As we enter week 5 of the NFL season we still have several undefeated teams in the Patriots, Packers, Bengals, Broncos, Panthers, and Falcons who all look to keep the good times rolling. It looks as if the Bengals will have the toughest challenge to reach 5-0 as they take on the Seattle Seahawks, who look like a different team with Kam Chancellor roaming around in the secondary. There is one team who has yet to win a game and that would be the Detroit Lions who maybe should have beaten that Seattle team if not for Kam Chancellor and the refs ruining what would have been a go-ahead score with under 2 minutes left in the game. Thursday Night Football featured an AFC South match-up between the Colts and Texans. Behind an ailing 40 year old quarterback, the Colts escaped with a big division win as Houston continues to flounder amidst a baffling quarterback carousel between Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer. There are plenty of intriguing match-ups this weekend and since that Colts vs. Texans game wasn’t one of them; let’s preview the rest of week 5 and pick the winners.
Colts 27 @ Texans 20
QB Matt Hasselbeck – 18/29, 213 yds, 2 TD
RB Frank Gore – 22 rush, 98 yds, TD
WR Andre Johnson – 6 rec, 77 yds, 2 TD
WR T.Y. Hilton – 5 rec, 88 yds
QB Brian Hoyer – 24/31, 312 yds, 2 TD, INT
WR DeAndre Hopkins – 11 rec, 169 yds
WR Jaelen Strong – 2 rec, 53 yds, 2 TD
RB Arian Foster – 9 rec, 77 yds
The Colts take on the Patriots next week for the first time since Deflategate in last years AFC Championship game. The Colts are the next sacrificial lamb led to slaughter as the Patriots are playing angry and taking it out on their opponents and the NFL just as they did back in 2007 after Spygate. Meanwhile in Houston, quarterbacks are being changed more often than underwear and most of us, I hope, own more than two pairs of underwear. Arian Foster is escaping the independent neurologists clutches to run back on the field for a play before they have to take his helmet away so that they can properly evaluate him. In other words, the Houston Texans are a mess and Bill O’Brien will be coaching the Kansas Jayhawks next season.
Bears @ Chiefs – The Bears and Chiefs are tied for the NFL’s worst scoring defenses this season (31.3 PPG).
QB Jay Cutler – Hamstring (Questionable)
WR Alshon Jeffery – Hamstring (Questionable)
WR Eddie Royal – Ankle (Questionable)
OT Jermon Bushrod – Concussion/Shoulder (OUT)
TE Travis Kelce – Groin/Thumb (Probable)
LB Josh Mauga – Groin/Achilles (OUT)
The Bears needed a last second field goal to beat the Raiders while the Chiefs kicked 7 field goals in a losing effort against the Cincinnati Bengals. Neither team is playing well, but the Chiefs should have enough at home to beat the Bears. Chiefs 27 – Bears 20
Seahawks @ Bengals – The Seahawks defense has not allowed an offensive touchdown in each of the past two games. If the Bengals win they will be 5-0 for the first time since 1988.
RB Marshawn Lynch – Hamstring (OUT)
RB Fred Jackson – Ankle (Questionable)
CB Tharold Simon – Toe (OUT)
RB Jeremy Hill – Knee (Probable)
S George Iloka – Ankle (Questionable)
The Bengals defensive line has been ferocious while Russell Wilson has been getting his cardio in by having to run for his life all season long. Combine that with not having Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and the undefeated Bengals will be too much for Seattle to overcome. Bengals 24 – Seahawks 16
Washington @ Falcons – Falcons RB Devonta Freeman is the first player with seven rushing touchdowns in the first four games of the seasons since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.
WR DeSean Jackson – Hamstring (OUT)
TE Jordan Reed – Concussion/Knee/Ankle (OUT)
CB DeAngelo Hall – Toe (OUT)
CB Chris Culliver – Knee (OUT)
LB Justin Durant – Elbow (OUT)
WR Julio Jones – Hamstring/Toe (Questionable)
RB Tevin Coleman – Ribs (Probable)
Falcons good. Washington bad. Even a caveman could predict this game. Caveman says Falcons 34 – Washington 17
Jaguars @ Buccaneers – The Jaguars have lost 11-straight road games, but the Bucs have lost 11-straight home games.
WR Allen Hurns – Ankle/Thigh (Probable)
TE Julius Thomas – Hand (Questionable)
OG Logan Mankins – Groin (Questionable)
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Shoulder (Doubtful)
DT Gerald McCoy – Shoulder (Questionable)
Will the Jaguars lose another road game or will the Bucs lose another home game? How about neither? Jaguars 24 – Buccaneers 24 TIE
Saints @ Eagles – The Saints have not finished below .500 in consecutive seasons since ’94-’95 (Saints were 7-9 last season). The Eagles are 2-6 in their last 8 games.
OT Terron Armstead – Knee (OUT)
OG Jahri Evans – Knee (Questionable)
S Jairus Byrd – Knee (Probable)
LB Kiko Alonso – Knee (OUT)
LB Mychal Kendricks – Hamstring (OUT)
OT Lane Johnson – Knee (Probable)
OT Jason Peters – Quadricep (Questionable)
CB Byron Maxwell – Quadricep (Probable)
Chip Kelly needs to get the heat off him and the Eagles need to run the ball more consistently. They get both done for at least this week as they beat the Saints. Eagles 28 – Saints 20
Browns @ Ravens – The Ravens have won 13 of the last 14 games vs. the Browns
S Tashaun Gipson – Ankle (OUT)
CB Joe Haden – Ribs/Finger (Questionable)
WR Brian Hartline – Ribs/Thigh (Questionable)
LB Karlos Dansby – Ankle (Questionable)
WR Steve Smith, Sr. – Back (Doubtful)
DE Chris Canty – Calf (OUT)
TE Crockett Gillmore – Calf (OUT)
The Browns are a decent football team, but unfortunately they always find a way to lose games instead of win them. The Ravens need this win so they’ll enjoy a late Cleveland blunder. Ravens 29 – Browns 27
Rams @ Packers – Rams RB Todd Gurley is the first rookie to rush for 100+ yards in the fourth quarter since Ahmad Bradshaw did it in 2007.
LB Alec Ogletree – Ankle (OUT)
DE Eugene Sims – Knee (Questionable)
DE Robert Quinn – Non Injury Related (Probable)
WR Davante Adams – Ankle (Questionable)
WR Randall Cobb – Shoulder (Probable)
WR James Jones – Hamstring (Probable)
S Morgan Burnett – Calf (Questionable)
OT Bryan Bulaga – Knee (Questionable)
The Rams are a good football team with a great defensive line that could pressure Aaron Rodgers. The Rams have a stud in rookie running back Todd Gurley who can pound the rock and control the clock to keep Rodgers on the sideline. Unfortunately, the Packers are at home so all that good stuff about the Rams is meaningless. Packers 30 – Rams 20
Bills @ Titans – This match-up consists of the NFL’s offensive (Titans QB Marcus Mariota) and defensive (Bills CB Ronald Darby) rookies of the month.
RB LeSean McCoy – Hamstring (OUT)
RB Karlos Williams – Concussion (OUT)
WR Sammy Watkins – Calf (Questionable)
WR Percy Harvin – Hip (Probable)
LT Cordy Glenn – Ankle (Probable)
DT Sammie Hill – Knee (Doubtful)
OL Chance Warmack – Knee (Questionable)
CB Jason McCourty – Groin (Probable)
Rex Ryan and that Bills defense will have Marcus Mariota’s head spinning all game long. Tyrod Taylor will run wild and hit some big pass plays to Percy Harvin. Bills 35 – Titans 23
Cardinals @ Lions – The Cardinals lead the NFL in PPG (37) and are tied for 3rd in opponents PPG (16.3). The Lions are the last winless team in the NFL.
RB Andre Ellington – Knee (Probable)
TE Darren Fells – Hip (Questionable)
RB Joique Bell – Ankle (OUT)
TE Eric Ebron – Knee (OUT)
DT Haloti Ngata – Calf (OUT)
S James Ihedigbo – Quad (Questionable)
OG Larry Warford – Ankle (Questionable)
The Cardinals are one of the top 3 teams in the NFC alongside the Packers and Falcons, sorry Panthers. The Cardinals take care of the Lions who are another team like the Browns that always seems to find ways to lose games. Cardinals 33 – Lions 23
Patriots @ Cowboys – The Patriots are 11-3 after a bye since Tom Brady became the starter. Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden has lost his last 10 NFL starts.
The Cowboys have some reinforcements on the way in DE Greg Hardy and LB’s Rolando McClain and Sean Lee, which they will desperately need to try and slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots. QB Matt Cassel has been activated and will be the primary backup to Brandon Weeden this week.
CB Bradley Fletcher – Hamstring (Questionable)
WR Dez Bryant – Foot (OUT)
DE Randy Gregory – Ankle (OUT)
WR Brice Butler – Hamstring (OUT)
The Patriots are angry and have a chip on their shoulder about Deflategate just as they did after Spygate. They dominated and punished the league last time and it looks as if they will do it again. The Cowboys are this week’s victim. Patriots 37 – Cowboys 17
Broncos @ Raiders – The Broncos have won 13-straight divisional games. Raiders WR Amari Cooper leads all rookies in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.
OG Evan Mathis – Hamstring (Questionable)
LB DeMarcus Ware – Non Injury Related (Probable)
RB Latavius Murray – Shoulder (Probable)
WR Michael Crabtree – Ankle (Probable)
S Charles Woodson – Shoulder (Probable)
This just in… The Raiders aren’t awful! However, the Broncos defense is amazing and just in time as Peyton is crumbling before our very eyes. This Denver defense will stifle an improving Raiders offense. Broncos 27 – Raiders 16
49ers @ Giants – The 49ers have been outscored by 26.3 points per game in the last 3 weeks. Eli Manning is tied with Phil Simms for the most wins in Giants history, including playoff games (101).
TE Vernon Davis – Knee (OUT)
LB Ahmad Brooks – Non Injury Related (Doubtful)
OT Joe Staley – Knee (Questionable)
WR Victor Cruz – Calf (OUT)
OT Ereck Flowers – Ankle (Probable)
Colin Kaepernick has regressed and just looks lost out there. Anquan Boldin is getting more fed up with seemingly every snap. The Giants continue to win and look to build a lead in the NFC East that keeps the Eagles, Cowboys, and Redskins at bay. Giants 31 – 49ers 19
Steelers @ Chargers – Steelers QB Michael Vick is 3-13 in his last 16 starts. Chargers QB Philip Rivers leads the NFL in passing yards (1,248).
QB Ben Roethlisberger – Knee (DNP)
OT King Dunlap – Concussion (DNP)
OL Orlando Franklin – Ankle (DNP)
WR Stevie Johnson – Hamstring (DNP)
OL D.J. Fluker – Ankle (Limited)
No Ben Roethlisberger, but this game will still be close. Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will make sure of that, but Philip Rivers will deliver on a game-winning drive at home on Monday Night Football. Chargers 27 – Steelers 20