Week five of the NFL season is here! We saw the Indianapolis Colts take down the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football this week and now it’s time to look ahead to the rest of the weekend schedule. The TWSN game preview crew looks at each game below.
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
For back-to-back weeks, there will be another game in London, this time the Giants vs. the Packers. The Packers are finally starting to figure out the passing game, as Aaron Rodgers has now had two consecutive weeks where he threw for over 250 yards. Romeo Doubs has started to find his groove in the offense, as he leads the Packers receivers in target share with 19.2% and receiving yards with 184. Outside of Doubs, the two other go-to receivers for Rodgers have been Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, who both have over 150 receiving yards. Without Davante Adams, Rodgers has been spreading the ball around equally to his playmakers.
The Giants defensive front will have to get pressure on Rodgers to help out the secondary, and pressure is something the Giants have been decent at. So far, they have a pressure percentage of 27.7% with Dexter Lawrence being the main guy providing that pressure. The Packers offensive line was way better last week with David Bakhtiari back, as they allowed only one sack and five pressures. On offense for the Giants, who will be at quarterback is up in the air as Daniel Jones is questionable with an ankle injury and Tyrod Taylor is out with a concussion. The Giants lack receivers, so all focus will be on Saquon Barkley. Last week, Barkley had 146 yards on 31 carries.
With the lack of balance on the Giants’ offense for the game, this should lead to the Packers being able to slow down Barkley and secure the victory. — Marissa Myers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh heads to Buffalo to take on the Bills in what will be rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett official first start. Pickett came into the team’s game against the New York Jets last weekend in the second half and he looked much more poised and in control of the offense than his predecessor. That being said, this is a very tough test for a rookie. Playing in Buffalo isn’t an easy task as a veteran, let along as your first official start in the NFL. His wide receivers and defense will likely need to help him throughout this game if the Steelers want any chance of winning.
For Buffalo, they come home after a well-earned comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens on the road. The Bills are one of the best teams in the league and haven’t looked the part for most of the season. They’ll need to ride the hot hand of quarterback Josh Allen in this game and not take Pittsburgh for granted. The Steelers beat Buffalo last season on the road and while it was different circumstances, the defense for Pittsburgh is still good. I think Josh Allen and company do enough to beat the Steelers here and pick up their fourth win of the season. — Matt Levine
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
The Bears and Vikings square off for their first of two matchups this season. There’s a lot of panic in Chicago right now based off the concerning play from franchise quarterback Justin Fields, but the team has managed to start off with a 2-2 record, better than expected. On the other side, Minnesota is 3-1, as they’ve edged out a couple close wins over the past two weeks.
Chicago will look to keep running the football. It’s their clear go-to, as it’s their most efficient source of offense. It helps them avoid turnovers and slow down games, keeping things close. Defensively, the Bears have blitzed at the second-lowest rate in the NFL, yet they’re generating pressure at the fourth highest rate. This is an extremely impressive feat, and it will be important for Chicago to keep this up against Minnesota. Pressure Kirk Cousins into a poor decision or two with just four rushers. This will help give extra support in pass coverage, as the Bears have a poor secondary, and the Vikings receiving core led by Justin Jefferson can be scary. Nonetheless, I like the Vikings to win here. They’re the better team, at home, and I think they’ll be able to move the ball pretty effectively to get a lead on this Bears team. Playing from behind by multiple scores plays exactly against Chicago’s slow-paced, run-heavy approach. — Aidan Maher
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
It has been a long time since the New York Jets were playing .500 football in October. Not only is it meaningful, but they are looking to end a 12-game losing streak against divisional opponents this week against the Miami Dolphins. The rookies have led the way, with Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Breece Hall being among the best young players in the league. DJ Reed and Quinnen Williams are also having season’s worthy of national recognition. Zach Wilson came back last week and while it was shaky at times, he had the best quarter of football in his career when it mattered most to gut out a win. The Jets are starting to piece the puzzle together, and a win this week would let everyone know they are for real.
On the other side of the field, the Dolphins have been embroiled in controversy. Tua Tagovailoa is out this week, dealing with a multitude of injuries. The coaching staff and team medical staff have been under fire from the entire league. Team Doctor John Uribe has already been dismissed by the NFLPA. Even with Tua out and the internal turmoil, the Dolphins are dangerous. The defense comes to play and the duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle has been cooking teams. Seeing this Miami passing attack take on the Jets’ “No Fly Zone” secondary is must-watch football. Will Hill and Waddle get it done? Or will they get lost in the Sauce while the Jets take their first AFC East game. Give me the Jets to win this game with Tagovailoa out. — Tyler Paluzzi
Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns
The Chargers have started slow, but they are starting to find their way. Dropping games to the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars was not an expected start to the season for a team considered Super Bowl contenders; however, they can get back on the right track while taking on the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks over the next three games. Justin Herbert has done his part, but the run game and defense have disappointed and lost them games. The Chargers have the talent to pull it together, but will need to find their team identity soon.
The Brows have had a bad start to the year, only taking two games of their first four. All four were very winnable, but this team just has not been able to get it done. The team is awaiting the return of Deshaun Watson from suspension, but that might not be enough to turn Clevelan’s fortunes around. A win against the Chargers would put them back on the right track. This is a game between two teams that have been inconsistent throughout the season, and the winner will depend on which version of each team shows up. I like the Chargers here. — Tyler Paluzzi
Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots
Another tough game to pick because both teams are somewhat Jekyll and Hyde. The Lions are one of the best offensive teams in the league, but their defense has been awful. They can’t stop anyone on defense, and it’s become a major problem. They should have a better record than what they do but they keep dropping close game due to their struggles on that side of the ball.
For New England, it remains to be seen who will start at quarterback for them. Mac Jones still may be out, and rookie Bailey Zappe could be in line to start. No matter who starts for them, they will need to take their time in the pocket and take what the defense fives them. This Lions defense should allow the Patriots to score points so it’s just a matter of doing so. Detroit has all the makings to go on the road and take this game. However, I see Bill Belichick coming up with some sort of scheme that slows down the Lions gameplan. Give me the home team to win this matchup here. — Matt Levine
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a close loss in London to the Minnesota Vikings. The starting quarterback is up in the air as Jameis Winston missed last week, and it was Andy Dalton filling in. No matter who starts, they will be going up against a Seahawks defense that just gave up 45 points to Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. Chris Olave will be able to find success against this secondary that has given up 9.4 air yards per attempt. This is significant because in the entire NFL, Chris Olave currently is the top receiver in terms of intended air yardage with 699. The next closest receiver is Courtland Sutton with 511 yards. While the Saints have been able to move the ball down the field, they are only averaging 19 points per game. That could again change with the Seahawks allowing a league high of drives to end in a score at 53%.
The Seahawks’ offense has been clicking with Geno Smith at the helm. Currently, they stand as the 11th best in the NFL with 1,444 total offensive yards, and last week against the Lions, Smith completed 23-of-30 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. It was the best game so far in 2022 for DK Metcalf as he had seven receptions go for 149 yards. The Saints have been great against the pass, allowing only 76 completions for 814 yards and three touchdowns. Tyrann Mathieu has been a good addition for the defense and finally started to get things going last week as he notched his first interception. It is a good thing the Seahawks finally got their ground game going last week, Rashaad Penny had 151 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
The Saints should be getting key playmakers like Alvin Kamara back on offense for this game, and they have a better defense to limit the Seahawks. — Marissa Myers
Tennessee Titans @ Washington Commanders
This is one of the toughest games to pick on the schedule. On one hand, the Titans have looked better of late, but I still don’t trust them completely. Ryan Tannehill is playing well for now, but the defense has looked bad at times. Luckily for them, the Washington offense has looked abysmal lately. Tennessee has the clear advantage in this game despite being on the road. Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz looked strong early on but over the last few games has really struggled.
For Washington, they need to get back to the basics. Wentz hasn’t had time to throw the ball and when he does, he is erratic with it. For Tennessee, running back Derrick Henry needs to have another strong game in this one for the Titans to win. I think he and the Titans find a way to pull this game out. Give me Tennessee on the road here. — Matt Levine