BASN NFL Picks: Week Five

By Tony McClean
Updated: October 6, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct — With last year’s Super Bowl participants heading in opposite directions and four remaining unbeatens, we’re still trying to get an early gauge on this season’s early trends. With interesting conference matchups along with some divisional battles, Week 5 should be able to shed some light on what to expect during the month of October.
There are also a pair of “homecoming” games on this week’s schedule. Clinton Portis returns to Mile High country as the Redskins look to stay undefeated against the Broncos. Meanwhile at the Meadowlands, the undefeated Bucs take a look back to the future (remember the old Popsicle jerseys?) when they face the Jets and their “new” QB, Vinny Testaverde.
Also on Monday Night Football, the Steelers will meet the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium and yes, the Bolts will be pulling out the old Keith Lincoln, Lance Alworth powder blue jerseys from the 1960′s.
Ten of the NFC’s 16 teams are 2-2 or better. And the six clubs who are sub-.500 can find hope in the fact that since 1990, 11 teams have gone from three games below .500 to the postseason.
Which one of these former New York Jet running backs was the only one to have a 1,000-yard season while playing with Gang Green?
A. Adrian Murrell
B. Johnny Johnson
C. Matt Snell
D. Emerson Boozer
On October 2nd, 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Houston Oilers 17-16 at the Astrodome for their first victory in franchise history. The Oilers had defeated Jacksonville in their inaugural game three weeks earlier.
LAST WEEK: 9-5 (32-23 overall)
Just missed getting double-digit wins for the first time this season. We took a chance on the Tuna Helpers and 49ers on the road and got burned. But I’m just glad to have an above .500 week.
The Skins pulled out another squeaker last week as they outlasted the Seahawks in overtime. What’s made Washington stay in games this year has been defense. In fact, the Redskins are fifth in the NFL versus the run and have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in eight games – the longest current streak in the NFL. Denver has doing on the defensive line as well. They held Jacksonville to just 12 ground yards in Sunday’s win and are ranks fourth in the league against the run. Sounds like a low scoring defensive battle. Not that I’m crazy about their offense, but the Broncs are tough at home.

Pick: Broncos.

We warned Patriot fans that the schedule wasn’t getting any easier for the Champs. After being spanked at home by the Chargers, they now must go the dome and face the Falcons. However, they may not have to deal with the Michael Vick Experience. But Atlanta’s defense is something they’ll need to worry about. The Falcs are coming off an NFL season-high nine-sack game that puts them atop the NFL in sacks (17). Their defense has allowed only one second-half TD this year. Even without No. 7, Atlanta should have their way with New England.

Pick: Falcons.

To say that Philly has dominated this series recently would be an understatement. How so? Well, the Eagles have won nine of the past 10 meetings by an average of three touchdowns per game (22.1 points). With the Tuna Helpers still trying to mold its young defense, a visit by Donovan, TO, and the boys isn’t exactly what the doctor order. Coach Parcells may need one after Sunday night.

Pick: Eagles.

Could this be a possible playoff preview for ESPN viewers Sunday night? The Bengals are doing their part with their first 6-0 start since their Super Bowl season of 1988. Jacksonville is just looking to get over the .500 marks after getting beat up by the Broncos last week. While the QB battle of Palmer vs. Leftwich will get some play, the real battle may be mouthy WR Chad Johnson lines up against CB Rashean Mathis. When two teams were in the AFC Central, the Jags dominated, winning seven of their last eight division meetings.
Pick: Bengals.
Some San Diego fans that feel the Bolts should be really be 4-0. But because of their early season blips, their sit at 2-2 with the Steelers set to visit on a Monday night. This will be a battle between two of the AFC’s best running backs in LaDainian Tomlinson and Willie Parker. Not to mention a QB battle between Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger as well. But as usual, it will come down to the defense. Right now, I’ll give a slight edge to Pittsburgh.
Pick: Steelers.
Bucs over Jets: Even without their “Cadillac”, Tampa should cruise over Cousin Vinny and the Jets.
Colts over 49ers: Sorry, Alex. They’re using real bullets now.
Lions over Ravens: Just a hunch that the Boys from Motown can bring home a W.
Dolphins over Bills: All this and Grizzly Adams……..I mean Ricky Williams returns in a week.
Browns over Bears: Lovie hopes to stay afloat until Grossman returns.
Packers over Saints: Mike Sherman needs this game BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!
Seahawks over Rams: The Birds get a win outside the Western timezone.
Panthers over Cardinals: Congradulations on your first win, Coach Green. Now reality sets back in.
Titans over Texans: If this keeps up, Houston may try and schedule Prairie View for next week.
IDLE: Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Oakland.