Welcome to my picks for Week 5 of the NFL season. Last week I went 8-8, making my overall record 30-33. This week I’m hoping to get myself above .500. How do you think I’ll do? Read below and chime in with your thought.
Note: In the pictures, the team on the top is the road team and the team on the bottom is the home team.
Lock of the Week
Jags QB Blake Bortles was really off his game last week, and it will be hard for him to improve. Bortles was picked off once and only had 1 TD. The Steelers defensive front dominated against Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Expect them to do the same up against Bortles and the Jags.
In addition, the Jaguars offense will still be short on passing options with WR Allen Robinson out for the season and the Steelers D will overwhelm their other receivers. In addition, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and the Steelers offense will dominate against the young Jags defense. Pittsburgh should win with ease.
Upset of the Week
This will be a very competitive match-up between 2 teams doing whatever they can to get their first win of the season. The Giants receivers will create match-up problems for the Chargers secondary as I expect Giants QB Eli Manning to have the time to hit deep threats WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
The Chargers tight end duo of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry will have success against the Giants D which has underperformed this season. The Giants have a good pass rush and will pressure Bolts QB Philip Rivers but not enough to keep him from having a lot of success through the air because the rest of the Giants defense needs work. In the end, I have the Chargers pulling off the upset in this offensive shootout.
TNF (Posted to Twitter on Thursday Night before the game)
It could be very tough for the Pats with Gronk out, but the Buccaneers defense is depleted by injuries, and that will make it easier for the Pats offense to get into a groove. The Bucs front seven will struggle to pressure and hit Pats QB Tom Brady without LBs Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David.
The Pats defense will also continue to struggle, but I think with Hightower back, the Pats will do a decent job keeping young QB Jameis Winston off his game. The Pats secondary will also turn it around after struggling with communication last week. This will be an extremely high scoring prime time game with both defenses struggling. I think the Pats come out on top in a shootout.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota is unlikely to play, but I still see the Titans winning this one. Their receiving game will be their strong suit. The Dolphins secondary will fail to keep up with TE Delanie Walker and WR Corey Davis among others. Both Mariota and backup QB Matt Cassel have the experience with this versatile passing offense.
However, Titans running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will struggle against a tough Miami run defense. But whoever’s at QB for Tennessee should stay out of trouble thanks to an o-line that has done a good job protecting Mariota. In addition, the Dolphins will continue to look off their game offensively without starting QB Ryan Tannehill. Their offensive struggles will cause them to fall short against Tennessee.
Bengals WR A.J. Green should make a big impact offensively. I also expect RB Giovani Bernard to be a dangerous weapon in the run game and the receiving game. But the Bills have put up strong offensive and defensive showings over the last few weeks and arguably are the biggest surprise team of the season so far. The Bills defense is second in the league in forcing turnovers with 7 over their first four games. The offense has picked it up as well of late, scoring 20+ points in each of the last two weeks. Expect the Bills to keep their momentum going this week with a win.
These may be the two worst teams in football, so don’t expect the most exciting game. What I would expect is a lot of sloppy football and a rough game on both sides of the ball. I think it will be tough for the Jets to win for the third week in a row.
RB Bilal Powell is emerging as a star running back but the Jets need to establish a passing rhythm in order to win more games. In the end, I think Kizer and the Browns will be able to find a little bit of an offensive rhythm and edge out the win.
This could be another sloppy game, especially without Colts QB Andrew Luck. Colts RB Frank Gore won’t be as sharp either. The 49ers are very familiar with his running style since he played in San Francisco for 10 years. But the 49ers have really struggled offensively; they haven’t scored a TD in 3 of their 4 games this season. For the Colts, backup QB Jacoby Brissett hasn’t been all that bad. He led the Colts to victory against Cleveland at home. I think he’ll be successful again on home turf.
Even with RB Wendell Smallwood banged up, I think the Eagles will have success on the ground against the underperforming Arizona defense. On the other side of the ball, the Philly secondary will be challenged to stop WR Larry Fitzgerald from having a big game. However, even without star pass rusher Fletcher Cox look for the strong Eagles defensive front to pressure the Cardinals QB Carson Palmer just enough to help the Eagles to their 4th win.
Carolina may have upset the Pats last week but this week they face a Lions team that could be 4-0 if not for a last-second TD that was reversed by instant replay. Even with WR Kenny Golladay hurt, the Lions receivers will thrive against a Carolina secondary that’s in a rebuilding year. The dominant Carolina pass rush will not be enough to stop Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
The Panthers offense will struggle against the Lions defensive stars, DE Ziggy Ansah, CB Darius Slay and S Glover Quin. With Lions offensive star Golladay out, the Lions defense will step up and hold the explosive Panthers offense to under 20 points and carry the Lions to the win.
Even with Oakland QB Derek Carr out, the Raiders will still win this game. After two rough weeks, it will be hard for Ravens QB Joe Flacco and his offense to get back into the swing of things against DE Khalil Mack who leads the tough Raiders pass rush. The Baltimore offense has averaged just 8 points per game over the last two weeks and just 15 PPG this season.
It will be tough for 2nd-string QB E.J. Manuel to lead the Oakland offense and develop a connection with them, but the return of versatile receiver Michael Crabtree will help him. Crabtree and WR Amari Cooper should dominate against the Ravens secondary if Manuel connects with them. Raiders win a close game at home, holding off a late-game comeback through the air by Baltimore.
These teams have had some pretty exciting games throughout the years. This time around the Rams are favored at home. They have looked like a whole new team this season, jumping out to a 3-1 start. The Seahawks offense that has struggled at times will not be effective against the Rams defensive front. DT Aaron Donald and the Rams front seven will keep Seattle QB Russell Wilson under pressure. The Rams will win despite facing a tough Seahawks defense.
The Packers offense will continue its momentum from last week and overwhelm a so-so Cowboys defense. QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense will be motivated after a high scoring affair last week. But RB Ezekiel Elliott will be slowed down by the Packers defensive front. I predict that the Cowboys key receiving weapon TE Jason Witten will struggle. But the rest of the receiving threats will thrive, especially star WR Dez Bryant. In the end, I think the Packers will come out on top in a shootout.
The Texans dominated on home turf last week, scoring 57 points. They go into this week’s primetime home game with momentum and motivation facing the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team. DE J.J. Watt and the Texans defense will really hold up the Chiefs’ offensive stars RB Kareem Hunt and WR Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs will fall to a fired up Texans offense led by successful rookie QB Deshaun Watson.
Even with rookie RB Dalvin Cook out for the season, I think the Vikings will win this one. RB Latavius Murray should be able to fill in for Cook as he was a starting RB just one year ago. QB Sam Bradford and Murray will have a huge day as the Bears front seven struggle with LB Danny Trevathan serving a suspension. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings defensive front will be able to slow down a strong Chicago run game. Vikings win easily.
That’s all for my picks this week. What do you think? Please comment below.