ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 2: Ryan Torain #46 of the Washington Redskins rushes against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Can the Redskins finish off the Eagles? Our resident NFL picks expert tries to answer that question and more in this week's edition.
Last week's NFL picks were the equivalent of buying a new house in 2008. I blame the New York Giants for giving the Seattle Seahawks thir first win on the East Coast in something like 40 years. I pledge to get things get turned around for my Week 6 NFL picks.
It all starts with the Washington Redskins hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Can the Redskins end the Eagles' season? Find out below.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (Pick 'Em): The Redskins are coming off a bye and facing a reeling Philadelphia Eagles team. Any Redskins fan with a pulse remembers the curbing received last year on Monday Night Football from the Eagles. How about this play?
Well, that exact play may not happen again, but I fear similar dynamism from Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. After the loss last week to the Buffalo Bills, during which Vick threw four interceptions, some are suggesting that this Eagles team is done. I am not. I hate it, but I think the Eagles pull out a tight win over the Redskins at FedEx Field. This line is all over the place, with Philly laying one to three depending where you look. I think the Eagles win and cover anything up to three points. Pick: Eagles.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5): At this point, is anyone out there not on the Cam Newton bandwagon? The guy can play. And, somehow, the NCAA cleared him and Auburn of any wrongdoing from last year's national title. Cam makes plays, and receiver Steve Smith reminded us all that he belongs in the conversation with the best in the game. The Falcons might win, but the Panthers cover.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-7): You know what sucks about writing a picks column? Having to make picks on a game you would never actually bet on. I think I have yet to pick a Colts or Bengals game right this season. The Bengals play good defense and are at home. That should be enough, right? The Colts gave up a big lead to Kansas City last week when they were at home. Bad Sign. If I was in a confidence pool, this would go near the bottom. I was totally prepared to pick the Bengals, but this is a lot of points. I think the Bengals suffer from a home-field disadvantage playing in a half-empty stadium with apathetic fans. Pick: Colts.
San Francisco at Detroit Lions (-4.5): This line has shown some interesting movement. It opened at Lions -6 and is moving down, so early money likes the Niners. A sharp I've talked to likes the Niners as well. It makes sense because this is a classic letdown game for the Lions. All the emotion of a 5-0 start and Monday Night Football against a division opponent from last week will leave Detroit a little hungover, and the Niners are playing good football led by defense. Pick: 49ers.
St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers (-15.5): I plan to bet on the Packers every week until they show me why I shouldn't. Aaron Rodgers and company are just that good. They got mostly outplayed last week in Atlanta and they still covered. This week, the hapless Rams come to town and the beatdown should continue. The line opened at -10.5 before the vaults opened and moved it way up. It's a lot of points, and starting at -10.5 makes me fear Vegas knows something I don't. But not against the Pack. Not against Rodgers. He is playing as good or better as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady have in the last decade. Pick: Packers.
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (-3): This should be a great game. Fantasy players are probably drooling at computer screens thinking about Fred Jackson's stats and what Victor Cruz can do against the Bills secondary. Last week, I took the Giants and it hurt me. This week, I will do the same thing. Coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning tend to find their best when the NYC media drones on about how bad they are. After losing at home to the Seahwaks, I have a hunch the tabloids have been all over Big Blue. Pick: Giants.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-13): I picked against the Steel Curtain at home last week and it is not a mistake I will make again. Coach Mike Tomlin and defensive leader Troy Polamalu are a proud bunch, and they play well at home. Expect to see Mike Wallace in the end zone. Steelers cover.
Like Jerry and Gwen, i am going to cut bait with this Texans team, especially without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams. The Ravens win this. If you like teases, the Ravens and Packers could make a good combination. Pick: Ravens.
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (-7): Am I really prepared to lay seven points with Jason Campbell? As a Redskins fan and Campbell supporter, it makes me nervous. I'm not sure why, but the Silver and Black tend to be involved in tight games. I don't see it changing this week in the Black Hole. Pro football is an odd sport, and every week there is a surprise. I think Oakland will win, but for whatever reason the Browns keep it close to cover.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Bucs (+4): This week's only home underdog, Tampa faces a tough challenge after the whuppin' last week in San Francisco. Tampa is better than it showed lat week, but not as good as the Saints. Take Drew Brees and the gang on the road. Pick: Saints.
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-7): I went against the Pats last week, and I am prepared to do it again. The Patriots defense is soft, and Tony Romo, Miles Austin and Felix Jones all had a week off to heal some sore bones. The Patriots will actually try to slow this game down, employing the running game to balance Tom Brady and Wes Welker. But when the clock hits zero, the Cowboys stay within a touchdown. If you want to chase a big moneyline payoff, I think the Cowboys could even win this game. Pick: Cowboys.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3): A division rivalry on the big Sunday night stage. Too bad neither team is appealing. In a battle of big-time running backs, I think Matt Forte will actually outproduce Adrian Peterson. Expect some bad quarterback play from Donovan McNabb -- he is just old and bad at this point -- but the Bears offensive line equals McNabb's ineffectiveness. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz must enjoy watching Jay Cutler get blasted. I'm not sure why else he calls the plays he does. Even with the ineptitude, the Bears are better than the Vikes. Pick: Bears.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-7): The Jets played a good game last week in Foxboro. It was not enough to win, but depending where you got the line, it was enough to push. This week the Jets should finally get to have some fun. They're at home on Monday Night Football against a bad Miami team coming in with a dead-man-walking head coach. All signs point to a big Jets victory, and this line will probably continue to move up approaching Monday night. The points look tempting, but remember Miami lost quarterback Chad Henne for the year. Pick: Jets.
Last week: 5-8
Season Total: 13-16