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- Week 5 Predictions: New QBs

Chris Pokorny October 8, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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I was finally able to crack ten wins during Week 4, meaning that my confidence is building in regards to which teams are the true contenders. That doesn't mean that there aren't questions to be answered this week though. For a team like the Patriots, it's a chance for us to see if they will be able to overcome injury or if they'll have to finally pass the torch to someone else. For the Chargers, they have a chance to make an impact against the Steelers, which could put them in a great position if a tiebreaker came at the end of the season.

In the NFC the Eagles are flying high, but the Dallas Cowboys are looking to steal their thunder. Three quarterback changes are being made this week: Vinny Testeverde in Jets Town, Kelly Holcomb in Buffalo, and Alex Smith in San Francisco. Two of those three men will give their teams a chance to win this Sunday. I'll tell you right now: It's not Alex Smith.

Let's start with the Week 5 games of the week.

(Red = Prediction).

Down and Buried - One More Time?
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
I feel like I am falling into a trap here. The Patriots - injured or not - always play great after a loss. The Patriots responded after their loss to Carolina and defeated Pittsburgh. Last week they were blown out by the Chargers in their own stadium. This week, I expect the Patriots to have a good game plan but fall just short.

Michael Vick may be a little banged up, but the Falcons key will be to run the football all day against the Patriots. Warrick Dunn, TJ Duckett, and Vick can be too good at times, and they are flowing well right now along with their defense. Tom Brady will make smarter decisions that Culpepper did when the Falcons pressure him, but it won't be enough to build a substantial lead, which will cost them down the stretch.

Caught Off Guard
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This will be the Bengals best test this year and I expect the result to be negative. Not because the Bengals are pretenders, it's just that I believe the Jaguars will bring their "A" game to the table. The Bengals' offense did not put up a ton of points last week, but Carson Palmer made smart throws down the stretch and the defense held it together.

The key for Jacksonville in this game is for them to grab the lead on the very first possession. Once you do that, you will force the Bengals to play from behind, which they haven't been very used to this year. I expect this game to come down to the last minute - possibly even another overtime game for the Jaguars. In the end, the Jaguars will pull off the "upset" if that's what you'd like to call it.

Shootout Central
Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
The Seahawks have played better football than the Rams this season, but the odds are definitely against them in this one. The Seahawks typically do not play well on the road. They have played fairly well on the road so far, but they needed to take advantage and win last weeks game - which they didn't. They will be without their starting wide receivers in this one, and they were swept by the Rams three games to none last year.

Mike Martz team can't seem to find their defense still, but the offense can put up points in a hurry when things are rolling. The Rams have the Seahawks number, and that will be the difference in this one. Expect a very high scoring game, with each team getting in the thirties possibly.

Don't Forget Just Yet
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers
After the Chargers were very impressive against the Patriots, it seems as if no one is giving Pittsburgh a chance in this game. Let's not forget that the Steelers defense has been excellent this year and will match-up very well against the Chargers' offense.

The Steelers running game needs to get off to a fast start and Duce Staley needs to get some playing time. Ben Roethlisberger tasted his first defeat in the regular season two weeks ago, but the Steelers have had two weeks to prepare for this game. I don't know about you, but I'd be a little scared knowing that Pittsburgh's defense had two weeks to prepare for one team.

And now, the rest of the week...

Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions
Joey Harrington has not been able to make plays against the bad defenses, so why would he do anything more against the Ravens? The Ravens' confidence is up right now after finally getting a win last week, and they are hungry for more. This could be an exact replica score-wise as the Jets/Ravens game last week, except that I think Harrington will make more mistakes than Bollinger did. The Ravens offense won't have to do any work - yet again - to win this week.

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
What is the spark that the Bills needed? Kelly Holcomb. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think the Bills' will find some success early on in the passing game, which will open holes for McGahee for the rest of the game. Gus Frerotte will play a safe offense this week and keep his team in the game, but Buffalo will pull off the victory in the end.

New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers
The Saints are coming off of a well-played game, but now they are going on the road again in a tough place to play - even if the Packers are 0-2 their this year. Brett Favre and the Packers offense needs to realize that they can and should do exactly what they did near the end of the Panthers game last week if they want to win games this year. The Packers spirits will be up when they get their first win of the season in this one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Jets
Testeverde will probably throw a touchdown - which is more than Bollinger did last week. However, he will also throw an interception - which Bollinger didn't do. Going with Testeverde was the right choice because he will attempt to make the throws and give the Jets a chance to win a game. The Buccaneers defense will be able to stop the Jets' sluggish offense though, while The Bucs’ offense finds a way to get their team to 5-0; a shocking start.

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns
Both teams are coming off of a bye week, so there should be no excuses regarding stamina here. The Browns offense has shown spark this year via the passing game, despite having three running backs(although Lee Suggs just returned in a limited roll before the bye). The Bears only had one good game against the Lions, which doesn't say much. Kyle Orton will not be able to score enough points, so all Dilfer has to do is the same thing he's done all year: short, safe passes. If the Browns don't make the mistakes, then they will give their home fans a joyous win.

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
This seems like a game in which the Texans could finally win, but I'm not going to buy into that idea alone. The Titans offense has thrived at times, even though their defense has been poor. David Carr will have time to throw the football, so he better attempt to get it to Andre Johnson. This game could end up as a shootout as well, so the difference will be a late fumble by David Carr after he gets sacked - again.

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers
Ignore the fact that the 49ers are facing the Colts. In the 49ers two home games this year, they have score a ton of points and have been in both games down to the last second. So, it would seem logical that they may win against whoever they face this week, right? Now, stop ignoring the fact that the 49ers face the Colts this week. Now your prediction should be that this could be the biggest blowout in the history of the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
I was very impressed with the play of the Eagles last week after they were down early. McNabb is having an MVP-like season and the Eagles are looking like the team to beat in the NFC again. The Cowboys have gotten off to an average start - yet find themselves in last place in their division at 2-2. The Cowboys cannot lose many division games - especially at home - if they want to contend. It'll be tough against the Eagles, which is why I'm taking the Eagles.

Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals will actually have to face an offense this year. The Panthers' defense has still not gotten in shape, which is really upsetting me since they are my Super Bowl pick from the NFC. I know that they have the talent, it's just not showing up at game time. Josh McCown will not find things as easy this week as he did last week, so the Cardinals will have to count on Neil Rackers again. That won't be enough, as the Panthers will finally blow out a team.

Washington Redskins vs. Denver Broncos
As much as I've been against both of these teams this year, they have both continued to win. The Redskins actually have a chance to get to 4-0 this year, and I think it'll happen indeed. The Redskins defense will stuff the Broncos running game, forcing Plummer to make a play. The Redskins will have the same story, where Portis may struggle to find running room, causing Brunell to make a clutch throw. The Redskins will pull it off after a Plummer mistake near half time.

That's it for this weeks predictions. I won my survivor pick last week, extending my winning streak to three. Last week I took the Colts over the Titans, and it paid off. This week, I'm going with the Cleveland Browns to defeat the Chicago Bears. I know it seems like a risk, but most of the games this week could be close. The Browns have the advantage in this game, so I'm hoping they don't blow it.

Predictions Record to Date: 35-25
Last Week: 10-4
Survivor Streak: Won 3(Pit over Hou, Dal over SF, Ind over Ten)

The mid-way part of the NFL season is quickly approaching, so each of these games begin to mean more and more as each week passes.

-Chris Pokorny

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