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Week 5 NFL Picks: Manning vs. Brady - Different Team, Same Rivalry

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

I finally got back on track with my picks last week, compiling a 12-3 record. That improved my record to 34-29 on the season. It's still not where I want it to be, but I'll get there. Baby steps. Let's get to my Week 5 picks.

Week 5 Games Explanation Pick
vs. Headline: It's hard to think that the Cardinals have been able to turn things around from a year ago. I thought they still faced many of the big issues they had in 2011, particularly at the quarterback position, but their defense has held tough and Kevin Kolb has made the clutch throws. The Rams have been impressive in their own right. and I attribute that to the coaching of Jeff Fisher. This should be a competitive division game, but I think the Cardinals' success continues. Cardinals 20, Rams 17
vs. Headline: Which defense wouldn't want to face Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Tannehill back-to-back? In fairness to Tannehill, he has come through with a couple of big performances so far. The Bengals' offense has exceeded my expectations, though, and my 'sophomore slump' proclamation for Andy Dalton is wearing thin. The Bengals are well-rounded right now, and they'll get the win at home. Bengals 27, Dolphins 17
vs. Headline: The Colts have been pretty competitive so far and are coming off of a bye week. Andrew Luck is poised to have another good first-year performance against the Packers' defense, which has yielded a fair amount of points. I think Green Bay's offense is ready to finally unload and build upon the success they had against the Saints last week. How many more sacks will Clay Matthews rack up, too? Packers 35, Colts 21
vs. Headline: This is an interesting matchup. It features two quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick, who get hit and sacked more than any other quarterback in the league. The Eagles' defense usually gets to opposing quarterbacks often, and the Steelers' defense is finally back at full strength with James Harrison and Troy Polamalu set to return. Something has to give. Roethlisberger does a better job moving the ball than Vick does, so I'll go with the Steelers. Steelers 23, Eagles 20
vs. Headline: The Falcons were the NFC's most impressive teams. They appeared to be on their way to suffering a letdown at home against the Panthers last week, but Matt Ryan and Roddy White pulled off an amazing 60-yard connection from the 1-yard line, setting up a game-winning field goal. The Falcons face another mobile quarterback this week, and they should learn from their mistakes a week ago. Falcons 28, Redskins 20
vs. Headline: I'm still baffled at just how pathetic the Chiefs' defense has been after four games. The Chiefs have allowed 136 points, an average of 34 points per game. The Ravens have not had many issues moving the ball, and that shouldn't continue this week. Kansas City's ideal gameplan is to utilize Jamaal Charles, but week after week, they are down by two to three possessions in the first half. That can't continue, but it will against Baltimore. Ravens 31, Chiefs 14
vs. Headline: I will be impressed if the Jaguars are able to muster more than 100 yards of offense against the Bears. Chicago's defense is playing at a very high level right now. Their own worst enemy is still Jay Cutler, but even he can't screw this one up. Bears 20, Jaguars 6
vs. Headline: This is a great matchup for Marshawn Lynch on the ground going up against a Panthers defense that let Michael Turner go off a week ago. The Panthers have to have a sour taste in their mouth with how last week's game ended against the Falcons. Even though they laid an egg at home against the Giants two weeks ago, I think Cam Newton will turn in his best game of the season. Panthers 27, Seahawks 24
vs. Headline: How can the 49ers improve upon their 34-0 massacre over the Jets last week? By shutting out the Bills, of course. In all seriousness, it'll be difficult to stop a high-powered Bills offense from scoring, but it won't be hard for them to dominate this game. For example -- the Bills had their spurts against the Patriots last week, but when the better team took over, they couldn't recover. 49ers 21, Bills 10
vs. Headline: Bang. It won't quite be the same as the Colts vs. Patriots, but Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady games are always the non-Browns games I most look forward to every regular season. I'm playing my "homer" card for Manning here. He looked a lot better last week against the Raiders and can build upon that this week against the Patriots. Broncos 31, Patriots 24
vs. Headline: I have given some credit to Jeff Fisher for his work with the Rams, but Leslie Frazier deserves some props for what he's done with the Vikings. That defense is playing light years better than I thought they would, and Christian Ponder has been as efficient as anybody with the ball in his hand. The Titans have been a disaster, plain and simple. Vikings 17, Titans 13
vs. Headline: Even at 0-4, when you have Drew Brees and a high-powered offense like the Saints do, you have a chance to win every week. The Chargers have been on the winning side of blowouts in three of their four games, but I think this is the week that the Saints get over the hump after their offense keeps piling it on. Saints 42, Chargers 28
vs. Headline: The Jets aren't a good football team, and they've lost Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis for the season. The crazy thing is that they are probably facing a better defense this week, the Texans, than they did last week against the 49ers. The Jets need to work Tim Tebow into the offense more; I've been very disappointed with how little they've used him. The Texans shouldn't have any issues putting up another blowout. Texans 34, Jets 17
vs. Headline: The Browns upset the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants back in 2008. Four years later, they have a chance to do it again. Will they be able to pull off a win days after the Cleveland '95 documentary, or will Eli Manning pick apart the Browns' secondary as Joe Haden serves the final game of his suspension? My full game preview and prediction for this game will be posted on Saturday, so stay tuned to Dawgs By Nature.
Teams on the Bye Week

Survivor Pick:
I am 1-3 in survivor, as I finally got one right with the Texans last week. This week, I'll go with the Bears beating the Jaguars.