NFL Week 5 preview picks

Published Oct. 5, 2014

Matt Baker's picks


Cardinals at Broncos | 4:05, Denver by 71/2, 48

Arizona joins Cincinnati as the league's only unbeaten teams but will have its toughest test so far against the reigning AFC champs. Denver QB Peyton Manning should have plenty of time to throw — only St. Louis has fewer sacks than the Cardinals (3). That's dangerous considering how well Manning has played in Denver: 55 TDs with 8 INTs at home since joining the Broncos (compared to 45 and 14 on the road). Arizona's quarterback situation is less secure: Carson Palmer is dealing with a damaged shoulder, so veteran backup Drew Stanton could get his seventh career start. Matt's pick: Broncos, 28-20

Ravens at Colts | 1, Indianapolis by 31/2, 49

The Ravens are one of three legitimate playoff contenders in a solid AFC North, and they're doing it in a way that would make retired LB Ray Lewis groan: Offense. Only four teams in the league have scored more points than Baltimore, and WR Steve Smith is again one of the NFL's top receivers (429 yards, 3 TDs). Look for the league's No. 1 passer, Andrew Luck, to exploit an iffy pass defense in a shootout. Matt's pick: Colts, 31-28


Texans at Cowboys | 1, Ch. 10 Dallas by 6, 47

Dallas RB DeMarco Murray continued his breakout season with 149 yards and two touchdowns against New Orleans. He has 5 TDs this year after totaling 6 in his first two years in the league. The league's top defensive player (Houston DE J.J. Watt) isn't a run stopper and won't help much there. Matt's pick: Cowboys, 24-21

Bills at Lions | 1, Detroit by 7, 431/2

Forget about Detroit's strong passing attack. The Lions' defense is allowing a league-low 267.3 yards per game, and LB DeAndre Levy has as many tackles as the Bucs' Lavonte David (38). Not a good time to break in new Buffalo starting QB Kyle Orton. Matt's pick: Lions, 27-17

Chiefs at 49ers | 4:25 | San Francisco by 51/2, 44

Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles (108 total yards, 3 TDs) and San Francisco RB Frank Gore (174 total yards) both looked strong last week. Chiefs QB Alex Smith has bounced back from a slow start, with 6 TD passes and no interceptions in the past two games, but San Francisco's top-tier defense will be tough to crack. Matt's pick: 49ers, 21-17

Bengals at Patriots | 8:30, Ch. 8, Cincinnati by 1, 46

Think Bill Belichick isn't reconsidering the trade that sent G Logan Mankins to the Bucs for TE Tim Wright? Through four games, QB Tom Brady has been hit 17 times and sacked nine times. Defenses have sacked him on 6.2 percent of his dropbacks — the second-highest rate of his career. Wright, meanwhile, has been targeted five times and has 35 receiving yards. Matt's pick: Bengals, 28-17

Seahawks at Redskins | 8:30 Monday, ESPN | Seattle by 7, 451/2

Only the Monday night billing makes this interesting. The Giants had four interceptions in Washington's Week 4 loss, and now the Redskins face the league's most talented secondary. Matt's pick: Seahawks, 28-14

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Steelers at Jaguars | 1, Pittsburgh by 6, 471/2

Pittsburgh will take out any lingering frustration from blowing a late lead to the Bucs against lowly Jacksonville. Matt's pick: Steelers, 28-14

Browns at Titans | 1, Tennessee by 11/2, 44

The most interesting part of this game is that Cleveland QB Brian Hoyer kept the starting job over rookie Johnny Manziel after the bye week. Matt's pick: Titans, 24-17

Bears at Panthers | 1, Carolina by 21/2, 451/2

Carolina hasn't forced a turnover in the past two weeks but could get some this week against a mediocre Chicago offense. Matt's pick: Panthers, 20-14

Rams at Eagles | 1, Philadelphia by 61/2, 471/2

Seriously, this is the week Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy can regain his form, against a St. Louis defense that's one of the worst in the league against the run. Matt's pick: Eagles, 31-17

Falcons at Giants | 1, New York by 4, 50

New York's Rashad Jennings is quietly third in the league in rushing, which will slow down Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense a little bit. Matt's pick: Falcons, 28-20

Jets at Chargers | 4:25, Ch. 10, San Diego by 61/2, 431/2

One team has QB Philip Rivers, an MVP candidate with almost 1,200 passing yards. The other starts Geno Smith. Matt's pick: Chargers, 27-10