The New Orleans Saints go into the bye week with a 2-2 record. Things looked absolutely dire for the Black and Gold after the first two weeks, but the Saints have rallied during the last two weeks and fans feel like the team has a chance to shake the demons of their recent past.
With the Saints off the schedule this week, we will focus on the the rest of the Week 5 action and see if it has the potential to be a memorable week in the NFL. There are plenty of storylines to follow this week, and plenty of teams to root against.
Last week I went 10-6
I told you so: Saints over Dolphins!
What do I know: Patriots over Panthers?
Thursday, October 5th - Thursday Night Football
Patriots(2-2) at Buccaneers(2-1)
No one is better at getting his team to rebound following a loss than Bill Belichick. That may just take a hit in this game though. On a short week on the road, New England will have to face a Bucs team that matches up much closer against them than many would think. Tom Brady will get in his shots against Tampa’s disappointing defense, but Jameis Winston and Mike Evans will easily victimize the NFL’s worst defense. This will be a close one but Tampa will pull out a big upset against the Pats. Tampa wins 33-27.
Sunday, October 8th - Early Games
The recently resurgent Jets will continue their roll in Cleveland, thanks to their strong running game. Jets win 24-17.
Carolina isn't as good as their win at Foxboro last week would lead many to believe. They will however carry over some of the confidence gained in that game to steal away a victory in Detroit. Much like the last Lions loss at home, Matthew Stafford will fail to punch the game-winning touchdown into the end zone as time expires. Carolina wins 30-26.
Homefield advantage will be enough for Indy to pick up the victory against winless San Francisco. Indianapolis wins 23-20.
Tennessee will rebound from their embarrassing loss last week, as they face the NFL’s worst offense in Miami. Tennessee wins 27-10.
Buffalo will continue to roll, as they will wear down Cincy’s stout defense with an attacking, ball-control rushing attack. Buffalo wins 24-20.
Los Angeles will play much better away from the unfriendly confines of their home stadium. Although this is a matchup of winless teams, expect this game to be pretty good. The passing yards in this one will be plentiful, but so will the interceptions. Philip Rivers will ultimately make fewer mistake than Eli Manning and that will be the difference in this game. Los Angeles wins 17-14.
Jacksonville’s up-and-down, carnival ride of a season will face its toughest challenge yet, as they travel to Pittsburgh to face the NFL’s second-ranked defense. Pittsburgh has yet to hit their stride on offense, but this team may just be the best complete unit they’ve fielded in years. Defense wins the day in this one, and the Black and Yellow have the better squad. Pittsburgh wins 17-12.
Philly has proven themselves the class of the NFC East here early on, and without a running game to speak of, Arizona will fall victim to the Eagles in this game. Philadelphia wins 28-20.
Sunday, October 8th - Late Games
Following a huge win in Dallas, there may just be a letdown for Los Angeles as they face their division rivals coming off a confidence-boosting win themselves. Seattle wins 24-21.
What may have looked like a potential playoff preview in the preseason now looks like anything but. With Derek Carr out with a broken back, Oakland’s confidence may be broken as well. Maybe Joe Flacco’s confidence is broken, which would explain how miserable Baltimore’s passing game is. Ultimately, it will be the disappointing defenses of both teams that will at least make this matchup interesting. More points will be scored than expected, but Baltimore will squeak out a razor-thin victory in Oakland. Baltimore wins 31-30.
This rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional Playoff will not be as thrilling as that game, but that would be difficult to ask at any rate. Dallas is good, but only good. There’s nothing exceptional about this team compared to last seasons squad. Green Bay is the better team, and Aaron Rodgers will once again lead the Packers to victory in JerryWorld. Green Bay wins 31-24.
Sunday Night Football
Over recent seasons, Houston has regularly fielded a top-tier defense, but for the last two weeks the Texans offense has looked unstoppable. Now Houston will face their toughest challenge yet as they host the NFL’s lone undefeated team, in the Chiefs. Kansas City has been underwhelming on defense, despite their talent, but the Chiefs’ outstanding rushing attack coupled with their surprising passing game, will give them enough to win a tough contest against a surging opponent on the road. Kansas City wins 24-23.
Monday, October 9th - Monday Night Football
Chicago starts the Mitchell Trubisky era with this divisional matchup against a Minnesota roster ravaged by injury at their skill positions. Trubisky won't have to carry the burden of success for the Bears as their defense has been better than they get credit for. He’ll also get a lot of support from the Chicago running game. The rookie quarterback will get the win in his first career start. Chicago wins 20-17.
There we go, Week 5 is shaping up to be pretty interesting. The Saints may not be playing this week, but the team and the fans have renewed hope going forward. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!