A quarter of the way through the season, the identity of teams is coming into focus. This allows for a greater sense of confidence in prognostication. Of course, sometimes the picks made with the most confidence are often the ones that go most terribly wrong.
That said, after looking over next week's schedule, a few teams jump out to me in a positive way.
The next three franchises will emerge from Week 5 with big wins. Check out the three teams that will impress the most in the coming week.
Week 5 Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks pulled off an impressive comeback playing against the Texans in Houston on Sunday. Seattle trailed 20-3 at halftime and pulled out a 23-20 win in overtime.
While that was a determined win that demands attention, it was also the product of trend. The Seahawks have a tendency to come out sluggish on the road for 1 p.m. ET starts. This isn't unique to them. It has been a problem to varying degrees for West Coast teams forever.
But it's one Seattle definitely struggles with. In Week 1, the Seahawks needed a comeback to beat the Panthers 12-7. Also remember back to the Seahawks' loss to the Falcons in last year's playoffs. It was another sluggish start that doomed them.
At any rate, the Colts are going to take advantage of this, and Andrew Luck is not going to make the same terrible late interception that Matt Schaub did. The Colts will seal the deal and get fans buzzing in the process.
Week 5 Opponent: at Arizona Cardinals
The Carolina Panthers enjoyed a bye this week after trouncing the New York Giants 38-0 to earn their first win of the season. They will move up to .500 after next week.
Carolina's defensive line has been outstanding this year. That front is going to destroy the weak Cardinals offensive line. The pressure offered by the Panthers will lead to at least one Carson Palmer fumble, which will be more touchdowns than the Cardinals will be able to muster.
Arizona has been playing solid rush defense, and running the ball is the strength of the Panthers, but Carolina's defense will set the offense up for success, and the Panthers will pull out a dominant win.
Week 5 Opponent: New York Jets
The Falcons have to be stinging after a comeback bid fell short as they lost, 30-23, to the New England Patriots.
The loss dropped Atlanta to just 1-3 on the season, which is a far cry from where most expected this team to be a quarter of the way through their season.
Still, it is not all doom and gloom for Atlanta. The seven-point defeat to the Patriots is their largest of the season, and all three losses, Saints and Dolphins being the other two, have come against teams that look headed for the postseason.
The Falcons are going to be just fine, and they will take out their early-season frustration on the Jets.
The best way to beat the Falcons is through the air, and the Jets' passing game is still a work in progress. The Jets will struggle to move the ball in this game and the Falcons offense will take care of the rest.
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