NFL Week 5 predictions: Bet big on Bengals, Falcons, Eagles, Patriots

Here are our NFL Nation reporters' predictions for Week 5:


Kansas City Chiefs: The porous Chiefs pass defense might finally be running into an opponent it can hold up against. The Bears are 29th in passing yardage at just more than 200 yards per game. Jay Cutler and the Bears will make some plays, but not enough to win. Chiefs 27, Bears 24 -- Adam Teicher

Chicago Bears: For all the Chiefs’ woes in 2015, they can still rush the passer. That’s a problem for the Bears. A rash of injuries up front will force the Bears to start a patchwork offensive line, and keep in mind Cutler is not entirely healthy. Cutler rushed back from a strained hamstring last week and played well against Oakland, but the quarterback’s mobility is an issue. The calling card of any John Fox team is to play hard. Expect the Bears to compete. However, the Chiefs have more talent. The pressure is on Andy Reid to win at home. Chiefs 27 Bears 26 -- Jeff Dickerson


Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll and the Seahawks coaching staff spent much of the week defending the team’s offensive line. But Russell Wilson has been sacked on 11 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s the worst mark in the league. Throw in the fact that the run blocking has been abysmal, and this could be a long day for the Seahawks’ offense against the Bengals. Defensively, Seattle has forced punts on 18 of 20 possessions since Kam Chancellor returned, but Cincinnati’s downfield passing attack will present a new challenge. It will be close, but the Seahawks leave Paul Brown Stadium with a loss. Bengals 20, Seahawks 17 -- Sheil Kapadia

Cincinnati Bengals: Including one playoff game, the Bengals are 18-3-1 at home the past three seasons. Expect them to be 19-3-1 by the end of the day Sunday. The Bengals are outscoring opponents 66-18 through the first two quarters this season and have trailed for just one minute, 58 seconds all season. They still haven’t allowed a first-half touchdown. Seattle has scored only five touchdowns this season, just one before halftime. Bengals 23, Seahawks 16 -- Coley Harvey


Washington Redskins: The Falcons don’t throw deep a lot: Only eight passes have traveled 20 yards or more in the air. But quarterback Matt Ryan has completed seven of those throws, and he’ll get more chances Sunday. The Redskins have a banged-up secondary and will try to stop arguably the game’s best receiver in Julio Jones. It will be difficult. Washington will be able to move the ball, and that will keep the game close. Before the season I liked the Redskins in this game, and if they were healthier in the secondary, they would be a good upset choice. But there are too many injury issues this week. Falcons 31, Redskins 24 -- John Keim

Atlanta Falcons: It might not be easy for the Falcons as they try to achieve just the second 5-0 start in team history. The Redskins and Kirk Cousins have a little momentum after last week’s 90-yard, game-winning drive against the Eagles. Plus, they have the league’s top-ranked running game led by Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. But the Falcons are at home and have averaged 43.5 points per game in the past two contests. Getting Devonta Freeman and the running game going might be a bit more challenging against the league’s second-ranked run defense, but remember Freeman ran for three scores against what were supposed to be formidable defenses in Dallas and Houston. And Julio Jones is bound to have an explosive performance against a questionable Redskins secondary. Falcons 28, Redskins 17 -- Vaughn McClure


Jacksonville Jaguars: There is an interesting subplot to this game other than a meeting of the top-drafted quarterbacks of the past two seasons. The Jaguars have lost 11 consecutive road games and the Bucs have lost 11 consecutive home games, and one of those streaks should come to an end (remember, a tie is still possible) at Raymond James Stadium. There aren’t many games in which the Jaguars have the edge at quarterback, but they do in this one. Blake Bortles was a turnover machine as a rookie (17 interceptions) but he has cut down on those mistakes significantly (six TDs, three INTs) this season. Jameis Winston is having the same kind of troubles Bortles did as a rookie. His seven interceptions are tied with Andrew Luck for most in the NFL. Jaguars 17, Buccaneers 13 -- Michael DiRocco

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Neither the Buccaneers nor the Jaguars have proved capable of putting up many points. Don’t anticipate a break from the norm at Raymond James Stadium in this matchup between struggling teams. Still, the Bucs should do enough to win their first home game of the Lovie Smith era if running back Doug Martin continues to produce and if quarterback Winston avoids turnovers. Bucs 16, Jaguars 13 -- Andrew Astleford


New Orleans Saints: The Eagles’ offensive struggles have been one of the league’s biggest surprises. But their up-tempo, zone-read scheme can still put a ton of stress on a young Saints defense that has been going through its own growing pains. New Orleans ranks 32nd in yards allowed per pass attempt (9.8) and has allowed 17 runs of 10-plus yards (30th) with only three takeaways and zero interceptions. The big plays need to swing the other way for them to win on the road. Eagles 27, Saints 24 -- Mike Triplett

Philadelphia Eagles: This is a must-win game for both teams. Sam Bradford found his deep passing touch last week. The Saints have given up 14 completions over 20 yards, sixth-most in the NFL. That combination spells Eagles victory. Eagles 28, Saints 20 -- Phil Sheridan


Cleveland Browns: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The Browns stagger into a game against the Ravens with the league’s worst defense. Baltimore might not be as formidable as previous years, but it still has won 13 of 14 against the Browns. Until that changes, picking the Browns would live up to said definition. Ravens 27, Browns 20 -- Pat McManamon

Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore is 13-1 against Cleveland since John Harbaugh took over as coach in 2008, but this hasn't been as dominating as the lopsided series record suggests. Five of the past seven meetings have been decided by one score. With wide receiver Steve Smith (back) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) sidelined, the Ravens are going to have trouble putting up points. Smith and Gillmore have scored four of the Ravens' 11 touchdowns this season. Ravens 17, Browns 13 -- Jamison Hensley


St. Louis Rams: The up-and-down nature of the Rams makes it difficult to project which team will show up week-to-week, but their ability to limit big plays will be put to the ultimate test against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. In last week's upset, the Rams needed three takeaways to knock off the Cardinals. But it's a pretty good bet that Rodgers and the Packers -- with a league-low one turnover the first four weeks -- won't make the same mistakes, especially at home. Packers 27, Rams 20 -- Nick Wagoner

Green Bay Packers: Rodgers never has gone this deep into a season without throwing an interception. That streak could end against a Rams defense that can put pressure on quarterbacks with the best of them -- it ranks tied for second in the league with 17 sacks. But the way the Packers' defense is playing, it won’t be enough to end Green Bay’s Lambeau Field winning streak, which will reach 12 after this one. Packers 27, Rams 13 -- Rob Demovsky


Buffalo Bills: With Boobie Dixon likely to start in place of LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Karlos Williams (concussion), it hardly would be the Music City Miracle 2.0 if the Titans pulled off the upset and extended their winning streak against the Bills to six games. However, it’s hard to see Marcus Mariota doing much against a Bills defense that has held quarterbacks to the NFL’s sixth-lowest total QBR. The Bills need this bounce-back win and will get it. Bills 17, Titans 10 -- Mike Rodak

Tennessee Titans: Buffalo’s defense can be expert at fooling people, and though Mariota has done great work sorting through stuff, the challenge here might wind up more a learning experience than something he and the Titans can overcome. The offensive line isn’t fixed. Bills 19, Titans 10 -- Paul Kuharsky


Arizona Cardinals: The Lions’ defensive line is comparable to the Rams’ front. Detroit is allowing 3.63 yards per carry and has forced 10 fumbles. One area to watch will be yards after contact. Chris Johnson is averaging 2.53 yards after contact per rush the past three weeks, and the Lions are allowing 1.51 yards after contact per rush during that span. For the Cardinals to win, they will have to do two things: get over an awful performance against the Rams and throw the ball efficiently. They will. Cardinals 27, Lions 21 -- Josh Weinfuss

Detroit Lions: The Lions have an offense among the worst in the NFL and face yet another strong pass rush and a defense that has the highest interception percentage in the league (5.7 percent). Oh, and Arizona’s offense averages 37 points per game compared to Detroit’s 16.5. None of that bodes well for Detroit on Sunday afternoon as the specter of an 0-5 start looks like a real possibility. Arizona 28, Detroit 17 -- Michael Rothstein


New England Patriots: The Patriots have made stopping the run, and being physical with tight end Jason Witten, primary points of emphasis this week. At full strength health-wise, they should be able to execute. Overall, it looks as if they are catching the Tony Romo-less and Dez Bryant-less Cowboys at a good time. The Cowboys' defense has struggled recently and it doesn’t get much tougher than facing Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski & Co. Patriots 26, Cowboys 20 -- Mike Reiss

Dallas Cowboys: Everything looks stacked against the Cowboys on Sunday against the Patriots. They have lost two straight, won’t have Romo or Bryant, have not been able to make crucial plays on either side of the ball consistently and the Patriots are coming off a bye week. The Patriots have scored 91 points in their past two games and have 88 first downs, the highest total through three games for a team in NFL history. The Cowboys will welcome Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain to their defense, which will help, but can it really make that much of a difference? There are too many factors going against the Cowboys to pick a win. Patriots 31, Cowboys 21 -- Todd Archer


Denver Broncos: Since Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos, Denver has scored 37, 26, 37, 34, 41 and 47 points in the six previous meetings with the Oakland Raiders. That’s a 37.0 points per game average. The Broncos have not yet shown that kind of firepower this season, but are starting to show signs of life. Manning had a 300-yard passing game against the Lions and Ronnie Hillman had a 100-yard rushing game against the Vikings. Couple that with the league’s No. 1 defense and the Broncos will pressure Oakland quarterback Derek Carr far more than he has been pressured this season. The offense should do enough to move them to 5-0. Broncos 27, Raiders 17 -- Jeff Legwold

Oakland Raiders: The 4-0 Broncos aren’t unbeatable. The key might be how Carr handles the blitz. Denver’s defense is nothing short of nasty, blitzing on 37 percent of opponents’ dropbacks. Carr has been pressured on only 13.4 percent of dropbacks this season and is 7-of-13 for 146 yards and a touchdown. Carr was pressured on 25 percent of his dropbacks and sacked three times in his two games against the Broncos last season. He was 7-of-18 for 28 yards with one TD and two interceptions when under pressure in those games. And this Denver defense is much improved over 2014. Broncos 27, Raiders 17 -- Bill Williamson


San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers' defense was solid against Aaron Rodgers last week and, after getting picked apart by Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger the previous two games, Eli Manning seemed a perfect foil. After all, the 49ers picked him off five times in a 16-10 victory last season, but Chris Borland had two of the picks and he’s retired. Plus, linebacker Ahmad Brooks is away from the 49ers tending to a family matter and might not play. Giants 17, 49ers 13 -- Paul Gutierrez

New York Giants: Though the Giants last week proved they can beat a good team, we need to be careful about assuming they can’t still lose to a bad one. They play hard and so far haven’t turned the ball over, but they remain a deeply flawed team that could lay an egg any week. This is not the week. The 49ers team coming across the country to play the Giants is, in my estimation, the worst in the NFL. Offseason departures have left the coaching staff, offensive line and defense severely substandard and it’s showing up in their play. I have no idea how they won a game, but I feel pretty confident predicting them to lose this one. Giants 27, 49ers 16 -- Dan Graziano


Pittsburgh Steelers: The Chargers are beat up physically on the offensive line, at receiver and in the secondary. The Steelers are relatively healthy and should take advantage. A full week of preparation will help Michael Vick, and San Diego ranks 29th against the run, which means Le'Veon Bell should have a fun day. The Steelers are ornery about letting the Ravens game slip and will make up for that blemish. Steelers 24, Chargers 17 -- Jeremy Fowler

San Diego Chargers: Quarterback Philip Rivers should get to some good matchups against a Pittsburgh secondary that has given up seven passing touchdowns this season. The Steelers would be wise not to blitz, as Rivers has a 133.0 passer rating when teams send five or more rushers. However, opposing quarterbacks have a 112.6 passer rating when Pittsburgh rushes just four, third worst in the NFL. If the Chargers can contain Bell, defensive coordinator John Pagano should have a plan to limit big plays by Vick. Chargers 28, Steelers 26 -- Eric Williams