Lombardi Ave Picks 2016: National Football League Week 5 Roundup

Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 5 of the NFL season brought the Green Bay Packers a sloppy win on Sunday night, one of many games that ended up not being a crisp affair.

Weeks like this make it tough for correctly predicting games, but our Lombardi Ave crew came out with a pretty decent showing regardless of the quality of play.

Here are the results:

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What We Got Right

In an ugly week of games, the group actually came away without anybody falling under .500 on their picks.

With Tom Brady coming back from suspension, we — as well as probably anyone following the NFL — expected a quick return to top-level performance for the Patriots against a bottom-of-the-barrel Cleveland team. We were of course correct, with Brady using the devastating combination of Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski to eviscerate a clearly outclassed Browns defense.

Indianapolis and Chicago are both awful teams, but when it came down to it, none of us could imagine going against Andrew Luck versus Brian Hoyer. It wasn’t easy, but T.Y. Hilton‘s deep threat ability was enough to help the Colts wrap up a win.

Minnesota has proven so far to be possibly the best team in the league, while Houston has been flailing behind a terrible offense and a defense reeling from the loss of J.J. Watt. The Vikings made pretty easy work of the Texans on both sides of the ball and now sit as the lone undefeated team remaining in the entire league.

The Jets have not been able to compete against a tough schedule, and Pittsburgh has blown up pretty much every defense they line up against. Yet again, the Steelers picked apart the opposition here — and had it not been for drops by their receivers, it may have been even more devastating for the New York fans.

Oakland and San Diego have both been playing with fire, getting themselves into close games that could go either way; the difference between them has been while the Raiders have found magical ways to win, the Chargers have found even more incredible ways to lose. This game may have been the best example of that for each side, with a fumbled snap on a game-tying field goal attempt at the end basically ending things.

The Rams had overachieved after a bad Week 1 while Buffalo made a someone surprising return to .500 behind a couple wins. Neither team is that good, but they scrap and compete most weeks against any level of competition. Los Angeles made a bunch of questionable decisions in this one, giving Buffalo enough of a buffer to hold onto victory.

What We Got Wrong

Philadelphia looked great through their first few weeks, and with an underwhelming Detroit team on the docket it appeared to us they would continue to have success. They almost brought about an incredible comeback, but two huge turnovers forced by Darius Slay held off Philadelphia’s efforts to end their undefeated run.

Atlanta was looking more dangerous on offense than any team outside of Pittsburgh to this point in the year, but with so much reliance on one (albeit earth-shattering good) player in Julio Jones it remained to be seen if they could beat a real defense, and Denver is again one of the best the league has to offer; with an improved offense attached to it, they seemed perhaps even more dangerous across the board than they were in 2015. Turns out Atlanta is the real deal, spreading the ball to a handful of guys and attacking particular weak spots that have appeared after the personnel losses experienced by the Broncos following the Super Bowl.

Carolina hasn’t looked good so far this year on either side of the ball, but even without Cam Newton or Jonathan Stewart you would be hard-pressed to find many who expected Tampa Bay to have enough to pull out a victory. In possibly the ugliest game of the week, the Bucs managed to keep things close enough to survive multiple missed field goals from their 2nd-round kicker to give him a final chance to win — and he converted it perfectly.

Who Won The Week?

This week’s winner was Brad, who was the only one to reach double-digit correct picks in a 14 game week.

Sticking with the pack on most selections helped his overall total, while choices like the Titans and Cowboys gave him an advantage over the rest of us.

Overall, he is creeping up on Thomas for the lead in the group now, sitting a single point behind him through through weeks.

Week 5 Picks Records:

Brad: 10-4
Thomas: 9-5
Kenn: 8-6
Josh: 7-7

2016 Picks Records:

Thomas: 46-31
Brad: 45-32
Kenn: 41-36
Josh: 39-38