NFL: Week 5 Picks

Week 5 is upon on us, and that means the start of bye weeks. The Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Redskins all have the week off…
 
One undefeated team is left standing after the first month of the season, while four teams, two in each league, are still searching for their first wins.

Thursday Night Football

  • Patriots @ Buccaneers: So the reigning champs don’t look great early on. At 2-2, they’re tied for second in the AFC East, and have the worst defense in the league. In fact, they’re on pace to be the worst defense EVER. All this while Tom Brady looks ageless and the run game looks pretty good despite losing LeGarrett Blount in the off-season. As for Tampa, they sneaked by in week 4 by the skin of the football going through the uprights to end the game against New York.  Their passing attack looks pretty good, but Nick Folk couldn’t put up points on stalled drives a couple of times.  While New England should be worried about their defense, I honestly can’t see this team going below .500, so I’ll take Brady in this Thursday Night affair. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • 49ers @ Colts: San Fran did some good things in week 4, but they couldn’t find the end zone, so they fell to 0-4 on the season. The Niners haven’t been able to put together a full game yet this year, and neither their offense nor their defense is strong enough to carry them.  The Colts first half against Seattle was strong, but then the wheels fell off, and their were unable to string together a second straight win. It’s another game without Andrew Luck under center, but I don’t think that will be a problem for Indy. I like the home team this week. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Jets @ Browns: The New York Jets are 2-2 and are coming off an overtime win against the Jaguars. It’s amazing how dominant they were, but Jacksonville was able to force OT. Bilal Powell was huge on the ground, but had a costly fumble that turned into 7 points for the Jags.  Cleveland is win-less, and probably thought this would be a possible win on their schedule heading into the season. The Browns didn’t put up a fight against the previously win-less Bengals at home. While New York has found a way to win two games, I still think this could be a close game but I also don’t think the Browns will get the win. NEW YORK WINS
  • Jaguars @ Steelers: Pittsburgh made easy work of their rival Ravens, and are tied for the second-best record in the AFC. Le’Veon Bell was a beast on the ground, while Big Ben was adequate. The defense has been good, but let’s be honest, the Steelers haven’t really faced anyone yet. The Jags have been up and down, but at their best, they can score with anyone, and shut down anyone. Leonard Fournette has done a great job so far in his rookie season, so I expect this to be a good old-fashioned ground-and-pound game. While it’s hard to go into Pitt and win, I have a funny feeling about the Jags this weekend. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Chargers @ Giants: Two teams that are used to being in the playoffs, or at least in the hunt, find themselves at 0-4 as we enter the second month of the season. Both teams have seen wins turn to losses in the final seconds because of missed field-goals on Los Angeles’ side, and makes for the opponents on the Giants side.  New York finally got Odell Beckham Jr. involved in week 4, but they need their defense to force turnovers, and to better extend drives with some modicum of a running game.  The Chargers are offense hasn’t been much better than the Giants has.  I expect another close game this week for these two, but I think the Giants find a way at home to get in the win column. NEW YORK WINS
  • Bills @ Bengals: Don’t look now, but the Bills are alone at the top of the AFC East. Buffalo has handed the Broncos and Falcons their first losses on the season in back-to-back weeks. The offense wasn’t at it’s best, but Steven Hauschka hit two field-goals over 50 yards, the defense had a score and tight-end Charles Clay had a big day. Cincinnati looked it’s best by far on Sunday against the Browns. Andy Dalton was on point passing and the defense continued to be very good. While neither team has had much success running the ball and controlling the clock, I expect LeSean McCoy to resurface this week. BUFFALO WINS
  • Panthers @ Lions: Both teams are coming off week 4 victories and enter at 3-1, tied for first in their respective divisions. Carolina finally broke out on offense in week 4, picking up an impressive win on the road over the Patriots. Their defense is tied allowing fourth-fewest points per game… with their opponents this week. The Lions did just enough to get a road win over the Vikings in week 4. They’re a called back TD away from being 4-0, and have shown they can win the close games. I expect this to be another close one, that Detroit comes out on top in. DETROIT WINS
  • Titans @ Dolphins: Not only did the Titans get run over for 60 minutes in week 4, they also lost Marcus Mariota to injury.  While he hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday, he has been limited in practice this week.  The good news for Tennessee? Miami looked horrendous against a Saints team who’s hallmark isn’t defense. They couldn’t sustain drives, and after rushing for 122 yards in the Dolphins’ first game of the season, Jay Ajayi has been missing from the offense. So who gets back on track this week? I’m rolling with the Titans, whether Mariota plays or not. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Cardinals @ Eagles: Arizona has struggled so far without David Johnson this season. Their defense has held for the most part, but last week it took until very late into overtime to find the end-zone against the 49ers defense. Philly held off the Chargers, thanks in big part from the physicality of LeGarrett Blount, and a big day from rookie kicker Jake Elliot. Philip Rivers was able to find holes in the Eagles secondary, and I expect Carson Palmer to do the same thing. ARIZONA WINS
Sunday 4/425PM Games
  • Ravens @ Raiders: For a team that started off 2-0, the Ravens look very lost. Their offense has managed just 16 points combined the last two weeks, while their defense has allowed 70. Oakland is in a similar spot, having lost two in a row after easily winning their first two games of the season. Add a back injury to Derek Carr, and a season with so much promise for the Raiders looks to be in jeopardy with how good the Chiefs look, and the Broncos already having a game in hand against them. While the Carr injury is huge, I still have a lot of faith in the Raiders defense, and think they can still get the offense going against Baltimore with EJ Manuel under center. OAKLAND WINS
  • Seahawks @ Rams: Seattle needed a bit of time to break out against Indianapolis last weekend, but once they did, they looked unstoppable. The Rams defense should be a step up in quality for them, so 46 points might be hard, though LA has allowed 39 to the Niners already this season.  As for the Rams, their offense looks to be clicking on all cylinders, picking up a win in Dallas in week 4. This NFC West match-up is an early season claim on the division, as a Seahawks win would tie them atop with Los Angeles.  I know the Legion of Boom can stop anyone, but this 3-1 Rams team is different from the one we saw a year ago that couldn’t sustain things. I’m taking the home team in this game. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Packers @ Cowboys: Green Bay is a bit banged up on offense, but they’re feeling good tied atop the division coming into week 5.  Dallas is struggling, particularly on defense. Two playoff teams from a year ago, both looking to move up/stay on top of their respective divisions. Ezekiel Elliot is starting to look better as the season goes on, which is huge for the Cowboys. What the home team needs to get the win over the Packers this week is for another slow start from Aaron Rodgers.  But even with the knowledge that they might not have as good a running game as they might need this week, I still like the road team in this one. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Chiefs @ Texans: Houston, you have a quarterback. Deshaun Watson has been nothing short of amazing since taking over Tom Savage in week 1.  Sure, the Texans are 2-2, but Watson can control the game on the ground and in the air, and that’s no easy task. Not to mention they put up the most points in a game this season in week 4, and got those 57 points in a variety of ways. Kansas City heads to Texas as the only undefeated team in the league, and while they aren’t head and shoulders above the rest, they have been the best team in the league. They’ve carried a huge week 1 win over the defending champs into the second month of the season. They aren’t making careless mistakes, a reason why they can win the close games. Like the Texans, the Chiefs have a rookie on offense that is making a name for himself in Kareem Hunt. A dynamic offense, coupled with a very good defense means a 5-0 start in my book for KC. KANSAS CITY WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Vikings @ Bears: The Vikings struggled to get their offense going in week 4, but their defense continues to show up.  Without Sam Bradford and now rookie back Dalvin Cook, Minnesota will need their defense to force more turnovers and score for them.  Chicago’s offense has been worse, though they can control clock if Jordan Howard gets going on the ground for them.  Their defense however isn’t very good, so this should be a chance for the Vikings to get going.  MINNESOTA WINS
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