Impressions from Week Six of the 2016 AFL Season

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I won’t say much as I don’t have much to say. However, this week turned out to be one of the more intriguing weeks of the season thus far.

JAX @ CLE (AFL)

Jacksonville at Cleveland

  • Did not watch.

Cleveland finally finished a game.

To be fair, the Sharks basically shot themselves in the face over and over again in the fourth quarter, but one has to give credit to Cleveland for sticking with it. They came back from a 19 point deficit to overtake the Sharks 41-40. This being said, it was a lucky break for Cleveland. Their quarterback situation is abysmal.

The Sharks… well, the Sharks are the Sharks.

ARI @ ORL

Arizona at Orlando

  • Watched.

The unbeatable Rattlers were finally beaten.

Orlando put on quite a show despite being handed about six hundred penalties early on in the game. Their defense adjusted as the game went on and they started to take over. With results like this, it’s easy to wonder if the Rattlers are really the best team in the league. The Predators made it look easy.

Also note: Rob Keefe is hilarious in interviews.

TB @ PHI (AFL)

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia

  • Did not watch.

Tampa Bay only put up 17 points. 17 points. That’s really sad.

I know I’ve said numerous times that Tampa Bay was the worst team in the league, but GOD DAMN are they bad. Through five games, they’ve scored a total of 125 points. They’re averaging 25 points a game. That’s not going to win you any games as opposed to one or two. Your defense better be the Steel Curtain if you’re gonna average so few points a game. And the Storm’s defense is certainly not.

Philadelphia has Arizona next week in what should be an intriguing match-up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team saw this week as an automatic “W.” I bet they could’ve rested their starters and still won.

PRT @ LA

Portland at Los Angeles

  • Did not watch.

Speaking of pathetic teams, Portland didn’t fare so well this week, either. 27-66 against a team that tends to struggle against above-average teams. The future is not bright for our Portland Steel.

Nathan Stanley somehow managed to throw another pick in this game, but his performance was solid compared to the trainwreck starting for Portland. Darron Thomas, the third starting quarterback for the Steel this year, is a familiar face for the franchise, as he’d been on the team for the last two years before being re-signed a few weeks ago. In his debut, he proved to be another one for the scrap heap. Three touchdowns, five interceptions, including three pick-sixes. Perhaps they should go back to Southwick.

However, it doesn’t really matter. The Steel aren’t a good team and they won’t be no matter who they sign. They just don’t have the talent or the resources to pull it off.

Impressions from Week Six of the 2015 NFL Season

If you were to ask 100 football fans what the highlight of this week was, you would receive a good variety of answers. The clock management mistakes. The revival of Miami’s confidence. Chicago @ Detroit’s horrible officiating. Landry Jones’ stellar play to relieve an injured Mike Vick. The 4th down fake punt by Indianapolis, which has become another symbol of their decline. All of these things and more make up what was a fascinating week of football, and a horrible week for pick ’em (at least for me).

Many teams I had confidence in were either blown out or embarrassed. I learned a lot this week, specifically about the AFC South, and hope to improve next week on my pick ’em performance. But that’s not what’s important here. We’re here for football, so allow me to recap the week’s slate of games.

[Atlanta @ New Orleans]

  • (Watched the final quarter, incorrect)

I didn’t see all of this game, but thanks to a few game recaps, I see that Atlanta was very, very mistake prone during this game. Multiple fumbles, a blocked punt, and a defense that couldn’t seem to stop Ben Watson or Will Snead. Drew Brees only threw a single touchdown pass, but his presence was felt in this game. A great moral victory for New Orleans, but I don’t see them improving much from this game.

Atlanta, on the other hand, should’ve been better. Had they not caused so many mistakes, they likely could’ve won this game. New Orleans’ defense allowed Devonta Freeman to rush for 100 yards on only 13 carries. That’s not a good sign. Not to mention, as much as people claim that Delvin Breaux “silenced” Julio Jones, I don’t think 6 catches for 93 yards is exactly “silencing.” Though, I believe Julio only had one catch during the second half, so I suppose it’s worth merit.

I’m not too worried about Atlanta after this game. They just played far below standards and New Orleans took advantage. One thing that’s troubling for Atlanta, though, is once Matt Ryan had to drop back and wait for receivers to come open, the defensive line swarmed him effortlessly. Their offensive line can’t seem to handle being so one-dimensional. Otherwise, a good moral victory for New Orleans, but Atlanta will likely bounce back.

[Cincinnati @ Buffalo]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Well. Buffalo’s defense sure is elite, huh?

This is quite the humbling loss for Buffalo. They’re at home. They’re up against an explosive offense. They had their chance to show their stuff and blew it. Cincinnati seems to be for real, but many would’ve said that weeks ago. Andy Dalton is playing like Tony Romo out there. And the reason I use Tony Romo’s name here is because both Dalton and Romo are attacked often for making mistakes in big games. Despite this, both have proven to be very good regular season quarterbacks.

How about Tyler Eifert, though? I didn’t think much of him back in 2013 when they drafted him, but he’s become one of the top-performing pass-catching tight ends in the NFL. No wonder they got rid of Gresham. He’s already caught 6 touchdown passes and is on pace for a 70 catch, near-1,000 yard season. He’s become one of many valuable weapons for this offense to play with. And on the flipside, Carlos Dunlap has 6.5 sacks on the season. That’s #1 in the NFL right now. And his career high? 9.5, back in his rookie season. He’s on pace for about 18.

Buffalo provided some good offense under E.J. Manuel, and the game was actually pretty close going into halftime. However, they did next to nothing in the second half despite a good running game. Buffalo isn’t the offensive powerhouse that can come from behind in these types of situations. That seems to be a staple of Rex Ryan’s teams: Don’t give the opposing offense points, so we won’t have to get any ourselves.

[Denver @ Cleveland]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

I had a funny feeling this one would be close. My heart was pumping like a jackhammer once I learned the game went into overtime. Josh McCown had some bad errors early on, but had his way with the defense just enough to tie it at the end of regulation. Would Cleveland be this efficient on offense with Manziel? Maybe. Maybe not.

Peyton Manning is really struggling. He has 7 touchdowns to 10 interceptions on the season and can’t really seem to stretch the field as much as he used to. It’s starting to get to the point where people are wondering if he should be benched for back-up Brock Osweiller. Though, he’s winning games, and that’s all that matters, really. Still, one has to wonder if he can continue to win with just the support of his defense alone. At least Ronnie Hillman had a good game to give him some running support.

Cleveland’s defense showed up this game. Not so much against Ronnie Hillman, but definitely against Peyton Manning. 3 interceptions in the game, including one in overtime, but no sacks, which is surprising considering Denver’s offensive line issues. They held them to only 23 points in regulation without the help of Joe Haden. And Cleveland’s offense? Surprisingly, it’s starting to look like a good unit, Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge especially. Think about this for a moment: Gary Barnidge has more touchdown receptions this season than Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones. Gary fucking Barnidge. Seriously.

[Chicago @ Detroit]

  • (Watched final 45 minutes, incorrect)

Well, everyone on the football forums said that this game was disgusting in terms of officiating. The Golden Tate “touchdown” was definitely questionable, but I didn’t see a whole lot otherwise. Except, well, the very obvious and blatant holding of Willie Young on the miracle pass to Calvin Johnson. I was absolutely shocked that that wasn’t called. Twitter was pretty shocked, too.

It made me feel like I was cheated, swindled out of my pick. But hey, Chicago had all game to turn it around, including two possessions in overtime that were ultimately wasted because they believed running Matt Forte, who was under 3 yards a carry throughout most of the game, on first and second down repeatedly would be a good idea. Both of these teams were so petrified to throw a ball deep that they were either sacked in the process or threw dump-offs to short-crossers. It made me feel sick as a backseat offensive coordinator.

Detroit’s first win came with controversy, but that could’ve happened against Seattle, too. I was actually surprised to learn that a majority of experts picked Detroit to win this game. I was almost certain that Chicago would win. So certain, in fact, that the non-call at the end of the game involving Willie Young being held made me a very grumpy blogger. Oh well. Good to see Calvin Johnson being amazing again, despite what the stupid media thinks of his “bad stats.”

[Houston @ Jacksonville]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

Another game I had a lot of confidence in. This is part 1 or 2 of “Why I should always pick against the AFC South.” This part, though, pits 2 AFC South teams against each other, so it’s a little tricky. However, one thing seemed to slip my mind when choosing this match-up:

Jacksonville is still Jacksonville. At home or on the road, this team is among the worst in the league.

I put too much confidence in Brian Hoyer struggling and Ryan Mallett coming in to relieve him, only to lose the game—much like against Indianapolis, but Jacksonville is not Indianapolis. I also realized something from this game: Blake Bortles is not very good, despite a decent amount of weapons. Sure, he can score touchdowns… in garbage time. He’s also terribly inconsistent and pick-prone. Then again, he had no running game and was sacked three times. What’s a man supposed to do? Try and imitate Andrew Luck in 2014?

DeAndre Hopkins leads every major statistical receiving category in the NFL (aside from touchdowns and YPC) right now. This may be because he’s good, but it may also be because he’s Houston’s only genuine threat. Who else do they have? Arian Foster? Maybe. Garrett Graham? Who’s that? Cecil Shorts? Meh. Wait til Nate Washington comes back. He’ll have a 300-yard, 4 touchdown game against Miami next week or Tennessee the week after. I guarantee it. Nevertheless, Houston’s offense shouldn’t be underestimated. Their defense is good sometimes, too.

[Kansas City @ Minnesota]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

I think if I could name this game, I’d call it “Under the Bridgewater.”

Why name it this? Because if Adrian Peterson doesn’t perform well, neither does Teddy Bridgewater. His performance against Kansas City was lower than dirt. It was underneath the bridge water. One could say that Kansas City’s defense is good and he only struggled because of it, but hey, Bridgewater’s touchdown to interception ratio is 3 to 4. He’s struggling. A lot.

Speaking of struggling, this Kansas City offense can’t seem to get anything going, either. You could say that Minnesota’s defense is good and they only struggled because of it, but hey, it’s Alex Smith. And Jeremy Maclin was injured.

Both of these teams rely far too much on their defense. They both also rely on a strong running game, even though Andy Reid prefers passing the ball 100% of the time. Adrian Peterson couldn’t get much going. Kansas City has no running back once Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending injury. And here I thought Knile Davis was underused coming into this week. It turns out he’s just not that good.

Both of these teams are gonna struggle later on in the season if they don’t brush up on their offense.

[Miami @ Tennessee]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

I will admit: I’m a huge idiot.

This is part 2 of “Always pick against the AFC South.” I thought Tennessee, after some close calls against Indianapolis and Buffalo, was actually an alright team. I was very, very wrong. Once they went up against a team with loads of talent on both sides of the ball, what do you know? They got completely annihilated. Have the Dolphins turned a new leaf? Or is Tennessee just that bad? Both, more than likely.

Marcus Mariota started the season off so well, too. Now he’s playing like a true rookie quarterback on a bad team. I almost feel bad for him. The offense is bad, the defense is bad. Everything’s bad (except Fasano and Morgan, of course), especially the offensive line. How many times has Mariota been sacked so far this season? 19 times. In 5 games. Yeesh.

Miami is a different story. They gave up some sacks, sure, and Tannehill threw a few picks, but that didn’t stop the offense from scoring 31 points. And the defense only gave up 10 points, and scored a touchdown of their own. They were simply the better team this game. Cameron Wake showed that difference in power tremendously.

[Washington @ New York (Jets)]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

There’s nothing really new here: New York’s defense is fantastic and Washington’s offense is shitty. Now headlines are starting to propose that Kirk Cousins should be benched for Colt McCoy (I’m all for it). Why is this? Kirk Cousins’ touchdown to interception ratio is 6 to 8. Not to mention, his quarterback rating is below 80. That’s pretty bad now a days.

Washington’s defense couldn’t stop anyone by the second half. FitzMagic and Chris Ivory had their way whenever they wanted to. It was really sad to see Washington’s defense, after a good defensive game against Atlanta last week, give up three touchdowns. If New York hadn’t started fumbling in the first half, it may have been close to a blowout.

[Arizona @ Pittsburgh]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

If I told you that Mike Vick went 8 for 12 for two touchdowns and near 150 yards, would you believe me? You shouldn’t, because he got injured early in the game. Landry Jones, gentlemen and gentlemen, had those numbers.

Landry Jones? The guy who looks awful in the preseason every year? Yep. The very one. He came in and decided that he was tired of Mike Vick being so ineffective and started chucking throws to the best receivers. This, in turn, made Arizona have to play catch-up, which didn’t work out too well for them, as Pittsburgh’s defense has improved considerably since Week One. All in all, a great showcase for Landry Jones, who will be starting next week due to Vick’s injury, and Pittsburgh’s defense, who held one of the NFL’s best scoring offenses to just 13 points.

But man, Arizona. They looked pretty good this year, too. Now, all of a sudden, they go against better defenses and they can’t get the offense going. Not against St. Louis and not against Pittsburgh. Sure, they can score a hundred points against Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco (at home), but those teams aren’t exactly what one would define as “good.” Is Arizona really as good as its record shows? After this loss, doubts are starting to creep in. One thing’s for sure: they’re the best team in the NFC West thus far. Only St. Louis seems to be their only competition.

[Carolina @ Seattle]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

I still don’t think Cam Newton’s that good. But one thing’s for sure: he can win games with his arm.

I think more of Carolina’s win as the downfall of Seattle as opposed to the strength of Carolina. 4 times now Seattle’s defense has given up a fourth quarter lead. This time, it was to a passing offense made up of Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery, Philly Brown, and Greg Olsen. Sure, you could make the case that last time was against Cincinnati’s great offense and they were on the road, but Seattle was at home this week and were facing the weapons above, only one of which is pro bowl quality. If this isn’t Seattle’s defense at its lowest, maybe they should see how they do against Jacksonville. They might fuck that up, too. Nah, who am I kidding?

Cam Newton for MVP! Cam Newton for MVP! I think after this game, I can safely say that he at least warrants consideration. Not that I think he’ll get it or really deserves it over, say, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady or, hell, even Andy Dalton, but he’s been very impressive with the type of receivers he has. And his defense is enough to keep him looking good, too. He’s definitely someone to gameplan around.

Seattle’s offense? That offensive line won’t win them very many games.

[Baltimore @ San Francisco]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Oh, Baltimore. You used to be so good. And now? You’re the new Cleveland. Enjoy last place.

Really, though. Baltimore needs help. A lot of it. On both sides of the ball. Their offense has Steve Smith and Justin Forsett. That’s it. Their defense has Jimmy Smith in the secondary. That’s it. Sure, Baltimore has some key players on defense, too, but they’ve underperformed greatly. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to trade away Haloti Ngata and get rid of Torrey Smith via free agency. Both are missed greatly by this team.

San Francisco is okay at home, as long as they’re facing sub-par defenses. Hell, they were fine against New York last week, too. Their defense just didn’t play the way they should’ve. I believed Colin Kaepernick would have a good game and he did. He’s not bottom of the barrel, but he only seems to be good against teams with poor pass defenses. Good to see Torrey Smith have a big game against his former team.

There’s nothing really new here, either: Baltimore is bad and San Francisco is slightly above bad (at home).

[San Diego @ Green Bay]

  • (Watched, correct)

For perhaps the first time this season, the lack of weapons for Aaron Rodgers made him look human. Green Bay’s offense couldn’t seem to get anything going during the later half of the fourth quarter of the game, giving San Diego multiple chances to tie the game. And man, Philip Rivers had quite the game. Passing the ball well over 60 times for 500 yards. If only his running game and offensive line had the same efficiency. San Diego’s offense could be elite if they fixed some of their o-line problems.

Green Bay’s defense is not to be trifled with. They survived Philip Rivers’ onslaught by giving up only 20 points. It was a nailbiter all throughout the second half, but they came up with some big stops. Green Bay solidified its place as one of the top teams with this performance. Philip Rivers got a shiny trophy for his 500 yard performance.

It makes me wonder about San Diego, though. They’re 2-4 on the season. Their only victories came against Detroit and Cleveland, both of which are below-average teams. If Rivers is really capable of this kind of offense passing the ball, why not just go ahead and keep doing that? Sure, it’ll make him one-dimensional, but with his o-line, the running game will almost never get going. What’s the point? Let your best player use the ball. He’s not getting any younger.

[New England @ Indianapolis]

  • (Watched, correct)

It wasn’t the blowout I expected, but at least we got this:

[New York (Giants) @ Philadelphia]

  • (Watched, correct)

So much for that new and improved New York offense, huh? Eli Manning was mistake-prone as ever and Philadelphia’s defense was truly on fire. It’s hard to imagine what this game’s final score would’ve been if Sam Bradford wasn’t so fucking bad.

DeMarco Murray had an okay game. I thought Jon Gruden had an excellent point about Murray as a north-south running back. Philadelphia has him running laterally and it doesn’t seem to suit him. I think Ryan Mathews is the much more suitable back in this situation. Murray’s good, he’s just not that good for the system Chip Kelly likes to run.

But hey, at least that defense is pretty great, right? Not so much New York’s defense, but Philadelphia’s was great on almost every drive but the first one. New York’s offensive line was pretty good entering this match-up, too. They just got overwhelmed.

A good win for Philadelphia. A humiliating loss by New York. And to think, I wasn’t sure who to pick coming into this game.

Another exciting week of football is in the books and two things have become very apparent to me: the AFC South is deceptively bad and the officiating will never get better. At least there weren’t any blown calls in the Monday Night game! That I saw, anyway….

Former elite quarterbacks are becoming Average Joes. Former Average Joes are becoming elite quarterbacks. Teams are learning that free agency isn’t always the answer and that letting people go through free agency can destroy a team. It’s the suspense and type of strategizing that makes football so intriguing for me, and I personally can’t wait for next week. Here’s to you, NFL fans!

  • Week Six Pick ‘Em record: 8-6
  • Overall Pick ‘Em record: 58-33

NFL Pick ‘Ems (Week Six; 2015)

[Cincinnati @ Buffalo]

Gotta say, if Cincinnati is gonna lose one, this might be the game. E.J. Manuel may be starting on offense, but Buffalo’s defense is still top dog. Andy Dalton just came back from a 17 point deficit last week against Seattle, but that was at home. This is on the road. Cincinnati’s chances are less than glimmering this week.

Still, Cincinnati’s defense is no pushover itself. Carlos Dunlap is a valuable pass-rushing weapon and the secondary is tight. If anything on Buffalo’s offense should be worrisome, it’s LeSean McCoy, and he’s coming off of injury. When you take everything into consideration (especially the records), Cincinnati’s got the edge here. I’m just a tad worried about Dalton facing an elite defense on the road. It’ll be the first time he’s done it this season. If Dalton wants to show that he’s come past his former struggles, he’ll have to win in primetime do a consistently good job against better defenses. What better test than Buffalo in their own stadium?

Cincinnati will likely lose this game if their running game flatlines. Buffalo has too many good pass-rushers for Dalton to hold onto the ball. Buffalo will likely win this game if they can make it a defensive struggle. The biggest question mark here, though, is E.J. Manuel.

Winner: Cincinnati

[Denver @ Cleveland]

Man, if this was two years ago, I’d bring back J.K. Simmons for round two of “You serious?”

Though, it’s 2015, and Peyton Manning is not 2013 Peyton Manning. However, Cleveland’s defense isn’t 2013 Cleveland’s defense, either. This is an interesting match-up due to the irony. Denver, once an offensive powerhouse, is now a defensive stronghold. Cleveland, once a fortress in the secondary, now looks to be an effective pass-happy team. It’s like these two teams switched roles in the offseason. Have I mentioned that I love the NFL?

Part of me really wants to pick Cleveland here. However, Denver’s defense is too good for me to shrug past it. Denver’s offense can’t run the ball, can hardly protect Manning, and has been pretty lackluster all season, but its defense hasn’t given up more than 24 points all season. I feel that may just be enough to squeeze in a win. I highly doubt Josh McCown will have the same performance he did last week against Baltimore. Then again, I’m not sure anyone could perform well against this defense.

Winner: Denver

[Chicago @ Detroit]

Chicago pulled off an upset win against Kansas City on the road. At this point, is anyone winning against Detroit considered an upset? Detroit’s a mess, both offensively and defensively. I’ve always thought Chicago was a fairly good team, despite what little they have on each side of the ball. Detroit has had chances to win, but blunder all of them. And the refs didn’t help, either.

This game will likely be close, as Detroit will be fighting to save their season, but they’ll find a way to lose once again. I feel bad for Detroit. After an 11-5 season last year, they’re debatably the worst team in the league this year. Many thought that label would’ve applied to Chicago, but they’ve surprised many, including me, at this point. Expect lots of Matt Forte for Chicago and lots of Theo Riddick for Detroit. And lots of field goals from Robbie Gould.

Winner: Chicago

[Houston @ Jacksonville]

I gotta say. Jacksonville is looking pretty good in this match-up. I don’t know why I’ve been picking Jacksonville so often in recent weeks, but I don’t feel they’re as bad as people say, much like my feelings for Chicago throughout the season. To be fair, though, they haven’t done enough to win, but they’ve done enough to give them hope. Hope means nothing if you aren’t finishing the job, though.

Houston’s sticking with Brian Hoyer again this week. If he throws three interceptions in the first half, they will likely go back to Mallett. It’s like a damn comedy duo. One keeps trying to out-compete the other. I think it’s this instability that makes me think Houston will lose this game. Not to mention, they’re on the road. Houston has yet to win on the road and they don’t tend to play well on it, either.

Jacksonville missed Paul Posluszny last week against Tampa Bay, but he’ll likely play this game and be a great contributor. If Jacksonville can take notes from Indianapolis and keep J.J. Watt occupied with eight people at once, they have a good chance to win this game. But this is Jacksonville, so nothing about “winning” is guaranteed.

Winner: Jacksonville

[Kansas City @ Minnesota]

Ever since Kansas City lost to Denver in Week Two, I didn’t think this team would be the same. I started to see the ineffectiveness of Andy Reid’s offensive philosophy. I started to see Alex Smith’s decline. I started to see a team that was taped together with big name free agents and only a few good contributors drafted in the last two or three years. I don’t think this team is very good. It’s a far cry from what it once was in 2013. Even then, it debatably wasn’t that good.

Minnesota, on the other hand, still has Adrian Peterson, and Teddy Bridgewater plays well against lackluster teams. Much like Andy Dalton in his second year. Their defense is among the league’s best and should be licking their chops awaiting the chance to get through Kansas City’s bad offensive line. Minnesota could be dangerous this year. My only concern is Bridgewater’s consistency.

Kansas City’s defense isn’t bad by any means, but their offense is very inconsistent. I feel Minnesota will breeze through them, further dampening Kansas City’s already muddy season.

Winner: Minnesota

[Miami @ Tennessee]

This match-up’s tricky. Miami is now under the control of an interim head coach and has an amazing amount of talent on its roster. Its record just doesn’t display that. I doubt this team will now be “fixed” in a sense, with all the guys finally performing to their fullest potential. Still, one has to consider whether or not Joe Philbin was really that much of an anchor. Part of me just thinks that the players aren’t as good as they used to be. Who knows?

I know one thing though: Tennessee is a fairly decent team. Not many would agree, but I feel Tennessee gets a bad rap for losing to better teams. Much like Chicago, I feel this team is underrated, especially defensively. The only issue is consistency. They’ve come close many times, like Jacksonville, but seem to lose in the ugliest of fashions. Against an unknown team with Miami, who knows what will happen, but at least they’re at home.

I predict Tennessee will win over their second team located in Florida this week. I can only hope Miami suddenly doesn’t become a juggernaut and prove me an idiot.

Winner: Tennessee

[Washington @ New York (Jets)]

Washington came very close to beating Atlanta at home. Thankfully for them, their defense came up to save Ryan’s bad day. This only furthers the question about Kirk Cousins as a reliable starting quarterback. Washington’s defense has been playing fairly well off and on this season, but the offense is either alright or mediocre. Is it time to kick Colt McCoy’s tires? Not yet, but the time is slowly approaching. If Cousins continues to throw pick-sixes to end the game, McCoy will supplant him faster than Hoyer did Mallett last Thursday night.

New York is coming off a bye week and destroying Joe Philbin’s head coaching job. While I don’t think they’ll destroy Jay Gruden’s head coaching job, I think their defense is still among the best in the league, one that Washington will likely struggle with. FitzMagic performed suggestively in London, but I think he’ll be more comfortable at home after a week of practicing witchcraft. Still, Washington’s defense has proved trouble for many quarterbacks this season, and FitzMagic is not exactly Tom Brady. It’ll likely be a defensive outing.

DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed, and Trent Williams are all out for this game. Sheldon Richardson is in. I think the game will be ugly for Washington.

Winner: New York

[Arizona @ Pittsburgh]

Ohhh. This should be a fun match-up.

Mike Vick took a little of the ’04 magic and scooched his way into the win category last week after San Diego’s defense became enamored with the old dog’s new tricks. Arizona’s defense is a little better than San Diego’s. Just a tad. Their offense is also debatably better. If Pittsburgh allows Mike Vick to actually throw a ball more than ten yards in the first three quarters of the game, Pittsburgh could have a shot here. But it’s Arizona. Arizona’s only loss came from a messy offensive game against St. Louis. As long as they don’t become Atlanta from last Thursday night, they’ll be fine.

I don’t think it’ll be close. It might be close, but Arizona scores a lot of points. So if it’s gonna be close, Le’Veon Bell better break off some big runs and Mike Vick’s gotta trust Antonio Brown a little bit. Otherwise, it’ll likely be a one-sided rodeo takedown.

Winner: Arizona

[Carolina @ Seattle]

I don’t know, guys. Both of these teams are tragically overrated. Carolina’s undefeated against teams with losing records. Seattle should probably be 1-4 right now. Carolina’s undefeated against teams with losing records, so they should win, right?

Here’s the thing: Seattle at home has given up a whopping 10 points this season. BUT! They did it against Detroit, and Chicago without Jay Cutler. Cam Newton has very few weapons and Seattle’s secondary is muy magnifico (at home). Both of these team’s defenses are great, and Seattle’s offensive line is made of uninhabited flesh. There are so many ways either of these teams could beat each other, it’s ridiculous.

This has little to do with anything, but people are praising Cam Newton as an MVP candidate this year. He’s 4-0 with no weapons except Greg Olsen. Let’s not get carried away, though. His completion percentage is putrid (No weapons, though). He, himself, is a dual-threat weapon, so it’s harder for defenses to properly adjust. He also has a decent running game, too. Oh, and he has a great defense. While I admit his touchdown to interception ratio is good, he isn’t exactly MVP-worthy in my mind. He still isn’t even a top 10 quarterback in my mind, either. And, again, he played teams with losing records.

If Cam Newton wants to show he’s legitimate, he’ll beat Seattle with his offense, not his defense. And, much in the same way, Russell Wilson should, too. Seattle is in bad shape right now. What they need is a win against a good team. It may be on their home turf, but it’s still against a great defense. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Winner: Seattle

[Baltimore @ San Francisco]

Y’know, San Francisco isn’t really bad at home. They held Aaron Rodgers to 17 points and beat Minnesota. Against a struggling team like Baltimore? This is an interesting decision. Both of these teams are pretty inconsistent and are in a “save season now” state. I think it’ll be a defensive battle, if only for the sake of keeping the game interesting, but I predict it will also be a very messy game by both teams.

Joe Flacco has basically no weapons. His run game likely won’t do much, as San Francisco’s run defense is proven to be decent, at least at home. His defense also just gave up about 600 yards of offense to a Josh McCown-led offense. If that’s not motivation to be worried, I’m not sure what is. To be frank, I don’t think Baltimore is in any position to win this game, not with how little they have offensively and defensively. They can only hope Justin Forsett has a great game.

Colin Kaepernick showed he’s not complete shit last week against New York. Then again, New York has the worst passing defense in the NFL. Baltimore’s isn’t much better. Nevertheless, Kaepernick has many more weapons to choose from and I think he’ll have another good day. And actually win.

Winner: San Francisco

[San Diego @ Green Bay]

I’ve been seeing chatter around football forums that San Diego could upset Green Bay this week. I saw the same thing about St. Louis doing it last week, too. Look how that turned out.

Nothing new here. Green Bay’s at home, so they’re the automatic favorite. What do you expect? Aaron Rodgers is a football god and Green Bay’s defense is actually playing tremendously well. San Diego’s just, well, not Green Bay.

Winner: Green Bay

[New England @ Indianapolis]

We’re coming to you with the postgame wrap-up live from Indianapolis:

Winner: New England

[New York (Giants) @ Philadelphia]

This is a hard match-up to choose. New York has the worst passing defense and they’re without starting cornerback Prince Amukamara. Philadelphia likes to pass. Philadelphia’s defense is pretty good. New York’s offense is pretty good. New York is 3-2. Philadelphia is 2-3. Both teams are prone to dumb mistakes. Philadelphia’s at home. There are too many variables.

It really is hard to choose one of these teams, because I’m confident with neither of them. Can I pick for them to tie? No, that’s dumb. No one ties anymore. On one hand, New York’s been on a roll lately. But on the other hand, Philadelphia seems to be the better team. They have a really bad offensive line, though. Mrmm. Mrmmmm. Mrmmmmmmmm.

Philadelphia’s offensive line didn’t bother them last week against New Orleans. Then again, New Orleans’ defense is usually awful. Philadelphia won’t have to worry much because Chip Kelly likes to use screens and quick throws. And New York’s passing defense is bad anyway! Mrmm.

“Why not go with the home team?” I think to myself as I shakily type the rest of this pick.

Winner: Philadelphia

Impressions from Week Five of the 2015 NFL Season (And Quick Pick: Atlanta at New Orleans)

I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll make this double entry quick. I’ll simply provide a one-liner for each team involved in Week Five, along with my pick ’em results and record and a semi-detailed account of tonight’s pick.

[Indianapolis @ Houston]

  • (Watched, correct)

Houston has a quarterback controversy.

Indianapolis plays well in its division.

[Buffalo @ Tennessee]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Buffalo’s offense is inconsistent.

Tennessee still has a lot of potential.

[Cleveland @ Baltimore]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

Josh McCown may not be a bad choice at quarterback for Cleveland.

Baltimore’s secondary made Josh McCown look like a good choice at quarterback.

[Chicago @ Kansas City]

  • (Watched final minute, correct)

Chicago isn’t as bad a team as everyone thought.

Kansas City will likely lose many more games.

[Seattle @ Cincinnati]

  • (Watched final Cincinnati drive, correct)

Cincinnati deserves its 5-0 start.

Seattle deserves a 1-4 start.

[St. Louis @ Green Bay]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Chris Mortensen thought St. Louis would win this game.

Everyone else knew Green Bay would destroy them, and Mortensen is stupid.

[Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay]

  • (Did not watch, incorrect)

Jacksonville is almost as inconsistent as St. Louis.

Tampa Bay is good against awful teams.

[New Orleans @ Philadelphia]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

New Orleans’ defense is atrocious.

Philadelphia’s offense is good against awful defenses.

[Washington @ Atlanta]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Washington’s defense is underrated.

Atlanta’s defense is, too.

[Arizona @ Detroit]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Arizona scored 42 points without even trying.

Detroit may be the worst team in the NFL.

[New England @ Dallas]

  • (Watched, correct)

New England is the best team in the NFL.

Dallas’s offense is nothing without Tony Romo.

[Denver @ Oakland]

  • (Did not watch, correct)

Denver’s offense is hard to watch sometimes.

Oakland’s offense isn’t mature enough to take on top 5 defenses.

[San Francisco @ New York (Giants)]

  • (Watched, correct)

Eli Manning is New York’s best quarterback.

San Francisco’s defense is awful on the road.

[Pittsburgh @ San Diego]

  • (Watched, incorrect)

Pittsburgh is scared to use Mike Vick.

San Diego’s defense is scared of pressure situations.

  • Week Five Pick ‘Em record: 11-3
  • Overall Pick ‘Em record: 50-27

New Orleans is better at home, but Atlanta has shown that they play hard on the road.

Drew Brees will likely struggle, as he has all season, with his offense. I expect Atlanta to take the lead quickly, forcing Drew to become one-dimensional and predictable. It will inevitably be a close match, as most Primetime games are, but Atlanta is the vastly superior team. I have little confidence in New Orleans winning this game. It’ll probably be a defensive struggle, because why not?

Winner: Atlanta