And then there was one… undefeated team left and one win-less team left. The Minnesota Vikings stand alone atop the league at 5-0, while the Cleveland Browns are alone at the bottom at 0-5.
Picks wise, I went 8-8 in week 5, bringing my season total to 42-38.
Bye Weeks: Vikings and Buccaneers.
Thursday Night Football
- Broncos @ Chargers: San Diego lost another head scratcher, while the Broncos lost their first since December 20th. Denver’s defense wasn’t prepared Matt Ryan’s short game, and Paxton Lynch wasn’t great most of the day in his first start. The Chargers scored a lot of points again, but they continue to lack the big play late, whether on offense or defense that winning teams do. Philip Rivers had a big day in the air, but there were too many turnovers to recover from. The Broncos will be hungry after their first loss, so give me the road team in this Thursday night affair. DENVER WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
- Eagles @ Redskins: Philly is coming off their first loss of the season, a game that saw down big early, and almost pull out the comeback against Detroit. Carson Wentz finally threw his first interception, halting that comeback attempt late. But they’re still very good, and we’ll see how the rookie recovers from the tough loss on the road. Their NFC East foes won their week 5 match-up, holding off the Ravens for win number three in a row. Washington’s 29th ranked defense entering action didn’t allow much after an early touchdown, which covered up a not so great offensive day. Will the Skins win their fourth straight, or will the Eagles win their fifth of the season? I trust Philadelphia’s defense way more than I trust Washington’s. PHILADELPHIA WINS
- Steelers @ Dolphins: After a very bad loss to the Eagles in week 3, Pittsburgh is back and looking about as good as they have in the Roethlisberger era. They’ve made two very good defenses look silly the past two weeks, and Le’Veon Bell looks like he hasn’t skipped a beat following his suspension. Miami on the other hand, is one of the worst teams in the league. Their one win came in overtime to the win-less Browns. That should tell you everything. The Steelers need to avoid falling into this trap game on the road. They won’t. PITTSBURGH WINS
- Jaguars @ Bears: Jacksonville is coming off their bye week after picking up their first win of the season in London against the Colts in week 4. In that win, Blake Bortles got his receiving weapons involved, and didn’t turn the ball over as he had earlier in the season. The defense bended big time in the second half, but they held on. Chicago followed up their first win of the season with a back-and-fourth loss to those same Colts in week 5. The Bears should be happy with the play they’ve gotten from backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. While I like what Hoyer has been able to do in the place of injured Jay Cutler, I like the offensive weapons the Jags boast better. JACKSONVILLE WINS
- Browns @ Titans: Cleveland has always been known for their QB carousel, and this year has been no different. But it hasn’t been because of ineffectiveness, it’s been due to injuries. The Browns offense hasn’t been terrible, especially of late, but changing quarterbacks as much as they have had to doesn’t help. Tennessee’s offense hasn’t been much to write home about either, but they’ve been quite balanced, and have been in every game, win or lose. Their week 5 win was their best game, with a big day from DeMarco Murray helping out. So with all the uncertainty for Cleveland, I’ll take the Titans to even up their record. TENNESSEE WINS
- Bengals @ Patriots: Tom Brady looked pretty good in his week 5 debut. And by pretty good, I mean he had his 8th career 400+ yard game and helped his team easily improve to 4-1. Martellus Bennett was the biggest beneficiary of the return of Brady, scoring three touchdowns in the win. Cincinnati has been unable to put back-to-back good games together this season, allowing the Cowboys to run all over them. The Patriots will continue to have success in all phases at home this week, even if the better version of the Bengals show up. NEW ENGLAND WINS
- 49ers @ Bills: San Francisco struggled once again in week 5, committing too many turnovers, which turned into too many Arizona points. The run game was okay, but the Niners will be making a change under center. Colin Kaepernick will be back as the team’s starting quarterback, putting even more focus on the controversial figure. Now they head to Buffalo to take on one of the hottest teams in the league. The Bills are top 5 in points fewest points allowed, while also boasting a top 5 rush game. They’re making stops, forcing turnovers and eating clock. This is going to be a tough return for Kaepernick on the road. BUFFALO WINS
- Ravens @ Giants: Both teams are coming off close losses, with the Giants scuffling on the road, and the Ravens doing the same at home. New York’s offense wasn’t supposed to be the problem this season, but it has been. Drops, injuries at running back and too many turnovers. Not to mention a lack of protection from the offensive line. Baltimore is facing similar offensive issues. The defenses for both teams have been pretty good, but these two recent Superbowl teams are simply middling right now. So who gets back on track? I’ll take the Giants at home in another close one. NEW YORK WINS
- Rams @ Lions: Detroit is one of many teams that has been in every game they play, including their one point win in week 5, in which they handed the Eagles their first loss. As for the Rams, they’re coming off a loss to the Bills in which they allowed 30 points, turned the ball over too many times and couldn’t stop the run. But LA is doing something they haven’t in years, and that’s win more than they lose, make the plays more than they don’t. Give me the road team to stop the Lions and improve to 4-2. LOS ANGELES WINS
- Panthers @ Saints: The Panthers are in a free fall, becoming just the fifth team to start 1-4 following a Superbowl appearance. I picked them to win the whole thing this year. Oops. Cam Newton was out last week with a concussion, but their problems predated the loss of their quarterback. The defense isn’t what it has been the past couple years. Their secondary is getting lit up, while their offensive line hasn’t been allowing the run game to succeed like it can. New Orleans offense is always explosive, and they’re coming off a bye. That being said, they aren’t good on defense, and so this is a good game of the Panthers to start a comeback with 11 games left. CAROLINA WINS
Sunday 4/425PM Games
- Chiefs @ Raiders: Kansas City enters action off their bye-week, trying to regroup from a blowout loss to Pittsburgh in week 4. The Raiders enter as one of the league’s 4-1 teams, thanks to their ability to win close games. Oakland’s four wins were by a combined 12 points, and have scored at least 17 points in every game. Kansas City has had one good game offensively this season, and that was their week 1 win. Their other win was all defense. And their last game in week 4 was the he worst game yet, allowing the Steelers to walk over them. I liked both of these teams to make the playoffs this year, and while I thought the Chiefs wold be better, they’re still working Jamaal Charles back in. Give me the home team in this one. OAKLAND WINS
- Cowboys @ Packers: Dallas are a one-point loss away from being one of two 5-0 teams. They’re being lifted by offensive rookies and a solid defense. Green Bay hasn’t looked as good as they have in the past, yet they’re 3-1. Aaron Rodgers has always been nearly unbeatable at home, and despite how good the Cowboys have been, I think that trend continues in week 5. GREEN BAY WINS
- Falcons @ Seahawks: Atlanta is on a four game win streak that has them scoring at will against some pretty good defenses. Matt Ryan is spreading the wealth in the air, and getting good results. Seattle is coming off their bye week, and a 3-1 record. They got off to a slow start offensively, but have picked it up. I’ve always liked the offensive talent of the Falcons, but the Seahawks defense is still one of the most formidable in the league, allowing no more than 18 points in any of their four games. SEATTLE WINS
Sunday Night Football
- Colts @ Texans: Indianapolis put together their best game of the season in week 5, opening up the passing game to allow Andrew Luck to air it out. T.Y. Hilton benefited from this, catching 10 passes for 171-yards. The defense still has work to do, but they forced a turnover late, stopping the Bears comeback. Houston won its first two games on the strength of their defense, but have lost two of their last three. Their offense is just not up to par, and that’s why they’ll be 3-3 after six weeks. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
Monday Night Football
- Jets @ Cardinals: Arizona got off to a slow start Thursday against the Niners, but once they got going, there was no stopping them. Well, there was no stopping Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, who picked up all four touchdowns combined. New York continued to struggle in week 5, dropping their third straight. New York has also lost one of their big play threats, as wide-out Eric Decker has been placed on IR with a shoulder injury. The Jets are definitely capable of shutting down the Cardinals, bt I don’t think they’ll be able to get enough going themselves on offense. ARIZONA WINS