Sunday’s Week 5 picks:

Steve O Speak

Jaguars +1 @ the Bills: In a matchup of two very bad teams this game could easily go either way. Jacksonville might have a bit more overall talent, but the Bills are playing in front of their home faithful. While I like the Bill’s running game, I think Jacksonville will come out on top.

Buccaneers +6.5 @ the Bengals: The Bengals are coming off an embarrising loss last week to the Cleveland Browns and they can’t afford to take Tampa for granted. I think Cincinnati comes ready to play, as their passing attack started showing signs of life last week. Buccaneers will keep it close, but I like the Bengals to win by more than a touchdown.

Falcons -3.0 @ the Browns: Cleveland is perhaps playing their best football these last two weeks (though are only 1-1 over that time). They have finally found a capable running back in Hillis, but they still struggle in the passing attack and on defense. Atlanta should be able to go into Cleveland and steal a win. While the oddsmakers think it will be close, I like Atlanta to by at least a touchdown.

Packers -2.5 @ the Redskins: I know Washington is coming off a very nice win in Philadelphia, but I’m not sure I’m buying the Skins just yet. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick went down early in that game so it remains to be seen if Washington could have stopped the Eagles with everyone available. Also a huge coaching error (the delay of game call at the end of the first half) helped the Redskins keep the Eagles out of the endzone. This week the Redskins face the Packers and I don’t know if the can slow down Aaron Rodgers enough to find a way to win this game. The Redskins have the 31st worst passing defense, and are going up against one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Luckily the Packers rushing attack is pretty weak, so hopefully Washington can take advantage with a number of 2nd and 3rd and long situations, but if they can’t slow down Rodgers it will be a long game.

If Washington’s offense was in a better position I might give them a better shot, but right now I’m not a believer. The Redskins passing attack has severely struggled, despite their overall numbers being okay (13th in the league). While blame can be laid at everyone’s feet, it is troubling that McNabb has only posted one game with a completion percentage over 60% or a quarterback rating over 80.0 (same game against the Texans who have the 32nd worst pass defense). For Comparison sake, Rodgers has been over 61% in every game, and has just one game under 80 QB rating (and is above 92 in each of the other 3). While the Skins rushing attack has improved, I don’t think it is a top unit.

To make matters worse for the Skins they will be without two of their best players in Clinton Portis (injury) and Albert Haynesworth (death in the family). Without those two stars I have a hard time believing the Redskins can pull out this victory at home.

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