Saturday, November 6, 2010

5 for Sunday

Ready, set, go. Home teams in CAPS.

New Orleans (-6.5) over CAROLINA
The Saints got their aggressive defense going for them again in last week's win over Pittsburgh, and if they play half as well as they did against the Steelers I can only imagine what that would mean for Matt Moore and the Panthers offense that is already without DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers are so bad that they're taking the "when in doubt, just bet against (insert team here)" status away from the Bills.

New England (-4) over CLEVELAND
The "trap game" argument is valid here, except for the fact that well-coached teams don't have trap games. Cleveland is coming off a bye, but I'm not sure if that's really helpful considering they would have liked to keep the momentum going from their Week 7 win in New Orleans. Unless they can somehow manage another 68-yard fake punt run by their punter, I don't think the Browns sneak up on the Patriots, who for the first time since the Corey Dillon days look like they have a legitimate running back in BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Tampa Bay (+9) over ATLANTA
The Bucs are 3-0 on the road and the Falcons are 3-0 at home, so something will give here. Tampa, seemingly out of nowhere, has an offense that is young, fast, and opportunistic and I like Josh Freeman's chances of keeping them in this NFC South tilt, especially considering the Falcons don't light up the scoreboard and only have one real downfield threat. I'm not on the Buc bandwagon just yet, but this line seems 3 points too high.

Indianapolis (+3) over PHILADELPHIA
Meaningless fact pertaining this game #1: Andy Reid is 11-0 coming off a bye as coach of the Eagles. Meaningless fact pertaining to this game #2: the Eagles have never beaten Peyton Manning. Meaningful fact pertaining to this game #1: Dwight Freeney will be going up against Jason Peters. Meaningful fact pertaining to this game #2: Ellis Hobbs is out for the Eagles, leaving Dimitri Patterson to make his first NFL start against Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne.

Pittsburgh (-4.5) over CINCINNATI (Monday Night)
The Bengals are bad. The Steelers aren't bad. There's not much more to it than that. If the Pittsburgh defense forces Carson Palmer into a few mistakes, the Monday Night crowd may have to resort to booing the hell out of Ben Roethlisberger as its sole source of entertainment.

Last Week: 4-1-0
Season: 18-20-2

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