The NFL Depot
by Dave Mest Jr.
Week 5 Preview – 10/7/12
Welcome back to the NFL Depot! I’m your host Dave Mest! We start things off with my top two picks of the week, plus the remainder of my pick em’ games, and I’ll give an update on my running totals. We will
also take a trip over to Tarn’s corner, for his top five plays of the week. We will also have Bay’s fantasy pick up/play of the week, as well. So let’s get to it!
I didn’t have the kind of bounce back week I was seeking, but 8-8 is better than 5-10, any day. So, let’s get to my top two games of the week. This week’s games, in my mind are the best two games of the week, lots of drama and renewed rivalries. So in the words of the great Motley Crue……On with the show!
1. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh (1:00): Where to start with this inter-state rivalry? These games are usually tough, hard hitting, and intense, since they only play each other every four years, in games that actually mean something outside their normal preseason games.
For Pittsburgh, I think this is almost a must win game, after a crushing defeat in Oakland two weeks ago. Pittsburgh gets some help back, this week, on defense with both Troy Polamalu and James Harrison returning to action. Harrison hasn’t played yet this year, with knee surgery, and Polamalu missed the last two weeks, with a calf injury. So both of these players should help a Steelers defense that was flat out bad in Oakland. They are going to need all the help they can get against Mike Vick.
The last two times the Steelers played against Vick, he had a field day against their defense. The Steelers offense, on the other hand, did have a good week against Oakland. Ben Roethisberger, finally seems to be embracing Todd Haley’s offense, But, the Steelers have been struggling with the run game. They hope to get a shot in the arm, with the return of Rashard Mendenhall, but Mendenhall has been out since the end of last season, with a torn ACL. So, how effective Mendenhall will be, is anyone’s guess.
The Eagles are getting it done with hard fought wins, all three Eagles wins where by only one point margins.
As of late, the Eagles are winning in spite of Vick. They are using LeSean McCoy a lot, as should any team with a stud running back like McCoy, and they are getting just enough out of Vick, at the right times. I think this is going to be a hard one to call.
Top Two Keys to Victory: 1. The Steelers have to get some form of run game going. They have to keep the Eagles strong pass rush guessing, because once again, the Steelers offensive line isn’t a strong point. For that reason, if they can’t establish some type of ground game, it’s going to be a very long game for Ben Roethisberger.
2. The Eagles need to use Vick’s athletic ability, use him in run options, force mismatches in the Steelers
secondary. Force the Steelers into guessing, and then hit them with the right amount of McCoy, at the right time. Make the Steelers show they fixed their problems, in Oakland, with weak secondary play.
Dave’s Take: I’m going to be honest here, as I’m a Steelers fan, this is a very hard game for me to call. I haven’t seen enough out of either team, to really say who has a clear cut advantage here. The Eagles have faltered, as have the Steelers. Maybe the Steelers in a bigger way, or that’s just me being tough on my team. But, I see this game coming down to who wants it more, the hungrier team will win, plain and simple. I’m going to play the homer here, I see the Steelers doing just enough to win in a tough ball game. 24-23 Steelers.
2. Denver vs. New England (4:25): This should be another classic in the Brady, Manning saga.
Both teams are coming off impressive wins, Denver at Oakland, and New England at Buffalo. Both QB’s looked sharp, Brady throwing for 340, 3 TD’s and Manning throwing for 338, 3 TD’s as well.
I think both of these defenses will have their hands full. New England’s defense had its hands full, last week, against a fast paced Bills offense. But, overcame their struggles in the second half. Denver’s defenses, on the other hand, looked solid, but Oakland’s offense didn’t put up much of a fight.
This game, however, is going to be a different story. Both teams like to go no huddle, fast paced offenses. This game is going to be a true test, for both teams defense.
Top Two Keys to Victory: 1. New England’s offense keys off of Brady, and his tight ends. Denver’s defense has to push Brady to other options, keep him guessing with different coverage’s, and blitzes. They have to push Brady out of the pocket; Brady isn’t good on the run. This also forces receivers to break off their routes; it also keeps Gronkowski in shorter routes, and forces him to block more.
2. New England has to bring almost the same game plan, except they have to plan for a better run game. Like I’ve stated before Manning loves to use play action, taking away McGahee forces Denver into the shotgun, which makes Manning more predictable. Like Brady, forcing Manning out of the pocket hurts his accuracy, he’s not very effective when he can’t plant his feet.
Dave’s Take: This is another hard game to call; I see this being a classic shoot out, Brady and Manning going toe to toe. I see this coming down to whichever team makes that one critical mistake, that’s why I’m taking the Pats in a nail bitter. Manning has a bad history against the Pats; I think it continues this week. 34-31 Pats.
Now on to the rest of the week. I’m sitting below .500 at 30-33, I’m hoping to change that with a better week, so here’s hoping.
All Games 1pm start
Miami vs. Cincinnati 23-17 Bengals
Green Bay vs. Indianapolis 34-16 Packers
Baltimore vs. Kansas City 27-14 Ravens
Tennessee vs. Minnesota 23-14 Vikings
Atlanta vs. Washington 24-17 Falcons
Cleveland vs. N.Y. Giants 28-14 Giants
All Games after 4pm
Seattle vs. Carolina 23-21 Seahawks
Chicago vs. Jacksonville 28-13 Bears
Buffalo vs. San Francisco 24-10 49ers
Sunday Night 8:20
San Diego vs. New Orleans 24-23 Saints
Monday Night 8:30
Houston vs. N.Y. Jets 30-17 Texans
Now we head over to Tarn’s Corner. Tarn had an off week, going 1-4, 10-11 overall for the year. He’s looking for a bounce back week, so here are his top 5 plays.
San Diego @ New Orleans Over/Under 54 Tarn’s play: Take the over
Buffalo @ San Francisco Over/Under 44 Tarn’s play: Take the over
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh Over/Under 43.5 Tarn’s play: Take the over
Green Bay @ Indianapolis Over/Under 47 Tarn’s play: Take the over
Tennessee @ Minnesota Over/Under 43.5 Tarn’s play: Take the over
We will end things as always, with Bay’s fantasy play/pick up of the week.
WR – Brian Hartline – Miami Dolphins
Thanks for stopping by the NFL Depot! Till next week…..See Ya!
You can reach me on Facebook David Mest Jr. or on Twitter @blitzburgh6