All-Purpose Playbook: NFL Week 5 picks, survivor pool analysis and more

Welcome to the All-Purpose Playbook, a Buzzer column that is either (a) a guide to many things NFL related, or (b) a road map to hell. Check back here on Friday afternoons for survivor pool analysis, football picks, a smattering of GIFs and some nonsense. Follow me @brettsmiley and/or email me with any questions or comments at basmiley [at] gmail [dot] com.

Week 5 marks NFL’s almost-quarter-pole when divisions begin to shake out and teams take shape. Unfortunately some teams are malformed blobs but pleasant surprises abound.

By the way, If you’re a fan of any team that competes in a division other than the AFC South and would like to submit an application to have your team transfer into that hot mess, please go here.

Actually that’s a non-functioning website but if you’d like become the owner and operator of, have at it.

Check those highlights here if you were busy watching the Royals-Astros game (a good decision).

Basically, just before getting wrecked, Hoyer heaved the ball up into the Twilight Zone for the easiest interception of Colts safety Mike Adams’ career. There’s at least a 9-percent chance that Houston’s game of QB musical chairs is going to end this season with Jared "The Hefty Lefty" Lorenzen again offering his services on Twitter, Bill O’Brien deciding "Screw it, why not?" and installing the slowest but strongest and most entertaining version of the Wildcat offense any of us have ever witnessed.

Anyhow, please excuse the diversion. Let’s get on to Week 5. The All-Purpose Playbook (APP) must begin with a very brief victory lap for last week’s 3-0 performance (Jets rolled in London, Washington toppled the Eagles and Giants +5.5 won outright in Buffalo), plus an Ill-Advised Teaser hit and so did the four-leg Ludicrous Mode Teaser.

illegally batted ball out of the end zone resulting in a game-saving touchback on a near-touchdown by Calvin Johnson) in the Magical End Zone where the Fail Mary occurred three years earlier.

This will be a big statement game for the Bengals. The betting public may not be ready to accept it but these Seahawks just aren’t the 2013-14 Seahawks — at least not right now. So APP is putting three big units on the Bengals, or just one Randy Johnson-sized Big Unit.

Sayonara, Seahawks!

Washington Flyin’ Snyders +7.5 at Atlanta Falcons

The Dan Quinn-led Falcons are playoff-bound thanks to a shiny 4-0 start and a soft schedule, but let’s pump the brakes just a little bit. Before annihilating the Texans, they needed a fourth-quarter comeback in each of their first three games, one of which the Giants gift-wrapped for them. Atlanta also beat a Tony Romo and Dez Bryant-less Cowboys squad and the dysfunctional Eagles.

The Falcons are good but APP doesn’t think they’re quite lay-more-than-a-touchdown good yet, not against the better-than-you-think Flyin’ Snyders which mounted a 15-play, 90-yard touchdown drive against the Eagles last week, registering the winning score with 26 seconds left. It was a nice, confidence-building drive and win for QB Kirk Cousins and the offense, which has already shown an ability to rush the ball effectively.

Tickets have poured in on the Falcons so far (75 percent of wagers) but the line may slip to 7 closer to kickoff so grab that hook while you can, unless you think APP is off its rocker and want to pound Atlanta as it seeks to complete the NFC East Win Column Smorgasbord.

Chicago Bears +9 at Kansas City Chiefs

APP just can’t quit the Chicago Bears, kept trying to look away from this game but then got all twitchy and succumbed to the allure of 9 points.

Surely this will result in a self-loathing-filled Sunday afternoon, but we’ve come too far. In his return to action last week . . . no . . . no, WE JUST CAN’T DO IT!

Poorly as the Chiefs have performed at times this season, the Bears secondary is just too susceptible and overall the team prone to implosion as they hit the road after an emotional high. It’s the first APP mid-column audible!!!! Everyone get out!!!

Oddsmakers couldn’t make the spreads high enough until they finally did — favoring the Patriots later in that season by 24, 20.5 and 22 points (all of which they failed to cover) en route to a perfect 16-0 regular season record.  

It’s a lot of points to lay on the road but if the Patriots mount a lead, the Brandon Weeden-led ‘Boys will have a brutal time catching up and won’t have pass-catching specialist Lance Dunbar for checkdowns as he went down for the season last week with a torn ACL. This has the makings of a 38-13 Patriots romp.

(Season record: 5-5)


In the NFL’s Game of the Week, the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3).

Here’s a fun statistic:

APP doesn’t have a position here but just wanted to preemptively congratulate either Smith or Bortles for getting off the schneid.


There’s a lot of options (none of them fool-proof) this week for those of you in revival pools, and some options for the 32 of you still alive in original pools.

The Falcons, mentioned above, deserve some consideration. That’s the top pick in FOX Sports survival pools with 23 percent of vote, a shade above the Chiefs with 22 percent. APP thinks both teams win outright but the Chiefs are have a lesser shot at getting upset at home.

Jay Cutler said. Either option is less than ideal and will take Cutler some getting used to.

Between the Falcons or Chiefs, APP leans Chiefs, but take a look at the New York Giants hosting the San “WTF Happened to Kaepernick?” Francisco 49ers. That’s the big question. The Giants under head coach Tom Coughlin have often found ways to play down to opponents before and lose games they should win, but this is an opportunity for them to get over .500 after their early stumbles and they should be up for it.


here if you need an explanation on how teaser bets work.)

It’s another 6-point teaser this week, taking the New England Patriots through the field goal to -2.5 and the Cincinnati Bengals through the zero to +3. Andy Dalton, we’re all counting on you.


Seven-point teaser: Patriots -1.5, Bengals +4, we’re going UNDER on Broncos-Raiders (from 43.5 to 50.5) and adding in Washington from +7 to +14.


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