Week 5/October Has Arrived- The NFL welcomes in the month of October having completed 1/4 of it's schedule. Through the first four weeks of the season there are a few teams that have set themselves apart from the others. These teams are poised and set to have very good seasons. Teams such as Denver, Seattle, New England and New Orleans are off to dominant starts and look like teams who will be likely amongst the twelve still standing after week 17. Several other teams are in the middle of the pack with 2-2 marks and are looking to have weeks that may propel them to runs that can lead towards the post season. Then there are teams such as Pittsburgh and the New York Giants who are off to starts which are well below franchise standards. It is a long way until the post season however the point here is that with a season that consist of 16 games each, every game will matter some (certainly some will matter more than others). The 49ers at 2-2 will match up with the Houston Texans who have an identical mark. The team that comes out on the short end of the game is by no means out of the running. However the losing team here and for any team with a 2-2 record who drops to 2-3 is likely looking at 11 games in which they'll need to make plans with a wild card spot being the more obtainable goal.
The Kingshark Line through four weeks has done well currently standing overall at 44-20 after a win Thursday Night with the Browns defeating the Bills. Though four weeks the KSL has posted records of 11-5,13-3, 10-6 and 9-6. The goal this week is to keep the losses under six. However as the season goes along and as teams change games will become more difficult to pick just given the nature of the NFL. However this is also where the fun comes in too. This is because in the last two weeks even the average NFL fan has learned "What Any Given Sunday" can truly can mean. Week 5 will be a bye week for Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Washington. With four weeks under the belt, lets have a look at Week 5:
New Orleans@Chicago (FOX)- The Saints over the years have had one place that has spelled Kryptonite to them, that is in Chicago. The Saints however are entering this game with a team that is firing on all cylinders and are probably the best team the Bears will have faced so far this season. Also for the first time in their last four meetings here, the Saints are not visiting Chicago after December 1st. Head Coach Sean Peyton has breathed new life and swagger to a Saints team that once again is very good and strong on both sides of the football. Drew Brees has been very efficient and is playing his best football since the Saints Super Bowl season four years ago. The Bears at 3-1 have been impressive in their own right having won two close games at home to start the season and seemed to thrive under the pressure of those tight games. Jay Cutler has been efficient enough in leading the Bears offense. This is a game that actually could come down to the defenses. Right now New Orleans has had the better overall team defense which has turned this team into a player in the NFC. Saints 24 Bears 17.
New England@Cincinnati (CBS)- The Patriots are probably not off to their best starts ever at least statistically, but all that really matters at this point is that they are 4-0. If the Patriots aren't playing their best football yet, what happens when that starts? That spells trouble for the majority of the AFC excluding maybe Denver. The Patriots despite their pedestrian approach put together an impressive win at Atlanta last Sunday night. Tom Brady may have not ever even met half of his receiving corps before this season. However Brady does not have to know who they are, just where they are when it matters the most. The Bengals were fairly impressive in their first three games including a huge comeback win against Green Bay. Last week however the Bengals were throttled in Cleveland as the Browns shut down Andy Dalton and company. The Patriots aren't going undefeated, however right now they are quietly playing some very strong football. The Bengals are looking to rebound after a poor showing last week. This week they have a tall order in front of them even though they are at home. Patriots 31 Bengals 24.
Detroit@Green Bay (FOX)- The Lions are entering this game with a 3-1 mark and have played by all accounts some fairly decent football. Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush have come up huge in key moments so far this season. Bush in fact has become every bit as valuable to the Lions as Adrian Peterson is to Minnesota. The Packers are coming into this game very well rested after a bye week in Week 4. The Packers have also had plenty of time to think about a very tough loss in Cincinnati in their last outing. The Packers are way better than their 1-2 record and know that now is their "Go Time" to start and make a run. The Lions have not won at Lambeau Field since 1991 (two years before Brett Favre). This is a better Lions team than most of the previous ones that have come to Green Bay since then and a win here would obviously be a huge one. Aaron Rogers and company however are well rested and stopping them will be a very tall order this weekend. Packers 38 Lions 28.
Seattle@Indianapolis (FOX)- The Indianapolis Colts return home after a two week road trip which was highly successful. The trip included a rout of the 49ers in San Francisco. At 3-1, the Colts are playing very well and are out to prove that last season was not a fluke run. Andrew Luck had tough shoes to fill and a tougher act to follow coming to the Colts however so far has not disappointed at all. Seattle is 4-0 and is looking like the team right now most likely to emerge out of the NFC. Make no mistake here, the Seahawks have and are building which could be a long standing and totally dominant powerhouse under Pete Carroll. Last week the Seahawks got all they could handle against the Houston Texans. If not for a bad play call by the Texans, Seattle would have suffered their first loss. The Seahawks won't go undefeated however finding where there is a trap game for them will be hard. Russell Wilson is not putting up Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers type numbers, but he hasn't really had to either. The Colts with a win here will be making a statement for their fanbase and show they are a true contender. This game is a test for them. They aced their first test in San Francisco. They get this test by a hair. Colts 27 Seahawks 24.
Baltimore@Miami (CBS)- The Miami Dolphins are one of the best stories in the NFL so far in the still young season. Despite a tough loss at New Orleans this past Monday Night, Miami has shown they can play well and are improved well beyond last season. The Ravens meanwhile enter this contest coming off a tough loss in Buffalo. The defending champions are still looking for their first win of the season outside of the Baltimore city limits. The Ravens in the past have dominated the Dolphins having won their last several meetings in South Florida. This young Dolphins team will certainly be more than able to hang tough with the Ravens. The Ravens at 2-2 are looking for that game that will get them over the hump for this year. Miami will be very tough, however the Ravens are more battle tested at this point. Ravens 20 Dolphins 17.
Philadelphia@NY Giants (FOX)- When the NFL schedule came out last April nobody in their right mind would have guessed that both teams would enter this game with a combined record of 1-8. The Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly has found out that the NFL is a long way from Eugene, Oregon (and for a reason). The Eagles only win this season came against an equally bad Redskins team. In their three losses, the Eagles where just easily overmatched in two of them. The Giants have been overmatched three times in four games while giving their opener away in Dallas. In their last three games the Giants have scored a grand total of two touchdowns and were shutout in a bad loss in Charlotte two weeks ago. Both teams are not likely strong post season candidates though both teams are only one or two games out in the NFC East (which has turned into this season's worst division in the NFL.) The Giants are not going to go winless and realize they are in urgent need to give themselves and their fanbase some reason to believe. The Giants at least draw a team this week whose 2013 tale of woe is just as bad as theirs. The Giants have no choice but to find a way. This week they do it. Giants 17 Eagles 13.
Kansas City@Tennessee (CBS)- This may be one of the better games of the day as the Chiefs go into Nashville flying high with a 4-0 mark which they have truly earned. Alex Smith has found a coach in Andy Reid that gets him and has developed an effective west coast system that works well. Jamal Charles has come up huge for Kansas City in rushing and receiving the football. The Chiefs defense has also been one of the more unsung units as they quietly have shut down all opponents so far. The Titans enter this game at 3-1 and have rode the backs of one of the better team defenses in the league as well. However the Titans are facing their first real piece of adversity as starting QB Jake Locker will not play after suffering a hip injury in last week's win over the Jets. Former Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start for Tennessee and bring with him five years of NFL experience. However for the Titans this is probably the one game where they really could have used Locker (no knock on Fitzpatrick). Chiefs are too hot right now for anyone facing some hard adversity. Chiefs 24 Titans 17.
Jacksonville@St Louis (CBS)- One other item regarding the Giants and Eagles. As had as they have been, they at least are not the Jaguars and Rams. There are probably plenty of good seats still available for this tilt at the Edward Jones Dome despite that fact there is no local blackout of this game. The Rams have been badly exposed over the last two weeks and the Jaguars would have a tough time against a number of NCAA teams. However the Jaguars despite their potential to go 0-16 (and are a quarter of the way there), have refused to sign Tim Tebow despite the fact they would have very little to lose at this point by doing so. If they think he would be a distraction, would 0-16 be a bigger distraction? Even the Rams can't blow this one (or so they say). Rams 20 Jaguars 12.
Denver@Dallas (CBS)- The Broncos are simply rolling early in the season. Alongside Seattle in the NFC, Denver is the hottest early season team in the NFL. This week Peyton Manning and company visit Jerryworld in a game to be witnessed by most of the nation Sunday afternoon. Through four games Denver is averaging 44 points a game and are having a lot of fun as a team so far. Dallas meanwhile leads the NFC East despite a 2-2 mark. Last Sunday the Cowboys after a second quarter explosion could not hold on to a halftime lead and would go on to lose by nine points in San Diego. The Cowboys are a team that is hard to gage simply because they have the ability to at times to look very good, and then turn around (sometimes in the same game or even same quarter) and look awful. You never know what you are going to get from Dallas from week to week. Tony Romo has to be better, but that's a given. The rest of the team has to follow suit to have any success particularly against a team such as the Broncos. If the Cowboys do not bring their A-game here, it could get ugly at Jerryworld. The Cowboys at home will keep it close, however Denver just has too much firepower. Broncos 38 Cowboys 34.
Carolina@Arizona (FOX)- The Panthers enter this contest coming off of their bye week after a 1-2 start. The Panthers story this season has been two tough losses to Seattle and Buffalo, followed by a 38-0 hammering of the Giants in Charlotte. Cam Newton despite the Panthers woes over the last couple of seasons still has the raw ability to take a team and carry it as far as they are willing to go. The Arizona Cardinals at 2-2 have done enough to get by so far. Carson Palmer has done a decent job as the Cardinals QB as they seem to finally have some stability at this position. However the Cardinals have that unique ability to struggle on any given Sunday and sometimes just can't seem to get things figured out. The Panthers enter this game with a full week of rest and a good feeling of what they can do when things break their way. If on their game this Sunday, Carolina will give the Cardinals all kinds of fits. Panthers 28 Cardinals 21.
Houston@San Francisco (SNF 1/NBC)- This game features two teams who enter the contest with identical 2-2 records. The winner of this contest could jumpstart the rest of their season and begin to make a strong bit for a good run. The losing team falls to 2-3 and will need to use the next 11 games as a springboard to find a way to a wild card slot as that could be their only realistic goal and route to January. The 49ers were impressive in their win last Thursday night in St Louis. Once the 49ers got their ground game on track, it opened more possibilities for their offense. This week the 49ers are facing a team that has a top ten offense and defensive unit. Houston is looking to bounce back from an heartbreaking home loss to Seattle last Sunday. The 49ers are the better rested of the two teams and are desperate to show a Sunday Night Football audience that they are better than their record and their last two appearances on this national stage. 49ers 27 Titans 20. *For more on this game please go to this link: http://goldengatereport.com/articles/week-5-49ers-take-on-houston-looking-for-a-sunday-night-make-good
San Diego@Oakland (SNF 2/NFL Network)- The Chargers and Raiders renew their in-state rivalry in a game that will have a very late starting time (8:35pm PT/11:35pm ET) because of major league baseball's use of the Oakland Coliseum for the MLB baseball playoffs. Both the Chargers and Raiders have been anything but anyones favorite to go very far in the 2013 season. The Raiders despite their 1-3 mark have actually played much better football than anyone expected as they have played hard ever down of every game. Last week against the Redskins the Raiders clearly missed Terrelle Pryor and it showed. The Chargers meanwhile at 2-2 have exceeded most early season expectations as the team (which was gutted by it's now previous regime) has found a revival under new Head Coach Mike McCoy. Phillip Rivers has so far had by all accounts one of the better season starts of his career as McCoy has allowed Rivers to use his talents to get maximum results. This is happening despite the fact the Chargers offensive line has had a tough time so far this season. Both teams are projects however and it is almost certain that one of these two will finish at the bottom of the AFC West. Between the two teams, the Chargers seemingly are a little further along with their project than are the Raiders. Chargers 30 Raiders 27.
NY Jets@Atlanta (MNF/ESPN)- The Atlanta Falcons are probably one of the best teams ever to have a 1-3 mark after four games. This is something the Falcons cannot be too proud of as they have lost some tough games including last Sunday night's home loss to the Patriots. When on their game, Matt Ryan and Company can still be one of the league's most potent offensive units. The Falcons are looking to rebound and know that needs to happen starting Monday night. The New York Jets at 2-2 have exceeded expectations so far this season despite a hard loss in Tennessee last Sunday. Geno Smith for the most part has done about as well as anyone could have asked and has taken ownership of his position. Now that Mark Sanchez has decided to opt for shoulder surgery and end his season (and likely his tenure with the Jets), Smith is starting QB for the Jets for the remainder of the season baring injury. Right now the Falcons are a team that knows what they are capable of doing and are looking to get back into the hunt in the NFC. The Jets though decent just do not match up well against the Falcons. Falcons 30 Jets 17.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.