(Editor's note: Every week this season, gay teenage NFL fan Jeremy Brener will give his perspective and predictions for the upcoming week).
I am not a X's and O's expert. I mean, I know my football. I can tell you who I think you should start and what games may or may not be interesting, but I've never played a down of organized football in my life. I do know the positions, but I couldn't give you a detailed analysis of what the Jack, Mike, Sam, and Will linebackers mean. I also have no idea what a "queen tight end" is, a term used on Monday Night Football by Ray Lewis.
Lewis is an analyst on ESPN's pregame and post-game show and a former linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. I loved Lewis on the field. He was a tough, smart player and he was the best teammate you could have asked for. Just ask anyone on the two championship teams he was a part of with the Ravens. However, not everything that Lewis has done off the field I respect. Keep in mind, there is a difference between the player and the man.
I have no right to type words on my computer screen and judge Lewis because I do not know him. However, I can point something out that he said that left me with a bad taste in my mouth as a gay teenager and NFL fan.
During the pre-game show before Monday's Seattle-Detroit game, Trent Dilfer and Lewis were discussing Jimmy Graham's lack of success blocking as a tight end for the Seahawks. Dilfer was ripping Graham's blocking -- or lack thereof -- on running plays, calling him "more of a spectator than a blocker."
Lewis then followed by saying: "This is what happens when you are a defensive team and you are playing against a tight end" that blocks the way Graham does. "When you talk about what he can't do, he's a queen tight end. He's the opposite of what I used to be playing against. ... When you have this type of deficiency in your offense, this can take away your identity without you even knowing it takes away your identity."
I don't think there is such thing as a "queen tight end." Maybe it was a reference to a queen on a chess board, as some have suggested? Nope. The queen is arguably the most important piece on the chess board. Maybe in two tight end sets, the "queen tight end" is the receiving tight end and the king is the blocking tight end? Nope. I don't think there is a "king tight end" either.
I took it as a slur. I think in the context of the discussion (that Graham was a lousy blocker), Lewis used "queen" as a term for weakness, which could mean a woman or a gay guy. If he meant it either way, it still would have been offensive.
I don't think Lewis meant to offend anyone, which is fine, but it does not mean that it's OK. Lewis and Monday Night Football should apologize. I'm sure in a scripted setting Lewis would not have used that term. It's not like Lewis purposely tries to offend people on national television every Monday night. I want to tell Lewis: I understand your intent was not to hurt, but please think before you speak, because you never know how your words may hurt others.
Now, some Week 5 things to see:
Game of the Week
Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals
It's a shame that this game is not on in prime time, because this is easily the best football we should see all weekend. The Bengals put their undefeated record on the line to take on the 2-2 (but should be 1-3) Seahawks. The Seahawks defense has been phenomenal since safety Kam Chancellor returned. They have only allowed a three points in two games. Other than one drive that ended in a field goal on Monday, every single drive for the Seahawks defense has ended in a punt or a fumble. As great as the Seahawks defense has been, the Bengals offense has been just as great. The Andy Dalton benching rumors are long gone, and the Bengals are probably thinking Super Bowl. It would not surprise me if these two teams met for the Super Bowl. My only worry for the Seahawks in this game is that they are playing on the East Coast on a short week of practice. However, they should be getting Marshawn Lynch back, who has not really played in a game since their loss to the Packers. This is definitely a tough game to call, as this is the best defense the Bengals have seen to date. However, I think the Bengals are going to squeak this one out, 17-13.
Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Diego Chargers
Upset of the Week
Cleveland Browns over Baltimore Ravens
This is another must-win for the Ravens, but I see the Browns with a chance to steal one from the Ravens at home. The Ravens can't stay healthy, especially at the receiver position. Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman are out, and Crockett Gillmore is no guarantee to play either. Justin Forsett will have to be a work horse Sunday. And the defense is going to have to show up too. Don't underestimate this Browns offense led by Josh McCown. They put up 27 points on the road last week and almost pushed a good Chargers team to overtime. All of the pressure is on the Ravens in this game. If they lose, it could be the end of their season. The Browns have fewer expectations so less to lose, and I see them pulling out a close one in Baltimore, 24-20.
Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh Steelers over San Diego Chargers
Fantasy Start of the Week
Broncos TE Owen Daniels vs. Oakland Raiders
I love Owen Daniels. Class guy, hard worker, passionate football player. What more could you ask for? Oh, and he's an ex-Texan. I have a soft spot for my ex-Texans, even if they do play for Peyton Manning. I love Daniels to start this week against the worst defense against opposing tight ends. The Raiders have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends this season and Daniels will make it seven. He's danced in the end zone the last two weeks and I believe that he will dance a third time.
Honorable Mention: Bears WR Alshon Jeffery vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy Sit of the Week
Rams WR Kenny Britt vs. Green Bay Packers
Don't trust Britt or any Rams wide receivers this week, or ever. The Rams WR corps is so diverse and so balanced that nobody is going to get very many targets. I like to call it Receiver Roulette. Sure, Britt did get over 100 yards in Week 3, but last week, he only saw one ball thrown his way. Tavon Austin has also been quite inconsistent, as he caught one ball for six yards in Week 2, but in Week 4, went off for two tocuhdowns and was the top WR for the week. It's hard to tell what receiver is going to get the ball. Also, Todd Gurley had his coming out party (no, not that kind of party) with 146 rushing yards on 19 attempts in their upset win over the Cardinals last week. Look for the Rams to have Gurley as the feature option in the offense now. If you play a Rams WR, it's going to be a boom or a bust, and against Green Bay on the road this week, I'm leaning more towards a bust for Britt and most of the offense.
Honorable Mention: Browns TE Gary Barnidge vs. Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy Pick-up of the Week
Ravens WR Kamar Aiken
Aiken should be picked up in most leagues this week. The two wide receivers Coach John Harbaugh wanted to start are both injured. Steve Smith Sr. cracked multiple ribs in their win last week and Breshad Perriman had a setback in his knee recovery and is out indefinitely. Aiken is a WR1 likely available on the waiver wire right now. He should be claimed in all leagues this week, and depending how deep your league is, I would start Aiken. My rule is that a WR1 is always better than WR2. I don't know how he will do in the future, but he is definitely worth the risk this week, especially if your WR is on bye (Brandon Marshall, Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker, Mike Wallace, etc.).
Honorable Mention: Giants WR Rueben Randle
Lock of the Week
New England Patriots over Dallas Cowboys
The Patriots are at the top of most experts' power rankings, and rightfully so. The Patriots have looked strong this season, recently putting a 50-burger on the Jags before going into their bye. This week, they draw the injured-beyond-belief Dallas Cowboys. Dez Bryant, out. Tony Romo, see you later. Lance Dunbar, see ya next year. The Cowboys can't catch a break. They lost to a winless Saints team last week and dropped their first road game since 2013. Quarterback Brandon Weeden has not led them to victory this season, and don't expect him to do it this Sunday. He's facing the defending Super Bowl champions who are on 14 days of rest. If I looked at this game at the beginning of the season, I would have been super excited seeing two of maybe the top five teams in the league going against each other. But now, given the Cowboys' unfortunate injury woes, this turns into a multiple-score victory for the Patriots who improve to 4-0 and move on to Indianapolis.
Honorable Mention: New York Giants over San Francisco 49ers
Buzzer's Best Bet
Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski will make one pick each week against the spread, so bet accordingly.
New England -9 at Dallas. Pick: New England
I agree with Jeremy that the Patriots are a lock. Dallas has a bunch of key players injured, which means that their offense can't score and their defense has trouble stopping anyone. New England is coming off a bye having scored 91 total points in their last two games. The Pats win this won by 14 or more.
Last week: 0-1. Season: 3-1.
Hot Player on the field
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman
I think it's finally time that I give Freeman props. He's leading the NFL in touchdowns with seven, and six came within the last two games. When a player scores three touchdowns in one game, there's possibility of a fluke, but to do it in two straight games is impressive. Freeman adds another dimension to the Falcons offense, as he does damage not only on the ground but through the air as well. He led the Falcons in receiving yards last week in their thrashing of the Texans. Freeman's contributions make the Falcons a lot like the Steelers' QB-RB-WR combo of Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Freeman is Bell, Matt Ryan is Big Ben, and Julio Jones is Antonio Brown. The Falcons are 4-0, and with their light schedule they don't look to be losing any time soon. Look for another big game from Freeman on Sunday as they host the Redskins.
Jeremy Brener lives in Houston. He can be reached via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@BrenerJeremy).