2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 5
Picking the NFL's Week 5 Action
It seems like just yesterday that the 2013 NFL campaign had just begun. As it stands, though, we’re already a quarter of the way through the regular season as weekly picks continue to get more and more difficult to make.
I finally got back on my game last week, managing an 11-4 record through a wild weekend of NFL action. Combining that with 7-9 in Week 1, 13-3 in Week 2 and 7-9 in Week 3, my season record improves to 38-25 through four weeks. It looks like a trend is starting, but I hope that the winning ways persist in Week 5 instead of riding the roller coaster back down near .500.
This should be another exciting slate of NFL games, with 14 showdowns that will continue to shape the landscape of the 2013 season. Three of the remaining five undefeated teams will face off against 3-1 opponents, presenting a serious challenge to their perfect records. We’ll also get a look at a couple snoozers, including a showdown between a 1-3 team and the worst roster in the league. It’s going to be another great weekend as we work our way into the second quarter of the 2013 campaign.
With that in mind, here’s a look at this week’s round of picks. There are 14 games between Thursday and Monday, so be prepared for plenty of hard-hitting gridiron action as every bout begins to matter that much more.
Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2)
Who would have guessed that, following the trade of Trent Richardson, the Browns would be 2-0 and sitting atop the AFC North? I sure didn’t, but here we are. The Bills are also coming off a strong win against the Ravens, but shouldn’t be expecting to get as many gifts from Brian Hoyer as they did from Joe Flacco. Look for Hoyer and Co. to keep their improbable rise to relevance going in Week 5.
New England Patriots (4-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
In the early going, the Bengals have suffered from a case of bad luck. They coughed up a lead against the Bears and couldn’t get the offense going against the Browns. While the Patriots have had similar struggles on offense, they’re 4-0 and are takings steps in the right direction. With the Cincinnati defense in shambles, look for Tom Brady to connect with players like Kenbrell Thompkins early and often on their way to a win.
Detroit Lions (3-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-2)
Not many people expected the Lions to walk away from Week 4 with a win (besides yours truly), but they did and are now at the top of the NFC North. Don’t expect the Packers to let that last very long, though. Coming off a bye, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense are looking to regain their footing after a Week 3 letdown and should use their divisional rivals as a stepping stone.
Seattle Seahawks (4-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
Through four weeks, the Seahawks have proven to have one of the best defenses in the league. Last week wasn’t pretty, though, as Seattle nearly suffered their first loss against the Texans. On the other side, the Colts are riding an enormous wave of momentum after two dominant victories and are quickly catching fire as a legitimate AFC contender. It’ll be close, but Andrew Luck at home will be too much for the Seahawks.
Baltimore Ravens (2-2) at Miami Dolphins (3-1)
This season is starting to get ugly for the defending champions, who watched Flacco throw away what was considered a gimme win last week. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are coming off a disappointing Monday night loss and will be looking to get back on track. If Brent Grimes and the Miami defense can force Flacco into making more mistakes, they shouldn’t have too much trouble earning a victory.
New Orleans Saints (4-0) at Chicago Bears (3-1)
Through the first three weeks, the Bears barely got by against teams that were average or below. In Week 4, they finally met a quality team and suffered their first loss. Now, in Week 5, they are set to face off against one of the top teams in the league. If the Bears couldn’t keep Matt Stafford at bay, what makes them think they can handle Drew Brees and his high-flying offense?
Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at New York Giants (0-4)
The Giants are in full-blown panic mode, and it’s showing in the way they play. They’ve surprisingly gotten off to an 0-4 start and have fielded one of the most inept offenses on the planet. While the Eagles haven’t been much better, the offense has had success moving the ball and LeSean McCoy is wreaking havoc on the ground. It might be ugly, but Philadelphia should walk away with a W.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) at Tennessee Titans (3-1)
Under Andy Reid and Alex Smith, the Chiefs have appeared unstoppable. The defense is playing like a well-oiled machine, and the offense is doing a terrific job of putting consistent points on the board. While the Titans have enjoyed similar success up to this point, the loss of Jake Locker is going to be too much to overcome against one of the top teams in the AFC.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) at St. Louis Rams (1-3)
After a slaughtering at the hands of the 49ers in Week 4, the Rams could really use a win if they have any hope of making a playoff push this season. Luckily for them, Week 5 will pit them against the worst team in the league – the Jaguars. Expect Sam Bradford to get out of the funk he’s in and exploit the Jacksonville defense all day long.
Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
If they weren't playing against a rookie passer, the Cardinals wouldn’t have won in Week 4. The offense was ineffective and the defense was bailed out several times by poor passing from Mike Glennon. Meanwhile, the Panthers are fresh after a bye week and are coming off a crushing win over the Giants in Week 3. If DeAngelo Williams and the ground game have anything to say about it, Carolina will win this one.
Denver Broncos (4-0) at Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
At this point in the season, Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense are simply unstoppable. The future Hall of Famer is breaking records each and every week, and playmakers like Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas are reaping the rewards. The Cowboys have been competitive this year, but don’t have the explosiveness on offense or defense to get the job done against Denver.
San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3)
Even if Terrelle Pryor is back in the lineup, it’s going to be tough for the Raiders to outplay a talented Chargers team that was a few plays away from being 4-0. Philip Rivers is playing with a sense of purpose and Antonio Gates is giving him an outstanding, healthy target to throw to. As electric as Pryor can be, the lack of a running game and a quality secondary will cost Oakland a win.
Houston Texans (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
Despite a respectable record, the Texans are quickly falling apart in the early stages of what was supposed to be another contending year for Texas’ other NFL team. The fans are calling for Matt Schaub’s job after he gave away a Week 4 win. Meanwhile, the 49ers are feeling good after a bounce-back victory and shouldn’t have too much trouble pounding the Houston defense with Frank Gore on their way to 3-2.
New York Jets (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
It’s a bit baffling to think that the Jets have a better record than the Falcons at this point in the season. Atlanta has watched their defense give away leads time and time again, and a few key injuries on offense have limited their ability to put points on the board. Against an extremely inconsistent Jets team, though, Matt Ryan and the Falcons should stabilize and get back in the NFC South race.