Garrett Cowdrey’s NFL Week 5 Pick Ems

Welcome to Week 5 of the NFL season. Never would I have thought that a 10-6 finish in a weekly pick ’em series would bring me unparalleled joy, but after three weeks of mediocrity, my 10-6 finish in Week 4 gives a glimmer of hope. As I now sit at 34-29 on the season, I can only hope this is the beginning of a much-needed hot streak. These picks should get easier as the season continues, as we can start to separate the pretenders from contenders and the disappointments from surprises. There will surely still be growing pains as the season progresses, but after a double-digit win total last week, I am going to ride the momentum into Week 5. Let’s get started.

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Score: 23-20

Summary: We have ourselves a “Peyton Manning Bowl” here on Thursday night. This was the hardest game of the week to pick for me, as these teams match up very closely. Both teams will be without their top running backs, so it will be a matchup of what defense steps up and what new quarterback can get it done. Neither offense looks good, but Matt Ryan looks and throws two touchdowns, and the Colts win this game in overtime to move to 2-2-1, while the Broncos fall to 2-3.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Winner: Green Bay Packers

Score: 26-14

Summary: The Packers do not look very good, and they now match up against a team that also has a 3-1 record but hasn’t quite played like it in the form of the Giants. This London game will feature two prolific running games though, the resurgent Saquon Barkley will look to outduel the two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. In the end, Barkley, Dillon, and Jones will all score once, but it will be the Packers who come out on top after knocking down four field goals across the pond on Sunday morning.

Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints

Winner: New Orleans Saints

Score: 24-17

Summary: This should be a close game as both the Seahawks and Saints have been confusing teams this season. It will likely be Geno Smith against Andy Dalton unless Jameis Winston is able to suit up. I am not very excited about any of those names, but this game could still produce some good football. If Andy Dalton plays, it may mean the Saints finally have a man that’s smart enough under center to throw check-downs to Alvin Kamara in space. That could mean he is in line for a big game. Kamara scores twice, and Chris Olave keeps up his hot start with his own touchdown, while Geno Smith throws one and runs one as the Seahawks fall short of the Saints that get a much-needed win and move to 2-3.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Winner: Buffalo Bills

Score: 28-13

Summary: The first start of Kenny Pickett’s career can’t come at a worse time, as they play an elite team in the Bills on the road. They will be getting after Pickett all day, and the rookie will probably not have much fun. He will hit George Pickens for a rookie-on-rookie score, but Josh Allen throws three touchdowns, and Stefon Diggs torches the Steelers for 100 yards and two scores en route to a resounding victory. The Pitt rookie will have to lick his wounds and look to bounce back next week while the Bills keep on rolling.

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns

Winner: Los Angeles Chargers

Score: 31-23

Summary: A year after underperforming and building up an even more quality roster, the Chargers are still underperforming. They sit at 2-2 and haven’t looked much better than a fringe wild-card team. Justin Herbert is one of the few bright spots, but they require this talented roster to wake up. Falling to 2-3 here would be a tough blow to either team, and it will be the more determined team that walks away with the win here. I think we finally see a little life in the Chargers as Herbert throws four touchdowns to four different receivers, as Nick Chubb’s 100 yards and two scores aren’t enough for the Browns to claw their way back into this game. The Chargers survive, and the Browns fall to 2-3.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Score: 34-21

Summary: The Jaguars made way too many mistakes last week to beat the only remaining undefeated team, and they still had them on the ropes. This is a good team that learns and grows every week, and they should have a field day with Houston here. Trevor Lawrence should have quite a day here, torching the Texans to the tune of 300 yards and 3 scores. James Robinson scores as well for Duval County. Dameon Pierce solidifies his job even more with two scores, but the Texans never sniff the lead here and fall to 0-4-1 while the Jaguars move to 3-2.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Winner: Minnesota Vikings

Score: 27-17

Summary: The Vikings went to London last week and got saved by a few questionable calls and the double doink heard ‘round the world against New Orleans. They now walk into a division matchup against the Bears at 3-1 with a great chance to move to 4-1. They will look to get ahead early, which would spell the end quickly due to the Bears’ slow pace and nonexistent passing game. Justin Jefferson toys with this defense all day for over 100 yards and a score, while Dalvin Cook finally wakes up and scores twice. On the other side, Justin Fields finds Darnell Mooney for a touchdown, and Khalil Herbert gets into the endzone as well. It won’t be enough though, as the Bears fall to 2-3 with many questions still unanswered.

Detroit Lions at New England Patriots

Winner: Detroit Lions

Score: 29-20

Summary: The Lions average an impressive 35 points per game so far this season. The kicker? They surrender 35.3 points per game. They are better than their 1-3 record suggests, but they have to clean up a few things. This week should be a perfect opportunity to light a fire as they caught the Patriots off guard with their third-string quarterback slated to start. They need to take advantage of this and get this win, and I think that they will do just that. Jared Goff keeps up his hot start with two touchdowns, and Jamaal Williams scores again to build his league lead in touchdowns. Bailey Zappe looks sharp again though, as he plays very conservatively to the tune of 200 yards and a touchdown, but that won’t be enough here though as the Patriots fall to 1-4 in Zappe’s first career start.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Winner: Miami Dolphins

Score: 24-21

Summary: The Dolphins suffered their first loss last week and now are without their starting quarterback heading into a divisional matchup with the 2-2 Jets. This game will likely be closer than most people think, as the Jets have played some solid football and have a healthy starting quarterback in Zach Wilson. The Dolphins will need to play well to hold them off, but I believe they can do this. Teddy Bridgewater steps in for Tua and throws two touchdowns, one to each of his elite duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Zach Wilson throws a score and runs one in himself in the losing effort. This game goes to overtime before the Dolphins are able to get away with the win, and they move to 4-1 following it.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Score: 31-24

Summary: The Buccaneers and Falcons have the same record heading into this game, but the skill gap is definitely noticeable. There is no such thing as a guaranteed win in the NFL though, especially not with a divisional matchup like this one. A game-winning drive by the seemingly newly divorced Tom Brady will get Tampa Bay the much-needed win here. Brady throws for 250 yards and three touchdowns, as he hits Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones for scores here. Marcus Mariota runs for a score and throws another but it won’t be enough to get the win as Atlanta falls to 2-3 and Tampa moves to 3-2.

Tennessee Titans at Washington Commanders

Winner: Tennessee Titans

Score: 28-24

Summary: I am trying to think of something exciting or funny to say about this game, but I’ll be honest, this is a boring matchup between two mediocre teams. Tennessee looks better in recent weeks, while the Commanders look lost. Derrick Henry could have a big day against the Washington front seven, and the Commanders will look to Wentz for a spark through the air here. In the end, it will be Tannehill with two scores and Derrick Henry with two more in the Titans’ win. Wentz will look better than the last two weeks, as he throws for two scores of his own, but the Commanders continue their free fall and sink to 1-4.

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Score: 21-10

Summary: The 49ers looked absolutely dominant on defense last week against the reigning champ Rams, and now they get an easy matchup against the Baker Mayfield-led Panthers. The offense won’t have to do much, and they probably won’t, so this will likely be a low-scoring affair. Jimmy G finds Deebo Samuel for a score, and Jeff Wilson finds paydirt himself for the 49ers, their other score will come from the defense for the second straight week. Baker barely eclipses 100 yards here, and the only bright spot for the Panthers in an otherwise putrid showing will be a Christian McCaffrey touchdown. The Niners move to 3-2, and the Panthers sink to 1-4 with Matt Rhule’s seat seemingly on fire.

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

Score: 38-31

Summary: We have a battle of the birds here between two solid offenses. The Eagles remain the only undefeated team, and the Cardinals have stumbled a bit out of the gate. I think this game will be close regardless though. We could see a QB battle between two former Sooners in Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. They both toss three touchdowns here, but the Eagles’ run game will be the difference maker, as the Cardinals never get theirs going against a stout run defense. The Eagles keep trucking without a loss, and the Cardinals fall to 2-3.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Winner: Los Angeles Rams

Score: 34-24

Summary: The Rams have looked flat-out awful to start the season, and you have to wonder when they will get it going. I have a feeling it will be this week at home against the Cowboys. This should be a close game and was a hard one to pick. I am ultimately trusting the amount of talent on the Rams roster, and that Matthew Stafford will remember how to play football. I think Stafford targets Kupp heavily here (shocker), and that leads to 150 yards and two touchdowns for the receiver. Cooper Rush tries to keep them in the game with two touchdowns, but he suffers his first career loss in the end as the Cowboys fall to 3-2.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

Score: 31-28

Summary: Whenever these two teams play, it always seems to be a battle. They often go into shootouts that lead to some very happy fantasy owners. See Ja’Marr Chase’s rookie record of 201 yards against the Ravens last year. I don’t see this game being much different, as Burrow and Jackson get into a duel that ends with 300 yards and 3 touchdowns apiece. Ja’Marr Chase keeps tormenting the Ravens with 100 yards and a score, while Mark Andrews scores twice himself. In the end, Burrow will have the last laugh with a game-winning drive that ends in a field goal as time expires to propel the Bengals to 3-2 and sink the Ravens to a surprising 2-3.

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Score: 35-21

Summary: Another divisional matchup is lined up for Monday Night Football, as the Chiefs take on the stumbling Raiders. The Raiders will look a bit different to the Chiefs this time with Davante Adams out wide, but it won’t matter to Patrick Mahomes and company. Davante Adams’ 100 yards and his touchdown won’t be enough for the Raiders here, as the Chiefs run away with this one. Patrick Mahomes throws four touchdowns here to four different receivers en route to another dominating performance in the Chiefs’ rampant 4-1 start.

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