Sando's best guesses: Week 5 predictions

Picking winners on a short week isn't as easy as going 3-0 on a regular one, but here we go.

  • Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams, Thursday, 8:20 p.m.: The Cardinals are traveling on a short week following an overtime victory to face a well-coached team with an improved quarterback, a prolific kicker and a defense leading the NFL in interceptions. That's the narrative I'm going with for now. All bets are off if the Rams punt to Patrick Peterson. Sando's best guess: Rams 19, Cardinals 17.

  • Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET: The Seahawks are 6-20 on the road since 2009 and 0-2 this season. They dodged a 10 a.m. PT kickoff for this one. All signs point to another productive rushing performance from Marshawn Lynch. Can the Seattle passing game function well enough with Charles Johnson harassing Russell Wilson when the quarterback drops back to pass? Sando's best guess: Panthers 17, Seahawks 14

  • Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET: Just when the Alex Smith skeptics are getting a little antsy, the Bills' defense comes to Candlestick Park. Smith has been very good at home. I suspect that will continue in this game. Oh, and the 49ers can play a little defense, too. Sando's best guess: 49ers 27, Bills 14

Note: We've also got the "You called it" competition going, plus the Pigskin Pick'em group. (I unfortunately failed to make predictions one week, killing my score.)