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NFL – a look at Week 5, Week 4 analysis

Friday, October 06, 2017

Week 4 provided another enjoyable selection of games and further proof that, on any given Sunday, anything can happen in the NFL. The week began last Thursday with the rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears — The game wasn't close, but it was filled with excitement and drama. Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers, the king of improvisations, set the tone of the game on the first drive and never let up in their 35-14 victory.

Since 1992, Green Bay has had two starting QBs while the Chicago team has had 14 during the same time period.

The New Orleans Saint travelled to London to give the Miami Dolphins a 20-0 beat-down, the Houston Texans embarrassed the Tennessee Titans in a 57-14 victory, and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 26-9 in an expected low-scoring encounter.

The New England Patriots suffered a surprising 33-30 home loss to the Carolina Panthers (despite some late game heroics by Tom Brady), the Dallas Cowboys were outgunned 35-30 at home by the Los Angeles Rams, and Week 4 was capped off on Monday night when the Kansas City Chiefs outmuscled the Washington Redskins 29-20.

Heading into Week 5, the Kansas City Chiefs are (deservedly) the only unbeaten NFL team at 4-0, while the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers all remain winless at 0-4. These winless teams are in need of a miracle if any hope remains to make the play-offs with 12 games to go.

 

WEEK 5

CHARGERS (0-4) at GIANTS (0-4) — Both teams are a bit shell-shocked with their 0-4 start, but (on paper) they are better than they appear. Additionally, these teams have significant history since both starting QBs were traded for each other in 2004. Giants QB Eli Manning was drafted first overall by the Chargers in 2004, and Chargers QB Philip Rivers was drafted fourth overall by the Giants in the same year. Eli Manning, on the insistence of his father, Archie Manning, was traded to the Giants for a package of picks that included QB Philip Rivers.

The Chargers hold a 6-5 edge in the all-time series against the Giants, although they are 3-3 in games played in New York. The Bolts have won the last three times the teams have squared off which, therefore, means that Eli Manning is 0-3 against the San Diego Chargers. This has been a strange start for both teams but, despite the fact that the Giants have not scored in the first quarter this season and have managed to score just 17 in the first half in four games, they lost the last two games to walk-off field goals. The Chargers' rookie kicker has proved unreliable and should be their Achilles heel this weekend, hence the New York team will start as 5-point JustBet favourites to win.

 

SEAHAWKS (2-2) at RAMS (3-1) — The Seattle Seahawks start Week 5 as a JustBet two-point underdog for their showdown with the Los Angeles Rams. While the Rams were also 3-1 in 2016 before nosediving their way to a 4-12 record, the current exploits of QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley have the Rams averaging 35.5 points so far, leading the NFL, a far cry from last season when they were last in points scored at 14 per game. The Seahawks lead the all-time matchup 22-15, due largely to a run of domination that began in 2005 when Seattle won 10 in a row and 16 of 18. But the Rams have had the better of it lately, winning four of the last six, including a 9-3 win in Los Angeles last season.

JustBet offers the Rams as a close two-point favourite, as this one should come down to the last possession. Expect a nail-biting encounter.

 

PACKERS (3-1) at COWBOYS (2-2) — The Green Bay Packers will visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday as JustBet three-point underdogs and try to continue their recent dominance in this matchup. The Packers won as underdogs the last time they visited AT&T Stadium in the Divisional Round of last year's play-offs. They blew an early lead against the Cowboys but still came through to knock out the NFL's top seed in a 34-31 overtime victory. The Cowboys currently rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed (231.8) and points allowed (24.3). However, Dallas's performance is on the rise — QB Dak Prescott is fresh off a three-touchdown (losing) performance at home against the Rams, and RB Ezekiel Elliott added 139 total yards and two scores.

Green Bay has won six of the past seven meetings with Dallas and a lot of that has to do with the impressive play of QB Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 355 yards in the last matchup.

 

CHIEFS (4-0) at TEXANS (2-2) — Sunday Night Football features the third- and fourth-ranked offences in points per game as the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Houston Texans. Including their upset victory at New England in the season opener, the Chiefs own an eight-game winning streak on the road. From the first game this season, the Chiefs have been a threat to score from anywhere on the field on the strength of outstanding rookie RB Kareem Hunt and explosive second-year receiver Tyreek Hill. RB Hunt currently leads the NFL in rushing yards with 502, and second place is a long way off. The Texans, on the other hand, achieved a franchise-record 57 points on division-rivals Tennessee Titans last week. Texans impressive rookie QB Deshaun Watson has led the team to an average 70 total points in their last two games, has nine total touchdowns and leads all QBs in rushing yards with 148.

The Chiefs outgained the Redskins 429-331 last Monday night, outrushed them 168-111, and won time of possession by a 37/23 margin. Quarterback Alex Smith was exceptional, throwing for 293 yards and one touchdown while running for 56 yards and another score. Kareem Hunt ran 21 times for 101 yards and tight end Travis Kelce caught seven balls for 111 yards and a touchdown. However, despite the fact that JustBet favours the visiting team by two-points, the Texans are at home and the Chiefs will be operating on a short week. Expect fireworks on Sunday night and, just maybe, when the dust settles, there will be no more undefeated teams in the NFL.

 

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