Week 5 Predictions: Brady’s return, Broncos-Falcons headline Sunday

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Week 5 brings a lot of intrigue to the table.  The Broncos and Falcons headline the weekend with a big game in Denver, while Dak Prescott faces his toughest test yet.  The Eagles and Vikings put perfect records on the line, while the Rams want to continue to build on their hot start.  Let’s find out the results for week 5.

Last week: 9-6

This week (so far): 1-0

On the season: 39-24

Ravens 26, Redskins 23

In what could turn into a shootout, the Ravens come in looking to bounce back from a last minute loss to the Raiders.  Enter Kirk Cousins, who has been much improved the last two weeks.  The Ravens could have issues covering all of the weapons the Redskins possess, but containing the Skins’ run game will be important.  If Cousins has to be one dimensional, that is where the problems begin.  The Ravens defense is also better than advertised, with young guys like C.J. Mosley playing like 6 year veterans.  As for the Ravens offense, Dennis Pitta has been solid so far this season, and Mike Wallace has been their most productive receiver.  They will need more from Kamar Aiken and Steve Smith this time around.  Terrance West could have a big day against a subpar Skins run defense.  This will go down to the wire, but expect the Ravens to come out on top.  BONUS: the Steve Smith-Josh Norman matchup will be great.

Patriots 28, Browns 14

With Brady’s return the talk of the league, there isn’t much else that comes to mind when it comes to the Browns.  The Pats will probably be able to run it at will, and this also could be the breakout game that Gronk fantasy owners want to see.  Also, Belichick’s defensive game plan will probably revolve stopping the Browns running game which has been better than expected.  I don’t see Crowell or Johnson getting much room to run.  Pryor could have a decent game, but the Browns will be moving on from this one looking to next week as quick as they can.

Eagles 24, Lions 20

Not sure why my gut is telling me that this game could go either way.  It’s probably because everyone is on the Wentz hype train as well as believing that their defense is up there with the elite groups.  This is a trap game of all trap games.  Matt Stafford is keen on making last week a distant memory, and with Marvin Jones playing as well as he has, he needs to step up for the Lions to have a chance.  The Lions could be extremely pass happy in this one, with no run game to speak of of late.  Wentz will eventually struggle in a game, and this could be it.  Darius Slay is very good in coverage, and the Eagles receivers aren’t exactly world beaters.  Where Wentz will succeed is over the middle.  Zach Ertz could have a field day against a depleted linebacking core, and that will be the difference in this game.

Colts 29, Bears 21

This is one of the tougher games to wrap one’s head around.  The Bears had no business beating the Lions with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, but they did so anyway.  The Colts nearly came back in London against the Jags, but faltered at the end.  Hoyer could have a lot of success against Indy’s defense, and Jordan Howard could have himself a ball game.  On the other side, Andrew Luck should be able to rip into a Bears secondary without top corner Kyle Fuller.  But, we also said that about Stafford last week.  This game would be one to avoid betting the line on, because anything can happen.  Let’s overlook the Bears strong performance last week and say Luck comes to play and dominates the Bears defense.

Titans 20, Dolphins 17

This should be a low scoring affair.  The Titans will look to control the clock by running the ball a ton with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.  Marcus Mariota doesn’t have too many great options at receiver, but the presence of Delanie Walker should help him out.  As for the Dolphins, expect Gase to develop a plan that involves plenty of passing.  The Titans just don’t let teams run on them, so a passing down back like Kenyan Drake will thrive in this situation.  Jarvis Landry should find holes against a mediocre Titans secondary, but with how well the Titans can control a game, they will steal one in Miami on Sunday.

Vikings 20, Texans 13

The beat goes on for the Vikings.  It seems any team will have a hard time against their elite defense.  Brock Osweiler will have a tough time today.  Xavier Rhodes is one of the best young corners you don’t hear about, and he will be on DeAndre Hopkins for most of the day.  For the speedster Will Fuller, he will see a bunch of different guys outside, from savvy Terrence Newman to speedy Trae Waynes.  Lamar Miller won’t have too much room to run, but the Texans need to keep giving him the ball to control clock.  The issue is that the Vikings defense might just be too good.  Sam Bradford should be able to find holes in the Texans defense, and I expect a better game from Stefon Diggs.  The Texans run defense is down this season, so it may be smart to get Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata plenty of looks.  Plus, JJ Watt is out, which means Bradford will have less pressure in his face.  The key to this game is who will force a big mistake, and right now, I trust the Vikings defense to come up big more.

Steelers 26, Jets 21

This game is the perfect setup for people watching last week.  Fitzpatrick struggled once again, making people highly doubt the Jets chances at a playoff spot come January.  The Steelers looked unstoppable against a very solid Chiefs defense last Sunday night, so everyone is on the Steelers hype train this week.  So, I will slow my roll.  The one thing that teams forget is that the Jets have one of the best front fours in the whole league.  Le’Veon Bell could have trouble finding room to run this week, and Ben could face more pressure like he did against Philly two weeks ago.  Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson get after the quarterback.  The one thing that will put the Steelers over the top on offense is the Jets secondary.  Revis might not play, and that isn’t good against the best route runner in the game.  Fitzpatrick will have the opportunity to play better this time, and his receivers should find room against the Pittsburgh secondary.  But, in the end, the Steelers will prevail.

Broncos 22, Falcons 19

This is the game of the week, no doubt about it.  The Falcons have surprised us so far, especially after thrashing the Panthers last week.  Julio Jones has established himself as the best in the league at his position, and Matt Ryan is leading the MVP race thus far.  But, this Broncos defense is a different animal.  Julio will have a challenge against the likes of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, and it might be tough to find holes in the run game for Freeman and Coleman.  Paxton Lynch gets the start for the Broncos, and he will be able to lean on CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker a bunch to relieve him of pressure.  Desmond Trufant is a great cover corner, but Atlanta doesn’t have anyone on the other side.  Lynch will play solid enough and the defense will slow Atlanta enough for a close win.

Bengals 23, Cowboys 17

The Bengals are tough to figure out, especially when AJ Green has a roller coaster of a season, which he has thus far.  Let’s go ahead and pencil him in for 100 yards this week.  He should be able to get open on the Cowboys defense.  Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill should also find more running room than they did last week.  As for Dallas, this is the best defense Dak Prescott has faced.  Ezekiel Elliott could struggle finding a lot of holes, even with the best line in football.  Prescott will have to make throws to move the ball, and with no Dez Bryant, it could get dicey.  I expect him to commit his first turnover through the air today, and for the Bengals to control the game enough to handle Dallas in Arlington.

Bills 19, Rams 14

It’s very hard to figure out either of these teams.  The Bills are coming off two impressive wins over Arizona and New England, while the Rams are a big surprise at 3-1.  Who knows what will happen when these two meet in the afternoon?  I think it’ll be a defensive battle.  If McCoy goes, he will be key to open up a struggling Bills offense.  Tyrod Taylor needs to finally take over a game and earn his contract.  Todd Gurley could have another tough week finding running room, and I don’t expect much from the Rams passing game.  In a defensive struggle, the Bills come out on top.  BONUS: watch Aaron Donald and Richie Incognito go head-to-head in the trenches.  A great matchup.

Raiders 31, Chargers 27

Talk about a dream matchup if you are a fan of shootouts.  Both defenses are giving up bunches of big plays through the air so far this season.  Derek Carr and the Raiders have played well so far, earning three big road wins.  It’s time to get one at home.  With Jason Verrett out, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree should have a field day.  On the other side, Philip Rivers should have no trouble moving the ball either.  The Raiders were supposed to have an improved defense, but that group has not gelled yet.  This will be back and forth all day, with the winner possibly having the ball last.  I think the Raiders continue their hot start.

Packers 27, Giants 24

The Giants are one of the teams that have the Packers number.  They have won the last three meeting, one of those being a playoff game that derailed a possible Packer dynasty.  This time, the Giants are trying to find themselves offensively.  This might be the game to do it.  The Packers are extremely thin at corner at the moment and the Giants have the receivers to move the ball well.  Odell Beckham has the chance to prove he can control himself tonight and could bounce back with a big game.  On the other side, Rodgers and company want to build on their first half against Detroit.  Being at Lambeau should help a bunch.  Expect them to be extremely balanced and for Rodgers to keep working back to being the Rodgers we know.  It’ll be close for comfort all game, but I’m taking Rodgers and company.

Panthers 24, Bucs 21

This game could be a real snore on Monday night without Cam Newton playing.  Derek Anderson did play well in relief of Newton, but a costly interception late cost them a chance at a comeback.  Carolina needs to find balance on offense if they want to right the ship.  This time, though, they will right the ship because of defense.  Mike Evans will have a big game, but the Panthers will bend and not break on Monday.  Carolina will find ways to get enough pressure to throw Winston off his game.  It’ll be down to the wire, but the Panthers will find a way to win this one.

Enjoy week 5 everybody!

 

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