By Dan Leach/Follow Dan on Twitter @DTMLEACH
As the NFL season heats up so does the DTM Prediction machine, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being. I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding “Bagels and Lox” 1-10 scale. The fun continues…….
NEW ENGLAND AT CINCINNATI 1PM EST TV CBS (CINCI -1)
KEY INJURIES – PATRIOTS RB Steven Ridley QUESTIONABLE-Leg WR Danny Amendola PROBABLE-Groin TE Rob Gronkowski QUESTIONABLE-Arm BENGALS CB Leon Hall DOUBTFUL-Hamstring CB Dre Kirkpatrick QUESTIONABLE-Hamstring
The Pats are 4-0, that much is undeniable. The question is how good are they really? They definitely have one of the best QB’s of our lifetime, but when he is throwing it to 7th round draft picks that are former QB’s and TE’s you have never heard the name of before, yes you Matthew “May I have A” Mulligan, success can only last so long. The Bengals have been a disappointment so far as they came into the season as an AFC fave to get to Super Bowl 48. This is by far their biggest game of the season and they simply have too much talent to keep playing the way they have. In a way this is a game for their season as if they lose they would be 2-3 and two full games behind the AFC North leading Browns. yes I know that sounds silly. The Cats will get the job done and will throw everything but the kitchen sink and AJ Green’s jockstrap at the Pats and will reestablish themselves as an AFC contender.
5.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE BENGALS -1
SEATTLE AT INDIANAPOLIS 1 PM EST TV FOX (SEAHAWKS -3)
KEY INJURIES -SEAHAWKS DE Bruce Irvin PROBABLE- Suspension Served C Max Unger QUESTIONABLE- Arm COLTS- RB Ahmad Bradshaw OUT-Neck S Laron Landry DOUBTFUL -Ankle
The Seahawks are simply the NFL’s best team thru four weeks and hit you on every side of the ball. They are playing their second straight road game far, far away from home and that has always been one of their biggest downfalls as they are only 39% against the spread on the road since 2005. They got the job done in amazing fashion, thanks Richard Sherman, last week against Houston. Now they come into Indy against a team coming off an absolute lambasting of the Niners on the road and a cold-cocking festival against the NFL worst Jaguars.
This is a game that can show that Indy is to be taken seriously in the AFC and with the way that Andrew Luck is playing you simply can’t bet against him at home even though he is playing a scary team in Pete “Xmas” Carroll’s Hawks. Look for Luck and the Colts to work their way into the Seattle D and for the first time this season, the Seahawks secondary to have issues.
6 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE COLTS +3
NEW ORLEANS AT CHICAGO 1 PM PM EST TV FOX (PICK EM)
KEY INJURIES -SAINTS RB Mark Ingram QUESTIONABLE-Toe WR Lance Moore QUESTIONABLE-Hand BEARS WR Brandon Marshall PROBABLE-Foot
The Bears were absolutely exposed last week against the first good team they faced in 2013, sorry Cinci you are not there yet. Jay Cutler showed he is just as awful as ever when pressured and the Bears D showed how they are a shade of their former self. They did fight back in gritty fashion in the final minutes at Ford Field, but that seems to be the trend when the Bears and Lions get together. The Saints have been stupendous so far this season and you can see just how valuable head coach Sean Payton is as NOLA looks as good as they did in their Super Bowl season of 2009 and may have more talent with this years squad.
TE Jimmy Graham has been excellent and was just named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for September, the first time a TE has ever won that award in either conference. QB Drew Brees seems to get better with age and the Saints D, which was a huge issue last season us playing out of its mind. Under coach Payton the Saints have covered 11 of their last 12 regular season games and showed with their dismantling of a good Miami team last Monday night that they are one of the NFL’s best thru four weeks. The Bears will simply be over matched by NO and this game could get ugly early if Cutler looks like he did last week in Motown.
6.8 BAGELS AND LOX ON NEW ORLEANS
HOUSTON AT SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY NIGHT 8:30 PM EST TV NBC (NINERS -6.5)
KEY INJURIES TEXANS LB Brian Cushing PROBABLE-Concussion NINERS CB Nnamdi Asomugha QUESTIONABLE-Ankle LB Patrick Willis PROBABLE-Groin T Joe Staley PROBABLE-Leg
This is the type of game “That Makes You Go Hmmmmmm”, and I’m not talking about the seminal C&C Music Factory early 90’s hit. Both teams have had awful moments so far this season and both have also showed they have the talent to have the season many thought they should. The Niners seemed to be searching for themselves thru three weeks and then were able to bust out and look like last year’s Super Bowl runner up last week against St Louis. The Texans were in total control over the NFL’s best so far in Seattle in week four, only to have it all implode in the 23-20 OT home loss.
This is a game that can really put one of the these two top 4 preseason Super Bowl contenders back on the right path and could spiral the other into a dark place. The Texans just have too much talent to be playing the way they have been and I see this as a great chance, against a defense that is not the same from last season, for them to bust out. The Niners will bring their A game on SNF, but the Texans will give them issues keeping them off balance with their offense. The Niners might win this game in the end , but it would be by a razor thin margin and I would not be shocked at all by a Texans outright road delight. Stump the “Schaub” and Andre Johnson are going to have huge games against a beleaguered Niners secondary. Without LB Aldon Smith San Fran has lost a lot of their defensive identity and RB Arian Foster is going to take great advantage of that.
7.4 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE TEXANS +6.5
DETROIT AT GREEN BAY 1 PM EST TV FOX RADIO 97.1 THE TICKET (PACKERS -7)
KEY INJURIES -LIONS WR Calvin Johnson PROBABLE-Knee S Glover Quin PROBABLE-Ankle CB Chris Houston QUESTIONABLE-Leg CB Rashean Mathis PROBABLE-Head PACKERS LB Clay Matthews PROBABLE-Hamstring TE Jermichael Finley PROBABLE-Concussion RB Eddie Lacy PROBABLE-Concussion RB James Starks OUT-Knee
All the hyperbole in the world couldn’t give this game justice as when it comes to the Lions and what they are trying to do in 2013. It might only be week five, but this is as big as it gets this early in the season. The Lions haven’t won in Green Bay since Dan Quayle was spelling the ‘potatoe’ wrong and gas was under $1 a gallon. It has been 22 brutal years for Lions fans when the annual Packers game in Lambeau showed up on the schedule. The Lions have shown they are capable of doing special things this year and a win in G.B would continue that message.
The Pack are an overrated team and come in desperate at 1-2. The bottom line though is the Packers D has issues all over the place, the running game is as thin as a pencil mustache, and this is a team that while desperate only has so much they can do against a truly balanced Lions attack. This game will be won in the trenches and the Lions have the advantage over the Pack on both the O and D lines. Look for Stafford and Bush to have huge days and for the Lions D to truly announce themselves with an even more complete effort then the first 52 minutes against the Bears. When the final gun sounds Detroit will finally be able to celebrate as victors in a place that has been nothing but a horror show for them over the past 22 years.
8.6 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE LIONS +7
DTM’S ODDS TIDBIT OF THE WEEK- Odds of Jacksonville going 0-16 100$ wins 1000$ on the YESbet. Assist RJ Bell of Pregame.com
Season to Date-13-8
Dan Leach is on the front-lines of brokering a deal to end the government shutdown, invented bouncy balls in elementary school, coaches championship 25 and over Whirley Ball, and was just selected to be the first US ambassador to the newly rediscovered lost city of Atlantis.