Parity has reigned supreme in the NFL through five weeks. There are only two undefeated teams and one winless team, leaving the 29 other squads in the muddled middle, which makes avoiding losing streaks vital to playoff hopes.
Even though it may still seem early, teams that haven't had a bye yet will have completed more than a third of their schedule after this week. In other words, crunch time isn't far away. Let's take a look at three teams that will get back on the winning track in Week 6.
Arizona's shocking undefeated run finally came to an end at the hands of the St. Louis Rams last week. The Cardinals are still one of the league's biggest surprises at 4-1, however. They have a great chance to make it 5-1 after Sunday.
The Cardinals will face the struggling Buffalo Bills, who have given up an eye-popping 97 points over the last two weeks. A lackluster group of cornerbacks opens the door for Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts to run wild in the secondary.
Even though the Bills do have some dangerous weapons on offense, including C.J. Spiller and Stevie Johnson, the unit looked out of sync last week. The Cardinals should be able to rattle Ryan Fitzpatrick, leading to a big victory.
Just when it looked like the Bengals were back on track, they allowed the Miami Dolphins to escape Paul Brown Stadium with a win last week. It was a disappointing offensive performance, featuring two Andy Dalton interceptions.
They should be able to rebound against the winless in-state rival Cleveland Browns, who the Bengals are already playing for the second time this season. Cincinnati won the first meeting in Week 2 by holding off a late rally.
One thing the Bengals have to start doing in order to remain in the AFC North chase is start forcing more turnovers. That task should be a little easier against Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. Cincinnati will capitalize and sweep Cleveland.
New York Jets
For all the talk about the Jets quarterback situation, they were still able to keep it close against the Houston Texans, losing by just six points. They are not a bad team overall but even a little consistency under center would be huge.
Mark Sanchez should be able to have some success against an Indianapolis Colts secondary that is giving up two passing touchdowns per game. He doesn't have to play at an elite level for New York to succeed, he just has to avoid turnovers and step up on third down.
The other thing working in New York's favor are Indianapolis' emotions. They are coming off an heartwarming victory over the Green Bay Packers dedicated to ailing coach Chuck Pagano. It's often hard to replicate that type of performance, giving the Jets an edge.
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