2011 NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions: An NFL Fan’s Predictions

Week five of NFL action is upon us, and it is starting to feel like a special kind of season. You have all the things you would hope for from an NFL season. You have teams like the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions completely flipping the script on NFL fans everywhere. You have the mighty defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers filling the role of the unstoppable force. You have the benefit of early season races where no team is eliminated and every team thinks they have a chance. As a huge Carolina Panthers fan, I have had the benefit of watching Cam Newton(notes) set the league on fire so far in 2011 as well. All of these things have combined to make this one of the most enjoyable seasons in recent memory for yours truly.

Also, it doesn't hurt that I am picking a solid percentage thus far in my NFL picks each week. Week four was not particularly kind to me, but it could have been much worse. This week begins the bye weeks where the picks get a bit tougher. There are fewer games and it is much easier to have a horrible week percentage wise. In years past, this is where I usually pull away from the pack.

I believe it was the legendary Bear Bryant that said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true."

Now on with my week five NFL picks and predictions the way I see them:

SUN, OCT 9 - Week Five NFL Games

Tennessee Titans (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) 1:00 PM - Heinz Field

Not many people would have expected the Titans to be sitting at 3-1 at this point in the NFL season but here they are. A new coach, new quarterback and new attitude has seemingly revamped the Titans and put them back in the game. Am I the only one outside of Tennessee that is thrilled to see Matt Hasselbeck having a great season? He always carried himself with class and I wish him the best. That said, the Steelers are not going to be in a very good mood this week. What that means to the game is that the "old men" are going to be hitting hard and taking names. Injuries or not, the Steelers are going to win this ball game.

Week Five NFL Winner - Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks (1-3) at NY Giants (3-1) 1:00 PM - MetLife Stadium

Seattle certainly tried to make a game of it in week four against the Falcons, but it was not meant to be. The Seahawks are a much better team than some (including myself) have given them credit for. The Giants were the beneficiaries of a horrible call in their victory over the Cardinals. Now, these two teams face one another headed in very different directions. The Giants are tied atop the NFC East because the Eagles and Cowboys self-imploded. I expect that the Giants are a bit vulnerable, but they will pull it out at home.

Week Five NFL Winner - New York Giants

Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) 1:00 PM - EverBank Field

Andy Dalton(notes) is forcing the NFL to take notice as he brought the Bengals back for a fourth quarter win in week four against the powerful Buffalo Bills. The Bills are no joke, and that was no small task given that Dalton had played like…well…a rookie in the first half. This guy is trying his best to give Cam Newton a run for his money as the best rookie quarterback. Don't look now but he has one more win than Cam, and this week looks good for another one in Jacksonville. The problem with this is that Jacksonville is a great running team that can give the Bengals fits. Denver did it and the Jaguars will too.

Week Five NFL Winner - Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints (3-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-3) 1:00 PM - Bank of America Stadium

The Panthers have spent a great deal of time coming close but not closing the deal. In four games so far, the Panthers have won one game by six points and lost three games each by a touchdown or less. Every game is close and all but one were losses. This is indicative of a young team and quarterback that has not yet learned how to win. One of these days, they are going to put it all together and beat a team that nobody expects. This will not be the week, but it is coming.

Week Five NFL Winner - New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders (2-2) at Houston Texans (3-1) 1:00 PM - Reliant Stadium

The Raiders were tough against the Patriots but came up short. This week, they draw the Texans. The Texans are likely without Andre Johnson(notes) so this game will probably be closer than expected. Even with the great Johnson, the Texans would have their hands full with this year's edition of the Raiders. They are a great running team and could easily spring the upset. I see the Texans pulling it out in part because of their own running game and a vastly superior aerial attack.

Week Five NFL Winner - Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-1) 1:00 PM - Ralph Wilson Stadium

What a nightmare season the Eagles have had so far in 2011. Regardless of why, they are looking at a very long season if things do not get fixed quickly. They come in facing a Bills team that is smarting over a loss that should not have happened. This team has character and will respond in a big way. The Eagles will be moving the football as well, so I expect a high scoring affair. In a game that could decide the fate of the Eagles, they will drop another game in Buffalo. The Bills are for real and this game will get them back on the right track.

Week Five NFL Winner - Buffalo Bills

Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) at Indianapolis Colts (0-4) 1:00 PM - Lucas Oil Stadium

The Chiefs are desperately trying to prove that they are much better than their start shows. There was a time when I would agree with that. That said, Curtis Painter(notes) is not nearly as bad as Colts fans thought and that much is for certain. I think the Colts will win this game at home.

Week Five NFL Winner - Indianapolis Colts

Arizona Cardinals (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (0-4) 1:00 PM - Mall of America Field

The Cardinals were absolutely ripped off in week four in my view, and they rightfully should be at .500 instead of 1-3. The Vikings are exactly where they should be. Even still, it is only a matter of time before the Vikings notch a win at home. The Cardinals look like a good victim to me.

Week Five NFL Winner - Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Bucs (3-1) at San Francisco 49ers (3-1) 4:05 PM - Candlestick Park

San Francisco is a team that most thought would be very average at best in the NFC, and yet here they are at 3-1 and dominating the NFC West. The Bucs are still getting their legs under them, but are solid from top to bottom. This game truly could go either way, but I think the Niners win at home.

Week Five NFL Winner - San Francisco 49ers

NY Jets (2-2) at New England Patriots (3-1) 4:15 PM - Gillette Stadium

The Jets seem to be falling apart at the seams and that is not a good time to face the Patriots on the road.

Week Five NFL Winner - New England Patriots

San Diego Chargers (3-1) at Denver Broncos (1-3) 4:15 PM - Sports Authority Field at Mile High

The Chargers are going to win this one going away. They looked like the Chargers everyone expected in week four, and will continue it against a Bronco team in tatters. John Fox is a stubborn fella and I know that as well as anyone having watched him all those years in Carolina.

Week Five NFL Winner - San Diego Chargers

Green Bay Packers (4-0) at Atlanta Falcons (2-2) 8:20 PM - Georgia Dome

This game once seemed like a huge match up until the Falcons decided to not show up for a couple of games in 2011. They could give the Packers fits, or they could simply be more roadkill for the Packers. My guess is this one will be close but the Packers will win it on the road.

Week Five NFL Winner - Green Bay Packers

MON, OCT 10 - Week Five NFL Games

Chicago Bears (2-2) at Detroit Lions (4-0) 8:30 PM - Ford Field

The Lions are simply on a roll and I do not see this game changing anything in that area. The Lions are on a national stage at home, and against one of their biggest rivals. What more could a Lion's fan ask for?

Week Five NFL Winner - Detroit Lions

Week Five Bye Teams: Cleveland, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, Washington, Baltimore

Week Four Record—11-5 Season Record to Date—44-20

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Updated Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011