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SB Nation's Week 5 NFL picks have a few upsets in store, starting with the unbeaten Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.
If you've been taking our advice in your weekly NFL picks, then you're probably a poor, poor person right now. We've had a rough go of it in the picks section because teams we thought were miserable are actually very good (lookin' at you, Cardinals) and teams we thought were great haven't won a game yet (and you, Saints).
We're getting back on track with our NFL picks this weekend. These ones are all accurate, starting with an upset on Thursday Night Football.
Cardinals vs. Rams
A month ago, this looked like a boring NFC West game. Now, it's much better: an undefeated team going on the road to secure a win against an improving Rams team. The Cardinals are 4-0 for a reason -- their defense is lights out. Count me among those people who didn't realize how good that side of the ball was. St. Louis is getting better, and if they have a healthy Steven Jackson, which they should, I'm going with the upset. Arizona's luck ends on Thursday night in St. Louis.
The pick: 17-13, Rams
Eagles vs. Steelers
Hell of an NFC-AFC matchup. The Eagles are 3-1 with their defense leading the way, and the Steelers have always had their defense leading the way, so this feels like a game that will be heavy on defense and turnovers. Michael Vick has gotten better in the last two games with no picks, but he had six in the first two games. He turns it over too much for me to trust him. The Steelers have their own issues, but at home, they'll win the turnover battle and beat the Eagles.
The pick: 24-16, Steelers
Packers vs. Colts
The NFL's best quarterback (arguably) meets the next NFL's best quarterback. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are a better team than the Colts at almost every area. There's a reason Green Bay is a seven-point road favorite. They've had more than their usual share of struggles early this season, but they're still an elite team. Rodgers and the Packers offense is too much for the Colts average defense.
The pick: 31-21, Packers
Browns vs. Giants
When you're 0-4, the last place you want to go is to the home of the defending champs, and you especially don't want to go when they're coming off a loss. That's the situation the 0-4 Browns find themselves in. Trent Richardson could make this competitive, but the Giants defense will make life hell for Brandon Weeden.
The pick: 27-13, Giants
Falcons vs. Redskins
I really want to pick the Redskins here and see the legend of RGIII grow, but the Falcons are too good. They have the NFL's third-ranked offense, eighth-ranked defense and a quarterback on the verge of becoming elite. The Redskins' hope is to not only win the turnover battle but to dominate it. Atlanta's too good to do it any other way. The Falcons should pull it out.
The pick: 31-27, Falcons
Dolphins vs. Bengals
The Bengals don't get enough credit. They were a playoff team last year and won three of their first four this year. They're no longer the afterthought in the AFC North. You have to mention them when you talk about the Ravens and Steelers. They need a primetime game so the NFL world can see how good they are. Bengals take this one.
The pick: 24-10, Bengals
Ravens vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs started their all-time series against the Ravens with three straight wins. Since then, Baltimore has returned the favor with three in a row. The Ravens are a horrible matchup for the Chiefs. The defense will pressure Matt Cassel, which is when he makes mistakes. The Chiefs won't have six turnovers again, but they'll still lose.
The pick: 31-17, Ravens
Seahawks vs. Panthers
The Seahawks defense is on fire and should be able to do enough to limit Cam Newton. Unfortunately, that offense needs a lot of work. They've put up more than two touchdowns in just one game this season. They'll need more than that to beat the Panthers.
The pick: 20-17, Panthers
Bears vs. Jaguars
What happens when the fifth ranked defense meets the 32nd ranked defense? A bloodbath. Bears will cruise.
The pick: 24-6, Bears
Broncos vs. Patriots
The game of the millennium. Or the week. Peyton Manning returns to Foxborough to face Tom Brady and the Patriots, his old rival when he was in Indy. This is a late game, so most of the country will be able to see Manning, who has been on and off this season. The question here is which Manning shows up -- the one that threw for five touchdowns to no picks in Games 1 and 4? Or the one that threw three picks in Game 2 and only completed 50 percent of his passes in Game 3? Manning will rise to the occasion with a big time win on the road.
The pick: 28-27, Broncos
Bills vs. 49ers
The Bills, who have a share of first place in the AFC East, are in a tough spot with Sunday's game against San Francisco and then a matchup on the road the following week against the unbeaten Cardinals. They need a win, but they're facing one of the best teams in the NFL. Tough luck, Buffalo.
The pick: 24-16, 49ers
Titans vs. Vikings
The Titans are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL right now. Their point differential is the worst in the NFL -- minus 70 (!!). The Vikings, meanwhile, are one of the most surprising teams in the NFL but for different reasons. They're 3-1 with one of their wins coming over the mighty 49ers. The Vikings look legit and the Titans may not have their quarterback. That's not a good combination.
The pick: 24-17, Vikings
Chargers vs. Saints
This should've been one of the week's best games, but the Saints screwed it all up and started 0-4. I have no idea what to make of that team. The offense doesn't look like they should be 0-4, but the defense is horrible. Their best defensive performance came when they allowed 27 points to the Chiefs, 21 of those unanswered. San Diego is coming off a defensive performance where they forced six turnovers. A tale of two different teams right now.
The pick: 34-30, Chargers
Texans vs. Jets
The big stage, Monday Night Football. The Texans haven't been on this stage enough because they're developing into one of the best teams in the NFL, if not the best already. The Jets, meanwhile, have the feeling of being overexposed, especially their quarterback situation. The Texans should take advantage of this opportunity and take care of business against the Jets.
The pick: 34-17, Texans