Baltimore Ravens (3-2) vs Tennessee Titans (2-3): Each team is making the trip to London, and both are desperate for a win. The Ravens controlled the game against Pittsburgh last week until the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t finish the job.
Baltimore had three turnovers and went 5-of-14 on third-down tries but overall their defense only gave up 289 yards. The Ravens haven’t given up more than 24 points all year, and I don’t think the Titans will be the team that cracks that number. The Titans gave up 429 total yards and 21 first downs to the Colts. The Colts have some nice pieces, but Baltimore has better.
My pick: Baltimore Ravens
New Orleans Saints (3-2) @ Houston Texans (2-3): I have been super torn on the Saints and don’t know what to make of them. The 34-0 win over the Pats doesn’t say much considering the direction New England is going. The Saints’ defense has been their saving grace because I’m still not sold on the offense.
On the other hand, the Texans had a chance to add to their win streak last week but blew it against the Falcons. CJ Stroud only threw for 249 yards and one touchdown, but in the previous three games he hit 306, 280, & 384 yards with two touchdowns in each of those games. Outside of Pittsburgh in week four, this is the best defense Stroud has faced this year but, he’s proven to be up for the task. I’ll take Houston.
My pick: Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers (5-0) @ Cleveland Browns (2-2): Cleveland is fresh off a bye week and will be motivated after getting embarrassed by the Ravens in their last game. Cleveland’s defense has allowed the lowest amount of yards per game (196.8) and second-fewest points per game (15.0) through five weeks. When you look at San Francisco, it’s easy to see they are the best team in the league and don’t have many holes in their game. They are an offensive juggernaut averaging 33.4 points per game mainly behind Christian McCaffrey’s MVP level performance every week. It will be a battle, but I’ll take San Francisco.
My pick: San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions (4-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1): The Detroit Lions are one of the best squads in the NFC, but the Bucs have been a surprise, too. The Lions’ defense has been a big reason they have built on the success they had last year. The rush defense ranks 3rd overall and held the Chiefs and the Packers to only 20 points.
The Buccaneers have a mixed bag on defense. The pass defense ranks 16th while the rush defense is in the top 10. They held the Bears and Vikings to only 17 points and only allowed the Saints 197 yards total on offense. This is the best team Tampa has played and the outcome will fall solely on the defense. It could go either way, but I like the Lions to win their fourth in a row.
My pick: Detroit Lions
Seattle Seahawks (3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-3): The Bengals woke up last week against the Cardinals and looked like the team we know. Joe Burrow finished the game 36-of-46 for 317 yards and three touchdowns, all three to Ja’Marr Chase who set a franchise record 15 catches for 192 yards. The Bengals’ defense also stepped up forcing three turnovers including a pick-six from Cam Taylor-Britt.
The Seahawks are the team we dubbed “sneaky good” before the season. After a rough loss to the Rams to start the season, the Seahawks have rattled off three consecutive wins. Geno Smith is completing 70% of his passes this season for 734 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. The defense is also looking dangerous, recording a season-best 11 sacks in their road win over the Giants.
This has the makings of a game that could be a shootout, the type of games Joe Burrow specializes in. I’ll take Cincy to win again this week.
My pick: Cincinnati Bengals
Dallas Cowboys (3-2) @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-2): The Cowboys are now 3-2 after getting throttled by the 49ers last week. The Chargers are 2-2 and should be fresh after a bye week. Dallas’ defense was exposed last Sunday, and the Chargers have the fifth-ranked total offense in the NFL. With Austin Ekler back and Kennan Allen having a strong year, it’s going to be tough for San Fran’s secondary. The Chargers don’t have the defense San Francisco does, but I think Mack and Bosa can make life difficult for Dak who struggled mightily last week.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers