Cook’s NFL Picks: Week 5 Thursday Edition!

Hi, hello & welcome to Week 5 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and we finally hit a little bump in the road last week. Only 6-9 on the Week 4 picks, which isn’t bad enough to be really entertaining and doesn’t qualify as good. We’ll try to turn it around this week, starting with a Thursday night game that’s all sorts of…

Well…

OK I got nothing let’s just get to it.

Thursday, October 6

Arizona (-4) at San Francisco

It wasn’t long ago that the Arizona Cardinals seemed like a model franchise. The Amazon.com All or Nothing show that followed the Cardinals through the 2015 season made everybody involved look pretty impressive. The owner & GM looked on top of things. Bruce Arians seemed like the best coach in the world. The players all looked like the best players in the league. It was easy to pick the Cardinals to go to the Super Bowl in 2016, they’d missed it by a game in 2015 and wouldn’t need much to get over the hump.

Four weeks into the season, the Cardinals are 1-3 and looking for answers. Carson Palmer got concussed during Sunday’s defeat in Arizona at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams. Drew Stanton didn’t look good in relief, managing to throw two interceptions in five minutes, but he’ll be the guy quarterbacking the Cards on Thursday night since Palmer has been ruled out. Stanton would be well-served handing the ball off to David Johnson, the one guy in the Cardinals offense that isn’t severely underperforming so far.

The Cardinal defense hasn’t been much better, in fact they were on the business end of Case Keenum’s best game yet on Sunday. Fortunately they’re facing one of the least effective offenses in the league this week. The 49ers have the 32nd best passing attack in the league, which happens to be the worst if you’re scoring at home, or even if you’re alone. They do run the ball well though, Carlos Hyde has thrived most weeks in spite of having a really tough opening schedule of run defenses. Arizona did a good job of shutting down Todd Gurley last week and they’ll have to do the same to Hyde. The more Blaine Gabbert throws the ball, the better things will go for the Cardinals.

With Stanton & Gabbert at QB, this should be a pretty low-scoring game that I will be ignoring in favor of the baseball playoffs. Take the home team and the points here, which in this case point towards the 49ers. I’d take Arizona if they had Palmer available, but no such luck.

Week 4 Results: 6-9

2016 Results: 33-29-1 (3-1 Thursday)

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