Scott Shapiro's Week 5 NFL 4-Pack
Week 5 got started in Massachusetts on Thursday night as a Colts team without several key players showed some fight, but in the end were unable to keep up with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Time to look to Sunday and my Week 5 NFL 4-Pack.
Detroit Lions (+1) vs Green Bay Packers
The head back home a desperate football team after coming from behind to take the lead in Dallas, eventually losing on a last-second field goal 26-24. Detroit enters Week 5 with a 1-3 record and badly needs a victory to avoid falling further behind the Bears and the Packers in the NFC North.
The Packers did not play that well at home last week versus Buffalo, but their defense led the way in a 22-0 win against the hapless Bills. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still far from 100% and is likely to be without wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison in this one. I am sure A Rod will put some points on the board, but his inability to make second reaction improvisational plays due to an ailing knee, along with being short-handed on the outside is a definite cause for concern.
The Packers have underwhelmed this year despite a 2-1-1 record and appear overvalued in this spot on the road. On the other hand, the Lions found a way to hang around in an obvious letdown spot in Dallas in Week 4. I like Matthew Stafford and his strong trio of wide receivers to make enough plays to avoid four losses in their first five games.
Lions win at home. My play of the day.
Week 5 NFL Pick- LIONS 2 units
New York Jets (Pick’em) vs Denver Broncos
The Jets head into Week 5 off a 3-game losing streak that includes a 31-12 defeat in Jacksonville last Sunday. Rookie Sam Darnold has shown signs that he will be a quality NFL quarterback at some point, but he has struggled of late. He is unlikely to fill up the box score against a Broncos defense that is likely to get a lot of pressure on him, but he should enjoy playing at home for just the second time.
On paper, the Broncos look like a better team than the Jets, but this is an extremely tough spot for Denver. They have played four tough games to start the year and travel across the country on short rest after a gut-wrenching loss on Monday Night to the undefeated Chiefs. Their defense should be able to keep them in the game against an ordinary Jets offense, but being up for this game will be a challenge.
The Jets put forth their best effort for head coach Todd Bowles and find a way to earn win number two.
Week 5 NFL Pick- JETS 1 unit
Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Vikings are quite possibly the best 1-2-1 team in the history of the National Football League and, like the Lions, are badly in need of a win if they want a legitimate chance of winning the NFC North. They head to on Sunday and seek revenge after getting blown out in last year’s NFC Championship game 38-7.
The Eagles have not looked anything like the team that won last year’s Super Bowl. Some of that is due to injuries, but they also have not blocked as well as they did in 2017 or been able to put the same amount of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. This has exposed a subpar secondary over the first four weeks.
The Vikings have struggled on the offensive line, which could be an issue in Lincoln Financial Field, but if they can protect quarterback Kirk Cousins, he should be able to connect early and often with his dynamic duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
The Vikings move the ball through the air and pull out the upset in a good one.
Week 5 NFL Pick- VIKINGS 1 unit
Houston Texans (-3) vs Dallas Cowboys
Much like the Packers, the Cowboys still seem to be a bit overvalued by the oddsmakers, which has led me to “pick on them” early in the 2018 season. They put forth their best offensive effort of the year in Week 4 in “Big D,” but they nearly blew a lead late before squeaking out a 26-24 win in AT&T Stadium. I still am not a believer.
The Texans got the monkey off their back winning for the first time in 10 games last Sunday with an overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts. Like the Cowboys, they blew a significant lead and needed late heroics to get the job done, but they should play a bit looser at home on Sunday night now that they notched that initial victory of the season.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has played better in each of his starts coming off the injury and should continue to improve as the season progresses. I expect the Texans to play their best game of the year at home in the Battle of Texas.
Texans get back in the AFC South with a win.
Week 5 NFL Pick- TEXANS 1 unit
Scott Shapiro's 2018 NFL Record (14-5-2, +7 units)