NFL Week 5 - Sunday Preview Part 1

NFL Week 5 - Sunday Preview Part 1

New England Patriots (3-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-4) - Browns Stadium

New England welcome back superstar Tom Brady from a 4-game NFL imposed suspension when they head to Cleveland to take on the winless Browns. Brady will be chomping at the bit to get back in the swing of things after the bitter and elongated "delate gate" saga which eventually saw him banned and unable to train with his team mates. The Patriots survived in his absence, however were far from the offensive powerhouse they usually are. The Browns have been competitive in all 4 of their losses and lead the NFL in rushing. 

Verdict  - Patriots 33 Browns 20

The Browns are not as bad as their 0-4 record suggests, however they have injuries and they meet the Patriots at exactly the wrong time here. Brady is likely to play with a certain fury and I can't see a banged up Browns defence being able to stay with the Patriots here. 

Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) @ Detroit Lions (1-3) - Ford Field

The undefeated and rested Eagles look to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive against the Lions in Detroit on Sunday. The Eagles have had a staggeringly good start to the season, outscoring their opponents 92-27 on their way to 3 dominant victories. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has exceeded all expectations completing over 64% of his passes and throwing 5 touchdowns without an interception. The Lions have dropped 3 straight after an opening day victory at the Colts. The loss to an injury ravaged Bears has put Head Coach Jim Calder back on the hot seat. 

Verdict - Eagles 29 Lions 21

Hard to tip against the Eagles the way they have started off the season. The Lions just can't seem to get out of their own way finding ways to lose games. The Eagles look like more then just an early season fad with the rookie quarterback Carson Wentz looking the real deal and the defence playing at high level under a new coaching staff. 

Chicago Bears (1-3) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-3) - Lucas Oil Stadium

The Bears will be looking to build on their first victory when they take on the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. After 3 straight losses to open the season, and injuries both sides of the ball, the Bears did well to pull out a 17-14 home victory against the Lions last week to get their season up and running. The Colts will be rueing more poor defence as they slumped to a 30-27 loss at Wembley Stadium to the Jaguars. The Colts are conceding over 31 points per game which is currently the 3rd worst defence in the NFL.

Verdict - Colts 33 Bears 19

Colts need a win badly here, and I think they can get it against the struggling Bears. Andrew Luck has been playing at a relatively high level and surely at home against a struggling Bears the Colts defence can give him the little help he needs here. 

Tennessee Titans (1-3) @ Miami Dolphins (1-3) - New Miami Stadium

The Titans and Dolphins are both tied for last in their division as they clash in a match up of 2 desperate teams at Miami's renovated Hard Rock Stadium. The Titans are 1-3 for the third straight season and for the 4th time in 5 seasons. The Titans have been typically competitive in their losses, with 2 of their defeats coming in the last possession, and all 3 defeats coming to teams with 9-2 records. The Dolphins will  be looking to rebound from an ugly 22-7 on Thursday Night Football at the Benglan in a match where their offence struggled to move the football throughout.

Verdict - Titans 20 Dolphins 17

Going with a bit of an upset here and the Titans to get a rare road win. I think they are playing at a slightly more consistent level than the Dolphins and are due to win a close one. There were plenty of bad signs for the Dolphins last week and I don't trust a quarterback like Ryan Tannehill to turn around his inconsistent performances. 

Houston Texans (3-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-0) - U.S Bank Stadium

The Texans face their stiffest test of the season as they travel to Minnesota to take on the undefeated Vikings on Sunday. The Texans lead the league in pass defence this season and, despite losing J.J Watt and other players, continue to step up and force turnovers. With the rest of the AFC South reeling, the Texans already have a 2-game lead in the division and a win here could go a long way towards keeping that AFC South crown.  The Vikings' defence has been elite so far in 2016, conceding just under 13 points per game. With late signing Sam Bradford playing efficient and mistake-free football at quarterback, this team already looks like a strong condender for the Super Bowl in 2016.

Verdict - Viking 27 Texans 10

I can see the Vikings' defence really dominating the Texans in this game. I have not been impressed with Brock Osweiler to date, and I think he may give up a couple of turnovers here to change the momentum of the game. Sam Bradford has always been a highly talented quarterback and it is good to see him finally on a team that has the ability to go to the playoffs and make an impact. 

New York Jets (1-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) - Heinz Field

The suddenly reeling Jets face a daunting road trip as they look to avoid a 3rd straight loss when they take on the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown a staggering 9 interceptions in the past 2 losses and has 11 turnovers for the year. Superstar cornerback Darrell Revis has not looked like his old self this year, being burnt several times, and he is in doubt this week with a hamstring injury. The Steelers made up for their shocking performance in Philadelphia with a resounding 43-14 beat down of the Chiefs at home on Sunday Night Football. Quarterback big Ben Roethlisberger has looked in timely form early this season already throwing for over 1000 yards with 11 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. 

Verdict - Steelers 35 Jets 14

I think this could be a long and painful afternoon for the Jets. The Steelers are a offensive powerhouse at homeland their defence really showed up last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to be in freewill and I expect him to make at least couple of turn overs agin here as the Jets season starts to disintegrate right before their eyes.