Week 5 Picks: We'll Still Watch
Week 5 of the NFL season is upon us and it brings with it some
less than stellar matchups. With only a few captivating games, this could be
one of the least appealing weeks of the year. This is the first weeks that the
NFL could start flexing the Sunday night game. The problem is the NFL is
lacking a compelling matchup to flex, so we get stuck with the Giants and
49ers. Regardless of the quality of matchups, we will all be glued to our TVs
anyway. Here are my thoughts on Week 5:
Week 5 Byes: Jets, Dolphins, Vikings, and Panthers
Colts @ Texans – Thursday 8:25 PM ET
Indianapolis visits Houston to get Week 5 started. With Andrew Luck slated to miss his second straight week, the advantage goes to the Texans. The Colts are making a decision with their long-term interests in mind. The Indianapolis offensive line has proved they can’t keep a QB upright and it makes sense to hold out Luck against the Houston defense. The organization is hoping to tread water until Luck can get healthy. The Colts were able to beat the Jaguars last week, even with Matt Hasselbeck behind center. I don’t think they will have the same fortune this week. I like Houston, but the Colts should play well enough to make this game competitive.
Texans 23 – Colts 19
Bills @ Titans – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Bills showed that they really missed LeSean McCoy in Week 4. Buffalo’s offense only amassed 55 rushing yards, averaging 2.3 yards per carry. To make matters worse, rookie backup RB Karlos Williams is likely out for this week’s contest against the Titans. That means the Bills will turn to Boobie Dixon against a Tennessee team coming off their early bye week. Playing on the road without a running game will cause problems for Buffalo. I think the Titans pull off the upset.
Titans 24 – Bills 16
Browns @ Ravens – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Fresh off their first win of the 2015 season, the Ravens will look to salvage what they can of this season. A playoff berth is not impossible, but it will take a lot of work. That road begins this week by hosting the Browns, who are coming off a loss that maybe only Cleveland can pull off. With the game tied in the final seconds, San Diego lined up for the winning kick and Josh Lambo pushed it wide right. The Browns were flagged for offsides and with the second chance, Lambo’s kick was good, sending Cleveland to 1-3. If momentum truly exists, this game will be decided by it. The Ravens should win at home by taking advantage of the demoralized Browns.
Ravens 23 – Browns 12
Bears @ Chiefs – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Bears are another team coming into this week after entering the win column in Week 4. Chicago prevented the Raiders from pulling of a “Windy City Miracle” in the closing seconds of the game and moved to 1-3. The Chiefs also enter this week at 1-3 after being handled easily by the Bengals. I do think the Chiefs are better than their record indicates, as their three losses have come to teams that are a combined 12-0. This team should be an offensive frenzy, as the secondary for both teams can be rather suspect. I like the Chiefs, but I think this will be a good game.
Chiefs 33 – Bears 28
Seahawks @ Bengals – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
In arguably the best matchup of Week 5, the Seahawks will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Despite the controversial win in Week 4, Seattle did not look great against the Lions. The Bengals, on the other hand, continued to roll through their early season schedule. While the Seahawks may be the best team they have played through the first five weeks, there are a few factors going against Seattle. The combination of a short week and cross-country travel puts the Seahawks at a disadvantage in this game. I think the Bengals will take advantage of that and start the season 5-0 for the first time since 1988.
Bengals 27 – Seahawks 17
Rams @ Packers – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Rams enter Week 5 looking to pick off another unbeaten team. After taking down the Cardinals in Week 4, they will set their sights on the 4-0 Packers. Green Bay enters Week 5 off a win against the hapless 49ers. Green Bay’s offense didn’t look quite like themselves last week, but I don’t believe there is any real cause for concern. I like the Packers this week as I don’t think the Rams will be able to pull off their second in a row.
Packers 31 – Rams 22
Jaguars @ Buccaneers – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
It is hard to find anything positive to say about the Week 5 matchup between the Jaguars and Buccaneers. Both teams have had one week of brilliance in this early season, but the other weeks have been status quo. Last week, the Jaguars lost to a team led by 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck and the Buccaneers were manhandled by the Panthers. I think Jacksonville is the better team and I think the early struggles of Jameis Winston will continue. I like the Jags in a very ugly game.
Jaguars 13 – Buccaneers 9
Saints @ Eagles – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Another rough matchup on the Week 5 schedule takes place in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Saints notched their first win of the season in Week 4, with an overtime victory over the Cowboys. The Eagles continued their struggles by losing to the Redskins. While I think both teams are pretty evenly matched, I like the better QB in this game and I’m going with the Saints as the #FireChip campaign continues.
Saints 20 – Eagles 13
Redskins @ Falcons – Sunday 1:00 PM ET
For the second straight week, Devonta Freeman and the Falcons offense shined. Freeman is making the most of his opportunity with Tevin Coleman sidelined. This week, he will go up against a Washington defense that has been very good against the run through the first four weeks. It’s tough to get a read on the Redskins, as they have alternated wins and losses to start the season. Sitting at 2-2, Washington has a chance for a season-defining win in Week 5. Personally, I don’t think that win will come in Atlanta. I like the Falcons to keep rolling and also move to 5-0.
Falcons 27 – Redskins 17
Cardinals @ Lions – Sunday 4:05 PM ET
The Cardinals come into Week 5 looking to rebound from their first loss of the 2015 season. The high-scoring offense from the first three weeks was absent in Week 4. This week, they will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. Detroit is coming off a controversial Week 4 loss at the hands of the Seahawks to remain winless. I don’t think the Lions first win will come in Week 5 either. I like the Arizona offense too much.
Cardinals 38 – Lions 18
Patriots @ Cowboys – Sunday 4:25 PM ET
For the second straight week, Brandon Weeden played well enough to put the Cowboys in a position to win. Unfortunately, Dallas came up short in both of those efforts. After suffering two tough losses, the Cowboys will host the Patriots in Week 5. Cowboys’ defensive end Greg Hardy will be activated from suspension this week. He has been back in the league for what feels like five minutes and he has already sparked controversy with remarks about Tom Brady’s wife Gisele Bundchen, her sister, and her friends. If the first three games weren’t an indication, you do not want to anger Tom Brady. Between the Patriots coming off a bye week, the organization still wanting to punish the league for Deflategate, and Brady wanting to make an example of Greg Hardy, I think this game has the potential for an embarrassing outcome. I like the Patriots big in this game.
Patriots 49 – Cowboys 24
Broncos @ Raiders – Sunday 4:25 PM ET
Despite losing a fourth quarter lead in Week 4, the Raiders have looked good over the last three weeks. Oakland is certainly exceeding expectations in the early goings of the 2015 season. This week, they will host the Broncos at the O.Co coliseum. Denver pulled out another tight win in Week 4 against the Vikings. While Peyton Manning may not be playing quite like his old self, he is doing enough to keep the Broncos winning. While I like what Oakland has done thus far, I don’t think they have progressed enough to take down the Broncos. I like Denver on the road.
Broncos 26 – Raiders 13
49ers @ Giants – Sunday 8:30 PM ET
The trend of bad Sunday Night Football matchups continues in Week 5. This week we get the 49ers visiting the Giants. Aside from fooling everyone in Week 1, San Francisco has looked just like downright awful to start the 2015 season. The defense played decent in Week 4, but the offense could not get anything going. This week they square off against a Giants team that can easily be 4-0. After going into Buffalo and upsetting the Bills, the Giants may have proved they could be for real. They should be able to put up enough points this week to outlast the 49ers and take over sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Giants 20 – 49ers 10
Steelers @ Chargers – Monday 8:30 PM ET
After a difficult loss in Week 4, the Steelers will look to rebound on Monday night. The team has released Josh Scobee, who many blame for the loss. The bigger story was the inexplicable overtime play calling by Mike Tomlin, who may have put too much faith in Michael Vick. He will need to put faith in his backup QB again this week, as the team travels to San Diego. The Chargers snuck away with a win in Week 4 to improve to 2-2 on the season. I don’t have too much faith in the Chargers, but I have less faith in a team led by Michael Vick. I think the Chargers come away with this game, but this game really could go either way.
Chargers 31 – Steelers 23
Week 4 Record: 12 – 3
Season Record: 29 – 18