NFL Picks Week 5: Predictions for Every Game
Week 5 in the NFL is upon us, and I'm going to predict the winner of every game.
The Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens are all entering their bye week, but there are still 13 NFL games being played Week 5.
There will be obvious picks, but there will be some shocker picks as well.
Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are having a rough season so far.
They find themselves at 2-2 facing a hot 3-1 Tennessee Titans team at home.
The Steelers barely beat the Indianapolis Colts 23-20, then went on to lose to the Houston Texans 17-10.
Ben Roethlisberger is currently listed as questionable with a left foot injury, and he's been pretty mediocre when he has been able to play.
Big Ben currently has four fumbles and five interceptions in the 2011 season, with only three touchdowns.
An off-year indeed.
While Chris Johnson doesn't even have 200 yards rushing for the season yet, Matt Hasselbeck had eight touchdowns with only three interceptions and two fumbles.
As crazy as this prediction would've sounded a year ago, the Titans have won three straight while the Steelers are going down a slippery slope.
Prediction: Titans win a close one.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants
I'll give the Seattle Seahawks credit for almost beating the Atlanta Falcons in their 28-30 loss, but the New York Giants will win this game with ease.
The Giants are one of hottest teams in the NFL right now (winning three in a row), and they're just flat-out better.
The Falcons aren't playing their best ball right now, while one can argue the G-Men are starting to click.
They just beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3 (29-16), then they turned around and led a fourth-quarter comeback against the Arizona Cardinals to beat them 31-27.
The 1-3 Seahawks have no momentum, while the N.Y. Giants have too much.
Prediction: Giants coast to an easy win at home.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Neither the Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) nor Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) have been impressive thus far, but I have to show the Bengals some love after beating the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills had just recently beaten the New England Patriots 34-31, so I really have to give the Bengals some credit.
The Jaguars did beat the Tennessee Titans 16-14, but that was in Week 1.
The Jaguars have nothing going into this contest, while the Bengals have a little something.
They also have Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Cedric Benson wasn't too bad against the Bills either, rushing the ball 19 times for 104 yards.
The Jaguars' only real bright spots are Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Thomas. Blaine Gabbert isn't there yet, and the rest of the Jaguars offense hasn't been producing at a high level.
Prediction: Bengals win in a comfortable fashion (5-8 points).
New Orleans vs. Carolina Panthers
Sorry, Cam Newton, but your Carolina Panthers are going down this week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are just too good right now.
One of the few teams that are better than the Saints are the Packers, to whom the Panthers lost 30-23.
It won't be any different against the Saints.
Prediction: Saints put on a show in Carolina's house (at least a seven point win).
Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
Here are two teams that showed their true colors last week.
The New England Patriots exposed the Oakland Raiders, while the Houston Texans exposed the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jason Campbell, Darren McFadden and Denarius Moore are all having great seasons, but the Houston Texans' balanced offensive attack will expose the Raiders once again.
Matt Schaub, Ben Tate, Arian Foster and Owen Daniels are all great players having fantastic years.
Andre Johnson is currently listed as questionable with a hamstring injury (what's up with hamstring injuries in Houston?)
Either way, I like the Texans' chances here.
Prediction: Houston wins a tight one at home.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Buffalo Bills
I like the Buffalo Bills' chances against the Philadelphia Eagles this week.
Did I really just say that?
Plain and simple—the Eagles are not the team we thought they were.
They can't stop the run, and their secondary isn't on the same page.
Michael Vick couldn't even carry them against the San Francisco 49ers, when he completed 30-of-46 passes for 416 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 75 yards on only eight carries.
Prediction: Bills bang out the win at home.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
It's hard to be sold on any team at this point, but I'd have to give the Indianapolis Colts the edge based solely on their pass rush.
The Kansas City Chiefs lost their star running back in Jamaal Charles and their pro bowl safety in Eric Berry.
The Colts essentially lost their team when Peyton Manning went down, but Dwight Freeney is still fighting, and so is the rest of the team.
The Colts put up good fights on losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Chiefs' only win was against a down-and-out Minnesota Vikings team.
Prediction: Neither team is that good, but I like the Colts in a scrappy, close win at home.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings
This prediction doesn't need much explaining.
Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald will lead the Arizona Cardinals to victory against an 0-4 Minnesota Vikings team.
Donovan McNabb's days in the NFL are numbered—he's not getting wins, and Adrian Peterson can't flourish on a team that can't get a successful passing attack going (under 155 yards in the air average).
Prediction: Arizona wins this game on the road and makes Adrian Peterson think twice about staying in Minnesota.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This one may turn a few heads, but the San Francisco 49ers have got this one.
The 49ers have loved getting after the quarterback (ask Tony Romo and Michael Vick), and Josh Freeman will be no different.
He'll see pressure, and he'll see it often.
He's going to need his O-line to come out strong two weeks in a row, and it will be a challenge.
Frank Gore came back to life against the Philadelphia Eagles (15 rushes for 127 yards and a touchdown).
Look for that new life to transfer against the Bucs, and get the 49ers another W.
Prediction: The Bucs give up a close one on the road.
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
The New York Jets got embarrassed against the Baltimore Ravens last week.
Now they get a chance to make it two weeks in a row.
While it won't be the 45-3 beat-down from last season, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going to have a field day against this New York Jets defense.
Defense or not, the Ravens put up 34 points against the New York Jets.
Mark Sanchez just isn't a good quarterback, and the Patriots will exploit that in Week 5.
Prediction: Patriots will beat the Jets soundly.
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
We all saw what Aaron Rodgers did to the Denver Broncos.
Now, it's Philip Rivers' chance to blow out the Broncos.
The San Diego Chargers haven't looked the prettiest so far, but they're still 3-1, while the Broncos are 1-3.
Kyle Orton is still Kyle Orton (not good), and Denver ranks 27th in the NFL for rushing yards.
Prediction: Chargers embarrass the Broncos at home
Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Aaron Rodgers is playing like a Super Bowl MVP, while the Atlanta Falcons aren't ranked in the top 10 for rushing or passing
The Green Bay Packers are ranked fifth in passing and 14th in rushing—they're even ranked second in opponent rushing yards (71).
Their passing defense is apparently the second-worst in the NFL, but they've faced Drew Brees, Jay Cutler and Cam Newton—three very capable quarterbacks.
Aaron Rodgers will have his way with this defense, and Greg Jennings/Jermichael Finley will have good outings.
Prediction: Falcons keep it close at home, but Green Bay will break out and get the win.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
Jay Cutler has been getting abused this season, and it won't get any easier against Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions.
The Chicago Bears O-Line is still shaky, and Suh already has two sacks through four games.
Cutler will feel the pressure all game, and Calvin Johnson will go to town on this Bears defense.
The Lions can't run the ball, but their passing attack is ranked seventh in the league.
Guess what Chicago is ranked against opposing teams' passing attacks?
Seriously, take a wild guess.
Good luck, Mr. Cutler. It's going to be a long day for your defense.
Prediction: Detroit goes 5-0 in front of their home crowd.