by Greg Talcott
An admittedly tough week on the prediction front in Week 5 and I have nobody to blame but myself for a couple of them. First, I had the mistaken belief that after getting jobbed by the officials in Seattle, Detroit would be a motivated team, looking to show they are better than their record; clearly I was wrong. The Lions are absolutely dreadful and at this point Matthew Stafford makes Jay Cutler look like Johnny Unitas. Speaking of Cutler, he has now gotten me two weeks in a row with his last minute heroics to overcome his own mistakes, this week fumbling in his own end zone. This game did feature the solidification of a preseason prediction I made on my Top 5 Sleepers and Busts, namely Jamaal Charles being lost for the year due to injury. As a side note, that list may go 5 for 5 on the busts when you look at Julius Thomas (yet to play a snap), Jamaal Charles and Dez Bryant (injury), Jameis Winston (spotty play at best); and dare I say Peyton Manning who has 6 TD’s and 7 INT’s this season vs last year at this time when he had 15 TD’s and 3 INT’s.
My takeaways from last week are; the Lions are the worst team in professional sports, Jay Cutler is going to win enough games to screw up the Bears’ draft and not enough to make the playoffs, and Antonio Brown may as well have a broken leg playing with Michael Vick. What will we see this week? Perhaps an Andrew Luck sighting and definitely some horrible football games with; Texans vs Jags, Dolphins vs Titans, Ravens vs 49ers being the bottom of the barrel on this week’s schedule.
A tough division game for the Falcons, who suddenly look mortal after struggling last week against the Redskins. On the plus side for Atlanta, the Saints have virtually no defense ranking; 29th in points allowed and 32nd in yards allowed per game (23rd against the pass/30th against the run). The only thing not going well for Atlanta is the distraction of Roddy White complaining about not getting the ball enough but that is a minor issue. This game has all the making of a shootout if it were not for the fact both teams are playing on short rest. The Saints have not been able to produce much on offense this year with their highest output being 22 points against Carolina in Week 3. The Falcons, on the other hand, posted 24 points as their season low in Week 2 against a much better Giants team. Falcons should move to 6-0 with a 35-24 win over the Saints.