Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (-2??)
After a Week 4 bye, the Steelers return to action at Heinz Field against
their Pennsylvania neighbors from the east. At 1-2, Pittsburgh desperately needs
a win, or they will likely face a three-game hole in the AFC North.
"We'll likely have Troy Polamalu and James Harrison back," Mike Tomlin said.
"We desperately need playmakers on defense. Harrison is useless on the sideline.
We all know James can't do damage unless he's wearing his helmet.
"Polamalu will be called upon to monitor Michael Vick. Sure, Troy may be
injury-prone, and the only thing well-conditioned about him is his hair, but he
The Eagles head to Heinz Field with a 3-1 record after a 19-17 win over the
Giants last Sunday night. For the first time this season, Philly did not commit
a single turnover.
"I was worried we'd forgotten how to win games without turnovers,"
Vick said. "We'll have to play mistake-free to win in Pittsburgh. Of course,
with Ben Roethlisberger and I in the same stadium, you likely won't hear the
Pittsburgh wins, 20-19.
Green Bay @ Indianapolis (+7??)
The Packers bounced back from the debacle in Seattle with a narrow 28-27 win
over the Saints. Defensive issues continue to be an issue for the Packers, as
the Saints piled up 446 yards through the air.
"I can't blame our opponents for passing the ball," Mike McCarthy said. "They
should. Just throw it up, and chances are, we, nor the officials, will offer any
"Two weeks ago in Seattle, we were victimized with the home run of screw
jobs, now famously known as the 'Golden Tate-r.' Last week, we faced the next
worst thing, a 'Triplette' from referee Jeff Triplette. Luckily, there's only
one of him, but he makes bad calls in three's."
The Colts are fresh off a bye week, and Andrew Luck is anxious to measure
himself against one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers.
"I welcome the challenge," Luck said. "I've always wanted to be Rodgers. Not
just because he's a great quarterback, but because he gets to practice against
the Green Bay pass defense."
Prior to kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts present the referees a token
of their appreciation, with each receiving a quart of Lucas Oil. McCarthy then
makes NFL history, becoming the first coach to throw a challenge flag
before the game starts, and the officiating crew's "greased palms" are
overturned. The Packers get the calls, and Rodgers throws for 298 yards and 3
Green Bay wins, 33-27.
Cleveland @ NY Giants (-13)
The Giants' comeback attempt at Lincoln Financial Field ended in defeat when
Lawrence Tynes' 54-yard field goal fell short with 15 seconds left. New York
fell to 2-2 and now will look to rebound against the 1-3 Browns.
"Apparently," Tom Coughlin said, "second Tynes is not the charm. It
was indeed a painful loss, but the Eagles have dominated us as of late. In fact,
the Eagles call themselves 'John Mara,' because they 'own' us."
Cleveland's Brandon Weeden will face the Giants' talented front four, a group
which sacked Michael Vick twice and pressured him on numerous other
"Unlike Vick," Weeden said, "I'm not known for my speed or elusiveness. Much
like a 'changeup,' I'm slow and white."
The G-Men pass rush puts a hurting on Weeden, sacking him five times and
leaving a "Brown" stain on the MetLife Stadium turf, which just happens to cover
the stain of the Jets quarterback left from the previous week. No more Dirty
Eli Manning throws for 314 yards and 3 scores, and the Giants roll to
a 34-16 win.
Atlanta @ Washington (+3)
The Falcons remained undefeated, overcoming the Panthers behind 369 yards
passing from Matt Ryan and a game-winning field goal from Matt Bryant. At 4-0,
the Falcons lead the Panthers and Bucs by three games, and the Saints by
"It's much too early to start thinking about division titles and what not,"
Mike Smith said. "Usually, we save our 'clinching' for later in the year, when
our **** start tightening come playoff time.
"We've got something to prove on Sunday. The last time we played an NFC team
on the road, we scored two points. Things will be different this time. We've
taken the 'safety' off of our offense."
Mike Shanahan's Redskins are 2-2,
and Robert Griffin III has renewed excitement in the nation's capitol with his
unique blend of athleticism and leadership.
"He really knows how to toss the pill," Shanahan said. "No, I'm not talking
about Joe Thiesman shilling for Super Beta Prostate pills. I'm talking about
RG3's arm. It's John Elway-like. Because of RG3, pride in the Redskins, like a
diseased prostate, is swelling."
The Atlanta offense sputters on its first two series, but clicks thereafter,
and the Falcons pile up so much yardage in Washington, they're forced to pay
Capitol gains taxes.
Atlanta wins, 34-27.
Miami @ Cincinnati (-4)
The Dolphins have lost consecutive overtime games to drop to 1-3, but could
easily be 3-1 and atop the AFC East had Dan Carpenter converted potentially
game-winning kicks in both of those OT losses.
"We've got to try and put that behind us," Joe Philbin said, "but it's not
easy. If I could say one thing to Carpenter, I would tell him to keep his head
up. If I could tell him two things, I would add 'Shanks for the
memories' to that.
"Say what you will, but both of these teams are moving in the right
direction. By that, I mean both teams have unloaded Chad Johnson."
Marvin Lewis' Bengals are 3-1, winners of three in a row following a week 1
blowout loss to the Ravens. Andy Dalton is the league's fifth-rated passer and
has tossed 8 touchdowns this year.
"Dalton is showing why we got rid of Carson Palmer," Lewis said. "Not only
with his play, but also by showing video of Raiders' games."
Cincinnati wins, 27-21.
Baltimore @ Kansas City (+7)
The 1-3 Chiefs are struggling, tied with the Raiders for last in the AFC
West. Kansas City has fallen by at least 16 points in each of their three losses
this year, and quarterback Matt Cassel has thrown 7 interceptions to jeopardize
his starting position.
"Just to clarify," Romeo Crenel said, "it's 'Cassel' with one 'L,' not three.
Matt is still my starter until I say otherwise. When Brady Quinn is number two
on your depth chart, you think long and hard before going to your bench.
"I feel like we can move the ball on the Ravens' defense. They're not the
feared Baltimore defense of a decade ago. Sure, their defensive coordinator is
Dean Pees, but they don't scare the piss out of anyone."
The Ravens battled to a hard-fought 24-17 win over the Browns last Thursday,
and now face a Chiefs' team in desperation mode.
"It's always tough to play in Arrowhead Stadium," Ray Lewis said. "That crowd
really spearheads the Chiefs' effort. Hopefully, my use of the word 'spearhead'
won't ruffle any feathers. If it does, I promise to make reparations."
See, the Ravens defense is so bad, even it's become "offensive." And that
usually means an Ed Reed turnover recovery for a touchdown.
Baltimore wins, 30-24.
Seattle @ Carolina (-2)
The 2-2 Seahawks face a cross-country flight prior to their game in
Charlotte, and look to rebound from their 19-13 loss in St. Louis last week.
"We've lost a couple of close games," Pete Carrol said. "We're 1-2 in games
decided by six points or less, and 1-0 in games decided by incompetent referees.
That was in the infamous Monday night game now known as the 'Puget Sounds Like
"Russell Wilson is struggling. He's only 5'10," and I think his lack of
height is hurting him. Maybe naming him starter so early was a bit
'shortsighted' on my part."
The Panthers are 1-3 after blowing a late lead in a 30-28 loss in Atlanta
last week. Carolina failed to pick up a first down on their last possession,
allowing the Falcons time to drive for the winning field goal.
"As one would expect from the Panthers," Ron Rivera, "we 'licked' ourselves.
That's become a habit in the Panther organization. Just ask our
The forecast calls for sunshine and pleasant temperatures in Charlotte on
Sunday, which is good news for the Panthers, because Newton's a "fair weather"
Carolina wins, 22-21.
Chicago @ Jacksonville (+4??)
Blaine Gabbert will face a fierce Bears' defense when the 3-1 Bears invade
EverBank Field, a place that is perpetually a point of contention between
pessimists and optimists, who can never decide if the stadium is half-empty or
"Blaine may be playing himself out of a starting job," Mike Mularkey said.
"In his defense, he has played others into a job. Like Jack Del
The Bears defense dominated in a 34-18 win over the Cowboys on Monday night,
picking off Tony Romo five times and returning two for touchdowns. Chicago, 3-1,
owns a share of the lead in the NFC North.
"Hopefully," Lovie Smith said, "defense will carry this team. Lance Briggs
played a heck of a game. His defensive intensity reminded me of Chicago great
Dick Butkus. Offensively, Jay Cutler also reminded me of a 'dick.'"
Cutler gives the Bears and early 14-0 cushion with two scoring passes.
Maurice Jones-Drew tries to put the Jags on his back, but tweaks his knee and
has to sit out. Cutler then displays some of his best "offense" of the day, when
he takes to Twitter from the sideline and calls MJD a "hypoquit," which is half
hypocrite, half quitter.
Chicago wins, 24-13.
Denver @ New England (-7)
The Broncos tuned up for their trip to New England with a dominating 37-6 win
over the Raiders. Peyton Manning was 30-of-38 for 338 yards and 3
"Finally," Manning said, "it feels like the offense is on the same page with
me. And that's understandable after a year with Tim Tebow. I'm not sure which
page the Denver offense made it to last year, but I'm sure it had a chapter and
a verse. In my book, scripture doesn't end with 'Amen;' it ends with a
"I'm thrilled to return to Foxborough. I'm praying there's no precipitation
in the forecast, and so are the Patriots. The wet paper sack that is their
defense is already wet enough."
The Patriots dropped 52 points on the hapless Bills last week in their 52-28
romp in Buffalo. Tom Brady passed for 340 yards and the Pats rushed for 247
yards as a team.
"Two weeks ago," Bill Belichick said, "I put a hand on an official. That's
one more than the Bills put on us.
"Of course, who am I to be critical of another team's defense? We surrendered
438 yards and 4 passing touchdowns to the Bills, utilizing our 'Bend and All
But Break' defense."
Denver wins, 30-28.
Buffalo @ San Francisco (-8)
The 49ers waxed the Jets 34-0 at MetLife Stadium, as San Fran forced 4 Jets'
turnovers and limited the Mark Sanchez-led offense to 145 total yards.
Up next for the 49ers are the 2-2 Bills, who turned the ball over 6 times in
a 52-28 loss to the Patriots last week.
"We turned the tables on the Jets," Jim Harbaugh said. "We ran our own
'wildcat' offense with Colin Kapernick. He can do lots of things Tim Tebow
can't, like contribute.
The Bills will need a stellar effort from their defense to hang with the 3-1
49ers. That means Mario Williams will need to anchor the Buffalo pass rush and
create pressure in the backfield.
"Mario's got 1?? sacks so far this year," Chan Gailey said. "Apparently,
that's enough to hold $100 million, and not enough to prevent comparisons to
The 49ers have five Super Bowl wins. The Bills have four Super Bowl losses.
It's amazing that it's taken a regular-season game for them to
San Fran wins, 34-21.
Tennessee @ Minnesota (-5??)
The Vikings are arguably the league's biggest surprise, holding a share of
the NFC North lead at 3-1 after a 20-13 win over the Lions. The Vikes scored two
special teams touchdowns, one on a kickoff return by Percy Harvin and the other
a punt return by Marcus Sherels.
"It's amazing," Leslie Frazier said. "Not since Brett Favre has there been
this much talk of 'returns' in Minnesota.
"This team is taking shape as a solid contender in the North. Adrian Peterson
is back in form, Christian Ponder is showing great leadership, and Jerome
Simpson, back from a drug suspension, adds another weapon to the offense.
Simpson scored our only offensive touchdown of the day. Jerome hates for me to
bring up sore subjects, but he again 'delivered one to the house.'"
The Titans were smashed by the Texans 38-14 and lost Jake Locker to a
shoulder injury. Lost in the wreckage of defeat was an encouraging effort from
Chris Johnson, who rushed for 141 yards.
"Let's not get too happy about Chris," Mike Munchak said. "He rushed for 141
yards in a blowout defeat. Still, he's yet to rush for any 'meaningful'
Minnesota wins, 28-17.
San Diego @ New Orleans (-3??)
The Chargers are on top of the AFC West standings after manhandling the
Chiefs 37-20 in Kansas City last week. The Chargers are 3-1 for the second
"Hopefully," Norv Turner said, "this 3-1 start will portend something other
than a 5-7 finish. You know people are skeptical of a 3-1 start when they say
'We'll see what they're made of' when you're playing a winless team."
The Saints are 0-4 for the first time since brown paper bags were de
rigueur in the Big Easy.
"It hasn't been a good 2012 for the Saints," Drew Brees said. "But I can make
that a distant memory if I throw for a touchdown pass and break Johnny Unitas'
record of 57 consecutive games with a scoring pass. I just wish Roger Goodell
could be there to see it. There's no evidence to support him being there.
"The Chargers haven't played in the Superdome since 2008. That was on
October 26th. So the Chargers are 0-1 in October games in the Superdome. More
importantly, they're 0-0 in January and February games in the Superdome."
Brees snaps Unitas' record on his first pass of the game, a 68-yard strike to
Lance Moore. The Chargers are in it for a half, but the fired-up Saints
pull away for a 37-26 win.
Houston @ NY Jets (+7??)
New York suffered the indignation of a 34-0 shutout loss to the 49ers at
MetLife Stadium. The Jets managed a paltry 145 yards of total offense and 8
first downs and were dominated in all phases of the game.
"Unfortunately for the Jets," said Houston defensive tackle J.J. Watts,
"that's the good news. The bad news is the Texans are coming
to town, and we have the NFL's best defense, and possibly the AFC's
"But we know the Jets' offense will be fired up at home to prove something.
That's understandable, because the New York offense does some of its best work
in their 'own territory.'"
Despite their pathetic showing last Sunday, the Jets are 2-2 and tied with
Bills and Patriots atop the AFC East.
"I'd be surprised if we don't play better," Rex Ryan said, "but only because
we can't play worse. And speaking of 'surprises,' this is a game
between first place teams. We still share the lead in the AFC East, plus we've
already got two division wins. As you can see, I like my outlook just as I like
my feet - sugar-coated."
Arian Foster scores 2 touchdowns and the Texans' defense stifles the
overmatched Jets' offense.
Houston wins, 31-17.<!-- <h3>More NBA Sports Commentary</h3> <table cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td>10.04.12</td> <td><a href="http://www.sports-central.org/sports/2012/10/04/nfl_weekly_predictions_week_5.php" title="Permanent Link to This Entry">NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 5</a></td> <td>By Jeffrey Boswell</td> </tr> </table> end moreSportsCommentary -->