NFL Week 5 Predictions

We are at the quarter part of the season! This season has been filled with so many great storylines and we look like we’re in the middle of a historic season. Let’s look at Week 5 and make some predictions.

Colts (1-3) at Patriots (2-2)

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Colts General Manager said in the offseason that “the rivalry was back on” between the Colts and Patriots, but is it really? The talent gap between this two teams is still large, and the Colts don’t seem to stand much of a chance in New England. Indianapolis is without star receiver TY Hilton, which means New England can focus on stopping some of the Colts’ other weapons, such as Eric Ebron and Ryan Grant. The Colts are practically one dimensional towards the pass with an awful rushing attack, which means New England should control the time of possession. With control over the time of possession, home field advantage, and the huge gap between the two teams, the Patriots should have complete control of this game. Prediction: Colts 10 Patriots 24

Titans (3-1) at Bills (1-3)

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Despite having only a plus two-point differential, the Titans are 3-1 and in first place of the AFC South. They’ll look to win their fourth straight as they match up with the Bills, who on the contrary have a negative 56 point differential. Buffalo’s defense should match up fine against an average Titans offense, so it comes down to the Bills offense versus Tennesee’s defense. The Titans have a huge advantage there, as their pass rush should dominate against the league’s worst offensive line, their secondary should shut down Buffalo’s weak passing game, and Tennesee should win the turnover battle. With all that going for them, they should be able to pull out a road victory to move to 4-1.           Prediction: Titans 22 Bills 16

Giants (1-3) at Panthers (2-1)

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These two teams are going in completely different trajectories. The Giants made a lot of offseason splashes in an attempt to build a high powered offense, but have been a major disappointment and have scored just 18.3 points per game. The Panthers, on the other hand, didn’t make any major offseason splashes and are a team built to win in the trenches, and have looked like a playoff caliber team so far. Carolina should have no problem winning this game. Their rush offense that ranks first in the leagues is a major advantage of New York’s 29th ranked rush defense. They also have the potential to dominate the turnover battle and are the better-coached team at home, so this is a no-brainer. Prediction: Giants 19 Panthers 31

Dolphins (3-1) at Bengals (3-1)

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In a matchup between two teams that most didn’t expect to be 3-1, the Dolphins and Bengals will face off in an attempt to get to 4-1. This is a big game for both sides, as Miami needs to win to remain in first place while Cincinnati needs to do so as well for the same reason and to continue to put as much distance as possible between them and the high powered Steelers. Expect the latter to happen, as the Bengals are the more complete team. They are better on offense, defense, and practically everything but turnover differential. Miami is in the bottom of the league in every statistical category and regression showed last week in their blowout loss to the Patriots. This game should remain somewhat close, but expect the Bengals to have control throughout.                          Prediction: Dolphins 21 Bengals 27

Ravens (3-1) at Browns (1-2-1)

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This year’s version of the Ravens-Browns rivalry has a chance to be a lot closer. The Browns have played well in all four games, and are a capable kicker and referee from being 4-0. However, the Ravens have also improved, and their once bland offense is averaging 30.8 points through the first four games. Baltimore’s 2nd ranked defense has a chance to overwhelm rookie Baker Mayfield in his first home start, while Joe Flacco should continue his stellar performance with another solid outing, this time against a lackluster Browns secondary. Cleveland should keep it close till the end, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Baltimore will pull out with the victory.                               Prediction: Ravens 28 Browns 22

Packers (2-1-1) at Lions (1-3)

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The Packers and Lions will face off in a divisional matchup with a lot on the line. A win for Green Bay would put them in a great position at 3-1-1, while a loss for the Lions would put a major dent in their playoff aspirations. This has the makings of an excellent game, as Lions-Packers games are usually close and these teams are more evenly matched than people realize. Neither team will be able to control the time of possession with their lackluster rushing attacks so it will come down to which quarterback can make the most of his opportunities. That quarterback would be Aaron Rodgers, who is still the more efficient quarterback compared to Matthew Stafford despite dealing with a knee injury. Expect Rodgers to lead a game-winning drive to win it for the Packers, similar to how Dak Prescott and the Cowboys were able to defeat Detroit a week ago.         Prediction: Packers 24 Lions 23

Jaguars (3-1) at Chiefs (4-0)

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This week’s most intriguing game is a matchup between the league’s best defense in the Jags versus the league’s best offense in the Chiefs. It should be a very hard fought close game where Patrick Mahomes will be tested like never before. However, I expect Mahomes to pass yet another test and do just enough to defeat the scary Jacksonville defense. The Jaguars defense tends to feed off of their pass rush, but Kansas City’s online has been stellar, allowing the fewest sacks in the NFL. The Chiefs offense is also so deep that it won’t matter if Ramsey and co. are able to shut down a couple of Kansas City’s defense. The Chiefs defense is arguably the worst in the NFL, but Blake Bortles has been inconsistent this year and I trust Mahomes much more than I do Bortles. In a game that should come down to the wire, Mahomes and the Chiefs should be able to feed off the energy at Arrowhead and do just enough to win and move to 5-0.                                             Prediction: Jaguars 21 Chiefs 26

Broncos (2-2) at Jets (1-3)

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Both the Broncos and Jets are playing for their season in this matchup, as Denver could fall to three games back in the division with a loss and a Chiefs win and have a much tougher slate of games coming up soon while the Jets’ playoff hopes are practically dead if they fall to 1-4. While the Jets have looked awful as of late, Denver is coming off a short week and has to make the dreaded west coast to east coast trip to play a 10:00 AM Pacific Time game. That may turn out to be too much for them, especially since Case Keenum has been turnover prone to start the year. You can’t win games on the road when you commit too many turnovers and that likely will end up being the case in this one. Expect the Broncos to come out flat before making it close, but the Jets will still prevail.                  Prediction: Broncos 21 Jets 22

Falcons (1-3) at Steelers (1-2-1)

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This Falcons-Steelers matchup is easily the most important game of the week. Both teams came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but the loser of this game most likely won’t be able to even make the playoffs. These two teams are also practically identical, as both have lethal passing attacks, but are struggling to run the ball without their starting running back and haven’t played a lick of defense this season. It’s a toss-up, so even though their 0-2 at home this season, I’ll take the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Their defense tends to feed off their offense; if the offense starts out strong, they’ll do the same. I expect the Pittsburgh offense to come out firing early after being embarrassed against the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. Atlanta couldn’t stop Andy Dalton, so why should we think that they can stop Ben Roethlisberger? Pittsburgh is built to win shootouts, while Atlanta has lost two straight high scoring games. This seems self-explanatory.                     Prediction: Falcons 30 Steelers 31

Raiders (1-3) at Chargers (2-2)

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There may be no game that comes with more uncertainty than this divisional matchup between the Raiders and the Chargers. The Raiders are coming off of their first win, but it was against the Browns in overtime where they needed multiple missed calls by the officiating crew to win. On the other hand, the Chargers defense looks like a mess without Joey Bosa and are notorious for playing down to their competition. In what will practically be a home game for the Raiders, Oakland should come out firing on all cylinders and take the early lead. However, in the heat, their roster that is composed of players past their prime will struggle to finish out the game, and I expect Phillip Rivers to lead a comeback victory. It won’t be pretty, but the Chargers should barely escape in a game where they will once again struggle to defeat inferior competition.                               Prediction: Raiders 27 Chargers 31

Vikings (1-2-1) at Eagles (2-2)

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In a rematch of the NFC Championship Game from last year, the Vikings and Eagles will match up in a game that both teams need to win. These two teams are the definition of evenly-matched, but Philadelphia should pull out with a victory for a couple of reasons. Minnesota’s rushing attack ranks 32nd in the league while the Eagles’ rush defense ranks first in the NFL. Therefore, it’s safe to make the assumption that Minnesota’s offense will become one dimensional towards the pass, which isn’t a good formula to win on the road in Philadelphia, where it is tough to win. Carson Wentz also looked better last week, and as he continues to shake off the rust, this offense should once again become as explosive as it was last year before Wentz got hurt. This one should be a nail-biter, and I trust the Eagles more at home than I do a Vikings team that has been unimpressive to start the season. Prediction: Vikings 21 Eagles 23

Cardinals (0-4) at 49ers (1-3)

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In a game that affects draft position more than playoff position, the Cardinals will try to get their first win of the season against the decimated 49ers. This game is tough to pick as both teams on paper come into this game as two of their worst teams in the league. That makes it a coin flip, and I’ll reluctantly take the 49ers at home to win. They played the Chargers tough last week and their rush defense has been much better since getting linebacker Rueben Foster back. It should be a very close game that could come down to a last-second field goal, but San Francisco will be able to get a meaningless win in this one.  Prediction: Cardinals 17 49ers 19

Rams (4-0) at Seahawks (2-2)

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In a week that should have a lot of close games, this matchup between the Rams and Seahawks in one of the most lopsided from a talent perspective. The Rams and their potent offense have a plus 73 point differential, while the Seahawks have just a plus 4 point differential despite the Rams arguably having a tougher schedule. Todd Gurley should run all over one of the league’s worst rush defenses, while their pass rush should finally break through against one of the league’s offensive lines. It’s still important to count for Seattle’s home field advantage at Century Link Field, but the Rams should still win coming off of a 10-day break between games. Prediction: Rams 27 Seahawks 19

Cowboys (2-2) at Texans (1-3) SNF

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In a Texas showdown, the Cowboys and Texans will face off in a critical game for both teams. These teams match up so evenly against each other than this was the hardest game to pick. Since it’s a coin flip, I’ll take the better quarterback in Deshaun Watson and the Texans at home. Dallas gave up several big plays to Golden Tate last week, and the same may happen this week with DeAndre Hopkins. Dak Prescott may have put together a solid showing at home, but can he do the same on the road? I’m not sure what I’m getting with Prescott, but I do know that Watson has been progressing each week and looks much more like the player he was before getting hurt last year than he did the first couple of weeks. Texans win in a thriller. Prediction: Cowboys 20 Texans 21

Redskins (2-1) at Saints (3-1) MNF

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The main story in this Monday Night Football matchup is Drew Brees being 201 passing yards away from being the all-time leading passer, as well as running back Mark Ingram returning to the Saints after his four-game suspension. However, I believe the Redskins will steal the show and defeat the Saints in the Superdome. New Orleans will be without Ginn Jr., may be too focused on Bress’s milestone at home, and also will need Ingram to shake off the rust. That creates offensive instability, which can’t happen considering the Redskins are top ten in passing yards allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per game. The Saints defense may have looked better last week, but they still are atrocious defending the pass and are vulnerable to big plays. Washington looks to be the real deal and they’ll win this to go to 3-1 and remain in first place in the NFC East, a division that they may end up winning. Prediction: Redskins 24 Saints 19


*rest will be updated

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