Week 5 NFL Predictions: Bold Picks for Sunday's Action
It's Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season, and already we've seen one surprise of sorts this week, as the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals were dispatched with relative ease by the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.
If there's one thing that the National Football League shows on a weekly basis, it's that you should expect the unexpected. So in the truest spirit of embracing the insanity that is the NFL, here are a handful of bold predictions for Week 5.
The Washington Redskins Will Upset the Atlanta Falcons
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With the Arizona Cardinals' loss to the Rams on Thursday night, only one undefeated team remains in each conference.
After Sunday's action, only one will remain total.
The Atlanta Falcons were very fortunate to escape Week 4 with a win, as the Carolina Panthers gave the Falcons all they could handle before a late drive by quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons led to a game-winning field goal.
The Falcons shouldn't have much trouble throwing the ball on the Washington Redskins' suspect pass defense, but a balanced Washington offense could control the clock, keep the Redskins in the game and give rookie Robert Griffin III the chance to steal a win late.
The youngster will take advantage of that opportunity.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Jekyll and Hyde Act Will Continue
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The Philadelphia Eagles sit at 3-1 and atop the NFC East after four games, but they haven't won many style points getting there.
In fact, the Eagles have won more in spite of their accomplishments than because of them, as the team has surrendered 17 more points than it has scored and has a turnover differential of minus-five.
That's not going to get it done against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that's had two weeks to think about its loss to the Oakland Raiders, and turnovers will be the story of the day as the Eagles lose by double digits in the Steel City.
Marshawn Lynch Will Run for 150 Yards
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Speaking of Jekyll and Hyde football teams...
When the Seattle Seahawks are playing within the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field, they can be as tough as any team in the National Football League, but once they leave the Pacific Northwest it's a different story altogether, as evidenced by their 0-2 mark on the road in 2012.
However, the Seahawks will get their first road win of the season on Sunday, and they'll do it by doing what they do best.
The Carolina Panthers have struggled against the run this season, allowing well over 130 yards a game, and the Seahawks will exploit that weakness by pounding away with bruiser Marshawn Lynch to the tune of over 150 rushing yards.
Get your Skittles ready.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady Will Combine for over 800 Passing Yards
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Much of the last decade in the AFC was dominated by showdowns between Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts and Tom Brady's New England Patriots, with the duo facing off twice with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
The stakes aren't quite as high, and one player is sporting a different uniform, but it's a trip down memory lane in Week 5 when Manning once again travels to Foxboro, this time leading the Denver Broncos in to face the Patriots.
It'll certainly look like old times judging from the scoreboard, as the two future Hall of Famers will trade punches in a shootout that will be won by the Patriots. The quarterbacks will combine for over 800 passing yards.
The Saints Won't Wake Up from Their Nightmare Sunday Night
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The worst part about this prediction?
It's not even all that bold.
To call the 2012 season a disaster for the New Orleans Saints would be an understatement, as a team that entered the season with aspirations of hosting the Super Bowl enters the season's second month still searching for win No. 1.
It's not going to happen Sunday night.
The reason is quite simple. The Saints defense has been horrible, allowing over 180 yards a game on the ground and over 40 more total yards a game than the next closest defense.
That's not going to win you many football games, especially against a halfway decent team like the San Diego Chargers.