By Hamish Girvan
The “Pick 6” of NFL week 5
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
The NFC North is a tight run affair and this game will be critical come season end. Detroit thumped divisional rivals the Chicago Bears last week and come into Green Bay who had a bye last week. Freshness could be the key however the Lions have a running game based around ex Saints and Miami running back Reggie Bush. Green Bay’s run game had a setback with first round draft pick Eddie Lacy picking up a concussion in week 3. He is expected to start and if so will make a difference to the Packers running game, which has been a weakness. Aaron Rogers the packers quarterback has not been his dominating self and needs help to get his offensive game going. The Packers have only lost one game at their home ground since 2010 – this could be close though.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
Last year Colts quarterback Andrew Luck proved his worthiness as the no. 1 overall draft pick. He is possibly a young Peyton Manning in disguise. This week he faces the 75th pick in that draft in Russell Wilson who has no taken a step back from his rookie season. The Colts realised early this season their running game was weak traded for Cleveland Browns star running back Trent Richardson, who has so far shown he was worth it. The Seahawks showed their mettle beating the Texans away last week so may have got over their traditional travel sickness. Their defence is second to none and can be explosive once things go their way. The West Coast team travel again here and may be too much for the Colts. It will be a great duel between two class quarterbacks.
Philadelphia Eagle’s at New York Giants
The NFC East traditionally has been an even division however this season looks like one of the weakest. The Eagles come into New York with only one win to their name – that was against the struggling Redskins. What is worse is the Giants are winless having been comprehensively beaten in all games so far. They potentially look as though they will miss the playoffs for the second straight season after winning Superbowl in 2011. There will be major implications going forward with that scenario. Both teams have nothing to lose however the Eagles after being blown out last week in Denver could be too fast for a Giants team that has no running game and a Manning, in Eli, at Quarterback who is struggling. This could be a good game with pride on the line. The Eagles could easily soar in the Big Apple.
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys
The question is who can stop the Broncos? They are the form team having scored 50 points more over 4 games than any other team so far, and Peyton Manning seems to be growing each week. With weapons all over the field his composure is his strength and he looks like he is back to his best. Wes Welker looks like the pickup of the offseason which may be regret for his old employers in New England. Averaging 43 points a game they should be able to roll through inconsistent Cowboys. One thing is constant though – Dallas seems to be a team that lets themselves down yet again. Last week with a healthy lead against the Chargers, they had another meltdown and lost a close one. Questions at this franchise raise their head again. What they do however is that they can perform in the big games. Unless Manning and company beat themselves though, the Cowboys should not be close here however the 9.5 start they are given may be a bit generous.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Both the Chiefs and Titans have surprised all pundits so far with Kansas City unbeaten and Tennessee only losing one game so far. The Chiefs look totally rejuvenated under new head coach Andy Reid. The second half of the season is a tough road to hoe so maybe come season end they may be in the middle of the pack, however they are revelling with their current form. The Titans lost quarterback last week Jake Locker during their win over the Jets, however they still won comfortably. Back up Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick started for the Bills last season so is no novice. This will be a test for both teams and is tough to predict. Momentum is everything in the NFL –and home teams usually have an extra edge.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
The kick-off of this fixture changed midweek due to baseball. The Raiders share their ground with the Oakland Athletics who surprisingly made the MLB playoffs. Kicking off at 8.35pm West Cast time the East Coast football fans of both teams need to stay up until 11.35pm on a Sunday night – a rare occurrence. The Chargers finally on paper showed what they have in beating the Cowboys last week and Quarterback Phillip Rivers may have a coach who he finally trusts in Mike McCoy. The Raiders although yet again rebuilding are a competitive unit and Terrelle Prior has relegated off season trade Matt Flynn to no. 3 on the depth chart – and that was after Flynn started last week due to Prior’s concussion. In the last five years the Chargers have only lost once at the Raiders home ground. Expect this trend to continue
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