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Oct. 3, 2012

NFL Week Five Predictions

by Jacob Buchholz, Online Sports Editor, Jack Estrin, Online Editor-in-Chief, Michael Gerbasi, Online Sports Editor and Josh Schmidt, Print Sports Editor
A week of boring match-ups is to come but Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady will liven it up. It may not be the same as in years past but the Broncos and the Patriots are both good teams and Manning and Brady are still among the league's best. Meanwhile the Cardinals are miraculously still undefeated while the Saints have yet to win a game. If there is ever an example of the importance of coaching, it is going on right now as the Saints are really starting to feel the absence of Sean Payton.

The Colts may have nothing to do with it but Manning vs. Brady still takes the spotlight. Courtesy of AP
The Colts may have nothing to do with it but Manning vs. Brady still takes the spotlight.
All four SCO experts were strong week four but Jacob came out ahead of the pack while Michael righted his ship as he makes his way back to .500.

Standings:
Jacob: 38-25
Josh: 37-26
Jack: 36-27
Michael: 31-32


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams
Jacob: Cardinals
Jack: Rams
Michael: Cardinals
Josh: Cardinals

Jacob says:
The Rams are much better than people give them credit for but the Cardinals are one of only three remaining undefeated teams.
Jack says:
The Cardinals squeaked out a close win over the Dolphins this past week in overtime. The Rams knocked off the Seahawks by the tune of 19-13 to improve to 2-0 at home. The Cardinals have to lose some time, and they are not nearly as good as their 4-0 record suggests. Look for the Rams to hand the Cardinals their first loss of the year and stay undefeated at home.
Michael says:
This will be a GOOD game. The Rams are a team on the rise and are improving each week. Arizona, however, has shown that they know how to win, even if itís not pretty. Kevin Kolb has also been a delightful surprise and a big part of that are the weapons he has on offense a.k.a. Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals win a close one.
Josh says:
The Cardinals are magical right now. Even though they let Ryan Tannehill and Brian Hartline tear them up last week, they still came out with a win. This week the defense will shut down Sam Bradford and Kevin Kolb will lead the offense to 5-0.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacob: Steelers
Jack: Steelers
Michael: Steelers
Josh: Steelers

Jacob says:
The Eagles are 3-1 and the Steelers are 1-2 and yet the Steelers will take this one with ease. The tough Steelers' defense will force too many turnovers for even the Eagles to overcome as the Eagles come back to reality.
Jack says:
With extra time to rest coming off their bye week, the Steelers will knock out the Eagles. Look for the potent Steelersí D to force Eaglesí QB Mike Vick into several interceptions and a ton of big hits.
Michael says:
The Eagles do not really deserve to be leading the NFC East right now. The Steelers have been okay so far this year but with the possible return of Rashard Mendenhall this week, their running game will get a lot better. As good as the Philadelphia D is, the Steelersí offense will get the job done especially if Mendenhall returns.
Josh says:
The Eagles havenít figured it out. Anyone whoís saying otherwise is wrong. The Steelers had their bye week and are now healthy. Expect Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Larry Foote and the whole Steelers' D to mess with Michael Vickís head.

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts
Jacob: Packers
Jack: Packers
Michael: Packers
Josh: Packers

Jacob says:
The Packers barely escaped with a win against the Saints but this will be much easier. Luck is good but Aaron Rodgers is better.
Jack says:
Aaron Rodgers and the Pack finally found some rhythm last week against the Saints. Look for them to have another big offensive game and overwhelm Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Michael says:
The Packers are starting to look a little bit better compared to their start to the season. The Colts will continue to be a mediocre to below average team, even with Luck playing pretty well. Indianapolis does not have enough weapons around him. The Packers take this game.
Josh says:
The Colts will be playing with a heavy heart after losing Head Coach Chuck Pagano to leukemia treatment for 8 weeks. But the Pack are just too good for the young Colts to handle. Hopefully the Packers get some good officiating this week after rough calls the past two weeks.

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Jacob: Giants
Jack: Giants
Michael: Giants
Josh: Giants

Jacob says:
The Giants are never a safe bet but against the hapless Browns everybody looks good. The Browns are 0-4 and other than Trent Richardson's solid play, very little is going well for Cleveland.
Jack says:
Eli Manning and the Giants will be too much on offense for the Browns to handle. The Giants will put up points in bunches and coast to a week five victory over the Browns.
Michael says:
The Browns have had trouble so far this season, as many expected, while the Giants have been off to their usual somewhat slow start. The Giants however, are simply a better team right now and should win this one.
Josh says:
Brandon Weeden, get ready. The Giantís D-line will give the Browns no mercy and will boggle Weedenís brain. Giants win easily.

Matt Ryan has the Falcons flying high as they prepare to take on the Redskins. Courtesy of AP
Matt Ryan has the Falcons flying high as they prepare to take on the Redskins.
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins
Jacob: Falcons
Jack: Redskins
Michael: Falcons
Josh: Falcons

Jacob says:
The Falcons are among the best in the league. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are a killer duo and the defense has shut down opponents. 4-0 and counting.
Jack says:
Iím no Redskins fan but I love the way RG3 is looking so far. He is the ultimate competitor, and looked flawless last week in leading the Skins down the field for the game winning field goal. RG3 did this drive all him self as his headset that he uses to communicate with coaches malfunctioned. Now the Falcons certainly wonít make it this easy for the Redskins, but Atlanta showed theyíre not invincible last week, when they eked out a victory against the 1-3 Panthers. I believe RG3 will have a big game at home, and hand the Falcons their first loss of the season.
Michael says:
Matt Ryan has been having that kind of year so far. There is no way the Redskinsí defense can handle Matty Ice, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Michael Turner. The Atlanta defense also, will confuse RGIII, force him into tough situations and make him uncomfortable. Look for the Falcons to win this game.
Josh says:
Classic case of strong suit versus weakness. The Redskinsí defense is ranked 31st out of 32nd in the NFL while the Falconsí passing offense is in the top ten in the NFL. Matt Ryanís gonna go off.

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Jacob: Bengals
Jack: Bengals
Michael: Bengals
Josh: Bengals

Jacob says:
Andy Dalton is taking big strides and so are the Bengals. Tannehill finally looked good last week but the Dolphins were still unable to pull out a win.
Jack says:
The Bengals have too much offensive firepower for the Dolphins to keep up with. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will make it a long day for the Dolphinsí secondary as the Bengals will get the win at home.
Michael says:
Andy Dalton has been flying under the radar so far this season. He has played well up until this point and I see no reason why this would stop against a below average Miami defense. Miami also will struggle to score points with Reggie Bush injured and not playing at full strength.
Josh says:
Cincinnati is quietly 3-1 and one of the top teams in the AFC. While the Dolphins may have improved this past week and played the Cardinals hard, Iím not so sure Miami can stop A.J. Green and Andy Dalton.

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
Jacob: Ravens
Jack: Ravens
Michael: Ravens
Josh: Ravens

Jacob says:
The Ravens have the third best point differential in the AFC and the Chiefs have the third worst. Baltimore struggles on the road, but not enough to lose in Kansas City.
Jack says:
The Ravensí D will pose major problems for the Chiefs. Look for the Ravens to shut down Jamaal Charles and make it a miserable day for Kansas City.
Michael says:
The Ravensí defense and offense have both been playing well so far this season and their offense is only getting better. The Chiefs, aside from Jamaal Charles, do not have much of an offensive attack (except for their one fluke game) and should be kept in check.
Josh says:
I just donít see how the Ravens lose this one. Baltimore has outscored their opponents by 38 points while the Chiefs have been outscored by 48. Ravens should dominate this match up in all facets of the game.

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
Jacob: Panthers
Jack: Panthers
Michael: Panthers
Josh: Seahawks

Jacob says:
The Seahawks are good enough to hang with any team but not good enough to beat that many. The Panthers are explosive enough offensively to make up for their defensive struggles.
Jack says:
After a heartbreaking loss to the undefeated Falcons last week, I expect Cam Newton and the Panthers to bounce back strong. Carolina will be fired up as they are essentially playing for their season. Even the talented Seahawksí defense will not be able to stop the Panthers from putting up points in bunches and Seattle will not have enough offensive firepower to keep up with the high flying Panthers.
Michael says:
After a tough loss to an excellent Atlanta team last week, and in dire need of a win, I look for Carolina to take this game. They fought hard against the Falcons and could have easily won, if they turn out a performance even half as good as last week they will beat Seattle.
Josh says:
Seems as though a sophomore slump has hit Cam Newton. Newtonís numbers are down, and facing one of the top defenses in the league wonít hurt. Thisíll be an ugly one, but the Seahawks will eke out a tough win.

Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacob: Bears
Jack: Bears
Michael: Bears
Josh: Bears

Jacob says:
The Bears absolutely trounced the Cowboys. If they were able to pick Romo off five times then Blaine Gabbert will be in for a long day.
Jack says:
The Bears will be all over Blaine Gabbert and force the young QB into far too many mistakes for the Jags to have a shot at winning this game. Jay Cutler and the Bears offense will have a big day as Chicago will blow out the Jags.
Michael says:
The Bearsí defense in particular looked great against a pretty solid Dallas offense. Against a below average Jacksonville offense that is last in total yards per game so far this season, the Bears should get the job done.
Josh says:
Da Bears! The Bearsí defense is arguably the best in the league and the Jaguars' offense isnít really one of the best. Expect Blaine Gabbert to have plenty of problems this week as the Jaguars drop to 1-4.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
Jacob: Patriots
Jack: Broncos
Michael: Patriots
Josh: Patriots

Jacob says:
Brady vs. Manning. It has been a while but this one will be as exciting as ever. Both teams are better than their .500 records show and this is a matchup that will likely be repeating itself come playoff time.
Jack says:
Peyton Manning looks to finally be back on top of his game. With a sharp three TD performance last week against Oakland, expect for Manning to slice up the Patriotsí defense. The Patriots (2-2) have looked very vulnerable this season, losing to Arizona and falling behind 21-7 to Buffalo. Peyton Manning should continue to improve as he gets used to the Broncosí offense and Manning will get his biggest win yet as a Bronco.
Michael says:
Although the Denver defense is good, the New England offense is ranked first in total yards per game so far, they are going to find a way to score. Also, until Peyton Manning gets completely comfortable with his new offense, he and his offense will continue to be mediocre.
Josh says:
Many will want to compare this match up to the ones of the past between the Colts and Patriots. But this isnít going to be like that. Itís just not the same. Brady will take this one, but it wonít be the must watch game that it used to be.

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers
Jacob: 49ers
Jack: 49ers
Michael: 49ers
Josh: 49ers

Jacob says:
The 49ers are coming off of a big time beat down of the New York Jets and they are riding high. There will be plenty of turnovers as Fitzpatrick faces the same fate Sanchez did a week ago.
Jack says:
The San Francisco defense stifled the Jets last week, holding them scoreless. Look for the 49ers to control this one, and improve to 4-1 on the year.
Michael says:
The 49ers are a just better team than the Bills right now. Simple as that.
Josh says:
The 49ers are the best team in the NFC, as they showed in their butt whooping of the Jets on Sunday. The Bills arenít that bad, but the 49ers are just that good.

Adrian Peterson is back and so are the 3-1 Vikings. Courtesy of AP
Adrian Peterson is back and so are the 3-1 Vikings.
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings
Jacob: Vikings
Jack: Vikings
Michael: Vikings
Josh: Vikings

Jacob says:
Two special teams touchdowns had the Vikings overrunning Detroit and this time it will be Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson doing the damage to Tennessee. The Vikings have a very good thing going and it is not going to end here.
Jack says:
Percy Harvin led the Vikings to victory last week when he returned two kicks for scores. AP and Christian Ponder will have big games this week against the Titans. Dealing with an injury to starting quarterback Jake Locker, the Titans will not have what it takes to bring down the surprisingly good Vikings.
Michael says:
I have not hopped on the Minnesota bandwagon yet, but they are playing well right now, their special teams specifically. I think the Vikings will be too much to handle for the Titans, who have been a disappointment so far this season.
Josh says:
Christian Ponder has taken his game up another level and helped the Vikings become a pretty good team this year. On the other hand the Titans are pretty bad this year. AP will run all day.

San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Jacob: Saints
Jack: Saints
Michael: Chargers
Josh: Chargers

Jacob says:
The Saints showed flashes of their old selves as they nearly beat the Packers and this week they will finally get their first win. The only question is whether it's already too late to turn their season around.
Jack says:
New Orleans came oh so close to upsetting Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week. Drew Brees will not let this season slip away and will get the Saints in the win column. The good play of Chargersí quarterback Philip Rivers will continue so expect this game to turn into a shootout.
Michael says:
The New Orleans defense is statistically the worst in the NFL and the Chargersí offense is only improving with the return of Ryan Matthews. The Saintsí offense has been producing, but the San Diego defense has been stepping it up, I expect San Diego to take this one.
Josh says:
Drew Brees may break Johnny Unitasí touchdown record, but the Saints wonít break out of their funk. Itís sad to watch the mighty fall so low, but the Saints wonít be able to overcome Breesí former team. New Orleans wonít be partying this Sunday night.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Houston Texans at New York Jets
Jacob: Texans
Jack: Texans
Michael: Texans
Josh: Texans

Jacob says:
The Texans have the best defense and the second best offense in the league. They are 4-0, they have a plus 70-point differential and they have the best running back in the NFL. Don't forget an elite wide receiver, an above average quarterback and the NFL sack leader. What do the Jets have? The Jets have two quarterbacks who can't throw, a running back with the worst yards per carry in the league and a defense without its best player.
Jack says:
The Texans will slaughter the Jets, who have no offense. If Mark Sanchez has the game I expect he will, the Tebow chants will come. Sorry Mark, this is your last start of the season. Jets fans, get ready because itís about to be Tebow time.
Michael says:
The Texans could be the most complete team in the league right now. They have an explosive offense with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson and a great D that has been playing very well as of late. On the other side, the Jets have been severely struggling, in particular Mark Sanchez. Until they get things sorted out, I expect the Jets to have a hard time, especially against one of the best teams in the league right now.
Josh says:
The Texans are the best team in the NFL. The Jets are awful. Easy pick. Boring Monday Night matchup.



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