As a new wave of quarterbacks has joined the ranks in the NFL, the old guard seems to be dying down. Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger all seem to be beyond done. Only Tom Brady has overcome father time till this moment and is chugging along like he was 7 years ago. And make no mistake – this is Aaron Rodgers’ league and we’re all just living in it.
There doesn’t seem to be a replenishment of young quarterbacks coming up through the pipeline either. Jameis Winston is good for at least two boneheaded decisions each game; Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr can’t stay on the field – and for Carr, even when he was playing earlier this year, he didn’t look anywhere close to what he was last year. Carson Wentz has continued to progress and Jared Goff has turned it around from last season, but we still cannot be sure that they’re actually good. Deshaun Watson has taken over the league by storm and is the clear front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year (ahead of Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, and Christian McCaffrey), but he may be a system QB and we don’t know how he will turn out either.
The Jacksonville Jaguars seemed to have solved the QB pipeline issue by just playing without one – Blake Bortles threw for 95 yards last week in a 30-9 win over Pittsburgh and it seemed to be their formula for winning football games..
All that being said, on to Week 6…
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) — I was wrong about the Cardinals challenging the Eagles last week, but I don’t think that offense flies against the Panthers’ defense. Cam Newton seems to have gotten back his swagger and we at least have a promising Thursday Night game.
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons (-11) — I have no idea how Jay Cutler is still employed – he should have stayed retired – but this smells funny. The Dolphins beat a Titans team that was starting the everlasting Matt Cassel, but I think Adam Gase recognizes his team’s best chance to win is to run the damn ball.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) — Aaron Rodgers > Case Keenum. Aaron Rodgers > Sam Bradford. Aaron Rodgers > Case Keenum + Sam Bradford.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-4.5) — Even if Matthew Stafford doesn’t play, the Saints’ defense is bad enough where former Michigan Wolverine QB Jake Rudock could produce plays. Also, Alvin Kamara may finally get the touches he deserves after Adrian Peterson’s corpse was sent to the desert.
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+9.5) — The Jets have won 3 games and wildly exceeded expectations, but if Todd Bowles can cover this spread, this single game is easily the best coaching job of the year.
Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens (-7) — The first push of my season came on Monday night when the Vikings beat the Bears 20-17 in Mitch Trubisky’s debut. But Trubisky on a short week facing this Baltimore defense is not fun for him or anyone else on the Bears’ offense.
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-9.5) — Well, well, well; here is another quarterback the Browns passed on. Deshaun Watson is a vengeful mothafucka as we saw against Alabama in the National Championship game last year. Texans huge. Lock of the week.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (-9.5) — I still think the Redskins are a much better team than anyone has realized and with the bye week allowing several players to come back, expect the Redskins to win big.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) — I have a weird feeling this is another one of those Jameis Winston games where he has 320 yards, three touchdown passes, and two very stupid interceptions late in the game.
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) — Vegas is begging you to take Jacksonville after last week’s Jaguars’ win and Rams’ loss. Go the opposite way.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-4) — The lone undefeated team not only doesn’t cover this week, but receives their first loss by a revitalized Steelers’ team.
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-3) — I think the Chargers keep turning around their season this week as the Raiders just completely discombobulate with or without Derek Carr.
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (-12) — Eli Manning should retire before this game. He may be broken in half.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (No line yet) — I think Marcus Mariota will play in this game, and the Titans pull away late. Andrew Luck should be back in a few weeks, however, as the completely inept AFC South continues to ruin the AFC playoffs ever year.
Week 5 Record: 6-7-1
Season to Date: 35-41-1