NFL-AFCE Game Day wk 5

NFL-AFCE Game Day wk 5
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New England Patriots 30, Washington Redskins 10

1 p.m. ET (CBS) | FedExField (Landover, Md.)


1) Ben Watson’s return from suspension should help a Patriots offense that needs more receiving options. Josh Gordon is hurt and clearly not in sync with Tom Brady, while Julian Edelman is not 100 percent. Brady’s struggles in Buffalo were more about the great Bills secondary and the Patriots‘ limitations than Brady’s pass protection. 

2) To compare pass rushes, the Patriots have 21 sacks and 83 total disruptions, according to PFF, with role players like Lawrence Guy and John Simon providing great value. The Redskins have four sacks and 51 total disruptions with first-round pick Montez Sweat and even perennial Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan struggling to make an impact. 

3) It looks like the Redskins might get wide receiver Terry McLaurin back from injury, but lose tight end Vernon DavisColt McCoy, if he passes medical benchmarks, appears to be Jay Gruden’s preferred option to start. This is Gruden’s version of going out his way. (UPDATE: Gruden announced Friday that McCoy will start Sunday’s game.)

Patriots (4-0) at Redskins (0-4)

From: ESPN
Matchup rating: 52.4 | Spread: NE -15 (42)

What to watch for: Can the Redskins do anything to slow the Patriots’ offense? The Pats are coming off a 16-point performance in which quarterback Tom Brady completed just 18 of 39 passes for 150 yards and an interception. For the season on third downs, he’s completing only 48.9% of his passes and owns a 78.0 passer rating. But he’ll face a Redskins defense that, on third down, allows QBs to complete 87.2% of their throws and post a 140.5 passer rating. — John Keim

Bold prediction: New England running back James White will score two touchdowns, with his playing time rising because he’s a top pass protector and the Redskins are a heavy blitz team. Also note that the Redskins enter the game ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (147.5). — Mike Reiss

Stat to know: The Patriots are looking to become the first team since the 1988 Browns and Dolphins to allow zero passing touchdowns in the first five games of the season. And the Washington passing attack? Since Alex Smith got injured in Week 11 of last season, it has had an NFL-high five starting QBs.

What to know for fantasy: Through four weeks, there were 44 players with at least 25 carries. Among those players, no one is averaging fewer fantasy points per touch than Sony Michel (0.44). See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: This is the 63rd straight regular-season game that Brady will be favored in, breaking a tie with Steve Young (1993-97) for the longest streak by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Read more.

Reiss’ pick: Patriots 30, Redskins 6
Keim’s pick: Patriots 27, Redskins 7
FPI prediction: NE, 85.7% (by an average of 14.7 points)

Buffalo Bills 20, Tennessee Titans 17

1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)


1) The Bills‘ Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are the best safety tandem no one talks about, signed in free agency on the same day back in March of 2017 for a combined nine years and $43.5 million. Look for them to limit the Titans‘ passing attack from making big plays.

2) Don’t assume starting Matt Barkley — if Josh Allen doesn’t return from his concussion — would end the Bills‘ chances to win. Barkley made good decisions and moved the ball better than Josh Allen or Tom Brady last Sunday, even if he has a backup’s arm. There’s a real chance the Bills‘ passing game could stay on schedule better without Allen.

3) Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan’s return from suspension is massive for a Titans offense looking for consistency. Last week’s 24-point first half effort in Atlanta — followed by a goose egg after halftime — was their first quarter of the season in a nutshell. I trust the Bills‘ defense more.

Bills (3-1) at Titans (2-2)

From: ESPN
Matchup rating: 53.8 | Spread: TEN -3 (38.5)

What to watch for: Marcus Mariota has not thrown an interception this season, but the Bills are tied with the Giants and 49ers for second in the NFL with five picks each. Tennessee adopted a quick-hitting passing attack last week to speed up Mariota’s decision-making, which should be the way to go against a Bills defense that takes away the vertical passing game and is third in the league in allowing a 57.1 completion percentage. — Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: The Bills, who possess the NFL’s fourth-best rushing attack in terms of yards per game, will run for at least 150 yards against a Titans defense that has given up a combined 146 rushing yards over its past two games. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stat to know: The Titans rank 28th in the NFL in both sacks allowed (17) and pressure rate (34.0%). They will welcome back Taylor Lewan from a four-game suspension with open arms.

What to know for fantasy: Derrick Henry has nine straight games with either over 100 total yards or a rushing touchdown. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: All four Bills games have gone under the total this season. Since the start of last season, 13 of the Bills’ 20 games have gone under. Read more.

Louis-Jacques’ pick: Bills 14, Titans 10
Davenport’s pick: Titans 17, Bills 14
FPI prediction: TEN, 74.0% (by an average of 8.9 points)

Philadelphia Eagles 30, New York Jets 11

1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)

1) If the Eagles don’t hit the quarterback Sunday, it’s time to worry about the defensive line. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn’t trust his shaky secondary, so he barely blitzes, but even Fletcher Coxand Brandon Graham are struggling to get home. 2017 first-rounder Derek Barnett hasn’t stepped up and injuries have sapped the group’s depth.

2) It’s ironic that an analytics-minded team like the Eagles turned their season around because they ran well and stopped the run in Green Bay. Running backs Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard can stop GM Howie Roseman from trading for help if they keep playing well. Look for a more pass-happy approach this week with matchup advantages against the Jets‘ secondary. 

3) Sam Darnold‘s status is a mystery, but what about the other Jets first-rounders off to slow starts? Leonard Williams has not played well in Gregg Williams’ scheme and No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams is expected to return after missing two games for a squad surprisingly ranked No. 12 in defensive efficiency. (UPDATE: Adam Gase announced Friday that Darnold is officially out for Sunday’s game.)

Jets (0-3) at Eagles (2-2)

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 42.0 Spread: PHI -14.5 (43.5)

What to watch for: The Eagles are paper-thin at cornerback after injuries to Ronald Darby and Avonte MaddoxSidney Jones (hamstring) has practiced this week in hopes of playing. This is a matchup of the worst passing offense in the NFL (Jets, 131 yards per game) vs. the worst passing defense (324 yards per game). — Tim McManus

Bold prediction: With quarterback Sam Darnold (mono) sidelined for a third straight game, the Jets’ epic struggles on offense will continue. They’ve gone 21 straight possessions without a score, and that number will reach the high 20s. The Eagles’ pass defense is vulnerable, but Luke Falk — a dink-and-dunk passer — doesn’t have enough arm to exploit the matchup. — Rich Cimini

Stat to know: The Eagles’ Carson Wentz has 963 passing yards on the season, and he needs 400 more to have his most through the first five games of a season in his career (his single-game career high is 364).

What to know for fantasy: Zach Ertz finished last season as TE2 despite not scoring his first touchdown until Week 5. Ertz has not scored this season, but his 24 catches rank fourth at the position this season and keep his floor high. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Philadelphia is 10-0 all time against New York and 9-1 ATS. That’s tied for the most outright wins without a loss in any matchup in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Read more.

Cimini’s pick: Eagles 27, Jets 9
McManus’s pick: Eagles 30, Jets 17
FPI prediction: PHI, 75.9% (by an average of 9.7 points)


My Weekly Picks


So far this season: 8-2


Patriots@Redskins: 33-17…..Patriots!

No chance that joke in Washington beats this team!


Bills@Titans: 13-16…..Titans!

I’m sure I will be hated, but I think this week if Josh doesn’t play they have a better shot at winning. Regardless this will be a boring defensive game.


Jets@Eagles: 10-34…..Eagles!

Jets have zero chance to win this game against what maybe a SB contender, but Jets would lose this week against FSU! And that is bad!

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