It seems hard to believe that it is already week five in the NFL, but here we are. There are plenty of surprises as well. The Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals are dominating the NFC and the New Orleans Saints are still looking for their first win. Unpredictability is the name of the game. I am also off to a very poor start in my NFL picks and predictions. While week four was not nearly as bad as the horror show in week three, it was still not quite up to my regular pace. I feel confident, however, that week five will put us right back on track.
THUR, OCT 4
Arizona at St. Louis--Edward Jones Dome
Anytime these two teams get together, the game is a good one. In 2011, both games came down to the last minute and both were won by the Cardinals by less than a touchdown. That is a microcosm of the Cardinals so far in 2012. They are not flashy and don't put up big numbers, but they will punch you in the mouth and fight to the bitter end. The Rams have surprised many with a pretty solid start thus far. Sam Bradford is coming into his own and is beginning to show why he was drafted so highly. The Cardinals will be right there as always, but the Rams will steal this game in the Dome at home. Playing every game down to the wire bites everyone eventually.
Week Five NFL Winner - St. Louis Rams
SUN, OCT 7
Miami at Cincinnati--Paul Brown Stadium
The Miami Dolphins might be the best 1-3 team in the league right now so the Cincinnati Bengals had best not be looking ahead. They have a solid rushing game ranking 5th in the NFL and their defense is quick and underrated. The Bengals, however, look like a serious contender in 2012. They have a very solid passing attack with Andy Dalton doing more than could be expected at this point in his young career. Expect the Bengals to hold serve at home.
Week Five NFL Winner - Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay at Indianapolis--Lucas Oil Stadium
The Colts come in rested and the Packers are feeling better about things as well after getting a big win over the Saints in exciting fashion. This game is not the slam dunk that many would have predicted coming into the 2012 season. Andrew Luck is as solid as advertised and the Packers have been lackluster at best. Still, that Packers defense is going to cause some havoc. I expect a close game but for the Packers to prevail in the end.
Week Five NFL Winner - Green Bay Packers
Baltimore at Kansas City--Arrowhead Stadium
The Chiefs are a dangerous team because they run the ball so well. It is always possible that they will run the clock and try to shorten the game. Baltimore, however, is more than happy to play that game. They thrive on defensive games and have an explosive offense thus far to boot. There is little reason to think that the Chiefs will win this one.
Week Five NFL Winner - Baltimore Ravens
Atlanta at Washington--FedEx Field
The Redskins bring the number one ranked rushing offense into this week five game and they will need every bit of it. Atlanta has proven to be a Super Bowl contender thus far in 2012 and they will test that rushing game with a stout defense. Atlanta did, however, show in week five that they can be beaten. The Carolina Panthers had them on the ropes for the entire game and simply blew it at the end. Washington will get their chance and I think they will be the first to lay a loss on the Dirty Birds.
Week Five NFL Winner - Washington Redskins
Cleveland at NY Giants--MetLife Stadium
This game should not and will not be close. The Browns are a young team that has much to learn. The Giants are a solid team that just came off an ugly loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. They will be wanting to take it out on somebody. I would not want to be the Browns in week five.
Week Five NFL Winner - New York Giants
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh--Heinz Field
This is a game I would kill to see in person. When these two teams play, the stakes always feel sky high. In this particular game, the stakes are high indeed. Pittsburgh needs a huge win at home after starting the season 1-2. The Eagles have troubles of their own in holding on to the football. They have managed to go 3-1, but they are not doing so impressively at all. I think the Eagles will come in and lay an egg in the turnover department and the Steelers will take advantage.
Week Five NFL Winner - Pittsburgh Steelers
Seattle at Carolina--Bank of America Stadium
The Carolina Panthers have to be kicking themselves after their week four loss to Atlanta. They dominated that game in many ways and showed that they can get back into the race. That said, they have got to win this game against Seattle. Every game feels like a must win, but this one is absolutely key going into a bye in week six. Seattle is coming off a tough division upset to the St. Louis Rams and will be ripe for the picking. Expect Carolina to pick up the win at home.
Week Five NFL Winner - Carolina Panthers
Chicago at Jacksonville--EverBank Field
Man, did the Bears look good on Monday Night Football against the Cowboys? That defense was absolutely dominant. The Jaguars are a team that I never know what to expect, but I feel totally confident that the Bears will win this one.
Week Five NFL Winner - Chicago Bears
Tennessee at Minnesota--Mall of America Field
Okay, I am finally on board. It took me a few weeks to see that the Minnesota Vikings are not a fluke. They have proven to me that they are serious contenders and I am actually picking them this week to prove it. I think this will be a party in Minnesota.
Week Five NFL Winner - Minnesota Vikings
Denver at New England--Gillette Stadium
The explosion in the second half of the Patriots game in week four proved that Tom Brady and company are not done just yet. Peyton Manning also showed that he was far from finished as well. It will be interesting to see how both respond in this huge AFC tilt. I expect Brady and the Pats to continue the momentum they built in week four.
Week Five NFL Winner - New England Patriots
Buffalo at San Francisco--Candlestick Park
The explosive Buffalo offense travels to Candlestick to face the stingy Niners defense. Something has got to give and I think it will be Fitzpatrick and the Bills. That Niners defense is just too good. The Bills will get theirs, but they will not get enough to win.
Week Five NFL Winner - San Francisco 49ers.
San Diego at New Orleans--Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Will the real San Diego Chargers please stand up? They are up one week and down the next. If they play up they win and if they play down, they lose. This week they are down and the Saints finally get that elusive first win.
Week Five NFL Winner - New Orleans Saints
MON, OCT 8
Houston at NY Jets--MetLife Stadium
The Jets looked horrible in week four and now they face the toughest offense in the NFL in my opinion. The Texans can beat you in so many different ways. They will beat the Jets in week five and you can take that to the bank.
Week Five NFL Winner - Houston Texans
Week Four NFL Picks Record - 9-6
Season NFL Picks Record to Date - 35-28
Source--Yahoo Sports Stats Page
*Southern is a huge Carolina Panthers fan that is convinced that he will see a Super Bowl Trophy in Charlotte within five years.
More from this contributor:
- Why the First Five Games Are Vital to the Carolina Panthers in 2012: Fan's Opinion
- Carolina Panthers Vs. New Orleans Saints 2012 NFL Week Two: A Fan's Prediction
- 2012 NFC South Week Three NFL Picks and Predictions: Fan's Opinion
- Carolina Panthers Vs. New York Giants 2012 NFL Week Three: A Fan's Prediction
- 2012 NFC South Week Two NFL Picks and Predictions: Fan's Opinion
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