NFL Predictions Week 5: Highlighting Biggest Divisional Matchups
Nothing is more critical in the NFL regular season than divisional matchups with a precious automatic postseason berth going to the victor of each division.
Week 5 is not exactly filled to the brim with divisional matchups, as the NFL tends to generally save the gooey ones for late in the season, but there are a few worth keeping an eye on in competitive divisions.
Whether it's a team ready to fend off a riser or a squad looking to climb back into the thick of things, there are plenty of intriguing things to watch in the following matchups.
|Away Team||Home Team||Predicted Winner|
|Buffalo Bills||Cleveland Browns||Bills|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Tennessee Titans||Chiefs|
|Baltimore Ravens||Miami Dolphins||Dolphins|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||St. Louis Rams||Rams|
|New England Patriots||Cincinnati Bengals||Patriots|
|Seattle Seahawks||Indianapolis Colts||Seahawks|
|Detroit Lions||Green Bay Packers||Packers|
|New Orleans Saints||Chicago Bears||Saints|
|Philadelphia Eagles||New York Giants||Eagles|
|Carolina Panthers||Arizona Cardinals||Panthers|
|San Diego Chargers||Oakland Raiders||Chargers|
|Denver Broncos||Dallas Cowboys||Broncos|
|Houston Texans||San Francisco 49ers||Texans|
|New York Jets||Atlanta Falcons||Falcons|
Chris Roling's Predictions
Green Bay Jumps Back Into NFC North By Beating Detroit
The Green Bay Packers have some work to do. Aaron Rodgers and Co. currently sit in third place in the NFC North while the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions have had little issue racking up tallies in the win column.
Green Bay sat with a bye last week, but before that was upset by Cincinnati to settle with a 1-2 record. Now Rodgers, owner of eight touchdowns in three games, has a chance at redemption against a Detroit defense that allows an average of 268 passing yards.
Detroit is no slouch, but against an aerial assault led by Rodgers at home, the Lions defense will end up giving the game away. Rodgers is playing better than Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and has more weapons to work with, hence why the team is looking for weapons and signed Kevin Ogletree, per NBC:
Former UVa wide receiver Kevin Ogletree signs with the Detroit Lions after being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday.— NBC29 (@NBC29) October 2, 2013
It's not enough against Rodgers at home. Green Bay will win in a shootout.
Prediction: Packers 30, Lions 23
Philadelphia Stomps New York Giants to Create Distance in NFC East
The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are going in two very different directions, but it's difficult to discern from overall records.
Philadelphia (1-3) has a high-flying offensive attack under Chip Kelly that has the No. 1-ranked rushing attack at almost 200 yards per game thanks to star back LeSean McCoy.
New York (0-4) cannot get quarterback Eli Manning to stop throwing interceptions (nine) and ranks near the bottom of the barrel in both rushing the ball and stopping the run, as the defense gives up 123 yards per contest.
Therein lays the deciding factor of this major NFC East showdown as the Eagles look to climb back up into it with the 2-2 Dallas Cowboys. The fast pace led by McCoy will brutalize the Giants on the ground while controlling time of possession.
Prediction: Eagles 33, Giants 20
San Diego Edges Closer in AFC West By Dominating Oakland
At first glance the AFC West is controlled by two undefeated teams in Denver and Kansas City, but San Diego is biting at the heels with a 2-2 record and playing quality, if not inconsistent, football so far.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers exploded last week for 401 yards and three scores against a miserable Dallas defense. He'll have a chance to do the same against a run-of-the-mill Oakland secondary.
Oakland stands a good chance in this contest because its best player, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, is good to go after sitting out a week ago, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Raiders HC Dennis Allen said Terrelle Pryor is ready to start on Monday Morning Football vs. Chargers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 2, 2013
So why doesn't Oakland stand a chance? Running back Darren McFadden is the team's second-best player and will miss the game, meaning all San Diego has to do is stack the box to stop Pryor from running, because his 624 yards and two scores through the air is not a threat.
San Diego wins and puts itself in a good position to compete for the division.
Prediction: Chargers 24, Raiders 17
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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