NFL Game Picks: Week 5
With the first quarter of the NFL season already behind us, true contenders are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. On the flip side of the coin, a handful of teams have very little room for error from here on out in order to remain in the playoff picture.
Ahead of what should be another weekend full of excitement, let’s take a look at our game picks for Week 5.
Los Angeles Rams (3-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Despite the Rams coming off a humbling beat down at home against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks have been far from impressive on offense over the last two weeks, especially on third down.
Look for the Rams’ defense to apply pressure early and often in these situations, allowing the offense to control the pace of the game.
Prediction: Rams 27, Seahawks 19
New Orleans Saints (2-2) @ Washington Football Team (2-2)
The story out of Washington after four weeks has been the surprising struggles from a defensive unit that had high expectations coming into the season.
Barring any adjustments, Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara is going to create matchup nightmares for a team that is far too reliant on weekly miracles from Taylor Heinicke.
Prediction: Saints 31, Football Team 20
New York Jets (1-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Let the good times keep on coming in New York!
Following a shocking upset of the Titans in Week 4, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has a great opportunity to follow up his best performance of the season with a win against a weak Atlanta defense.
Prediction: Jets 26, Falcons 24
Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
The Bengals are off to a hot start behind the arm of Joe Burrow, who has thrown for nine touchdowns this season. However, it seems as if Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are on the verge of catching fire.
While the Bengals may not come out on top, this game will serve as a good measuring stick against a perennial playoff contender.
Prediction: Packers 34, Bengals 24
Detroit Lions (0-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
The winless Lions continue to prove that they are capable of hanging in games until the final whistle, but have nothing to show for their effort thus far.
Dan Campbell’s squad will have to wait at least another week for their first victory, as Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will add on to their streak of seven consecutive wins against Detroit.
Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 16
Denver Broncos (3-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
Denver’s offensive incapabilities were exposed in the team’s first true test of the season against the Ravens, scoring only one touchdown.
While the Steelers are on track for their first losing season since 2003, expect T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh defense to lead the way for a bounce-back victory.
Prediction: Steelers 17, Broncos 13
Miami Dolphins (1-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Tom Brady’s Bucs should be in cruise control for this Week 5 matchup against a stagnant Miami offense that is without Tua Tagovailoa and Will Fuller, who are both dealing with injuries. By the third quarter, we may be watching the Jacoby Brissett-Blaine Gabbert show.
Prediction: Buccaneers 37, Dolphins 13
Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) @ Carolina Panthers (3-1)
Similar to the Denver Broncos, Carolina came out of the gates to a 3-0 start in a rather unconvincing fashion and were sent back to the earth in Week 4.
Jalen Hurts, who leads the Eagles in both passing and rushing yards, will surely put up a fight in this one. However, the Panthers offense will squeak out a close win against a defense that has allowed upwards of 40 points in consecutive contests.
Prediction: Panthers 30, Eagles 27
Tennessee Titans (2-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
With Julio Jones and A.J. Brown still working their way back from hamstring injuries, the Titans could be on upset alert yet again.
Mike Vrabel will continue to structure the game plan around league-leading rusher Derrick Henry. This time around, the team will capitalize on his performance.
Prediction: Titans 23, Jaguars 17
New England Patriots (1-3) @ Houston Texans (1-3)
The Patriots had an extremely impressive performance against the Buccaneers in Week 4, as Mac Jones continued to show the world that he has all the tools to be the next franchise quarterback in New England.
Jones and the Patriots will jump all over a struggling Davis Mills, as they begin to work their way out of the basement in the AFC East.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Texans 13
Chicago Bears (2-2) @ Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)
With Chicago running back David Montgomery out for this contest, Las Vegas will be sending heat in the direction of Justin Fields all day.
As long as the Raiders offensive line can keep Derek Carr on his feet, they should be able to get back in the win column after suffering their first loss in Week 4.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Bears 20
Cleveland Browns (3-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
In the past two games, the Browns’ defense has carried the load, allowing just 13 total points against the Bears and Vikings. However, quarterback Baker Mayfield has only thrown one touchdown in this span.
Facing Justin Herbert’s high-flying Chargers, Cleveland’s offense must fire on all cylinders if they are going to stand a chance.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Browns 21
New York Giants (1-3) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
The Cowboys have found their groove on both sides of the ball, separating themselves early in the season as a contender in the NFC.
It’s going to take a valiant effort from the Giants to be competitive in this one, but as a division rival, they will keep the score much closer than expected.
Prediction: Cowboys 33, Giants 24
San Francisco 49ers (2-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-0)
Kyler Murray has been nearly impossible to stop through the air or on the ground, carrying Arizona to an undefeated start in the 2021 campaign.
The 49ers are already in a vulnerable position in a highly competitive NFC West and may see their playoff hopes begin to diminish.
Prediction: Cardinals 34, 49ers 16
Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
In a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship, we’re now looking at Josh Allen’s Bills as the early favorites to come out on top.
Coming off a five-touchdown performance, Patrick Mahomes is going to get Kansas City back on track after a rocky start to the season in a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Chiefs 38, Bills 34
Indianapolis Colts (1-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Following a Week 1 upset defeat, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have since shrugged off any doubters as they sit atop the AFC North at 3-1.
With Carson Wentz back to full health, the Colts will be far more competitive than their record suggests. But with a difficult Monday night matchup, they’ll have an even bigger hole to dig themselves out of going into Week 6.
Prediction: Ravens 29, Colts 23
Grant Sheets is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.