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 Glennon? Any 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: