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2011 Handicapping – NFL Week 5 Game Capsules

NFL Betting – Week 5 Roundup

I’d describe Week 5 in the NFL as “telling.” It told us which surprise teams were for real and which weren’t.

It also told us which slow-starters would be fine and which ones have reason to panic.

Steelers 38, Titans 17

Reports of the Steelers’ demise were greatly exaggerated. Hopefully you didn’t overthink this bet and pick Tennessee to cover. It was still Matt Hasselbeck travelling to Pittsburgh to face a talented albeit aging defense. And it was still Ben Roethlisberger facing a Titans secondary that couldn’t have gone from anemic to elite over one offseason.

Bengals 30, Jaguars 20

It’s time to start wondering if the Bengals are a playoff team. Don’t laugh. Read Cincy’s schedule first. Their next three opponents are Indianapolis, Seattle and Tennessee. It wouldn’t be unfathomable for the Bengals to enter their November 13 tilt against Pittsburgh at 6-2.

Saints 30, Panthers 27

Once again, the Panthers show us why we should start picking them against the spread. Cam Newton is built to keep teams in games. The Panthers still aren’t winning but their schedule has been tough; it doesn’t get any easier with Atlanta next on the docket.

Raiders 25, Texans 20

Al Davis passes away and Darrius Heyward-Bey has a big game the next day? Come on! After Oakland mourned the loss of its owner, Houston mourned the loss of its star defensive end, Mario Williams, to a season-ending injury. If it wasn’t the AFC South, Houston’s playoff hopes would’ve been dashed.

Bills 31, Eagles 24

This was the head-explosion game of the week. OMG, the Bills are legit! OMG, the Eagles aren’t! I never thought I’d ask this, but how long before the Philly fans turn on Andy Reid? Mike Vick threw four picks but he also made all the Eagles’ offense happen, so he isn’t the scapegoat yet.

Vikings 34, Cardinals 10

The Cardinals are learning what we already knew: Kevin Kolb isn’t very good. The Vikings apparently just learned what we already knew: Adrian Peterson is very good.

Chiefs 28, Colts 24

Yep, the Colts blew a 24-0 lead. It speaks to how soft their defense is and how bad their rushing attack is at closing out opponents. An 0-16 season is within reach.

Seahawks 36, Giants 25

As inexcusable as this home loss is for the Giants, it easily could’ve been a victory. Eli Manning had Victor Cruz open on a throw and it wouldn’t have been tipped for a pick-six had Cruz not randomly tripped. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

49ers 48, Buccaneers 3

Whoa, daddy. The powerhouse defensive effort from the 49ers isn’t a massive surprise, but what really shows that Jim Harbaugh is the early frontrunner for coach of the year is what he’s done with Alex Smith. Did you know that Smith’s passer rating is 104.1? That he’s completed 65.9 per cent of his passes? That he has seven touchdown passes versus one interception? It’s quite the under-the-radar transformation.

Chargers 29, Broncos 24

You have to think that Denver would’ve won this game had Tim Tebow played all four quarters. Throwing mechanics aside, the guy seems to make things happen when he’s on the field. Good for John Fox for naming him the starter going forward. Meanwhile, despite their crazy talent, San Diego continues to surprise with its small victory margins against bad teams.

Patriots 30, Jets 21

Sure, two of their three defeats are to New England and Baltimore, but is it time for the Jets to worry? They’re 28th in the NFL in total offense and their “ground and pound” is 31st. Maybe they really are the third-best team in the AFC East.

Packers 25, Falcons 14

Aaron Rodgers was spooked after Pro-Bowl left tackle Chad Clifton went down but cleared his mind at the half and showed after that why he’s football’s best player right now. As for the Falcons: Matt Ryan has to be better. Simply put, he isn’t making the quality throws to match his hype this season.

Lions 24, Bears 13

As much as it’s fun to dump on Jay Cutler, I still don’t blame him for this loss. It’s not just his protection; he also has one of the league’s worst receiving corps. He needs a Brandon Marshall. Meanwhile, the Lions looked great again, this time flexing their defensive muscle. In their first Monday nighter in a decade, they revealed that Detroit is a tough place for opposing teams to visit when the fans have something to cheer about.

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.