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NFL picks, Week 5: Packers, Chargers locks to win

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Can the Cardinals and Bengals remain the NFL's only unbeaten teams? Will Minnesota pull off another shocking upset? SB Nation's expert panel weighs in with their picks for Week 5.

If there is one thing we've learned in the first four weeks of the NFL season, it's that parity rules since nearly every team (sorry Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders fans) has a chance to beat any team at any time.

How many of you had an Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings team dismantling the Atlanta Falcons? Or a winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team going into Heinz Field and beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last-second touchdown pass from Mike GlennonAny Given Sunday is not just a great movie, it's also the leading headline in the NFL these days.

The balance in the  eague so far this season is nearly unprecedented. Thirty of the 32 teams have at least one win, matching 2005 and 2012 for the most such teams through four weeks since realignment in 2002. We are now one-quarter of the way through the season, and 75 percent of the teams are currently either in first place or within a game of the top spot in the division.

Only two unbeaten teams remain -- the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals -- and both clubs put their perfect records on the line this week in tough road games. Arizona travels to Mile High Stadium looking to knock off the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos, while the Bengals go to New England to face a Patriots team coming off one of the team's worst defeats under coach Bill Belichick. Our expert panel has a lot more confidence in Cincinnati improving to 4-0 after Sunday's games with four of seven picking the Bengals. Ryan Van Bibber is the lone SB Nation expert taking Arizona to beat the Broncos in Denver.

The biggest upsets last week were the aforementioned Vikings win over the Falcons and the Bucs victory in Pittsburgh. But we also should give credit to both the New York Giants for their blowout win in Washington, and to the Kansas City Chiefs for embarrassing the Patriots on Monday Night Football. Only two of our seven experts picked each of those teams to win.

One of two unanimous picks this week is the Thursday Night Football matchup at Lambeau Field between the Green Bay Packers and the Vikings, with all seven experts predicting a win by the home team. That seems like a good bet on paper but I might not put all my money on the Packers. Though Green Bay looked dominant in its win on Sunday, it's also hard to forget how awful the team looked in its Week 3 loss to the Detroit Lions and in a close win over the New York Jets in Week 2.

There are also several interesting games where the panel was split on the winner, so be sure to do your research before deciding the winner in the Giants-Falcons, Texans-Cowboys, Ravens-Colts and Patriots-Bengals games. And as always, remember to expect the unexpected in today's NFL.

Week 5 Ryan Van Bibber Stephen White Joel Thorman David Fucillo Danny Kelly PFT Commenter Matt Ufford
MIN vs GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB
CHI vs CAR CAR CHI CHI CAR CHI CHI CHI
CLE vs TEN CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE TIE CLE
STL vs PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI STL PHI PHI
ATL vs NYG NYG ATL ATL NYG NYG ATL NYG
TB vs NO NO TB NO NO TB NO NO
HOU vs DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL HOU HOU DAL
BUF vs DET DET DET DET DET DET BUF DET
BAL vs IND BAL BAL IND IND BAL IND BAL
PIT vs JAX PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT JAX PIT
ARI vs DEN ARI DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN
KC vs SF SF SF SF SF SF KC SF
NYJ vs SD SD SD SD SD SD SD SD
CIN vs NE CIN CIN NE NE CIN NE CIN
SEA vs WAS SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA WAS SEA

Our panel consists of: David Fucillo, SB Nation's fantasy guru; Danny Kelly, SB Nation NFL contributor; PFT Commenter, SB Nation's hot takes expert; Joel Thorman, manager of SB Nation NFL blogs; Matt Ufford, editorial producer, SB Nation studios; Ryan Van Bibber, SB Nation's NFL editor; and Stephen White, retired NFL defensive end and SB Nation NFL contributor.

Here's how well they've picked this season:


RVB White Thorman Fucillo Kelly PFT Commenter Ufford
Week 4 6-7 6-7 6-7 6-7 5-8 9-4 10-3
Overall 33-28 32-29 33-28 33-28 31-30 34-27 35-26