NFL Week 5 Preview

By Andrew Walbrown
Oct. 03, 2018

As the season continues we are learning more about each team. Will the Raiders get win #2? Will the Browns get screwed over again? Will the Falcons blow another fourth quarter lead? Are you still reading this?

Colts at Patriots (Thursday Night)

This is an interesting match up for a number of reasons. First of all, the rivalry lost a lot of steam after Peyton Manning left. Secondly, the Colts have fallen off since then while the Patriots have been roughly the same as always. Third, the Colts are better this year than we have seen in years past. The defense has been good, the offense has been good. Great? No, of course not. The Patriots, meanwhile, seemed to right the ship against the Dolphins, but I'm still not sold on New England, even with Edelman coming back. If this game was in Indy, I'd take the Colts. But Thursday Night in New England? I think it'll be closer than most people expect, but the Pats will pull away in the fourth. Winner: New England

Titans at Bills

The Bills have a historically bad offense, the Titans have a smothering defense. Unless Buffalo gets a bunch of turnovers (which is possible), I can't imagine them getting anything going on the scoreboard. Winner: Tennessee

Falcons at Steelers

A game between perennial playoff teams with awful records in 2018. Both need a win to remain relevant, Atlanta more so than Pittsburgh. If we look at the match ups, I think Atlanta has the edge here. The Steelers offense, while talented, tends to implode. The defense is nonexistent as well, although the Falcon defense isn't exactly the 85 Bears. But to me it seems like Big Ben is already starting his mid-season "I'm not good enough" pity party, like he does in October over every year. Gotta go with the less dysfunctional franchise with less drama and everything to lose. Winner: Atlanta

Broncos at Jets

Denver has a short week, coming off an emotional loss to the rival Chiefs. The Jets have been dominated for weeks by good defenses. I don't see this being any different. Until Sam Darnold understands that he can't throw balls wherever he wants whenever he wants, the Jets offense will sputter. Case Keenum will be efficient enough to make sure he doesn't give the Jets any extra opportunities. Winner: Denver

Jaguars at Chiefs

Probably the game of the week. I've mentioned this could be the next big rivalry game as they are the two teams that will be filling the power vacuum after the Pats fall off. This is classic offense versus defense, and I can see either team winning. However since this game is in Kansas City, I'm going to go with the home crowd getting into Bortles' head. Although, I won't be surprised if the Jags win as well. Should be a good one. Winner: Kansas City

Packers at Lions

Fun note: the Lions are on a two game win streak against the Packers. Who knew they swept Green Bay last year? Anyway, I'm not sure what to think of this game. The Lions have been playing better since that Week 1 blowout, though they get a matchup against an Aaron Rodgers offense that was upset it didn't score more against Buffalo. With Rodgers hobbled still and the Lions possessing one of the worst run defenses, I'd look for a lot of rushing yards from the Packers. I imagine they'll control the game with Rodgers making a big play here and there. Stafford and Company won't be able to get into a rhythm with Green Bay eating up time of possession. Winner: Green Bay

Ravens at Browns

I tend to pick the Browns most week because I truly believe they are a middle of the road team that gets crapped on because of years past, but the Ravens are balling right now. Baltimore is for real this season, and they're dong it under the radar too (somehow). Joe Flacco takes advantage of a defense that let up over 35 points last week. Winner: Baltimore

Giants at Panthers

This game is in Carolina, the Panthers have had a week to prepare. They're also the better of the two teams and will eat the New York o-line alive. This won't be pretty. Winner: Carolina

Dolphins at Bengals

Miami is an average team that punches above its weight occasionally, while the Bengals are putting up over 30 points a game. As much as I want to pretend last week in New England didn't happen or didn't matter, the truth is Adam Gase's play calling is dreadful for entire quarters at a time, and as a result I can't see them beating good teams. Winner: Cincinnati

Raiders at Chargers

Los Angeles cares more about the Raiders than they do the Chargers, so really this is going to be a home game for the Silver and Black. The NFL has established that they want the Raiders to win games, so no matter how bad they play they'll get a bunch of bad calls in their favor (watch every game so far this year). Can't have Jon Gruden, the 100 million dollar coach, be a disappointment right as they expand into the Vegas market. The question will be, can the Chargers put up enough points that the refs don't change the game in Oakland's favor? I think they do, but this game will be closer on the scoreboard than in reality. Winner: LA Chargers

Cardinals at 49ers

Will this be the first win for the Cards? Josh Rosen is starting and, despite losing a bad offensive line, he looked poised in the pocket. CJ Beathard leads the charge on the other side, and is more efficient than people know. I think this game comes down to turnovers and kicks, whoever wins that battle wins the game. To me, this is a 50/50 game Winner: Arizona

Vikings at Eagles

A month ago this looked like a game that could decide the #1 seed in the playoffs, now it looks like a game that could decide who sneaks in as a wildcard. Minnesota came to play against the Rams, while the Eagles folded against the offensive juggernaut known as the Titans. But the Viking defense has been bad lately too, giving up a lot of points to the Bills and Rams. With two reeling defenses and franchise QBs I have a sneaking suspicion this turns into a shootout. And in a shootout, I think I like the boys in purple more. Winner: Minnesota

Rams at Seahawks

Remember when this scenario was flipped? Seattle was the best team in the league and the Rams struggled to stay .500? Seems like a lifetime ago. The Rams are, by far, the best team in the league. But, their defense is surprisingly leaky. Seattle is a middling team, but with Doug Baldwin returning Wilson gets his favorite target back. I'm starting him in fantasy, which means I think he'll have a big game. Everyone will pick the Rams to win this game, and I should too, but with the scenario flipped I'm going with the underdog. Winner: Seattle

Cowboys at Texans (Sunday Night)

THE BATTLE OF TEXAS. It's actually called the Governor's Cup (I had to look it up). God forbid these two ever meet in the Super Bowl. This is only the 5th time these two have played each other in the regular season, which is stupid considering it could be a great rivalry game based on geography. The Cowboys are as one-dimensional as they come, while the Texans have a solid offense with a blah defense. Gonna go with the team that's offense doesn't look like it's from 1970s Ohio State (as in, 3 yards and a cloud of dust). Winner: Houston

Redskins at Saints (Monday Night)

THE ADRIAN PETERSON REVENGE GAME. Just kidding, kinda. He was a Saint for...what...3 games? But he complained enough he was sent to Arizona. And now he's a Redskin, and has been doing pretty well too. The Saints? Yeah, they're doing well also. This is a Monday Night game in New Orleans, so the atmosphere will be awesome of course. But while most people will take the team that is 3-1 with the most underrated QB of all-time, I'm leaning more towards the visitors. The Saints defense is bad, and with two weeks to prepare I think the Alex Smith will surgically dissect them while AD knocks in a couple TDs. Winner: Washington