Carolina over @Atlanta (-4)
(Straight up: Carolina) - This is a tough one to pick. While both Offenses have big scoring potential, there aren't too many good things to say about either team's defense. The Falcons were picked apart by the Packers at home last Sunday in primetime, and the Panthers fell just short of upsetting the Saints. I took the Panthers +4 in my Pick 'Em against the spread because I think it'll be a 3 point game either way. I'm taking Carolina just because.
Indianapolis over @Cincinnati (-7)
(Straight up: Indianapolis) - The Colts, for what it's worth, have been better on Offense since Painter took over at QB. I get the feeling Cincinnati is going to be in a lot of ugly, competitive games this year; it looks like they have a 8-8 defense and a 4-12 Offense. Dalton has continued to play well as a rookie for the Bengals, but I'm going with the Colts with 7 points in this one.
@Detroit (-4.5) over San Francisco
- The Lions are a hot offense right now, and their defense has passed all tests through five games. I wouldn't be shocked if they lost this game on a short week and against a solid 49ers team, but I like Detroit in this one. San Fran has played quite well on defense so far this season, but I think the way to beat the 49ers is to spread them out and throw on them. I'm going with a heavy dose of Stafford to Johnson & Co. in this one. Alex Smith will be without 2 of his top 3 WR's in this game, Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan. Detroit puts up too many points for San Fran, I'll take the Lions by a TD.
@Green Bay (-15) over St. Louis
- The top three Cornerbacks on the Rams' roster are on Injured Reserve; Enter Aaron Rodgers, who is on pace to throw for 5,500+ yards and 40+ TD. Al Harris may get the start at CB in his return to Lambeau as a St. Louis Ram, and Green Bay training camp cut Josh Gordy will be either the Nickel or Dime CB. Unless Steven Jackson can take over this game for St. Louis and control the clock, the Packers should explode on Offense. Weirder things have happened in the NFL, but this one shouldn't be close. Pack 41, Rams 16.
Buffalo over @New York Giants (-3)
(Straight up: Buffalo) - I said last week that the Giants weren't as good as their (then) 3-1 record, and I think they'll fall to .500 this week. The Giants lost at home last week to the Seattle Seahawks - I think that's pretty telling. I don't think the Bills will have much trouble moving the ball against New York's defense. Buffalo's defense, however, has been quite opportunistic this year; they've picked off Mike Vick and Tom Brady 4 times apiece in games this year. Since I don't have much faith in Eli Manning despite a fast start this year, I'm taking Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills. Buffalo by 3.
@Pittsburgh (-12) over Jacksonville
- The Steelers may have played their best game of the year last week against Tennessee. Another game they should win at home, I think Pittsburgh wins this one easily. Teams that can rush the QB will continue to give the Steelers problems, but Jacksonville struggles at getting after the passer. The Jags will have a tough time winning games this year unless Maurice Jones-Drew can put the team on his back and control the clock. Steelers win easily.
@Washington over Philadelphia (-1.5)
(Straight up: Washington) - The Dream Team is 1-4. Who saw that one coming? Surprisingly to me, the Redskins have moved the ball pretty consistently this year and their defense has been even better. For the second straight week, Philadelphia will be without their starting LT Jason Peters. Vick has struggled against teams with a good pass rush this year, and I think Washington will generate enough pressure to frustrate Vick in this one. The Redskins will control the clock by way of Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower, or whoever the Skins' lead back is this week. WSH by a FG.
@Oakland (-6.5) over Cleveland
- The Raiders are playing some good, consistent football this year. They use a similar recipe as the New York Jets (when the Jets were good) and I'm starting to think that's going to continue. D-Mac will run right through the Cleveland's defense; I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up over 150. For Cleveland, I have a good feeling about WR Greg Little this week in his first NFL start. Raiders win by 10.
Houston over @Baltimore (-7.5)
(Straight up: Baltimore) - Although I like them to win, I don't think Baltimore is 8 points better than Houston. The Texans, even without Andre Johnson, should be able to pass the ball enough to give themselves a good balance to their solid ground game. Baltimore should have a pretty good day offensively behind a heavy dose of Ray Rice. I see this as a close game, but I'll take Baltimore - something like 27-24.
Dallas over @New England (-7)
(Straight up: Dallas) - This is my gut feeling. I'm sticking with the Cowboys this year until the lights finally go out on their season. Dallas is a very talented team and as long as the Romo-Coaster is running smoothly, the Cowboys will win their share of games. The Patriots haven't been able to stop many teams from scoring this year, and I think Dallas should put up around 30 in this one. I think Rob Ryan's defense finds a way to slow down Tom Brady just enough to win this game. I see this being the game of the week - Dallas wins in Foxboro by a point.
New Orleans (-4.5) over @Tampa Bay
- The Saints will put up a lot of points every week. If your offense isn't capable of matching points with the New Orleans offense, you're in a lot of trouble. Tampa Bay has been unimpressive thus far, and don't appear to be as good as their 3-2 record. As a Mike Williams owner, I've been quite disappointed so far, but I'm sticking with him for one more week. This is a good matchup for him, as they'll likely need to throw the ball often to compete with the Saints, so we'll see how that goes. Josh Freeman seems to be throwing checkdown after checkdown, and the team is without LeGarrette Blount this week. That's not a good sign going against New Orleans. Saints win by 7.
@Chicago (-3) over Minnesota
- I'm worried for Jay Cutler's life in this one, as he's going up against Jared Allen and his league-leading 8.5 sacks. That, along with a likely big game from Adrian Peterson, gives me a slight inclination to go with the Vikings. However, I think eventually the difference comes down to Donovan McNabb vs. Jay Cutler. It's not everyday that I give the Bears the edge at QB, but this is one of those rare cases. McNabb simply isn't very good right now. Bears win a close game.
Monday Night (5-1) :
@New York Jets (-7) over Miami
- While I don't really like what the Jets are doing right now, they're simply a better team than the Miami Dolphins. I think Miami will use RB Daniel Thomas a lot in this game and try to expose the Jets' poor run defense. I like Dustin Keller and anything that ventures into the middle of the field against the Dolphins' safeties. The Jets, by way of Darrelle Revis, have the ability to shut down Miami's biggest weapon, Brandon Marshall. The Jets win by 10.
Week 6 Lock: Oakland over Cleveland