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NFL Week 5 Picks & Predictions
Updated: December 2017

Arizona @ San Francisco
What is wrong with the Cardinals? Another home loss last week and a banged up quarterback have head coach Bruce Arians scratching his head. Now, the Cardinals must travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers, which are in the same predicament as Arizona. Both teams are 1-3 and in desperate need of a win. Palmer likely won’t play. Niners grab a win… San Francisco 27, Arizona 20.

New England @ Cleveland
After last week’s debacle, it’s time to welcome back Tom Brady. The Browns (0-4) are in for a whooping. Head coach Hue Jackson can talk all he wants about how the Cleveland continues to improve. With a third-string quarterback and far less talent, Brady and company will win big even if the Dawg Pound throws batteries at them… New England 47, Cleveland 20.

Philadelphia @ Detroit
Rookie QB Carson Wentz is the talk of the league. With a bye week under his belt, could he win a fourth straight start? Wentz has still not thrown an interception. If he and his teammates don’t turn the ball over, the Eagles can win. The Lions do have some weapons on offense. QB Matthew Stafford would be a sure Hall of Famer someday if he didn’t play in Detroit. The Lions aren’t that bad, but the Eagles are better… Philadelphia 33, Detroit 30.

Chicago @ Indianapolis
The Bears finally won a game, though head coach John Fox might not want to get too excited since the win was over the 1-3 Detroit Lions. Now, the Bears travel to face another 1-3 team in Indianapolis. The Colts played horribly for three quarters then mounted a furious 4th quarter comeback against Jacksonville that fell just short in a 30-27 loss. Andrew Luck wins at home… Indianapolis 30, Chicago 24.

Tennessee @ Miami
The Titans ‘erupted’ for 20 points last week and still lost to Houston, 27-20. Tennessee just can’t score. The Titans are tied for 31st in the league averaging just 14 points per game. They have a very powerful running game with DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry. The Dolphins, under first-year head coach Adam Gase aren’t very good. Their only win is over winless Cleveland. That win was at home also. Call it a mild upset… Miami 24, Tennessee 17.

Washington @ Baltimore
The Ravens fell from the ranks of the unbeaten while the Redskins are beginning to find themselves. After two losses to open the season, Washington has two straight victories including last week’s 31-20 win over Cleveland. The Redskins running game was dominant last week, but that was the Browns. This is a Baltimore defense that plays exceptionally well at home… Baltimore 20, Washington 17.

Houston @ Minnesota
This could end up being one of the best games of the first half of the season. Both teams play great defense, though the Texans will be without NFL Defensive MVP J.J. Watt. The Vikings are giving up just 13 points per game and their defense has scored two touchdowns so far this season. Minnesota leads the NFL in sacks and they are playing at home… Minnesota 23, Houston 17.

NY Jets @ Pittsburgh
After losing badly to Philadelphia last week, the Steelers took out their frustrations on Kansas City Sunday night pounding the Chiefs, 43-14. QB Ben Roethlisberger had five touchdown passes and Le’Veon Bell returned from suspension to run all over the Chiefs defense. The Jets are a solid 1-3 team, but if they continue to turn the ball over they will struggle to get to 8-8. Pittsburgh is just too good at home… Pittsburgh 33, NY Jets 20.

Atlanta @ Denver
The Falcons are the early surprise in the NFL with the league’s best offense. Matt Ryan threw for over 500 yards last week and WR Julio Jones caught 12 of Ryan’s passes for 300 yards. The Broncos have managed to stay unbeaten with a first-year QB, Trevor Siemian, running the offense. Siemian was hurt in last week’s win over Tampa Bay, but the offense didn’t seem to miss a beat with rookie Paxton Lynch. Can the Falcons overcome the powerful Broncos defense? Maybe… Atlanta 31, Denver 30.

Cincinnati @ Dallas
Ezekiel Elliott is proving to be a wise draft choice by the Cowboys. The running back ran for over 100 yards in his second straight game, a 24-17 win over San Francisco last week. Quarterback Dak Prescott continues to impress, but now the Cowboys face the Bengals. Cincinnati struggled in its two losses but was very good in its wins. They also have the benefit of extra time off having played last Thursday… Cincinnati 28, Dallas 17.

Buffalo @ Los Angeles
Rex Ryan was on the hot seat after two losses to start the season. After beating the Cardinals and Patriots in consecutive weeks, now he’s a coach of the year candidate. The Bills shut out New England in Foxborough last week. The Rams are having just as much success. They are 3-1 and coming off a win over Arizona. All of the Rams’ wins are in their division. Playing at home should give them and advantage in what should be a low-scoring affair… Los Angeles 13, Buffalo 7.

San Diego @ Oakland
Yes, the Oakland Raiders are 3-1 after a 28-27 win over previously unbeaten Baltimore. WR Michael Crabtree caught three touchdown passes in the win. Now, it’s an AFC West matchup with San Diego (1-3). The Chargers can score – they are third in the NFL in scoring (29.0 ppg) – they just have a problem stopping people. They lost to New Orleans 35-34 last week. Playing in Oakland, the Raiders continue to move closer to the playoff team that everyone thinks they are… Oakland 37, San Diego 30.

NY Giants @ Green Bay
The Giants are much better on defense than they were a year ago and now they get a chance to get a signature win when they visit Green Bay on Sunday night. The Packers will have the home-field advantage as well as a slight edge in having had a bye last week. The extra preparation plus the Giants having a short week (they played the Vikings on Monday night last week) is a huge benefit for the Packers. Plus, they don’t lose often at Lambeau Field… Green Bay 33, NY Giants 27.

Tampa Bay @ Carolina
With the status of Cam Newton uncertain, Tampa Bay could pull off a huge win in Carolina. Last year’s MVP is not playing like one and the Panthers’ defense isn’t up to par with last year’s unit. That is why Carolina is 1-3. Bucs QB Jameis Winston is throwing for a ton of yards, but Tampa Bay can’t stop anyone. With or without Cam, Carolina wins at home… Carolina 17, Tampa Bay 14.

 

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Indianapolis @ Houston
The once virtually unstoppable Colts offense has been anything but thus far in the 2015 season. Indianapolis had to find a way to beat Jacksonville last week. The Texans are 1-3 and haven’t fared much better. In Houston, head coach Bill O’Brien gets the win his Texans need to get back on track…. Houston 21, Indianapolis 17.

Seattle @ Cincinnati
Two franchises that are built along the same lines clash in Week 5. The Bengals may be the most efficient offense in the NFL. Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill lead the running game and QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green control the passing game. The status of Marshawn Lynch may determine the outcome in this one… Cincinnati 34, Seattle 31.

Cleveland @ Baltimore
The Browns haven’t beat the Ravens in Baltimore since 2007 and have only one win in the series since (2013). Baltimore got its first win of the season a week ago against division rival Pittsburgh. A second straight AFC North win puts Baltimore back on track… Baltimore 34, Cleveland 17.


St. Louis @ Green Bay
The Rams are one of the more intriguing teams in the NFL this season. With new QB Nick Foles, the offense has looked phenomenal in wins over Seattle and last week against previously undefeated Arizona. St. Louis has two quality wins over arguably the best teams in their division. The problem is that the offense has also played poorly in losses to Pittsburgh and Washington. The Rams put up just 16 points in those losses. The Packers are practically unbeatable in Lambeau. They are 4-0 so far and about to go to 5-0… Green Bay 30, St. Louis 14.

New England @ Dallas
The Patriots are coming off an early season bye week. Head coach Bill Belichick does not lose very often when he has had an extra week to prepare for an opponent. New England’s offense looks unstoppable. QB Tom Brady leads the NFL in passing and has only played in three games. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is averaging over 19 yards a catch and has four touchdowns and the always productive Julian Edelman has 30 receptions in three games. New England takes on a Dallas team that will once again play without QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys offense was already without All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant, but the offense played well under backup QB Brandon Weeden in a 39-28 loss to Atlanta. Still, it’s the Patriots… New England 48, Dallas 20.

Pittsburgh @ San Diego
The Chargers offense has played well enough to be 4-0, but the defense has had trouble with Cincinnati and Minnesota both of which have strong ground games. The Vikings Adrian Peterson and the Bengals Gio Bernard each ran for over 100 yards against the Chargers defense. San Diego will face last year’s second-leading rusher Le’Veon Bell who ran for 129 yards in a loss to Baltimore last week. Bell is likely to carry much of the offensive load as the Steelers will play without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger again. He is out with a knee injury and will miss at least another four weeks. Michael Vick has played erratically in his place and it will be up to Bell to take some of the pressure off of the 15-year veteran. San Diego has won two games, both at home, and lost two, both on the road. At home, the Chargers find a way… San Diego 26, Pittsburgh 23.

San Francisco @ New York Giants
What happened to the 49ers offense? QB Colin Kaepernick has been horrible and San Francisco has scored just 48 points in four games. That combined with the fact that the defense can’t really stop anybody has led to a 1-3 start under new head coach Jim Tomsula. Kaepernick was sacked six times in last week’s 17-3 loss to Green Bay. While the Giants are no Green Bay, their defense played well last week limiting Buffalo to just 10 points in a 24-10 win. The Giants offense is still pass heavy. Leading rusher Rashad Jennings has just 96 yards rushing in four games. Still, New York should have enough firepower to take care of the 49ers… NY Giants 31, San Francisco 12.

Buffalo @ Tennessee
The Bills looked like a real contender after losing by just eight to New England and then blowing out the Dolphins 41-14. Last week, they took a step backwards in a 24-10 loss to the New York Giants. The league’s leading rushing attack (152.7 yards per game) could only muster 55 yards and QB Tyrod Taylor didn’t have much success until the second half completing 28-of-42 for 274 yards. The Titans had a bye week in preparation for the Bills. After beating Tampa Bay in Week 1, Tennessee has dropped two straight and given up 63 points in the process. Quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to become acclimated to life as a pro quarterback. He has thrown for 833 yards in three games, but his quarterback rating is just 50.6. Even with the extra week, Buffalo isn’t going to lose two in a row… Buffalo 23, Tennessee 10.

New Orleans @ Philadelphia
The Saints and Eagles were both favorites in their respective divisions entering the 2015 season. After four weeks, each team finds its playoff hopes slipping away. The Eagles squandered a late lead against Washington last week and gave the Redskins a 23-20 victory. The loss drops Philadelphia to 1-3 on the season. The once potent Eagles running game is now among the league’s worst. After four weeks, head coach Chip Kelly and the offense are 30th in the NFL averaging just 64.3 yards rushing per game. At some point the offense has to gel. The Saints finally won their first game in dramatic fashion when QB Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller for an 80-yard touchdown pass to beat Dallas in overtime last week. New Orleans fans would like to see more of that, but Spiller and WR Brandin Cooks are going to have to be more involved in the offense… New Orleans 28, Philadelphia 24.

Chicago @ Kansas City
The Bears finally got a win at home against the Raiders last week. Quarterback Jay Cutler hit on 28-of-43 passes for 281 yards and two TDs and kicker Robbie Gould hit a 49-yard field goal with 2:03 to play to give Chicago a 22-20 win. The Bears offense is averaging just over 15 points per game and the defense is among the worst in the league. After four games, Chicago is allowing 35 points a game. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have dropped three straight albeit to three Super Bowl contenders. Head coach Andy Reid’s team lost by a touchdown to Denver, by 10 to Green Bay, and lost 36-21 last week to Cincinnati. At 1-3, it will be an uphill battle but the Chiefs have what it takes to be a playoff contender… Kansas City 35, Chicago 17.


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