The Sports Editors’ Week 5 NFL Picks

Sports Editors

Stuzin: Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) at Arizona Cardinals

As a Philadelphia sports hater, it pains me to admit that the Eagles have so far come out of the gate strong this season. They are one of the most efficient offenses in the league (ESPN had the Eagles third in their Week 4 power rankings), and they’ve only just begun to show what they can do. Quarterback (QB) Jalen Hurts has quieted all of his critics — he’s now fifth among all QBs in passing yards and tenth in QB rating (60.8). Additionally, running back (RB) Miles Sanders is already at 356 yards on the ground for the season, and wide receiver (WR) AJ Brown is at 404 yards receiving. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am not an Arizona Cardinals fan this year. Yes, QB Kyler Murray can still put up decent numbers (he’s almost at 1,000 yards passing and five passing TDs on the season) but he’s practically doing it all by himself. Occasionally, he’ll get some help from WR Marquise Brown (339 receiving yards on the season) but RB James Conner hasn’t been much help, and the team overall doesn’t seem too strong. Look for the Eagles to cover this spread. 

Martin: Tennessee Titans (-3) vs. Washington Commanders

After a lackluster season with the Indianapolis Colts last year, the change of scenery in Washington has not helped QB Carson Wentz as much as some had hoped. It might be time for the Commanders to cut their losses and sit Wentz. Reminder: if Wentz plays at least 70% of the snaps at quarterback this season, then the Commanders owe the Colts a second-round pick rather than a third-round pick.

Although the Titans’ defense has been underperforming this season, they should fare well against Wentz. The Titans’ offense also looked strong in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts, with Derrick Henry returning to form with 114 rushing yards and a touchdown. “King” Henry should look to have another game against the Commanders, who, according to ESPN, have the 30th worst defensive efficiency rank this season. The Titans are not an exciting pick, but they need to beat the Commanders if they want to claim the wide-open AFC South. 

Notis: Detroit Lions (+2.5) at New England Patriots

Through the first four weeks of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions have scored the most points per game in the league. But, on the defensive end, they have allowed the most points per game. They are an unpredictable ball of fun that will either heal your heart or break it. So, why not give them a chance this week? 

The Lions did take a tough loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks this week. However, QB Jared Goff threw for nearly 400 yards, RB Jamaal Williams punched in two touchdowns and tight end (TE) TJ Hockenson had almost 200 reception yards. The offense is clicking on all cylinders. Going up against a weak Patriots defense, Lions head coach Dan Campbell will be able to kick back and enjoy a nice cup of soup on the sidelines while Detroit routs New England. 

Silverstein: Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Baltimore Ravens

This is a classic AFC North matchup that features a far-from-classic Ravens defense. A unit that used to feature the likes of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed — one that was still one of the best in the league over the past few seasons — has simply collapsed on multiple occasions already this year. Two weeks ago, they were up 28-7 at the half against the Dolphins and deteriorated en route to a brutal 38-42 loss. On Sunday, they were up 20-3 on the Bills and surrendered 20 unanswered points to lose in heartbreaking fashion once again. Both of these catastrophes took place on home turf, where the Ravens have lost their last six. The defense has allowed 25 points per game and the most yards through the air of any team in football. That does not bode well for a team welcoming QB Joe Burrow and his host of talented receivers to town. I don’t care how many absolutely incredible plays QB Lamar Jackson continues to make. The Ravens desperately need to figure out things on the back end and finish games, and until they do they are in big trouble.