Last Week’s Record: 7-7
Overall Season Record: 36-26
Broncos @ Chiefs
The headline of this Thursday Night matchup is the health of Travis Kelce. Kelce suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter against the Vikings. He returned in the second half but was limping around at times. Whether Kelce plays or not will only affect how much the score in which the Chiefs win this game. The Broncos have struggled against lower-level teams, so they likely will continue that strek against the reigning champions. Denver should install a defensive game plan similar to the one the Detroit Lions did in Week 1, making the Chiefs’ receivers find open zones and make tough catches. But with how Denver’s defense has looked this year, it’s doubtful they’ll be able to slow down the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes should be able to carry Kansas City to a win this week regardless.
Chiefs 34, Broncos 17
Ravens @ Titans
The NFL is having a game in London for the third week. The Ravens and Titans are similar in how they prefer to run the ball on offense. However, both teams made offseason acquisitions to help air it out more efficiently. Both Baltimore and Tennessee have also been inconsistent to start the season. The Ravens did struggle to move the ball in the second half against the Steelers, which could be a sign of future struggles. Baltimore has lagged on the ground in recent years when J.K. Dobbins and other top rushing options get injured, and that was a key factor as to why they lost to Pittsburgh. If Jeffery Simmons and the Titans’ defense can continue stopping the run as they have in most games this season, they should have a good chance. The identity of the Ravens’ defense is in their rush defense which could give Tennesee problems on their end. This could be another strange London game, but Derrick Henry should be the difference.
Titans 21, Ravens 20
Commanders @ Falcons
After winning their first two games, the Commanders lost three straight. Following its most recent defeat to the formerly winless Bears on Thursday night, Ron Rivera may switch his offensive game plan. Brian Robinson and Terry McLaurin are Washington’s best offensive weapons and need the ball a lot. Most plays that do not end with McLaurin or Robinson with the ball haven’t ended well, and Sam Howell needs to get the ball in their hands. Howell has struggled with turning the ball over this season, and the Falcons have played very well defensively. If Desmond Ridder can involve Drake London and Kyle Pitts, the Falcons should take this game easily. However, involving his receiving options in the passing game has been something that Ridder has struggled with dating back to last season. However, the Falcons have a better defense, which should be able to pressure Howell and force enough turnovers to win.
Falcons 20, Commanders 16
Vikings @ Bears
The Vikings will be without Justin Jefferson for the next four weeks. Not to downplay the importance of Jefferson to this offense, but Minnesota may be able to continue their offensive success even without their All-Pro receiver. Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn played well against the Chiefs, and could really take advantage of their increased targets without Jefferson. T.J. Hockenson also played a bigger role in the passing game after Jefferson left. Kirk Cousins has proved he can make the most out of his weapons and should be able to against Chicago. On the other hand, the Bears have played significantly better over their last two games. Justin Fields has averaged almost 350 total yards and four touchdowns over his last two games. D.J. Moore has broken out and has helped with the improvements of Chicago’s offense. However, the Bears will be without Khalil Herbert in Week 6. Chicago may struggle in short-yardage situations with Roschon Johnson also dealing with a concussion. If D’Onta Foreman is the Bears’ only active running back, they will have problems on the ground. The lack of depth at the running back position will ultimately be Chicago’s downfall this week, even with Minnesota’s history of playing down to competition.
Vikings 28, Bears 27
Seahawks @ Bengals
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are back, playing at the level that fans have desired them to be at. The Bengals struggled offensively in the first four weeks, but they bounced back in a big way in Week 5. Chase had 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, one of the best performances of his career. The matchup between Chase and Riq Woolen may decide this matchup between Cincinnati and Seattle. The Seahawks' defense will need to contain Burrow and the passing offense to defeat the Bengals. Their offense is solid enough to keep them in games. However, Geno Smith isn’t the kind of quarterback to will a team to victory. The Bengals should continue their delayed success this season, and potentially reach the top spot in the AFC North.
Bengals 27, Seahawks 20
49ers @ Browns
The San Francisco 49ers have looked to be the most dominant team in football so far this season, after crushing the Dallas Cowboys 42-10 on Sunday Night Football. The Browns’ defense has also looked like one of the most dominant units in football, allowing only three points in half of their games. Although the Browns have played very well on the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers have looked unstoppable on offense. Whether it’s been Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, or one of the receivers, San Francisco’s playmakers have taken over every game. Both Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey are in serious MVP discussions, and their campaigns should continue in Week 6 without much concern.
49ers 28, Browns 14
Panthers @ Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa should lead another performance similar to the one he led in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos. It may honestly be a surprise if the Dolphins are not able to win by 20 or more points, considering their opponent. Miami’s offense is too much for most defenses in the NFL to contain, let alone a Carolina defense that is bottom-five in points per game allowed. The Dolphins should be able to test potential new run schemes now that they are without De’von Achane, who is on injured reserve. Hopefully Bryce Young can string together a few drives that can help him develop some comfort for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, there is not a very likely chance that his defense gets nearly enough stops to help him compete for a win.
Dolphins 42, Panthers 10
Colts @ Jaguars
The Colts will have a new look offensively for the next few weeks after placing Anthony Richardson on injured reserve. Indianapolis will likely look to run the ball more with Zack Moss and Jonathan Taylor as he returns to a full workload. The Colts shouldn’t ignore the passing game though, as Gardener Minshew is more adjusted to NFL football than the rookie Richardson. How they adjust without Richardson could impact their future playoff picture. The Jacksonville Jaguars are finally coming back from London after playing back-to-back games across the pond, which has played a factor in their inconsistent play this season, beating higher-level teams like Buffalo while losing an inner-division to the Texans. Travis Etienne seems to have solidified his role in the Jaguars’ offense as the go-to guy when it comes to short-yardage situations. The Jaguars seem to have begun to piece everything together offensively after five weeks, and should defeat the Richardson-less Colts in Week 6.
Jaguars 27, Colts 21
Saints @ Texans
Both the Saints and Texans are looking to win to take potential control of their divisions on Sunday. C.J. Stroud continues to impress this season. Stroud is third in total passing yards, ahead of guys like Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts. One of Stroud’s favorite receivers, Tank Dell, is likely to miss Week 6 with a concussion. Although this may hinder his success, Stroud has proven he doesn’t need the perfect receiving core around him to thrive. Nico Collins is currently eighth in total receiving yards this season due to Stroud being able to find him almost every time he gets open. The Saints do have a solid defense to prevent Stroud from continuing his success though. New Orleans has allowed the fourth-fewest amount of passing yards per game, one of only 11 teams to allow fewer than 200 passing yards per game. This, combined with their top-eight rush defense in yards per game, will cause issues for the Texans offense as a whole. Houston may go three-and-out a few more times this week than they are used to, but Stroud has shown even when he has been contained for a few drives, he is always one read away from a big gain. This game should come down to the final drives, and Stroud showed last week that he can lead a two-minute drill and score a go-ahead touchdown. This game should be one of the more entertaining matchups of the week.
Texans 24, Saints 20
Patriots @ Raiders
Coming off the two worst losses in Bill Belichick’s career in terms of margin of loss, the Patriots look to bounce back against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have stayed in most of their games this season, despite their low-scoring offense. Las Vegas’ defense isn’t particularly inspiring, even though they have kept the team alive four out of their five games. The Raiders have contained non-elite quarterbacks this season, which can help them defeat the Patriots. Mac Jones may be playing for his future on the team, as he has not played well this season, with New England’s offense has scored three total points over their past two games combined. If Jones’ struggles continue, Belichick could look into starting backup Bailey Zappe for a game to see if he can kickstart this offense. For this week, the Patriots should try to dominate on the ground. If Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott can complement each other in the rushing attack, New England should have a good chance in this game. However, their passing game would also need to improve drastically from the level they have been at in their last two games to give them a shot in this one.
Raiders 24, Patriots 13
Cardinals @ Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the most surprising offenses in the NFL, with Matthew Stafford leading the team by throwing for the fourth-most yards in the league. The return of Cooper Kupp only helped Puka Nacua, as he saw less attention from the Philadelphia defense a week ago. With Nacua and Kyren Williams breaking out this season, Los Angeles has proven that their scheme alone can keep them in games. Every loss the Rams have suffered has been by less than 10 points, showing their ability to stay in games as well. Given they have played the two undefeated teams in the NFC, their fight has been impressive. The Cardinals’ impressive start to the season, where they stayed competitive in their first two games and beat Dallas, seems to be a mirage as they have lost their last two by multiple scores. On the road, they won’t be able to deal with the Rams weapons on offense.
Rams 27 Cardinals 9
Eagles @ Jets
The Philadelphia Eagles are undefeated, but they have been in mostly close games. Four of their games have been decided by single-digit margins. The Jets can keep this game close by using Breece Hall as the fundamental piece of the offense. New York will need to get Garrett Wilson involved as well, whether it’s through giving him screen passes or over the field to let him go to work. If they can control the clock in the first half, the Jets could have a chance. If they can’t, the Eagles should dominate. While the Jets defense has proven to be elite, there’s simply too many toys for Jalen Hurts to play with here.
Eagles 38, Jets 13
Lions @ Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has been one of the more impressive teams so far, starting 3-1. Led by Baker Mayfield, the Buccanneers have scored enough to keep them in most games. Tampa Bay’s success has been somewhat unexplainable. They lost Tom Brady in the offseason but their offense has stayed at about the same level. Their defense helped them beat two NFC North teams, and they were all-around dominant versus the Saints in Week 4. However, the Lions are one of the hottest teams in football. Their domination of the Packers on Thursday Night Football has set the tone for their season-long expectations. The Lions’ offense has been great, averaging the sixth most yards per game, and the fourth most points. This game may come down to which team can get more stops, but the Lions seem to be clicking on almost all cylinders at this point. The Bucs’ defense will keep them in this one, but Detroit will just edge them out.
Lions 17, Buccaneers 13
Giants @ Bills
The Buffalo Bills struggled to score in the first three-quarters of their London game last week, scoring only seven points by the start of the final 15. Josh Allen’s inconsistencies have been a common theme for his career, but they shouldn’t matter this week. The New York Giants have allowed at least 24 points in each game, only reaching that mark offensively once. Stefon Diggs has been the center of controversy for the Bills’ offense dating back to the end of last season. Diggs wants to be even more involved in the offense, and it somewhat makes sense. He is one of the most targeted receivers in the league, so whatever increase he wants wouldn’t make too much of a difference. Last week, James Cook was not able to get anything going on the ground, rushing five times for negative yardage. This should be the week for the Bills to bounce back after a loss, as they did in Week 2 against the Raiders after losing in Week 1.
Bills 41, Giants 20
Game of the Week: Cowboys @ Chargers
After losing by 32 points on Sunday Night Football, the Cowboys look to bounce back against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6. Almost everything went wrong for Dallas last week on both sides of the ball, s they were crushed in San Francisco. While this was a testament to where the Cowboys stand amongst the top teams in the NFC, that game seemed to be a bit of an overstatement as to how much Dallas may struggle with the better teams in the league. The Cowboys are still a great team that can take down Justin Herbert and the Chargers this week. If Tony Pollard can get involved early, that could alleviate some pressure off Dak Prescott’s shoulders and allow him to play more freely, which he didn’t against the Niners. Once Dallas went down big, Prescott threw three interceptions, making the deficit only harder to climb back from. Prescott has struggled with interceptions in the past few seasons, so getting the run game going early should be a priority for Mike McDaniel. Despite allowing 42 points last week, the Cowboys still have a great defense. A lot of their struggles came after Dak threw interceptions, giving San Francisco great field positioning. On the other sideline, Los Angeles’ offense should improve with the likely return of Austin Ekeler, who has been out with an ankle injury suffered in Week 1. This game should be a close one for the Chargers, as most games are. The ability to know when to go for it on fourth downs and when to save timeouts is something that many do not believe Brandon Staley has mastered yet, and it may be the deciding factor of this game between two evenly matched squads.
Cowboys 27, Chargers 26