NFL Week 5 game picks: 'Hawks hand Cincy first loss; Pack roll

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Which of the undefeateds will stay so in Week 5?

That's why the Game Picks are here, to answer that burning question. We don't care about the rest of the teams.

Actually, you'll find good fodder on all the matchups this weekend. And you'll also see that the Broncos, Patriots, Falcons, Bengals, Packers and Panthers -- our six current perfectos -- won't all stay undefeated. Denver has a harder-than-usual road trip to Oakland, while the Bengals face the now-stout Seahawks (at least, defensively speaking). The Redskins' D will show up in Atlanta. Carolina faces the always-tough BYE.

But what about the winless?

Ameer has already had the "H" knocked off of his surname, apparently, so it will be a real challenge to match Gurley's 146. Does the Lions back even have 146 rushing yards this season?

Are you British? That game was last week. (Ziggy Ansah does indeed look stout, though, sir.)

Below are the rest of my thoughts on Week 5, including the verdict on whether some of the 1-3 teams can climb back into their respective division races. I show all of your thoughts major respect: @HarrisonNFL is the dropbox. Send me your take. Or criticism. Or follow. You could end up in this intro. Or here.

Now, let's get to it!

Elliot Harrison went 10-5 on his predictions for Week 4, giving him a record of 38-25 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 5? His picks are below.

Kansas City, the best 1-3 group in pro football, needs a win in the worst way. In fact, it's not too early to call this a must-win if the Chiefs still have designs on a division title. Denver is 4-0 and currently owns the head-to-head advantage, with a Week 2 win at Arrowhead. If you've been watching Chiefs football much, you know they haven't won in Mile High since Tebowmania. Meanwhile, the Bears edged the Raiders last week thanks to some timely turnovers giftwrapped from Latavius Murray. Jay Cutler has quietly had a very average season. (Usually when a writer types "quietly had," you anticipate "a good season" being the next phrase. Sorry, not the case with the Bears or their QB.) #CHIvsKC

Seattle steals another win -- though, this time on the road, so without the help of that crazy end zone at CenturyLink Field. Speaking of end zones, how often can the Bengals journey into the tiger-striped portion of the field on Sunday? Thus far, Cincy's offensive output has been quite impressive ...

» In three of four games, the Bengals have gone down the field on their first possession and scored a touchdown.
» Hue Jackson is keeping the pressure off Andy Dalton, pacing the NFL by running the ball 51.2 percent of the time.
» The Bengals are tied for the NFL lead with 20 completions of 20-plus yards. (Dalton has a 138.6 passer rating on throws of over 20 yards.)

We could keep going. All that said, the Kam Chancellor-infused defense is a badass unit. Cincinnati isn't going 16-0. This is loss No. 1. #SEAvsCIN

It's the Leonard Hankerson revenge game!! Hey, work with me here -- we're looking for storylines that scream sexy. Hankerson has been sexy in 2015, with a staggering 14 of his 17 catches going for first downs. Who saw Leonard Hankerson coming? Who's surprised Roddy White is complaining? While the Falcons aren't missing Harry Douglas, the Redskins have missed DeSean Jackson's vertical presence. That's why it's incumbent on Washington's front seven to pressure Matt Ryan -- Kirk Cousins will not have the horses to keep up in a track meet. This will be a closer deal than many anticipate. #WASvsATL

One week later, Jason Myers is the hero. He sounds like the villain in a cheap horror flick. (Anyone seen "Jason X," i.e., Jason in Space? Holler: @HarrisonNFL.) Last week was a horror show in Indianapolis. This time, Jacksonville's rookie kicker hits from 44 yards out to give the Jags faithful the win they thought they had in the bag last Sunday.

The last thing Bucs fans want to watch is their team getting hammered again with Jameis Winston giving the other team the ball, and ultimately, points. In two games in front of the home crowd, Winston has thrown six picks, which have led to a staggering 38 points. (All but one interception resulted in a touchdown for the bad guys.) On the other sideline, second-year signal caller Blake Bortles is showing signs of life. The defense? Faring better, allowing just 5.2 yards per play ( eighth in the league). #JAXvsTB

Smelling an Eagles offensive explosion here. Usually if you smell anything bird-related, it's time to hit the carwash. But in this case, it's welcome news to Eagles fans, Sam Bradford fantasy owners and DeMarco Murray. Bradford hadn't hit a deep ball until last week in Washington. Call it "helpful" that the Saints' secondary is allowing opposing passers a fat 116.3 passer rating. (Yes, that's dead last.) Meanwhile, the New Orleans ground attack has been so scant that every game rests on Drew Brees, and his sore shoulder. On the road, against a desperate 1-3 team? Might be too much hill to climb, even for a Hall of Famer (which Brees certainly is). #NOvsPHI

This promises to be an ugly affair. Josh McCown was impressive on the road in San Diego. But can the Browns' offense, which racked up 432 yards against the Chargers, fly out to the opposite coast and do it again? Baltimore will be coming off nine days' rest and, despite struggles from the secondary this season, showed rays of light in the Thursday Night Football win. With additional rest after an inspiring 150-yard outing, Justin Forsett should get a heavy workload against a terrible run defense that is allowing 4.8 yards per carry. #CLEvsBAL

The Packers might not be stout against the run, but the flaw hasn't beaten them to this point. And actually, they looked stout last week against Carlos Hyde, who managed just 20 yards on eight carries. Can the Rams' defense keep this game close enough to let Todd Gurley run wild? San Francisco was able to keep Aaron Rodgers in check, but couldn't muster the offense to control the clock or get into the end zone. St. Louis would need a big Tavon Austin return and 160 yards from Gurley to beat the hottest team in football. Green Bay hits 5-0. #STLvsGB

With all the injuries at running back, Buffalo worked out Trent Richardson. So, we are predicting a Bills win. Wait, what?

On the surface, this feels like the kind of game this group can take on the road. The issues are a) the surprising inconsistency from the defense, starting with some missed tackles (see: Rashad Jennings' touchdown), and b) the aforementioned questions at RB. This contest largely will rest on Tyrod Taylor's shoulders. With four NFL starts now under his belt, "T-Mobile" has been largely effective in 2015, tossing eight touchdowns to four interceptions while completing nearly 72 percent of his passes. Third down is where he has been mediocre, throwing two picks and seeing that completion percentage drop to 64 percent, while hitting just one play of 25-plus yards. Tennessee's defense has allowed the second-lowest third-down conversion rate in the league. That makes me nervous. Kind of. #BUFvsTEN

The Lions finally get that first "W" of 2015. How do they do it? I have no freaking idea. But I'm paid to have an idea, you say? OK ...

Well, let's start with the defense, where the front four made impact plays Monday night, keeping Detroit in the game till the very end. (Did you see the end? It was kind of notable.) The Lions will be challenged by Carson Palmer, whose pass protection has been mostly first-rate; the Cardinals have given up five sacks through four games. The few areas where Arizona struggles, well, Detroit sucks, too. So picking the Lions is no slam dunk. For example, the Cardinals' run defense on first down has been poor, yielding 5 yards per run. Annnnnd Jim Caldwell's team offers the worst ground attack in the entire league. Scratch that Ameer Abdullah thought bubble.

Essentially, going with the Lions in this matchup translates to a gut play. Detroit's a desperate, winless team, ticked off about the controversial loss in Seattle and playing at home. All of this trumps lackluster statistics and the ugly catalogue they've displayed up to this point. #1-4 #AZvsDET

Oh man, is this going to fun ... Randy Gregory crashing the pocket, trying to get to Tom Brady. Rob Gronkowski vs. Dez Bryant: Who will have more touchdowns! OK, I see Tony Romo leading the Cowboys down the field on an epic two-minute drill, handing Bill Belichick and company their first loss!

Oh, wait -- none of that's happening. Gregory, Bryant and Romo are all on the shelf. At one point, CBS had itself a game. (P.S. This matchup should've been the Kickoff Game, but that ship has sailed.)

Brady will torch the Cowboys linebackers and safeties going to Gronk. The underneath stuff will be there all day. Dallas' best bet is to run Joseph Randle and Run DMC 40 times. Keep the football away from Brady. (Stop ... You know what I meant.) #NEvsDAL

With the resurgence of the Raiders -- last week aside -- this AFC West contest becomes precisely that: a contest. Yay! OK, that was awkward. Consider it normal that this will be another matchup that comes down to the kicking game, i.e., Sebastian Janikowski and Brandon McManus. Seabass will trot out there -- shirt tail out, cookie belly out -- and knock through three important kicks. As will McManus, who has shown off a big leg and plus accuracy thus far in his young career. After missing a few kicks last year, the youngster out of Temple has been perfect in 2015. And I just realized that we have four sentences worth of kicker talk ... and no Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning. Now that that's covered, Latavius Murray will be key for the Raiders. He must put last week behind him, and keep this awesome Broncos defense honest. Easier said than done: Denver's allowing 2.67 yards per carry on first down. That's the lowest total in the NFL. #DENvsOAK

Two quarterbacks trending in completely different directions. Eli Manning, at times considered a turnover machine, has thrown seven touchdowns to one interception. On the other side of the deal is Colin Kaepernick, whose woes are so well-documented at this point that they might be tattooed on his body. Fantasy owners don't want to touch him. Niner fans have had it, too. The branding of Kap as a franchise quarterback was more of a henna tattoo. (Two tatt jokes in one blurb. My apologies. Maybe his deal should've been written in pencil, not ink. OK, I'll stop.) If ever there was a secondary that offered a chance for redemption, it's the Giants' unit, which is allowing 316.3 passing yards per game -- 316.3 on average. #SFvsNYG

San Diego moves to 3-2. Philip Rivers will take advantage of mismatches -- particularly, a returning Antonio Gates against anybody -- in a resurgent Chargers win. Meanwhile, the Steelers won't be able to buy a field goal. Mike Vick should be better in this contest with the additional days of preparation. The real question at this stage might not be Vick's running ability, but how willing he is to take off -- and take a hit. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown fantasy owners are hoping the team calls reverses and about 20 bubble screens. The chances of Vick hitting a bomb to Brown? About 1 in 476. #PITvsSD

ALREADY COMPLETED


As it stands at publishing, Matt Hasselbeck is expected to start for Indy. The 40-year-old popped some Advil and made some big throws last week against the Jags, but even against a struggling Texans defense, facing a division opponent on the road -- on a short week -- is no easy task. This matchup last season in Houston was one of the wildest games you'll ever see, with late Texans miscues -- including current Colt Andre Johnson's fourth-quarter fumble -- causing the home team to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Interesting that Johnson's fellow wideout in Indy, T.Y. Hilton, has absolutely destroyed the Texans at NRG: 422 yards and five touchdowns in three games! Maybe somebody should cover No. 13. #INDvsHOU

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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