Cortana’s NFL predictions – Week 5

Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season starts with a Thursday night game in Tampa Bay. The 2-2 New England Patriots will try and fix a defense that has been giving up points by the boatloads. The Patriots are 31st in the NFL right now yielding a very uncharacteristic 32.3 points per game. Head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will face a young quarterback in Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston who continues to get better. Cortana’s pick: Patriots to win with 80%.

On Sunday, a number of matchups will answer some big questions for NFL fans. The 3-1 Los Angeles Rams will head to Seattle to find out just how good they are. New head coach Sean McVay and company lead the NFL in scoring (35.5 points per game) and QB Jared Goff looks like a different player. Seattle appears to finally have its offense unraveled and CenturyLink Field might be the most difficult place to play for an opponent in the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills, also with a new head coach in Sean McDermott, will look for their fourth win as they travel to Cincinnati (1-3). The Bengals would not have a win if they had not played Cleveland a week ago. The Bills have the best defense in the NFL right now which will give Cincy QB Andy Dalton trouble.Cortana & Bing say Bills should win – 52% chance

Fresh off a win over Chicago, Green Bay heads to Dallas for an early-season measuring stick game. The Cowboys are 2-2 and the defense has been suspect in both losses. Dallas is giving up over 26 points per game and needs to get the defense fixed. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes last week. If Dallas lets Rodgers get loose, they are in for a long day.

While the Dallas defense needs help, it’s the offense in Miami that needs some life. The Dolphins, now 1-2, have scored just six points in the last two weeks. Miami will host Tennessee (2-2) which got blown out by Houston last week. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase will try and get QB Jay Cutler to expose the Titans secondary, something that Houston rookie QB Deshaun Watson did last week. Cortana predicts Titans to win – 67%

The Philadelphia Eagles are in first place in the NFC East and must continue to prove they are among the NFL’s elite when they host Arizona on Sunday. The Eagles running game (143.0 yards per game) is second in the league and is a big reason why Philadelphia is 3-1. Arizona (2-2) is in danger of falling by the wayside once again. The Cardinals could never right the ship last season and finished 7-8-1. Head coach Bruce Arians needs to find an identity on offense. Winning in Philadelphia would be huge for Arizona.

In the AFC North, division leader Pittsburgh will host 2-2 Jacksonville. The Jags have been inconsistent beating Baltimore one week then losing to the Jets the next. The Steelers, fresh off a 26-9 win over the Ravens, need to take care of business and win games they should. Baltimore travels to Oakland to face the Raiders who will play without QB Derek Carr. Carr has a fracture in his back and will miss at least the next two weeks.

For the Giants and the Chargers, Sunday means that at least one of the two teams is going to remove itself from the ranks of the winless. Both teams are 0-4 and have had disappointing starts to the season. The same is true of both San Francisco (0-4) and Indianapolis (1-3) where starting quarterback Andrew Luck will practice this week but not play. Without Luck, the Colts just haven’t been able to generate much offense. If not for Cleveland on the schedule, Indy would likely be winless. The 49ers are just as bad on offense.

Cleveland (0-4) might have its best chance at a victory when it hosts the New York Jets on Sunday. The Jets (2-2) have proven that they might not be the worst team in the NFL. They beat Jacksonville in overtime last week. Still, these two teams might be battling for positioning in next year’s draft. Cortana predicts Jets to win – 58% chance.

The big showdown in the NFC will take place in Detroit where the 3-1 Lions welcome the 3-1 Carolina Panthers to town. The Detroit defense – 11 takeaways – is playing very well and is coming off a game in which it forced three turnovers. Carolina is slowly beginning to return to its 2015 form. The defense is fourth in points allowed per game and the offense has plenty of weapons for QB Cam Newton.

Week 5 ends on Monday night in Chicago where rookie and No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky will get his first NFL start for the Bears. Chicago will take on NFC North rival Minnesota. Trubisky will be just the fourth quarterback to get his first NFL start on a Monday night. The Vikings are fourth against the run and ninth in points allowed per game. Chicago is going to need RB Jordan Howard to take some of the pressure off of their young quarterback.

Week 5 predictions

The following predictions are as of Wednesday, make sure to check back closer to matches for any changes.

Thursday, October 5, 2017   Predicted winnerChance
New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers8:25p (ET)8:25pCBS/NFLN/AmazonNew England Patriots80%
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals1:00p (ET)1:00pCBSBuffalo Bills52%
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns1:00p (ET)1:00pFOXNew York Jets58%
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions1:00p (ET)1:00pFOXDetroit Lions53%
San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts1:00p (ET)1:00pFOXIndianapolis Colts52%
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins1:00p (ET)1:00pCBSTennessee Titans67%
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants1:00p (ET)1:00pCBSNew York Giants58%
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles1:00p (ET)1:00pFOXPhiladelphia Eagles55%
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers1:00p (ET)1:00pCBSPittsburgh Steelers74%
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams1:05p (PT)4:05pCBSSeattle Seahawks52%
Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders1:05p (PT)4:05pCBSOakland Raiders52%
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys3:25p (CT)4:25pFOXDallas Cowboys52%
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans *7:30p (CT)8:30pNBCKansas City Chiefs64%
Monday, October 9, 2017
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears7:30p (CT)8:30pESPNMinnesota Vikings67%
Byes:  Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington