Posted: Thursday October 6, 2011 9:50AM ; Updated: Thursday October 6, 2011 10:12AM
Peter King
Peter King>WEEKEND PICKOFF

NFL Week 5
 
Last week: 13-3 (.813); Season: 50-14 (.781)
 
Sunday, Oct. 9
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Gregg Williams is the latest bright defensive mind to give Cam Newton his best shot this week. It'll be just enough. Loved what Newton said the other day when a reporter asked him if he was surprised with how well he's made the transition from college to pro quarterback. "If you write a good article, do you surprise yourself?" Newton said. Jerry Richardson's got to be gleeful over Cam Newton.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) at Indianapolis Colts (0-4)
All we are saying is give Curtis Painter a chance. I think John Lennon sang that line once.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Before the game, Mike Vick rides to Ralph Wilson Stadium silently, headphones blaring something into his ears, while he stares at the early autumn foliage of Orchard Park and thinks: "Okay. Enough being a pocket guy. Enough being the fair distributor of the ball. Enough relying on this sorry offensive line keeping me clean. Today, I revert back. It's all on me. I'm winning this game, no matter what."
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Seattle Seahawks (1-3) at New York Giants (3-1)
Eli Manning's higher rated than Drew Brees (105.6 to 102.9), more accurate than Matt Ryan (64 to 62 percent), with more touchdown passes than Matt Schaub (eight to seven) and fewer picks than Tom Brady (two to five). Let's not get too excited, but he's on his way to his best regular season.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
You know what I love about the Bengals being ranked first in the league on defense after a quarter of the season? Maybe some owner who knows what he's doing will say, "I need to interview Mike Zimmer if I change coaches after the season." Quick: Name one impact defender for the Bengals -- Jonathan Fanene and Leon Hall don't count; too obvious. A whole bunch of people have to be playing well for the Bengals to be allowing 3.1 yards per rush and 57-percent completions by opposing QBs.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Tennessee Titans (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)
I have seen this urgency out of Mike Tomlin before. Except at the end of the 2009 season, when the Steelers were awful across the board, the team usually responds to things like Tomlin putting the team in pads twice this week to send a better-toughen-it-up-boys message. I see a grind-it-out game, with or without Rashard Mendenhall, at the Ketchup Bottle Sunday.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Oakland Raiders (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1)
Losing Andre Johnson hurts. Losing Andre Johnson doesn't cripple.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Arizona Cardinals (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (0-4)
I don't know. I really don't. I give the Vikes six field goals and their first win, and some relief from the when-will-you-bench-McNabb questions for Leslie Frazier, even though this game will be another example of why he should.
 
4:05 p.m. ET (FOX) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) at San Francisco 49ers (3-1)
The most encouraging thing about the win over the Colts Monday night? The impact of the young defensive line, with ends Michael Bennett and Adrian Clayborn, and tackles Gerald McCoy (particularly disruptive) and Brian Price spending lots of time in the Indy backfield. Watch the quick throws by Alex Smith this week, men.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (CBS) New York Jets (2-2) at New England Patriots (3-1)
I'm not good at tabloid headlines. But let me guess at the Boston Herald's back page Monday: "PATS BLOW OUT BLOWHARDS."
 
4:15 p.m. ET (FOX) San Diego Chargers (3-1) at Denver Broncos (1-3)
I keep waiting for Philip Rivers (five TDs, six picks) to have one of those 390-yard, four-TD games, even with Antonio Gates sidelined with that plantar fasciitis. Denver's surrendering 70-percent completions to foes so far, with a 110.7 passer rating. In other words, this could be the week.
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) Green Bay Packers (4-0) at Atlanta Falcons (2-2)
The Falcons have been aiming for this game for almost 10 months. They drafted Julio Jones to make their offense more competitive with the Aaron Rodgers marauders. They signed Ray Edwards to bug Rodgers so he'd throw more than five incompletions in four quarters, which was his remarkable night last January. Sunday night's verdict? Progress. Just not enough. No one's stopping Rodgers right now.
 
Monday, Oct. 10
 
8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) Chicago Bears (2-2) at Detroit Lions (4-0)
A rock-'em, sock-'em robot game in the Lions' first Monday nighter since Matthew Stafford and Clayton Kershaw were playing little league baseball together in Dallas. I say the Bears try to win the game with a Monsters of the Midway effort, by beating the tar out of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, legally. They'll accomplish one thing at least -- breaking Johnson's streak of catching two touchdown passes in every game this year. It won't be enough. Brandon Pettigrew (17 catches, 176 yards the last two weeks) will see to that, bruising a few Bears along the way.
 

 
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