NFL Week 5 Predictions

Welcome to my picks for Week 5 of the NFL Season.  Here after 4 weeks I sit at 38-20 after a solid 10-4 record last week, highlighted by starting 4-4 in the early games and going undefeated in the last 6 contests.  Some big games on tap for this week, so let’s get rolling for what should be a great week of Pro Football.

Buffalo at Chicago – By all means this should be a blowout, and if the Bears continue their run, it likely will be.  Forget how good the Bears defense is playing (#1 at 7.3 points per game), but how about the offense, which is 4th in the league with averaging 29 points per game.  The Bills are a nice story at 2-2, but are way out of their league here and it would be considered a major upset if they stole a win in this one.  Chicago 34 Buffalo 14

Cleveland at Carolina – The Browns secondary is really beat up, with both Gary Baxter and Leigh Bodden hurt, leaving Ralph Brown the task of covering Steve Smith.  With Smith, the Panthers have gone from scoring under 10 points a game and a mark of 0-2 to scoring over 20 and a 2-0 record.  The Browns have shown heart with a tough loss to the Ravens and overcoming an 18-point deficit in a win in Oakland.  Nevertheless, you have to like the Panthers at home in this one.  Carolina 28 Cleveland 17

Detroit at Minnesota – The Lions are actually putting up more points per game, but their defense is awful, allowing over 28 points per contest.  Look for a big day for Brad Johnson throwing, as the Lions cannot put pressure on the QB and allow over 280 yards through the air.  The Vikings are trying to get back on track after two straight losses, and should do so here at home against a North rival.  Minnesota 29 Detroit 20

Miami at New England – If there ever was a week for the Dolphins to put all their troubles behind them and score a big upset, it would be here.  Miami is the biggest bust of the league so far, sitting at 1-3.  A loss here and they are staring at 1-5 going into the bye with a game at the Jets before the break in two weeks.  The Pats looked like a Super Bowl team once again last week, as they re bounded from a home loss to the Broncos by spanking the Bengals in Cincy.  If Laurence Maroney and Corey Dillion run the ball like they did a week ago, it will be a long day for the fish.  New England 20 Miami 13

St.Louis at Green Bay – I think the Packers might have had the slight edge here at home, but a bunch of wide out injuries and Bret Favre suffering a bit from Monday night has given the edge back to the Rams.  St.Louis won a wild 41-34 game at home vs the Lions last week, and they now have their offense in motion with using Steven Jackson on both the ground and catching passes.  Their should be plenty of offense here, with the Rams being my first road pick for the week.  St.Louis 34 Green Bay 27

Tampa Bay at New Orleans – New Tampa quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, a rookie from Toledo, will get a quick education in the SuperDome in his first NFL start.  The Bucs are 31st in total offense in the league, and are rushing for only 43.3 yards per game in starting 0-3.  The Saints have been reborn with Sean Peyton at the helm, and Drew Brees looks like he was worth every penny, throwing for 1063 yards and 4 TD’s through four games.  The Saints should be able rebound after their first loss of the season a week ago.  New Orleans 23 Tampa Bay 7

Tennessee at Indianapolis – This one could be ugly halfway through the first quarter.  The Titans are simply not close to matching up with the Colts, who averaging 30 points a game.  The Titans defense is allowing 30 points a game, and it would not be a shock to see them put up 40+ here.  Jeff Fisher wants Vince Young to run more and try to create, but against a good Colts D, that won’t be easy.  The Colts backups will have plenty of work in this one.  Indianapolis 45 Tennessee 14

Washington at New York Giants – The best game of the 1pm starts, the Giants have got to find a way to get back on track.  Their defense has looked awful, after an offseason of trying to upgrade, allowing just over 370 yards a game, and 30 points per contest.  The Redskins have re bounded after an 0-2 start with two big wins, including an overtime win vs the Jags last week.  They are running the ball for over 145 yards per game, and will need that effort to win here.  I’ll give the Giants the nod using desperation as a motivating factor.  NY Giants 17 Washington 14

Kansas City at Arizona – The Cards make the transition to the future with Matt Leinart getting the start at quarterback.  At 1-3 the Cardinals have been bad, but a win here would get them on track with games vs Chicago, at Oakland and at Green Bay looming.  Look for plenty of carries for Edgerrin James, who is only rushing for 68 yards per game.  He will have to run well to take some of the pressure off of Leinart.  The Chiefs got healthy vs the 49’ers at home last week, with a 41-0 win.  Damon Huard threw for three TD’s, and Larry Johnson ran for 101 yards.  The Chiefs have just a bit more offense, but I’ll go with the Cards at home getting Leinart his first win.  Arizona 20 Kansas City 17

NY Jets at Jacksonville – The Jets continue to impress, and almost pulled off the big upset last week at home vs the Colts.  This week they will need to play that well again vs the Jags, who have dropped two straight after beating the Cowboys and Steelers to start the season.  After allowing just 17 points in their first two wins, the Jags have allowed 57 in two games.  They should physically be able to beat up the Jets here, and with New York allowing 140 per game on the ground, the Jags will grind their way to a win.  Jacksonville 24 NY Jets 14

Oakland at San Francisco – The watch is on for the Raiders, as this is one of the three games this season they can actually win.  Well, one down, two to go for Oakland as they look to go 0-16.  The 49’ers took a step backwards in last weeks shutout loss to the Chiefs, but should get healthy and get their second win here.  Alex Smith and Frank Gore have given the 49’ers some life on offense, but Gore’s fumbles are a concern.  The Raiders are 32nd in offense overall, 32nd in passing and are giving up over 26 points per game.  Hard to believe that Art Shell came back for this.  San Francisco 26 Oakland 16

Dallas at Philadelphia – The Main Event?  That’s what this game is being billed as with the T.O. vs Philly angle playing out all week.  The crowd will be a factor, with this game being pushed like a playoff game.  On the field, Donovan McNabb looks like he is back to MVP form, throwing for 9 TD’s and leading the league with 1248 yards passing.  The Cowboys defense will have to turn up the pass rush, they have sacked the QB 9 times in three games.  All eyes will be on how T.O. does against his former team, but don’t forget about Terry Glenn and the Cowboys running game, which has the Cowboys offense putting up 362 yards per game.  Even with Owens wanting revenge, you have to like the Eagles at home in front of an emotional crowd.  Philadelphia 24 Dallas 20

Pittsburgh at San Diego – This game seems like a mirror image of a season ago, when these two teams met on Monday night in week five.  The Steelers in 2005 were coming off a loss then a bye, then went to the coast and got a huge win 24-22.  This years game should be another good one, with the Steelers and more importantly – Ben Roethlisberger, looking to get back to the form of last year when they took home the trophy.  Roethlisberger has been awful in his two games played, throwing five picks, no TD’s, and a QB rating of 34.3.  The week off should have helped him a great deal.  The Chargers defense has been great in three games, ranked first in the league with allowing 184 yards per game.  With giving up just 66 yards on the ground, the pressure will be on Big Ben.  The Steelers D may have to score for the Steelers to find a way to win this one.  The Chargers should be able to overcome it and send Pittsburgh to 1-3.  San Diego 17 Pittsburgh 13

Baltimore at Denver – The Ravens are 4-0, but the records of the teams they have beaten are a combined 3-10, with the Chargers having two of those wins.  This week they will face a dose of reality, as the Broncos have had a week of rest and have looked solid after an opening day loss in St.Louis.  This should be a battle of defense, as the Broncos are allowing just 10 points in three games, and the Ravens 8 points in 4 games.  The game may come down to the QB’s, with Steve McNair vs Jake Plummer.  The two are 27th and 26th in passing, numbers that both teams must improve on to be contenders come January.  The Broncos are very tough at home, and the Ravens bubble is due to burst a bit.  Denver 13 Baltimore 9               


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One Response to “NFL Week 5 Predictions”

  1. Rockwell says:

    Matt…

    You are two games up on me this season and we are definitely parting ways on this week’s picks.
    I say: Cowboys, Chiefs, Steelers, and Washington all have the edge.
    Either I’m catching up again this week, or you are about to go out to a big lead!

    For all my rationale, see: “The Office Pool”

    Good luck.