NFL Picks Week 5: Huge Upsets You'll Never See Coming

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IOctober 6, 2012

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins sets to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers September 30, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

We've already seen one unbeaten NFL team go down on Thursday night, and Week 5 will give us another, as the Atlanta Falcons will not climb the ladder and make it to 5-0.

Elsewhere, there are some other big names that will hit the deck, so to speak, by losing very winnable games after this week in the NFL.

In addition to the red-hot Falcons, the Minnesota Vikings and favored New Orleans Saints will also be on this list. Each have unfavorable matchups this week, and each will find themselves on the wrong end of what's sure to be a big week for the impending playoffs.

Here's a look at each upset pick, and why the underdog will wind up the victor when handshakes are being given across the field.


Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (+3.5)

Spread aside, I think the Redskins come away big upset victors for the first time since their season opener against the Saints. Why, you ask? Well, they still have a guy named RG3 calling the signals in the backfield and the Falcons had trouble with a similar guy last week.

Cam Newton rushed for 86 yards at the QB position, something Robert Griffin III should be doing with regularity on Sunday.

Newton and the rushing attack really gashed the Falcons, and if it wasn't for some questionable safety play from the Panthers, the Falcons would already have a loss on their ledger. However, that wasn't the case, and the Falcons remain undefeated.

It's easy to play the "what if" game, but Atlanta has proven to be the NFC's best team through four weeks. RG3 will have something to say about that, and a solid Kyle Shanahan game plan that includes a mix of both Griffin and Alfred Morris will help tame the beast in the NFC South.


Tennessee Titans (+6) at Minnesota Vikings

The two teams that have benefited most from the Detroit Lions' special teams will take each other on in Week 5, and both teams have something to prove, just in different arenas.

The Vikings looked great for two straight weeks, knocking off two playoff-caliber teams in the Lions and the San Fransisco 49ers. They need to keep that effort up again, because this is an obvious sleeper game against new starting QB Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans.

#Titans coach Mike Munchak said Jake Locker will not start at Minnesota this week. Matt Hasselbeck will start.

— Tennessee Titans (@tennesseetitans) October 3, 2012

Though the move is only temporary and does not mean Jake Locker has lost his job permanently, Hasselbeck has proved during his time in Tennessee that he gives this group a chance to win, maybe more so than Locker right now.

Also, Chris Johnson has some confidence after rushing for 141 yards against the Texans last week, so I think that performance carries over on the road in the dome.


San Diego Chargers (+4) at New Orleans Saints

With his head coach, assistant head coach and general manager all receiving word from the league that they're allowed to attend, Drew Brees looks to break Johnny Unitas' all-time consecutive touchdown passing record on Sunday.  

Brees has a touchdown pass in 47 straight games, tied for first with Unitas on the all-time sheet. That's going to be a great moment, and it's historic in more ways than one.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that New Orleans has had poor defensive effort and it isn't in sync right now on offense. The emotion of Brees' record might be the high point of the day, but will that be enough to stop a very good Charger offensive attack?

My guess is no, and Brees' special afternoon gets spoiled by the Chargers. It seems nearly impossible that the Saints are favorites in this game, and even more impossible that they might be 0-5 by the time it's over. This just doesn't feel like another "Who Dat" season, and this game should be the nail in the coffin.