Steve Believes: Week 5, 2019 NFL Season

  • Los Angeles Rams Vs. Seattle Seahawks-Through the first three weeks, the Rams defense allowed their three opponents (Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns) to score a combined total of 49 points. Their opponent of last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, scored more than that (55) against them in a 55-40 L.A. loss at The Coliseum. The Seahawks, on the other hand, rebounded nicely after their Week 3 loss against the Saints, as they held the Arizona Cardinals to their season-low of 10 points, along with not allowing both 300-plus yards and a single passing touchdown by Kyler Murray. Under Sean McVay, the Rams have never lost at The Link. However, that will change this week, as the Rams are at a disadvantage traveling on a short week. Especially after the Week 4 loss that they endured. Seahawks to hand McVay his first loss at The Link during his Rams tenure.
  • Arizona Cardinals VsCincinnati Bengals-It’s a battle of winless teams, as the Cardinals take their odd 0-3-1 record into Paul Brown Stadium to take on a Bengals team that got destroyed, by the score of 27-3, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Barring a tie, one of these teams will be winning this game. And with that being said, that team will be the Bengals, a team that has alternated close losses with blowout losses. Plus, the Cardinals offense is trending downwards, so this is the perfect opportunity for the Bengals to get a win.
  • Buffalo Bills VsTennessee Titans-The Bills defense played like a Super Bowl caliber defense against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, only for their passing offense to lose that game for them. As for the Titans, they return to Nissan Stadium after an impressive road win against the Atlanta Falcons. This game will be a defensive struggle, so it will come down to which offense will do a little more in this game. And as for which offense that will be, will it be the Titans because I see Marcus Mariota outplaying whomever the quarterback is for the Bills in this game.
  • Chicago Bears VsOakland Raiders-It’s a reunion in this game, as Khalil Mack faces his former team for the first time as an opposing player. It’s a reunion of the international kind, as Mack will be facing his former team in the country of England. The Bear offense for the most part has been inept, as they’ve only scored 20 or points one time this season. Look for that to change against a Raiders team that has allowed 31 points per game over their past three games, and look for Mack to dominate with a vengeance. Bears to make it four in a row.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers VsNew Orleans Saints-The Buccaneers pulled a shocker last week, as they beat the Rams 55-40 at The Coliseum. As for the Saints, their defense carried them in a Week 4 Sunday Night win against the Dallas Cowboys. This game has the makings of a letdown game for the Buccaneers, as beating the Cowboys without Drew Brees was a huge win for them. However, the Saints defense has all the pieces to neutralize Jameis Winston & Company, while Teddy Bridgewater might enjoy a career game against the Buccaneers defense. Saints to continue to defy the odds without Brees.
  • Minnesota Vikings VsNew York Giants-Despite allowing a long opening touchdown drive against the Bears last week, the Vikings’ defense kept them in the game for the most. However, they didn’t get any favors from Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense. As for the Giants, they are 2-0 since Daniel Jones replaced Eli Manning as the team’s starting quarterback. The Giants have a chance to be over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, where they finished 11-5 to make the playoffs that season. However, Jones won’t pass his test against The Purple Reign defense. Plus, Cousins & Company will explode against a Giants defense that has allowed 28 points or more in three of their four games this season. Vikings to rebound at MetLife Stadium.
  • New York Jets VsPhiladelphia Eagles-The Jets are coming off an early bye week after starting a once promising season at 0-3. The Eagles are coming off a huge Thursday Night road win against the Green Bay Packers. The Jets will be better moving forward. But not this week, as I see the Eagles building off that big win at Lambeau Field with their second win at Lincoln Financial Field this season.
  • Baltimore Ravens VsPittsburgh Steelers-The Ravens looked fearsome on both sides of the ball through the first two weeks, only for the defense to allow a combined 73 points the past two weeks in losses against the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. As for the Steelers, they destroyed the Bengals on Monday Night Football last week for their first win of the season. Mason Rudolph gets his first taste of the NFL’s fiercest rivalry. But unlike Ben Roethlisberger, he won’t win his first career start against the Ravens. Ravens to rebound with a win at Heinz Field this week.
  • New England Patriots VsWashington Redskins-The Patriots offense looked very mortal against the Bills last week, only to be bailed out by their defense. As for the Redskins, they have looked colossally bad since blowing a 17-0 lead against the Eagles in Week 1. No matter who is behind center for the Redskins, he (Case Keenum or Dwayne Haskins) will struggle mightily in this game. Plus, look for the Patriots to do just enough offensively in the team’s fifth win of the season.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars VsCarolina Panthers-It’s a battle of teams who both started out as expansion franchises in 1995, as well as a battle of teams who both started out 0-2, only to each win their next two games. Sacksonville was nonexistent against the Denver Broncos last week, as Calais Campbell & Company didn’t record one sack of Joe Flacco. The Panthers, on the other hand, have 18 sacks as a team, including six of Deshaun Watson last week. Gardner Minshew II got sacked five times against the Broncos. Look for the Panthers defense to sack him that many times, and look for the Panthers to win their first game at home this season.
  • Atlanta Falcons VsHouston Texans-The Falcons return to the stadium where a possible championship turned into the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history. And they return there with a 1-3 record. As for the Texans, all of their games have been decided by seven points or less. The Falcons had problems in protection against the Titans last week, as they allowed five sacks of Matt Ryan. Look for more of the same against J.J. Watt & Company, and look for the Texans to bounce back this week.
  • Denver Broncos VsLos Angeles Chargers-The Broncos have been losers all around this season, as they have an 0-4 record. Two of those losses were at the buzzer against the Bears and Jaguars. Oh yeah, and they are minus star outside linebacker Bradley Chubb for the rest of this season, as the second-year player out of North Carolina State suffered a torn ACL last week. As for the Chargers, they actually had a dominant win for once, as they crushed the idle Miami Dolphins, 30-10, in their first win in the city of Miami since 1981. Dating back to 2016, the Chargers have split their past six games against the Broncos with no team sweeping the other during any of the past three seasons. This is the type of game where the Broncos can rally for Chubb to win. However, the Chargers have way too much firepower on both sides of the ball for the Broncos to contend with. So with that being said, I like the Chargers this week.
  • Green Bay Packers VsDallas Cowboys-AT&T Stadium has been a home away from home for the Packers, as they have won their past three games there. And given how last week’s game against the Eagles ended, it might be exactly what they need given their recent history in that stadium. As for the Cowboys, they failed to beat a Saints team that was minus Drew Brees last week, thanks mostly to their offense producing only 10 points against a vaunted Saints defense. Given that the Packers could have lost against both the Bears and Vikings, they could very easily be 1-3 right now. However, they are 3-1 and are aiming to go to 4-1 for the second time in three years. However, I see Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott making the third time the charm against the Packers in AT&T Stadium. So with that being said, I like the Cowboys to bounce back this week.
  • Indianapolis Colts VsKansas City Chiefs-It’s another reunion this week, except on U.S. soil this time around, as Justin Houston makes his return to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time as a visiting player. His new team, the Colts, failed to be the lone team above .500 in the AFC South, as they lost against the Raiders last week. As for the Chiefs, timing was everything last week in a back-and-forth game against the Detroit Lions in which they won, 34-30. They are 4-0 for the third consecutive season and aim to go 5-0 for the third consecutive season, as well as go 5-0 for the fourth time in the Andy Reid era. Houston will have a monster game against his old team, but it won’t enough, as I feel Jacoby Brissett won’t be able to match Showtime Mahomes. Chiefs to ruin Houston’s return to Arrowhead Stadium.
  • Cleveland Browns VsSan Francisco 49ers-In an odd split this season, the Browns are 0-2 at home, but 2-0 on the road, the last of which happened with a 40-25 victory against the Ravens. As for the 49ers, they are 3-0 for the first time since 1998 and have a chance to be 4-0 for the first time since 1990. Plus, they have a chance to be a half game up on the winner of the Rams-Seahawks game. Will the home-road oddity continue for the Browns? Well given what they just did against the Ravens, I’m tempted to say yes. However, I look for the 49ers to have things more tightened up coming out of their bye to remain undefeated this season.