.Three NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 5.
These three writers will continue to make their picks for the entire season, earning two points for any correct win-loss outcome and an additional three points for correctly predicting the exact score. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A cumulative points total and record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 17 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears
Mike Fanelli: Buccaneers 31, Bears 17
Are the Bears any better with Nick Foles than they were with Mitchell Trubisky? That’s still to be determined. However, don’t expect the Bears to get a win Thursday against a soaring Buccaneers team. Tom Brady will be looking for revenge against Foles, so expect a dominant Buccaneers victory.
Joe Heller: Buccaneers 31, Bears 24
The last time Tom Brady and Nick Foles faced off was Super Bowl LII. Foles, then the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback, upset Brady and the Patriots. This time around, Brady and the Bucs will defeat Foles and the Bears. The loss will once again lead to a quarterback controversy building in the Windy City for the second time in as many weeks.
Andersen Pickard: Buccaneers 27, Bears 21
At first glance, it may seem like the Bears are the favorites in this game. Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin are out, while Mike Evans won’t be 100 percent. The Bears have a strong defense and the Buccaneers nearly lost to a struggling Chargers team. With that said, the Bears aren’t perfect, either. Nick Foles isn’t Tom Brady, and David Montgomery has seen limited production lately. Thursday Night Football will feature a close game, but the Bucs will pull ahead in the second half.
Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans
Mike Fanelli: Bills 31, Titans 23
The Bills are for real. Josh Allen should be the front-runner for MVP as the Bills look like the best team in the AFC not named the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Titans are dealing with their COVID-19 situation and aren’t likely to be fully prepared. Expect the Bills to pull out the easy victory over the Titans.
Joe Heller: Bills 34, Titans 31
This game was supposed to follow up the Titans’ matchup against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. After a COVID-19 outbreak postponed that game, they host the undefeated Bills and the hot hand of Josh Allen. It’s hard to pick against the team that’s in a rhythm.
Andersen Pickard: Bills 28, Titans 17
If this game is even played, the Bills should win handily. The Bills are playing dominant football while the Titans enter this game shorthanded coming off nearly two weeks of canceled practice amidst their COVID-19 outbreak. Buffalo should have no trouble in this one.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Mike Fanelli: Texans 38, Jaguars 24
Boy, the Jaguars fooled all of us in Week 1. Since then, they have struggled and haven’t won a game. The Texans are 0-4 but have faced a tough schedule to begin the season. After firing Bill O’Brien, expect the Texans to come out and have their best game of the season.
Joe Heller: Jaguars 24, Texans 20
The Jaguars want nothing more than to drop their division rivals and reigning division champions to 0-5. Gardner Minshew will lead his team to the late game-winning score.
Andersen Pickard: Texans 24, Jaguars 18
The Texans may look less cohesive this week after the coaching and front office shakeup, but the impact of this new dynamic won’t be enough to make me pick the Jaguars. The Texans should win by at least one score and improve to 1-4.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Fanelli: Ravens 31, Bengals 21
Joe Burrow got his first career win last week and has looked like a future star in the league. However, the Ravens have shown so far this season that they are a top team in the league. Expect the Ravens’ defense to get a few turnovers off the rookie. The bigger question for the Bengals: when do they trade A.J. Green?
Joe Heller: Ravens 41, Bengals 27
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense will dominate this game while Joe Burrow will continue to play well despite the loss. This week will be the week A.J. Green gets more involved in the offense.
Andersen Pickard: Ravens 31, Bengals 21
The Bengals are good, but the Ravens are better. Even with Lamar Jackson slightly banged-up, it’d be foolish to pick the rookie over the MVP.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Mike Fanelli: Panthers 27, Falcons 24
Coming off back-to-back wins, maybe the Panthers aren’t as bad as we all thought. Without Christian McCaffrey, Teddy Bridgewater has stepped up his play. How can anyone trust the Falcons at this point? The Panthers pull off a close victory.
Joe Heller: Panthers 27, Falcons 20
The Carolina offense is finally starting to click while the Falcons have had trouble holding onto a lead. The Panthers win this divisional matchup.
Andersen Pickard: Panthers 27, Falcons 24
If Julio Jones is 100 percent for this game, the Falcons will win. However, the star receiver continues to battle a hamstring injury and can’t be counted on to produce at his usual Pro Bowl level. Therefore, Carolina’s offensive superiority over the Falcons’ defense will give them a lead that the Falcons won’t be able to come back from, instead falling to 0-5.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Fanelli: Chiefs 41, Raiders 24
After a strong start to the season, the Raiders have fallen flat. With back-to-back losses to the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, the Raiders now face the best team in the conference. Expect this game to be over before the start of the fourth quarter.
Joe Heller: Chiefs 34, Raiders 17
The Raiders’ secondary is limping into this game. The Chiefs and their offensive weapons are too much for a fully healthy secondary to contain. This game will get out of hand early.
Andersen Pickard: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17
It was humbling to see the Patriots shut down the Chiefs in the early portion of Monday Night Football, but Kansas City was able to regain their dominance and win handily. They should see similar success against a depleted Las Vegas secondary that won’t fare well against Patrick Mahomes.
Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Jets
Mike Fanelli: Cardinals 34, Jets 13
J-E-T-S! For Jets fans, that now stands for “just end the season.” Nothing has gone right for them this year, and now Sam Darnold is dealing with a shoulder injury and won’t play this week. The Cardinals have struggled the last two weeks and find themselves at the bottom of a very competitive NFC West division. Look for Kyler Murray to have an MVP-like game against the pathetic Jets.
Joe Heller: Cardinals 24, Jets 13
The perfect remedy for a team that has dropped two straight games after winning their first two is a date at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are consistently inconsistent.
Andersen Pickard: Cardinals 27, Jets 10
The Jets are really bad. The Cardinals aren’t as bad. Arizona will win by three scores, but it will be ugly all-around.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Fanelli: Steelers 27, Eagles 13
While the Eagles got their first win of the season on Sunday night, they are still a very injured and underperforming team. Don’t expect them to pull off the upset over the Steelers as Pittsburgh shows why they are one of six undefeated teams in the league.
Joe Heller: Eagles 21, Steelers 17
Carson Wentz is playing behind a depleted offensive line and is not very familiar with his receivers. The latter can also be said about the Steelers, but even more so. Off an unexpected bye, Pittsburgh will come out slightly sluggish, which will allow Wentz to get into a rhythm.
Andersen Pickard: Steelers 24, Eagles 17
The Steelers look like a top-three team in the NFL. The defense is the best in the league, the offense is clicking, and the roster is quite healthy. They should win handily against the Eagles.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Washington Football Team
Mike Fanelli: Rams 34, Washington 20
Sean McVay heads back to Washington for the first time in his career, and with no fans in the stands, he shouldn’t expect a warm welcome. After struggling on offense last week, the Rams will get their high-powered offense rolling again and score four or more touchdowns on a banged-up Washington defense.
Joe Heller: Washington 24, Rams 20
One of the upsets of the week will be this game. The Rams had a tough time putting up points against the Giants’ defense in Week 4. On defense, Washington is a fraction better, especially when they don’t have to deal with a mobile quarterback like Lamar Jackson and could welcome back rookie Chase Young (groin).
Andersen Pickard: Rams 31, Washington 14
Washington teased the football world by beating the Eagles in Week 1. However, that’s where their luck ran out. They’ve gone 0-3 since and will fall to 1-4 on the year against the Rams this week.
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers
Mike Fanelli: 49ers 27, Dolphins 21
The 49ers are hoping to get some players back from injury this week, including Jimmy Garoppolo. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are rolling with Ryan Fitzpatrick for another week. Don’t expect George Kittle to have another 15-catch game, but he will wreak havoc against the Dolphins’ defense.
Joe Heller: Dolphins 24, 49ers 21
Brian Flores remains focused on starting Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, but if the Dolphins fall behind early, don’t be surprised to see Tua Tagovailoa enter the game and lead the Dolphins to victory.
Andersen Pickard: 49ers 21, Dolphins 16
Much like last week’s Seahawks-Dolphins game, the Dolphins might keep it close against the 49ers, but San Francisco will never trail Miami in this one. Expect San Francisco to secure an early lead and never look back.
New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Mike Fanelli: Cowboys 38, Giants 30
If betting for a tie to happen was a smart move, this would be the game to do it on. Neither team has looked good so far this season, as they have combined for one win. However, someone must win, and the Giants’ offense has struggled this season while the Cowboys’ has been putting up points like crazy. Expect a high-scoring game with the Cowboys getting their second win of the season.
Joe Heller: Cowboys 34, Giants 13
Dallas will jump out to an early lead. Given the way the last few weeks have gone, they will continue to put points on the scoreboard and not let up.
Andersen Pickard: Cowboys 34, Giants 28
This game is going to be brutal for fans of both teams. Fans will love the scoring, but the pain of the woeful defenses will be far greater than the pleasure of an electric offense. Despite being a shootout, this game will answer a lot of questions about various key players and units, including Daniel Jones and the Dallas and New York defenses. Expect the experience of the Cowboys to be the difference-maker in this one.
Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots
Mike Fanelli: Patriots 24, Broncos 10
Hopefully, Cam Newton can clear the COVID-19 protocol and play in this game. Either way, the Broncos were barely able to defeat the Jets without half of their starting lineup. Don’t expect a similar outcome in New England, regardless of who is playing quarterback.
Joe Heller: Broncos 24, Patriots 20
Coming off an unexpected Monday night game, the Patriots play their third straight game against the AFC West. This one has the feel of a trap game. That is, if there can be such a thing in Week 5.
Andersen Pickard: Patriots 21, Broncos 13
Stephon Gilmore and Cam Newton will miss this game for New England while Drew Lock and K.J. Hamler aren’t expected to be active for a banged-up Broncos team. Bill Belichick will be the difference-maker at home on Sunday as the Patriots win by at least one score.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns
Mike Fanelli: Browns 24, Colts 21
This week, we are going to find out which of these teams are real playoff contenders. Both have faced an easy schedule to start the year and sit at 3-1 after losing Week 1. Despite losing Nick Chubb for several weeks, the Browns have more firepower on offense while the Colts have one of the better defenses in the league. This game really could go a number of different ways.
Joe Heller: Browns 24, Colts 20
The Browns are looking like the team they were supposed to be, just a year later than expected. Odell Beckham Jr. is the Odell Beckham Jr. that the front office traded for in the first place. With Nick Chubb out, Kareem Hunt will carry the team to a win over Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts.
Andersen Pickard: Colts 27, Browns 20
In a battle between two playoff hopefuls, the Colts’ defense will look to rattle Baker Mayfield early while the Browns’ defense attempts to shut down Jonathan Taylor, much like the Bears’ linemen did last week. Philip Rivers could quite possibly be the deciding factor in this game if he can minimize turnovers.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks
Mike Fanelli: Seahawks 38, Vikings 24
After throwing just two touchdowns last week against the Dolphins, Russell Wilson might decide to challenge for the NFL record of touchdown passes in a game against this young Vikings secondary. However, the Seahawks could also decide to run the ball 35 times instead. Either way, they should win the game easily.
Joe Heller: Seahawks 41, Vikings 38
The Vikings have been a different team in their last two games than they were through the first two. If Russell Wilson wasn’t the hottest quarterback through the first quarter of the season, this could’ve been a toss-up game. Instead, Wilson will remain the early MVP favorite.
Andersen Pickard: Seahawks 35, Vikings 24
Seattle’s defense may be porous, but their offense is the best in the league. Minnesota could make this interesting if Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson can form a connection with Kirk Cousins early on, but the Seahawks will still win.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints
Mike Fanelli: Saints 27, Chargers 20
Justin Herbert has been really impressive to start the season and has a firm grasp on the starting role in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for Chargers fans, the Saints will likely have Michael Thomas back this week and are starting to click on offense. The future is bright in Los Angeles, but on Monday night, the Saints will walk away with the victory.
Joe Heller: Chargers 27, Saints 24
Justin Herbert will get his first NFL victory in an upset on Monday night over Drew Brees and the Saints. Not a bad way to follow up almost defeating Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in back-to-back weeks.
Andersen Pickard: Saints 31, Chargers 23
The Saints have played solid football this year with their lone loss coming against the Raiders. Justin Herbert opened his career with a tough schedule against Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, meaning he will have to wait at least one more week to get that first career victory.
Joe: 42-21 11
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