NFL: WBLZ Week Five Staff Predictions

Some of the staff at WBLZ are in the middle of a very close battle for the top predictor. Each week a few staff members try and predict the winners of the NFL games. Week 4 saw the gap close up on the leader. What will week 5 hold? Here is the Week 5 WBLZ Staff picks. (Bye Week – Redskins, Broncos, Falcons, and Saints)

Sean Naylor

Patriots at Buccaneers – This is not your typical Patriots team. This Bucs offense is solid and will make this a good game. However, Brady rarely loses two in a row. Patriots win!

49ers at Colts – The Niners offense has started to struggle after a good start. The Colts offense has picked it up with Jacoby Brissett. Colts win!

Jaguars at Steelers – This will be a good test for Bortles. It will also test the Steelers offense. Jags defense is a bit better than Pittsburgh. Upset – Jags win!

Bills at Bengals – The first place Bills look to keep pace in the AFC East. They should stay on top against a Bengals team that struggles. Bills win!

Titans at Dolphins – Matt Cassell starts for the ‘Phins. The Titans defense will have to win this one. Not sure if they will hold up. Dolphins win!

Ravens at Raiders – EJ Manual is not good enough to beat the Ravens defense. Ravens win!

Jets at Browns – Battle of the duster fires. Which one is bigger? Thought the Browns would be better at this point. Jets win!

Chargers at Giants – A battle winless teams. Who comes out on top? I like Philip Rivers more than Eli Manning. Chargers win!

Panthers at Lions – This is a game of two surprising teams. If this was in Carolina I might lean with the Panthers. Lions win!

Cardinals at Eagles – The Eagles are for real. The Cardinals are reeling. Eagles win!

Seahawks at Rams – This could be the best game of the day. This is a true test for the young Rams. Upset #2 Rams win!

Packers at Cowboys – Aaron Rodgers will have his way with the Cowboys secondary. Packers win!

Chiefs at Texans – Will Deshaun Watson stay hot? Maybe not 5 TDs but he will be the difference. Texans win!

Vikings at Bears – Mitchell Trubisky can change the offense of the Bears. Bears defense makes it tough on Case Keenum! Bears win!


Andrew Kim

Patriots at Buccaneers: I am picking the Patriots as Brady is undefeated against the Buccaneers and while both defenses are among the worst defenses in the NFL, Jameis Winston is prone to turnovers. This will be a high-scoring game and I trust Brady and the Patriots offense more even though the Buccaneers have Mike Evans and Doug Martin coming back.

Jets at Browns: I am picking the Jets because someone they have won twice already and this is a winnable game as the Browns are one of the worst in the league overall. I would give the advantage to the Jets on their defense and Josh McCown as DeShone Kizer has thrown 8 interceptions this season and even though Myles Garrett is making his debut, the Browns defense has not been good these past few weeks.

Panthers at Lions: I am picking the Lions because although the Panthers defense is good, their secondary is weak and the Lions have the weapons with an improved run game. The Panthers offense has not been good till last week and the Lions defense has been better than expected.

49ers at Colts: I am picking Colts because Jacoby Brissett has looked better than Brian Hoyer and the Colts have the weapons the Niners do not except the run game. Both defenses are below average but the Colts have had more forced turnovers.

Titans at Dolphins: I am picking the Dolphins because I do not think Marcus Mariota will play in this game. Jay Ajayi should bounce back and the Titans defense was exposed last week.

Bills at Bengals: I am picking the Bills because of their defense and LeSean McCoy against Bengals defense. Andy Dalton will struggle against the Bills defense but it should be a close game.

Chargers at Giants: I am picking the Giants because the Giants offense was better last week and they get the advantage with their defense. The Chargers pass rushers could have a big day but I do not trust Phillip Rivers and Melvin Gordon had a bad game last week.

 Jaguars at Steelers: I am picking the Steelers because they are a better team overall and the Jaguars do not have the offensive weapons to compete with the Steelers. The Jaguars have a better defense but Steelers defense is still good enough to get a few turnovers against Blake Bortles.

Cardinals at Eagles: I am picking the Eagles because the run game improved and the Eagles offense is better than the Cardinals offense. The Eagles defensive line should capitalize and Carson Palmer has not played as well as Carson Wentz.

Seahawks at Rams: I am picking the Rams because the Rams offense has played very well and the defense turns up against the Seahawks. Seahawks offense lost their starting running back and while the offensive line was better, it still is a major weakness on the offense.

Ravens at Raiders: I am picking the Ravens only because the Raiders are without Derek Carr and the Ravens secondary has an advantage against Raiders wide receivers as they have not been playing well at all. Raiders have not really used the run game consistently and the Ravens offense has to bounce back this game if they want any hope to turn their season around.

Packers at Cowboys: I am picking the Cowboys even though both defenses are bottom in the NFL. Packers are too injured on offense to compete with Cowboys offense in general with Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliott as the Packers running backs and offensive tackles have been hurt recently.

Chiefs at Texans: I am picking the Chiefs because their offense has been consistently good even though the Texans defensive line will be a test for them. Alex Smith has been playing as well as any quarterback and should do enough to win even though Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense has improved recently.

Vikings at Bears: I am picking the Vikings because whether Sam Bradford returns or not, their defense will give Mitchell Trubisky a challenge in his first start. The Bears defense has not been good this season and Latavius Murray should have a decent game in his first start as a Viking to replace Dalvin Cook, who is out of the year with a torn ACL.

Joel Schafer

Patriots at Buccaneers:  The Patriots are really bad at defense, but will look to turn it around this week. Tampa is thin in the secondary and Brady will expose that.  35-31 Patriots

49ers at Colts: Colts have started to figure it out on offense despite the loss to Seattle.  The 49ers are not that good this year. Colts 28- 17

Jaguars at Steelers:  Jaguars rely on taking the ball away to win games. Steelers will not turn the ball over on the offensive side and will give the Jags a taste of their own medicine.  24-10 Steelers

Bills at Bengals:  LeSean McCoy said the media should be in the other locker room because no one picked them to win. I still don’t have faith that the early season success is real, but I have less faith in the Bengals.  Buffalo 24-21

Titans at Dolphins: Cutler has been really bad this year, he needs a breakout game badly. Titans will be facing most likely without Marcus Mariota. Matt Castle will be at the helm.  Dolphins 20- 17

Ravens at Raiders: Carr is out Emmanuel is starting. Flacco needs to play better and it may start this week.  Beast mode was kenneled last week, but they need him this week.  24-17 Raiders

Packers at Cowboys:  Aaron Rodgers has been really good this year. Dallas has been doing just enough to win against some bad teams.  Zeke needs a big game to win.  Packers 28-17

Jets at Browns:  I might be crazy to say the Brown might win, but we are talking about the Browns. Jets by Default 24-10

Chargers at Giants: This game on paper looks like a shootout, but on the field, it has been a train wreck. Giants have a better defense and will win. 24-17

Panthers at Lions: Lions have the turned over the opponents and have taken care of the ball all year. Panthers have seemingly gotten back on track on offense.  Panthers will win the turnover battle and win. 24-20

Cardinals at Eagles: Have the Eagle figured out the Blount is a beast of a back? Palmer with throw 2 inexplicable picks.  Eagles 24-17

Seahawks at Rams: The Rams have the best offense in the league with the addition of Watkins and Goff playing way better this year. Seattle has offensive line problems and it will continue. Rams 30-17

Chiefs at Texans: Watson has been the truth as a starter.  Chiefs escaped last week but the blueprint has been set as to how to beat the chiefs. Texans will execute that plan. Upset special 28-24 Texans

Vikings at Bears: Vikings will start Murray at running back after losing Cook for the year and most likely be behind Keenum once again. Bears will start rookie Mitchell Trubisky for the first time and he will be turned over twice. Vikings 24-17

Anthony Fiuza

Patriots vs Bucs: New England’s D will face a Tampa running game that’s ranked 29th in the NFL. Brady and Co. will capitalize on some Jameis Winston turnovers. Pats 29 Bucs 20

Colts vs Niners: Colts can score some points with Brissett. San Francisco has struggled to score points. Colts 26 Niners 16

Jags vs Steelers: This matchup features defenses that are ranked 1st and 2nd in passing yards allowed (Jags: 1st Pitt: 2nd). Pittsburgh will slow down the Jags running game and force Blake Bortles to beat them. Pittsburgh 27 Jags 16

Bills vs Bengals: After back-to-back victories versus Atlanta and Denver, the Bills visit Cincy. The Bills will come out flat, especially on offense; and Cincy will get to Shady McCoy. Cincy 24 Bills 13

Dolphins vs Titans: Miami will play good defense versus a Titans’ offense that’s missing Marcus Mariota. Cutler will spread the ball around against a Titans defense that’s ranked 30th in points allowed this year. Phins 30 Titans 13

Ravens vs Raiders: Oaklands’ stable of running backs aren’t impressive and EJ Manuel will try to hold the fort down for a couple weeks. Ravens 24 Raiders 13

Packers vs Cowboys: The Cowboys have one pass rusher that can get to Aaron Rodgers (DeMarcus Lawrence with 7.5 sacks) and that won’t be enough. Rodgers and the Pack will score frequently and that will force Dallas to abandon the run. Pack 30 Boys 23

Jets vs Browns: The Jets’ are surprisingly 7th in rushing yards per game this season. Kizer has no help in Cleveland. Jets 20 Browns 17

Giants vs Chargers: The Giants have no offense, it’s been proven time and time again. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will punish Eli Manning and that bad O-line. Chargers 26 Giants 23

Panthers vs Lions: The Panthers will control the clock on offense and force turnovers on defense. Panthers 26 Lions 16

Cardinals vs Eagles: Carson Palmer has been sacked 17 times this year and Philly’s front seven can be ferocious. Philly 26 Cards: 17

Rams vs Seahawks: LA is flying high on both sides of the ball. They are a complete team for the most part and Seattle will struggle to protect Russell Wilson. Rams 27 Seattle 17

Chiefs vs Texans: Alex Smith has been sacked 16 times this season and KC’s defense is 27th in total passing yards allowed. Deshaun Watson has 6 touchdowns the past two weeks and a completion percentage that’s a little over 70%. Texans 26 Chiefs 20

Vikings vs Bears: Minnesota has enough talent in the passing game to get by Chicago’s D. It’s going to be difficult for the Bears’ top running backs (Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen) to get by a Vikings’ defense that’s 5th in rushing yards. Vikings 24 Bears 15

Michael Esposito

Bucs @ Patriots– There is no possible way the Patriots would lose their 3rd game at home right? More than likely the Bucs get blown out in this one.

Jets @ Browns– Recent Power Rankings by has the 0-4 chargers ranked above the 2-2 Jets, this Browns team is bad and the Jets will find a way to pull the victory and get to 3-2

Panthers @ Lions– Panthers coming off their emotional high of a win in New England will face a much improved Lions team who are 3-1 Advantage Detroit at home.

49ers @ Colts– Jacoby Brissett has shown great improvement so much so that people think he may be the future of the team and not Luck. He wins this one for the colts.

Titans @ Dolphins– No Mariota is good news for Miami, unfortunately, he does not play offense for them. The Dolphins will need to improve their offense in order to start winning again. Give me the Dolphins with no Mariotta.

Bills @ Bengals– Bills might be the league’s most surprising team as they enter week 5 in sole possession of first place. Bengals have gotten better but I don’t think they will compete with Buffalo give me the Bills to get to 4-1

Chargers @ Giants– The good news is one of these teams will have to get a win, although there is a very small chance it could end in a tie. West Coast team coming to the east coast for an early game spells a victory for the Giants.

Jaguars @ Steelers– Jags were given a game and still couldn’t figure out how to win the game. Steelers have not looked sharp since week 1. Still, give me Pittsburgh at home.

Cardinals @ Eagles– Another West coast team coming to the east coast for an early game, Philly looks good but their wins have been against inferior opponents this one will test them but Arizona holds on and gets the win.

Seahawks @ Rams– One of the most disappointing teams so far vs one of the most surprising team so far. Many are quick to say MVP for Goff, let’s slow down and see how he does against the Legion of Boom. Give me Seattle with the win.

Ravens @ Raiders– Is Carr going to play? Is this Ravens team finally showing the injuries catching up to them? Give me the Raiders as EJ Manuel looked good filling in for Carr.

Packers @ Cowboys– Last year’s divisional round playoff matchup where Aaron Rodgers showed why he is that bad man. Cowboys fans across the nation are in semi-panic mode and only a win will get them out of it. Give me the Cowboys as they seem to always know how to beat the Packers in the regular season.

Chiefs @ Texans– Texans are looking good with more and more time under Deshaun Watson’s Belt, Chiefs are the last remaining undefeated team and I believe they will carry that for one more week give me the Chiefs.

Vikings @ Bears– The debut of Mitchell Trubisky will be on Monday Night with all of America watching, this kid is not used to national attention like this as he attended UNC in the ACC and wasn’t really in the National Spotlight. Vikings win and spoil Trubiscuits and Gravy’s debut.

Can the gap close even further in week 5? We will see. We hope you enjoy the games.

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Sean Naylor

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