The NFL’s Week 5 slate kicks off with our own Indianapolis Colts on the road to the New England Patriots tonight on Thursday Night Football. Chris Ballard said “the rivalry is back on” and Colts fans want to see some evidence of that from kickoff to the final whistle.
Luck is coming off of his most attempts, completions and touchdowns of the season and is completing the ball at a 67.2% clip as well. Is there a better test than the Patriots in Week 5 for the franchise quarterback coming back from a season off? It’s rhetorical.
According to Pro Football Reference, Luck is 80-of-139 (57.6%), has thrown 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, has been sacked only 5 times and has an 83.3 quarterback rating in his three regular season games against the Patriots. The Colts will need his best game of the year, and maybe his regulars season career to pull it off in Foxboro.
As for the rest of the matchups this week, there are 5 divisional games on the docket and a host of sneaky competitive games at least at face value. So many games this year have shown that the league is very much a league with most of the teams near the median of the pack. Great games one week, then throwing up a random stinker against a perceived bottom-dwelling team.
We’ll see Ben Roethlisberger and the inconsistent Steelers facing Matt Ryan and the Falcons who’ve lost their three games by a total of 13 points and have put up 30 points in three of their four games thus far. The Browns, who are finally fun again to watch are hosting the Ravens who have been clicking lately, but the game of the week very well could be Patrick Mahomes facing off against the Jaguars’ defense.
Mahomes is the most explosive quarterback right now and the Jags are as physical a team against the pass that there is. If the Chiefs’ running game isn’t on point, it could get really interesting how Mahomes goes toe to toe with that pass rush, and physical coverage down field.
In the afternoon slots there are a couple of solid matchups as well. The Vikings and Eagles is a fun game to look forward to, and the Rams who are putting up 35 points per game are traveling to the Seahawks and has the potential to either be a great, nip-and-tuck type game, but also — and maybe more realistically — has some serious blowout potential.
I think that everyone at least hopes that the Cowboys can play like they did in Week 4 Sunday night in order to make for some good television as they travel to the Texans in primetime. The Texans tasted blood for the first time last week against the Colts, and could gain some momentum off of that or they could look like they did the first few weeks of the season as well.
And to round out the Week 5 slate, there’s a quiet interest with this one in New Orleans with the Saints hosting the Redskins on Monday Night Football. The Saints are third in points per game (34.2) while the Redskins are second in the league in points per game allowed with just 14.7 ppg and are coming off a lengthy break and their last game in Week 3 being a 31-point output against the Packers.
Here are our staff picks for the week and as you can see, there are a lot of these picks that are very split. Just goes to show you how competitive the league is this season I think.
Matt Danely: 33-29 | Chris Shepherd: 34-28 | Chris Blystone: 33-29 | Stephen Reed: 36-26 | Brett Mock: 34-28 | Jared Malott: 28-34 | Elliot Denton: 35-27 | Andrew Aziz: 34-28 | Zach Hicks 14-17
Thursday 8:20 pm ET
Colts (5) @ Patriots | Contrarians: Matt Danely, Brett Mock, Andrew Aziz, Chris Shepherd
Sunday 1:00 pm ET
Packers (7) @ Lions | Contrarians: Chris Blystone, Danely
Broncos (7) @ Jets | Contrarians: Zach Hicks, Blystone
Giants @ Panthers
Titans (5) @ Bills | Contrarians: Danely, Mock, Shepherd, Blystone
Falcons (6) @ Steelers | Contrarians: Jared Malott, Aziz, Mock
Ravens (6) @ Browns | Contrarians: Danely, Aziz, Blystone
Dolphins @ Bengals
Jaguars @ Chiefs (5) | Contrarians: Danely, Aziz, Shepherd, Hicks
Sunday 4:05 pm ET
Raiders @ Chargers
Sunday 4:25 pm ET
Vikings (6) @ Eagles | Contrarians: Stephen Reed, Shepherd, Mock
Rams @ Seahawks
Cardinals (6) @ 49ers | Contrarians: Eliott Denton, Hicks, Blystone
Sunday 8:20 pm ET
Cowboys (5) @ Texans | Contrarians: Danely, Shepherd, Reed, Malott
Monday 8:15 pm ET
Redskins @ Saints (7) | Contrarians: Danely, Hicks