NFL Week 5 Preview: Will Minshew Magic Continue for the Jags?

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NFL Week 5 Preview: Will Minshew Magic Continue for the Jags?

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Michael Raupp, Sports Editor

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Michael Raupp, Editor

Overall Record: 35-23-1

Thursday Night Score: Los Angeles Rams 29, Seattle Seahawks 30

Best Pick Of Last Week: Carolina over Houston

Worst Pick Of Last Week: Indianapolis over Oakland

 

 

Baltimore Ravens (2-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

 

With a rough start to the season, Pittsburgh got exactly what they needed: facing a team in Cincinnati, which gave them a realistic shot to earn their first victory with a rookie quarterback calling shots behind center. Mason Rudolph took full command of the offense, and the defense played equally as well. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s defense was torn up by Cleveland last week, but Lamar Jackson will not let their losing streak reach three games. 

Ravens earn a much-needed win after last week’s embarrassment. 

Ravens 31, Steelers 21

 

Chicago Bears (3-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (FOX) — Game in London

 

American football heads to London — the first of four games. Chicago heads across the pond without Mitchell Trubisky as their quarterback after a dislocated shoulder and slight labrum tear early in last week’s win against Minnesota. The “home” team Oakland showed the league they can’t be taken lightly, especially at the running back position with rookie Josh Jacobs becoming stronger each week. However, he will be put to test against arguably the best defensive front in the league. The Bears will also be without Roquan Smith as well, but Nick Kwiatkowski filled in flawlessly for the linebacker that is dealing with personal issues. Chicago has not been willing to provide more information on his status, hinting there is much more to come, but Chicago will get past Oakland heading into the bye week.

Bears 20, Raiders 13

 

Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)

Sunday, Noon (FOX)

 

Combining for zero wins to start the first quarter of the season, one of these two fan bases will presumably earn their first Sunday. Both teams have prominently similar issues resulting into their early season woes: lack of offensive line help and poor secondary play. 

Spreading the ball around has been a major point of emphasis in Cincinnati’s offensive scheme, but now without John Ross — their top deep threat — others have to fill his void. Arizona loves to pass, too, but are also dealing with injury, losing receiver Christian Kirk with an ankle injury last Sunday, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

With that, an emphasis will be put on the run games. Both lines are equally bad, however,  Joe Mixon and David Johnson will have their moments. With Johnson having more value in the passing game, he will carry for his teammates’ absence.

Kyler Murray has his best game yet, and Arizona finally will earn their first victory in the second month of the season.

Cardinals 35, Bengals 24

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) @ Carolina Panthers (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

 

Carolina came through as my risky upset pick last weekend. Although there was nothing to write home about, their fill-in quarterback, Kyle Allen, was the exact spark the Panthers needed to salvage their season after an 0-2 start. 

Equally as impressive, arguably more, Gardner Minshew also brought Jacksonville back to 2-2 after losing Nick Foles in Week 1. Just an afterthought being a sixth round pick in last year’s draft, Minshew has taken the league by storm with not only his play, but also bold style choices.

Does Jacksonville have the next Tom Brady on their hands? He just needs six more Super Bowl rings, but he has to start somewhere, right?

The Minshew Magic continues in Carolina.

Jaguars 27, Panthers 20

 

Minnesota Vikings (2-2) @ New York Giants (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (FOX)

 

Minnesota went into Soldier Field thinking Chicago’s defensive front was vulnerable without Akiem Hicks and they failed miserably. However, Dalvin Cook has the opportunity to rebound after being stonewalled last week. With New York ranking near the bottom of the league in defensive categories, Cook has a real shot to regain the league lead in rushing. 

Kirk Cousins has an ideal match-up against a shaky secondary, so if he isn’t the better quarterback, more criticism will be thrown his way.

Vikings win behind a big day from Cook.

Vikings 21, Giants 17

 

New England Patriots (4-0) @ Washington Redskins (0-4) 

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

 

The Redskins have hit rock bottom early in the season. They have no clue how to manage their quarterback situation and with the news their coaching staff preferred a more experienced college player — like New York’s Daniel Jones — adds to the dysfunction. 

New England is the last team they wanted to see right now, but a loss will help them keep up with Miami for the first pick.

Pats win big in another cupcake match-up.

Patriots 42, Redskins 6

 

New York Jets (0-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) 

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

 

Sam Darnold remains out after the Jets’ bye week, meaning rookie Luke Falk is thrown back into the fire. Although the Eagles remain banged-up on both sides of the ball, they’ve had time off after an impressive victory in Green Bay on Thursday Night Football last week. 

Le’veon Bell can’t do everything for the Jets, therefore, the Eagles win again and move closer to being at full strength.

Eagles 23, Jets 14

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) @ New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (FOX)

 

A major upset last week, Tampa Bay handed the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of the season. Now, with a victory Sunday, they can have first place in the NFC South all to themselves. 

Meanwhile, the Saints are holding up in Drew Brees’ absence. After slowing down the at the time undefeated Cowboys, if New Orleans can get a similar level of performance on defense like they did last week, the team will have no problem remaining in contention the duration of Brees being out.

Factoring their home environment into play, New Orleans does just enough to defeat a streaking Buccaneers offense.

Saints 31, Bucs 28

 

Atlanta Falcons (1-3) @ Houston Texans (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (FOX)

 

After another underwhelming performance from Atlanta, head coach Dan Quinn is running out of excuses. Similarly, after being surprisingly defeated by Carolina, Houston’s head coach Bill O’Brien has also surfaced as a name on the hot seat. 

Houston will have trouble with Julio Jones, but Atlanta has shown nothing to have much confidence in. Houston wins with Deandre Hopkins getting back on track.

Texans 30, Falcons 27

 

Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

 

A game that features two stingy defensive units, points will be at a premium. Buffalo was defeated for the time this season last week against New England and lost their quarterback in the process, but he is expected to be back after clearing the concussion protocol. Furthermore, although they lost, the Bills showed New England their defense is legit — yet so is Tennessee’s.

The play of both offenses will decide the game, but if Josh Allen just plays a turnover-less game, Buffalo should win.

Bills 17, Titans 13

 

Denver Broncos (0-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

Sunday, 3:05 (CBS)

 

Denver has gotten the short end of the stick to start the season: lost to the Bears and the Jaguars on game winning field goals as time expired and just lost fifth pick in the 2018 draft defensive end Bradley Chubb for the season with a torn ACL. 

Los Angeles is clearly the better team, but they’ve had all kinds of trouble closing out games to start the season. Nonetheless, this time will be different now with having Melvin Gordon back from his holdout. 

Be ready for Gordon and Austin Ekeler to run all over a hurting Broncos team.

Chargers 35, Broncos 17

 

Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Sunday, 3:25 (FOX)

 

Any other storylines heading into this game will be subdued by the quarterback match-up, yet there are plenty besides the Rodgers vs. Prescott headline. The Packers lost their star receiver Davante Adams last Thursday against Philadelphia, and their run defense was ran all over. That could be a precursor for what is to come, as the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott-led rushing attack is much better than the Eagles; however, they will be without left tackle Tyron Smith, which could have an impact.

Aaron Rodgers can still win without Adams, but the Cowboys have an added bonus being at home. Dak and Zeke change the tune after last Sunday’s stinker. 

Cowboys 30, Packers 27

 

Indianapolis Colts (2-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

Sunday, 7:20 (NBC)

 

An AFC divisional playoff rematch from a season ago, the Colts still remain in contention with Jacoby Brissett taking over for the now retired Andrew Luck. The team lost to Kansas City last time around with their inability to run the ball and convert on crucial third downs. The Chiefs remain vulnerable through running the ball, but Colts’ Marlon Mack’s status is up in the air; the same goes for T.Y. Hilton.

The Colts will be hard to put away, but Kansas City showed once again last week in the final minutes in Detroit, they are the team to beat.

Chiefs 28, Colts 24

 

Cleveland Browns (2-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-0)

Monday, 7:15 (ESPN)

 

The Browns went into Baltimore and pounded the football with Nick Chubb, who had over 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns, but they need to prove more. San Francisco has had two weeks to prepare for Cleveland, their first real test of the season. 

Kyle Shanahan’s defense has been a pleasant surprise — albeit it was against weak opponents — but they appear to be a formidable unit. If they look anything like the one we saw the first three games, San Francisco will move to 4-0 with a critical game against the Los Angeles Rams next week.

The defense and Garoppolo will get the job done on Monday Night Football. 

49ers 28, Browns 20