After an abysmal Week 4, I'm one more bad week away from adopting the George Costanza "opposite" approach. The good news is, the Patriots have a bye this week so I can't manage to pick their game the incorrect way as I've already done 3 times so far. Home teams in CAPS, spreads via covers.com.
Jacksonville (PK) over BUFFALO
It's a slight cop-out, but picking against Buffalo is too good a proposition. Here's hoping David Garrard doesn't revert back to the Byron Leftwich impression he'd been doing in the Jaguars' two losses. Let MJD run like LaDainian Tomlinson ran last week, and go home.
HOUSTON (-3) over NY Giants
The Giants' defense played an impressive game last week, albeit against a Bears team starting two backup tackles. Houston escaped Oakland (still a tough place to play) with a W last week and has scored 30+ in three out of four games. In the Texans' one loss, Dallas held them in check largely because they got away from running Arian Foster off tackle, where he'd only been getting about 8 yards a carry. Andre Johnson is nowhere near 100%, but because of that maybe the Texans don't feel obligated to throw the ball 40 yards downfield every third play. The ground game is where you can attack the Giants. Run the ball at their suspect linebackers, win the game by 7-10 points.
Green Bay (-2.5) over WASHINGTON
The Redskins are not a good team. They came out like gangbusters against the Eagles last week, running the ball up and down the field in scoring 14 points before you could blink, and then only scored 3 points the rest of the way. Green Bay, on the other hand, is slightly undervalued after a game they gave away to the Bears and a too-close-for-comfort game against the Lions. The Packers still can't run the ball, but Washington can be had down the field anyway. Interesting note - the Redskins could be 0-4 if it weren't for two final-play miscues by their opponents (Dallas' holding nullifying the winning touchdown, and Jason Avant dropping the ball in the end zone for the Eagles).
DALLAS (-6.5) over Tennessee
I don't love this game and I'd never touch it if it were more than a touchdown. Since it's less than a touchdown, I'll roll the dice on Dallas being fresh off their bye week and maybe, just maybe, using their running backs the right way and dictating the game offensively like they have the ability to do. Chris Johnson can provide instant strikes for an otherwise lame offense, so the best defense is a good offense against the Titans. Although having DeMarcus Ware get in Vince Young's face two or three times won't hurt either. Dallas covers downfield very well, and would love to force Tennessee into passing situations.
SAN FRANCISCO (-3) over Philadelphia
I admit I'm banging my head against the wall about this one. How can I possibly take an 0-4 team and give points? Well, I thought the 49ers were in an impossible spot last week at Atlanta and they pretty much controlled the game before giving it away late. Is that mark of a poorly coached team? Probably. However, the Eagles consistently have trouble covering tight ends, and Vernon Davis could have a field day here. Kevin Kolb gets the start in place of Michael Vick, which, as anyone who saw the second half against Washington last week, is a scenario that cuts the Eagles' playbook in half.
Last Week: 1-4-0