And then there was one. Only one team remains unbeaten in the 2010 NFL season: The Kansas City Chiefs (3-0). It’s been amazingly difficult to pick games this season, but I’m still going to try. I’m still at over .500 for the season, although I’m slowly regressing toward the mean.
Last week’s prediction record: 8-6
Record on the season: 26-20
Upset Special record: 2-1
For my Week 5 Power Rankings, click here.
Here are my predictions for Week 5 of the 2010 NFL season:
Bye Week Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1), New England Patriots (3-1), Miami Dolphins (2-2), Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Honestly, how many people had the Chiefs coming into Indianapolis at 3-0? How about the Colts at 2-2 after four games? Although Kansas City is a lot better than they were last year and the Colts are a bit worse, it’s going to be tough for the Chiefs defense to stop Peyton Manning at home.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Indianapolis Colts defeat Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Kyle Orton, meet the Baltimore Ravens defense. Baltimore defense, meet Kyle Orton. Orton has been terrific gaining yards this season, but the Denver offense hasn’t been able to fully capitalize on the ball movement. The Ravens have struggled on offense for most of the season, but their defense has propelled them to a 3-1 start. The dominant idea here, however, is consistency. Denver has the potential to win this game, but they have been wildly inconsistent this season. Baltimore, meanwhile, has paired strong defense with mediocre offense all season. I’ll take consistency any day over inconsistency, no matter how talented the inconsistent team is.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Baltimore Ravens defeat Denver Broncos
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Buffalo Bills (0-4)
Trent Edwards makes his return to Buffalo a mere two weeks after being released, albeit as David Garrard’s backup. Garrard played tremendously in Week 4 against the Colts, while Edwards’ replacement, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was horrible against the Jets. I don’t know when the Bills are going to win a game, and if they keep playing like last week, maybe I should say if the Bills are going to win a game.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars defeat Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
If Carson Palmer continues to play well like he did in Week 4 against Cleveland, the Bengals have a good shot of beating an up-and-coming Buccaneers team. If Palmer struggles like he did earlier in the season, however, the Bucs have a shot to pull off an upset and defeat the inconsistent Cincinnati team. I still think Palmer is a good quarterback, and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for now, but a bad game here will make it tough to trust him for the rest of the season.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta Falcons (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-3)
The Browns were able to pick up their first win of the season against the Bengals, but they still don’t look like a very good team. Atlanta, meanwhile, needs to prove their worth after barely winning against the lowly 49ers. I expect Atlanta to crush the Browns like they crushed the Cardinals in Week 2.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Atlanta Falcons defeat Cleveland Browns
St. Louis Rams (2-2) at Detroit Lions (0-4)
Sam Bradford and the Rams have won back-to-back games. Their winning streak will be tested by a Lions team that has played better than their 0-4 record indicates, but St. Louis should be able to come out victorious.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: St. Louis Rams defeat Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2) **Upset Special**
I still think Green Bay has the talent to be the NFC’s representative to the Super Bowl, but they’ve played extremely undisciplined ball the last two weeks. They also are feeling the effects of not having a good running game, and need to find a better replacement for Ryan Grant than Brandon Jacobs. The Redskins aren’t a great team, but they have a chance to knock off a Green Bay team that is coming off a loss to the Bears and a two-point win over the Lions.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Washington Redskins defeat Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-4)
The Bears are going to struggle on offense, even if Jay Cutler is able to return from his concussion, if the O-line plays as poorly as they did last Sunday. The Bears defense should be able to smother a team like the Panthers, but this game might not see more than one offensive touchdown scored between the two teams.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Chicago Bears defeat Carolina Panthers
New York Giants (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1)
Eli Manning has been struggling this season. The Houston Texans’ pass defense has also been awful, ranking dead last in the league in terms of yards allowed. Whoever holds up the longest wins this game.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Houston Texans defeat New York Giants
New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
The Saints need to get their offense in-sync, and there are few better places to do that than against an Arizona defense that has been getting shredded by opposing offenses. This game should be no problem for the defending champs.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: New Orleans Saints defeat Arizona Cardinals
Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
Somehow, the Cowboys are still considered the “favorite” to win this contest. Tennessee hasn’t done themselves any favors in their two losses: the Titans have turned the ball over nine times and committed 21 penalties in their losses. Dallas is coming off a good game against the Texans and a Bye Week, but their running game still looks stagnant. The Titans followed up their first loss with a statement win against the Giants, and I expect them to do it again against the Cowboys.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Tennessee Titans defeat Dallas Cowboys
San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-3)
The Chargers have actually played better than their 2-2 record indicates. They’ve consistently gained more yards than their opponents, but lost to the Chiefs and the Seahawks because they couldn’t hold onto the ball or allowed Leon Washington to return two kicks for touchdowns. This should be an easy win over a weak AFC West rival.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: San Diego Chargers defeat Oakland Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (0-4)
The Eagles struggled against the Redskins after Michael Vick left with a rib injury. Regardless of whether Vick or Kevin Kolb starts for Philadelphia, they should be able to beat the most dysfunctional team in America, the 49ers. It’s just a matter of whether they dominate San Francisco or win by a touchdown.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles defeat San Francisco 49ers
Monday Night Game: Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1)
This year’s Brett Favre won’t be able to handle the Jets defense. This year’s Mark Sanchez should be able to put up decent stats against the Minnesota Vikings defense. The bigger battle will be between the teams’ running backs, Adrian Peterson and LaDanian Tomlinson.
2010 Week 5 Prediction: New York Jets defeat Minnesota Vikings
All stats and standings from espn.com