As Week 5 comes to a close, there’s another interesting week in the books for the NFL. Six teams will head into Week 6 with an undefeated record, and it’s looking likely that AFC division leaders will stay there the rest of the season. How many undefeated teams have a chance at losing Week 6? Let’s take a look:
The Bengals trailed by 17 in the second half to the resurgent Seahawks, but still found a way to win in overtime. This week they travel to Buffalo in a game Vegas that looks to be a pick’em. The home confines of Orchard Park have not been kind to the Bills this season, as their 1-2 record there indicates. Penalties have killed them, as they’ve averaged 14 per game at home for a whopping 129 yards. The Bills need their weapons back (Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams) if they’re going to have a chance in this one.
Can anyone stop the Patriots? It seemed as though New England was merely toying with the Cowboys in Week 5. They’ll travel to Indianapolis for Sunday Night Football and should be in a dogfight provided Andrew Luck is healthy enough to suit up this week and play. New England has featured a strong thunder and lightning punch at running back and wide receiver with LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski all doing damage. The burden of this game will be on the Colts defense, who will have to slow down Tom Brady if they want any shot at winning this game.
The worst blow coming out of Week 5 has to be the knee injury suffered by Jamaal Charles. His second ACL tear will sideline the talented running back for the rest of the season and put his career 5.5 yards per carry mark on the shelf. In a “next man up” league, it should be Charcandrick West who will carry most of the workload, while Knile Davis will see an uptick in carries as well. Both are worthy of looking at in PickChamps contests this week, as they’ll be called up to pick up the slack that Charles left behind. This week they’ll face a tough test heading to Minnesota to take on a rested Vikings team coming off the bye.
In what seems like a twisted storyline, the 4-0 Panthers will head to Seattle to take on a 2-3 Seahawks squad. It’s going to be a tough test for Cam Newton and company heading up to the Pacific Northwest and facing a team who had a huge fourth quarter collapse in Cincinnati. Marshawn Lynch missed another week and at this point it seems that Seattle may not be telling the media the whole truth with regards to his injury. Meanwhile, Josh Norman is a leading candidate for defensive player of the year and leads a stout defense that looks to take advantage of Seattle’s struggling offensive line.
Will the firing of Joe Philbin and an extra week off inspire the Dolphins to their second win in Tennessee? The Titans take on an AFC East team for the second week and it’ll be interesting to see if the new coaching regime makes any changes. Ryan Tannehill hasn’t taken “the next step” this season and Miami has gotten away from using Lamar Miller, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season. Miller is at a paltry 3.5 yards per carry this season, but is averaging less than 10 carries per game. Marcus Mariota continues to look impressive as evidenced by his 8.0 yards per attempt and his 47 rush yards in Week 5 prove that he’s a serious threat on the ground. With both teams at the 1-3 mark, a win is imperative if there are any hopes for a playoff spot this season.
Another game that pits teams with an identical record will take place in San Francisco, as the Ravens travel across the country to take on the 49ers. There should be plenty of offense in this game, as both teams are giving up over 27 points per game. The 49ers lost many important pieces of their defense during the offseason, and the Ravens have struggled since losing their best defender, Terrell Suggs, Week 1. Justin Forsett appears to be adjusting to Marc Trestman’s offense and has gone for at least 150 yards from scrimmage in each of the last two games. However, he did hurt his leg in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game, and is one to look for on the injury report this week. For the 49ers, Carlos Hyde aims to continue an impressive sophomore season.
Finally, Week 6 will end Monday night in Philadelphia where the Eagles will entertain the rival Giants. Philly looks to even their record at 3-3 while the Giants will look to go 4-2 and increase their first place lead over the rest of the NFC East. Odell Beckham Jr. was doing Odell Beckham Jr. types of things Sunday night, finishing with seven catches for 121 yards. The Eagles offense may have finally turned the corner, after soundly beating the Saints at home. Sam Bradford has recorded over 600 yards passing in his last two games to go along with a strong 5:2 TD:INT ratio. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews have gotten the running game going, but will face a defense giving up only league-best 3.5 yards per carry this season.