Friday, October 7, 2011
Sando's best guesses: Week 5 predictions
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers are the only betting favorite among NFC West teams with games in Week 5.
I'm picking them to beat Tampa Bay for the following reasons:
- The 49ers are at home;
- The Bucs are traveling across the country on a short week, with a big game against New Orleans looming at home in Week 6;
- The 49ers play tough defense;
- The 49ers have generally avoided turnovers, and the Bucs, while also limiting giveaways, have not picked off many passes (two).
Nothing is assured in the NFL, of course. Double-digit leads are disappearing regularly from week to week. The 49ers came back from 23-3 down to win. The Seattle Seahawks came back from 27-7 down to lose 30-28. The Arizona Cardinals lost a 27-17 lead in the final minutes. Even the St. Louis Rams rallied from a 17-0 deficit before falling 17-10. All in Week 4.
I've gone 12-2 in predicting winners for games involving NFC West teams, missing on the Rams against Baltimore and the 49ers against Philadelphia. A look at predictions for Week 5:
- Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET. The Giants have shown an ability to win when playing from behind. They are 3-1 despite playing three of their first four on the road. They're at home and there's no sense overthinking this one. My best guess: Giants 27, Seahawks 14.
- Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET. The Cardinals have lost by a combined four points in their two road games. I think they'll break through in this one. It's a big game for Kevin Kolb heading into the bye. My best guess: Cardinals 23, Vikings 20.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET. Sitting at 3-1 has to feel good for the 49ers, but their next two opponents, Tampa Bay and Detroit, are a combined 7-1. Losing this game before traveling to Detroit could send the 49ers from 3-1 to 3-3 quickly. My best guess: 49ers 24, Bucs 17.
OK, then, where am I wrong?