by Ryan Meehan and Joshua Hurley
This week I’m joined by one of my good friends and huge NFL fan Josh Hurley. We picked this week to work together because this is the week that my team (The New York Giants) hosts his team (The Cleveland Browns) in a battle of two teams that are likely headed in two different directions. As for the rest of the NFL, there are a lot of fun matchups this week that should be eye candy for any football fan. Let’s take a gander at what’s on tap in week five…
Thursday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals (4-0) at St. Louis Rams (2-2)
Meehan: The Cardinals have played very good football so far, but almost got tripped up by the Dolphins in a game that they should have been able to put away early. St. Louis is very scrappy and doesn’t give up no matter what the circumstances are. That shows me a lot of resilience because with all of this talk about Los Angeles’ football stadium being complete, I’m hearing that the Rams are one of the teams that might be looking to fill that void. This is going to be the one that Kevin Kolb lets get away from him. Upset of the week comes before the week should technically even start.
Meehan’s Prediction: Rams 17, Cardinals 16
Hurley: The Thursday night game features (and I use that term loosely) the undefeated Arizona Cardinals (still amazed by that) at St. Louis. I am going to pick the upset here, even though they shouldn’t be the underdog because they are home. I believe the Rams hand the Cardinals their first loss, Jeff Fisher can flat out coach.
Hurley’s Pick: Rams
Atlanta Falcons (4-0) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
Meehan: I’d be shocked if the Redskins can beat Atlanta, who had a close call last week against Carolina that almost slipped through Roddy White’s fingers. But it’s that same passing attack that tells me the Falcons can be a 12-4 team or possibly even higher. You have to wonder much the Saints’ struggles have been able to alleviate some of the anxiety and pressure for Atlanta, especially when you consider what’s been expected of them this year…
Meehan’s Prediction: Falcons 27, Redskins 18
Hurley: Now on to a very talented and undefeated Atlanta Falcons team who had to drive from their own 1 yard line last week with hardly any time left and still won, taking on RG3 and the Skins. Washington has hardly any secondary coverage and their best inside player Brian Orakpo is done for the season. With that being said I am taking the Falcons to stay undefeated on the road.
Hurley’s Pick: Falcons
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
Meehan: Hurley obviously hates the trashbirds, and rightfully so as it was Art Modell and Baltimore who ripped that franchise from a dreadfully impoverished city that needed a sports team. Unfortunately I can’t pick Kansas City here because they got shown up by the Chargers last week. I still believe in Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, but as Yoda would say “Sold on Matt Cassel I am not”. I can promise you that this won’t be a very exciting football game to watch, especially if you like high powered full throttle offensive attacks.
Meehan’s Prediction: Ravens 21, Chiefs 13
Hurley: I love Romeo Crennel, I think he is a good coach just with the wrong team. Therefore with Lewis, Rice, Flacco and whoever else the Ravens want to throw at them this game should be a blowout in Baltimore’s favor.
Hurley’s Pick: Ravens
Cleveland Browns (0-4) at New York Giants (2-2)
Meehan: Not to sound like a homer, but the Giants are in real trouble if they can’t take care of the Browns. The meat of their schedule is coming up, and as much as I hate to say it this is a must win game for them. That said, Cleveland is due, so I expect them to put up one hell of a fight. But in the end it’s hard to argue that the Giants aren’t the better team here.
Meehan’s Prediction: Giants 27, Browns 24
Hurley: Ahhhh the next game is my beloved Browns @ the Giants. Cleveland has almost 20 rookies on our roster which is insane and has accounted for a ton of mistakes so far. We have been playing a lot better the past few weeks but the Giants defense is very good and that salsa dancing Victor Cruz is almost impossible to cover, so I have to go with the Giants.
Hurley’s Pick: Giants
Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
Meehan: One would have to think that this should be a very easy games for the Packers to win. The fact that they are playing away from home shouldn’t matter much here, at least not as much as the fact that they are looking to make an example out of somebody and the Colts are ripe for the picking. Speaking of which, I expect Luck to throw two picks in this game and two different Green Bay linebackers to snag both of them. The reason I say that is because I don’t think they will rush Luck as much as they rushed a more experienced quarterback like Drew Brees last week. It’s better for them to just hang back and let the guy make himself miserable.
Meehan’s Prediction: Packers 33, Colts 16
Hurley: A couple of years back this game would have been a hard one to pick, but not this year. I am going to go with Green Bay against the talented but yet still a rookie Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Hurley’s Pick: Packers
Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Meehan: The Dolphins came out strong last week against the Cardinals and looked like they were going to hand them their first victory, but they failed to keep that momentum going after halftime and that has been a microcosm of what their whole season should look like when it’s all said and done. Like I mentioned in the wrapup, Cincinnati has quietly pieced together some quality wins this year and much like the Vikings they have done so because their schedule has not been all that grueling. For some reason, I have this bizarre feeling that Hurley will not share my pro-Hamilton County stance on the Bengals.
Meehan’s Prediction: Bengals 22, Dolphins 10
Hurley: Miami is one of those teams who has been playing very hard and should have more wins than they do. But with a rookie QB in Tannenhill and not much else on the offensive side of the ball, I expect the Bengals to win at home.
Hurley’s Pick: Bengals
Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Meehan: The Steelers are coming off of a bye week after they were shocked by the Raiders, giving up 13 straight unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The defense that led Pittsburgh to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl two years back would have never given up such an atrocious performance, and that’s precisely why this game could present a challenge for them. Usually with Michael Vick’s happy feet and overall fright concerning commitment to any receiver or tight end, I’d say almost any defense has plenty of time to get in there but I still think the Steelers are dealing with issues there. If I am correct, expect to see the normally well-mannered Mike Tomlin to have some pretty serious words for his team at the end of this one.
Meehan’s Prediction: Eagles 22, Steelers 17
Hurley: The next game features the battle of Pennsylvania teams. I believe that Troy Polamalu is playing and that alone is reason enough to pick the cheaters…I mean the Steelers. The walrus…I mean Andy Reid may be in trouble if Philly don’t get on a roll.
Hurley’s Pick: Steelers (Has hell finally froze over?)
Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)
Meehan: The Minnesota Vikings have been most surprising team in the NFL this year, with a defense that is shocking opponents everywhere. I’ll call bullshit on myself, I thought they were going to be one of the worst teams in the entire league and boy was I wrong. But here again, we won’t know if that’s the case even if they do win here, because the NFC North plays the AFC South this year and the Vikings will have wins against both the Colts and the Titans who are both weak teams. As for the Titans, that 44-41 overtime win against the Lions may end up being the highlight of their year.
Meehan’s Prediction: Vikings 27, Titans 17
Hurley: The Vikings are surprising so far this year. The Titans I believe have to start Matt Hasselbeck and Jared Allen should be able to feast on this. I am going Vikings @ home.
Hurley’s Pick: Vikings
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
Meehan: Make no bones about it, Chicago did look great against Dallas on Monday night, but they faced some of the worst defensive looks I’ve seen a home team throw out in primetime in several years. Lucky for them they’ll see plenty of that in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars hold almost no home field advantage whatsoever. What I am looking for most is to see if Brandon Marshall remains as dialed in as he was in the Cowboys game. If he can continue to play like that maybe the Bears can win that division, and if that boosts Cutler’s confidence who knows how far they can go. Blowout Alert.
Meehan’s Prediction: Bears 31, Jaguars 6
Hurley: Yawn. The Bears defense looked insanely good against Dallas on Monday. With the Jags having MJD and that’s pretty much it I will have to go with the Bears.
Hurley’s Pick: Bears
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Meehan: This is an incredibly hard game to pick because it would assume that I can trust either of these teams, which I can’t. Pete Carroll has decided to forego starting Matt Flynn in place of Russell Wilson, a move that shouldn’t surprise anybody because of Carroll’s stubbornness. I’m going to take Seattle as a marginal favorite to win here because Carolina still has a lot of holes on that defense.
Meehan’s Prediction: Seahawks 21, Panthers 20
Hurley: Cam Newton has been struggling a little bit this year, but Carolina almost beat the Falcons last week so you should expect a close division game. I am going to take Carolina just because of the homefield advantage.
Buffalo Bills (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-1)
Meehan: I like San Francisco because not only are they my pick to win the Super Bowl, they smeared the Jets’ guts all over the road last week with that shutout win. It would be hard to believe that they should have any problem doing the same at home against Buffalo who seems to be in some sort of race to see who can give up the most points in the NFL. The 49ers just have so many different ways that they can beat your ass, you never know what’s coming but you know you’ll be sore in the morning. As usual, most of Buffalo’s points will come towards the end of the game when winning the contest will have been out of reach for at least a quarter or so. Niners roll easy.
Meehan’s Prediction: 49ers 41, Bills 24
Hurley: The Niners made the Dirty Sanchez their bitch last week and I expect the same this week only this time against the Bills, ‘nuff said…Niners @ home.
Hurley’s Pick: 49ers
Denver Broncos (2-2) at New England Patriots (2-2)
Meehan: While everyone will likely be focusing on the two QBs that have provided us with the greatest rivalry that our generation will probably ever see, I’m more interested in seeing how Denver fares against an offense that put up 52 points last week. It won’t be a repeat of that for sure, as Denver’s defense is one of the quickest and most effective in the league today.
Meehan’s Prediction: Patriots 26, Broncos 17
Hurley: This should be a close game with these two veteran QB’s. I believe the Tom Brady has way more weapons on offense than does Manning but Denver’s defense is better than New England’s. I think this game comes down to how much Tom Brady dances at soccer games in Europe, (If you have not seen the footage it is very “feminine” to say the least) and how much Manning is able to utilize Demaryus Thomas. With this being said I am picking the now Tebowless Broncos to avenge last year’s playoff blowout @ N.E.
Hurley’s Pick: Broncos
Sunday Night Football: San Diego Chargers (3-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-4)
Meehan: The only two professional teams that Drew Brees has ever face will square off on Sunday Night Football. Although the Chargers showed improvement this past week after that awful loss to the Falcons in Week 3, I have this sneaking suspicion that out of all of the 3-1 teams they are the least likely to make an impact. (It’s pretty much a tie between them and the Eagles) The Saints get their first win of the year on national television.
Meehan’s Prediction: Saints 30, Chargers 23
Hurley: The Sunday Night game features the Chargers who should have fired Norv Turner what seems like decades ago @ the ‘Aints. The Saints who still have not won yet maybe feeling the absence of Sean Payton a lot more than expected. The contract dispute of Drew Brees may have also been a distraction. I am thinking though that the Saints pick up their first W this week largely in part of them almost beating Green Bay on the road last week.
Hurley’s Pick: Saints
Monday Night Football: Houston Texans (4-0) at New York Jets (2-2)
Meehan: Just when things couldn’t get any worse for the Jets, the Texans come into town while everybody’s hurt, morale is at an all-time low, and the quarterback controversy that the New York Post has been waiting for so intensely is finally coming to life as the Jets were shutout last week. On the other side of the fence, the Houston Texans have convinced me that they are the team to beat in both conferences and they don’t appear to be showing any signs of slowing down.
Hurley: Ok here is the deal I am not a Tebow backer whatsoever but what a better time a primetime stage to let him play more than here? Obviously Sanchez is struggling a lot and now he doesn’t have much for offensive weapons especially since Santonio Holmes is done for the year. Houston is looking sick on offense and especially on defense. JJ Watt is a fucking beast and with Shaub, Foster and Andre Johnson all healthy it will be hard to beat them. The obvious pick her is the Texans unless the skies part and Tim Tebow starts walking on water. Thanks to FOH and Ryan Meehan for this opportunity to do the damn thing…..
Hurley’s pick: Texans
Meehan’s Prediction: Texans 31, Jets 15
Byes: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Dallas has to sit down with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant and see if they can all be magic friends long enough to make things work, because what they are doing isn’t. Their secondary needs to start taping things off on the field because they have no sense of where they’re supposed to be at all. Detroit has to take a step back and realize that Kevin Smith is not Walter Payton, and they are going to have to find some type of running game if they want to make it back to the playoffs in a very rough NFC. Oakland got spanked by the Broncos, and you’ll have that when you face them nowadays. And thank God none of us will have to watch Tampa play this week.
Summary: Why do I keep doing summaries for preview articles? That’s ridiculous…someone needs to punch me for that at some point. The only thing you need to look for is which teams that are 3-1 and 4-0 don’t show any immediate signs of disarray, other than that have fun watching the games and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday.
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