A quick look at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 5, along with the consensus pick of Athlon Sports editors Mitchell Light, Rob Doster, Nathan Rush, Patrick Snow and Steven Lassan:
Saints (3-1) at Panthers (1-3)
Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton has passed for 1,386 yards, five TDs and five INTs for an 84.5 passer rating, while scrambling for 133 yards and four scores. Still, the Panthers have only one win to show for it. That is not likely to change this week, as Drew Brees and the mighty Saints march into Charlotte with the NFL’s No. 2 total offense (454.0 ypg) and No. 5 scoring offense (31.8 ppg).
Saints by 5
Raiders (2-2) at Texans (3-1)
Darren McFadden and the Raiders’ top-ranked running game (178.8 ypg) heads to Houston to take on the Texans’ No. 4 run game (148.5 ypg) and a healthy Arian Foster. This fantasy football field day will keep the clock ticking.
Texans by 4
Cardinals (1-3) at Vikings (0-4)
Kevin Kolb takes on Donovan McNabb in the battle of quarterbacks who the Eagles traded so they could give Mike Vick $100 million.
Vikings by 2
Chiefs (1-3) at Colts (0-4)
On paper, this looks like a winnable home game for Indy. But nothing has come easy for the Colts without Peyton Manning. Third-string quarterback Curtis Painter exceeded low expectations (281 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) in a loss to the Bucs on Monday night. Unfortunately he’ll have a short week to prepare for just the second start of his career.
Colts by 1
Seahawks (1-3) at Giants (3-1)
Seattle has a 1–11 record in games played in the Eastern time zone since 2007.
Giants by 7
Eagles (1-3) at Bills (3-1)
The Dream Team has turned in a nightmare start to the season. Mike Vick and Co. are in must-win mode heading into this week’s matchup against the Bills, a two-faced team that beat the Patriots but lost to the Bengals.
Eagles by 4
Bengals (2-2) at Jaguars (1-3)
These two coaches on the hot seat — Cincy’s Marvin Lewis and J-Ville’s Jack Del Rio — each need to capitalize on a winnable catfight.
Jaguars by 2
Titans (3-1) at Steelers (2-2)
The Steel City needs a welding torch and a wide-belt sander to fix its football team. Ben Roethlisberger is limping with a left foot injury, the offensive line can’t field a healthy five and now linebacker James Harrison is “out for a number of weeks” with an eye injury. But coach Mike Tomlin’s team seems to find a way. And the Steelers weren’t exactly 100 percent when Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch beat the Titans 19–11 in Nashville last year in Week 2.
Titans by 1
Buccaneers (3-1) at 49ers (3-1)
The Tampa 2 defense blanked San Fran 21–0 in Week 11 last season for the Bucs’ first win at Candlestick Park since 1980. But these Niners are Jim Harbaugh’s, not Mike Singletary’s.
49ers by 3
Jets (2-2) at Patriots (3-1)
Last year these AFC East rivals each defended their home turf in the regular season — with the Jets winning 28–14 in Week 2 and the Pats rolling to a 45–3 victory in Week 13 — before New York took down New England, 28–21, at Foxborough to advance to its second straight AFC title game. Mark Sanchez and the O-line struggled against the Ravens; the Jets will need a healthy Nick Mangold at center if they hope to keep the Sanch-ise on the field.
Patriots by 9
Chargers (3-1) at Broncos (1-3)
It’s looks as if Denver fans are more likely to see Tim Tebow on a digital billboard than on a football field. The 2010 first-round pick took one snap — a one-yard loss on a designed run — in a blowout loss at Green Bay last week. Meanwhile, the Bolts have no such drama and are content with their best “first quarter” of the Norv Turner era, after starting 1–3 in 2007 and going 2–2 out of the gate from 2008-10.
Chargers by 9
Packers (4-0) at Falcons (2-2)
Last season, Green Bay split its trips down south to Atlanta — losing 20–17 in Week 12 and winning 48–21 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers played nearly flawless football against the Falcons, combining to complete 57-of-71 passes (80.3 percent) for 710 yards, four TDs and zero INTs, while rushing for 64 yards and two TDs. Is that all? Rodgers accounted for six TDs in Week 4 alone.
Packers by 7
Bears (2-2) at Lions (4-0)
Hank Williams Jr. may not be among the rowdy friends coming over to watch this Monday night party between black-and-blue NFC North rivals — after a few politically charged comments got the Grammy Award winner in hot water — but everyone else will be tuned in. This will be the most meaningful game in Detroit since Barry Sanders was running circles around the league. Expect the pass-catch duo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to attack a Bears defense that struggled against the pass in losses to the Saints and Packers this year.
Lions by 3