NFL Predictions: Week 5

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As we make the turn to week 5 I will now base the selections of the winners and losers on the efficiency rankings that I use in my weekly Power Rankings. We have already gotten off to bad start this week with the selection of the Bills. After last week my yearly record stands at 42-21 without the points and just 32-31 with the points. As always clicking on the link takes you to the financial matchup for the week. …

Saints (+0.5) over BEARS Not sure I really understand the line on this one, other than the expectation of a letdown game from New Orleans. The Bears have been allowing too many points through mistakes and the way the Saints defense has surprisingly played they will take advantage of every mistake Jay Cutler and the offense make. The only thing to slow down New Orleans this week would be a storm. Saints 34 Bears 21

Patriots (+1.5) over BENGALS– I guess many people are just waiting for the drop for the Patriots and with Vince Wilfork done for the year I guess this seems as good a time as any. They are the least impressive of the unbeatens and have been carried by their defense much more than Tom Brady and the offense. But have the Bengals looked good either? Their wins have come against a 1-2 Packers team and 0-4 Steelers team. On offense they need to find a spark to match the defenses decent play, but until the QB play improves they will have a difficult time finding that spark to push them past this kind of team. Patriots 20 Bengals 14

Lions (+6.5) over PACKERS– This is a prediction based solely on how bad the Packers defense is. Through three games they have not been able to slow anyone down. All they need to do is be around average and the offense, which is near the top of the league, will carry them deep into the playoffs. But until that changes this is a difficult matchup because the Lions can score a bunch of points to expose that defense and go toe to toe with the Packers offense. I dislike Detroit on the road but I’ll take them for the upset outright. It would be crushing for the Lions to lose by more than a TD this week. Lions 34 Packers 31

Chiefs (-2.5) over TITANS– If you are a Titan fan and have been fortunate enough to not watch Ryan Fitzpatrick start in the NFL I can understand the optimism. My guess is by the 4th quarter the optimism will turn into thoughts about signing Josh Freeman. The Chiefs offense will have a hard time scoring any points this week on long drives but the defense is going to turnover Fitzpatrick and get the short field at least once on the day and that will make all the difference. Chiefs 17 Titans 10

COLTS (+2.5) over Seahawks– One of the more difficult games of the week because there are big swings in how Seattle plays at home versus the road. If this was in Seattle it would be a no brainer to pick the Seahawks, but in Indianapolis the score may be closer than expected. The numbers indicate a Seahawk win, but extremely close so I’ll take the points but give the Seahawks another late game win. Seahawks 16 Colts 14

Jaguars (+11.5) over RAMS– This will be a matchup of the two worst teams currently in the NFL. There will be no team that Jacksonville will project to beat based on how they are currently playing, but the spread is too much for a Rams team that is not very good. Now the Rams have had significant time to prepare for this game which maybe helps them but this is so many point for the Rams to cover. Rams 20 Jaguars 10

DOLPHINS (-2.5) over Ravens– An important game for both teams. The Ravens seem to have completely lost their identity following their Super Bowl win and are struggling to find answers. Miami does not want to see the feel good start to the season begin to crash around  them with back to back losses. Unless the Ravens can find some offensive balance the Dolphins pass rush will harass Joe Flacco for most of the afternoon while the Miami offense is quietly becoming one of the more efficient in the NFL. Whatever team sets the temp early will win  the game. With Miami being home I’ll side with them this week. Dolphins 30 Ravens 23

Eagles (+2.5) over GIANTS– For one of these two teams their season ends on Sunday. The Giants at 0-4 have looked horrible in almost every phase of the game and are only on life support because Dallas is 2-2 and expected to be 2-3 at the end of this weekend. The Eagles, after their week 1 explosion against the Redskins, pretty much look like the same awful team as last season. They play no defense, cant score inside the 20s, and can’t sustain drives. Both teams have dynamic playmakers at WR which is the only reason the offenses function at all.  This game will boil down to the Giants offense. If the Giants offense continues to struggle they will lose badly. If they take advantage of the Eagles defensive woes they probably win a close game. I’ll take NY but only by a point. Giants 31 Eagles 30

Panthers (-2.5) over CARDINALS– Even with Carson Palmer the Cardinals can’t score points and the Panthers defense has been scary good this season. Arizona’s defense is decent too but not at the same level and I’d trust Cam Newton to make fewer mistakes than Palmer will. I would not expect the Cardinals to even keep this close. Panthers 23 Cardinals 9

Broncos (-7.5) over COWBOYS– About the only reason to pick Dallas in this game is the fact that they are home and usually play better in Texas than outside of it. Denver is clicking on all cylinders and their offense is historically good right now. They are on a faster offensive pace than the 2007 Patriots team that went undefeated and that team was scary until weather slowed them down. Tony Romo will probably get unfairly criticized following this game but if they keep this within a touchdown it should be considered a moral victory for Dallas. Broncos 42 Cowboys 30

Texans (+6.5) over 49ERS– I don’t think Houston is as bad as people believe and I certainly do not think the 49ers are as good as people believe. The Texans just look like one of those teams that will play everyone close this season, either raising their level of play to the competition or dumbing it down to the level of the competition. I think Houston has a legit chance to win this game outright, though San Francisco having the extra time to prepare may give them the added edge.  49ers 30 Texans 27

Chargers (-4.5) over RAIDERS– I guess the NFL will determine if the concept of 24 hours of football is viable with them being forced to run this game at 11:30 at night. San Diego has been a nice surprise this year and I think Oakland is giving better effort than they have in years, which could make for a decent game. The Chargers lost some key players this week, but as long as Philip Rivers continues to play the way he has they should win the game by close to a touchdown.  Chargers 26 Raiders 20

Jets (+9.5) over FALCONS– I know everyone is expecting a huge game out of the Falcons who have been nothing short of a bust this year, but if the Jets can minimize the turnovers they should be able to keep this within 10 points, even with the damage to their receiving corps. As a Jets fan the one worry I have is Julio Jones, who should match up with Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie has not looked like a Pro Bowl caliber player this season and has gotten saved a few times because of errant throws or dropped passes. Falcons win, but it wont be as impressive as most hope. Falcons 27 Jets 20

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  • McGeorge

    Jason,
    The problem the Jets face is without Holmes and Hill, they will have a lot of 3 and outs, so their defense will be on the field for 40 minutes, get tired, and give up a lot of points.