NFL Week 5 Picks: Predicting Biggest Upsets
Week 5 of the NFL season could feature a lot of dramatic upsets.
There are a few teams still undefeated, but that might not be the case after this week. A few upstart teams could pull off shocking upsets.
Which games will feature the biggest upsets this week?
Read on to find out.
Indianapolis Over Seattle
The Seattle defense is great. They give up just under 12 points per game and only allow 191 yards in the air, fourth-best in the league.
They absolutely shut down the San Francisco 49ers and made Colin Kaepernick look silly.
But they will have a harder time against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have a pretty balanced offense, led by the fourth-ranked rushing attack. What's scary about that is that Trent Richardson has yet to be fully integrated in the offense.
That run game could have a field day. The Seahawks run defense is only average. They give up 109 yards per game on the ground, which is 18th in the league. This could be the game where Richardson goes off. The Seahawks are going to be focused on stopping Andrew Luck and their varied pass game. That could leave some room for the run game.
The Colts have a really good pass defense, giving up just 200 yards per game, which is seventh-best in the league. The Seahawks are a run-first team, and they will stick to that, but the Colts will be able to force Russell Wilson into big third-down conversions. Wilson is a good quarterback, but the Colts have a good pass rush and will be able to disrupt his timing.
This is going to be a really close game. Both of these teams are bound for the playoffs, and the Seahawks are probably the favorite to reach the Super Bowl out of the NFC, at least as of now. But the Colts are good, too, and the difference will come down to quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is a better, more polished passer than Wilson, and Luck will make a few more big plays to win this game.
Indianapolis will win this game by a score of 17-14.
Chicago over New Orleans
Chicago is coming off a bad loss to the Detroit Lions, where Jay Cutler was awful. He threw for 317 yards, but also threw three picks, which is the same amount he had entering the game.
That may be an anomaly, though. Cutler really has been good all year. He's thrown for 1,010 yards, eight touchdowns and six picks, while completing 64.2 percent of his passes.
The good Cutler is going to need to come out against New Orleans. To everyone's surprise, the Saints defense has been fantastic this season. They've given up just under 14 points per game and are fifth in the league in pass defense.
Add that to their typically fantastic offense and you have a recipe for a 4-0 start.
Still, this week is going to be tough for the Saints. The Bears are the best team the Saints have faced. New Orleans had easy victories against Tampa Bay and Arizona, played a Miami Dolphins team that is not quite ready for primetime, and beat an obviously diminished Atlanta Falcons team.
The Bears, on the other hand, are a good team that is a legitimate playoff contender. They average almost 32 points per game. Jay Cutler finally has protection, and he has five options in the passing game, all of whom can do damage. The addition of tight end Martellus Bennett, who has 225 yards receiving and three touchdowns, has done wonders for opening up the offense.
This will be a real test for the Saints, who have been able to coast through their first four games. The Bears are a good team, and they will have home-field advantage on their sides. The Bears should win this one by a score of 24-21.
Cincinnati over New England
The Bengals have had a weird, up-and-down season. They lost a tough game to the Bears in the first week of the season, then followed that up with two nice wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
Last week, the Bengals looked bad against the scorching hot Cleveland Browns.
The Patriots are flying high. They are 4-0, even though their wide receivers are no-names, and even though Rob Gronkowski has yet to play. Tom Brady is at it again, and if Peyton Manning wasn't dominating the world, Brady would be a MVP candidate.
On its face, it would seem that the Patriots have the advantage. But not so fast.
For one, the Patriots just lost Vince Wilfork for the year due to a torn ACL. Wilfork is the best player on that defense and the most important player on the Patriots not named Tom Brady. He's an anchor and the main reason the Pats only give up 105 yards per game on the ground.
The Bengals are going to be able to take advantage of this. Giovani Bernard has been fantastic as a rookie, rushing for 147 yards on 32 carries, a healthy 4.6 yards per carry. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is steady as per usual, rushing for 142 yards.
Without Wilfork, the Bengals should have an easy time running the ball.
That will take off some of the pressure on the passing game. Andy Dalton has not been great this season. He's thrown for 1,003 yards, with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Last week, he had just a 54.8 percent completion rate.
But because of the run game's probable success, there should be more throwing room, especially to A.J. Green. Green had 162 yards in the first game of the season, but has just 138 since. It won't help that he'll face Aqib Talib, who has shutdown every receiver he's faced this year.
Yet the run game will force safeties to cheat in, leaving single coverage on Green. Not many guys can cover Green by themselves.
The Patriots will put up points, but I think that the loss of Vince Wilfork really hurts New England. Cincinnati will win by a score of 28-25.
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