The Patriots and I had something in common last week. We both redeemed ourselves after coming off disappointing performances. While I crushed the picks with 13 correct, the Pats dominated the Bengals by putting 43 on the board.
What a crazy week with huge comebacks, overtime nail-biters and the fall of the last of the unbeaten teams. On to week six.
Last week 13-2
Bye week: Chiefs, Saints
Colts (3-2) at Texans (3-2) Arian Foster looks to be back at full strength as he rushed for 157 yards in a losing effort against the Cowboys. The Colts have won three straight behind the superb play of Andrew Luck. Look for that streak to continue in a tough Thursday night division match. Pick: Colts
Steelers (3-2) at Browns (2-2) The Browns mounted a historic comeback against the Titans and overcame a 25-point deficit to win the game. Brian Hoyer looked Bernie Kosar-like in the victory as he tossed three touchdown passes.
The Steelers, on the other hand, are facing a bit of an identity crisis and have gone 1-1 the last two weeks against presumably the worst teams in the league, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. The Browns have the momentum in this one. Pick: Browns
Patriots (3-2) at Bills (3-2) The winner takes sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Kyle Orton came off the bench and led the Bills to an overtime victory against the Lions, throwing for over 300 yards. The Patriots looked as if they solved their offensive line issues, at least for one game. The question is, which Patriots team will show up? Pick: Patriots
Panthers (3-2) at Bengals (3-1) It only took until week five before the champagne was uncorked in Miami, marking the fall of the last undefeated team, the Cincinnati Bengals. Coming into the game against the Patriots, the Bengals led the league in points allowed. But that all fell apart in Foxboro.
Meanwhile, the Panthers stunned the Bears in yet another week five comeback. The Panthers defense forced four turnovers as the team overcame a 14-point deficit to win 31-24. Tough game to pick, but I like the Bengals at home. Pick: Bengals
Jaguars (0-5) at Titans (1-4) Will this be the first win for the Jags this season? No. Pick: Titans
Packers (3-2) at Dolphins (2-2) The Packers humiliated the Vikings last week and now travel to balmy South Florida. This game will be closer than you think, with the Fins’ defensive front getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers. In the end, it comes down to quarterback play. Pick: Packers
Lions (3-2) at Vikings (2-3) The Lions are hurting. Both Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush are questionable for this game. I still believe they’ll find a way to win with newly signed Matt Prater kicking the game-winning field goal. Pick: Lions
Broncos (3-1) at Jets (1-4) Wow, are the Jets a mess or what? Geno Smith gets benched. Michael Vick comes on in relief and the Jets get shut out by the Chargers 31-0. Peyton Manning might get to rest his arm by the time it turns into a blowout in the second half. Pick: Broncos
Ravens (3-2) at Buccaneers (1-4) I’ve got to give credit to the Bucs. They’ve played tough all year and have lost some close ones, including the overtime loss to the Saints last week. Look for Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense to get back on track. Pick: Ravens
Chargers (4-1) at Raiders (0-4) Despite a plethora of injuries, the Chargers are looking like the team to beat right now in the AFC. This has “trap game” written all over it, but it is the Raiders, after all. Pick: Chargers
Bears (2-3) at Falcons (2-3) Both teams are stacked with talent. Both are coming off of losses. Which has the greater mental toughness to get back on track? I think coach Mike Smith will have his team better prepared. Pick: Falcons
Cowboys (4-1) at Seahawks (3-1) The Cowboys are sitting at 4-1. Impressive. Their biggest problem not named Richard Sherman this week will be the 12th man. Pick: Seahawks
Redskins (1-4) at Cardinals (3-1) The Redskins looked flat against Seattle with no running game to speak of and no answer for stopping Russell Wilson.
The Cardinals looked similarly bad against the Broncos, allowing receiver Demaryius Thomas to rack up 226 yards. Drew Stanton could be out with a concussion, leaving the quarterback situation murky in Arizona. Pick: Redskins
Giants (3-2) at Eagles (4-1) I’m flipping a coin. Heads. Pick: Eagles
49ers (3-2) at Rams (1-3) Aren’t the 49ers supposed to be Super Bowl contenders? They’ve had to come from behind the last two games to escape with victories.
The Rams aren’t as bad as their record indicates and gave the Eagles a run for their money last week. Rams QB Austin Davis is playing well, but will be overmatched against Patrick Willis and company. Pick: 49ers