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PIGSKIN PERFECTION: The ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview for NFL Week 5

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Raiders-Chiefs, Eagles-Steelers, Colts-Browns, Vikings-Seahawks, Chargers-Saints and Bills-Titans highlight the topsy-turvy slate for Week 5.

Four years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.

The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network programming.

So, without further ado, here’s a print doppelganger to the best 60 minutes in sports radio — Hour #3 of Czabe’s NFL-heavy Friday show (heard daily from 3-7 p.m. in Washington D.C).

As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:

WEEK 5

SUNDAY

LAS VEGAS (2-2) @ KANSAS CITY (4-0)

TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Chiefs (-11 1/2) … Over/Under: 55.5
REFEREE: Clete Blakeman
TV ANALYSTS: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (CBS)

PASSING FANCY: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (1,134 yards passing, 12 TDs through four games) has quickly become a bedrock of consistency against the Raiders, pummeling the AFC West rivals for career averages of 299 yards passing and three touchdowns.

The only quirky thing involving the above stat: Mahomes has yet to hang three-plus scores on the Raiders, when playing at Arrowhead Stadium.

PHILADELPHIA (1-2-1) @ PITTSBURGH (3-0)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Steelers (-7) … Over/Under: 44.5
REFEREE: Ron Torbert
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake (FOX)

KEYSTONE STATE REDEMPTION: The Steelers have waited four looooooong years to exact revenge on the Eagles, when factoring in Philly’s 34-3 decimation of Pittsburgh from 2016 — otherwise known as Carson Wentz’s rookie campaign.

On that day, QB Ben Roethlisberger accounted for 257 fruitless passing yards and zero TDs; but don’t expect a repeat of those numbers.

Why is that?

a) For 2020, opposing quarterbacks have enjoyed healthy averages of 25 completions and 275 yards passing versus the Eagles.

b) Big Ben has notched multiple touchdowns in his last 10 home outings against non-divisional foes.

CINCINNATI (1-2-1) @ BALTIMORE (3-1)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Ravens (-13) … Over/Under: 51
REFEREE: Jerome Boger
TV ANNOUNCERS: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Amanda Balionis (CBS)

DEY-DREAM BELIEVERS: Belated congratulations go out to Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, who last week became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 300 yards passing in three straight games.

This week should be an interesting road test for the Bengals’ passing attack, taking on a Ravens defense that has a bottom-10 ranking with passing yards allowed … but also rates 4th overall in scoring defense.

Thank goodness for Bengals wideout Tyler Boyd. In his last 10 games, the Pitt product holds rock-solid averages of six catches, 77 yards and 0.5 touchdowns.

What’s more, Boyd has found the end zone twice in his last five outings versus Baltimore.

WEEK 5 PREP WORK

QB RANKINGS: Wilson, Mahomes, Allen highlight the Week 5 passers
RUN TO DAYLIGHT: Zeke Elliott claims the top spot w/ PPR tailbacks
PLAYING CATCH: Cooper, Hill, Thielen, Allen fuel the WR rankings
BIG & BAD: Henry, Kelce, Higbee, Kittle lead PPR tight ends for Week 5
PIGSKIN PERFECTION: ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview of Week 5

CAROLINA (2-2) @ ATLANTA (0-4)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Falcons (-1) … Over/Under: 53.5
REFEREE: Brad Allen
TV ANNOUNCERS: Chris Myers, Brock Huard, Jennifer Hale (FOX)

EASY DOES IT: Did you know … Falcons tailback Todd Gurley has amassed 20 touchdowns over his last 21 regular-season outings (dating back to the Rams days)?

This bodes well heading into Sunday’s cake matchup with the Panthers, who have surrendered the most rushing touchdowns this season (7 — tied with the Raiders).

And don’t worry about Gurley requiring a major workload to eventually hit paydirt once or twice. He’s averaging only 17 touches with the Falcons.

ARIZONA (2-2) @ N.Y. JETS (0-4)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Jets (+7) … Over/Under: 47
REFEREE: Adrian Hill
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman, Laura Okmin (FOX)

BETTOR’S HUNCH: We’re not sold on the Jets and Cardinals surpassing OddsShark.com’s over-under tally of 47 points, citing two interesting nuggets:

a) The winless Jets currently rank 31st in scoring, at a minuscule 16.3 points per game.

b) Charting their last five encounters, the Jets and Cardinals have a combined average of only 34 points … and keep in mind, this INCLUDES New York’s 56-35 victory from 2008 — otherwise known as Brett Favre’s six-touchdown reckoning for Big Green.

L.A. RAMS (3-1) @ WASHINGTON (1-3)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Rams (-7) … Over/Under: 46.5
REFEREE: Shawn Smith
TV ANNOUNCERS: Brandon Gaudin, Darryl Johnston, Pam Oliver (FOX)

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Washington has already yielded five touchdowns to tight ends this season, the second-highest allowance given to that position.

This bodes well for Rams tight end Tyler Higbee, who notched three touchdowns against another NFC East foe in Week 2 (the Eagles) and already possesses an elite-level catch-to-target rate of 87 percent this season.

Our only gripe with this matchup: Five or six Higbee targets won’t totally feed the bulldog on Sunday … especially since Washington has surrendered the fewest touchdowns to opposing wideouts (1 — along with the Bears and Rams).

JACKSONVILLE (1-3) @ HOUSTON (0-4)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Texans (-5 1/2) … Over/Under: 54.5
REFEREE: Bill Vinovich
TV CREW: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burruss (CBS)

CHECK THIS OUT: If you’re seeking answers for Jacksonville’s 1-3 start, look no further than opposing quarterbacks enjoying a 77-percent completion rate through four games, or how the Jaguars defense has allowed the seventh-most passing touchdowns.

Which brings us to this …

Given the above information, one might assume that Texans QB Deshaun Watson has a consistent history of carving up the often-hapless Jags.

However, that’s simply not the case.

Charting his five career outings with Jacksonville, Watson owns painfully ordinary averages of 167 yards passing and 1.2 touchdowns. Ugh.

MIAMI (1-3) @ SAN FRANCISCO (2-2)

TIME: 4:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Niners (-9) … Over/Under: 51.5
REFEREE: Land Clark
TV CREW: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Lindsay Czarniak (FOX)

COLONEL MOSTERT, REPORTING FOR DUTY: All’s right in the fantasy world, now that George Kittle (15 catches, 183 yards, 1 TD last week vs. Philly), quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tailback Raheem Mostert (MCL sprain) have recaptured their rightful places in the Niners lineup.

Mostert’s return comes at an especially fortuitous time, citing three reasons:

a) The Dolphins have yielded the fourth-most rushing touchdowns to opposing backs this season.

b) Including the postseason, Mostert has racked up eight touchdowns in his last six home outings.

c) Charting his previous seven meetings with AFC foes, Mostert reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown five times.

And during this span, the Purdue product averaged 96 total yards and one score.

INDIANAPOLIS (3-1) @ CLEVELAND (3-1)

TIME: 4:25 p.m. EST
LINE: Browns (+1) … Over/Under: 47.5
REFEREE: Scott Novak
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta (CBS)

TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD: Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton, a nine-year NFL veteran, has only faced the Browns three times in his career (excluding this weekend’s meeting); but trust us, the results are still worth mentioning:

Of the three outings, Hilton holds supreme averages of 6.3 catches, 108 yards and one touchdown … and that includes a 22-yard, zero-TD clunker from his rookie campaign.

N.Y. GIANTS (0-4) @ DALLAS (1-3)

TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Cowboys (-8 1/2) … Over/Under: 54
REFEREE: Craig Wrolstad
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)

THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT JERRY DOME: From all angles, the Cowboys have a wretched defense, routinely giving up 30-40 points against some of the NFL’s most explosive offenses (Rams, Falcons, Seahawks, Browns).

But there shouldn’t be any worries about the anemic Giants on Sunday. Right?

After all, New York ranks 28th in passing yards (202 per game) 31st in team rushing (76.5 yards per game) and dead-last in scoring (11.8 points per outing)by five fewer points than the 31st offense (Jets).

The only saving graces here: Opposing tailbacks are averaging 4.5 yards per carry against the Cowboys; and Giants tight end Evan Engram has scored three of his 12 career touchdowns versus Dallas.

MINNESOTA (1-3) @ SEATTLE (4-0)

TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Seahawks (-7) … Over/Under: 57
REFEREE: Tony Corrente

TV CREW: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)
REGRETS, WE MIGHT HAVE A FEW: At first blush, Kirk Cousins seems like the perfect waiver-wire quarterback for Week 5, given how the Seahawks rank dead-last in the categories of completions, pass attempts and passing yards allowed.

Plus, opposing teams are merely averaging 15.3 rushing attempts versus Seattle.

But, let’s remember the following: The Vikings offense still goes through tailback Dalvin Cook (464 total yards, 6 TDs this season); and the vast majority of Cousins’ 38 pass attempts against the Seahawks last year … came after Cook left with a precautionary injury.

Of course, last year’s Vikings didn’t have Justin Jefferson in the fold. In his last two games of action, the rookie required only 11 catches and 14 targets to accumulate 278 yards and one touchdown.

MONDAY

DENVER (1-3) @ NEW ENGLAND (2-2)

TIME: 5:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Patriots (TBD) … Over/Under: TBD
REFEREE: Shawn Hochuli
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (CBS)

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF: Last week, the Chiefs became the fourth team in NFL history to play back-to-back regular-season games on a Monday night.

And now, due to Coronavirus-related circumstances … the Patriots will be the fifth club to hit the Monday-Monday double play.

(We’re down with the 5:05 p.m. kickoff time.)

L.A. CHARGERS (1-3) @ NEW ORLEANS (2-2)

TIME: 8:15 p.m.
LINE: Saints (-8) … Over/Under: 50.5
REFEREE: Clay Martin
TV CREW: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (ESPN)

BETTOR’S HUNCH: Go ahead and bet the proverbial farm on the Saints and Chargers topping the over-under figure of 50.5, regardless of venue (Mercedes-Benz Superdome or Indy’s Lucas Oil Stadium, due to Hurricane Delta).

Charting their last four meetings (dating back to 2004), all of which included Drew Brees and/or Philip Rivers as a starting quarterback, the teams posted a combined average of 63.3 points.

Oh, and Tom Brady just hung five touchdown passes on the Chargers last week; and the Saints own bottom-3 rankings versus tight ends, when citing catches, targets, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

The only potential drawback here: The Chargers still haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown this year.

TUESDAY

BUFFALO (4-0) @ TENNESSEE (3-0)

TIME: 7 p.m. EST
LINE: Titans (TBD) … Over/Under: TBD
REFEREE: Brad Rogers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely (CBS)

BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS PROPOSITION: Titans tailback Derrick Henry (NFL’s reigning rushing king) has never caught a single pass against the Bills (two career meetings).

On the plus side, charting his last five encounters with AFC East foes (including the playoffs), Henry tallied 100 total yards and/or one touchdown four times.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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