2013 NFL Season: Week 5 Picks and Upsets

NFL Week 5 Picks, Upsets and Predictions

We like the 49ers over the Texans in Week 5. Who else did we pick?

We like the 49ers over the Texans in Week 5. Who else did we pick? (Credit EclecticArkie)

It was a mixed bag for the NFL prognosticators here at SidelineMOB. While a 10-5 record is definitely passable, we aren’t thrilled about missing on some of the biggest games of the week (Seattle vs. Houston, Atlanta vs. New England). That, and we’ve missed our official upset pick of the week twice in a row – a trend we’re looking to end Week 5.

The 1 p.m. EST slate of Week 5 NFL games is simply fantastic this week. From an NFC North showdown between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers to a battle between the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, and everything in between (Patriots/Bengals, Saints/Bears, Ravens/Dolphins, Chiefs/Titans), there’s a whole lot of viewing to do – unless you’re in Jacksonville or St. Louis. (Sorry.)

A few very good teams are already in must-win situations, as the 1-3 Falcons cannot avoid going 4 games down on the Saints and the 1-2 Packers can’t let the Lions assert this large of a margin in the NFC North. And who would have thought that 5 weeks into the 2013 NFL season, the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers would be playing on Sunday Night Football with the loser dropping below .500?

With so much riding on this week’s games, let’s take a look at our picks for Week 5 in the NFL.

NFL Week 5 Picks: LOCK of the Week

ATLANTA (home) over NY Jets

NFL Week 5 Picks: UPSET of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS (home) over Seattle

2013 NFL week 5 picks and predictions

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns, Thursday Night Football:

What has gotten into these Cleveland Browns? Apparently, the formula for turning around your season is trading your franchise running back and benching your 1st round QB. Who knew? Meanwhile, the Bills E.J. Manuel has impressed thus far with his poise and passion. In the end, this is all about the Browns’ impressive, intimidating 3-4 defense, currently 3rd in the NFL in yards per game. Browns 22, Bills 13.

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears:

In the marquee NFC game of Week 5, the 4-0 Saints travel to Soldier Field to take on the 3-1 Bears, still stinging from a loss at Detroit last week. As you might expect, one of these teams is 6th in total defense – but would you think it’s the Saints? (The Bears are 20th.) Both teams are +5 in turnover ratio so far this season, and both have impressed – a major reason why this game is seen as a push by many odds makers. So who has the edge? Look to the strong game Reggie Bush had against this Bears defense last week, and apply that same formula using Darren Sproles. Saints 28, Bears 24.

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals:

With the Patriots coming off a road win at Atlanta and the Bengals losing ugly to Cleveland, the pick seems relatively simple. But Cincinnati is a different team at home, defeating the Steelers and Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. In a close contest, the Bengals will hand Tom Brady and the Patriots their first defeat of the 2013 NFL season. Bengals 27, Patriots 23.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers:

The Detroit Lions currently lead the NFC North at 3-1, and the Packers must win this game to avoid falling 2 1/2 games behind Detroit (plus a tiebreaker) just 5 weeks into the season. Aaron Rodgers and company are at home, and the severity of the situation will lead to a win in a game that Green Bay simply must have. Packers 33, Lions 27.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans:

The Chiefs and Titans meet in a game that didn’t hold much curb appeal to start the year, but now is a virtual must-watch for anyone tracking the early AFC playoff race. At a combined 7-1, with both teams playing superb defense, the game will come down to the loss of Titans QB Jake Locker with a sprained hip. Will Ryan Fitzpatrick step in and save the day at home? We think the Chiefs will do just enough to move to a surprising 5-0 on the year. Chiefs 23, Titans 16.

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts:

In their two games at home, the Seahawks have won by an average of 27 points. In their 2 road victories, they’ve won by an average of 4 points – including a gift-wrapped win courtesy of Matt Schaub last weekend. The Seahawks are a strong team, but we like Indianapolis in a slight upset at home, due to Seattle giving up an average of 142.5 yards on the ground away from home. Colts 24, Seahawks 20.

Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams:

Our apologies to anyone in the St. Louis and Jacksonville markets who has to watch this game at 1 p.m. EST instead of Seattle/Indianapolis, Baltimore/Miami, New England/Cincinnati, Detroit/Green Bay, New Orleans/Chicago, Kansas City/Tennessee, or whatever infomercials they could be watching instead. For the Jaguars, this is one of 3 games they have a chance to win in 2013. They won’t. Rams 30, Jaguars 13.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins:

With both teams coming off a loss in Week 4, this is a game about momentum. With a win and a New England loss, the Dolphins would be tied for 1st place in the AFC East. With a victory of their own, the Ravens would be assured at least a share of the AFC North lead. Baltimore, however, is 0-2 on the road this season, while Miami’s lone game at home was a 27-23 win over Atlanta. Dolphins 26, Ravens 20.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants:

The only way this game could be more dysfunctional is if you substituted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in place of the Eagles. Amazingly, the NFC East is so substandard in 2013 that a Giants win (coupled with a probable Dallas loss to Denver) would move New York (at 1-4) to within a game of 1st in the division. Does one of these teams have to make the playoffs? Giants 31, Eagles 30.

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals:

Even at 1-2, the Panthers are a better squad than most people realize. Were it not for a late fumble on Seattle’s 8-yard line, Carolina was in position to go up 14-12 on the Seahawks in Week 1, and we’d be having a very different conversation. Meanwhile, Arizona is a feisty team at home, but the front seven of the Panthers should control the conversation here. Panthers 24, Cardinals 17.

Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys:

This ought to be the best test of the Broncos to date, as Dallas is a much better team at home (2-0, 33.5 ppg) than on the road (0-2, 18.5 ppg). Both Denver and Dallas sport a below-average pass defense but a top-3 rush defense, so this one could be an aerial spectacle. Broncos 37, Cowboys 30.

Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday Night Football:

Houston leads the NFL in total defense, allowing just over 250 yards per game. San Francisco, to their credit, is 4th in the same category. So why the struggles for both teams? Both are a surprising -4 in turnover ratio, leading to dual 2-2 records for this SNF matchup. Could the Texans actually lose 3 straight games? Playing in San Francisco against a strong opponent, it seems likely. 49ers 27, Texans 22.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders, 11:35 p.m. EST:

This game has been moved to 8:35 p.m. on the West Coast due to the Oakland A’s ALDS game against the Detroit Tigers. It’s too late of a start for most fans on the East Coast, but it amounts to a Sunday Night Football doubleheader for West Coast fans, who get to see 3 California teams Sunday night. Philip Rivers is on fire to start the year (11 TDs vs. 2 INTs). Chargers 26, Raiders 13.

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons, Monday Night Football:

Much like the Packers, this game is a virtual must-win for the Atlanta Falcons, who find themselves not only at 1-3, but looking up at the 4-0 Saints. Matt Ryan looks to get his home mojo back after a loss to the Patriots in Week 4. He’ll get it against a Jets team plagued by penalty issues. Falcons 27, Jets 13.

WEEK 4 PICKS: 10-5

OVERALL 2013 NFL SEASON RECORD THRU WEEK 5: 41-22 (65.1%)

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