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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 5 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 5 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Oct 14, 2022
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Sunday, October 09, 2022 Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -5/-110 New Orleans Saints Rating: 9* Mike's 9 star NFL Earlybird Special (WIN) Ok, cool your jets Saints' faders who think they've thrown in the towel after a 1-3 SU start! Why? Because QB Geno "crappy-on-the-road versus good defenses" Smith will be under center. Yes, they just put up 555 total yards of offense along with 48 points. However, that was versus Detroit's 32nd-ranked defense. Guess what? The Saints should be getting back a few key pieces that were missing in their last-minute 28-25 loss (still can't believe K Will Lutz's 61-yd FG miss on a goal post double-doinker) to the Minnesota Vikings in London last Sunday AND go up against the 31st-ranked Seattle defense this week. DC Clint Hurtt's 4-3 defensive scheme is definitely struggling as witnessed by them yielding 6.7 YPP (yards per play). I also look for New Orleans early TO misfortunes to get over-turned as they currently come in 32nd in turnover differential @ a -7. I don't believe Andy "Red Rifle" Dalton (20-for 28, 236 yards & a 1/0 TD/INT ratio) is that bad. The truth is the Saints offense is @ an accumulative +1.0 YPP AFTER taking into account multiple injuries to their playmakers (Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, etc). New Orleans comes in ranked 9th in total offense & a not-too-shabby 12th in total "D". Crunching the numbers clearly show the "Mardi Gras Boys" being the true post-dog survivor. When the Saints & their opponent BOTH come off being dogs, it's New Orleans who come back strong winning their last 9 in a row versus the number in this given situation. My bottom line brings up ANOTHER strong point that involves post-London games. When a favorite comes back from the UK with a losing record AND are playing without rest, that favorite has covered the past 3 straight. In addition, Dalton has ALSO compiled a brilliant 15-6-1 career pointspread mark when taking on an opponent coming off a SU underdog win. We're not going to fall into a trap here! Look for the NO defense to respond as we go to Caesars Superdome to play the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (buying to our number - 2 1/2) as my 9 Star NFL Earlybird Special! San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers (NFL) - 4:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +6.5/-115 Carolina Panthers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) Based on recent eye tests, it looks like this one has blowout for San Francisco clearly in the cards. Right? Wrong! Besides the fact that the 49ers possess the #1 ranking in both total & scoring defenses, there are OTHER underlying factors & intangibles to consider BEFORE getting a truer feel for this game. The top one has to be the current health of a few key 49ers' personnel who are out or playing hurt. This includes: RB Elijah Mitchell (right knee MCL sprain), LT Trent Williams (high ankle sprain), DT Javon Kinlaw (knee injury), DT Arik Armstead (foot injury), S Tarvarius Moore (hamstring) OLB Azeez A-Shaair & CB Charvarius Ward. On the flip side, QB Baker Mayfield doesn't have the numbers or the rankings after 4 games & will be aware of where DC DeMeco Ryans will be dialing up pressure featuring key cog DE Nick Bosa. The key thing to remember is where these teams rank in scoring offense where the Panthers come in 18th & the 49ers chime in @ a distant 31st. What does this mean? It means the majority of the time, SF will win or lose by an average of 7 or less. Current SF QB Jimmy Garoppolo is a game-managing type QB that methodically moves the football up the field using TE George Kittle, WR Deebo Samuel & RB Jeff Wilson. My bottom line says the oddsmakers have over-adjusted this line accordingly by putting a higher price on the Cisco Kids do to the Panthers' 1-10 ATS record their last 11. This team is running close to empty with injuries & having played an all-out & grueling in-the-trenches affair on Monday night with their hated rival, the Los Angeles Rams. I don't expect SF to spring right back in blowout mode versus a desperate team like Carolina. This is especially true on a short week, coast-to-coast game here. Crunching the numbers brings up numerous red flags. The 49ers are not only 9-22-1 versus the number after beating the Rams by double-digits but they're a perfect 0-4 ATS in the 1st game of back-to-back travelers. The 2 things standing out in Black Cats' favor have to be their near-perfect 7-1 spread mark in this series (habitually under-valued) as well as showing up when 2 home versus the NFC West having a successful 7-2 pointspread advantage. It's hard to ignore playmaking RB Christian McCaffrey's 408 yards rushing/receiving along with WR Robbie Anderson being the deepest threat on both sides of the ball. Holding a good situational edge, let's rumble into Bank of America stadium in Charlotte to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS (buying to + 7 1/2) as my 8 Star Public Missed Perception Play! NOTES: Well, mostly all streaks come to an end (except the 72' Dolphins). But it was a nice, long ride of 13 football picks in a row that showed profit until the Panthers came, crashed & burned (along with now appropriately-titled, ex-HC Matt Rhule who should be back off to his accepted niche' of college football) in their lopsided, head-scratching loss to an injury-riddled 49ers squad. Can't wait to see how many OTHERS owner David A. Tepper let go that just might include 17-yr. vet & OC Ben McAdoo. However, it was nice to see the Saints trying to become relevant in the NFC South as the Buccaneers still remain the class of it. Hats off to the New York Giants as they're definitely the surprise team in the NFC currently sitting in a Wild-Card spot @ 4-1 via their 27-22 upset over the Packers. Last year to this year is as clear as "Night To Daboll" with first kudos going to go out to OC Mike Kafka & QB Coach Shea Tierney for the resurrection of QB Daniel Jones & 4th-yr vet RB/Penn State speedster Saquon Barkley. More kudos are definitely due to DC Don "Wink" Martindale whose creatively dialed-up blitz & pressure packages were instrumental in shutting out one of the great NFL QB's of all-time in Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers for the whole second half on Sunday in London. My NFL Power Rankings are as follows: 1) Philadelphia Eagles -- This may leave some debate (faced the 29th toughest schedule) but they're 5-0 SU & their 92-2nd quarter points are the most in NFL history through 5 games. I'll have a character watch out as this team has not trailed in the 2nd half this season. 2) Buffalo Bills -- Arguably #1 since they have a clear +91 point differential compared to Philly Steak N' Cheese's +47. This week represents the 3rd trip to Kansas City since Week 5 of last year. Will we see that 38-20 Buffalo Bills' blowout or another last-second miracle KC pulled off in their 42-36 AFC Playoffs win? 3) Kansas City Chiefs -- They barely escaped the Raiders 30-29 on Monday night after Las Vegas failed 2-pt. conversion. Yes, they've faced the 4th-toughest schedule. But how does this offense measure up versus Buffalo's #1 scoring "D" (12 PPG) after Tyreek Hill's defection to Miami? 4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- I'm a little generous here but they still out-classed Dallas for their lone defeat & have faced the 6th-toughest schedule. There's no excuse NOT to get a "W" versus Pittsburgh @ Acrisure Stadium (these name-changes are getting out of hand). 5) Dallas Cowboys -- Backup QB Cooper Rush isn't flashy but his game-managing stats after 4 games (839 passing yards with a 4/0 TD/INT ratio) is good enough versus the competition level already faced to get the W's riding the Cowboys' almost Doomsday-like defense (ranks 3rd yielding 14 PPG). Sunday night @ the Linc tells the tale! 6) San Francisco 49ers -- The NFC West leaders keep winning despite a boat-load of injuries. They're 5-0 ITS (In The Stats). The only team to do that besides them is Buffalo. However, they did face the 31st-toughest schedule. 7) Baltimore Ravens -- If managed right, they might be 5-0 SU. However, their explosive & 3rd-ranked scoring offense (28 PPG) has them atop the AFC North. 8) Minnesota Vikings -- This is a tough team to figure out. If Kirk Cousins gets better (7/5 TD/INT ratio) & continues to find Justin Jefferson for clumps of yardage (with a 150-yd day, his 7th, he will set an NFL record for most 150's in a receiver's 1st 3 seasons), the Vikes could claim the NFC North if Dalvin Cook stays healthy. 9) New York Giants -- At 4-1, they've earned it with the NFL's 2nd-ranked rushing offense (179 YPG) & a tied for 9th-ranked scoring "D" (19 PPG). I'm keeping a close watch since we need to see how Daniel Jones reacts when forced to pass against elite defenses. Remember, the Giants have faced the 30th-toughest schedule thus far. 10) Green Bay Packers -- Aaron Rodgers' passing stats (8/3 TD/INT ratio) seem quite pedestrian after 5 games as well as their tied for 22nd-ranked offense (19 PPG?). The Jets can beat them if they're not ready after their London trip. 11) Cincinnati Bengals -- maybe there is something to the Super Bowl hangover theory? The season's still young & their tied for 7th-ranked "D" is keeping them in games. They'll drop out of my ranking with a loss to the Saints. The O-Line must get better as Joe Burrow's been sacked 19 times thus far. 12) Miami Dolphins -- With the cluster of injuries to the Fish, it's shaky if they stay in my Top 14 after this week. If 3rd-stringer Skylar Thompson can move the sticks & stay away from turnovers, they can compete @ home versus the Purple People Eaters. 13) Los Angeles Chargers -- This team has to be the BIGGEST under-achievers in the NFL! The facts remain they're just @ 3-2 SU despite 4-1 ITS, have a tied for 9th scoring offense (24 PPG) & have a QB in Justin Herbert (1,478 passing yards & a 10/2 TD/INT ratio) who thrives in night games. Their HC Brandon Staley needs to ease off the analytics just a tad in making some decisions. However, he still trumps over Denver's Nathaniel "Horrible Game manager" Hackett for their upcoming MNF clash. 14) New England Patriots -- This was a tough one but I'm given the nod (for now) to Belichick's 2-3 SU bunch as the 7th-best AFC team over the 3-2 SU Jets. Why? Because they faced an @ their best Miami team on the road (NY beat a depleted Miami team @ home last week) & went toe-to-toe with Green Bay (lost 27-24 in OT) without their starting QB. Backup QB Bailey Zappe isn't looking too shabby (287 passing yards, 2/1 TD/INT ratio) taking over for Mac Jones (2/5 TD/INT ratio) heading into Cleveland Sunday. Stay tuned as I'll have key selections released Sunday morning @ the VTD website! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 NFL Overall Record: 6-3 for a very profitable 67% Last 14 Football Picks (NFL & CFB combined): 13-1 for a surreal 93%

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