NFL Office Pool Picks Week 5
by Trevor Whenham - 10/1/2013
Early in the late afternoon slate of games on Sunday, I was pretty sure I was in trouble. In a sign of how things can and do change, though, by the time games were settled things had turned out pretty well. Sometimes you just need to be lucky and patient, I guess. The nice thing about last weekend is that I don’t really regret the ones I got wrong, either — always a good sign. As incompetent as Marvin Lewis is, he had more than enough talent to beat the Browns, so his Bengals had to be the pick. The Ravens suffered five picks on the road and lost by only a field goal, so overall they are probably the better team. The Bears over the Lions was more of a gamble, but I have no regrets. It was good to get back on track last week after a horrifying disaster in Week 3. Let’s keep things moving forward with this week’s straight up NFL office pool picks for Week 5:
Buffalo at Cleveland: I got both of these teams wrong last week, so I don’t know what to do here. Brian Hoyer has been more than solid, so despite my doubts about these Browns I have to take him at home. The Browns are the pick.
New Orleans at Chicago: The Bears suffered a setback in Detroit. I have faith in Marc Trestman and company, though, and Soldier Field gives them an edge — especially if the weather isn’t particularly good. I respect the Saints, and their Monday night showing was impressive, but the Bears are the pick.
New England at Cincinnati: I am very unimpressed with the Bengals this year. This is a poorly-coached, underachieving squad. What else is new? New England has injury woes galore, but the receivers are finally finding their stride, and this is a hungry team. Take the Patriots.
Detroit at Green Bay: It has been a long, long time since the Lions in Green Bay wasn’t an automatic Packers pick. That certainly isn’t the case here, though. The Packers are a flawed squad, and I don’t believe in them — even at home right now. The Lions are solid and confident. I’d feel better if the Packers weren’t coming off a bye week that could help them regroup, but the Lions are the pick.
Kansas City at Tennessee: As I write this, the details aren’t clear, but it seems like Jake Locker will be out for a month or more with his hip injury. I’m not particularly a Titans’ fan, but it’s sad to see a guy go down just when he had really started figuring things out. I probably would have taken the Chiefs even with him ready to go because Kansas City is so confident right now, and they have a system that is working for them. Now, though, the Chiefs are the clear pick.
Seattle at Indianapolis: I am not sure what I would have done here if Seattle’s game in Houston had ended at the half. After their comeback, though, this game is much more straightforward. I respect the Colts, but they are just the second-best team here, and you can’t go picking the lesser team. Take the Seahawks.
Jacksonville at St. Louis: Ugly game. The Jaguars are not only the worst team in the league, but the worst team we have seen in a long while. The Rams are quite a mess themselves, though. St. Louis is the reasonably easy pick, but it still isn’t the confident pick it could be — like when the Jags play in Denver next week.
Baltimore at Miami: Things did not go as the Dolphins hoped on Monday night. If they can shake off the disappointment, though, and take a longer-term perspective, then they should be thrilled with where they are at — 3-1 against a decent schedule. I like the core of this team and trust them to be ready to get back on track at home. Take the Dolphins.
Philadelphia at New York Giants: Do I have to pick? I like pretty much nothing that either of these teams are doing right now and just plain hate their mindset. The difference is, though, that while there is absolutely nothing positive with the Giants right now, there are at least a couple of dim glimmers of hope with Philadelphia. Take the Eagles.
Carolina at Arizona: Arizona showed some nice grit in their comeback last weekend and have the advantage of being at home. I like how the Panthers played last time out, though, and they had a lot of positives to carry into their bye week. They should be fresh and ready and should have worked out some of the kinks that got in their way the first two weeks. The Panthers are the pick.
Denver at Dallas: Denver. Obviously. You can’t pick against the Broncos right now — at least until they show a hint of mortality. The Cowboys are inconsistent and disappointing and are tougher to trust than a lot of teams.
San Diego at Oakland: I like the Chargers this year — especially compared to where they have been in the past. They finally came from behind last time instead of letting their opponents do that. They are tough. Oakland is surprisingly solid — especially if Pryor is back — and they will be motivated in this huge rivalry game. However, the Chargers are the better team, and that makes them the pick.
Houston at San Francisco: That second half against the Seahawks was soul crushing for this Houston team. Combine that with the confidence San Francisco gained from looking at least somewhat like the Niners again last week after two rough outings and the location of the game, and the Niners are the pick.
New York Jets at Atlanta: I really don’t like this Atlanta team. Thankfully for the sake of this pick, though, I like the Jets much less right now. Geno Smith is a mess, and the team is shaky on the road. Take the Falcons.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham