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2017 SQ NFL Insiders: Week 5

Austin Taliaferro

With a TNF match-up between two preaseaon favorites, who do our Insiders think will pull out the win?

This week kicks off with a great match-up between the Patriots and the Buccaneers. New England all of a sudden finds itself 2-2 with a 1-2 record at home. The Buccaneers are at 2-1 and have a chance to establish themselves with a win over the Patriots on Thursday night. Our writers have the game as a split decision, but give the edge to New England, 29-25.

The second game of note occurs between the Packers and the Cowboys. A similar story to the first, Dallas finds itself surprisingly at 2-2 after an incredible season last year. Meanwhile, Green Bay is 3-1 with a chance to erase all doubts with a road win in Big D. Again our panel is split, finding in favor of the Packers, 31-30.

Check out how we did last week and who we have winning the rest of these Week 5 matchups!


Matchup

Mitch B

Nick C

Adrian N

New England at Tampa Bay
Buffalo at Cincinnati
NY Jets at Cleveland
Carolina at Detroit
San Francisco at Indianapolis
Tennessee at Miami
LA Chargers at NY Giants
Arizona at Philadelphia
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Baltimore at Oakland
Seattle at LA Rams
Green Bay at Dallas
Kansas City at Houston
Minnesota at Chicago
Total Record

30-1627-1927-19



Matchup

Avg Score

Winner

Why They’ll Win

Why They May Not

New England at Tampa Bay29-25New England’s defense has been atrocious all season, but on the other side, Tom Brady looks like he hasn’t declined one bit. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Pats are 41-6 in regular season games following a loss. Expect Brady to take care of business against a Bucs defense ranked 30th in yards allowed thus far. Entering Week 5, the Patriots’ defense is ranked dead last in the league. The unit has given up big play after big play, and helped revive a struggling Cam Newton in Week 4. Jameis Winston threw for three touchdowns and more than 300 yards last week against a much tougher Giants defense. Should Winston be able to follow up last week’s performance with another big one, the Bucs have a chance to take down the visiting Patriots.
Buffalo at Cincinnati23-24After a rough start to the season, the Bengals look to have taken steps in the right direction. The team was averaging 4.5 points per game prior to firing offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Since then, the offense has averaged 27.5 points per game. The Bengals finally have some confidence after destroying the Browns 31-7, and have a great chance to keep it going this week against an overperforming Buffalo team. The Bills have shocked the whole league with their 3-1 start, which can be largely credited to their defense. The unit currently ranks eighth in the NFL and is coming off a game in which it forced Matt Ryan into three turnovers. If the defense can do the same to Andy Dalton, who is prone to turnovers, the Bills can come out of Cincy with a win.
NY Jets at Cleveland20-13Somehow, the Jets are 2-2 after the first quarter of the season. The team is seventh in both rushing offense and passing defense, and now faces the inexperienced DeShone Kizer, who leads the league in interceptions. The Browns’ offense has challenged exactly no one and should allow the Jets to continue their unexpected success in Week 5. The Browns have had a season to forget thus far. If there’s one area they’ve done well in, it’s rush defense, as they are currently yielding just 87.2 yards per game on the ground. Another positive is first overall pick Myles Garrett’s return, as he will make his NFL debut on Sunday. Should the Browns’ defense hold the Jets’ offense below 14 points or so, Kizer and co. have a real chance to pull out a home win.
Carolina at Detroit20-23Detroit may be the NFL’s biggest surprise so far, and just won a hard-fought divisional game on the road. Cam Newton has played terribly aside from the his meeting with the Patriots, and will likely struggle against a formidable Lions defense. Cam Newton had a stellar game in Week 4 and must have a similar performance for the Panthers to win. On the other side of the ball, Carolina is fourth in scoring defense so far. The defense will have to come to play against a balanced Lions offense, but a Carolina win isn’t out of the question after last week’s road upset against the Patriots.
San Francisco at Indianapolis20-25The Colts have done something this season that the 49ers have failed to do: win a game. Yes, it was against the winless Browns, but the 49ers just lost last week to the winless Cardinals. Jacoby Brisset has shown flashes of competence and the Colts still have a solid surrounding cast in T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and the somehow-still-in-the-league Frank Gore. Those reasons plus the added boost of playing at home can lead to a win for Indy.Despite owning the sole win between these two teams, the Indianapolis Colts own the worst point differential in the league as well. San Francisco has shown an ability to keep games close if the game comes down to Brisset or Hoyer avoiding the big mistake, the edge goes slightly to Brian Hoyer and the San Francisco 49ers.
Tennessee at Miami21-19The Miami Dolphins have lost by a combined score of 40-6 to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, although they are coming off an embarrassing loss last week, the Titans have at least shown flashes of being a good team. Their run-led defense should rebound against a poor Dolphins linebacking core, leading to a successful afternoon for the Titans.I just had to Google who the Titans’ back-up quarterback is and apparently it’s Matt Cassell. If Mariota is too hurt to play and the Titans have to rely on him, they are in serious trouble, even against the Dolphins. And even in the case Mariota plays, a hamstring injury will limit his effectiveness and allow a better than advertised Dolphins defense to key the run, rush the passer, and stifle the Titans attack.
LA Chargers at NY Giants20-24Someone will get their first win this season when these two teams face off. The Giants are immensely more talented than the Chargers. With their receiving corp getting healthier and their backfield perhaps getting a breath of fresh air in Wayne Gallman, the Giants should have enough to hold off Rivers at home.Say what you will about the winless Chargers, but they are always in the game. The offense has play makers at every position and the defense has played well enough to win. If Phillip Rivers can carry Madame Zeroni’s great grandchild up the mountain and heal the family curse, maybe they can win this week.
Arizona at Philadelphia21-26At 3-1 and atop the NFC East, the Eagles are proving right those who had faith in them preseason. Carson Wentz has looked great and has massively improved his play, which has been reflected in his numbers, notably his QBR. Philly is back at home where they will be able to feed of the energy of the crowd … provided they aren’t trailing at the half.The Cardinals needed 68 minutes last week to knock off the 49ers, but they got it done. Larry Fitzgerald looks like he’s 25 again and the Eagles’ corners may struggle to cover him in the slot where he has managed to revitalize and extend his career. If the Zona defense can limit Blount and Smallwood and force Wentz into some hero ball, then they will have an opportunity to capitilize on some potential Eagles’ miscues.
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh17-21Big Ben plays massively better at home, which is good news for Antonio Brown fantasy owners everywhere. Although the Jaguars’ defense is good, they will have a tough time containing both Brown and LeVeon Bell, and they will have an even tougher time if Bortles turns the ball over and puts them in difficult situations.The Jaguars have looked dramatically different week to week. It’s an odd numbered week, which probably means they’ll look fantastic. But in all seriousness, the defense is going to play well. If Bortles can avoid the big mistake and instead put up enough points to counter the typical output of a Steelers offense full of playmakers, then the Jaguars will win this game.
Baltimore at Oakland17-16David Carr is out. That means: ignore the very real struggles that this Ravens team has demonstrated because they will be playing against EJ Manuel. HAH! The Ravens catch a break here and if their defense plays well as they have on US soil, then they should get enough from Flacco to win.Flacco has looked dreadful and the Raiders are playing at home, which are the two main ticks in Oakland’s column this week. This is also a huge opportunity for Marshawn Lynch. After having success in two matches to start the season, he has put up two stinkers. With Carr out, Lynch has the opportunity to put the team on his back and go full Beast Mode.
Seattle at LA Rams21-23This is a huge game for the LA Rams. They lead the division and are coming off a great win against the Dallas Cowboys on the road. They now have an opportunity to host the defending NFC West Champs and establish a new pecking order in the division. The Rams’ offense has looked great and this Seattle team will give up the big play. The Rams have also historically played Seattle tough and will look to do that again this week.Russell Wilson is still the best quarterback in this division, despite the recent emergence of Goff. Wilson has been single-handedly keeping the offense afloat and playing at an unreal level while doing it. Seattle understands that this a big game, so expect the defense to be firing on all cylinders. If Wilson can pull a few rabbits out of the hat, it should be enough to get the win.
Green Bay at Dallas31-30Despite some recent injuries, Green Bay’s offense is clicking right now, posting 31 points per game the past two weeks. The Cowboys’ defense is banged up and was just shredded by Jared Goff at home, which means a quarterback of Aaron Rodgers’ caliber should have little trouble putting up lots of points. Dak Prescott has never suffered back-to-back losses in his short career. On top of that, the Packers’ run defense is mediocre, and if Ezekiel Elliott can get going early while Prescott protects the ball, the Cowboys can get back to dominating time of possession and keep Rodgers off the field. This formula is how the Cowboys win, and when executed properly, they can beat anyone.
Kansas City at Houston23-26Deshaun Watson seems to want Offensive Rookie of the Year and is on his way to getting it. He has the offense clicking and his play over four games has been incredible. Kansas City, while undefeated, have been close with all of their opponents in the fourth quarter. Houston will be in this game and has the talent to win it.Kansas City is the league’s final unbeaten team. They continue to prove naysayers wrong and win games against quality opponents. They are playing against a rookie quarterback and against an offense line that has struggled this season. The Chiefs can rush the passer and if they get to Watson, they will win this game.
Minnesota at Chicago22-14Minnesota has played well all year. In particular, the Vikings’ passing game and defense have looked excellent. The Vikings have two great receivers that can make almost any QB look competent, and an impressive defensive unit will post trouble for a Bears team that will sport Mitchell Trubisky making his career debut.Case Keenum is the furthest thing from reliable. Although he can do enough to win, he more often than not does more than enough to lose. With Dalvin Cook now out, the Bears’ offense may be better as their run game 1-2 combo of Howard and Cohen may surpass the Vikings’ receiving 1-2 combo of Diggs and Thielen.


Edited by Emily Berman, Amelia Shein.

SQuiz
How long was Mason Crosby's kick to beat Dallas in the 2017 NFC Divisional Playoff game?
Created 10/5/17
  1. 41 yards
  2. 46 yards
  3. 51 yards
  4. 56 yards

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