NFL season 2013, Week 5: What to watch in Sunday's games

Stacy Revere

There is a lot on the line in the NFL this week, as some teams will try to build bigger leads, and others hope they haven't fallen too far out of the race, plus some highly interesting inter-conference matchups.

A quarter of the way into the campaign for almost every team, the 2013 NFL season continues on Sunday with a solid slate of Week 5 games. Several of the top teams in the AFC and NFC face off against each other, while every league passing record seems set to fall, and it's not just Peyton Manning doing all of the work.

Here is a look at every game on Sunday with a little bit on what to watch for and what's on the line for each team.

Lions at Packers (1 p.m. ET)

Coming off of a big win against the Bears, the Lions are in the unfamiliar position of being able to establish themselves as the leaders of the NFC North. At 3-1, Detroit could build a significant early lead over the Packers if it manages to beat them in Green Bay on Sunday. However, this wouldn't be the first time that the Packers had to come back to win the North after a slow start.

Green Bay started last season 2-3 and eventually finished 11-5 to take the division. The Packers are coming off of a bye week to reset after falling to 1-2, when they blew a big lead against the Bengals in Cincinnati. They are now 0-2 on the road this year, but hoping to establish their dominance at home against Matthew Stafford and the Lions.

Eagles at Giants (1 p.m. ET)

This looks more like a game establishing draft position rather than trying to make the playoffs, since these defenses rank last and second-to-last in points allowed. There could be big games for Eli Manning and Michael Vick, but neither the Eagles nor Giants look as threatening as they did on paper before the season.

Is this Tom Coughlin's last season in New York? Is Chip Kelly's system not going to work in the NFL? Philadelphia is averaging an extra touchdown per game compared to last season, but the Eagles are also giving up an extra touchdown per game.

Chiefs at Titans (1 p.m. ET)

A pair of AFC surprises meet in Tennessee this week, but unfortunately for the Titans, Jake Locker's breakout season has been temporarily halted with a bum hip. Can Ryan Fitzpatrick lead the 3-1 Titans to an upset of the 4-0 Chiefs at home, or is Andy Reid going to help get Kansas City to 5-0 for the first time since 2003?

Saints at Bears (1 p.m. ET)

Coming off a blowout win over the previously unbeaten Miami Dolphins on Monday, the Saints look like they've risen right back to the top of the NFL. But winning at home against Miami won't be as difficult as beating the Bears at Soldier Field, especially with Chicago coming off a disappointing divisional loss.

While Marc Trestman has the Bears' offense up to third in scoring this year, the defense doesn't appear to be as dominant as it was last season. Beat New Orleans, and Chicago will feel a lot more comfortable about its place in the NFC, but if the Bears lose, that 3-0 start will seem so long ago.

Ravens at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET)

Baltimore is 0-2 on the road this season, having given up 72 points in those two games alone. Miami is coming off of a reality check loss to the Saints after a 3-0 start. Can Ryan Tannehill get his season back on the right track against the defending Super Bowl champs, or does Joe Flacco start to resemble the same player he was in the playoffs last year?

Jaguars at Rams (1 p.m. ET)

You could call this game "for none of the marbles," because the loser will have the inside track to the top pick next April. Everybody figured that Jacksonville would be in this position, but St. Louis' defense looks as bad as ever during its 1-3 start. Still, the Jaguars are off to one of the worst starts in NFL history, and 0-16 seems like a real possibility.

If Sam Bradford and company lose to the Jags on their own turf, it might officially be time to blow it up again and start from scratch.

Patriots at Bengals (1 p.m. ET)

A lot of people expected New England to take a step back this season due to their free agent losses, injuries and legal issues. Cincinnati appeared ready to take a step forward and establish itself as a new AFC powerhouse, but it hasn't looked that way at all.

The Patriots are 4-0 and being led by defense more than Tom Brady, while the Bengals have stumbled to 2-2. If not for a furious comeback against the Packers, Cincy could be 1-3, and its other win came over the 0-4 Steelers. A win over New England on Sunday would go a long way toward proving the Bengals are for real, but otherwise they look like a team that still needs some work.

Seahawks at Colts (1 p.m. ET)

Coming off of a 17-point comeback win over the Texans in Houston, can the Seahawks pull off another road win over an AFC South team that looks to be trending upward? The Colts look like a more complete team than their 11-5 squad of 2012. Andrew Luck has been more efficient this season, and the addition of Trent Richardson has helped shore up one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL.

Seattle looks like the top team in the NFC, but a loss and a Saints win would flip that immediately.

Panthers at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET)

Though they're only 1-2, some people still think the Panthers are one of the best teams in the NFC, if not the entire league. They've lost to Seattle and Buffalo by a total of six points while beating the Giants, 38-0. Their defense looks like it is for real, and their offense still features the likes of Cam Newton, Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams and Greg Olsen.

But if they lose in Arizona and fall to 1-3, they might not be able to come back from that.

Broncos at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET)

Can anybody stop Peyton Manning and the Broncos? Will it be the Cowboys?

In hindsight, the 2-2 Cowboys' best performance of the year may actually be their 17-16 loss to the Chiefs. Other than that, they blew out the Rams (one of the worst teams), beat the Giants by five (probably worse than the Rams) and blew a lead against the Chargers last week. On the surface, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray are all having great seasons, but can they keep up with Peyton?

Texans at 49ers (8:30 p.m. ET)

Well, Houston is trying to figure things out after blowing that lead to Seattle, and San Francisco hopes it has figured things out after beating the Rams following a loss at home to the Colts. Whichever one of these teams takes the loss on Sunday night is going to feel like it's falling down a bottomless pit. This could be as important as inter-conference, Week 5 games can get.

Chargers at Raiders (11:35 p.m. ET)

Thanks to the Athletics winning the National League West, the Raiders game has been pushed back to the night time. How many people are going to be willing to stay up to watch the entirety of this one? San Diego has lost by three points to the Texans and three points to the Titans, and the Chargers have beaten the Cowboys and Eagles. They can keep pace in the AFC with a win over Oakland, but a loss won't be a good way for head coach Mike McCoy to start his career against the AFC West.

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