Pittsburgh Steelers: Tomlin showing why he’s one of the NFL’s best coaches

Tomlin.jpg
Tomlin” by Brook Ward is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

After beating the Cleveland Browns today, Mike Tomlin has his Pittsburgh Steelers sitting at 7-5. That 7-5 record is currently good enough for the Steelers to occupy the sixth spot in the AFC playoff picture.

Since becoming the head coach of the Steelers back in 2007, Tomlin has never finished a season with a losing record. Once again, Tomlin has his Steelers in position to finish with a winning record, needing just one more win this season to finish at least 8-8. If the Steelers do in fact finish this season with a winning record, it would mark the 13th straight season Tomlin’s Steelers have done so.

Although the Steelers are on track for their 13th straight winning season under Tomlin, this one has been a little different than most. To start off the season, the Steelers took a beating from the New England Patriots, losing 33-3. They then went on to lose their next two games to the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

By starting 0-3, the Pittsburgh Steelers had everyone thinking they were one of the worst teams in the NFL. It was fair to think so, as they lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season after their second game. More often than not, teams don’t do well when their starting quarterback goes down.

It certainly looked like the Steelers were doomed without their starting quarterback. With backup quarterback Mason Rudolph in, the Steelers got their first win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, but they then went on to lose to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5, putting them at 1-4 through five weeks.

To make things even worse, Rudolph got hurt against the Ravens and was set to miss the next game, meaning the Steelers would have their third string quarterback in the game. Instead of refusing to quit and call the season a loss, Tomlin put together the perfect game plan for his third string quarterback, Devlin Hodges, to go in a beat the Los Angeles Chargers. It was with that win I knew the Steelers weren’t done just yet. The Chargers aren’t a great team this season, but how often do teams win games with their third string quarterbacks? Almost never.

Over the next three weeks, Tomlin led the Steelers to three straight wins over the Dolphins, Colts and Rams with Rudolph back in the lineup. However, he lost starting running back James Conner to injury for two of those games.

Then there was the first of two games between the Steelers and Browns. The Steelers lost this game, but it wasn’t just the game they lost. They also lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey for two games because of the fight that broke out in the final minute of the game.

After losing that game to the Browns, Tomlin has led the Steelers to two straight wins over the Bengals and Browns. Over these two games, things looked even worse for the Steelers going in. Against both the Bengals and Browns, the Steelers didn’t have starting wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Starting running back James Conner was also out for those two games after returning for their first game against the Browns.

Then there’s the fact that Rudolph was benched against the Bengals for his horrible play. They won that game because Tomlin decided to put third string quarterback Devlin Hodges in for the second half. Hodges started the game against the Browns today, which resulted in a win.

So here’s a quick recap of what Tomlin has been working with, or more like without, to this point in the season:

  • 10 games without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
  • Four games without starting running back James Conner
  • Two games without starting center Maurkice Pouncey
  • Two games without starting wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Two and a half games (benching) without backup quarterback Mason Rudolph

Tomlin has only had a full strength team in two games this season. Those were the first two games. Since then, Tomlin has had to deal with some sort of injury to a significant player every week, yet he’s led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a record of 7-3.

Regardless of if the Steelers end up making the playoffs or not, you have to admit that what Tomlin has been able to with this group of players is impressive.

I find it funny that just a season ago, there were rumors going around that Tomlin had lost control of the locker room. Many people wanted Tomlin out because of it. It’s pretty clear now that Tomlin never lost control of anything, he just had to deal with dramatic players such as Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell over the last couple of seasons, who did nothing but complain and be selfish regardless of results.

Remember, Tomlin is a Super Bowl winning coach. He’s also led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl appearance. It’s not every day a team has as many injuries to overcome as the Steelers have had this season, but it’s not every day you get a coach who can win with all those injuries either. If you don’t respect Tomlin already, start now, because he’s one of the best coaches in the NFL. Not many can do what he’s doing.

 

2019 NFL Season: Week 10 picks

Chargers @ Raiders (Thursday night)

The Chargers came out smacked the Packers around, showing us their true potential as a team. If they can play like that every week, they can beat just about anyone. That kind of play will beat the Raiders, but the Raiders are no easy win. They’ve proved to be a lot more competitive, and the competitiveness always comes out for divisional games.

Prediction: Chargers

 

Giants @ Jets

Both the Giants and Jets are bad teams, but the Jets just lost to the Dolphins. I’ll take the Giants.

Prediction: Giants

 

Falcons @ Saints

I believe the Saints are the best team in the NFC, possibly the league right now. They’re not taking a loss to their division rivals.

Prediction: Saints

 

Chiefs @ Titans

There’s a better chance Mahomes returns this week, but even if doesn’t, the Chiefs have proved they can play with anyone with Matt Moore as quarterback. Their game plan is being executed perfectly with Moore. The Titans still don’t seem to have a true identity, which is why they continue to be inconsistent. I’ll take the good game plan against the inconsistency.

Prediction: Chiefs

 

Ravens @ Bengals

Well, the Bengals are officially the worst team in the league. They’re not beating the Ravens.

Prediction: Ravens

 

Bills @ Browns

Let’s face it, the Browns are just bad. Yes, they’re still bad. They couldn’t even beat the Broncos without their starting quarterback, although that probably made it harder….. Despite the Bills not playing very many good teams so far, they still have a good record. They’ve proved they’re a better team than the Browns.

Prediction: Bills

 

Cardinals @ Buccaneers

Both the Cardinals and Buccaneers went blow for blow with two of the best teams in the league in the 49ers and Seahawks. We saw how competitive these two teams can be. Now it comes down to which team can repeat that competitiveness.

Prediction: Cardinals

 

Lions @ Bears

What happened to Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offensively? They’ve been terrible recently. That has to change if the Bears are going to climb back into the playoff race. The Lions are still a team I think can beat anyone, but also lose to anyone. Which version of them do we get?

Prediction: Lions

 

Dolphins @ Colts

The Miami Dolphins have won a game! I repeat, the Miami Dolphins have won a game! Can they make it two in a row? The Colts might be without Jacoby Brissett in this one because of injury, but he does have a chance to play. Their chances of winning are better with him, but I think they can still win without him.

Prediction: Colts

 

Panthers @ Packers

The Packers getting destroyed by the Chargers last week makes me feel like they’re going to bounce back. The only way they don’t win is if they can’t contain Christian McCaffrey, which is hard to do. If they can just contain him even a little bit, I think they’ve got this.

Prediction: Packers

 

Rams @ Steelers

 The Steelers got lucky getting that win against the Colts last week, but a win is a win. They’ll have to be more than lucky to earn a win against the Rams, though. The Rams may not look like the team we saw last season, but they’re still a winning team who can score at any time. The Steelers might have to play a perfect game.

Prediction: Rams

 

Vikings @ Cowboys (Sunday night)

Dallas has gotten off to several slow starts this season, which has really hurt them in each of their losses. They started off slow again against the Giants last week, but were able to recover because the Giants couldn’t cash in offensively. If the Cowboys start slow and turn the ball over early against the Vikings, the Vikings will cash in, leaving the Cowboys in another hole.

Prediction: Vikings

 

Seahawks @ 49ers (Monday night)

In my opinion, the Seahawks are the toughest test the 49ers have had this season. Russell Wilson is playing lights out and is the front runner for MVP. The 49ers have a legit defense, though. We’ll see if the MVP candidate or MVP defense takes control.

Prediction: 49ers

2019 NFL Season: Week 9 picks

NFL Investigation
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 71-49-1

Aman: 79-41-1

Dan: 77-43-1

Joel: 77-43-1

Rahim: 76-44-1

 

49ers @ Cardinals (Thursday night)

The 49ers are one of, if not the best team in the league right now. The Cardinals have been able to stay competitive this season, but they’re simply just no match for the 49ers. This defense will smother Kyler Murray all game long.

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: 49ers

Rahim: 49ers

 

Texans @ Jaguars

Last time around the Texans came out with a one point victory over the Jaguars. I foresee this game being similar to the last. I don’t see a ton of points, but rather a defensive battle ending with one team barely getting past the other.

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Jaguars

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Bears @ Eagles

This game is going to be interesting. Both teams have been up and down. One week they’re dominating their opponent, but then the next they’re getting walked all over. I can see another close game between these two teams, with it possibly coming down to a field goal. Hopefully for the Bears, that’s not the case!

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Vikings @ Chiefs

With the way the Vikings have been playing, I don’t think I can take the Chiefs to win this game. Matt Moore did a nice job hanging in there with Aaron Rodgers, but he couldn’t get it done when it really mattered. I can see the exact same thing happening in this game.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Colts @ Steelers

Pittsburgh got the win over Miami last week, but they did not look good for a half. The Colts have been quite the surprise this season, being one of the better teams in the league halfway through. Mason Rudolph didn’t look too good last week, and I can honestly see the Colts’ defense smothering him the entire game.

Predictions

Adam: Colts

Aman: Colts

Dan: Steelers

Joel: Colts

Rahim: Steelers

 

Jets @ Dolphins

This is a game I can actually see the Dolphins winning. The Jets have looked horrible over the last two weeks. The Dolphins have looked horrible all season, so it really could go either way. I’ll take the Dolphins just for the fun of it!

Predictions

Adam: Jets

Aman: Jets

Dan: Jets

Joel: Dolphins

Rahim: Jets

 

Redskins @ Bills

The Redskins have proved they can be competitive for a while, but they can’t put it together for an entire game. The Bills may let the Redskins hang around for a little while, but eventually they’ll walk away with a win when the Redskins can’t hold on anymore.

Predictions

Adam: Bills

Aman: Bills

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Titans @ Panthers

The Panthers got wrecked by the 49ers last week, but that’s exactly why they’ll bounce back against the Titans. You can’t really blame Kyle Allen for having his worst game against the 49ers’ defense. The Titans have been better with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, but I still don’t have much confidence in them after being one of the most inconsistent teams in the league.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Titans

Joel: Panthers

Rahim: Panthers

 

Lions @ Raiders

In my opinion, the Lions are one of the best teams with an average record. If a few calls had gone their way, they’d have a much better record right now. I think the Lions can compete with any team. The Raiders have been better this season, but they’re still a losing team.

Predictions

Adam: Raiders

Aman: Raiders

Dan: Lions

Joel: Lions

Rahim: Raiders

 

Buccaneers @ Seahawks

There’s usually at least one game every week where I don’t have to give any explanation as to why I’m picking a team. This is that game this week. Seahawks win.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Seahawks

 

Packers @ Chargers

The Chargers barely got by against the Bears last week, but that won’t be the case against the Packers. The Packers are one of the best teams in the league, and I see them walking all over the Chargers in their home stadium.

Predictions

Adam: Packers

Aman: Packers

Dan: Packers

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Browns @ Broncos

Joe Flacco is out for this game due to injury. That might actually help the Broncos…. Everything points to a win for the Browns, so let’s see if they can actually follow through with it.

Predictions

Adam: Browns

Aman: Browns

Dan: Browns

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns

 

Patriots @ Ravens (Sunday night)

This game will by far be the biggest test for both sides. Lamar Jackson will be tested by a dominating defense, while the Patriots will be tested by a team who’s actually good. It’ll be interesting to see what game plan Bill Belichick comes up with to stop Lamar Jackson and this offense. Whatever it is, I think it works.

Predictions

Adam: Ravens

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Ravens

 

Cowboys @ Giants (Monday night)

Dallas put a beating on the Eagles before their bye week, which makes me want to pick them, but I wouldn’t be confident in that decision. Dallas has been very inconsistent this season, which is why I said I wouldn’t pick them again for the rest of the season. I’ll stick with that because I can honestly see the Giants winning this game.

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Giants

Rahim: Cowboys

2019 NFL Season: Week 8 Picks

Week 8
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 60-45-1

Aman: 65-40-1

Dan: 67-38-1

Joel: 64-41-1

Rahim: 65-40-1

 

Redskins @ Vikings (Thursday night)

The Redskins have been able to put up a fight in a couple games this season, but when it comes down to it, they just can’t sustain that play for an entire game. The Vikings have been rolling and will continue that this week with a win over the Redskins.

Predictions

Adam: Vikings

Aman: Vikings

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Vikings

 

Seahawks @ Falcons

Reports are that the Falcons are open to making some trades after a terrible start to their season. That has proven to be true so far, as they traded away receiver Mohamed Sanu. The Falcons got weaker, and now they take on a Seattle team looking to rebound after a tough loss. Wilson is still a leader in the MVP race, and will surely do everything he can for his team to earn a victory.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Seahawks

 

Chargers @ Bears

The Chargers just can’t seem to get it done. It’ll be tough to get it done against one of the best defensive teams in the NFL. After seeing the Chargers get dominated by tough defensive units this season, I have no doubt the Bears can do the same thing.

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Giants @ Lions

Despite dropping two straight games, I believe the Lions are still one of the most competitive teams in the league right now. The Giants are still the Giants, even with the return of Saquon Barkley.

Predictions

Adam: Giants

Aman: Lions

Dan: Giants

Joel: Lions

Rahim: Lions

 

Jets @ Jaguars

The Jets got dominated by the Patriots last week, primarily because of the Patriots’ defense. The Jaguars have a very competitive defense, and I think we’ll see Sam Darnold make some more key mistakes.

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Jaguars

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Jaguars

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Bengals @ Rams

The Bengals are in the race to be the worst team in the league this season. I’ll leave it at that.

Predictions

Adam: Rams

Aman: Rams

Dan: Rams

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Buccaneers @ Titans

I feel like the Titans have the perfect defense to pick off Jameis Winston a few times. If that happens, I see a second straight victory for them.

Predictions

Adam: Buccaneers

Aman: Titans

Dan: Buccaneers

Joel: Titans

Rahim: Buccaneers

 

Eagles @ Bills

The Bills are good this season primarily because of their tough defense. Dallas’ defense gave the Eagles fits last week, and I can honestly see the Bills doing the same thing to them this week. The Eagles have been inconsistent this season though, so maybe we’ll see the competitive Eagles this week instead of the team that got dominated a week ago.

Predictions

Adam: Bills

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Eagles

 

Broncos @ Colts

Jacoby Brissett has quietly been one of the better quarterbacks in the league this season. On the other side, Joe Flacco has been one of the most mediocre quarterbacks. I’ll take the better one.

Predictions

Adam: Colts

Aman: Colts

Dan: Colts

Joel: Colts

Rahim: Colts

 

Cardinals @ Saints

The Saints are at home against a rookie quarterback. Kyler Murray looks promising, but he doesn’t look getting a win at New Orleans promising just yet.

Predictions

Adam: Saints

Aman: Saints

Dan: Saints

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Saints

 

Panthers @ 49ers

The Panthers have been performing well lately, but they haven’t played a defense like the one the 49ers boast. Carolina will do some nice things, but the 49ers should continue their undefeated streak.

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: Panthers

Joel: 49ers

Rahim: Panthers

 

Raiders @ Texans

The Raiders got their trash kicked on defense last week against the Packers. They now play another team with the ability to score a lot of points. If the Raiders can even just slow down Watson and the Texans, they stand a chance. I don’t see that happening though.

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Raiders

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Raiders

 

Browns @ Patriots

There should be no question about the Patriots winning this game. Mayfield has thrown way too many interceptions this season, and the Patriots have a ton of interceptions. That doesn’t add up for the Browns.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Browns

 

Packers @ Chiefs (Sunday night)

This one is simple. No Patrick Mahomes against Aaron Rodgers spells bad news for the Chiefs.

Predictions

Adam: Packers

Aman: Packers

Dan: Packers

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Dolphins @ Steelers (Monday night)

The Steelers should get Mason Rudolph back for this game, which only makes them stronger offensively. In their last game, being strong on offense didn’t matter, as their defense dominated. I foresee their defense dominating once again, helping them earn another win.

Predictions

Adam: Steelers

Aman: Steelers

Dan: Steelers

Joel: Steelers

Rahim: Steelers

2019 NFL season: Week 7 picks

Untitled-1jj
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 51-40-1

Aman: 55-36-1

Dan: 58-33-1

Joel: 54-37-1

Rahim: 55-36-1

 

Chiefs @ Broncos (Thursday night)

Mahomes’ injury has limited his mobility, which has taken away his strength. It’s obvious he’s not the same player when he can’t move around. Can the Broncos take advantage of Mahomes’ lack of mobility? If they can, they have a real shot at winning this game.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Raiders @ Packers

The Raiders have made a lot of improvement this season, but the Packers look like they can beat just about anyone right now. I can see the Raiders winning this game, but I think they’ll have to play near perfect in order to do so. Aaron Rodgers and their revamped defense will likely be too much.

Predictions

Adam: Packers

Aman: Packers

Dan: Packers

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Rams @ Falcons

The Rams need to rebound after getting smacked around by the 49ers last week. The Falcons just need to get a win after losing four straight games. Despite the Rams struggling, they look like the better team, and they just added CB Jalen Ramsey.

Predictions

Adam: Rams

Aman: Rams

Dan: Rams

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

49ers @ Redskins

The 49ers are dominating the NFL right now, and they’ve proved they can beat a good team after beating the Rams. The Redskins have a win, but it was against the Dolphins, who everyone has beaten. They’ll start another losing streak this week.

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: 49ers

Rahim: 49ers

 

Texans @ Colts

Both of these teams are coming off a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. These two division rivals are looking like some of the better teams in the league right now, but only one can come out on top. Who can continue their hot play?

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Texans

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Texans

 

Vikings @ Lions

The Vikings dominated the Eagles last week and are looking good with their passing attack once again. This game shouldn’t be so easy though, as the Lions are coming off a game where they got screwed by terrible officiating. They’ll be seeking to earn a win and will come out firing. It’s always fun watching an NFC North matchup.

Predictions

Adam: Vikings

Aman: Vikings

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Vikings

 

Jaguars @ Bengals

The Jaguars proved last week they can at least hang with some of the best teams in the league. They hung in there with the Saints and gave them a tough time. They’ll be too tough for a horrible Bengals team searching for a win.

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Jaguars

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Jaguars

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Cardinals @ Giants

Two rookie quarterbacks face off against each other in this one! Kyler Murray vs. Daniel Jones will be fun to watch. Both quarterbacks have had their moments, but they’ve also had some rough times. Which quarterback will shine in this game?

Predictions

Adam: Giants

Aman: Cardinals

Dan: Cardinals

Joel: Giants

Rahim: Cardinals

 

Dolphins @ Bills

After coming off another loss to the then also winless Redskins, is anyone picking the Dolphins to win this one?

Predictions

Adam: Bills

Aman: Bills

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Chargers @ Titans

Both of these teams are in need of a win. The Chargers just haven’t looked right, and the Titans have looked so poor that they’re switching quarterbacks now. I feel like the Chargers have more offensive weapons than the Titans. However, the Titans have a good defense, and we saw what the Steelers were able to do on defense to the Chargers last week.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Titans

Rahim: Chargers

 

Ravens @ Seahawks

Russell Wilson seems to be the leader in the MVP race right now. He’s making play after play and keeping his team in the NFC West race. Now he faces a tough matchup against Lamar Jackson and the 4-2 Ravens. This game will be fun to watch, as we get to see two quarterbacks who can make plays with both their arms and feet. We’ll see who comes out on top.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Seahawks

 

Saints @ Bears

I believe the Saints are the best team in the NFC right now, even without Brees. They’ve built this team to win without Brees, and it’s obvious that plan has worked. This will be a tough matchup for Teddy Bridgewater, as the Bears have one of the best defensive groups. However, so do the Saints. I feel like both defensive units will have a good game, but which one can do a better job of controlling the opposing offense?

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Bears

 

Eagles @ Cowboys (Sunday night)

As long as Jason Garrett is the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, I will not pick them to win another game for the rest of the season. I’ll leave it at that.

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Cowboys

 

Patriots @ Jets (Monday night)

The Patriots crushed the Jets 30-14 last time around, but this time the Jets have Sam Darnold. Will that make a difference? Maybe a little bit, but ultimately, it won’t matter. Patriots remain undefeated.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

2019 NFL Season: Week 6 picks

NFL Week 6
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 44-33-1

Aman: 46-31-1

Dan: 51-26-1

Joel: 46-31-1

Rahim: 48-29-1

 

Giants @ Patriots (Thursday night)

What a surprise…… The Patriots play yet another terrible team. The easiest schedule in the NFL continues and the Patriots get another win to stay undefeated.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Panthers @ Buccaneers

Last time these two teams faced off, the Buccaneers dominated the Panthers. This time around, the Panthers are a different team. McCaffrey is dominating defenses, while Kyle Allen is still performing well in place of Cam Newton. For the Buccaneers, they must stay turnover free. That comes down to mostly Jamies Winston. If he can avoid turnovers, the Bucs are in good shape.

Predictions

Adam: Buccaneers

Aman: Buccaneers

Dan: Buccaneers

Joel: Panthers

Rahim: Panthers

 

Redskins @ Dolphins

One of these winless teams will get their first win of the season. After seeing the Redskins hang with the Patriots for a half of football, I’m thinking it might be them who comes out on top.

Predictions

Adam: Dolphins

Aman: Redskins

Dan: Redskins

Joel: Redskins

Rahim: Dolphins

 

Saints @ Jaguars

Let’s face it, the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL. That’s with or without Drew Brees. This team is too well built, and they’ll continue to find a way to win against a competitive Jaguars team.

Predictions

Adam: Saints

Aman: Saints

Dan: Saints

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Bengals @ Ravens

The Ravens are better than they showed last week against the Steelers. Against a winless Bengals at home, they shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a win this week.

Predictions

Adam: Ravens

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens

 

Seahawks @ Browns

With a win over the Rams last week, Seattle made it clear they can compete with and beat any team in the league. The Browns still have many problems to solve, with the offensive line being one of them. They got wrecked by the 49ers’ defensive line. Seattle’s D-Line is one of the best, so it’s likely they’ll duplicate the success the 49ers had against Cleveland.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Seahawks

 

Eagles @ Vikings

The Eagles seem to have found their groove, but so have the Vikings. After throwing the ball more last week, the Vikings were able to dominate the Giants. They finally took advantage of their dynamic receivers. For the Eagles, they have to get pressure on Kirk Cousins in order to stop their passing attack. With one of the best defensive line units in the NFL, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Predictions

Adam: Vikings

Aman: Vikings

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Vikings

 

Texans @ Chiefs

The Texans went off last week against Atlanta, while the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season. The Colts set a blueprint for how to beat Patrick Mahomes. After he lost his ability to move out of the pocket, he couldn’t make as many plays. We’ll see how well the Texans can contain Mahomes in the pocket. If they can do that, the Texans’ offense shouldn’t have trouble putting up enough points to earn a victory.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Falcons @ Cardinals

Neither of these two teams are good, and it’s hard to predict who will win because they’re so similar. The Falcons are ranked 19th in points per game, while the Cardinals are ranked 20th. On defense, the Cardinals are ranked 28th in points allowed, while the Falcons are 31st. We’ll see which team can come up with the better game plan.

Predictions

Adam: Cardinals

Aman: Cardinals

Dan: Falcons

Joel: Falcons

Rahim: Falcons

 

49ers @ Rams

This game will likely be one of, if not the best game of the week. The 49ers are still undefeated, but the best team they’ve played so far is the Browns. The Rams are by far the best team they’ve played. They have a dynamic offense, but they could get into trouble if Jared Goff has one of those games where he throws multiple interceptions. The 49ers have been very good defensively this season. If they can create multiple turnovers, it will help their offense a ton, much like it has all season.

Predictions

Adam: Rams

Aman: Rams

Dan: 49ers

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Titans @ Broncos

What the Broncos did to Philip Rivers and the Chargers, I feel they can do to Marcus Mariota and the Titans. Then again, the Titans can go off at any time. The problem is, they’re usually just mediocre. After their dominating performance over the Browns in Week 1, we haven’t really seen that again. Will their lackluster offense continue into Week 6?

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Broncos

Dan: Titans

Joel: Broncos

Rahim: Broncos

 

Cowboys @ Jets

After losing two straight games, this game against the Jets looks like the perfect bounce back game for the Dallas Cowboys. Sam Darnold has been cleared to return, but I don’t think it really makes a difference.

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Cowboys

Rahim: Cowboys

 

Steelers @ Chargers (Sunday night)

With Mason Rudolph likely to not play, the Chargers should have themselves a win walking out of this one. However, the Steelers gave the Ravens a run for their money at the end of the game, so we’ll see if they can stay competitive with so many key injuries.

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Chargers

 

Lions @ Packers (Monday night)

The Packers have made it clear they’re one of the best teams in the NFC, but we can’t count out the Lions. They’re a very underrated team who’s been in every game they’ve played. This is a divisional game, so we really never know what will happen.

Predictions

Adam: Packers

Aman: Packers

Dan: Packers

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

Five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you

Stats can tell you a lot, and most of the time they’re accurate. However, sometimes stats tell lies. Sometimes stats tell you teams or players are better or worse than they actually are. Through five weeks of the NFL season, that’s been the case. Here are five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you as the season goes on. 

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DSC_0048” by Brian J. McDermott is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. New England Patriots – 6.8 points allowed per game

Through five games, the New England defense has allowed an average of 6.8 points per game. This number has put them in the conversation with some of the best defensive units of all-time. While the Patriots are a good defensive team, they shouldn’t be in that conversation.

In their first five games, the Patriots have played the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills and Redskins. The only team on that list with a winning record is the Bills (4-1), but they have the interception prone Josh Allen as their quarterback. Between the other four teams, there’s a combined one win. To this point in the season, the Patriots have had the easiest schedule in the NFL.

There’s not one offense the Patriots have played that’s averaging more than 20 points per game right now. The best offense they’ve faced was the Steelers’, who are averaging 19.8 points. Three of the other four teams are averaging 15 points or less and are currently the three worst offensive teams in the league (Redskins, Jets and Dolphins).

Basically what I’m saying is, the 6.8 points allowed per game average won’t last through the season. The last team to average less than 10 points allowed was the 1977 Atlanta Falcons, who averaged 9.2 points allowed per game. Since then, the closest team to doing it was the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. They averaged 10.3 points allowed.

New England will likely keep their points per game average below 10 points per game over the next few weeks, as they play the Giants, Jets and Browns in their next three games. After that, the Patriots take on the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs in five straight weeks.

I’ll give the Patriots credit for what they’ve done, because averaging 6.8 points allowed per game isn’t easy, regardless of who you play. However, this number makes the Patriots seem way better than they actually are.

 

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Von Miller, Kirk Cousins” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Von Miller – 2.0 sacks

We’ve all been a little surprised by the lack of sacks Von Miller has totaled through the first five game of the season. It’s not often we see a player of Miller’s caliber with just 2.0 sacks in five games. It has been a rough season for Miller and the Broncos’ defense so far, and it’s even tougher now that Bradley Chubb is out for the year.

We shouldn’t worry too much about Miller though. There has only been one time in Miller’s career he’s had less than 10 sacks. That season came in 2013 when Miller played in just nine games. Every other year of his career, Miller has finished with 10.0 sacks or more.

Bradley Chubb being out will definitely make things harder for Von Miller, but there have been years when Miller’s been the only real sack artist on his team. Most recently was in 2017 when the second leading sack artist had 5.5 sacks. Don’t expect Miller’s sack total to stay this low.

 

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Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Baker Mayfield – 68.5 passer rating

If there’s ever been a sophomore slump from an NFL quarterback, it’s Baker Mayfield’s 2019 season so far. Mayfield finished his rookie season with a passer rating of 93.7 after completing 63.8% of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

So far in his second season, Mayfield has a passer rating of just 68.5. One of the biggest reasons for that is Mayfield’s completion percentage. Through five weeks, Mayfield has completed 55.9% of his passes. He’s also thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) as he has touchdowns (four).

Being an inaccurate passer has never been who Baker Mayfield is. In college, Mayfield completed 68.5% of his passes. He completed more than 70% of his passes in his last two seasons at Oklahoma.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Mayfield, but it seems like he’s trying to do too much. As the season goes on, expect him to calm down and start playing like who he really is.

 

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DeAngelo Hall, Adam Thielen” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Minnesota Vikings – 191.0 passing yards per game

As things currently stand, the Minnesota Vikings rank 29th in passing yards per game, averaging 191.0. That number is down from the 252.2 per game they averaged last season, which ranked 13th.

It’s no secret the Minnesota wide receivers have been frustrated with the passing game so far. They’ve made it clear the Vikings need to pass the ball more. That’s exactly what they did last week against the Giants. In that game, Kirk Cousins threw for 306 yards. 130 of those yards were to receiver Adam Thielen alone.

I think the Vikings’ coaching staff may have got a little too excited about the 111 yard game running back Dalvin Cook had on the ground in their first game of the season. That game was followed up by 154 and 110 yard rushing performances in their second and third games.

With Cook running so well, the Vikings thought they didn’t need to pass the ball. That was until the Bears held Cook to 35 yards in Week 4. The Vikings found a balance against the Giants, leading to Cook having another rushing performance over 100 yards and the passing offense looking good.

The 191.0 passing yards per game the Vikings have averaged through five weeks will quickly go up. This is a much better passing team than they’ve shown so far, especially with one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league in Thielen and Diggs.

 

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Dallas Cowboys” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Ezekiel Elliott – 77.2 rush yards per game

With 386 rushing yards in five games, running back Ezekiel Elliott is currently ranked 8th in the NFL in rushing. The lowest he’s finished in his career is 10th, and that was in a season in which he missed six games due to suspension.

The biggest reason why Elliott is further down on the rushing list this season than we’re used to seeing, is because he’s averaging 77.2 rushing yards per game. Prior to this season, the lowest rushing yards per game Elliott has averaged is 95.6, which happened last season when Elliott led the NFL in rushing for the second time in three seasons.

I wouldn’t expect this current pattern to continue as the season goes on. The Dallas Cowboys have relied heavily upon the run game for years, and I don’t see any reason why it’s going to stop now. Dallas hasn’t had much opportunity to run the ball over the last few weeks because they’ve dug themselves into early holes. That should change against the Jets, and then moving forward.

Running the ball is what the Cowboys do best, and they must get back to that if they want to have another successful season. Rookie running back Tony Pollard may be another reason why Elliott’s numbers have taken a hit, but when it comes down to it, the Cowboys should soon realize they have to rely on their best offensive player to carry them.

2019 NFL Season: Week 5 picks

Week 5 NFL
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 39-23-1

Aman: 37-25-1

Dan: 43-19-1

Joel: 37-25-1

Rahim: 38-24-1

 

Rams @ Seahawks (Thursday night)

Not sure what happened to the Rams last week on defense, but it was a poor effort. That was against Jameis Winston. If they play that poorly against the Seahawks, Russell Wilson will crush them. I believe their defensive effort will be much better in this game. The Rams and Seahawks always seem to have close games, and I expect this to be another one.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Jets @ Eagles

The Eagles dominated the Packers last week offensively, and I believe they’ll do the same against the Jets. With Sam Darnold still out, the Jets don’t really stand a chance. The Eagles looked good, and the Jets aren’t.

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Jaguars @ Panthers

The Minshew magic is real! I’m not sure how Minshew continues to do it, but he does. He’s been fun to watch this season. Another quarterback who has been fun to watch is Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, who has two wins in his two starts this season. Will Allen be able to manage the game enough for the Panthers against a tough Jaguars defense, or will Minshew’s magic continue?

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Panthers

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Jaguars

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Vikings @ Giants

The Vikings by far have the toughest defense Daniel Jones has faced up to this point. Last week Jones got the win, but he didn’t look great along the way like he did the week before. Despite the Giants not allowing the Redskins to do much on offense last week, I don’t believe their defense is that good. The Vikings will have a much better day against this defense, especially with Dalvin Cook seeking to rebound from a poor showing on the ground.

Predictions

Adam: Giants

Aman: Giants

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Vikings

 

Falcons @ Texans

The Falcons continue to struggle because they get off to slow starts and can’t catch up later in the game. The Texans continue to struggle because they continue allowing Deshaun Watson to be under pressure and take sacks. Which team will overcome their weakness?

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Texans

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Texans

 

Buccaneers @ Saints

It’s obvious the Saints have built their team to succeed past the Drew Brees era. They dominated defensively last week. They have a tough matchup against the Buccaneers this week, especially after the 50+ points they put up against the Rams a week ago. Can they slow down a hot Buccaneers offense like they did against Dallas last week?

Predictions

Adam: Buccaneers

Aman: Saints

Dan: Buccaneers

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Saints

 

Bills @ Titans

Josh Allen showed his true self against the Patriots last week, throwing multiple interceptions and completing less than 50% of his passes. He may not even play in this game because of an injury, so we’ll have to wait and see there. If he’s out, Matt Barkley will take over. He didn’t look good last week either. Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Bills, their defense can keep them in this game, especially against a Titans offense who has been very inconsistent all season long.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Cardinals @ Bengals

One of these teams will get their first win of the season. I’m leaning towards the Cardinals because they’ve been the more competitive team between the two so far, but the Bengals have been competitive at times this season too. Expect a good game between two teams seeking their first victories.

Predictions

Adam: Bengals

Aman: Cardinals

Dan: Cardinals

Joel: Cardinals

Rahim: Cardinals

 

Patriots @ Redskins

The Redskins have yet to win a game, and now they play the Patriots. They’ll be waiting at least one more week for their first win.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Ravens @ Steelers

The Steelers got their first win of the season last week, but it was against the winless Bengals. Will they be able to keep up with the high powered offense of the Ravens? After the Ravens have lost two straight games to the Chiefs and Browns, they’ll likely come out ready to score a lot of points and get back in the win column. The Steelers will have to play almost perfectly offensively to keep up with what Lamar Jackson might do.

Predictions

Adam: Steelers

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens

 

Bears @ Raiders

You already know Khalil Mack can’t wait to destroy the Raiders! The Bears dominated defensively last week against the Vikings, and I don’t see any reason why they won’t do so again this week. The Bears may be without Trubisky due to injury, but if the defense can put the offense in good spots, they won’t need him to win this one.

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Broncos @ Chargers

The Chargers are the easy choice here because the Broncos have yet to win a game, but this is a division game, so the Chargers should already know it’s not an easy win. The Chargers do get Melvin Gordon back, but how much will he play? With the way Austin Ekeler has been playing, they could take their time to get him all the way back.

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Broncos

 

Packers @ Cowboys

Both teams suffered their first loss of the season last week and will be looking to rebound in this one. After both taking a loss, a win here is very important for each team because of who plays in their division. Both teams are leading their divisions right now, but it may not be the case for long if they lose.

The Packers were good offensively last week for the most part, but their defense gave up a ton of points. On the other side, Dallas had their worst offensive outing by far, scoring just 10 points. However, their defense didn’t allow a touchdown and gave up just 12 points. Who will rebound in this game, the Packers’ defense or the Cowboys’ offense?

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Colts @ Chiefs (Sunday night)

Considering the fact that the Colts lost to the Raiders last week, I can’t pick them to beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs are just too good.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Browns @ 49ers (Monday night)

The 49ers are one of the few undefeated teams left, but now they play a Browns team who all of a sudden turned it on and is now leading their division. Having played the Buccaneers, Bengals and Steelers, the 49ers haven’t really been tested yet. Now they play a Browns team who hung in their with the Rams and beat the Baltimore Ravens. Can the Browns keep this up? Can the 49ers prove they can beat a team who isn’t at the bottom of the league?

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns