Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Musician's Sports Guide: NFL 2012-13 Week Five

Welcome back, readers. It’s once again time for a random guitar player to give his armchair analysis of the NFL. Welcome to our week 5 report.

Don’t listen to anyone -- including me -- who predicts what will happen with the NFC East. The Eagles (3-2) sit statistically on top, but a rough loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday won’t help as they head into their next two games (hosting Detroit next week and then the Falcons after the bye week). The Giants (3-2) managed to give up two fast touchdowns to the Browns before remembering that Cleveland sucks, but they visit San Francisco this weekend for what should be a seriously tough matchup. Dallas (2-2) had the weekend off, and they needed it after being hammered by Chicago the week before. They’ll try and get some of their dignity back at Baltimore on Sunday. Finally, Washington (2-3) put up a tough fight against the conference-leading Falcons, but RG III had his bell rung and hopefully he’s well recovered to host the Vikings on Sunday.

Concussions are not fun. I've had a couple, which sort of explains my inability to, uh... what was I writing? Photo via Getty Images.

As the NFL Turns: last year, it would have been pretty odd to see Minnesota (4-1) at the top of this division and Detroit (1-3) at the bottom, but even more perplexing would be Green Bay (2-3) and their losing record. I certainly can’t offer any explanations. The Vikings have won three straight and seem like a good match against the Skins next weekend. Meanwhile, the on-again, off-again Bears (4-1) go into their bye week looking great with a killer run defense, and should make easy work of upcoming games against Detroit and Carolina. Meanwhile, the Packers get to look forward to playing the Texans next week. Gulp.

There’s not a team in the league who wants to face the Falcons (5-0) right now. Not only are the the sole undefeated team in the NFC, but they have massive momentum going into this week’s game against... great, my Oakland Raiders. With a great passing game from Matt Ryan and an excellent defensive backfield, it’s tough to say who will hand Atlanta their first loss. I’ll mention Tampa Bay (1-3), Carolina (1-4), and New Orleans (1-4) since it doesn’t seem nice to leave them out entirely. Congrats, though, to the Saints on their first win of the year, and to Drew Brees for breaking Unitas’ record. Extra congrats for having beaten the Chargers.

The not-so-unstoppable Cardinals (4-1) were beaten by their division mates the Rams (3-2), and might have a tougher time than you’d think next weekend in Buffalo. Meanwhile, San Francisco (4-1) has beaten their last two opponents by an aggregate score of 79-3. They host the Giants next weekend, and my money’s on the Niners. Finally, in this league-leading division with no losers (what the hell? how can that be?), Seattle (3-2) beat Carolina on the road and hosts the Patriots this week. Normally it would be a lock for New England, but I doubt the spread will reflect your former impression of either team.

You'll be seeing more of the Niners celebrating over the rest of the season. Photo via AP.

This division’s not looking much like its usual self. The Patriots (3-2) have won their last two, but their pass defense is atrocious, and they’re only alive and somewhat well due to that explosive offense. The Jets (2-3) did slightly better against the Texans on Monday night than I’d expected, but still lost. They host the Colts next weekend, and really better not lose to them if Rex Ryan plans to stay employed for much longer. Meanwhile, Buffalo (2-3) have lost two in a row and had better come out swinging against Arizona on Sunday. Miami (2-3) and their record might not reflect this, but they have the #1 run defense in the league right now. The Fins host St. Louis next week. Much like the NFC East, the year’s still young enough for anything to happen here.

Jeez Tim, relax. It's just a first down. Look at the scoreboard. Photo via Getty Images.

I find that few people are ever surprised to see the Ravens (4-1) atop this division. I’d say they are easily the second best team in the AFC right now. They’ve won three straight and it’s good money that they keep riding that streak when they face Dallas this week. The Bengals (3-2) lost to Miami after a few wins, but they should put a mark in the win column against the hapless Browns (0-5) on Sunday. It’s a mystery as to when/how Cleveland will get its first win this year. Pittsburgh (2-2) pulled off a last-second win via field goal this week against the Eagles, and could also fare well against the Titans for this week’s Thursday night game.

Who’s going to stop the undefeated Texans (5-0), I ask you? The reason they sit atop every power ranking goes beyond their win/loss record. They have a crushing defense, a good running game, and even Shaub’s mostly unspectacular passing is enough to have them legitimately be called the best team in the NFL right now. Congrats to the Colts (2-2) on their shocking victory over the Packers on Sunday. Andrew Luck is absolutely going to grow into an elite QB in upcoming years. In other news, Jacksonville (1-4) and Tennessee (1-4) are terrible.

Andrew Luck: does not suck. Photo via Getty Images.

Welcome to the armpit of the AFC. The Chargers (3-2) lost to the previously-winless Saints in week 5, and host a division game against Denver (2-3) this coming Monday night. Those Broncos lost pretty convincingly against the Pats, and are looking decidedly mediocre on defense. Oakland (1-3) thankfully had the week off, so perhaps they’ll feel better when they travel to Atlanta to get their clocks cleaned on Sunday. Finally, KC (1-4) is at Tampa Bay, and it’s anyone guess as to who takes that suckfest.

Classic "Manning face" alert! Photo via AP.

That's All, Folks!
My only sure win of the upcoming week, sadly, is the Falcons beating the Raiders. Beyond that, it’s a pretty closely-matched set of games in week 6. Good luck to your team and as always, your comments are welcomed.

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