NFL Week 5 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 5 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 4 results: Rick: 7-8; Coin: 9-6
Cumulative: Rick: 26-36-1; Coin: 32-30-1

UPDATES: Denver at New England, originally scheduled for 4:25 pm Sunday was pushed ahead to Monday, but now is listed as postponed and will be played next Sunday (10/18). ESPN reports that the Broncos will now play the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8 during their original bye and the Miami Dolphins in Week 11 during Miami's original bye week.

Buffalo at Tennessee, a 1:00 Sunday game originally, is now scheduled for Tuesday night at 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS. There is no line on the game at this point. Will update as appropriate.

Thursday, October 8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5 1/2, 44) at Chicago Bears 8:20 pm (Fox/NFLN) - Bears really didn't look very good offensively with new starter Nick Foles at the controls. Maybe the issue wasn't at the QB position after all. Da Bears rushed for just 28 yards in their 19-11 loss to the Colts last week.

While they do get to stay home, they have to face the Bucs, who are on a roll, winners of their last three and now atop the NFC South. Tampa Bay will be without TE O.J. Howard, and Gronk is listed as questionable. Tanner Hudson could see some action, but Tom Brady prefers throwing to wideouts and backs in Tampa's offense, so they should be OK.

The Bears are 24th overall in scoring and their defense is solid (5th). Giving Foles another week of work should keep them in this until the very end and set up a potential upset.

Coin Flip: Tampa Bay

Prediction: Bears 24 Buccaneers 23

Sunday, October 11

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-2 1/2, 54 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Atlanta fell to 0-4 with another high-scoring defeat, hammered by the Packers, 30-16, Monday night. Altanta's defense has allowed 138 points, second only to Dallas (146). Both of their star receivers are banged up. Calvin Ridley is apparently OK, but Julio Jones is listed as questionable. If he's not at full speed, the Falcons may be looking at another lost season, similar to 2019, when they started 1-7.

The Panthers, who ended last season with an 0-8 skid, are at least respectable at 2-2, having knocked off the Chargers (21-16) and Cardinals (31-21) the past two Sundays. If Teddy Bridgewater can avoid mistakes, the upside for Carolina may be huge.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Panthers 31 Falcons 27

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-13 1/2, 51) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The 3-1 Ravens didn't let their 34-20 loss to Kansas City get them down, as they came back last week to top Washington, on the road, 31-17. Travel time at a minimum, they're back home for this divisional clash.

While the Bengals are improved with Joe Burrow at QB, they're still just 1-2-1, and they haven't yet played a team of Baltimore's caliber. Difficult to see them winning here, and, while winning by more than two TDs is a tough call in the NFL, the Ravens are one team that may get that job done.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Ravens 34 Bengals 13

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6, 54) 1:00 pm (CBS) - How hard is it to like an 0-4 team as a six-point favorite? That's what we have here in Houston, which has just fired head coach and GM, Bill O'Brien. Romeo Crennel has been named interim head coach, and while that may be an upgrade, it may not be enough to hold down the Jaguars enough for a victory.

Jacksonville has lost three straight after winning their opener, 27-20, over Indianapolis. They did win three of their six wins overall on the road last season, and the loss at Houston last year was 13-12. Later in the season, the Texans punished them, 26-3. Conflicting signs, but the points, considering the level of discontent and changes in Houston, are too tempting to pass up.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Jaguars 23 Texas 20

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-12 1/2, 56 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Possessing the longest winning streak in the league at 10 regular season games (13, including the playoffs and Super Bowl), the Chiefs are clearly the class of the league. Other than their 23-20 overtime victory at the LA Chargers, their winning margin this season is a healthy 14.7 points per game, so being that this is a home game and the last two wins over the Raiders were by scores of 28-10 (at Oakland) and 40-9, one has to find a reason to think the Raiders are going to do better than any other team.

Trouble is, there are no good reasons as the KC express motors along to 5-0.

Coin Flip: Las Vegas

Prediction: Chiefs 38 Raiders 21

Arizona Cardinals (-6 1/2, 47 1/2) at New York Jets 1:00 pm (Fox) - Well, the Jets had a golden opportunity to grab a win at home last Thursday when they met the winless Broncos, but they couldn't find it within themselves to do so, surrendering to the Broncos, 37-28. Good thing the Jets have no fans in attendance at their home games because players might be in danger of being hit with flying objects thrown from the stands.

The Cardinals have plenty of upside despite losing their last two. Should be a no-brainer, but caution is urged as this is Arizona's second of three straight road encounters (next week at Dallas).

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Cardinals 31 Jets 23

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7, 44) 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Eagles upended the 49ers last week, 25-20, on the road, so they can't be that bad, even if they are just 1-2-1. Remember, they won the NFC East last season and they may be on their way to repeating, albeit with with worst divisional champion record in the league.

Through no fault of their own, the Steelers got a bye week when various Titans' players and personnel were detected to have the COVID-19 virus. A week off has to be good for a aging, achy Ben Roethlisberger, so the Steelers will be on their game. Philly seems to have turned a corner, however, and this one could go either way in a close contest.

Coin Flip: Philadelphia

Prediction: Eagles 23 Steelers 20

UPDATED 10/12: To be Played October 13, 7:00 pm ET
Buffalo Bills (-3 1/2, 53) at Tennessee Titans (CBS) - The Bills look like a solid play. Players testing positive and likely inactive include defensive linemen Daquan Jones and Jeffery Simmons, OL Kanalei Correa, wide receivers Cam Batson and Adam Humphries, fullback Khari Blasingame, and CB Kristian Fulton.

If those players don't suit up, the Titans will be severely short-handed at some key positions and the Bills have had extra time - without interruption - to prepare. Playing a Tuesday night game is tricky, but both teams being unbeaten the edge belongs to the Bills, and rightfully so. Buffalo QB Josh Allen has panned out in his third season and is playing beyond expectations. The Bills have been building to playoff status for the past three years and they seemingly have arrived.

Sure, the Titans went to the conference championship last season, but that was last season and they come into this game short-handed and with limited practice.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Bills 31 Titans 17

Los Angeles Rams (-7 1/2, 45) at Washington Football Team 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Rams are 3-1 and their only loss was at Buffalo, 35-32, on a second straight road game, so, after handling the Giants, 17-9, last week, they should be game for a cross-country trip to DC, where the Washington Team is beginning to flail about, losing their third straight by double digits, 31-17, to the Ravens last week.

As their sole victory was in week one against Philadelphia and was likely a fluke, the Washington Whatevers appear to be imploding once again and the Rams on track to challenge for the NFC West title having allowed just 80 points in their first four games, among the leaders in the league.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Rams

Prediction: Rams 42 Washington ??? 14

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