NFL Week 5 Picks: Predicting the Week's Biggest Upsets
It's that time of the week again where I go through the schedule and pick five games where the better team won't win.
Last week I picked three out of the five right. That gives me an overall record of 14-6 for the season. This week has some great matchups and we'll find out who the real contenders and pretenders are.
Some of the games I've chosen will leave a lot of fans upset. If my predictions are correct, which so far 70 percent of them are, then there will be a lot supposedly contending teams with a lot of questions.
This year the league seems to be changing. The weaker teams are getting stronger, and the stronger teams are getting weaker. The gap is slowly closing and some of the divisions could be turned upside down.
The Colts, Cowboys, Saints, 49ers, and Chargers—who were the popular picks to win their division this preseason—are not atop their respective divisions. They're not looking as strong as everyone thought they would.
It is still too early in the season to tell who is in trouble and who isn't. Three of the teams I mentioned earlier made the list this week.
Let's take a look at the five games I think are most likely to end up in an upset.
Raiders Over Chargers
The Chargers old coach Marty Schottenheimer had this to say about the Raiders:
"The one constant you can count on in playing the Raiders is that they don’t finish. They don’t finish plays and they don’t finish games. I always told my players that if they keep playing hard against the Raiders, (the Raiders) would eventually fold. That is why I knew we would always win. That is still the perception in the league today.”
The Raiders have fought to the finish in all their games this year, but unfortunately they forgot to start fighting in the first and second quarters in most of their games too.
The Chargers have struggled away from San Diego and last year almost lost to the JaMarcus Russell-led Raiders.
Look for the Raiders to end their 130game losing streak to the Chargers on Sunday. This will have a playoff-like atmosphere, and like Marty's teams in the playoffs the Chargers will lose.
Michael Bush has a big day. Raiders win 27-23.
Browns Over Falcons
The Falcons have pulled off some close victories in recent weeks. The Browns have lost each of their games by a touchdown or less.
I love the way the teams in the AFC North match up against the Falcons. Look for the Browns get their second win in a row when they stun the Atlanta Falcons.
Peyton Hillis has four touchdowns and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Look for him to run over the Falcons defense and for Seneca Wallace to stir up yet another QB controversy.
Browns win in a defensive battle, 20-17.
49ers Over Eagles
It's a great weekend for Bay Area teams. Guys like Jerry McDonald and David White will have wins to talk about on Monday and everyone will be all smiles, at least for this week.
Kevin Kolb will be the starter for the Eagles and he hasn't showed very much in his time behind center so far. The 49ers defense should take advantage of Kolb's poor offensive line.
The Niners will also control the clock with Frank Gore. Alex Smith will do what he does best and not take chances and throw the occasional INT, but their defense will bail them out.
Look for the Niners to pull away late in the fourth quarter. Niners win 24-16.
Titans Over Cowboys
What do you get when the ninth-best rushing attack in the league faces the eighth-best rush defense in the league? According to Chris Johnson, it means he's going to have a great October.
The Cowboys will be tested by Johnson and a familiar Texas face. Vince Young will make a trip back to the state that made him a high school and college football legend.
The speed of Johnson and the Texas magic of Young will be much too big a factor for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys offense will struggle scoring in the red zone as they will find it a lot harder to score on the Titans defense.
Titans win in overtime as Young scrambles for a 34-yard touchdown run to end the game. Titans win 36-30.
Panthers Over Bears
Julius Peppers is making his comeback to Carolina. Peppers is playing like a man on a mission so far, and if I had a vote I would probably vote him Defensive Player of the Year.
He has made an impact on the run and pass defense and has also caused mayhem on special teams. Sorry Clay Matthews, but maybe its my Tar Heels bias.
Speaking of sacks, Jay Cutler was sacked once or twice last week. Actually try nine times in the first half! He never came back after halftime and there are reports that he is still trying to run away from the Giants defense.
The Panthers just came off a loss to the Saints, but they might have more confidence than the Bears do. The Bears must count on their defense to win this game, but I see the Panthers pulling off the upset.
Look for this game to be sloppier than Lindsay Lohan on a Saturday night.
Panthers win 17-16 thanks to the heroics of Jimmy Clausen?
Sean Keane Was the Upset Picks Winner of the Week!
Congrats to Sean Keane on his picks last week. This picture of these fine ladies Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness is for you. Here are his picks from last week.
Browns over Bengals
Rams over Seahawks
Redskins over Eagles
Ravens over Steelers
49ers over Falcons
Make sure you pick your own five upsets and you could be next week's Sean Keane!
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