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 Bengalsface 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?
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.
» 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 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
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
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.
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