Poupart's Picks: Week 5

Here are the fearless predictions for Week 5 of the 2006 NFL season, courtesy of Dolphin Digest Associate Editor Alain Poupart.

Sunday, Oct. 8

Cleveland (1-3) at Carolina (2-2) — The Carolina offense has yet to put it all together, but this could be the week against a mediocre Browns defense. Besides, the Panthers probably won't need that many points to win. Prediction: Carolina, 27-10.

Buffalo (2-2) at Chicago (4-0) — Until further notice, there's no reason to pick against the Bears, who have complemented their terrific defense with some impressive offense so far this season. Prediction: Chicago, 24-7.

St. Louis (3-1) at Green Bay (1-3) — Brett Favre is banged up, but there's a whole lot more going wrong in Green Bay. The Rams, meanwhile, quietly have gotten off to a good start and their offense should be too much in this one. Prediction: St. Louis, 31-20.

Tennessee (0-4) at Indianapolis (4-0) — The point spread of around 19 points tell you all you need to know about this matchup. It should be ugly. Prediction: Indianapolis, 44-14.

Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (2-2) — The Lions offense actually has played fairly well this season, but the defense has been brutal. Fortunately for Detroit in this one, the Vikings don't have much of an offense. Prediction: Detroit, 23-20.

Miami (1-3) at New England (3-1) — We probably won't know until close to game time who'll be at quarterback for the Dolphins, but it won't matter unless the offensive line plays better. The Patriots should win this game, but we're expecting a good showing by Miami nonetheless. Prediction: New England, 20-16.

Tampa Bay (0-3) at New Orleans (3-1) — Rookie Bruce Gradkowski makes his first NFL start at quarterback for the Bucs, but he's not the one who's going to make this game for Tampa Bay. Look for the defense to rebound after a tough start and a bye week. Prediction: Tampa Bay, 19-17.

Washington (2-2) at N.Y. Giants (1-2) — This should be a fun one to watch because both teams have been playing well on offense. Even though the Redskins enter as the much hotter team, they had problems with Tiki Barber last season, and he'll be the difference again. Prediction: N.Y. Giants, 27-24.

Kansas City (1-2) at Arizona (1-3) — Matt Leinart makes his much-anticipated NFL debut in this one, but it could be tough because the Chiefs have played good defense all season. Damon Huard again gets the start for the Chiefs, and he has a much better supporting cast. Prediction: Kansas City, 27-16.

N.Y. Jets (2-2) at Jacksonville (2-2) — Both teams played the Colts tough the last two weeks, so that tells me this game it going to be a lot closer than many think. In fact, there's a strong feeling here that Chad Pennington is going to have another good afternoon and make the difference. Prediction: N.Y. Jets, 21-20.

Oakland (0-3) at San Francisco (1-3) — The dog game of the week. Alex Smith and Frank Gore have big games. Prediction: San Francisco, 30-17.

Dallas (2-1) at Philadelphia (3-1) — T.O. returns to Philly. He's going to watch Donovan McNabb from the sideline and realize what he gave up by acting like such a jerk last year. Prediction: Philadelphia, 27-17.

Pittsburgh (1-2) at San Diego (2-1) — Don't look for much scoring in this one because both teams play nasty, physical defense. But in a game such as this that will go down to the final minutes, we'll take Bill Cowher over Marty Schottenheimer every time. Prediction: Pittsburgh, 13-10.

Monday, Oct. 9

Baltimore (4-0) at Denver (2-1) — The Ravens might be undefeated, but the truth is they were lucky to win either of the last two games. The fun stops here against a Denver team that is playing tremendous defense and is at home. Prediction: Denver, 17-10.

Last week's record: 10-4

Season record: 39-21

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