NFL: Week 5

Well, I was painfully wrong with my Jags/Titans prediction, but nailed the other two games (Giants/Chiefs and Rams/Niners) for a respectable 2-1 week. What can I say about the loss? Garrard finally had a game Jacksonville’s been waiting for…of course it’s the week I’m playing someone in fantasy football who just traded for Garrard and Sims-Walker. But that’s how it always goes. Let’s see what’s on tap for the coming week.

Bengals at Ravens: Ravens by 8.5. This is the game, I believe, where Cedric Benson is exposed for being Cedric Benson. The Bengals finally go up against a brick wall of a defense and get shut down. Palmer might have 200 yards and a connection with Mr. Ocho Cinco, but the running option will be limited, and the Bengals will likely be playing from behind by the end of the first quarter. Expect Flacco to drive the offense on the other side to a couple passing touchdowns, exposing Cincy’s defensive issues and capitalizing on their defensive strength…milking the clock to Rice/McGahee as much as possible. The Bengals seem like a Cinderella team this year, so it’s hard to bet against them, but even the underdog eventually gets squashed by the better teams. I think the Ravens also will benefit from being at home, and will cover…probably winning by 11-12 here.

Colts at Titans: Colts by 3.5. Isn’t it great to see Peyton Manning throwing like the Manning of old? Amazing what taking Marvin Harrison off the field can do for an offense. And welcome back Joseph Addai (and hello to Donald Brown). This team is quietly taking advantage of a lot of different offensive weapons, spreading the attack both on the ground and in the air. The absence of Sweeny is probably part of what’s keeping this line close, and the fact that the Titans are at home and desperate for a victory. Ultimately, though, I don’t think any of that will overcome the talent and momentum the Colts have, and they should cover the line. I’d also take the over in the one, as I think it’ll be a shootout. And Collins might quickly abandon the hand-offs to Johnson if they’re trailing, setting the stage for a few picks as they move past halftime.

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