Week 5 in the NFL and there are some big games on deck. The Saints are still looking for their first win, the Packers and Giants will both be looking to avoid their third loss of the season, and we have the next chapter of the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry, with both teams also looking to get above .500.
Who do you think will win?
Arizona (4-1) at St. Louis (3-2)
On Thursday on Twitter I picked the Rams to win.
Miami (1-3) at Cincinnati (3-1)
Two of the Bengals' three wins have come by one score. Two of the Dolphins' losses have come by one score (in overtime nonetheless).
Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill put up some big numbers last weekend against a solid defense, at the very least. It also looks like Tannehill has found two reliable wide receiver targets in Brian Hartline and Davonne Bess.
Tannehill needs to cut down on his turnovers. The Dolphins are third in the AFC in giveaways. But Cincinatti has only four takeaways all season and are ninth in the AFC in takeaways and may not be able to take advantage of any mistakes Miami makes.
Green Bay (2-2) at Indianapolis (1-2)
We’ve seen what the Saints have done (or lack thereof) without their head coach. The Colts, while inspired will also be without their head coach Chuck Pagano. The team is in a state of flux and missing their head coach could have a negative effect, even though they did have a bye week last week.
The Packers may be without Greg Jennings, and they may not look as glamorous on the offensive end like they did the past few years. However, they still have Aaron Rodgers, they still have a lot of weapons on offense, and their defense has played really well this season.
Green Bay wins.
Baltimore (3-1) at Kansas City (1-3)
The Chiefs have the most giveaways in the entire league (15). The Ravens are fourth in the AFC in takeaways.
The Ravens are fourth in passing yards per game and 12th in rushing yards per game. They have won two in a row.
Atlanta (4-0) at Washington (2-2)
The Falcons have played two games both at home and on the road. Their average margin of victory at home is four points. Their average margin of victory on the road is 21 points.
The Redskins have lost their only home game of the season. While the defense has played well against the run, they still have issues stopping the pass, which is Atlanta’s strong suit and how they are winning games.
Matt Ryan is first in the league in passer rating. He’s second in touchdowns. He’s tied for sixth in passing yards. He’s also thrown only two interceptions. He and the Falcons are just in a good groove right now.
Cleveland (0-4) at New York Giants (2-2)
The Browns just are not playing well this season. They struggle offensively to get yards, establish a rhythm and score points. And now they are without two wide receivers—including second leading receiver Mohamed Massaquoi—and a tight end.
The Giants may be inconsistent, but they are second in the league in passing yards. They have also won six straight games against AFC teams and four of their past five games against the Browns.
New York Giants win.
Philadelphia (3-1) at Pittsburgh (1-2)
The last time we saw the Steelers, they gave up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost to the Raiders despite Ben Roethlisberger’s 381 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Steelers rank 30th in the league in rushing yards per game.
The Eagles have 12 turnovers this season, second most in the league, but they are 3-1 and first in the league. It hasn’t been pretty but the Eagles are 10th in the league in passing yards per game, seventh in rushing yards per game, seventh in passing yards against per game and 12th in rushing yards allowed per game.
They’re winning games behind a pretty strong defense and an opportunistic offense.
Seattle (2-2) at Carolina (1-3)
Cam Newton is tied for eighth in the league in interceptions thrown. Seattle isn’t a strong takeaway team, but Newton, even last year, has committed some costly turnovers.
The Seahawks have been underwhelming this season, but they are sixth in the league in rushing yards per game and second in the league in rushing yards allowed per game. They also defend the pass pretty well and are 10th in the league in passing yards allowed per game.
The Seahawks' defense is pretty strong, and they should do a good job containing Newton.
Chicago (3-1) at Jacksonville (1-3)
The Jaguars are 31st in the league in passing yards per game. Defensively they are 21st against the pass and 30th against the run.
The Bears haven’t been glamorous, but they are third in the league against the run, the one thing Jacksonville does well.
There won’t be a Monday night letdown for the Bears today. They just are a better team.
Tennessee (1-3) at Minnesota (3-1)
Christian Ponder, believe it or not, is eighth in the league in passer rating. As a team the Vikings are 10th in the league in rushing yards per game. They are very efficient offensively.
The Titans finally got a good performance from Chris Johnson, with 141 yards rushing last week, but still lost. Starting quarterback Jake Locker is injured. They also rank in the bottom six in both passing and rushing defensive categories.
Denver (2-2) at New England (2-2)
Peyton Manning is 2-8 against the Patriots in Foxborough.
As for the Patriots, for the past decade they have been a pass-first team. And they have so many options to pass to, not to mention one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the league.
Last week, though, they ran the ball for 247 yards. Both Brandon Bolden and Stephen Ridley ran for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown (Ridley ran for two TDs). The Patriots haven’t had Aaron Hernandez, but if the running game continues to play well, this Patriots offense is now much more balanced and that much more dangerous.
New England wins.
Buffalo (2-2) at San Francisco (3-1)
One AFC East team down for the Niners, another coming up.
The 49ers come into this game off a huge blowout against the Jets (who dominated the Bills). The Bills come into this game giving up a 14-point lead to the Patriots and losing by 30 at home.
San Francisco wins.
San Diego (3-1) at New Orleans (0-4)
The Chargers may have one loss and lead the division while the Saints have yet to win a game, but this feels like the type of game that could change that.
The Saints are too talented, at least on offense, to lose every game, right? They may not be a playoff team, but they have to turn around the season at some point, right?
The Saints are at home. They are playing in primetime. Drew Brees could break Johnny Unitas’ record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Suspended head coach Sean Payton will be in attendance.
New Orleans wins.
Houston (4-0) at New York Jets (2-2)
The Jets are tied for first in the AFC East, but how much confidence do you have in this team?
The Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow debate is in full force. Sanchez is 32nd in the league in completion percentage, coming in under 50 percent. Their top wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, is out for the year, and they were already thin at the position. Their top cornerback is also out for the year. And they just lost by 34 points last weekend and were just shut out at home.
There’s no reasonable rationalization to think that they will beat the undefeated Texans, who are firing on all cylinders right now.
Bye week: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
This week: 1-0
Last week: 10-5