05 October 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 5

(AP Photo)
Let the good times roll as we enter the fifth week of the 2016 NFL campaign. More teams are on bye this week so that's something but for the teams in action, here are my predictions.

Last Week: 8-7
2016: 34-29
Locks: 3-1

Thursday, October 6th
Cardinals (1-3) vs. 49ers (1-3) - CBS/NFL Network, 8:25
Arizona has been one of the most disappointing clubs in the NFL this season and especially so when you consider that they have lost two straight games to the Bills and to the Rams (at home). And now they will go on a short week likely without Carson Palmer after he suffered a concussion on Sunday. Even then, they probably should still beat the Niners but San Francisco has been competitive thus far this season, more so than I previously thought. I like the upset.
49ers 17 Cardinals 13

Sunday, October 9th
Patriots (3-1) vs. Browns (0-4) - CBS, 1:00
Boston Patriots (1965 - 1970)
I like Hue Jackson a lot and while this team really doesn't have any talent, they have played hard and they have been in contention for wins. That said, they've got no chance here. New England was a disastrous lock pick last week against Buffalo but now as they will have Tom Brady, and you know he will have an epic chip on his shoulder, this would really be a stunning loss. So yet again, New England is my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 31 Browns 7

Eagles (3-0) vs. Lions (1-3) - Fox, 1:00
The bye week may not have been that timely for the Eagles considering how well they were playing going into it. I'm still not quite to label the Eagles a Super Bowl contender nor will I label Carson Wentz the second coming of Johnny Unitas but there is a lot to like with this team thus far, particularly on defense. Meanwhile, the Lions are a mess as they continue to lose games they should win. I like Wentz and co. on the road.
Eagles 27 Lions 22

Bears (1-3) vs. Colts (1-3) - Fox, 1:00
So not only do the Colts have to rebound from a messy loss to the Jaguars, they also have to adjust to coming back from London without a bye week. That doesn't seem like a great recipe for success, particularly when the team isn't very good. Lucky for them, Chicago isn't very good either although they were able to ride Brian Hoyer to victory against the Lions. I can't get a great read on this game so I'll slightly lean Indianapolis.
Colts 13 Bears 11

Titans (1-3) vs. Dolphins (1-3) - CBS, 1:00
This is about what you would expect from a matchup of 1-3 teams but hey, football is football. There is also a chance that with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the Southeast that this game could get relocated so that would be something to keep an eye on. The Dolphins have been a mess offensively while at the very least, Tennessee has looked really good running the football. I think that ball control will be the difference here and the Titans will ride DeMarco Murray to victory.
Titans 10 Dolphins 9

Washington (2-2) vs. Ravens (3-1) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1959 - 1964)Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)
Washington won their second straight game on Sunday but they still didn't look all that impressive as the lowly Browns led going into the fourth quarter while the Ravens fell short against a Raiders team at home after a raucous fourth quarter. Even with their records, I'm not that sold about either club but I think that a solid Baltimore defense will lead the way.
Ravens 21 Washington 18

Texans (3-1) vs. Vikings (4-0) - CBS, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)
Even without J.J. Watt, the Texans were able to crank out a solid win at home against the Titans but I'm just not sold on this team quite yet and particularly so offensively. That doesn't bode against a defense that has been looking as good the Vikings have to this point. I like Minnesota here to win going away in Minneapolis.
Vikings 20 Texans 10

Jets (1-3) vs. Steelers (3-1) - CBS, 1:00
New York Jets (2002 - Pres)
They have had a tough schedule to deal with but the Jets are in a precarious situation here at 1-3 and going 1-4 would be a difficult pill to swallow. That said, I just don't see how they go into Pittsburgh and take out the Steelers after how dominant Pittsburgh looked on Sunday night. I mean, the Jets have been largely killed through the air this season and not only has Darrelle Revis been bad, he's also not 100% which is not a good sign against Antonio Brown.
Steelers 35 Jets 24

Falcons (3-1) vs. Broncos (4-0) - Fox, 4:05
Denver Broncos (1993 - 1996)
We are not certain as of press time while Trevor Siemian or rookie Paxton Lynch will be under center for the Broncos on Sunday afternoon (although coach Gary Kubiak says that the plan is for Siemian to play) but even against a club that has looked pretty good in the Falcons, I'm not that sure that it will matter. Denver's defense is cruising right now and I think they will be able to cool down a hot Matt Ryan just enough here at home.
Broncos 23 Falcons 17

Bengals (2-2) vs. Cowboys (3-1) - CBS, 4:25
While the Cowboys come back home with a three-game winning streak after edging out the 49ers in Santa Clara, the Bengals hit the road having looked inconsistent this season with their 2-2 record. Dallas has been better than expected defensively and Ezekiel Elliott has been cranked up of late running the ball but I think you will see a more balanced Cincinnati club on Sunday on the road and they'll pull out a victory.
Bengals 30 Cowboys 28

Bills (2-2) vs. Rams (3-1) - CBS, 4:25
Los Angeles Rams (2016 - Pres)
I was comically and flagrantly wrong in predicting that not only would the Bills get smacked by the Patriots but that Rex Ryan would get canned. Their defense did a great job in shutting down the New England offense while doing just enough offensively to crank out the win. Meanwhile, the Rams have won three in a row with a lot of smoke and mirrors considering the offense has been a mess and the defense has given up a lot of yards but not a lot of points. Something's got to give here but I'll go with the Bills here.
Bills 16 Rams 13

Chargers (1-3) vs. Raiders (3-1) - CBS, 4:25
It is getting sort-of ridiculous how the Mike McCoy and the Chargers keep on blowing games in the fourth quarter and starting off well but it is definitely a legitimate trend. Philip Rivers will have an opportunity to throw on the Raiders who are still a mess defensively but they may not be able to outscore the Raiders as they look hot defensively. This may have the feeling of a vintage AFL matchup by the time it's all said and done but I like the silver and black.
Raiders 33 Chargers 30

Giants (2-2) vs. Packers (2-1) - NBC, 8:25
New York Giants (1976 - 1999)Green Bay Packers (1968 - 1979)
Aaron Rodgers is generally tremendous at Lambeau Field in primetime but the Packers are vulnerable here to the Giants. That is because the secondary keeps on getting torched through the air and when you are going against Eli Manning and especially Odell Beckham Jr., that could be the recipe for disaster. That said, the Giants have struggled to score points this season and that may just be their downfall here.
Packers 33 Giants 27

Monday, October 10th
Buccaneers (1-3) vs. Panthers (1-3) - ESPN, 8:30
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)Carolina Panthers (2012 - Pres)
Can somebody explain the Panthers to me? I know that losing Josh Norman didn't help the cause but they keep on getting gashed through the air, most notably by Julio Jones this past week. Not to mention that they may be without Cam Newton after he suffered a concussion on Sunday so there is not a whole lot to like with this Carolina club. But fortunately for them, Tampa Bay has also looked bad of late so they may just catch a break.
Panthers 21 Buccaneers 14


  1. Hi Ben
    My LOTW .strategy is on life-support right now having lost the last 2 but I pick the Pack to whack the G-men. And even if the Fins do have to relocate to play the Titans, the sad fact is the Titans are playing less worse football than Miami and would expect to win even if it were played in Miami.

  2. You don't have a number listed for Cardinals score... 49ers 17 Cardinals ??

  3. Cowboys will destroy the Bengals. The Dak Attack will continue...

  4. At least the Dolphins were interesting somewhat in the 90's with somewhat decent teams and even the 2000's with JT and Zach Thomas, albeit sub-par teams. Not only do they continue to be bad- they are just flat-out BORING. I could see 10-9 against the Titans. What a yawn-fest- as empty as that stadium is and so much of it is opposing fans, I'm surprised even more than a few thousand Dolphin fans show up to watch this laughably inept and insipidly stupid franchise at this point.

    1. I agree. Miami has lost all identity and their play-off games are now a distant memory. It is sad to see a once-great franchise on its knees and as long as their offense plays like they did against a half-asleep Bengals team then the future is a lot darker than the hideous orange uniform they played in. Tannehill is simply not a clutch QB - let's be honest he is probably the last QB you would want to have leading the final drive of the game to secure points.