NFL Week 5 Picks

The same old Giants. That’s who the New York Football Giants are. A second Super Bowl in four years didn’t change who they were between Super Bowl XLVI and Week 1 against the Cowboys, so why would I think that back-to-back wins would change who they are before they played the Eagles? The Giants will let you down, build you back up, suck you back in and then pull the rug out of from underneath you and if two championships weren’t enough to change who they are then I just have to accept that things will never change.

I’m not sure what Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride were thinking when Eli threw a deep ball to Ramses Barden at the end of Sunday night’s game. It was almost as if they thought they were trailing by four instead of two and it was that play that led to a loss after they were bailed out by the refs to extend the game.

The Giants had a chance to steal a game in Philadelphia on Sunday night and they gave it away. Now they are 2-2 on the season, 0-2 in the division and have the only real easy winnable game left on their schedule this week in the Browns. A loss on Sunday would be as devastating as the loss against the Seahawks was last year before a series of improbable events led to the Giants winning the division at 9-7. If you believe in miracles happening in back-to-back seasons then you don’t consider Sunday a must-win game for the Giants. I’m not one of those people.

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As for the picks, the NFL season is 24 percent over and I’m still in search of the elusive over-.500 week. That isn’t good. I have gone back to my roots and I’m stopping with the Thursday pick on Twitter and the rest of the picks on Friday. It’s time to shake things up and it’s Thursday for the picks going forward.

Week 5 … let’s go!

(Home team in caps)

Arizona -1.5 over ST. LOUIS
Any other year and this is the “Do I Really Have to Pick This Game of the Week?” But not in 2012 where te cardinals are undefeated and the rams are respectable. I got so used to just knowing that every NFC west game over the last few years was three point game an just take the points but not anymore. The NFC west is longer the worst division in football. That title now belongs to the AFC east

Atlanta -3 over WASHINGTON
The Falcons’ egg is coming. I can feel it. You can feel it. Everyone can feel it. I’m going to pick them one of these weeks when they lose and lose big and now it’s just a matter of correctly guessing when that inevitable week is going to come. It makes sense that it would come on the road against the Redskins, but I like it better to come next week at home against the Raiders leading into the bye week because why wouldn’t it come then?

Philadelphia +3.5 over PITTSBURGH
I feel like I’m picking between the same team here. I can either go with the Team That Lets You Down that is home or the Team That Lets You Down that is on the road. When there are points, take them.

Green Bay -7 over INDIANAPOLIS
If the game took place in Week 1 this line would be through the roof. The Packers are still dangerous despite what the first four weeks might suggest, and I’m not ready to give up on Aaron Rodgers’ covering ability yet.

NEW YORK GIANTS -8.5 over Cleveland
If the Giants can’t blow out Brandon Weeden and the winless Browns at home with their schedule then pack up the balls because this season isn’t going anywhere.

CINCINNATI -3.5 over Miami
The Bengals have been so good to me this year. I picked against them in Week 1 and I picked for them in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 and it’s all gone according to plan. I would feel like I’m stabbing them in the back if I pick the Dolphins to cover against them in Cincinnati. But at the same time, the Dolphins have destroyed me this season, so maybe I should finally give in and pick them? I know that WFAN’s John Jastremski will tell me how the 1-3 Dolphins could be 3-1 if two plays had gone their way and he’s right, but I just can’t do it because they’re still the Dolphins.

Baltimore -6.5 over KANSAS CITY
The 2012 Chiefs and I are done. We’re finished. I don’t even want my stuff back. Just don’t call me or text me. I want them out of my life. I’m not going to let them hurt me anymore. And it’s too bad too because I really like Romeo Crennel.

Seattle +3 over CAROLINA
This game was so close to being the “Do I Really Have to Pick This Game of the Week?” So effing close. The one thing holding it back is that the Seahawks may or may not be good (and probably aren’t good), but that decision hasn’t been finalized yet.

Chicago -6 over JACKSONVILLE
Chicago has been good to me and the Jaguars can’t change that.

MINNESOTA -5.5 over Tennessee
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings! You’re the “Do I Really Have to Pick This Game of the Week?” Congratulations!

Four weeks ago I never thought I would see the day when the 2012 Vikings would be giving anyone 5 1/2 points in a football game. Maybe 5 1/2 points in a PowerPoint presentation on how to set your franchise back at least a decade when you’re a field goal away from the Super Bowl, but not actual points in an actual game. But then again, four weeks ago I didn’t know the 2012 Titans existed.

Denver +7 over NEW ENGLAND
I interned for 890 ESPN Radio and the legendary Mike Felger in 2006-07. On Nov. 5, 2006 for the Patriots-Colts Sunday Night Football at Gillette Stadium in Week 9, I had to go sit outside in freezing weather as the ESPN Radio tent across from the stadium.¬†The Patriots were 6-1 and the Colts were 7-0 and it was the height of the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry. People were insane for this game. The place was buzzing like I had never seen a regular season NFL game before and the scene hours before the game made it feel like a Super Bowl. It wasn’t buzzing because it was Patriots-Colts. It was buzzing because Peyton Manning was in town and Peyton vs. Brady will do that. Put these two guys on any teams and the atmosphere will be the same. It could be Patriots vs. Colts or Patriots vs. Broncos or Browns vs. Bills or Hoboken High School vs. North Bergen High School, it doesn’t matter as long as Brady and Manning are the quarterbacks. The Colts won 27-20 thanks to 326 yards and two touchdowns from Manning and four interceptions from Brady.

We haven’t had a Brady-Manning game since Nov. 21, 2010 in Week 11. It felt weird in 2008 when the Patriots played the Colts without Peyton and it felt weird in 2011 when they met again without Peyton.

This game on Sunday should be great. Well, really I just want it to be great because the Yankees are going to get the Sunday night slot and that means Giants at 1:00, this game at 4:25 and Yankees at 8:37. No, I’m not leaving the couch on Sunday.

Buffalo +10 over SAN FRANCISCO
What have the Bills done for me lately? Nothing really other than getting blown out by the Patriots, so I guess that has to count for something. In this league it’s risky to back a double-digit spread, but is it a good idea to take the Bills on the West Coast against maybe the best home team in football after being embarrassed by the Patriots last week? Of course not. But when have I ever been one for good ideas when it comes to NFL picks? But where has reason and logic gotten anyone in the 2012 NFL?

NEW ORLEANS -3.5 over San Diego
Drew Brees and the Saints have nothing left to play for at 0-4 except for his touchdown streak. Saints fans know that their season is over, so if they’re going to bring their “A” game again in 2012 it’s going to come on Sunday night against the Chargers for this record. It’s not like I needed a reason to pick against the Chargers, but this is one.

Houston -9 over NEW YORK JETS
Getting nine points at home on Monday night¬†football isn’t a good look. Th Jets’ season is in turmoil even more so than it has been in any other year under Rex Ryan and everyone is starting to find out that maybe Mike Tannenbaum isn’t the “smart SOB” he called himself in Hard Knocks two years ago.

Last Week: 7-8-0
Season: 27-35-1