The next time I’m inclined to cheer when a player on a team that I support goes down with an injury, I’m going to think long and hard about doing it. After all, I don’t want to be on the bad side of a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle who’s spitting fire in the locker room.
Anyway, that’s what I’ll take away from what was a somewhat contentious Week 5 in the NFL. Eric Winston’s tirade at Chiefs’ fans stole the headlines, but we also witnessed Aaron Rodgers casting blame on Green Bay rookies, Ben Roethlisberger claiming the Eagles were head-hunting, and bounty-gate returning to mainstream news.
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Just what the heck happened in Week 5 and what can we expect to Week 6? With apologies to fans of the Bills, Browns, and Jets, we’re going to have to crunch some numbers to find out.
(all odds provided by Sportsbook.ag)
0 – Wins for the Cleveland Browns through five games. Perhaps trying to overshadow his team’s futility, linebacker Scott Fujita (a former Saint) blasted Roger Goodell on Wednesday despite having his bounty-related suspension reduced from three games to one. Fujita called out Goodell for “abuse of power.” Duh. Everyone knows the commish abuses his power. Maybe Fujita should not waste his time stating something so obvious and instead focus on getting a win, like this Sunday at home vs. Cincinnati (Browns are one-point underdogs).
1 – Direction. As in, you know, that English boy band. It’s also the number of wins for the New Orleans Saints so far this season. Fittingly, 1D and Brees teamed up for a Pepsi commercial that went viral on Wednesday and pretty much broke Twitter. At least Brees will be remembered for two things in 2012: breaking Johnny U’s record for most consecutive games with a TD pass and now this Pepsi ad. As for the Saints, they a whopping four games back of Atlanta and most sportsbooks aren’t even offering odds to win the NFC South anymore.
4.8 – Yards per carry being averaged in 2012 by Reggie Bush, who was once thought of as a bust but is quietly getting the job done in Miami (a 3.5-point home favorite over St. Louis). The bottom line is you don’t want to mess with this guy right now. He is expecting a baby (gender currently unknown) with girlfriend Lilit Avagyanare, and this is what Bush said Tuesday on Miami's “Paul and Young Ron” radio show: “If it’s a girl I’m going straight to the gun shop to buy some guns.” Badass.
8 – Expected number of weeks on the sideline for Green Bay running back Cedric Benson, who suffered a Lisfranc injury against Indianapolis. On the bright side, at least he’s not a Packers rookie! “For whatever reason I think the rookies have not picked up what the practice tempo looks like, or the importance of the scout team looks, as well as maybe it has been in the past,” Aaron Rodgers said in his Tuesday radio show after a 30-27 loss to the Colts. Um, okay Aaron. That’s really why you guys are 2-3? Really? Really? Green Bay will try to bounce back as a 3.5-point underdog in a Sunday night showdown at undefeated Houston.
11 – Teammates who testified against Lance Armstrong, according to a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency statement on Tuesday. Also the number of players on a football field for each team. Unfortunately for the Bills’ defense, it would need way more than 11 to stop anyone right now. The unit allowed 621 yards to San Francisco, most in franchise history, and it has given up 97 points in its last two outings. Buffalo travels to Arizona on Sunday as a five-point underdog, while the “over/under” is currently at 43.
47 – The Super Bowl (XLVII in New Orleans) that offensive tackle Ryan Kalil guaranteed the Panthers would win prior to this season. How’s that working out for him now? Carolina is 1-4 and Kalil was placed on injured reserve Wednesday due to a foot injury. The Panthers, who have a bye this week, are +20000 to win the Super Bowl and +10000 to win the NFC.
66.6 – You have to wonder if the digits in Mark Sanchez’s quarterback rating are a sign that God wants backup Tim Tebow to take over the Jets’ starting role. In any case, Sanchez’ mark is 31st in the NFL among 33 qualifying QBs (with at least 14 attempts per game). The pressure is mounting on Rex Ryan to make the change as New York heads into Sunday as a 3.5-point home favorite over the Colts, who are coming off an emotional upset of Green Bay.
0 – NFL starts for Brady Quinn since 2009. He is expected to get the nod for Kansas City (a four-point underdog at Tampa Bay) in the wake of Matt Cassel’s concussion.
.730 – The only thing that’s scarier for Cowboys’ fans than Tony Romo going up against Ray Lewis. More specifically, it’s the Ravens’ home winning percentage (84-31 record) in 14 seasons at M&T Bank Stadium heading into Sunday.
4 – Red-zone turnovers committed by the Eagles this season, most in the NFL.
60.8 – Oakland’s rushing yards per game, dead last with room to spare in the NFL. The Raiders (nine-point underdogs at Atlanta) may not be able to exploit the undefeated Falcons, whose main weakness is run defense.
27989 – Passing yards by Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh’s all-time leader. Roethlisberger can break it on Thursday night with exactly 300 at Tennessee.
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