Gunn's bullet points: Return of Barner; McNabb's take on the Eagles

Gunn's bullet points: Return of Barner; McNabb's take on the Eagles

Derrick Gunn has three bullet points from the Eagles' 34-7 win over the Cardinals (see breakdown).

• What a great story Kenjon Barner was in this game. The Eagles let him walk after last season, he was with the Chargers briefly and they cut him early in September. All of a sudden he finds himself back with the Birds. Against Arizona, Barner had only 23 yards rushing, but 110 yards total on three punt returns, including a 76-yard return in the first quarter that set up an Eagles touchdown. Barner told me he never worried about whether he was going to get back into football and he was at peace with where he was in life. Coming into this game, Doug Pederson had said Barner wasn’t that well-versed in the overall offense and probably wouldn’t get many reps, but Barner said when running backs coach Duce Staley told him to study his playbook he knew he had to be ready. Barner ended up with five carries.
 
• Torrey Smith had a nice bounce-back game after having a rough couple of weeks with a case of the drops. On his 59-yard TD catch, I asked him what was going through his mind as the ball was in flight. His response, “Look the ball in and secure it.” When he got to the end zone he knelt down and prayed, with the reason being, “It meant so much to me after what I was going through." He also added, when you come from where he grew up you deal adversity every day so dealing with football adversity is nothing.
 
• Donovan McNabb was at the game and was chatting with Carson Wentz in the locker room afterward. I had a chance to talk to McNabb and asked him what’s the best advice he could give Wentz about handling the early success he’s having in his career, similar to what McNabb went through early on in his career. McNabb said, “Don’t get caught up in the hype, stay even keeled." A later question I posed to McNabb was about where this 4-1 Eagles team stacks up against others in the NFC. "They’re as good as anybody in the conference and when they get a few players back from injuries this is a team that could go a long ways," McNabb said.

Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 5 picks: Will the Packers send the Cowboys below .500?

Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 5 picks: Will the Packers send the Cowboys below .500?

Derrick Gunn makes his picks for Week 5 of the NFL season.

Cardinals at Eagles (1 p.m. on FOX)
The Cardinals have been hard to figure out. They struggled to beat the Colts and 49ers, and got handled by the Lions and Cowboys. Their offense is ranked No. 11 overall, but they've struggled to score, averaging just 18.5 points per game. And they can’t run the ball, either. Since star running back David Johnson went down with a dislocated wrist, the Cards' run game has been stagnant and it currently sits dead last in the league in rushing (57 yards per game).

Carson Palmer has the second-most passing yards, but has been the most-sacked QB in the league (17 times). Their No. 7-ranked defense is big and rugged, but suffered a big blow when LB Markus Golden was lost for the season with an ACL injury.

Carson Wentz has matured into his role in the offense, making better decisions with the ball. The Birds' run game has given them a balance that takes pressure off the QB. Fletcher Cox has been ruled out, but there’s still enough talent in the trenches to make life miserable for Palmer. The back end of the Birds' defense is giving up too many big plays and that could be a big problem this week because the Cardinals' speed at wide receiver is better than the Chargers'. If Jim Schwartz's guys get to Palmer, the Birds will get the win. 

Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 20

Bills at Bengals (1 p.m. on CBS)
I see you, Buffalo. When you beat Denver at home and go into Atlanta and win in back-to-back weeks, people start to take notice. Sean McDermott has his guys believing in themselves. The Bills' offense isnt flashy, but the defense is physical and stingy. Their defense is No. 8 overall and No. 1 in scoring, allowing just 13.5 points per game. The Bengals have this one at home, but the Bills will roll to their fourth win.

Pick: Bills

Jets at Browns (1 p.m. on FOX)
Who are these Jets? They lose their first two games of the season, but are now on a two-game winning streak. Over his last two outings, 38-year-old Josh McCown has completed 74 percent of his passes. The Browns' youth movement has been painful and 21-year-old rookie QB DeShone Kizer is at the center of it. Kizer's numbers say it all: 51.4 completion percentage with three touchdowns and eight interceptions. Cleveland will lose its fifth straight.

Pick: Jets

Panthers at Lions (1 p.m. on FOX)
This should be a fun game to watch as both teams are 3-1. Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford are two different styles of quarterback but they can both wing it. The Panthers have the No. 4-ranked defense, but the Lions are tied for the league lead in takeaways with 11. Slight edge to the Lions at home.

Pick: Lions

49ers at Colts (1 p.m. on FOX)
The 49ers gave the Cardinals all they could handle last week and even sacked Palmer six times. The Colts led the Seahawks by five at the half last week, but reality set in in the second half when Indy got outscored, 36-3. Jacoby Brissett continues to improve, but the 49ers' defense will give him problems. I like winless San Fran in a mild upset.

Pick: 49ers

Titans at Dolphins (1 p.m. on CBS)
Tennessee is hurting. Marcus Mariota is dealing with a hamstring injury and may sit this one out. The Dolphins finally get to play a home game, but will Miami's offense show up? The Dolphins have scored only six points in their last two games. Who wins the battle on the ground? The Dolphins' No. 4 run defense (77.7 yards per game) or the Titans' No. 6 rushing attack (138.8 yards per game)? Jay Cutler finally puts it all together.

Pick: Dolphins

Chargers at Giants (1 p.m. on CBS)
Both the Chargers and Giants have plenty of talent, they just don't have any wins. They both have two of the worst run defenses in the league. He who makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top. I'm just glad I don't have to watch this mess. Since the G-Men have the home-field advantage, I will give them the advantage here.

Pick: Giants

Jaguars at Steelers (1 p.m. on CBS)
The Jags have two impressive wins this season but they've also had two disappointing losses. Their run defense is like Swiss cheese, ranked dead last allowing 165.5 yards per game. That's not a good sign going against the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell.

Blake Bortles still has not consistently elevated his game. The Jags get deflated in the 'Burgh.

Pick: Steelers

Ravens at Raiders (4:05 p.m. on CBS)
Two teams doing some soul searching for different reasons. The Ravens have lost two straight, and in those games, Joe Flacco has just one TD and four INTs. The break for Baltimore is that Derek Carr may be out — and possibly two to six weeks — with a fracture in his back. I don't trust EJ Manuel replacing Carr if needed. The Ravens get back in the win column.

Pick: Ravens

Seahawks at Rams (4:05 p.m. on CBS)
One of the biggest surprise teams in the league is the Rams. Jared Goff is looking like a future star (seven TDs, one INT), Todd Gurley is running with authority again and the additions of WRs Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and rookie Cooper Kupp have given the Rams a legit passing game. The Seahawks' secondary is nicked up; S Earl Thomas (knee) and CB Jeremy Lane (groin) haven't practiced this week. This is a big statement game for the Rams against their division rival. I think the Rams get it done at home.

Pick: Rams

Packers at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. FOX)
The Packers have had extended time off after their Thursday night blowout win over Chicago and should get some of their banged-up players back. Dallas' defense is also looking to get some much-needed help back. Aaron Rodgers, who's been sacked 15 times, will have to know where DE Demarcus Lawrence is at all times. Lawrence leads the league in sacks with 7½. Green Bay's run game is marginal, but look for Rodgers to shred the Cowboys' rebuilt secondary.

Pick: Packers

Chiefs at Texans (8:30 p.m. on NBC)
Looks like the Texans have found themselves a QB. Last week against Tennessee, rookie Deshaun Watson accounted for five Houston TDs (four passing, one rushing). Kansas City has found all kinds of ways to remain the league's lone undefeated team. Houston has the perfect blend of power and speed on defense to match up with the Chiefs' weapons. I think the Chiefs take their first loss.

Pick: Texans

Vikings at Bears (8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN)
It's a coming out party for Bears first-round pick QB Mitchell Trubisky. Unfortunately for him, he has very little talent to work with at the WR position. The Bears have a nice tandem of talented RBs in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. The Vikings' No. 12 defense has been relentless, recording 11 sacks and giving up just 19.3 points per game. With or without Sam Bradford at the helm, the Vikings overwhelm young Trubisky and the Bears.

Pick: Vikings

Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 4 picks: Can Redskins knock off Chiefs?

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Derrick Gunn's NFL Week 4 picks: Can Redskins knock off Chiefs?

Derrick Gunn makes his picks for Week 4 of the NFL season. 

Eagles at Chargers (4:05 p.m. on FOX)
This could be that proverbial trap game for the Eagles. Going back to the 2016 season, the Chargers have lost 14 of their last 19 games, but of those 14 losses, 10 have been by seven points or less and seven of them have been by four points or less.

When he’s in a zone, Philip Rivers can be lethal but he will also serve up his share of interceptions. In Rivers' last 40 games, he has thrown 47 interceptions. He’s already thrown four in three games this year, which includes three last week against Kansas City. Rivers has also led the league in INTs in two of the last three seasons.

The loss of Darren Sproles is huge for the Eagles, but Doug Pederson feels comfortable that his backfield by committee can pick up the slack. Looks like Rodney McLeod, and Jordan Hicks will return this week, but the Birds could be thin again at cornerback, and Fletcher Cox is out.

Jim Schwartz’s blitzes couldn’t get a hand on Eli Manning last week, and it doesn’t get any easier this time as Rivers has only been sacked four times this season. The Birds' ground game chewed up a porous Giants' run defense, and this week they face the Chargers 31st-ranked D against the run. Keep an eye on the Chargers' pass rushers LB Melvin Ingram (second in NFL with 5.5 sacks), and DE Joey Bosa (see 5 matchups to watch).

I like the Chargers' ability to lose this game more than I like the Eagles' ability to win it.

Pick: Eagles 24, Chargers 23.

Saints at Dolphins in London (9:30 a.m. on FOX)
When a head coach calls his offense garbage, as Dolphins coach Adam Gase did, you've got problems. Losing to the talent-limited Jets will make any coach question his sanity. Gase and the Dolphins will have problems keeping up with Drew Brees and the Saints' scoring pace. New Orleans will have a jolly 'ole time in England.

Pick: Saints

Bills at Falcons (1 p.m. on CBS)
Should be an interesting matchup here. Bills have the No. 1 scoring defense, giving up just 12.3 points per game. The Falcons' offense is averaging just under 30 points per game. Buffalo will try to establish its run game on offense and punish Atlanta on defense. Not gonna happen. The Falcons have too much talent.

Pick: Falcons

Bengals at Browns (1 p.m. on CBS)
Imagine being from the state of Ohio and having two NFL teams that have a combined record of 0-6. The Browns and Bengals are two of five winless teams left. In the clash of futility, the Bengals win ugly.

Pick: Bengals

Rams at Cowboys (1 p.m. on FOX)
The Rams have been one of the early surprises and it's mainly because of second-year QB Jared Goff. The 2016 No. 1 overall pick has tossed five TDs and just one INT, and has a rating of 118.2. Goff and the Rams will make a good showing but won't be standing tall when the dust settles in the Cowboys' corral.

Pick: Cowboys

Lions at Vikings (1 p.m. on FOX)
Two teams trying to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North. Vikings backup QB Case Keenum had the game of a lifetime last week vs. Tampa Bay with 369 yards passing and three touchdowns. But, can Keenum match Matthew Stafford point for point? I don't think so.

Pick: Lions

Panthers at Patriots (1 p.m. on FOX)
What a collision course this is. Carolina's No. 1-ranked defense vs. New England's No. 1 offense. Cam Newton has struggled but the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady has not. Pats pound the Panthers.

Pick: Patriots

Jaguars at Jets (1 p.m. on CBS)
I don't know what to make of the Jags. They've had two impressive wins over the Texans and Ravens, but got handled by the Titans. The Jets got lucky against the Dolphins last week, but their luck will run out this time.

Pick: Jaguars

Steelers at Ravens (1 p.m. on CBS)
Two rivals from the AFC North both coming off disappointing losses. Joe Flacco vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Saying these two squads don't like each other is an understatement. The Steelers haven't won in Baltimore since 2012. They will this time.

Pick: Steelers

Titans at Texans (1 p.m. on CBS)
Houston is going through growing pains. Rookie QB DeShaun Watson has the talent but not the experience. This will be another learning experience against the more seasoned Marcus Mariota and his crew. 

Pick: Titans

49ers at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. on FOX)
We knew the 49ers would have a rough year, but we didn't anticipate Arizona struggling this much. Both teams have given up 76 points, but what's shocking is the Cards (56) have only scored five more points this season than the Niners (51). Only because of their experience and talent in this matchup, it's in the cards for 'Zona to win.

Pick: Cardinals

Giants at Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. on FOX)
The Giants' offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter vs. the Eagles, but it wasn't enough. The Bucs will be missing key personnel on defense. The Giants can't stop the run. Call it a hunch but I think Jameis Winston and all that offensive firepower finally put it together.

Pick: Buccaneers

Raiders at Broncos (4:25 p.m. on CBS)
The Raiders' Khalil Mack and the Broncos' Von Miller will be on seek-and-destroy missions in this one. We know that Derek Carr is elite, but Trevor Siemian has handled the Broncos' offense nicely. The Broncos are a beast at home. Raiders lose their second straight.

Pick: Broncos

Colts at Seahawks (8:30 p.m. on NBC)
Without Andrew Luck, the Colts are simply outclassed by Seattle. But what is wrong with the 'Hawks? They have offensive line issues and can't run the ball. The Colts have given up a league-high 20 passes of 20-plus yards. This is not the Seattle balanced O we're used to seeing, but Indy will cure what ails the Seahawks.

Pick: Seahawks

Redskins at Chiefs (8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN)
The Redskins put a beatdown on the Raiders last week. The Chiefs are a legit Super Bowl contender. K.C. has to do a better job of protecting Alex Smith, who was sacked five times against the Chargers. K.C. RB Kareem Hunt looks like the real deal. The 'Skins' D has to know where WR Tyreek Hill is at all times. Washington will give K.C. a good game, but it will be game, set, match Chiefs.

Pick: Chiefs