NFL Week Five Predictions

By Brett Malamud

This week sees two undefeated teams in action, as well as one winless team. The stakes are high for some teams that need to start winning games, or see their season plummet to hopeless end. Here’s the week five predictions:

Byes: Raiders, Dolphins

-Vikings (2-2) at Packers (2-2), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST

The message coming from Aaron Rodgers was quite simple: R-E-L-A-X. That’s what he said before going out and throwing four touchdowns in the Packers win against the Bears last weekend. The Vikings had Teddy Bridgewater start for them last week against the Atlanta Falcons and he was fantastic, throwing for 317 yards and rushing five times for 27 yards and a touchdown. He was carted off of the field with a sprained ankle but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has remained completely optimistic that Bridgewater will start in Green Bay on Thursday. If he plays or not won’t factor into my pick though. I’m taking the Packers. Verdict: Packers

-Bears (2-2) at Panthers (2-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

On the other side of that Aaron Rodgers performance last week was the Bears, who allowed the Packers to score on their first six possessions. However, the Bears still piled up 500 yards of offense. Jay cutler was picked off twice, but that shouldn’t be a problem against the Panthers defense. Carolina has allowed 75 points without forcing a  turnover over the last two weeks. I’m going with my gut and taking the Bears here. Verdict: Bears 

-Browns (1-2) at Titans (1-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Browns enter week five coming off of their bye in week four. In their first three games this season, Cleveland has decided each of them via a last second field goal. The Titans come into this matchup riding a three game losing streak. Their offense has done nothing of late and ranks 29th in the league in passing yards. The Browns will face a stretch where they’ll face the Titans, Jaguars and Raiders in three of the next four weeks. Look for them to start the hot streak here.  Verdict: Browns

-Rams (1-2) at Eagles (3-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Eagles were taken down in San Francisco last week, suffering their first loss of the season. LeSean McCoy struggled throughout and ran for just 17 yards on 10 carries. The Rams went up 21-0 midway through the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys back in week 3. They saw that deficit erased, and were defeated 34-31. Austin Davis has improved each week, and threw three touchdowns against Dallas. I don’t see that here though, as the Eagles should bounce back strong. Verdict: Eagles

LeSean McCoy looks to bounce back this week (Via AP)

LeSean McCoy looks to bounce back this week (Via AP)

-Falcons (2-1) at Giants (2-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Giants were unrecognizable last week in Washington on Thursday Night Football. Eli Manning suddenly came back to life and threw four touchdowns, three of which were caught by TE Larry Donnell. The next task will be facing the Atlanta Falcons, who come in off a tough loss in Minnesota. The Falcons were abused by the Minnesota offense, led by rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. I believe the trend continues, and that the G-Men pull out another win. Verdict: Giants

-Buccaneers (1-3) at Saints (1-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Who would’ve thought that the Saints would start their season at 1-3? I took them to win the Super Bowl! Their offense ranks third in the league and yet they’ve had some unlucky bounces. The Buccaneers finally won a game last week in Pittsburgh but I just can’t see them competing with a team like the Saints. You never know though… Verdict: Saints

-Texans (3-1) at Cowboys (3-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Texans enter week five fresh off a win against the Buffalo Bills. They returned another interception for a touchdown pass, giving him more TDs this year than Arian Foster and Andre Johnson combined. Meanwhile, the Cowboys manhandled the Saints on Sunday Night Football. If there’s any defense that’ll scare Tony Romo into making bad decisions, it’s this one. But I see Romo staying content and leading the Cowboys to the victory. Verdict: Cowboys

-Bills (2-2) at Lions (3-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

I like this matchup a lot. The Lions currently are ranked first in the league in defense. The Bills are ranked 10th. This matchup could be a wild one throughout. In the end though, I think Detroit comes out on top.  Verdict: Lions

-Ravens (3-1) at Colts (2-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Ravens defeated the Ravens last week, in a game that saw Steve Smith with two touchdowns. You can bet that Indy will have their eyes on Smith this week. Andrew Luck is going to be the reason why the Colts win this one, a week after he threw for 393 passing yards and four touchdowns. Verdict: Colts

-Steelers (2-2) at Jaguars (0-4), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Jaguars proved again that they’re the one of worst teams in the league. They dropped to 0-4 after facing a beating in San Diego. They kept up in the first half, but came out flat in the second half. The Steelers lost a tough one to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. They’ll probably win on the road this week, but will need to pick up the pieces if they want to compete this season. Verdict: Steelers

-Cardinals (3-0) at Broncos (2-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

Here’s my matchup of the week. My favorite defense in Arizona travels to the Mile High City to face the Denver Broncos. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare for this game, a week after they both faced the bye week. Peyton Manning has been good, but not great (there’s no chance that would’ve matched his performance of last season). But he faces a team that completely shut down the 49ers back in the second half of their week three matchup. The two week break also allowed Manning to work with WR Wes Welker, who returned two weeks ago from suspension. I think Manning hands the Cardinals their first loss of the season on Sunday.  Verdict: Broncos

-Chiefs (2-2) at 49ers (2-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Chiefs dismantled the Patriots on Monday Night Football. They head into this matchup with their defense pumped up to face opposing QB Colin Kaepernick. The Niners quarterback did not throw an interception last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but was a mess back in week two. This inconsistency could come back to hurt the 49ers as the season goes on. I’m taking them in this one though. Verdict: 49ers

-Jets (1-3) at Chargers (3-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Jets head out west after being defeated by the Detroit Lions last week. The secondary did not look good against Lions QB Matt Stafford. This week they’ll face Philip Rivers, who took it to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns. I think that Rivers wins this one. Verdict: Chargers

-Bengals (3-0) at Patriots (2-2), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

The Patriots play for the second week in a row on national television and hope that this time goes much better than the last time. New England was embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs last week on Monday Night Football. Tom Brady was pulled in the fourth quarter for backup Jimmy Garoppolo. The Bengals come into this one off of the bye week, and hope to continue their success. They took care off Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and Jake Locker. Now they turn their heads to then man they call Tom Terrific, who I believe won’t be so terrific for the second week in a row. Verdict: Bengals

-Seahawks (2-1) at Redskins (1-3), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

This could either be a really good game, or a really bad game. The Seahawks travel to our nation’s capital to face the Washington Redskins. Washington, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, will have a tough task, especially after last Thursday’s meeting with the New York Giants. The Seahawks took down Peyton Manning and the mighty Denver Broncos during week two, in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. The only loss that Seattle has so far came in San Diego, in a highly contested game. This week it should be more of the same, and the Seahawks should roll on. Verdict: Seahawks

 

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