Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Insiders predict: NFL week 5 winners

1/
Matthew Stockman // Getty Images

Insiders predict: NFL week 5 winners

Week 5 serves as a sort of benchmark in the NFL. Most teams are a quarter of the way through their season, and if they haven’t discovered their identity yet, that may mean that they have no identity at all. With that said, the best of the best had the chance to make a statement heading into Week 5. But did any team really distance itself from the pack? The Patriots and Chiefs moved to 4-0, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. Both squads won by less than a touchdown and had a few vulnerabilities exposed.

We already know the few teams who are good, though...what Week 4 did was breathe new life into a few teams who looked like lost causes, much of which stemmed from lost quarterbacks. The Jaguars and Panthers climbed back into the mix despite sidelined starting signal callers, the Saints took down one of the league’s best teams without their Super Bowl MVP QB, and the Steelers showed us that they may not need Big Ben to put up big numbers on offense. The Giants look to have found their franchise quarterback, while the Vikings may have invested too much money in who they thought was theirs. Week 4 was a weird week in the NFL, and here’s to hoping things get even weirder.

Here are the best matchups on the Week 5 slate:

Rams @ Seahawks: Another good matchup on Thursday night after last week’s Packers, Eagles thriller. The NFC West has three viable contenders, and this game features two of them. Seattle’s success has been a bit of a surprise, and while the Rams are 3-1, they haven’t looked like the reigning NFC champs. Depending on how the 49ers fare, the winner of this game could control the division.

Packers @ Cowboys: The Packers and Cowboys both had a chance to move to 4-0, but couldn’t find any fourth quarter magic. The winner of this matchup can make a case as the best in the league. The Packers’ improved defense still lacks the ability to stop the run, which should have Ezekiel Elliott’s mouth watering. But Aaron Rodgers and the offense found a rhythm last week despite the loss. This one is a toss-up.

Browns @ 49ers: How real are these teams? We hope to find out on Monday night. It’s a battle of two promising young quarterbacks who are each looking to lead a much overdue playoff charge.

Insiders predicts are based on the team that is favored to win, which is based on consensus betting odds and spread on Vegas Insider as of Oct. 2, 2019. Team stats were gathered from NFL.com.

You may also like: Highest-paid players in the NFL

2/
Harry How // Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams (3-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-1)

- Gametime: Thursday, Oct. 3, 8:20 p.m. EST

When the 1-2 Buccaneers came to the Los Angeles Coliseum last Sunday, nobody could have seen a 55-point performance coming. The Rams, unbeaten heading into that game, were a home favorite and a pretty strong bet to reach the 4-0 mark at the quarter mark of the season.

Instead, Tampa Bay put on a shock performance that saw quarterback Jameis Winston shred the Rams defense for four touchdown passes and former Ram Ndamukong Suh added a defensive touchdown on a fumble return in a 55-40 upset. L.A. now faces a pivotal NFC West rival on the road on a short week, and it’s the perfect opportunity for the Seahawks to get a leg up in the division standings, which are crowded with the still-unbeaten 49ers coming off of their Week 4 bye week.

Seattle’s defense provided some scoring aid in their 27-10 win over the Cardinals in Week 4. Jadeveon Clowney has already made his mark on his new team, and was the first to find the end zone on Sunday. He tipped a Kyler Murray pass to himself, and returned the interception for a 27-yard touchdown to put the Seahawks up 10-0 in Arizona and from there, they didn’t look back.

With the Rams recent struggles, particularly the dropoff in production from Jared Goff in the passing game on the road, and the environment that they will now face at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night, rebounding from last week’s disappointment certainly won’t come easy.

3/
Jennifer Stewart // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Seattle Seahawks

- Favored to win: Seattle Seahawks
- Spread: -1.5
- Odds: -125

- Los Angeles Rams team stats:
- Offense: 397.8 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 298.0 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing offense: 99.8 ypg (#22)
- Defense: 330.2 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 238.5 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing defense: 91.8 ypg (#9)

- Seattle Seahawks team stats:
- Offense: 377.8 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 266.2 ypg (#11)
--- Rushing offense: 111.5 ypg (#16)
- Defense: 319.0 yards per game (#8 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 239.5 ypg (#16)
--- Rushing defense: 79.5 ypg (#6)

 

4/
Christian Petersen // Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

Neither of these teams has a victory yet this season, but the outlook surrounding each franchise is still drastically different. While the Cardinals have lost two straight home games, each week provides another growth opportunity for rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and, at the very least, that is something to keep the Arizona faithful intrigued for the 2019 season.

The Bengals’ misfortunes took an even worse turn on Monday night when they were blown out by the Steelers 27-3. Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, filling in for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw just four incompletions against Cincinnati and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Bengals offense remains without A.J. Green, whose absence was felt Monday night when quarterback Andy Dalton had a quarterback rating of 57.4 and was beaten up incessantly by the Steelers pass rush. Pittsburgh registered eight sacks of Dalton, and hit the veteran signal caller 11 total times. If ever a week for Dalton to have to operate on short rest, this certainly wouldn’t be it.

Cincinnati wideout Tyler Boyd spoke candidly about why that loss felt worse than the previous three, calling the loss embarrassing. All that aside, the Bengals are still at home and the fact that they lost by one and four points to the Seahawks and Bills respectively means that they should be capable of getting their first win on Sunday. Their early season schedule has been rough, with three of their four games on the road, so perhaps the downtrodden Bengals can give their fans something to be excited about this week in a season that looks otherwise lost.

5/
Justin K. Aller // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Cincinnati Bengals

- Favored to win: Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -175

- Arizona Cardinals team stats:
- Offense: 326.2 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 234.2 ypg (#21)
--- Rushing offense: 92.0 ypg (#23)
- Defense: 417.5 yards per game (#31 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 271 ypg (#23)
--- Rushing defense: 146.5 ypg (#28)

- Cincinnati Bengals team stats:
- Offense: 306.5 yards per game (#27 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 257.0 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing offense: 49.5 ypg (#32)
- Defense: 386.2 yards per game (#24 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 243.2 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing defense: 143 ypg (#27)

 

6/
Patrick McDermott // Getty Images

Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Tennessee Titans (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

While the NFL is no place for moral victories, the Bills must feel the slightest bit encouraged by the fact that their defense was able to give Tom Brady and the Patriots fits in Week 4 despite losing 16-10. Buffalo’s defense limited Brady to 150 yards on 18 for 39 passing with an interception and a quarterback rating of 45.9. In short, you can’t ask for much more than that.

Unfortunately, their own quarterback Josh Allen did not fare much better, throwing three interceptions before being knocked out of the game by a vicious helmet to helmet hit from cornerback Jonathan Jones in the fourth quarter. Allen was replaced by Matt Barkley, and Jones was not ejected from the game despite the seemingly malicious nature of the blow delivered. Barkley eventually threw a game-ending interception late in the fourth quarter, and Buffalo fell to 3-1 despite a valiant effort on their home turf.

If they can duplicate such a defensive performance this week, they’d certainly have a good chance of coming out with a road win but things never do come quite as easy away from home in the NFL and the status of Allen will also play a major role. Allen began the week in concussion protocol, and the team will have to proceed with caution before naming a starter for their trip to Tennessee on Sunday.

The Titans are fresh off of a 24-10 road win over the Falcons in which Marcus Mariota has three touchdown passes and though they allowed Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to throw for 397 yards, he was held without a touchdown and sacked five times.

This should be an extremely competitive game and while the Buffalo defense is a capable one, if it’s Barkley making the start on the road than the Titans should be able to win and cover.

7/
Carmen Mandato // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Tennessee Titans

- Favored to win: Tennessee Titans
- Spread: -3
- Odds: -160

- Buffalo Bills team stats:
- Offense: 387.2 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 240.0 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing offense: 147.2 ypg (#4)
- Defense: 280.8 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 196.5 ypg (#4)
--- Rushing defense: 84.2 ypg (#7)

- Tennessee Titans team stats:
- Offense: 321.8 yards per game (#25 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 202.8 ypg (#28)
--- Rushing offense: 119.0 ypg (#12)
- Defense: 337.0 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 233.2 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing defense: 103.8 ypg (#15)

 

8/
Jonathan Daniel // Getty Images

Chicago Bears (3-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

The Bears got a bit of good news this week when an MRI on the injured left shoulder of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky revealed that what he suffered was a dislocation and slight labrum tear, but it will not require surgery. With that, Trubisky has taken the trip across the pond with the team ahead of their clash with the Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

With Trubisky unlikely to play, it will be Chase Daniel starting for Chicago. Daniel took over in the first quarter last Sunday and threw the Bears only touchdown in a 16-6 win over the Vikings that improved their record to 3-1. Daniel seemed more than capable, throwing for 195 yards and no interceptions against a vaunted Minnesota defense.

The Raiders, meanwhile, made their trek to London immediately following their 31-24 win over the Colts on Sunday and have spent the entire week in England preparing for this Week 5 matchup. Oakland sports a .500 record at 2-2, thanks to a quick start from their offense in Indianapolis (three touchdowns on the opening three possessions) and some late heroics on defense (an interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown by safety Eric Harris).

Though beating the Colts on the road is a quality win, the Raiders defense did still show some signs of weakness allowing Jacoby Brissett to throw for three scores. And while they will face a backup this week, the dropoff from the way that Trubisky was playing to the play of Daniel can’t be too drastic considering the lack of early production from the Bears.

This game will likely come down to the Bears dynamic defense and whether or not their dominance will translate to foreign soil. It’s the first ever American football game at the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium—which is the host venue for two of the four London games this year before games at Wembley Stadium in October and November—and it should be a competitive one.

9/
Dylan Buell // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Chicago Bears

- Favored to win: Chicago Bears
- Spread: -4.5
- Odds: -220

- Chicago Bears team stats:
- Offense: 273.5 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 183.2 ypg (#29)
--- Rushing offense: 90.2 ypg (#25)
- Defense: 290.8 yards per game (#5 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 229.2 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing defense: 61.5 ypg (#3)

- Oakland Raiders team stats:
- Offense: 335.8 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 210.0 ypg (#26)
--- Rushing offense: 125.8 ypg (#9)
- Defense: 385.5 yards per game (#22 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 281 ypg (#27)
--- Rushing defense: 104.5 ypg (#16)

 

10/
Mike Ehrmann // Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) @ New Orleans Saints (3-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

The Buccaneers made their case last Sunday as a team that needs to be taken seriously under new head coach Bruce Arians. In one of the more shocking results of the weekend, they handed the Rams a 55-40 loss in Los Angeles that included a 385-yard, four-touchdown performance from quarterback Jameis Winston and a defensive touchdown from Ndamukong Suh against his former team.

Arians’ reputation as an offensive genius is being boosted by the fact that in his first season in Tampa Bay, he has Winston sitting at fifth in the league with 1,167 passing yards and Mike Evans, Winston’s primary target, sixth in the league with 368 receiving yards and four touchdowns already. That combination is clearly working, perhaps as well as it ever has. But they will have their work cut out for them this week traveling to New Orleans to face a Saints defense that just turned in a stellar performance against an offense that seemed unstoppable through three weeks.

The Saints held the Cowboys to 257 yards of offense last week in a 12-10 win, holding Dak Prescott without a touchdown pass and Ezekiel Elliott to 35 rushing yards on 18 carries.

Since Teddy Bridgewater replaced the injured Drew Brees, he has won two-straight games but they’ve done so in a fashion that leaves reason to believe that if he can’t start throwing the ball downfield and putting up touchdowns, the defense won’t be able to hold up forever. Playing against a team that just put 55 points on the Rams is an exciting test for both the defense and Bridgewater who will be trying to keep pace. Yet again, the New Orleans supporting cast is so good that the Saints may just have enough to keep sneaking by without their Super Bowl winning signal caller.

11/
Sean Gardner // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New Orleans Saints

- Favored to win: New Orleans Saints
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -175

- Tampa Bay Buccaneers team stats:
- Offense: 386.8 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 273.5 ypg (#8)
--- Rushing offense: 113.2 ypg (#15)
- Defense: 377.5 yards per game (#21 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 318.2 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing defense: 59.2 ypg (#1)

- New Orleans Saints team stats:
- Offense: 321.2 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 218.8 ypg (#24)
--- Rushing offense: 102.5 ypg (#19)
- Defense: 391.2 yards per game (#26 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 279.2 ypg (#24)
--- Rushing defense: 112 ypg (#20)

 

12/
Hannah Foslien // Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings (2-2) @ New York Giants (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

A Giants season that seems like it was lost has had new life breathed into it by new starting quarterback Daniel Jones. Since replacing Eli Manning as the starter, Jones and Big Blue are 2-0, and while wasn’t exactly lighting up the Washington defense in last Sunday’s 24-3 win (23 of 31 passing, 225 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions), Jones did just enough when considering he is leading an offense that is without its most dynamic player Saquon Barkley, and Barkley’s backup Wayne Gallman added two rushing touchdowns of his own.

New York’s defense had Jones’ back, intercepting Washington rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins three times. The cries for Haskins to take over for Case Keenum grew louder once Jones seemed to revitalize the Giants, but Jay Gruden’s decision to bench Keenum in the second quarter did not pay dividends like the benching of Manning has in the Big Apple.

The Vikings will present a greater challenge for Jones defensively, with their talented front seven that has given every offense they have faced this season trouble. The highest point total Minnesota has allowed thus far is 21, and that came on the road against Green Bay in a game where the Packers scored three early touchdowns and were essentially shut down for the remaining two and a half quarters.

The issue plaguing the Vikings is that their own offense has looked suspect against good defenses as well. While they scored 16 points in their loss to the Packers, they were absolutely stifled by the Bears last week in Chicago in a 16-6 loss. The dynamic receiving duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs has not brought nearly the production it did last season and the numbers don’t look good for Kirk Cousins.

The Giants have shown the ability to apply pressure (10 sacks) and take the ball away (five interceptions), though those numbers are a bit inflated having had such a dominant performance against Washington. The Vikings defense should still be too much for “Danny Dimes” to handle, thus the Vikings are still a solid bet to cover on the road.

13/
Dylan Buell // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Minnesota Vikings

- Favored to win: Minnesota Vikings
- Spread: -5.5
- Odds: -240

- Minnesota Vikings team stats:
- Offense: 324.2 yards per game (#24 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 169.0 ypg (#31)
--- Rushing offense: 155.2 ypg (#3)
- Defense: 312.8 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 218.5 ypg (#9)
--- Rushing defense: 94.2 ypg (#11)

- New York Giants team stats:
- Offense: 403.2 yards per game (#6 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 274.2 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing offense: 129.0 ypg (#8)
- Defense: 389.2 yards per game (#25 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 279.5 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing defense: 109.8 ypg (#19)

 

14/
Jeff Zelevansky // Getty Images

New York Jets (0-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

Perhaps an early season bye week is just what the Jets needed to gather themselves and put their season on track…but after seeing how the Eagles looked against the Packers in their Week 4 win, oddsmakers clearly aren’t counting on that.

The Jets get their starting quarterback Sam Darnold back this week and are still two touchdown underdogs for their visit to Phildaelphia. Darnold had been missing time since he came down with mononucleosis but will be back in the lineup and hoping to find some better pass protection.

The Jets offensive line has surrendered 13 sacks over just the three games they have played and their efforts to spark some life into their offense will fall flat if they don’t fix what appears to be that most glaring weakness. If you’re looking for positives though, the Eagles banged-up defensive line has had its own struggled and has registered a league-worst three sacks so far this season. So if there is a unit that the Jets offensive line can hold up against, it may just be this one.

Still, the Eagles offense looked much more balanced in a 34-27 win over the Packers last Thursday night. And while the Jets are well rested off of their bye week, the Eagles had added rest a preparation time coming into this game as well having played the previous Thursday.

Philadelphia should handle the Jets easily as the point spread suggests, but two touchdowns is still a lot of points to be laying against almost anyone except the Miami Dolphins so far this season.

15/
Stacy Revere // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Philadelphia Eagles

- Favored to win: Philadelphia Eagles
- Spread: -13.5
- Odds: -800

- New York Jets team stats:
- Offense: 196.7 yards per game (#32 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 131.0 ypg (#32)
--- Rushing offense: 65.7 ypg (#28)
- Defense: 375.3 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 286.7 ypg (#28)
--- Rushing defense: 88.7 ypg (#8)

- Philadelphia Eagles team stats:
- Offense: 357.8 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 239.0 ypg (#20)
--- Rushing offense: 118.8 ypg (#13)
- Defense: 385.8 yards per game (#23 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 323.8 ypg (#32)
--- Rushing defense: 62 ypg (#4)

 

16/
Scott Taetsch // Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens (2-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

There was once a time that these two fierce rivals would meet and it would be a high-stakes game, dominated by defenses littered with Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers. This Week 5 edition of the Ravens vs. Steelers rivalry is a far cry from that, with both teams having defensive units ranking in the bottom half of the league.

Now, offense is what has carried the Ravens through the early part of 2019. The unit, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, has put up 482.5 yards per game so far this season, which is the best in the NFL. And while they have lost two straight games, they have done so in games where they’ve scored 28 and 25 points, but were undone by the fact that they surrendered 33 and 40 to the Chiefs and Browns, respectively.

The Mason Rudolph-led Pittsburgh offense should not give the Ravens quite as many fits as Patrick Mahomes II and Baker Mayfield did, but Rudolph proved more than adequate on Monday night in the Steelers first win of the season. He was an efficient 24 for 28 with 229 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-3 smackdown of the Bengals. Pittsburgh’s defense was a force to be reckoned with, sacking Andy Dalton eight times and allowing just 175 total yards.

The biggest hole to poke in the Ravens so far this season is that their two wins came against the Cardinals and Dolphins, both of which are yet to win this season. In the Steelers' last 17 games against AFC North opponents, they are 15-1-1 so while they are home underdogs, there’s some reason to believe that getting four points at Heinz Field may be decent value against a Ravens team that has struggled stopping anyone since Week 2.

17/
Scott Taetsch // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Baltimore Ravens

- Favored to win: Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -180

- Baltimore Ravens team stats:
- Offense: 482.5 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 276.8 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing offense: 205.8 ypg (#1)
- Defense: 395.5 yards per game (#27 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 302 ypg (#30)
--- Rushing defense: 93.5 ypg (#10)

- Pittsburgh Steelers team stats:
- Offense: 283.5 yards per game (#29 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 219.0 ypg (#23)
--- Rushing offense: 64.5 ypg (#29)
- Defense: 375.2 yards per game (#19 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 252.5 ypg (#19)
--- Rushing defense: 122.8 ypg (#22)

 

18/
Maddie Meyer // Getty Images

New England Patriots (4-0) @ Washington Redskins (0-4)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

It’s not a matter of if the New England Patriots will beat the 0-4 Washington Redskins this week, it’s a matter of how much they will beat them by. The Redskins are one of the NFL’s worst teams, ranking near the bottom of just about every statistical category. And the Patriots are, well, the Patriots. New England’s defense through four games is historically good, relinquishing an average of only 181.8 yards through the air and 61.2 on the ground. It’s the best defense ever measured through four games according to Football Outsiders DVOA ratings.

Tom Brady continues to age in reverse—the 42-year-old six-time champion has seven touchdown passes and is over 1,000 yards on the season, but the offense hasn’t needed to be superb with the defense giving up an average of less than a touchdown per game. New England’s 16-10 victory over the then-undefeated Buffalo Bills last week is the first time the reigning Super Bowl champs haven’t had a victory margin of at least 16 points this season.

Washington is riddled with question marks, but most notably at the quarterback position. The Redskins benched Case Keenum midway through the second quarter after the team fell behind 14-0 to the Giants, but rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins looked even more lost. The first-round pick threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Washington head coach Jay Gruden is fighting for his job, and welcoming the Patriots to town is not the position anyone wants to face when that’s the case.

19/
Timothy T Ludwig // Getty Images

Insiders predict: New England Patriots

- Favored to win: New England Patriots
- Spread: -15.5
- Odds: -1000

- New England Patriots team stats:
- Offense: 362.2 yards per game (#15 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 271.0 ypg (#9)
--- Rushing offense: 91.2 ypg (#24)
- Defense: 243.0 yards per game (#1 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 181.8 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing defense: 61.2 ypg (#2)

- Washington Redskins team stats:
- Offense: 296.2 yards per game (#28 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 246.5 ypg (#16)
--- Rushing offense: 49.8 ypg (#31)
- Defense: 399.2 yards per game (#28 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 251.8 ypg (#18)
--- Rushing defense: 147.5 ypg (#29)

 

20/
Sam Greenwood // Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) @ Carolina Panthers (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

Gardner Minshew or Brett Favre? It was tough to tell on Sunday as the 23-year-old quarterback danced his way to a 26-24 come-from-behind victory over the Denver Broncos. Minshew, who took over for offseason pickup Nick Foles when the starter broke his clavicle Week 1, has been nothing short of electric in lieu of the former Super Bowl MVP. The rookie sixth-round pick has thrown seven touchdowns to just one interception and has led the Jacksonville Jaguars to two-straight victories.

The Carolina Panthers also sit at 2-2 and have also rattled off two-consecutive victories with a backup QB. Former MVP Cam Newton, who has been sidelined with a foot injury, doesn’t appear to be ready anytime soon, which means Kyle Allen will continue to get an opportunity to shine. The second-year man who went undrafted last season has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions, leading the Panthers to victories over the Cardinals and the Texans.

Sitting at 0-2 and without their starting quarterbacks, the outlook was daunting for both of these squads. Now, a Week 5 victory firmly puts either team right in the mix. Minshew will have one of his biggest tests to date as he takes on a Panthers defense that ranks #1 against the pass.

21/
Wesley Hitt // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Carolina Panthers

- Favored to win: Carolina Panthers
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -185

- Jacksonville Jaguars team stats:
- Offense: 364.0 yards per game (#14 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 228.8 ypg (#22)
--- Rushing offense: 135.2 ypg (#6)
- Defense: 366.2 yards per game (#18 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 266.8 ypg (#22)
--- Rushing defense: 99.5 ypg (#13)

- Carolina Panthers team stats:
- Offense: 351.2 yards per game (#17 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 243.0 ypg (#18)
--- Rushing offense: 108.2 ypg (#17)
- Defense: 287.5 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 156.8 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing defense: 130.8 ypg (#24)

 

22/
Kevin C. Cox // Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons (1-3) @ Houston Texans (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. EST

If the Atlanta Falcons want to turn their season around, it needs to happen this week in Houston. Matt Ryan and company are searching for answers after two straight losses. The once unstoppable offense featuring former MVP quarterback Ryan and All Pro wide receiver Julio Jones mustered only 10 points last week in a 24-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. While the Falcons rank #2 in passing offense, much of those yards have been accrued in garbage time.

For the Houston Texans, the AFC South is up for the taking. Each of the division’s four teams are looking at Week 5 with two wins and two losses. Houston suffered a tough 16-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers where quarterback Deshaun Watson and the offense could not find a rhythm. The young QB was sacked six times in the game and threw for only 160 yards. Good news for the Texans: Atlanta has had issues getting after the signal-caller this season with only five team sacks.

The Falcons are facing an AFC opponent for the third-consecutive week, and the AFC has not been kind to them. Including two losses already this season, Atlanta is 1-11 in its last 12 games against AFC teams.

23/
Wesley Hitt // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Houston Texans

- Favored to win: Houston Texans
- Spread: -5
- Odds: -230

- Atlanta Falcons team stats:
- Offense: 382.8 yards per game (#11 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 312.5 ypg (#2)
--- Rushing offense: 70.2 ypg (#27)
- Defense: 324.8 yards per game (#9 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 215.2 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing defense: 109.5 ypg (#18)

- Houston Texans team stats:
- Offense: 329.2 yards per game (#22 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 209.0 ypg (#27)
--- Rushing offense: 120.2 ypg (#11)
- Defense: 363.5 yards per game (#17 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 259 ypg (#21)
--- Rushing defense: 104.5 ypg (#16)

 

24/
Justin Edmonds // Getty Images

Denver Broncos (0-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 4:05 p.m. EST

The woeful Denver Broncos are 0-4, and the season outlook became only bleaker when news that linebacker Bradley Chubb will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The AFC West appears to be a one-horse race unless the Los Angeles Chargers can start to show signs of the playoff team they were last season. That correction can start this week against the division rival Broncos.

The Chargers are favorites at home, and for good reason—Denver has been downright bad. The squad showed signs of promise last week, though, when the defense finally began to generate some pressure. After recording zero sacks through the first three games of the season, the Broncos took down Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew five times in their 26-24 loss. Denver built a 17-3 first-half lead and looked as good as they have all season, but the run defense relinquished a staggering 269 yards on the ground.

The Broncos’ defense, which currently ranks #30 in the NFL against the run, now faces the two-headed monster of running backs Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon who is fresh off his holdout and expected to play Sunday.

25/
Michael Reaves // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Los Angeles Chargers

- Favored to win: Los Angeles Chargers
- Spread: -6.5
- Odds: -280

- Denver Broncos team stats:
- Offense: 349.2 yards per game (#18 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 248.8 ypg (#15)
--- Rushing offense: 100.5 ypg (#21)
- Defense: 349.2 yards per game (#15 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 200 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing defense: 149.2 ypg (#30)

- Los Angeles Chargers team stats:
- Offense: 403.8 yards per game (#5 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 300.2 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing offense: 103.5 ypg (#18)
- Defense: 331.0 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 229 ypg (#11)
--- Rushing defense: 102 ypg (#14)

 

26/
Tom Pennington // Getty Images

Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 4:25 p.m. EST

With Chargers vs. Broncos as the only other game during the late-Sunday slate, NFL RedZone will stay very focussed on the matchup in Arlington, Texas. The Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys each found themselves a few plays away from 4-0 last week, but couldn’t avoid that first loss of the season. Now each team will try to avoid a losing streak and remain on top of their respective divisions.

The NFL implemented a rule in the offseason that allows teams to challenge whether or not pass interference had taken place on a play, but it has only convoluted things thus far which was extremely evident in the 34-27 Eagles victory over the Packers when a clear penalty was committed by cornerback Avonte Maddox.

Both Green Bay and Dallas look strong enough to win the NFC, making this one of the more intriguing matchups of Week 5. The Packers have seen a great improvement on the defensive side of the ball, but the disparity from their passing defense (ranked #3 in NFL) versus their run defense (ranked #26 in NFL) gives the Cowboys and two-time rushing title winner Ezekiel Elliott room to exploit. Dallas lost its Week 4 matchup with the New Orleans Saints 12-10 after a lackluster output on offense. Both teams had weaknesses exposed last week and could be without key contributors for this matchup. Packers #1 receiver Davante Adams is expected to miss Sunday with turf toe, while the Cowboys could be without receiver Michael Gallup and Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.

27/
Jonathan Bachman // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Dallas Cowboys

- Favored to win: Dallas Cowboys
- Spread: -3.5
- Odds: -180

- Green Bay Packers team stats:
- Offense: 337.8 yards per game (#20 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 251.5 ypg (#14)
--- Rushing offense: 86.2 ypg (#26)
- Defense: 330.2 yards per game (#10 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 188 ypg (#3)
--- Rushing defense: 142.2 ypg (#26)

- Dallas Cowboys team stats:
- Offense: 425.2 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 279.8 ypg (#5)
--- Rushing offense: 145.5 ypg (#5)
- Defense: 318.5 yards per game (#7 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 221.8 ypg (#10)
--- Rushing defense: 96.8 ypg (#12)

 

28/
Peter Aiken // Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts (2-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

- Gametime: Sunday, Oct. 6, 8:20 p.m. EST

One of just two teams sitting at 4-0, the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch from the 2018 playoffs. Oddsmakers don’t expect this to be much of a playoff-caliber game, however. Kansas City is the heavy favorite as the Colts look to bounce back from a 31-24 home upset to the Oakland Raiders.

Kansas City has once again asserted itself as one of the best teams in the NFL, but was taken down to the wire last week in a narrow 34-30 victory at Detroit. Phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes II had his streak of 14 games with at least two touchdown passes broken as he shockingly didn’t throw a touchdown last week, but is still tied atop the league with 10 TD tosses on the season.

Another shock: Also sitting tied atop the touchdown leader list is Jacoby Brissett. The Colts lost a generational talent when Andrew Luck retired just weeks before the start of the season, but Brissett has been a pleasant surprise through four games. Both teams are plagued with injury—last week Indy was without starting receivers Devin Funchess and T.Y. Hilton, linebacker Darius Leonard, and last year’s Rookie of the Year Malik Hooker, while starters Damien Williams, Eric Fisher, and Tyreek Hill all sat for K.C. It’s unknown who will be available for either squad on Sunday night.

29/
Leon Halip // Getty Images

Insiders predict: Kansas City Chiefs

- Favored to win: Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: -10.5
- Odds: -600

- Indianapolis Colts team stats:
- Offense: 347.2 yards per game (#19 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 214.8 ypg (#25)
--- Rushing offense: 132.5 ypg (#7)
- Defense: 363.0 yards per game (#16 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 230.5 ypg (#13)
--- Rushing defense: 132.5 ypg (#25)

- Kansas City Chiefs team stats:
- Offense: 474.8 yards per game (#2 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 373.0 ypg (#1)
--- Rushing offense: 101.8 ypg (#20)
- Defense: 408.5 yards per game (#30 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 258.8 ypg (#20)
--- Rushing defense: 149.8 ypg (#31)

 

30/
Jason Miller // Getty Images

Cleveland Browns (2-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-0)

- Gametime: Monday, Oct. 7, 8:15 p.m. EST

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to look forward to a prime-time matchup featuring either one of these teams, but 2019 is a different story. The Cleveland Browns have already played on Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football once this season, and have two more games under the lights left on the schedule after Week 5. The San Francisco 49ers have a total of three prime-time games in 2019. Both squads have lofty expectations this season—this matchup will serve as a good barometer in determining how legitimate the Browns and Niners really are.

San Francisco took their undefeated record into a Week 4 bye and gets even an additional day of rest with the Monday night contest. One of the more surprising reasons for their early success: the defense. The Niners are yet to surrender more than 20 points in any game, and have already surpassed their takeaway total from all of last season. Jimmy Garoppolo, while his numbers haven’t been astonishing, continues to show the poise of a franchise QB in his limited sample size as a starter.

Cleveland has been confusing thus far, losing by 30 points Week 1 to the Tennessee Titans but taking down the seemingly more formidable Baltimore Ravens 40-25 last week. It wasn’t mega-offseason acquisition Odell Beckham Jr. who shined Sunday, but rather running back Nick Chubb had a career day, rushing for 165 yards and three scores, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry who hauled in eight catches for a career-high 167 yards. The 49ers are slight favorites, but they are the home team—this one is a crapshoot.

31/
Thearon W. Henderson // Getty Images

Insiders predict: San Francisco 49ers

- Favored to win: San Francisco 49ers
- Spread: -4
- Odds: -205

- Cleveland Browns team stats:
- Offense: 380.2 yards per game (#12 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 265.2 ypg (#12)
--- Rushing offense: 115.0 ypg (#14)
- Defense: 335.0 yards per game (#13 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 215.2 ypg (#7)
--- Rushing defense: 119.8 ypg (#21)

- San Francisco 49ers team stats:
- Offense: 421.0 yards per game (#4 in the league)
--- Passing offense: 246.0 ypg (#17)
--- Rushing offense: 175.0 ypg (#2)
- Defense: 283.3 yards per game (#3 in the league)
--- Passing defense: 208.3 ypg (#6)
--- Rushing defense: 75 ypg (#5)

 

2018 All rights reserved.