What an absolutely bizarre week. Crazy shootouts, blown leads, postponed bouts, two Monday Night Football games, and the first superstar of the season with a confirmed COVID case. I did what I could, and I made it here on the right side of .500, so let’s keep it up.
Overall Record: 42-21
Ryan’s NFL Picks (2020): Week Five
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was anti-Chicago all season, and then after a 3-0 start, I thought fine, I’ll give it to them, they can handle the puny Indianapolis Colts. They got it. Khalil Mack, eat to your heart’s desire. And how did they repay me? By getting absolutely crushed by old man Philip Rivers.
So ya know what, here’s Tom Brady, enjoy losing at home in primetime, the honeymoon phase is over.
Los Angeles Rams @ Washington Football Team: Los Angeles Rams
I feel bad for the Washington Football Team. They’ve got some real pieces, I don’t think Dwayne Haskins is as bad as everyone makes him out to be, and I respect the hell out of “Riverboat” Ron Rivera. But bad ownership and some questionable offensive playcalling doesn’t have me optimistic about their chances against a Rams team that’s been better than bad to this point in the season.
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans: Buffalo Bills
If you’re reading this, you’re hip enough to have seen the Spider-Man meme. If you haven’t, here’s the gist. There are two Spider-Men in the frame, pointing at each other as if to say, “Ah! An imposter!” It gets a lot of use when two of anything are actually the same, like Pocahantas and Avatar, or Pocahantas and Dances with Wolves, if you’re a BOOMER.
Jazzy off-the-hook slang aside, that’s what we have here. Two teams that rely on a big, bruising back to carry their offense while the defense tries to leave the other team black and blue. And yes, this is me calling Josh Allen a running back, I won’t buy him as a quarterback, you can’t make me.
However, I think the Bills focus on stopping Derrick Henry, like they did to Josh Jacobs and the Raiders last week, and without play action, Ryan Tannehill is absolutely useless. Bills win and move to 5-0 on the season.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t care who starts at quarterback for the Eagles, they’re gonna get knocked around by the Steelers pass rush. I feel bad for the Steelers because they have a shot to contend in the AFC, but the Titans robbed them of their bye week… so it’s going to be a long run.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets: Arizona Cardinals
The worst team in football will be without their starting quarterback this weekend, and instead, they’ll have Joe Flacco. I repeat, Joseph Vincent Flacco. Cardinals get back on track here.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City Chiefs
I hate it here.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans: Houston Texans
This is a weird one. Teams are unpredictable after a coaching change, that’s why they usually wait for the bye. But the Texans are due for a win, and I’m still not a huge Jaguars fan. A galvanized Texans team gets their first win of the season.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore Ravens
Joe Burrow is in for his first really rough afternoon of the season. The Bengals can’t protect him and they seem committed to throwing it 50 times a game, so he’s gonna leave this one a little black and blue. Meanwhile the Ravens are still stacking wins versus bad teams to get the taste of Kansas City’s dominance out of their mouths.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta Falcons
I don’t know why I keep believing in this silly team. I don’t know why I think the Falcons are going to finally put it all together and start winning games, but every week, I look at the two teams on paper and think, “yeah, Atlanta has a shot.”
Here’s to Atlanta having a shot.
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers: San Fransisco 49ers
The 49ers are slowly but surely getting healthier, and at home, against a bad Miami team, San Fran wins big. I wonder how much they’d have to win by for Miami to give Tua some playing time?
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys: Dallas Cowboys
Why can’t my favorite team play in the NFC East? The NFC East Champ might not even break .500 this season. They’re certainly not on pace to, whoever they end up being.
At least Dallas has a good offense, so I’ll take them this week.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns: Cleveland Browns
FINALLY the bloated, overrated Colts play a team with a semblance of talent. Even without Nick Chubb, I think the Browns just curbstomp the Colts. They just come out and beat up Philip Rivers and company.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots: New England Patriots
The Patriots proved that it doesn’t really matter who is playing quarterback for either team, they can bring the pain. They made the Kansas City Chiefs look human a week ago, and even in a COVID world, they should dominate the Broncos.
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks: Seattle Seahawks
This is a nice mix because it’s my “I refuse to pick Minnesota” bit meeting my “Russell Wilson is the MVP” bit. It’s like hitting the jackpot, betting it all, and hitting the Jackpot again. Hawks roll.
Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans Saints: New Orleans Saints
Justin Herbert is coming into his own as a young quarterback, making a ton of big throws, but it remains to be seen how long it’ll work before teams catch on. New Orleans is still a heavy playoff contender, but man, they can’t afford to lose another winnable game this early in the season.