Hopefully you ignored my top recommendation last week, because by the time Sunday rolled around I did as well.
That pick was Baltimore at home against Cleveland, but the Ravens were really thin at receiver and had a few other injuries that made me nervous. So I shifted to the New York Giants against San Francisco. Glad I did considering the Ravens gagged away a 33-30 overtime loss to Cleveland. The Browns had lost 13 of the previous 14 meetings but were able to rally from a 12-point deficit. Allowing Josh McCown to throw for a franchise-record 457 yards? Please. Ravens are done. Baltimore never before has been 1-4, and this marks the first time the Ravens lost their first two games at home. Maybe it's time to move on from Coach John Harbaugh after the season, even as successful as he has been.
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I was definitely sweating the Giants as they needed an Eli Manning 12-yard touchdown pass to Larry Donnell with 12 seconds left to avoid the upset against a bad 49ers team. That was an exciting game with 20 plays of at least 15 yards.
Cleveland over Baltimore wasn't the only Week 5 upset as Chicago went into Kansas City and stunned the Chiefs 18-17 with two touchdowns in the final three minutes or so. Stupid Bears. There goes that No. 1 overall pick. My upset pick of Week 5 was Oakland over visiting Denver and it nearly happened, but the Raiders fell short 16-10.
Here we go for Week 6 -- and I really don't see a clear-cut choice. On the bye are Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis and Tampa Bay, so no teams you would be using regardless. Again, first team listed is the pick.
Top Choice Of Week
Minnesota vs. Kansas City: I'll be honest in that I'm not 100 percent comfortable with this pick yet and may well change by the weekend. But we like to get you these early and ahead of the Thursday game. I do think the Chiefs will be one of the worst teams in the NFL the rest of the way as they lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season to a torn ACL. He IS that offense. And Minnesota has looked good in two home wins. So maybe I stay here.
Green Bay vs. San Diego: We all know how dominant the Packers are at home. The Chargers have struggled offensively in two road losses this year, are on a short week and off a devastating final-second home loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night. One small break for the Bolts is this is a 1:25 p.m. Pacific start instead of 10 a.m.
Seattle vs. Carolina: The Seahawks think that running back Marshawn Lynch will return this week, but they may have found their future there in undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls from Central Michigan (via the University of Michigan). Seattle has looked Super Bowl worthy for the most part at home this season but not like a playoff team at all on the road. Panthers get back stud linebacker Luke Kuechly. This should be the lowest-scoring game of the day.
Miami at Tennessee: If the Dolphins' players have any heart whatsoever, they dominate this game even on the road. The Fins are off their bye and have a new, very energetic interim head coach in Dan Campbell, who had his players running the dreaded "Oklahoma" drill during practices. If he can't wake them up, no one will this year.
Detroit vs. Chicago: Lions have pretty much quit on Jim Caldwell, but they still have more talent than the Bears. What on earth has happened to Matthew Stafford? Buy low on him in your fantasy keeper league now.
Cincinnati at Buffalo: Trap game! Bengals are riding high at 5-0 and off that big comeback win over Seattle. So why am I not picking Buffalo? Because QB Tyrod Taylor is likely out, and I wouldn't trust backup E.J. Manuel to bag my groceries. Plus, the Bills still dealing with injuries at running back and receiver. If they were healthy, this would easily be my upset of the week.
Could Go Either Way
Pittsburgh vs. Arizona: I think Mike Tomlin's decision to go for the touchdown on the final play on Monday night and the fact that Le'Veon Bell got it totally changes the direction of Pittsburgh's season now. One of those tough 10 a.m. Pacific time starts for the Cards.
NY Jets vs. Washington: New York welcomes back Pro Bowl defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson off his four-game suspension. That might now be the NFL's best defense. If I trusted Ryan Fitzpatrick even a little, this might be my top pick of the week because Jets also off a bye week. But I don't.
New Orleans vs. Atlanta (Thursday): Drew Brees generally beats Atlanta in the Superdome, and the home team always has an advantage in these quick turnaround games. Plus, Falcons star receiver Julio Jones is iffy and even if he does play won't be 100 percent.
San Francisco vs. Baltimore: No Harbaugh Bowl this year. Simply like the home team here.
New England at Indianapolis: Clearly the matchup of the week and the first meeting between the teams since the Colts went running to the NFL office to tattle on the Patriots for tampering with the footballs' inflation during last season's AFC Championship Game. Both teams probably want to embarrass the other. Should be a great game as long as Andrew Luck returns, although he has been blown out in four career games vs. the Pats.
Philadelphia vs. NY Giants (Monday): Are the Eagles fixed? They put up a season-high 39 points last week in the Saints and have now won two of three. There also has been a DeMarco Murray sighting. Now for those Chip Kelly to USC rumors...
Upset Of Week
Cleveland vs. Denver: Let's try going against the Broncos the second straight week. Peyton Manning this season: 63.5 percent completions, 1,234 yards, six TDs, seven picks and a rating of just 77.3. Josh McCown this season in one fewer game: 67.8 percent completions, 1,203 yards, six TDs, one pick and a rating of 102.8. Take the better QB at home. That simple folks.
Jacksonville vs. Houston: Texans are going back to Brian Hoyer. Yippee. Jags have the worst point differential in the AFC at minus-52. Texans are No. 2 at minus-38.
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