Sunday, October 5, 2014

NFL Week 5 Predictions

Packers over Vikings (Correct): If Teddy Bridgewater had been healthy for this Week 5 matchup, the Thursday night game would have been a lot more interesting. Instead, the Packers offense, particularly Eddie Lacy, dominated the Vikings defense throughout the game, giving Green Bay an easy win at home.

Bears over Panthers: In the past two games for Carolina, the Panthers have been outscored 75-29, a horrible statistic seeing how the defense is supposed to be one of Carolina's strengths. Cam Newton is not playing like his former self since injuring his rib in the offseason, whereas the Bears have defeated both the 49ers and Jets on the road. Chicago looks like the early favorite.

Cowboys over Texans: While the Cowboys certainly receive plenty of criticism from football fans, there is no denying that their 38-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints is impressive. Among running backs with more than 50 attempts, Murray leads the league in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, yards per attempt, yards per game, and 1st downs. Plus, only giving up 17 points to the mighty New Orleans Saints is a sign of improvement on defense. The Texans should not be a problem.
Lions over Bills: The Lions have beaten both the Packers and the Jets within the past two weeks. Even though Calvin Johnson has struggled thus far, Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense have had no problem putting points on the board. The Buffalo Bills pass rush is pretty talented, but not enough to derail the Lions offense.

Colts over Ravens: Quarterback Andrew Luck is certainly deserving of the Most Valuable Player Award as of Week 4, seeing how he leads the league in both passing yards and touchdowns, as well as recording a 3-1 record. The Ravens are coming off of a dominant victory over the Carolina Panthers, where receiver Steve Smith played like his former self in Carolina. This game is sure to be a shoot-out, but the Colts have home-field advantage, thus giving them a slight edge over Baltimore.

Steelers over Jaguars: The Jacksonville Jaguars are undoubtedly the worst team in the NFL, whereas the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing well enough to earn a spot in the playoffs. Antonio Brown is worthy of a position on the All-Pro team through these past 4 games, and even with a loss against Tampa Bay last week, the Steelers are guaranteed to bounce back against Jacksonville.

Saints over Buccaneers: At 1-3, the New Orleans Saints did not start off the 2014 season the way they would have liked, but with a chance to be tied for second in the division, Drew Brees and the Saints look to beat Tampa Bay, a division rival. Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh thanks to a last minute score, but after that emotional victory, the Bucs are bound to lose at the Superdome.

Giants over Falcons: The New York Giants are one of the more difficult teams to predict, but based on what we saw last week, it looks like Eli Manning is adjusting well to the West Coast offensive scheme. Atlanta just lost on the road to a rookie quarterback, and their road trip continues into New York. If Manning is able to play well, the Giants will beat the Atlanta Falcons.

Eagles over Rams: The Philadelphia Eagles were undefeated entering San Francisco last week, but in a close game, they were handed their first loss of the season. Meanwhile, the Rams remain winless on the year, and I don't see them earning the win on the road this week.

Browns over Titans: The Cleveland Browns are 1-2 thus far with Brian Hoyer as quarterback, where all three games were decided by three points or less against legitimate playoff contenders. The Titans have home field advantage, but the Browns have more talent on both sides of the ball.

Broncos over Cardinals: Not many people guessed at the start of the year that one of the only remaining undefeated teams by Week 5 would be the Arizona Cardinals; however, that is the case for this season. The Denver Broncos now have the best opportunity to give Arizona the first loss of the season. Even though Arizona's defense has been one of the best in the league within the past two seasons, they will be no match for the best offense in all of football.

Chargers over Jets (OT): This game is a classic example of offense vs. defense, as Philip Rivers and the high-flying San Diego offense takes on the young, talented defensive line of the New York Jets. Sunday's game will be very close, but the deciding factor will be Geno Smith's continuing struggles on offense.

49ers over Chiefs: Last week served as a must-win game for the San Francisco 49ers against the Philadelphia Eagles, and after the Week 4 win, the Niners are just two games out of first place in the division. Kansas City trounced a struggling New England Patriots last week, but if anyone can suppress the now-healthy Jamaal Charles, it would be the 49ers.

Bengals over Patriots: The New England Patriots are coming off one of their worst performances during the Brady-era. While Brady's statistics have dropped, the contributing factor has been a horrible offensive line that is not giving their quarterback enough time in the pocket. The Cincinnati Bengals are an incredible force on the defensive side of the ball, and while the Patriots should have cornerback Brandon Browner return from his suspension, the Bengals look like the all-around better team in this matchup.

Seahawks over Redskins: Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins lost in an embarrassing performance against the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football, and even though the Redskins are at home against Seattle, the superior talent on the Seahawks roster will help give Seattle an easy win.

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