Sam Farmer's NFL Week 5 picks

A game-by-game look at each matchup in the league this week.

October 06, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fakes a handoff on a play-action pass in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fakes a handoff on a play-action… (Dave Einsel / Associated…)

The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 11-5 (.688); season 44-20 (.688). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-10 (.388); season 24-37-3 (.393).

Tennessee (3-1)

at Pittsburgh (2-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Titans 21, Steelers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 704.

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 39.

It's an especially bad time for Ben Roethlisberger to be nursing a bum foot, with the way his offensive line is breaking down. Pittsburgh needs to contain Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan.

Oakland (2-2)

at Houston (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Raiders 24, Texans 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Texans by 6. O/U: 48.

If the Raiders can control the clock (and neutralize the Houston crowd) with the running game, they stand a good chance of pulling off a signature road victory. Andre Johnson injury could loom large.

Kansas City (1-3)

at Indianapolis (0-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chiefs 17, Colts 12

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Colts by 2. O/U: 38.

Despite all their injuries, the Chiefs are starting to click just a bit on offense. The key will be taking the home crowd out of the game. Matt Cassel can outduel Curtis Painter.

Cincinnati (2-2)

at Jacksonville (1-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 17, Jaguars 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Jaguars by 2. O/U: 37.

The Jaguars probably will try to put more on the capable shoulders of running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Moving the ball on the ground hasn't been an easy task for Bengals' opponents.

New Orleans (3-1)

at Carolina (1-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 35, Panthers 28

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Saints by 6. O/U: 51.

The Saints get the edge based on their experience and number of offensive weapons, but Cam Newton should keep it interesting. The Panthers haven't lost by more than a touchdown.

Philadelphia (1-3)

at Buffalo (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bills 28, Eagles 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Eagles by 2. O/U: 49.

The Eagles are reeling and their defense hasn't proven it can stop anyone. That's not a good sign against a Buffalo offense capable of scoring in bunches. Philly can score too, of course.

Arizona (1-3)

at Minnesota (0-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 20, Cardinals 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Vikings by 2. O/U: 45.

These teams are a combined 1-7, but each has been in every game, never losing by more than a touchdown. Arizona's secondary is shaky, and that could make the difference.

Seattle (1-3)

at New York Giants (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 28, Seahawks 16

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Giants by 10. O/U: 43.

The Seahawks have shown flashes of respectability but quarterback Tarvaris Jackson still looks uncomfortable with the offense. Winning at the Meadowlands is a tall order.

Tampa Bay (3-1)

at San Francisco (3-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

49ers 20, Buccaneers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 41.

Which one of these 3-1 teams is for real? The 49ers get the edge because they're at home, and the Buccaneers are traveling cross-country on a short week after barely surviving against the Colts.

San Diego (3-1)

at Denver (1-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chargers 28, Broncos 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chargers by 4. O/U: 46.

Philip Rivers should be able to exploit Denver's defense the way Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did in

Week 4. Then again, division games are typically closer.

New York Jets (2-2)

at New England (3-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Patriots 28, Jets 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Patriots by 9. O/U: 49.

Three road games in a row is a tall order for the Jets, coming off consecutive losses at Oakland and Baltimore. Tom Brady and the Patriots are less-than-gracious hosts.

Green Bay (4-0)

at Atlanta (2-2)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Packers 38, Falcons 28

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Packers by 6. O/U: 53.

Atlanta will have a difficult time keeping pace with a Packers team averaging 37 points per game. In the playoffs last season, Green Bay scored 48 on the Falcons' home turf.

Chicago (2-2)

at Detroit (4-0)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Lions 27, Bears 21


Line: Lions by 5. O/U: 47.

Huge comebacks in consecutive weeks have Lions believing they're never out of a game. If Chicago doesn't take control with Matt Forte, they have a good chance to win their first Monday game since 2001.

Bye week: Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, Washington.

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