earlier? BRONCOS -2.5

Chiefs at Vikings
My guy Isiah Pacheco was a menace Sunday night even if the production fell off a bit in the 2nd half. The Chiefs are going to need that ground game until someone on the outside can step up because defenses are keying into Travis Kelce knowing the threats on the outside are limited. This is similar to Reid’s receiving corps. for many years in Philadelphia. And no, that is not a compliment. Speaking of elite pass catchers, Justin Jefferson is simply unstoppable. Despite an uninspiring run game, an above average but far from elite quarterback, and trailing in every game this season (meaning obvious passing situations), Jefferson still leads the league in receiving yards, yards per game and is 3rd in receptions. Still so glad the Eagles passed on him for Jalen Reagor. VIKINGS +3.5

Sunday Night (8:20PM ET)

Cowboys at 49ers
What an excellent matchup. Can’t wait to watch it. Brock Purdy or Dak Prescott probably goes down in the 1st quarter because that’s how these juicy matchups in prime time often go. I think I’m most excited to see how Purdy does against an elite pass rush. He was steady but not awesome against the Cowboys in January. He didn’t survive the 1st quarter against the Eagles in the NFC Championship. He did dice up the Steelers a month ago, but we’ve since learned the Steelers are a hot mess on both sides of the ball. COWBOYS +3.5

Monday Night (8:15PM ET)

Packers at Raiders
I’ve never understood Matt LaFleur’s limited use of Aaron Jones at times. I get he was on a pitch count last week, but he’s your best player. If he can’t go more than a handful of touches why is he even dressed? I’m going to give Jordan Love and the Packer offense some time to prove they’re not a disaster, especially as long as Jones and Christian Watson are limited due to injury. I am getting impatient, though. Does Josh McDaniels make it to Halloween? I’m going to foolishly keep riding the Packers until they bleed me of all my money. PACKERS +1

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


© 4th and Done. All rights reserved. Powered by WordPress.