Week 5 NFL Picks: Road Teams That Will Earn Easy Wins on Sunday
If there is one theme to follow in Week 5 of the NFL season, it is how the league's top teams will fare on the road.
All five remaining undefeated teams as well as a number of other top squads will be away from home this week. Despite the obvious skill of each squad, it will be difficult for all of them to come away with wins.
The New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks are all facing high-quality opponents this week. It would not be surprising to see some or all three of these teams lose for the first time this season.
However, there are at least a few teams that will excel on the road in Week 5 against inferior competition.
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Tennessee Titans)
While there are many who still do not believe in the Chiefs despite their 4-0 record, this team is for real.
It has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but more importantly, it's completely turned things around in the turnover department.
After finishing tied for last in the NFL last season with a minus-24 differential, Kansas City is tied for first in the league at plus-nine. This makes a huge difference in each game and over the course of the season.
Although the Tennessee Titans have played well to start the year, they will enter next game without Jake Locker. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the quarterback has been ruled out for the next few weeks with various injuries:
Titans now estimate QB Jake Locker should return in four to six weeks from hip and knee sprains. Time frame was 4 to 8 or more— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 2, 2013
This leaves the team in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been among the worst in football with a total of 54 interceptions over the past three years.
Tennessee has struggled to run the ball and that will not change against Kansas City, giving the squad little chance to score a lot this week.
Denver Broncos (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
After allowing over 400 passing yards to Philip Rivers, you can assume the Cowboys will struggle to contain Peyton Manning.
The Broncos' quarterback has thrown an incredible 16 touchdowns to no interceptions this season and as many elite weapons as he's ever had in his career. Even as his offensive line loses bodies, Manning figures out a way to get the ball out quickly to move the offense.
Including the playoffs, Denver has scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive games. It is hard to imagine Dallas finding a way to prevent this streak from extending.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys will have to abandon the run in order to keep up, which is rarely a recipe for success.
Tony Romo might throw for a lot of yards, but he will not be able to get into the end zone as often as his counterpart in this one.
Carolina Panthers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
The Arizona Cardinals had one of the worst offensive lines in football last season and it is not much better this year. As a result, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter and Scott Brown are reporting that the squad traded starting left tackle Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Paul Calvisi of Arizona Sports 620AM tried to find out if Brown's replacement, Bradley Sowell, would be better:
After Levi Brown trade, sources say Bradley Sowell will start at LT. On whether Sowell is an upgrade, source says: "No worse, more effort."— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) October 2, 2013
This is not exactly encouraging for the Cardinals—especially as the team gets set to face one of the top pass-rushing tandems in the NFL between Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy.
Carolina will dominate this squad at the line of scrimmage and give Carson Palmer little time to throw the ball down the field.
As long as Cam Newton plays the way he is capable of offensively, the Panthers should leave with an easy win.
|Road Team||Predicted Score||Home Team|
|Buffalo Bills||14-16||Cleveland Browns|
|New Orleans Saints||28-27||Chicago Bears|
|New England Patriots||28-31||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Detroit Lions||27-35||Green Bay Packers|
|Kansas City Chiefs||24-7||Tennessee Titans|
|Seattle Seahawks||13-17||Indianapolis Colts|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||6-14||St. Louis Rams|
|Baltimore Ravens||17-20||Miami Dolphins|
|Philadelphia Eagles||34-28||New York Giants|
|Carolina Panthers||21-10||Arizona Cardinals|
|Denver Broncos||42-31||Dallas Cowboys|
|San Diego Chargers||24-27||Oakland Raiders|
|Houston Texans||20-24||San Francisco 49ers|
|New York Jets||13-31||Atlanta Falcons|
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