Football predictions for every week 6 game

Panthers at Ravens 9/28/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

Not many could’ve predicted the utter chaos that has been the 2015 NFL season. There have been countless different story lines to follow and so many surprises thus far. The Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals are undefeated. The Denver Broncos have the 26th ranked offense. Chacandrick West and Knile Davis lead the Kansas City backfield. The Seahawks are 2-3. The Miami Dolphins have a new head coach. Chris Johnson is second in the league in rushing yards. At this point in the season, it’s virtually impossible to accurately predict who will emerge victorious in each game, but it’s always worth a go.

Bengals vs. Bills, 1:00 P.M.

This is possibly the Bengals first real, difficult challenge. Yes, they did play and beat the defending NFC Champion Seahawks last week, but that was at home and against a depleted Seattle team. This week, they’re facing a highly energetic atmosphere in Buffalo and are playing an unpredictable Bills squad. Rex Ryan’s team has shown glimpses of potential but has so far been inconsistent. This matchup could go either way, but the Bengals seem to have more talent overall and are playing on a hot streak.

Prediction: Bengals 27 Bills 17,

Broncos vs. Browns, 1:00 P.M.

If I had to pick an upset game for the week, this would be the game. The Broncos offense has been below average at best. Their run game is nonexistent and Peyton Manning is a middle of the pack quarterback this year. Their defense is elite however, but will be tested when they face Josh McCown, who just last week threw for over 450 yards. This Cleveland team is hungry, they’re at home, and will definitely put up a fight when Denver comes to town Sunday.

Prediction: Broncos 17 Cleveland 16

Bears vs. Lions, 1:00 P.M.

Before the season started, no one would’ve dreamed that the Detroit Lions would be the last winless team in the NFL. But, that’s where we are, and the Lions are simply a mess; Matthew Stafford has thrown 8 interceptions and Calvin Johnson hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards receiving yet. The defense could make Tom Brady look like a good running back and the pass defense isn’t a lot better. The Bears, on the other hand, have looked much more improved since Jay Cutler returned form injury and have one of the best backs in the game in Matt Forte, which should be a major issue all day long for the Lions.

Prediction: Bears 31 Lions 20

Texans vs. Jaguars, 1:00 P.M.

Unless you’re a Texan or Jaguar fan, you probably won’t be watching this game. Both of these teams are peddling in mediocrity this year, and a change doesn’t appear to be on the horizon. Brian Hoyer has overtaken the quarterback position for Houston and has looked sharp in his last

two outings and DeAndre Hopkins leads the league in receiving yards. However, for some reason, the Texans seem to commit a turnover at the worst possible time, which usually loses them the game. This game will ultimately come down to which team commits less turnovers.

Prediction: Jaguars 23 Texans 21

Chiefs vs. Vikings, 1:00 P.M.

The Vikings are coming off a bye and facing a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs team. Minnesota has performed admirably so far this season, and should be able to continue playing well against an underachieving KC defense. Look for Adrian Peterson to have a big day on the ground and keep an eye on the Chiefs backfield, which now consists of Chacandrick West and Knile Davis.

Prediction: Vikings 28 Chiefs 20

Dolphins vs. Titans, 1:00 P.M.

Miami has vastly under cut expectations this season and will try to get back on track when they visit the Titans this Sunday. They’ll have problems, however, when Marcus Mariota and company try to overcome back-to-back losses. Mariota presents numerous matchup problems for the Dolphins defense and he should be able to exploit those problems come Sunday. If the Dolphins want any chance at winning though, they’ll need Ryan Tannehill to step up and be the quarterback they expected him to be.

Prediction: Titans 27 Dolphins 22

Redskins vs. Jets, 1:00 P.M.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the season, the New York Jets sit at 3-1 and look poised to go 4-1. They’re playing an average Redskins team at home, and will cause tons of problems for Kirk Cousins. However, the Jet offense will need to take it up a notch in order to get past the stingy Washington defense that yielded just 19 points to the Falcons high-powered offense last week.

Prediction: Jets 24 Redskins 19

Cardinals vs. Steelers, 1:00 P.M.

By far the best 1:00 o’clock game this week, this Arizona, Pittsburgh matchup should be a shootout. Last week on Monday Night, the Steelers showed the world they don’t need Big Ben to win football games, as they have Le’Veon Bell leading the offensive charge. However, their defense could be tested heavily when the Cardinals come to Heinz Field. The Cards have a surprisingly strong run game with Chris Johnson as the feature back, and Carson Palmer looks as impressive as ever. Look for this game to come down to the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 Steelers 24

Panthers vs. Seahawks, 4:05 P.M.

It’s a rematch of last year’s NFC Divisional matchup, but you would think this year’s records for both of these teams are swapped. The Panthers stand at 4-0 and the Seahawks at 2-3, but these records are a little skewed. Carolina has yet to play an above .500 team, and the Seahawks have played nothing but above average teams. The Panthers will be feeling the pressure on Sunday when they enter the home of the 12th Man, and will more than likely be undefeated no longer.

Prediction: Seahawks 26 Panthers 14

Ravens vs. 49ers, 4:25 P.M.

In a rematch of Super Bowl 47, a win could benefit both these teams greatly. The Ravens have disappointed, to say the least. They’re 1-4, at the bottom of the AFC North, and are basically fighting for their lives at this point. In order for them to have any shot this season, they need to secure a W against a 49er team that has been extremely inconsistent. If Baltimore can contain Carlos Hyde and limit the damage that Kaepernick can cause, they should be able to walk out of Santa Clara with a much needed win.

Prediction: Ravens 20 49ers 13

Chargers vs. Packers

Definitely the marquee matchup of the afternoon, the Bolts will try to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Pack at Lambeau, which isn’t an easy task to accomplish. Rodgers has been near impossible to stop at home but the Chargers will be up to the test. This game should be close throughout but the Packers always seem to find a way to win at home. However, don’t be surprised if San Diego gives Green Bay their first loss of the season.

Prediction: Packers 30 Chargers 27

Patriots vs. Colts, 8:30 P.M.

This is the game we’ve all been waiting for. The Revenge Game. It was nine months ago that the Patriots crushed the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, thus beginning the saga known as Deflategate. You couldn’t ask for a better story line going into a game, and New England looks ready to pay back Jim Irsay and the Colts for telling the NFL about supposedly deflated footballs. Tom Brady is playing some of the best football of his career and always performs at a high level when he plays Indy. Andrew Luck on the other hand, seems to play his worst football when he matches up against the Pats. Expect New England to pass the ball with efficiency but also expect a high-powered running attack that has succeeded in the past against Indy.

Prediction: Patriots 37 Colts 21

Giants vs. Eagles, 8:30 P.M. (Monday Night)

An NFC East rivalry is renewed this Monday when the Giants travel to Philly to take on the Eagles. Both teams could really use a win, as they are both battling for the wide-open NFC East division. Eli Manning and the Giants have been on a hot streak as of late, winning three games in a row after dropping their first two. However, the Eagles might finally have something going

offensively, after DeMarco Murray broke out for 83 yards rushing and Sam Bradford passed for over 300 yards yet again. This game should be a thriller, and is anyone’s game at this point. However, New York could be in trouble in if receivers Odell Beckham and Reuben Randle can’t play.

Prediction: Eagles 30 Giants 27

https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: Water.org

Go donate! www.endzoneblog.com

Drew Brees catches fire, leads Saints past Falcons in rivalry match up:

Saints at Ravens 8/13/15

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

Thursday night football was all about Drew Brees whose precision helped uplift the New Orleans Saints past the Atlanta Falcons 31-21. Brees finished the game with 312 passing yards and 1 touchdown pass . Looking tremendous passing the ball all night. Every time the Saints needed to make a big play it was Brees connecting with Watson, or Brees connecting with Cooks that would keep Saints’ drives alive. Watson had a big day for the Saints offense finishing the game with 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Having his best day as a Saint, and showing there is life after Jimmy Graham at the Tight End position in New Orleans. The Saints landed a much needed win and hand the Falcons their first loss of the season. Brees might have commanded things offensively for the Saints but he received a huge gift from his defense tonight. The Saints defense looked great all night hassling Matt Ryan nearly every time he dropped back. In fact the Saints were able to sack Matt Ryan 5 times on the evening. Making it tough for Ryan to get in a groove or find a rhythm. Three of those sacks came from Cameron Jordan who also recorded five solo tackles and 3 tackles for loss as well. Showing he truly is one of the most talented defensive lineman in the NFL. The performance by Jordan was so dominant because he finished six plays behind the line of scrimmage( 3 sacks, 3 TFL’s). Quite a bit of production for just one player. If this Saints team can come out and play every game like they did tonight they are a force to be reckoned with. The challenge for them will be the consistency. They can’t go back into their shell and fold up next week against the Colts. It’s just like your old football coach used to tell you back in high school. Enjoy this win for 24 hours if you’re the Saints, then get back to business. If the Saints do all the little things right and rattle several wins off in a row there is no telling what they could achieve. The question is, is it too late?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: Save the Children

Go donate! www.savethechildren.org

Why the Lions are Struggling So Much to Start the 2015 Season

16453654995_d8b1aab139_o

Photo credit: Mike Morbeck

Author: Joey Carr

January 4th, 2015, a date that will live in infamy for the city of Detroit and their Lions. It was the NFC Wildcard Round of the playoffs and the Lions and Cowboys were dueling it out at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After a blistering first half and strong fourth quarter, the Lions were on their way to winning their first playoff game since 1991, a divisional matchup that was also against Dallas. However, the football gods had different plans in mind for Matthew Stafford and company. About halfway into the fourth quarter, Detroit was marching down the field and looked to extend it’s lead over America’s Team, which would’ve almost sealed a W and sent them to Green Bay for the NFC Championship. Everyone on the Lions sideline was cheering and jumping up and down with a Grinch-Like smile on their face, knowing they came into Dallas and left victorious. Then came the flag. On a pass downfield from Stafford to tight end Brandon Pettigrew, linebacker Antony Hitchens jumped and tried to block the pass with his body, which he succeeded in doing, but a little contact was drawn, and referee Pete Morelli threw a penalty flag. But the call never came for pass interference or holding or illegal contact; instead Morelli walked to midfield, picked up the flag, put it back in his pocket, and said there was no flag on the play, giving no explanation. This started a chain reaction that led to Dallas winning the game on a last minute drive, breaking the heart of Detroit Lion player and fan alike. However, there was hope for this season. This was the year the Lions would finally win a playoff game and make their mark. Fast-forward to today, and the Lions are looking like the worst team in the National Football League.

To be fair, Detroit was blessed with one of the more daunting schedules in all of football, but they haven’t put up much of a fight in any of their games. They haven’t scored more than 28 points in any game and have given up at least 24 points in all but one game. Their offense has been one of the least efficient units in the league and their defense has really felt the losses of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. I don’t think anyone expected this kind of production from a team that was a penalty away from making the NFC Championship Game just a year ago. So why have the Lions been so bad? Their lack of execution on offense.

Matthew Stafford. Calvin Johnson. Golden Tate. Ameer Abdullah. Joique Bell. Eric Ebron. These names are all on the Lions offensive unit, however they’ve all vastly under exceeded expectations. Stafford is just a year removed from throwing for 5,000 yards and Calvin Johnson has gone from one of the most feared receivers in the game to a middle of the pack

producer. Their running game has been very inconsistent, causing them to rely more on the passing game, which is just making things for the offense worse. On a roster with all those big names, third string running back Theo Riddick is the only one putting up decent numbers week in and week out. He’s been extremely reliable in the passing game, finding the end zone a couple of times and out pacing rookie Ameer Abdullah. This bottom of the pack offense is what is really holding back this Detroit team and if Stafford and company don’t fix their problems sooner rather than later, we might be seeing more of Dan Orlovsky (like we did last Sunday).

It’s not that the Lions are a bad team, they’ve just executed so poorly on both sides of the ball. Through five games, they’ve given up 1877 yards on defense, ranking 23rd in the league, and have accumulated only 1607 yards of offense, also 23rd in the league. To put those rankings in perspective, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Cleveland are all ahead of Detroit in total offense. Now, it’s easy to blame the quarterback for the majority of the offensive problems, but Stafford hasn’t been as bad as his numbers indicate. Yes, he’s thrown 8 interceptions, but if you watch the tape, these picks haven’t been entirely his fault. Take a look at this interception in Week 1:

If you count the seconds, Matthew Stafford had about 1.5 seconds before he was on the ground. His offensive line put up no fight whatsoever, causing him to be pressured extremely quickly and not wanting to take the sack, he tried to get rid off it but was hit too soon and was intercepted on an amazing catch by the defensive lineman. A lot of Stafford’s interceptions have been like that, with acrobatic catches by the defense. So yes, it is partly the quarterback’s fault but there are many other factors to consider when talking about their offensive struggles. Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate haven’t exactly given their QB any help, dropping about a third of their targets. Johnson, a usually perennial receiver, hasn’t graced 100 yards receiving yet this season and only has one touchdown. Tate hasn’t been any better, also not getting to 100 yards and has no touchdowns. It’s easy for fans to blame Stafford because of how many picks Stafford has this season, but truth be told, it’s not all his fault.

In addition to their offensive woes, the defense hasn’t exactly pulled their weight, as they have given up an average of 375 yards a game thus far. Their pass defense is definitely worse than their run defense in terms of yardage, but that might be attributed to the fact that they have faced an above average quarterback in each of their games. However, that should be no excuse when it comes to desire to win. They are playing largely uninspired on

D, and it shows late in the game when their offense needs them to get a stop but instead they allow a long, time-wasting touchdown drive. If the offense has any hope of improving, a large factor in that improvement will be the defense allowing them to get on the field more often.

The Detroit Lions are loaded with talent. They’ve got great weapons on offense and potential on defense. However, they’re 0-5 and are one of the worst teams in the NFL. With a somewhat easy schedule going forward (easier than their first 5), they have the ability to turn their season around but need to start executing on both sides of the ball. More importantly though, they need to start playing like a team.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemorbeck

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: Save the Children

Go donate! www.savethechildren.org

Seattle Seahawks: A season on the brink

Seahawks at Redskins 10/6/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Seattle Seahawks could be in serious trouble if they don’t come out and perform in their match up Sunday with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers enter the game with a 4-0 record and a ton of momentum on their side. While the Seahawks seem like a shell of the team that went to back to back Super Bowls just the previous two seasons before. Russell Wilson has regressed from the player that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago and that regression was clear in last year’s Super Bowl as well. The guy is so caught up in the glam and glitz of being a star NFL player that he has failed to realize the Seattle Seahawks are 26th in the league in passing. Now to be fair some of that drop is due to losing Max Unger and James Carpenter upfront on that offensive line. Still it seems like this team has had one problem after another all year long. Whether it be Wilson putting himself above the team by being attention hungry, Kam Chancellor holding out, or Marshawn Lynch getting injured. Even the trade for Jimmy Graham didn’t pan out in their favor. Yea they added a dynamic playmaker at tight end, but they also gave up Unger and had to watch Carpenter walk out the door as well. Give credit to Pete Carroll for doing the best he can to keep this thing together. He always says the right things, he always seems to be the glue that holds things together when this team is on the verge of a meltdown. Without that charisma and positivity Pete brings to the table. This whole team would of fell apart a long time ago. While very talented on paper this locker room is full of ego and not easy at all to manage. That ego works in the Seahawks favor most of the time, lately it has not. You hate to see a team that has had such a dominant reign implode. Sooner or late though all reigns come to end. That is unless Pete Carroll can save this franchise yet again.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: NAMI

Go donate! www.nami.org

2 key games to look out for in week 6:

15044333568_275a510347_o

Photo credit: Fred Swami

Author: Jon Kuzma

There are two key games that really stick out when looking at the week 6 NFL schedule. Those two match up are the Bengals vs the Bills, and the Cardinals vs the Steelers. We chose these two match ups because first off the Bills are a great test for the Bengals. The Bengals just beat the Seattle Seahawks last weekend and could further solidify their dominance by beating a very talented Buffalo Bills team. Rex Ryan has this team playing outstanding, but keep an eye on whether or not E.J Manuel can keep this team playing at an optimal level now that Tyrod Taylor has been ruled out. You would think that Taylor being out meant Andy Dalton and company could march to an easy win, but the Bills are loaded with talent at several positions. Still the Cincinnati offense has been outstanding ranking in the top 5 for points, yards, and passing yards per game. Andy Dalton has been sensational through the air, and A.J Green is around the 500 yard mark with 3 touchdowns on the year. One other notable piece to this offense is the offensive live. They’ve received high praise from NFL execs around the league and it is clear this Bengals line up front can open holes AND pass protect. Keep an eye on that match up and whether or not the Bengals can remain undefeated. In the second key game of the week we have the Steelers taking on the Cardinals. The Steelers have managed to stay afloat with Michael Vick at the helm and that is largely because this offense is loaded with talent. When you factor in that they will get back Martavis Bryant in mix, it just makes this offense that much more dynamic. The Cardinals on the other hand have been having an outstanding year earning a 4-1 record on the year. They also have the highest scoring average in all the NFL with 38 points per game. The 3rd best rushing attack with an average of 134.8 yards per game, and the 5th best defense with just 18 points surrendered a game. Offensively player wise for the Cardinals Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have been phenomenal and will likely have a big day against this Steelers defense. Palmers has passed for 13 touchdowns on the year and 6 of them went to Larry Fitzgerald. Which could spell trouble for the Steelers and their 20th ranked pass defense. Both key games in determining these teams worth, and both key games because of how talented the teams are on the field. They should be interesting to watch.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/127025461@

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: NAMI

Go donate! www.nami.org

Taking a look at Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota’s progress heading into week 6:

20965704904_e9810fe43f_o

Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Jon Kuzma

The number 1 and the number 2 overall draft pick in the 2015 draft will forever be compared. Winston who was drafted number 1 overall believe it or not has been the worse player stat wise after 5 weeks of NFL action. While this might come as no surprise to Winston’s opposers who always stated “he has off the field issues.” It’s shocking to his supporters, who know that Winston has made a name for himself by stepping up in the big moment all of his football career. Currently though, it’s Mariota’s poise that has made the smoother transition to the NFL level in terms of passer production. Mariota has passed for 8 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. While Jameis Winston has passed for 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. So Marcus Mariota is the clear cut better choice right? Not necessarily. One other factor that must always go in to account when examining a players worth is their ability to win. Jameis Winston has led his team (the Bucs) to a 2-3 record. While Mariota’s Titans are just 1-3 on the year. Only a one win difference, but every single win in the National Football League is so valuable. So in the winner category Winston gets the edge. In the passer category Mariota has the advantage. You also should take in to account that Mariota has won the head to head match up when his Titans beat the Buccaneers 42-14. While it seems like all signs are pointing to Mariota being better, it’s to early to just give Mariota that nod. Especially if Jameis Winston can do something special with this Bucs team and turn it around. At the end of the day it really could come down to a team’s preference until several seasons are in the book and we have a clear cut more impressive career from one or the other.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrost88

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Chicago Bears gaining momentum thanks to Jay Cutler:

3971241158_914b435952_o

Photo credit: John Martinez

Author: Jon Kuzma

It has been a long time since we’ve covered any Chicago Bears news here at endzoneblog.com. However after the Bears willed their way to second straight victory it’s only right that they get their fair share of FaceTime. The Bears have seen their play elevate when Jay Cutler returned from his hamstring injury in week 4. Since his return Cutler has been able to throw for four touchdowns and only one interception. That ability to take care of the ball and not commit turnovers is one of the key reasons that the Bears have been playing good football recently. It’s hard to win football games when you’re losing the turnover battle and it was something Cutler had to correct. Now on the season he has a total 6 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions. Which has led to high praise from Bears head coach John Fox who stated “Jay Cutler has impressed me since day 1”. That vote of confidence going forward is what Cutler needs to help take his play to the next level and really see how high this ceiling is for this Bears team. They are still sitting one game below .500 with a 2-3 record on the year. Yet you still have to give this team praise for not keeling over and giving up. This season could have easily got ugly Like the Detroit Lions season has. However Cutler and company have really stepped up to the plate. Another surprising thing about the Bears success is the fact that they just got rid of Jared Allen and Jon Bostic. Moves that you thought might set this team back a little bit. However they are winning games now, and could make a push for the wildcard. They also will get their easiest opponent of the season this weekend when they play the Detroit Lions. A team that has really taken a step back in the NFC North. Will Cutler do enough down the stretch of the season to pass the Vikings in the standings? Only time will tell but recognize things are improving in the windy city and much of that is due to Jay Cutler.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/virtualsugar

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Bortles has his best day as a pro looks much improved in second season:

Jaguars at Ravens 12/14/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

Blake Bortles had his best day as pro yesterday completing 4 touchdown passes for 303 yards and only 1 interception. The performance was the showing that the Jaguars had hoped to get out of Bortles when they drafted him with the 3rd overall pick in the first round of the 2014 draft. After putting up only 11 touchdown passes in 2014, Bortles already finds himself with 10 touchdown passes just 5 games into the 2015 season. Showing that he will easily surpass his touchdown pass production from just a year ago. Another thing that has to stand out for the Jaguars front office is the fact that Bortles has only thrown four interceptions all this season. That had to be a concern for the team after Bortles threw for a lackluster 17 interceptions in his rookie campaign. That poor decision making that Bortles was committing last year is non existent in his sophomore season. He is making good reads and delivering the ball quickly to all the Jaguar receivers, most notably Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. The young duo have emerged as promising threats for the Jags offense and much of that is due to Bortles ability to optimize this passing attack. If Bortles is ability to build on this performance confidence wise then it will be a huge step forward for this team. A quarterback that has the ability to toss for four touchdowns a game gives his team a much greater chance for success. That is why we have seen this Jaguars time slowly make strides and they are now being able to compete week in and week out. This was evident in their early season win against the Dolphins and they way they have played opponents much tougher. Oppose to past years when they often were a bottom tier team. The organization is clearly headed in the right direction and much of that success has to be credited to Black Bortles. A much improved player.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: World Vision

Go Donate! www.worldvision.org

Bengals show they are a force to be reckoned with by beating the Seahawks in overtime:

9390372386_6ec1316d3a_o

Photo credit: Trevor Navin

Author: Jon Kuzma

The match up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks was a big one because it was a game that the Bengals could really measure themselves as to where they stand in the playoff picture. The Seattle Seahawks have went to two consecutive Super Bowls and while they are not the team they used to be, they still are a formidable opponent. When the two teams finally met on the field yesterday in Cincinnati out of the gate it was all Seahawks. They marched to an early 17 point lead throughout the first 3 quarters of action. That is when Andy Dalton and company came surging back in the fourth quarter. Dalton would throw for 331 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception in the outing. Making his biggest throws when the Bengals needed him to step up the most. Those 17 points the Bengals scored in the fourth quarter showed that Dalton can be a big time performer even when facing adversity. Something a great team will always have to persevere through. And while Dalton and the offense rises up to the occasion, it was the defense who held the Seahawks offense scoreless in the fourth quarter. Effectively quarantining Russell Wilson with great efforts from Domata Peko, Rey Maualuga, and Vincent Rey. In overtime it was more of the same from the Bengals defense as they came up big again with the game coming down the stretch. A huge sack on third down by Emmanuel Lamar and Carlos Dunlap on third down forced another Seattle punt in overtime. That is where Giovanni Bernard was really able to bring this game home for the Bengals carrying the ball for four different rushing attempts putting the team in field goal range. Mike Nugent was able to close out the game with a 42 yard field goal in overtime on the following play. The win puts the Bengals at 5-0 on the season and makes this team a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They emerge as a direct threat to the New England Patriots in the AFC and will try to challenge that team throughout the remainder of the season.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/navin75

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Charity of the day: World Vision

Go Donate! www.worldvision.org

Football predictions for every week 5 game:

20965255214_62304f4073_o

Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Joey Carr

After four weeks of play in the 2015 Regular Season, it’s safe to say that it has been a pretty perplexing start to the year. There are an astounding six undefeated teams, which is an NFL record, but there are just nine teams total that have a winning record. Nine. That is unprecedented. To be fair, there are a fair amount of teams that are 2-2, but the fact still remains that there just aren’t that many above average teams this year. With that being said, it makes it extremely difficult to make predictions for the games. Upsets are bound to happen every week and you never know which teams will crack under the pressure. Can the Seahawks finally turn the corner and prove to everyone they’re legitimate by beating undefeated Cincinnati? Is the NFC South for real with 2 unbeaten squads? Which NFC East team will emerge as the frontrunner? All these questions could be answered this week with some marque matchups on the docket for Sunday.

Bills vs. Titans

In what looks like an underwhelming game on paper, this matchup could turn into an exciting thriller. The Bills are not what everyone expected them to be, as Rex Ryan’s team haven’t turned in consecutive consistent games all year. While they have a top 10 defense, they will be without their top two running backs, which could prove costly come Sunday. The Titans on the other hand are coming off a bye, and have looked decent thus far. Marcus Mariota is turning out to be exactly what Tennessee was looking for when they drafted him, and he’s going to have really be on his game when he faces that hard-hitting Bills defense.

Prediction: Bills 22 Titans 20

Browns vs. Ravens

It’s no secret; these two AFC North rivals have been nothing more than woeful. Cleveland has shown glimmers of improvement, but are still an average team at best. Their offense has talent, but not enough of it at this point. They still have Josh McCown at quarterback, and with him there they’re always going to be prone to losing football games. Baltimore has been a major disappointment this season, and they’re not going to be improving much in the coming weeks. Joe Flacco has been anything but elite thus far and the run game has been almost nonexistent. I see this game as a toss up that will come down to who commits less turnovers.

Prediction: Ravens 24 Browns 18

Bears vs. Chiefs

Before the season started, this looked like a better matchup than what it is now. Both teams have been an utter disappointment, as they are a combined 2-6. The Chiefs at 1-3 is a surprise, as they have tons of talent on both sides of the ball but have failed to put that talent to good use. However, they are seeming to figure out

how to execute on offense but they are still struggling tremendously on defense, which could prove to be an issue when they face the formidable Matt Forte.

Prediction: Chiefs 31 Bears 20

Seahawks vs. Bengals

Easily one of the more intriguing games of the afternoon, Seattle and Cincy are set to duel it out as one of the premier defenses in the league takes on one of the top offenses. Andy Dalton and company have been a huge surprise this year, taking a huge leap from last season and emerging as a legitimate threat in the AFC. The defense has some issues in the secondary but the Seahawks offense isn’t what you would call “pass-oriented”. Yes, they have been passing the ball more than previous years but they are producing the most points through the run game, which is where Cincy will be tested on Sunday. However, Marshawn Lynch will be out for the second straight week, making the Bengals job a lot easier. This game is going to come down to if Seattle can stop the Cincinnati offense, and with so many weapons for the Bengals, it might be harder than some people think.

Prediction: Bengals 27 Seahawks 24

Rams vs. Packers

After a coming-out game for Todd Gurley last week, this game becomes much more noteworthy. The Packers don’t have the best run defense, so Gurley could spell trouble for the Pack. However, Green Bay does possess possibly the best offense in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is having another MVP-type season and has all the weapons he needs to beat this Rams team. However, this has all the makings of an upset game, so don’t be surprised if St. Louis comes out of Lambeau with a W.

Prediction: Packers 28 Rams 21

Jaguars vs. Buccaneers

By the far the most underwhelming game of the day, no one knows what to expect from these two Florida teams. It could be a high scoring output where the two lackluster defenses stay lackluster, or turnovers could rule the game. It’s really a toss up at this point, but the Jags have shown more enthusiasm and ability on the season, as they were a field goal away from beating the Colts last week.

Prediction: Jaguars 17 Buccaneers 13

Saints vs. Eagles

In a battle of preseason Super Bowl picks, Sam Bradford looks to get the Eagles back on track. They still have a shot to win the mediocre NFC East if they can get the run and pass game going on a consistent basis. Demarco Murray has been flustered so far, but this could be a breakout week for him against a run-of-the-mill Saints defense.

Prediction: Eagles 28 Saints 19

Redskins vs. Falcons

This game could be one of the better clashes of the day. The Falcons are 4-0, a record no one thought they would have. Granted, they haven’t played the best teams, but the fact still remains that they have shown vast improvement from last year and are undefeated. The main aspect of this game to keep an eye on would be the Falcons newfound run game against the surprisingly respectable Redskins run defense. If the Skins can keep Devonta Freeman in check and limit the damage Julio Jones can cause, they will be sitting pretty atop the NFC East. However, the offense needs to step up tremendously, which might be a tough task with Desmond Trufant and Vic Beasley on the other side of the ball.

Prediction: Falcons 27 Redskins 23

Cardinals vs. Lions

The Detroit Lions were a penalty away from advancing to the NFC Divisional game last year. This year, they’re 0-4 and on the brink of fighting for a top 5 draft pick. I don’t think anyone would’ve guessed that the loss of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley would impact them this much. Their offense, on paper, looks like it should be one of the best in the NFL, but they’ve underachieved vastly so far. The Cardinals defense should be able to lock down Matthew Stafford and company and the offense should give the Motor City defense a handful to deal with.

Prediction: Cardinals 31 Lions 20

Broncos vs. Raiders

This divisional matchup might prove to be closer than most people are predicting. The Raiders are easily the most improved team from last year, with the AC/DC (Amari Cooper, Derek Carr) connection going strong and Latavius Murray leading the run game. Khalil Mack is a monster on defense, and should help make the Broncos rushing attack irrelevant for the fifth straight week. But Denver has other great weapons on offense and the best defense in the NFL, which should give them the upper hand in this divisional bout.

Prediction: Broncos 24 Raiders 17

Patriots vs. Cowboys

Definitely the Game of the Week, the two richest NFL franchises are set to go head to head under the lights in AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are, in a word, depleted. They are without Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Lance Dunbar on offense and have a banged up Sean Lee on defense. Their secondary is suspect, something Tom Brady will most definitely take full advantage of, but Dallas does get Greg Hardy and Ronaldo McClain back. Hardy is one of the best pass rushers in the league, and is set to give Brady all sorts of problems, but Number 12 should be up to the task. The Patriot offense is on an absolute tear as of late, and that trend should continue.

Prediction: Patriots 34 Cowboys 21

49ers vs. Giants

The Sunday Night game of the week is a bit of a let down, but should still be a competitive game nonetheless. The Niners have been exactly what everyone thought they would be: a basement team. Colin Kaepernick is a mess, plain and simple. If he keeps going the way he is, he will be benched by week 10. The only bright spot on offense for the Niners is Carlos Hyde, who should have a decent game on the ground. It might not be enough though, as Eli Manning and the Football Giants have looked like a contender as of late. They dismantled the Bills last week, and should do the same to San Fran this week on Sunday Night.

Prediction: Giants 26 49ers 13

Steelers vs. Chargers

A battle between two contenders in San Diego and Pittsburgh should produce a fourth quarter thriller. Phillip Rivers and Co. have been a bit inconsistent recently, but with Antonio Gates back in the mix, the Bolts offense should improve against a weak Steelers secondary. The Charger defense on the other hand has the impossible job of stopping Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but with Mike Vick at quarterback, you never know what you’ll get. In the end, this game will come down to which Antonio (Gates or Brown) has the better game.

Prediction: Steelers 28 Chargers 27

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrost88

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

 

 

 

1 202 203 204 205 206 217