Robert, I know the feeling. It was another tough week for the Game Picks column, too, as every overtime matchup and otherwise close game went against your friendly writer. At one point in the fourth quarter of the early games, every outcome, save one, was picked right. Then Gary Barnidgewent all thigh master, Andy Dalton played more like the Super Tecmo rifle than the Red Rifle and the Chiefs inexplicably blew their double-digit lead late.
Now, let's get to it!
Elliot Harrison went 7-7 on his predictions for Week 5, giving him a record of 45-32 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 6? His picks are below.
**First two weeks:** 171.5 yards per game, 4.6 yards per carry.
**Last three weeks:** 88.7 yards per game, 3.5 yards per carry.
... a defense that suffocated opposing offenses enough to be near the top in the NFL in points allowed?
... an aging quarterback who was better known for his time with another franchise?
... a running back committee with no feature back struggling to move the ball?
Answer: both. The 1977 Denver team allowed all of 148 points in 14 games -- 10.6 per game! This 2015 unit is giving up 15.8, second only to the Jets. That's what Josh McCown will be facing, in a game that also harks back to the 1986, 1987 and 1989 AFC Championship Games, all three of which involved the Broncos beating the Browns. McCown (67.8 percent completion rate, 8.1 yards per attempt, 6:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 102.8 passer rating) has provided Cleveland with the best quarterback play the franchise has seen since Bernie Kosar in those days. #DENvsCLE
Make no mistake, we will be watching a somewhat rare event Sunday at Lambeau Field: two future Hall of Famers facing off at quarterback. That's right, Rivers is going to Canton, with or without a Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Rodgers is going after Chargers corner Brandon Flowers, with or without a care in the world (that would be "without"). According to ProFootballFocus.com, Flowers is allowing opposing passers to post a 142.2 passer rating. That's a weeeee bit high. #SDvsGB
The biggest issue? The lack of takeaways. After five games, five forced turnovers won't cut it for a team that has been careless with the football (12 giveaways). The Patriots are already at plus-five in turnover differential even after having a bye. Tom Brady has been able to make the offense work without taking unnecessary risks downfield. Part of that has been the rise of running back Dion Lewis, who is averaging 5 yards per carry and has caught 23 balls this season. That's tops among AFC running backs. #NEvsIND