Very pleased with my predictions in Week 4, going a strong 12-3 for the week getting the Arizona, Chicago and Giants victories incorrect, which is odd considering I have been high on the G-Men since the beginning of the season although that was more a match-up versus Buffalo on the road that put me off. But a great win for the Giants as they get back to 2-2 and essentially should be 4-0 and running away with the NFC East. With injuries taking over in Dallas - add Lance Dunbar to the injury table - and general dysfunction in Philadelphia, there is a chance for the Giants to win that division with a 9-7 record.
Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins pulled the trigger on coach Joe Philbin following their awful 27-14 defeat in Wembley Stadium to the New York Jets. The performance was devoid of personality and a microcosm of their season thus far, no pressure on the opposing quarterback, they could not stop Chris Ivory running over them and when the only chance you have of scoring points is via Jarvis Landry's kick off returns then the offence is to blame.
Miami had gone all in during the offseason signing Suh as their big free agent, coupled with the big contract given to Ryan Tannehill last year but failing to give him any viable receiving options and still no positive rushing from Lamar Miller, and you get a franchise in somewhat disarray. My belief was that the constant turnover of personnel would stifle the team and putting your eggs into the Tannehill basket was a mistake, he is not a great quarterback; whilst he may have a big arm he cannot show composure required during games nor manage the line effectively. Tough times in South Beach ahead.
Byes: Carolina, Minnesota, NY Jets, Miami
INDIANAPOLIS @ Houston
Chicago @ KANSAS CITY
SEATTLE @ Cincinnati
Washington @ ATLANTA
JACKSONVILLE @ Tampa Bay
New Orleans @ PHILADELPHIA
Cleveland @ BALTIMORE
St. Louis @ GREEN BAY
BUFFALO @ Tennessee
ARIZONA @ Detroit
NEW ENGLAND @ Dallas
DENVER @ Oakland
San Francisco @ NY GIANTS
Pittsburgh @ SAN DIEGO
Match of the Week
Denver Broncos (4-0) at Oakland Raiders (2-2)
This could be a great divisional match-up. Last week I was talking about how the Denver Broncos defence could be the reason to take Peyton Manning to his swansong Super Bowl, and last week the defence again stood up to a test by nullifying Adrian Peterson in their 23-20 victory at home. Peterson had 81 yards off of 16 carries, not bad looking but that is massaged by his 48 yard touchdown run making it 33 off 15 carries for the best running back in football. Denver were never behind in the game and controlled the tempo.
The Oakland Raiders will provide a far sterner test for the Broncos, this time in the air as the Raiders possess two wide receivers in rookie Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree who could give the secondary fits. A lot will depend on how well sophomore quarterback Derek Carr deals with the pressure from DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller who are eating up QBs this season; and if Latavius Murray can provide ball security and enough rushing yards to not put pressure on the Raiders passing game.
The Raiders were unlucky in Chicago last week as they made enough plays to win the game, and they will feel unfortunate to leave without the W from the Windy City, it is that desire that will make them get up for this home game versus the division rival and if their O-line can get pressure to Manning then their secondary led by the eternal Charles Woodson will be their to take advantage.
- Larry Donnell (Giants), with Odell Beckham Jr suffering with injury expect Manning to find his safety blanket for the home game versus 49ers.
- Antonio Gates (San Diego), is back from suspension a Hall of Fame signing back in partnership with Philip Rivers versus an ageing Steelers defence.
- Doug Martin (Buccaneers), with Jameis Winston suffering in the passing game (4 INTs last week) expect Lovie Smith to revert to a better balance and the muscle hamster back to the fore.
- Duke Johnson (Browns) a viable running back versus a Ravens defence who are leaking points
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