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NFL Week 5 Picks: Lions Take Down Pack; Rams, Ravens, and Chiefs Stay Hot

This is a HUGE week for some teams. This week is a make-or-break type week for the Steelers, Vikings, and pretty much anyone who has less than two wins so far this season.

{Aaron Rodgers by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0}

NFL Week 5 Picks: Lions Take Down Pack; Rams, Ravens, and Chiefs Stay Hot

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Ok so I did better this week, but still not all that great with my picks this past weekend. I went 8-7 which is far better than my 5-11 crap show in Week 3. I got this past Thursday Night’s game right, and you can check that out here: 

Now I am up to 33-31 on the season and so I will fight for my right to be above .500! Speaking of fighting to be above .500…

This is a HUGE week for some teams. This week is a make-or-break type week for the Steelers, Vikings, and pretty much anyone who has less than two wins so far this season.

Some quick takes…

That Thursday Night game last week between the Rams and the Vikings was AWESOME. It was just continual back-and-forth between two great offenses with big time plays sprinkled in throughout the game. Cooper Kupp was a monster and one of my fantasy teams suffered because of it. Both quarterbacks were pretty on point, but probably Goff more so, and if you aren’t a believer in Sean McVay and his quarterback whispering, then I don’t know what you’ve been paying attention to.

Yes, I think the Browns got robbed. Yes, I think you stick with Baker Mayfield for the rest of the season. And yes, Jon Gruden’s face was still redder than a fire engine. But for all of you conspiracy theorists out there, I definitely understand your thinking, because that was a horrendous outing by the boys in black and white. First there was the fumble that somehow wasn’t, and then there was the ridiculous overturned first down call that was completely BS.

I mean even Dean Blandino, who normally doesn’t know his left from his right, thought this was bogus, but this time he was actually right! And how much money did Gruden throw down on this one? I just feel like the NFL is out to get the Browns now ever since they got their first win. Was it because they beat a New York team? I mean hell, even Le’Veon Bell decides he’s going to come back just in time to play the Browns. Come on!

Looks like the FitzMagic has run out in Tampa Bay, but Winston didn’t do much better. A tremendously ugly game for the Bucs. That defense is awful, like…Pittsburgh Steelers secondary awful. They also have some serious quarterback problems, because Fitzpatrick is back to reality, and Winston is still not doing anything for me to prove he can be this team’s franchise quarterback. And finally, there still is no running game for the Bucs. I am starting to think their first two weeks were a bit of a fluke. A much needed Bye Week awaits for Tampa Bay.

The Cowboys offense came to life…the Bears look legit…the Dolphins are who I thought they were (as in not a good team)…Texans got their first win (as I had predicted)…Jets are still terrible…so is the Cardinals offense…Steelers still look lost…and Josh Allen should be banned from throwing.

Ok, let’s get to it. Here are the picks!

Last Week’s Record: 8-7

Season Record: 32-21

Bye Weeks: Bears and Buccaneers

Titans at Bills (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Talk about a team that has quarterback issues. I’m sad too, because I thought Josh Allen was going to be great. Alas, he is on a team that lacks playmakers, with a head coach who doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Titans win 22-13.

Dolphins at Bengals (Sunday @1PM ET)

The Dolphins got embarrassed last week in New England 38-7, and will look to bounce back this week against the Bengals. The problem is however, this will be back-to-back road games against two tough teams and Miami is not nearly as good as what their record shows. Bengals win 34-24.

Ravens at Browns (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Baker Mayfield will be facing a much tougher defense this week than last week when he faced a giant slice of swiss cheese for a defense. Mayfield has to do a better job of taking care of the ball. He had four turnovers last week, and facing the Ravens defense is not going to help him solve that problem; that’s for dang sure. Ravens win 31-17.

Packers at Lions (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Packers are banged up on offense, and the Lions are (or should be) in crisis mode currently sitting at 1-3. I like the Lions at home to nip the Packers this time around. Lions win 21-20.

Jaguars at Chiefs (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Hmmm to take the best offense or the best defense? I usually take the latter, but there is just something special about this Chiefs offense this year, and it may start with Patrick and end with Mahomes. I also don’t think this Jaguars defense is as explosive as they were last season. Arrowhead Stadium should be bumping for this one. I like the Chiefs at home. Chiefs win 23-20.

Broncos at Jets (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Broncos came close to knocking out the Chiefs last week, but this time around they aren’t facing Patrick Mahomes. Since blowing up the Lions, Sam Darnold is completing less than 55% of his passes and has just one touchdown and four interceptions in the past three games. The Broncos may tend to struggle on the road, so this game could be closer than you think, but I just can’t imagine this Jets team pulling off the upset. Now if the Jets steal your signals, well we have a whole different ball game! But give me the Broncos in this one to rebound from a close loss last week. Broncos win 24-14.

Falcons at Steelers (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Both these defenses are terrible, but here’s the difference between the two: The Falcons defense is blown up by injuries while the Steelers defense is just…well…awful.

The Steelers don’t have as many excuses to give. The past three games, the Falcons offense has put up at least 30 points per game. Meanwhile, the Steelers defense has allowed 29 points per game this season. The Steelers have a good offense too, but I don’t think it is at the level of the Falcons right now, and Devonta Freeman is coming back too.

This is a must-win game for Pittsburgh, but I just cannot trust that their atrocious secondary is going to figure it out all of a sudden against Matt Ryan and this Falcons offense. The Steelers are the worst in the league in giving up deep ball plays, and the Falcons have been destroying defenses going deep lately. Not a good look for Pittsburgh. Falcons win 41-33.

Giants at Panthers (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

The Giants offense has been struggling mightily as of late, and they go on the road to face a sold Carolina defense. The Panthers are also coming off and bye week, and they will be ready to return home and take down Big Blue. I think Carolina wins big here. Panthers win 33-17.

Raiders at Chargers (Sunday @ 4:05PM ET)

In the two games against the Raiders last season, Philip Rivers completed over 86% of his passes and threw for 655 yards, 4 TDs, and zero interceptions. As a matter of fact, Rivers in his career against the Raiders averages over 250 passing yards per game, has thrown 41 TDs and 18 INTs with a passer rating over 95 through 24 games – posting a 16-8 record. You think he likes playing the Raiders? Chargers win 40-26.

Vikings at Eagles (Sunday @ 4:25 PM ET)

This is a must-win game for the Vikings and the Eagles have been completely up and down. I think both these teams are trying to find some sort of solace in their play, but I just think the Vikings need it more and that will play a part in their win this week. Vikings win 30-21.

Cardinals at 49ers (Sunday @ 4:25 PM ET)

Josh Rosen makes his road debut against a banged-up 49ers defense, but the 49ers were actually surprisingly pretty solid against the Chargers last week. I think Beathard, who makes about $27 million less than Jimmy Garoppolo, will want to prove he can grind out a victory after a tough loss last week. 49ers win 27-20.

Rams at Seahawks (Sunday @ 4:25 PM ET)

The Rams’ defensive line up against the Seahawks’ offensive line could be totally catastrophic for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense. I think no matter who wins or what the score will be, I think it’s a win for the Seahawks if Wilson makes it out alive and in one piece after this one. Rams win 29-17.

Cowboys at Texans (Sunday @ 8:20 PM ET)

The Battle for Texas! The Cowboys offense came alive last week, but with a banged up offensive line going up against J.J. Watt and the Houston defensive line, Dallas could revert back to its woeful ways on offense this week.

Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson is finally starting to look like he may be coming back to form, or at least going in that direction. I guess we will see this week, but I like Houston at home. Texans win 24-14.

Redskins at Saints (Monday Night @ 8:15PM ET)

The Saints held the Giants to 18 points last week. While that may not be saying much against a sorry Giants offense, it’s got to feel good for a Saints defense that allowed nearly 32 points per game before last week.

The Redskins are a bit banged-up in the backfield and, interestingly, the Saints are actually third in the league against the rush. Alex Smith is going to have to throw the ball more, but I just don’t know if the Redskins can keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints offense; especially on the road. Saints win 30-21.

Enjoy the games!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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