The Colts lost a nail-biter in Houston last week. An overtime field goal was the difference. Now it’s on to New England on Thursday night…in Foxborough. The Colts have lost seven straight to the Patriots and haven’t won at Gillette Stadium since 2006…New England 35, Indianapolis 23.
How Buffalo beat Minnesota one week and got blanked by Green Bay the next is beyond belief. The Bills do get to play at home, but the Titans are coming off an overtime win over Philadelphia. The Titans defense is strong and is a big reason why Tennessee is 3-1. Make it 4-1… Tennessee 22, Buffalo 7.
The Dolphins once again lost to the Patriots and in big fashion, 38-7. The loss knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten. Now they face a Cincinnati team that is 3-1 after last week’s win over the Falcons. In 2016, the two teams met in Cincinnati, site of Sunday’s game. The Bengals were 22-7 winners. They will repeat on Sunday… Cincinnati 28, Miami 7.
The Ravens have turned into the class of the AFC North. Baltimore beat its fiercest rival, the Steelers, last week in Pittsburgh to move to 3-1 on the season. The Browns…well…they’re the Browns. Holding a 28-21 lead going into the fourth quarter, Cleveland allowed Oakland to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime. And, Baltimore has won five straight in the series…Baltimore 27, Cleveland 10.
The NFC North heats up as Green Bay travels to Detroit. Aaron Rodgers is 8-0-1 in his last nine starts. The Lions (1-3) just can’t seem to get a break. They beat New England at home one week and then give up 152 rushing yards to Ezekiel Elliot in a loss to Dallas. The Lions have actually won the last two games in the series. Three is not going to happen… Green Bay 27, Detroit 24.
The matchup of the week pits Jacksonville against Kansas City in what could be a preview of the AFC championship. The Chiefs have arguably the best offense in the NFL. The Jags are No. 1 in scoring defense allowing just 14 points a game. Jacksonville hasn’t beaten Kansas City since 2009 and has not won in Arrowhead Stadium since 2007. Defense usually wins, but not in this one… Kansas City 33, Jacksonville 27.
The Jets are still the Jets as they showed with a whopping 178 yards of total offense in a loss to Jacksonville last week. Rookie Sam Darnold managed to lead the Jets to 10 first downs. Now, New York has to face Denver, which has a defense that sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson six times. This could get ugly… Denver 38, NY Jets 17.
The Steelers have not a home game yet this season. Heinz Field is one of the more difficult places to play in the NFL, but when you rush for 19 yards as Pittsburgh did in last week’s loss to Baltimore good things don’t usually happen. The Falcons (1-3) gave up 37 points to Cincinnati last week and are giving up 31 a game for the season. The Steelers have lost to Atlanta just twice dating back to the Falcons inaugural season in 1966… Pittsburgh 34, Atlanta 30.
The Giants still can’t figure out how to run the football. That is one of the reasons why they are 1-3. The 2-1 Panthers had an extra week to prepare. Carolina has won the last two games in the series winning 38-0 at home back in 2013. This could be a repeat… Carolina 35, NY Giants 10.
The Raiders came from behind to beat Cleveland last week and give head coach Jon Gruden his first NFL victory in over 10 years. The Chargers (2-2) had some trouble with San Francisco, but won 29-27 to even their record. The Chargers won both games last year and it’s hard to envision the Raiders defense stopping Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, and company… LA Chargers 30, Oakland 21.
What is going on in Minnesota? Four games into the season and the Vikings are 1-2-1. The offense is putting up points, but the defense isn’t stopping them. Now, Minnesota gets Philadelphia, which is just 2-2 after a loss to Tennessee. The Eagles won both games, including the AFC title game, last season and they are 2-0 ...Minnesota 24, Philadelphia 27.
The Cardinals are a disaster. They benched their starting quarterback in favor of rookie Josh Rosen. He responded by going 15-of-27 for 180 yards in a 20-17 loss to Seattle. Arizona is now 0-4 entering Sunday’s game with the 49ers, a team they have beaten six times in a row. Seven is not going to happen… San Francisco 23, Arizona 17.
Is there anything the Rams cannot do? At 4-0, the Rams are averaging 35 points a game on offense and giving up just 16.8. Quarterback Jared Goff is completing 72 percent of his passes and Todd Gurley is second in the NFL in rushing. Seattle? A 20-17 win over San Francisco made them 2-2. The Rams won 42-7 in Seattle last December. It’ll happen again… LA Rams 35, Seattle 17.
The Texans (1-3) finally got a win over Indianapolis last week. They had to go to overtime to get it. Now, they will play for the Governor’s Cup against 2-2 Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott went off for 152 yards in a win over Detroit last week. Houston has only beaten Dallas once in four tries and that was back in 2002. Make it five… Dallas 27, Houston 13.
The Redskins had last week off giving them more time to prepare for Monday night’s game with New Orleans. They will need it as they face one of the highest-scoring offenses (34.3 points per game) in the NFL. The Saints won in overtime last year at home. It might not be overtime, but New Orleans wins again… New Orleans 35, Washington 27.
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2018 NFL Football Season
Indianapolis @ Houston
The once virtually unstoppable Colts offense has been anything but thus far in the 2015 season. Indianapolis had to find a way to beat Jacksonville last week. The Texans are 1-3 and haven’t fared much better. In Houston, head coach Bill O’Brien gets the win his Texans need to get back on track…. Houston 21, Indianapolis 17.
Seattle @ Cincinnati
Two franchises that are built along the same lines clash in Week 5. The Bengals may be the most efficient offense in the NFL. Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill lead the running game and QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green control the passing game. The status of Marshawn Lynch may determine the outcome in this one… Cincinnati 34, Seattle 31.
Cleveland @ Baltimore
The Browns haven’t beat the Ravens in Baltimore since 2007 and have only one win in the series since (2013). Baltimore got its first win of the season a week ago against division rival Pittsburgh. A second straight AFC North win puts Baltimore back on track… Baltimore 34, Cleveland 17.
St. Louis @ Green Bay
The Rams are one of the more intriguing teams in the NFL this season. With new QB Nick Foles, the offense has looked phenomenal in wins over Seattle and last week against previously undefeated Arizona. St. Louis has two quality wins over arguably the best teams in their division. The problem is that the offense has also played poorly in losses to Pittsburgh and Washington. The Rams put up just 16 points in those losses. The Packers are practically unbeatable in Lambeau. They are 4-0 so far and about to go to 5-0… Green Bay 30, St. Louis 14.
New England @ Dallas
The Patriots are coming off an early season bye week. Head coach Bill Belichick does not lose very often when he has had an extra week to prepare for an opponent. New England’s offense looks unstoppable. QB Tom Brady leads the NFL in passing and has only played in three games. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is averaging over 19 yards a catch and has four touchdowns and the always productive Julian Edelman has 30 receptions in three games. New England takes on a Dallas team that will once again play without QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys offense was already without All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant, but the offense played well under backup QB Brandon Weeden in a 39-28 loss to Atlanta. Still, it’s the Patriots… New England 48, Dallas 20.
Pittsburgh @ San Diego
The Chargers offense has played well enough to be 4-0, but the defense has had trouble with Cincinnati and Minnesota both of which have strong ground games. The Vikings Adrian Peterson and the Bengals Gio Bernard each ran for over 100 yards against the Chargers defense. San Diego will face last year’s second-leading rusher Le’Veon Bell who ran for 129 yards in a loss to Baltimore last week. Bell is likely to carry much of the offensive load as the Steelers will play without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger again. He is out with a knee injury and will miss at least another four weeks. Michael Vick has played erratically in his place and it will be up to Bell to take some of the pressure off of the 15-year veteran. San Diego has won two games, both at home, and lost two, both on the road. At home, the Chargers find a way… San Diego 26, Pittsburgh 23.
San Francisco @ New York Giants
What happened to the 49ers offense? QB Colin Kaepernick has been horrible and San Francisco has scored just 48 points in four games. That combined with the fact that the defense can’t really stop anybody has led to a 1-3 start under new head coach Jim Tomsula. Kaepernick was sacked six times in last week’s 17-3 loss to Green Bay. While the Giants are no Green Bay, their defense played well last week limiting Buffalo to just 10 points in a 24-10 win. The Giants offense is still pass heavy. Leading rusher Rashad Jennings has just 96 yards rushing in four games. Still, New York should have enough firepower to take care of the 49ers… NY Giants 31, San Francisco 12.
Buffalo @ Tennessee
The Bills looked like a real contender after losing by just eight to New England and then blowing out the Dolphins 41-14. Last week, they took a step backwards in a 24-10 loss to the New York Giants. The league’s leading rushing attack (152.7 yards per game) could only muster 55 yards and QB Tyrod Taylor didn’t have much success until the second half completing 28-of-42 for 274 yards. The Titans had a bye week in preparation for the Bills. After beating Tampa Bay in Week 1, Tennessee has dropped two straight and given up 63 points in the process. Quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to become acclimated to life as a pro quarterback. He has thrown for 833 yards in three games, but his quarterback rating is just 50.6. Even with the extra week, Buffalo isn’t going to lose two in a row… Buffalo 23, Tennessee 10.
New Orleans @ Philadelphia
The Saints and Eagles were both favorites in their respective divisions entering the 2015 season. After four weeks, each team finds its playoff hopes slipping away. The Eagles squandered a late lead against Washington last week and gave the Redskins a 23-20 victory. The loss drops Philadelphia to 1-3 on the season. The once potent Eagles running game is now among the league’s worst. After four weeks, head coach Chip Kelly and the offense are 30th in the NFL averaging just 64.3 yards rushing per game. At some point the offense has to gel. The Saints finally won their first game in dramatic fashion when QB Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller for an 80-yard touchdown pass to beat Dallas in overtime last week. New Orleans fans would like to see more of that, but Spiller and WR Brandin Cooks are going to have to be more involved in the offense… New Orleans 28, Philadelphia 24.
Chicago @ Kansas City
The Bears finally got a win at home against the Raiders last week. Quarterback Jay Cutler hit on 28-of-43 passes for 281 yards and two TDs and kicker Robbie Gould hit a 49-yard field goal with 2:03 to play to give Chicago a 22-20 win. The Bears offense is averaging just over 15 points per game and the defense is among the worst in the league. After four games, Chicago is allowing 35 points a game. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have dropped three straight albeit to three Super Bowl contenders. Head coach Andy Reid’s team lost by a touchdown to Denver, by 10 to Green Bay, and lost 36-21 last week to Cincinnati. At 1-3, it will be an uphill battle but the Chiefs have what it takes to be a playoff contender… Kansas City 35, Chicago 17.