NFL Predictions Week 4 & Five Can’t Miss Games
The middle of October has arrived as several teams, like the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, have begun to distinguish themselves from the pack. Here are the NFL predictions from Week 6 and 5 can’t miss games for NFL fans.
Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings
October 18th at 1:00pm on CBS
Though the Minnesota Vikings earned an easy victory last week over the Rams to remain undefeated, they will face a test with the tough Baltimore Ravens come to town and ready to play.
Expect the Ravens defense to tighten up their front seven after they allowed the Bengals to run at will last week. They will put pressure on Favre and force him to win the game on his arm. This will be one the best defense the Vikings have played all year and will be a true test to see if they are going to be NFC contenders or pretenders.
The key for the Vikings will be how well their defense can rattle the second year quarterback, Joe Flacco. Last week the Vikings defense was able to knock the Rams quarterbacks around and help secure the win. Defensive end, Jared Allen, has been on fire and will be a test for the Ravens offense line.
Eventually the Vikings are going to experience a hiccup in their season and the Ravens are the perfect match to issue them their first loss. It will be a hard fought game with at least one defensive touchdown as the Ravens earn the win.
Prediction – Baltimore 28 Minnesota 21
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints
October 18th at 1:00pm on FOX
The New Orleans Saints rested on their bye week and watched the New York Giants warmed themselves up last week when they trounced the Oakland Raiders by 37 points.
The Saints offense is going to be tested by the Giants defense, which is has allowed opponents to score only 14.2 points per game while racking up 210.6 totals yards of offense. Though quarterback Drew Brees has not thrown a touchdown in his last two games, the Saints will have made some adjustments during the off week to ensure this does not happen in Week 6.
The Giants offense has been on fire during the first part of the NFL season, thanks to Eli Manning’s Pro Bowl numbers. He has completed 64.4% of his passes in five games with 1,212 yards with 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Saints defense will have a tougher time disrupting the game of Manning as they try to force him into making mistakes when he throws the ball.
Both teams are playing solid football on both sides of the ball and it is going to come down to the team that makes the most mistakes. The Giants will squeak by with a win and continue their 2009 unbeaten streak.
Prediction – New York 31 New Orleans 24
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
October 18th at 1:00pm on CBS
The Cincinnati Bengals enter this contest fresh off their stunning victory over the Baltimore Ravens while the Houston Texans are still smarting from the loss handed to them by the Arizona Cardinals.
The key for the Bengals will be their running game and their ability to keep a potent Texans offense off the field. Last week, Bengals’ running back Cedric Benson became the first player in 40 games to rush for more than 100 yards against the Ravens. So far this season the Texans have allowed opponents to run for more than 140 yards per game.
The Texans offense, while full of potential, has failed to show up on a consistent basis this season. While they have allowed their opponents to have been able to complete a third down forty percent of the time, the Texans have managed to convert roughly twenty nine percent of their third down attempts.
NFL fans should expect this game to be a competitive one and remain close through the fourth quarter. In the end, the Bengals will come away with their fifth victory of the season by less than seven points.
Prediction – Cincinnati 24 Houston 21
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
October 18th at 8:20pm on NBC
The Atlanta Falcons decimated the 49ers defense as they scored 45 points to earn their third win of the season while the Chicago Bears
The fully rested Bears will earn the upper hand in this game if they are able to successfully test the Falcon mediocre pass defense. The Falcons have allowed 228.8 passing yards per game and produced only three interceptions this season. This is good news for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who comes into this game with a 64% completion rate for 901 yards with 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in four games.
The key to the Falcons success will be how well they are able to force the Bears into a fourth down situation. The Falcons have allowed their opponents to convert forty-two percent of their third downs. They will need to reduce this number if they want to keep Cutler and the Bears off the field.
The Falcons are on their home turf, which gives them the advantage in the running game. Running back Michael Turner will have another big day as he carries the Falcons to a ten point victory.
Prediction – Atlanta 24 Chicago 14
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
October 19th at 8:30pm on ESPN
The Denver Broncos are off to a 5-0 start and continue to surprise the NFL experts while the San Diego Chargers remain three games behind the Broncos after their bye week.
The Broncos success in 2009 has largely been due to the defensive unit that has been remodeled under the leadership of Mike Nolan. They are second in the NFL, allowing only 8.6 points per game while keeping their opponents below thirty percent completion success on third downs. The Chargers will use their passing combination of Phillip Rivers to Vincent Jackson to make sure the defense does not place eight men in the box.
The Chargers running game will need to find new life when they face a revitalize Broncos defense that has only allowed 81 yards per game on the ground. The Chargers will need to improve upon the 53.8 yards per game, which is ranked last in the NFL. Darren Sproles is rested and could be used more to spark the anemic running game.
This is the week when the Broncos come back down to earth as the Chargers show why they are serious contenders for the AFC West division title. Look for the Chargers to come away with a close win in a high scoring affair.
Prediction – San Diego 31 Denver 28
Rest of the Games
St. Louis Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars October 18th at 1:00pm on FOX
The Jaguars look like they have things back on track behind a solid offense while the Rams are still looking for answers. Chalk up another win for the Jaguars as they try to keep pace in the AFC South.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers October 18th at 1:00pm on FOX
The Lions put forth a solid effort at home against the Steelers last week. It will be a different story on the road in Green Bay where the Packers will earn an easy victory.
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins October 18th at 1:00pm on CBS
This game will feature two players who received the largest contracts during the off-season; Matt Cassel and Albert Haynesworth. Maybe the owners should have spread the money out instead. The Chiefs will come away with a narrow win by a field goal.
Carolina Panthers at TampaBay Buccaneers October 18th at 1:00pm on FOX
Looking at these two teams, it is hard to imagine they had any success last season. When the Panthers knock off the Bucs and win the game, maybe they can use the momentum to get back on track.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers October 18th at 1:00pm on CBS
Even if the Steelers defense only goes at half speed, they are going to dominant this incapable offensive unit. Steelers win this game easily.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks October 18th at 4:05pm on FOX
The Seahawks found them offense last week with the return of Matt Hasselbeck, while the Cardinals took care of the Texans. Look for the Cardinals to have trouble on the road as the Seahawks earn a victory and keep pace in the NFC West.
Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders October 18th at 4:05pm on FOX
Maybe this would be a more interesting game if the NFL would allows Raiders and Eagles fans take the field instead. Unless the Eagles defense looks past this game, they should have a cakewalk and earn the victory easily.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots October 18th at 4:15pm on CBS
At the beginning of the season, this was one of those must see games. Instead we have the Titans on life support and the Patriots ready to pull the plug as they win the game by more than a touchdown.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets October 18th at 4:15pm on CBS
A win by the Jets here will move them a step closer to locking up the AFC East division title. Expect the Jets to rely heavily upon their running game as it carries them to victory.
Year to Date 30 – 11