NFL Week 5 Predictions/Picks

 

Week four of the NFL season incredibly out of the ordinary to say the least. There were a number of upsets (Rams over Cowboys, Jets over Jaguars, Bills over Falcons, Panthers over Patriots), a 14-yard touchdown run by Giants quarterback Eli Manning (which is a complete rarity), a defensive team such as the Texans scoring 57 points on a division opponent, and the good folks over in London were treated to a 20-0 shutout in favor of a team in the Saints not necessarily known for their defense. On to the week five predictions.

Last week: 9-7

Season: 37-25

 

Bye: Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington 

 

New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:30 PM EST, NBC

Finally, Thursday Night Football provides us an intriguing matchup pitting the defending Super Bowl champions against an up-and-coming Buccaneers team salivating for a major upset. Two defenses that are horrid in pass defense (Patriots/32nd, Bucs/31st) means that a Tom Brady/Jameis Winston showdown is bound to occur. The Bucs get back their top running back in Doug Martin from suspension and he faces off against a New England defense that allows 132.8 rushing yards a game. Expect the Buccaneers to give the Patriots a four quarter dual. Pick: Patriots 35 Buccaneers 31 

 

Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants – 1:00 PM EST, CBS 

Interesting how the NFL comes full circle at times as two quarterbacks who were elected in the top four of the 2004 NFL Draft face off in the battle of winless teams. The Giants have fell victim to game-winning, walk-off field goals in the past two weeks. Leading the Giants in rushing is second-year running back Paul Perkins with 61 total yards. That’s right, only 61. Two bad rushing offenses battle two poor run defenses. Someone has to win here and break out of a funk. Pick: Giants 27 Chargers 20 

 

Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 PM EST, CBS 

Sitting alone on top of the AFC East places the Bills in unique territory. They are equipped with the #1 ranked scoring defense at 13.5 points per game. The Bengals on the other hand are third in the NFL in scoring defense at 16.7. So it will likely come down to which offense is the more efficient. Both quarterbacks, Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, are on three game streaks with no interceptions thrown. Turnovers have been the name of the game for the Bills defense this season. Pick: Bills 23 Bengals 14

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles – 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Another team that is surprisingly leading their division, the Eagles are 3-1 thanks to an aggressive run game and a defense that is fourth in the league in turnovers. The Cardinals are still trying to steering things clearly without their main weapon in running David Johnson. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is being leaned on heavily for the Cardinals to generate anything on offense. For an offense that is 22nd in the league in scoring, that formula has underwhelmed obviously. Pick: Eagles 28 Cardinals 17 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:00 PM EST, CBS 

The Jaguars are coming off a somewhat surprising road loss last week to the New York Jets and are eyeing this contest as a way to completely wipe away that blemish. The Jacksonville defense has been solid and rookie running back Leonard Fournette is tied for seventh in the league in rushing yards. Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown made headlines last week for the wrong reasons and an interesting test is across from him in the talented Jacksonville corner tandem in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Do not be surprised if its late in the fourth quarter and this game is yet to have been put away securely. Pick: Steelers 24 Jaguars 20 

 

Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions – 1:00 PM EST, Fox

A massive win in New England last week may have been the boost that the Panthers need but another road test against another gritty team is in front of them. The Lions also scrapped their way to a road win last week against the Vikings. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has averaged 313 yards a game against the Panthers and this season has a seven touchdown, one interception ratio. Both defenses are tied for fourth in the NFL in scoring defense.  Getting out to an early lead is one job for Carolina but with Stafford and his comeback magic, closing out the game is an equal task. Pick: Lions 28 Panthers 27 

 

San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts – 1:oo PM EST, Fox

Much of the talk involving the Colts as of late is the countdown to the return of starting quarterback Andrew Luck. Until he returns, that is where most of the attention will go when it comes to discussing the Colts. The Colts are 32nd in the league in points allowed and three of their four opponents have scored 28 or more points. Could be the recipe for the first win of the year for the 49ers. Pick: 49ers 26 Colts 23

 

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins – 1:00 PM EST, CBS 

Giving up 57 points on the road in a division contest leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the Titans. They also may be without their starting quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who suffered a hamstring injury last week. His presence along with the 6th best run game in the NFL has guided the Titans to a couple of wins this season. The Dolphins would love to get anything going on offense after posting 225 yards or less of offense their past two games, both losses. A heavy dose of running back Jay Ajayi against the Titans 21st ranked run defense may do the trick. Pick: Dolphins 26 Titans 19 

 

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns – 1:00 PM EST, Fox 

What may turn out to be the top two teams in the 2018 NFL Draft has a developing dynamic as of late. The Jets have won two in a row and are looking for a very possible third in Cleveland. Jets quarterback Josh McCown has been steady this season despite  having a dearth of talent at wide receiver. Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer however, leads the league in interceptions with eight and has a sneaky good Jets secondary in his path. Pick: Jets 21 Browns 13 

 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams – 4:05 PM EST, CBS 

One of these two teams are sitting atop the NFC West thanks to a hot offense and a defense that is opportunistic. Both Rams quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley have began the season on a roll and in a game that can firmly make a statement, they will have to continue that roll against the always tough Seattle defense. The Seahawks can not skate by on the wizardry quarterback Russell Wilson every game. Injuries are mounting up and asking him to do everything will be a tough task this week. Pick: Rams 28 Seahawks 20 

 

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders – 4:05 PM EST, CBS

Oakland has lost two in a row and will be without their star quarterback Derek Carr for some time with a back injury. There is a punishing running back in the backfield for Oakland that can help ease that burden. The Ravens offense has been an eyesore at times this season and it all starts at quarterback with Joe Flacco. Turnovers will be key for a Ravens defense that forced 10 the first two weeks and only one during the last two weeks. Pick: Raiders 28 Ravens 17 

 

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys – 4:25 PM EST, Fox

A rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional Round game with the Cowboys looking to get things back on track on both sides of the ball. We all know that Dallas can run the football behind running back Ezekiel Elliott and the talented offensive line but the question here is can the defense slow down Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers enough to squeeze out a win. It is hard to say that the Cowboys’ season is on the ropes but a loss here at home to Green Bay will be a gut punch to the season. Pick: Cowboys 31 Packers 28 

 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans – 8:30 PM EST, NBC 

Still undefeated and arguably the most talked about team in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs bring in a physical run game and a physical defense to Houston to combat rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Texans. Watson is coming off a five touchdown performance against the Titans last week but the Chiefs defense post a much stiffer test. The fifth ranked Texans defense won’t make life easy for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith either. The Chiefs are really good but has been teetering as of late on the scoreboard. The Texans will need full effort from Watson, the defense, and probably special teams here. Pick: Chiefs 26 Texans 20 

 

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears – 8:30 PM EST, ESPN 

A nice assignment for Chicago rookie starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky as he faces a Vikings defense that is 12th overall and eighth in points allowed. What stings for the Vikings is not having rookie running back Dalvin Cook in the lineup as he tore his ACL last week against Detroit. The Vikings are missing a few key players on offense which may make this game a little closer than some would expect. Trubisky will have to rely on his run game and play near perfect football in this one. Pick: Vikings 23 Bears 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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