NFL Game Picks: Week 5
Week 4 was the kind of week that just goes to show that you never what’s going to happen in the NFL. The Patriots are 2-2 and so are the Jets. Four teams are still winless and only one, the Chiefs, remain undefeated.
With the first quarter of the NFL season already over, let’s take a look at what’s on the slate for Week 5.
New England Patriots (2-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
There’s no doubt that this season has not gone as expected for the Patriots. Four weeks into the season, they already have two losses, as well as the worst defense in the NFL. Tampa Bay has been on and off this season. Both teams find themselves needing a win to keep up in their respective divisions, but New England will get the hard-fought victory on Thursday night.
The pick: New England, 26-24.
Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)
Buffalo has been a pleasant surprise so far. The Bills are riding high after knocking off the defending NFC champions in Atlanta, putting them in the top spot in the AFC East. Now, they head to The Jungle to play the Bengals, who finally picked up their first win in convincing fashion over Cleveland. Between these two, Buffalo is the better team.
The pick: Buffalo, 21-6.
New York Jets (2-2) @ Cleveland Browns (0-4)
The Jets have two wins in their first four games: surprising. The Browns have yet to win a game this season: not surprising. At the moment, New York is tied with New England in the AFC East standings. This may not last all season, but it should last another week. Cleveland just doesn’t look very good.
The pick: New York, 17-9.
Carolina Panthers (3-1) @ Detroit Lions (3-1)
Carolina has been totally unpredictable. A week after being dominated by New Orleans, Cam Newton and Panthers put on a fine performance in Foxboro to knock off the Patriots. Detroit, on the other hand, has looked like a contender consistently. For this reason, the Lions are the favorite here.
The pick: Detroit, 24-13.
San Francisco 49ers (0-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Neither of these teams are great, but, then again, neither are terrible. San Francisco came close to beating the division rival Cardinals last week and Indianapolis put up a good fight in the first half against Seattle before the wheels fell off. This game could honestly go either way.
The pick: Indianapolis, 18-15.
Tennessee Titans (2-2) @ Miami Dolphins (1-2)
After the blowout loss to Houston last week, it’s clear to see that Tennessee is trending down in the AFC South. The Titans have a talented roster, but they need Marcus Mariota under center to have a shot at the postseason this year. Even without him, they may be able to grab a win here against the struggling Dolphins, but success without Mariota won’t last for long.
The pick: Tennessee, 17-13.
Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) @ New York Giants (0-4)
Based on how these teams have been playing, neither of them should be winless. Both teams lost close games to Philadelphia and Tampa Bay respectively and Los Angeles in particular has been playing well since Week 1. Unfortunately, only one of these teams can get their first win of 2017, but this game should be a close one.
The pick: Los Angeles, 27-24.
Arizona Cardinals (2-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
Arizona got lucky, barely slipping by the 49ers at home in overtime. Philadelphia, on the other hand, played a great game against the Chargers, winning by just two points. While the results of these games were similar, it’s evident which team is better at the moment.
The pick: Philadelphia, 31-14.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
The Steelers are beginning to return to form. After a questionable loss to the Bears, Pittsburgh rebounded with a big win over the division rival Ravens. Jacksonville lost a close one in overtime to the Jets, which certainly doesn’t bode well. The Jaguars certainly could win this game, but at this moment in time, it seems rather unlikely.
The pick: Pittsburgh, 29-16.
Baltimore Ravens (2-2) @ Oakland Raiders (2-2)
Both of these teams started off 2-0. Both of these teams are now 2-2. It’s funny how things can change so quickly in the NFL. Baltimore’s offense still looks horrendous. Derek Carr is likely to be out for a few weeks. There are clear issues going on with both of these organizations. Sunday’s game could be a messy one.
The pick: Oakland, 13-9.
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
This one’s got game of the week potential written all over it. Seattle just blew out Indianapolis and Los Angeles is coming off of another excellent showing in Dallas. Whoever wins this game will lead the NFC West. A win here for the Rams would mean a huge two game lead in the division, but Russell Wilson and company will not let this happen so easily.
The pick: Seattle, 34-32.
Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
This is another game to keep an eye on. Green Bay is obviously a great team, but they’ve been riddled with injury after injury. Dallas has not been as consistently good this season as they were last year, but a win here could totally change that. This should be a fun one to watch.
The pick: Green Bay, 29-28.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) @ Houston Texans (2-2)
Maybe Deshaun Watson is just who the Texans needed. It’s not too often that a rookie leads his team to a 43-point win over a division rival. Kansas City is the only undefeated team remaining in 2017, but Houston could very well change that. Here’s hoping for a classic on Sunday night.
The pick: Kansas City, 37-30.
Minnesota Vikings (2-2) @ Chicago Bears (1-3)
Case Keenum couldn’t keep up the act for two weeks in a row, as Minnesota lost to the Vikings last Sunday in a low scoring affair. Chicago was absolutely pitiful in a blowout loss to Green Bay. Many fans are excited that Mitchell Trubisky is finally going to see his first NFL action on Monday night, but this team really shouldn’t have high hopes for 2017.
The pick: Minnesota, 24-9.
Byes: Atlanta Falcons (3-1), Denver Broncos (3-1), New Orleans Saints (2-2), Washington Redskins (2-2).
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.