Every week, we’ll look at the matchups of the week, and give our predictions for each of the games. If you’re a betting man, I’d take the opposite of these picks.
Last week, your resident expert went 10-4, and is sitting at 47-30 on the year. It was a tough week.
Denver Broncos (4-1) @ San Diego Chargers (1-4)
The Broncos got a nice wake up call from the Falcons, and all of a sudden looked beatable. The Falcons proved that the defense can’t carry just any quarterback to a win, and they’ll need Siemian back soon to get things rolling again. The Chargers have gotten close every week, but can’t quite close the deal. I don’t think they do it here either.
Prediction: Broncos 28-20
San Francisco 49ers (1-4) @ Buffalo Bills (3-2)
For a game that appears pretty “meh”, I’m sure there will be a quite a few people watching how this one plays out. Kaepernick is the starter again, and I think he improves the offense. But the Bills are streaking, and the offense is finally coming around like it should. I actually am buying Buffalo right now, which means they’ll probably prove me wrong.
Prediction: Bills 24-20
Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) @ Washington Redskins (3-2)
This game here may be the most high-stakes of the day, with the two teams fighting for the top of the division with Dallas. The Redskins have rebounded back to around what we thought they could be, and the Eagles have been solid on both sides of the ball. The Redskins have a blueprint on Wentz now, however, and that’s zone coverage and a blitz. I just think the Redskins get the home win.
Prediction: Redskins 24-21
Cleveland Browns (0-5) @ Tennessee Titans (2-3)
The Browns just keep slipping, cutting Charlie Whitehurst this week to go back to their old starter in Cody Kessler. It’s been a revolving door at QB, and with a team this bad, that’s not a good thing. The Titans are gaining some footing, and want to show some improvement. A home game against an inferior opponent is the first step in that.
Prediction: Titans 21-17
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) @ New York Giants (2-3)
The Giants are struggling, with the offense regressing around Eli Manning. His three receivers have been quiet, and he’s not hitting them. The defense also has been less than stellar. Same could be said for the Ravens, who’s offense has been held under 20 points three times this season. Both teams could use a win, but a tie goes to the home team.
Prediction: Giants 27-21
Carolina Panthers (1-4) @ New Orleans Saints (1-3)
Speaking of struggling teams, the Panthers and Saints are both tumbling down the standings. The Saints defense can’t stop a nosebleed, and the running game isn’t much better. The Panthers D is struggling, and Cam Newton could sit this game again. However, the Panthers should be favored here, because I think they can figure things out, and it starts here.
Prediction: Panthers 30-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) @ Chicago Bears (1-4)
It’s the battle of the bottom of the conference for the NFC and AFC, with the Bears fresh off another loss, and the Jags coming off a BYE week. The Jaguars have been inconsistent, but got back on track with the win over Indy before the BYE. And the Bears are bad. Like, really bad. The Jags should string a winning streak together.
Prediction: Jaguars 28-17
Los Angeles Rams (3-2) @ Detroit Lions (2-3)
The Lions got a big win against Philly, shocking the previously unbeaten Eagles and righting their ship. They now get the Rams at home, and the Rams are fresh off their first loss. The offense isn’t overpowering for LA, but the Lions defense is bad. That being said, it will be defense vs. offense in Rams versus Matt Stafford. I think the Lions get the slight upset, for the second week in a row.
Prediction: Lions 24-17
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-4)
There’s very little going right in Miami, with the team facing a real quarterback controversy with the future of Ryan Tannehill. The Steelers are back to rolling, and that offense is a force to handle. It’s a tough draw for a Miami team that needs some relief, because it’s not coming against this team.
Prediction: Steelers 27-17
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) @ New England Patriots (4-1)
The Bengals have been slipping, and Marvin Lewis is on the hot seat for sure. The Patriots, on the other hand, are rolling after smacking around the Browns. Brady gets his first home game against a good defense, and I believe the showing against Dallas was an anomaly for the Bengals D. This game is hard to pick, because I really feel an upset here. Call me crazy, but this game just feels like an upset.
Prediction: Bengals 27-24
Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) @ Oakland Raiders (4-1)
The Raiders have caught the attention of the league with their blistering start to the season. The Chiefs have been more of the middle of the road, but come off a BYE where they could straighten out. As impressive as the Raiders start is, their defense is still really bad, and the quality of their opponents aren’t great. They get their first real test against KC, and I’m going with the proven team.
Prediction: Chiefs 24-20
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
The Falcons are the surprise team of the league, coming off a shock of the Broncos last week. The offense is red hot, but was stymied by the Broncos. The Seahawks are coming off a BYE, and got their momentum back after a slow start. This game will tell us a lot about the Falcons, and I don’t think they can win in Seattle.
Prediction: Seahawks 21-20
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) @ Green Bay Packers (3-1)
The Cowboys are rolling, and the defense looks a lot better than we thought it would. The Packers offense has been less than stellar to start the season, but the defense is improved. Dak and company have been impressive, but a win in Green Bay in primetime seems like a little much of a stretch.
Prediction: Packers 27-20
Indianapolis Colts (2-3) @ Houston Texans (3-2)
The other key division battle of the week is here in Houston. The Texans are the closest thing to consistent in a division that is anything. The defense is slipping, however, and is going to be challenged by Andrew Luck and an offense that really is the only highlight of the Colts attack. The Texans can put an early nail in the Colts with a win.
Prediction: Texans 24-21
New York Jets (1-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
This is a battle of two desperate teams, as both are seeing their hopes from the preseason slip. The Cardinals got back to winning against San Fran, but can’t afford to drop another home game this early. The Jets have been blown out in three straight, and Fitzpatrick has been one of the worst QB’s in the league in that span. The Cardinals are just the better team.
Prediction: Cardinals 27-17