Week 5 of the NFL season is officially underway and will continue with a dozen matchups on Sunday, including five that will feature undefeated teams looking to stay perfect in 2013.
There will also be two winless teams in action on Sunday, as the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants each aim to get into the win column for the first time this season. Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants are actually favored in this weekend's clash with division-rival Philadelphia.
Wondering which favorites will prevail and which will falter in Week 5?
Below, I'll predict winners for all 13 remaining Week 5 showdowns, highlighting a trio of contenders poised to come through for fans this weekend.
*Spread information according to Covers.com.
NFL Week 5 Picks
|Green Bay Packers (-7.5)||34-27||Detroit Lions||53.5|
|New Orleans Saints (Even)||21-17||Chicago Bears||48.5|
|New England Patriots (Even)||29-23||Cincinnati Bengals||45|
|Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)||21-10||Tennessee Titans||38.5|
|Indianapolis Colts (+1)||18-15||Seattle Seahawks||43.5|
|St. Louis Rams (-11.5)||31-14||Jacksonville Jaguars||41.5|
|Baltimore Ravens (+2.5)||23-20||Miami Dolphins||43.5|
|New York Giants (-1)||31-28||Philadelphia Eagles||53|
|Arizona Cardinals (+1)||17-13||Carolina Panthers||41.5|
|Denver Broncos (-7.5)||41-21||Dallas Cowboys||56|
|San Francisco 49ers (-6)||27-17||Houston Texans||41.5|
|San Diego Chargers (-4)||30-20||Oakland Raiders||45|
|Atlanta Falcons (-10.5)||24-13||New York Jets||43|
New England Patriots Over Cincinnati Bengals
The New England Patriots haven't gotten to be 4-0 by accident. Tom Brady has turned names like Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins into legitimate downfield threats, and the Pats defense is doing a fantastic job of keeping opponents out of the end zone.
It's also encouraging that New England has been able to win in a variety of ways in 2013. The Pats came from behind to beat Buffalo in Week 1, survived the New York Jets in a sloppy game in Week 2 and blew out the Buccaneers in Week 3.
Last weekend, New England finally proved it could beat a quality team, topping the Atlanta Falcons on the road in front of a national audience. That's why I like the Patriots to improve to 5-0 this weekend with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Pats have hit their stride while the Bengals have been wildly inconsistent and turnover-prone up to this point.
Green Bay Packers Over Detroit Lions
There's plenty of reasons to jump aboard the Packers bandwagon in Week 5, but perhaps none greater than the fact that the Detroit Lions haven't won at Lambeau Field in over two decades.
On top of that, the Lions are set to play a well-rested Packers team coming off a bye week in Week 4. Plus, Green Bay is the more desperate of the two NFC North contenders, and thus at a greater advantage going up against a team that it has beaten four straight times since 2011.
It also doesn't hurt that the Packers will have Aaron Rodgers and the league's third-ranked passing attack to call on this Sunday. The Lions' secondary has been nothing to write home about through four games this season, and with two weeks to prepare, you've got to believe Mike McCarthy's coaching staff has developed a near-flawless game plan to propel the Pack to .500 this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers Over Houston Texans
The San Francisco 49ers will have had 10 days to prepare for the Houston Texans by the time Sunday night's matchup arrives, and that's bad news for Gary Kubiak's squad, which has now dropped two consecutive games.
Which of these teams is the biggest lock to win in Week 5?
San Francisco got back on track against St. Louis in Week 4, blowing out the Rams on the road to steady the ship and generate some much-needed confidence.
Coming off a mini bye week, Frank Gore and the Niners' top-10 rushing attack will look to run through, over and around Houston's porous rush defense, which ranks 23rd in the league this season.
Considering Houston has fallen into 21-point holes in both of its two previous road games this season, you've got to love the Niners' chances of pulling out a win in prime time Sunday night.
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