NFL Week 5 Predictions & Preview

The 2016 NFL season is entering its second month, and week 5 has both undefeated teams playing at home: The Denver Broncos hosting the high flying Atlanta Falcons, while the Minnesota Vikings play at home against the Houston Texans and the mistake-prone Brock Osweiler. Many eyes will be directed to the mistake by the lake, where the Cleveland Browns have the misfortune of hosting the New England Patriots following a loss, and Tom Brady making his return from suspension.

Four teams are on a bye week: Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks

So here are our thoughts on the 14 games in week 5:

  • Cardinals vs 49ers (Thursday Night Football): Carson Palmer isn’t playing, Blaine Gabbert is. I’m not sure who has the advantage here, but a loss here for Arizona could mean Bruce Arians is going to look for a new QB very soon
Guess who's back
Guess who’s back
  • Patriots vs Browns: Tom Brady coming back. Browns are the Browns. There’s no way New England get shutout again. It’s hard to see them not winning as well
  • Eagles vs Lions: The Lions are very easy to run against, but their 1-3 record might be a bit misleading: They’ve lost their three games by 7 points or less each. Can Carson Wentz continue to be this good?
  • Bears vs Colts: Despite their poor coaching, the Colts should be better than a Brian-Hoyer led Chicago, especially with so many injuries on the Bears. However, losing this one should lead to Chuck Pagano being fired before the end of the weekend
  • Titans vs Dolphins: Marcus Mariota has better protection than Ryan Tannehill. He has a solid running game. The Titans should start to do better, although they’re really lacking in the coaching department, the main thing holding them back
  • Redskins vs Ravens: Joe Flacco is having a rough season, while Kirk Cousins seems to have hit his stride. Like always against Washington, being dominant on defense early usually seals the win, and the Ravens only their defense to rely on
  • Texas vs Vikings: At some point relying only on defense and an opportunistic offense will make the Vikings fall, but probably not against Brock Osweiler, struggling to avoid mistakes and turnovers so far
  • Jets vs Steelers: The Steelers offense is scary, and while the Jets have the front seven to deal with them, they don’t have a good enough secondary, not to mention tons of problems on offense
  • Falcons vs Broncos: The best defense in the NFL against the best offense. How does this end? I think Matt Ryan will find it hard to score for the first time this season, no matter if it’s Siemian or Lynch on the other side
  • Bengals vs Cowboys: The Cowboys don’t have a good enough pass rush to disturb Andy Dalton, but if Tyler Eifert is injured and the running game continues to set up everything rather easily, the Cowboys should have the edge
  • Bills vs Rams: An interesting game, in which I think the Bills improving defense should give Case Keenum enough problems so that Tyrod Taylor makes a play or two more, securing a win for Buffalo
  • Chargers vs Raiders: The Chargers are losing key players with every passing minute. The Raiders don’t have much of a defense, but I’ll take them in a shootout
  • Giants vs Packers (Sunday Night Football): Green Bay don’t have the kind of defense that frustrates teams, but if they take the lead early, it should force Eli Manning to the same kind of situations he usually ends up making mistakes in
  • Buccaneers vs Panthers (Monday Night Football): This is Carolina’s big chance to give their defense some confidence, as the Bucs seem to be looking worse with every passing week
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