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NFL WEEK 5 PICKS: BENGALS GET FIRST WIN; VIKINGS ROLL OVER GIANTS

Week 5 Is Here! I Smell an AFC North Upset and the Kirk Cousins Hate is Strong.

Cleveland Browns by Erik Drost is in the CC BY-SA 2.0

NFL WEEK 5 PICKS: BENGALS GET FIRST WIN; VIKINGS ROLL OVER GIANTS


Estimated Reading Time: 12 Minutes

I want to thank the Pittsburgh Steelers for two things:

  1. For winning their first game and finally getting their defense in order.
  2. But also FOR ENDING MY STREAK!

What streak is this I speak of? Every week this NFL season I had picked 10 games correctly. Each of the first three weeks I was 10-6 with my picks and last week heading into the Monday Night game, I was sitting at 9-5. And of course…I picked against my own team and it ended my streak.

I had the Bengals not just winning, but winning by at least two touchdowns. Well…let me tell you…I missed the boat on that one. The Steelers defense came to play and Mason Rudolph did what he had to do to get his first win as an NFL quarterback. Pittsburgh sacked Andy Dalton EIGHT times, and Mason Rudolph was 24/28 passing for 229 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Steelers won 27-3.

I don’t know what Tomlin did or said, or if he went complete Cujo in that locker room, but whatever it was, it f***ing worked. And that is what the Steelers need again when they face their division rival from Baltimore this week.

Tenacious D

It also could have been that defensive coordinator Keith Butler’s job was on the line. And if you watched that game, and that Steelers defense, you could sense that this was now or never again for Butler as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator. The Steelers defense was fighting for Butler, they were tenacious.

Keith Butler wasn’t the only one fighting to save his job. There were two other guys this past week trying to do the same: Marcus Mariota and Freddie Kitchens.

Mariota Gets The Job Done

Mariota didn’t really come out firing, but he never turned the ball over. He was 18/27 passing for 227 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. Mariota and Rudolph had similar type games, except one was fighting to keep his starting job, and the other was making his starting debut.

Kitchens and Browns With A Statement Win

Another guy fighting for his job was Freddie Kitchens. Why? Because the Browns have a GM who isn’t afraid to let people go and switch things up. Cleveland has had short leashes on coaches in the past. I think Kitchens knew this was a big game for him and the Browns came out and played their best game of the season.

Baker Mayfield had a decent day, but it was running back Nick Chubb who ran all over the Ravens defense. This was a statement win for Kitchens and the Browns. The statement was that they are still here…don’t give up on them. And I still believe Cleveland is capable of taking this division.

Three guys whose jobs were probably on the line last week, and all three of them executed and came out winners. We will see if they can keep it up this week. Speaking of which, let’s get to this week’s picks! But before we get to the picks, I didn’t write a piece on the Thursday Night game this week but I had the Seahawks winning 43-40. I was a little off with the score, but I still nailed the win! One thing that I am much better at this season than last is picking Thursday Night games. I wasn’t very good last year but currently I am 4-1 this season (Damn you Buccaneers).

Anyway…TO THE PICKS!

Week 4 Picks Record: 9-6

Season Picks Record: 41-24

Cardinals at Bengals

The Bengals had an ugly loss on Monday night to the Steelers. Andy Dalton did not look good and the offensive line got manhandled. As a matter of fact, no one looked good on the Bengals at all. But I think this is the week where Cincinnati finally puts it together and gets their first win of the season at home.

Paul Brown Stadium is not an easy place to come into and pull out a win as a rookie quarterback. It will be a crazy environment, where Andy Dalton has a 12-3-1 record in the month of October. That’s kind of hard to believe.

Neither of these teams have a win so far, but the Cardinals at least have a tie. The Bengals are 0-4, but they’ve had two very close losses – they could easily be 2-2. Give me the Bengals at home to finally notch their first win of the season. Bengals win 24-14.

Bills at Titans

Josh Allen struggled against the best secondary in football last week. The Titans are no Patriots, but their secondary is actually not bad. Allen has to avoid turning the ball over if the Bills want to win this game. The Titans’ secondary shut down Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley last week holding both of them to a combined 7 catches for 84 yards.

I think we get a low-scoring game, as both defenses are at least solid, but I’ll take the Titans at home. Titans win 17-14.

Bears at Raiders (London)

This game will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Last season when the Raiders played in London, it was a nightmare of a game for them. They got annihilated by the Seahawks 27-3. This time around they face a very good Bears defense that hasn’t allowed more than 15 points in a game this season. The London struggles continue for Oakland. Bears win 21-16.

Buccaneers at Saints

I can’t quite figure out the Buccaneers. People say their defense is much better this year, yet they still…gave up 40 points to the Rams. And they gave up over 30 points to both the Giants and the 49ers. So…

I don’t understand.

Anyway, I think the Saints defense has been playing well lately and I think that will continue hear. The question I have is does Marshon Lattimore match up with Mike Evans or Chris Godwin? My guess is Evans, but we’ll see. I like the New Orleans defense to make enough plays to pull off the win. Saints win 29-21.

Vikings at Giants

Oh I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see Kirk Cousins absolutely destroy the Giants.

I have no beef with the Giants. It’s just I’m sick and tired of hearing everyone and their dog, and all the talking heads on ESPN, Fox, CBS, NFL Network, Barstool Sports, and some kid somewhere in Lynn, Massachusetts in his basement with a microphone and a computer go on about how BAD of a quarterback Kirk Cousins is. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Watch this:

Player A: 65.8% completion, 4,355 yards passing, 29 TDs, 11 INTs, 97.7 QB rating.

Player B: 70.1% completion, 4,298 yards passing, 30 TDs, 10 INTs, 99.7 QB rating.

You know who these quarterbacks are? Player A is Tom Brady. Player B is…

Kirk Cousins. Here, I’ll give you another one:

Player A: 64.6% completion, 735 yards passing, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, and an 88.6 QB rating.

Player B: 59.0% completion, 1,147 yards passing, 4 TDs, 6 INTs, and a 40.2 QB rating.

Player A is Kirk Cousins and Player B is Baker Mayfield. These are their stats so far this season. Both quarterbacks are 2-2. But yeah sure, let’s all burn Cousins and banish him from his starting job. Meanwhile, Mayfield has all the weapons in the world on offense.

Who Has the Better Arsenal?

And before you say “Well Cousins has more weapons than Brady!” Consider this: Brady plays in a much weaker division…with a much better coach…a much better offensive line…and a much better defense. Last season Cousins didn’t had a banged up backfield. Then you have Brady who has not one, not two, but THREE quality running backs in Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkehead. Brady also had a hall of famer slot receiver and one of the best tight ends ever to play football. So throw Cousins a freaking bone here.

Tom Brady was sacked 21 times and hurried 48 last season. Cousins was sacked 40 times and hurried (wait for it) 97 times last season. Deshaun Watson was sacked the most out of any quarterback last season (62) and even he didn’t even come close to the number of times (77) Cousins was hurried.

Kirk Cousins statistically had just as good, if not a better season than Tom Brady last year. But sure go ahead, tell me Cousins is an awful quarterback.

Wait but are you ready to REALLY have your mind blown?

Since 2015 there have only been two quarterbacks in the NFL who have thrown more than 25 TDs and for more than 4,000 yards each and every season. Philip Rivers is one of them. Wanna guess who the other is?

Yeah, you f***ing guessed it – Kirk Cousins. And most of that is when he was on a tire fire of a team – the Washington Redskins. But sure, go ahead…tell me Kirk Cousins is a shitty quarterback. I think we all should listen to Don From Ohio on his wisdom he was so kind enough to provide:

DON’T HAVE HIM REMIND YOU AGAIN!

The Cousins “Losing Record Argument”

“But Cousins has no Super Bowls! And he has a career losing record!” Yeah I’ve heard that one too. How about this…why don’t you take the majority of quarterbacks in the league, drop them off in the middle of FedEx Field, put a Redskins jersey on them, give them a doofus for a head coach, a tire fire of a front office, no running game, a weak defense, no offensive line, and Schmucky the Clown, Bart Simpson, and Mickey Mouse as a receiving corps in a NFC East division that was actually at least moderately competitive at the time and see if they can come out with a winning record playing in Washington for 3 years as a starting quarterback.

I don’t even count Cousins’ first three seasons, because he only started 9 games during that time. But when Cousins finally became the legit starting QB for Washington in 2015, Cousins had a winning record in two of the three seasons he was the starter and even took the Redskins to the playoffs. Let me say that again, he took THE REDSKINS TO THE PLAYOFFS. I’ll probably be dead from old age by the time the Redskins make the playoffs again.

But sure go ahead…tell me Cousins is “one of the worst quarterbacks in football.” Give me a freaking break. People are acting like Cousins is like…Jimmy Clausen or somebody. Sorry, half of you who read this probably won’t even remember who Jimmy Clausen was, but…I guess that’s the whole point isn’t it. Besides looking sort of like Sting, Clausen isn’t really remembered for doing anything in Carolina.

Cousins Will Silence EVERYONE This Weekend

Anyway, Cousins throws for over 300 yards with 3 TDs, and sure why not, I guess one interception to keep the Cousins haters salivating and wanting to come back for more.

The Vikings will be fine…Cousins will be fine…and Minnesota will blast the Giants and get to 3-2 on the season. So can we all just pump the brakes on the Kirk Cousins hate? For f***s sake. Vikings win 34-20.

Jets at Eagles

Well now that I’m exhausted from having to defend Cousins AGAIN, I’ll just say that even if Sam Darnold was able to play in this game, I don’t think the Jets have a shot. Eagles win 27-17.

Ravens at Steelers

The Steelers defense looked great on Monday Night against the Bengals. The Ravens defense? Not so much. The Ravens have the type of receivers who can absolutely burn this Pittsburgh secondary. But I think the Steelers will get after Lamar Jackson and keep him off-balance. These two teams always seem to split with each other, and this time I will go with the home team, whose defense surprisingly will pick up from where they left off. The Steelers defense stays hot, and Mason Rudolph does just enough to pull out a close win, and upset the Ravens. Steelers win 24-23.

Patriots at Redskins

The Patriots defense has been quite impressive. But let’s not forget, these are the quarterbacks they’ve had to face so far this season:

Week 1: An ailing Ben Roethlisberger

Week 2: Josh Rosen

Week 3: Luke Falk

Week 4: Josh Allen/Matt Barkley

And now they get to face…Colt McCoy. Cool, another third-stringer.

Patriots win 43-14.

Jaguars at Panthers

Through four games this season Gardner Minshew has thrown for 905 yards, 7 TDs and just 1 INT completing 69.4% of his passes. I would say right now he could be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year. And if he doesn’t win Rookie of the Year, he should at least win Best Mustache of the Year Award.

Minshew has a tough test this week on the road at Carolina. The Panthers have quietly been one of the better pass defenses in football this season. Interestingly, however, Carolina’s defense is 23rd in the league against the run.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette had been quiet up until last week when he ran for 225 yards on 29 carries against the Broncos. Amazingly, Fournette has yet to find the end zone this season. Perhaps that will change today. I like Jacksonville in a tight one. Jaguars win 23-21.

Falcons at Texans

The Falcons look completely lost on both sides of the ball and has become one of the biggest underachieving teams in football this season. The question I have for Houston is which offense is going to show up? I am not sure, but I am also not sure it will even matter. I’ll go with Houston, and Atlanta will remain winless on the road. Texans win 23-19.

Broncos at Chargers

Denver is averaging 16 points per game on offense on the road this season. They’re also 30th in the NFL in turnover differential. Besides their blowout win against the Dolphins, which doesn’t really mean much of anything to me, the Chargers haven’t looked all that great either. But I like them at home and with the return of Melvin Gordon, maybe the Chargers will run wild with both Gordon and Ekeler against a Denver defense that allowed Leonard Fournette to run for 225 yards last week. Chargers win 24-20.

Packers at Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers and the Pack will be without Davante Adams on the road against a tough Dallas defense. I think Green Bay will struggle to put up points and I like Dallas to take it at home. Cowboys win 24-16.

Colts at Chiefs (Sunday Night)

This would be a much more interesting game if Andrew Luck was healthy and still playing. But I think Jacoby Brissett has done a fine job so far this season throwing for 911 yards, 10 TDs and 2 INTs through four games.

The problem I have with the Colts is not Brissett; it’s the fact that the Colts defense allowed the Raiders to score 31 points on them at home last week. Now they face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on the road. Indy’s defense is really going to have to step their game up, and maybe they do. But I still think it won’t be enough. Chiefs win 40-26.

Browns at 49ers (Monday Night)

Nick Chubb ran all over the place last week against Baltimore rushing for 165 yards and 3 TDs on 20 carries. Now he goes up against a 49ers defense that has allowed the fewest rushing yards this season.

However, I’m going to take the Browns in this game. It won’t be because of their offense. Instead I think we see Cleveland’s defense show up and have a big night. The Steelers defense caused the 49ers to turn the ball over five times in Week 3. Jimmy Garoppolo fumbled the ball twice and threw two picks against arguably the worst secondary in football at home. I think Cleveland has a better all around defense, and I think they’ll cause problems for Jimmy G. Defense wins the game for Cleveland, and the Niners will take their first loss of the season on Monday Night. Browns win 27-14.

BYE WEEK: Lions and Dolphins

Enjoy the games!

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