O’Neil’s Week-5 NFL picks: Cardinals rule? Not this year

Oct 6, 2016, 9:29 AM | Updated: 10:32 am

Good bye?

Yes. The bye week actually comes at a great time for the Seahawks given the injuries to quarterback Russell Wilson not to mention receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.

And while the Seahawks kick their heels up, they’ll get to watch the team Seattle fans used to hate (San Francisco) play the team Seattle fans currently hate (Arizona). The only way this could be better for them would be if the Rams were somehow involved, high-school-jamboree style.

Arizona at San Francisco (Thursday night)

The 49ers are passing for a league-low 178.8 yards per game and they’ve allowed a league-high 140.5 yards rushing. That’s a terrible combination. But the Cardinals just placed running back Chris Johnson on injured reserve and they’ll play without quarterback Carson Palmer Thursday as he’s out with a concussion.

Pick: Cardinals 30, 49ers 17.

Washington at Baltimore

The Ravens have allowed a league-low 256 yards per game while the Epithets are giving up 413.5, the fourth-most of any team in the league. Baltimore has allowed only one opponent to score more than 20 points while Washington has yet to hold an opponent to fewer than 20. Math! It’s fun!

Pick: Ravens 21, Epithets 20.

New England at Cleveland

Bill Belichick coached three seasons in Cleveland and made the playoffs once. He has led the Patriots to four Super Bowl titles in New England. And while this Browns team is technically a different franchise than the one that employed Belichick, it shows the effect that Cleveland exhibits on football fortunes.

Pick: Patriots 23, Browns 16.

Philadelphia at Detroit

The nicest thing you can say about the Lions? They keep it close. None of their four games have been decided by more than seven points. The Eagles have allowed the fewest points in the league, but sorry, I’m not buying Philadelphia as a juggernaut.

Pick: Lions 20, Eagles 16.

Chicago at Indianapolis

The Bears have yet to score more than 17 points in a game. They’re going to be hard pressed to keep that streak going, though. The Colts have yet to hold an opponent to fewer than 22 points. Throw in the fact that Indianapolis has allowed an NFL-high 15 sacks, and they’re bad enough to give the Bears a chance.

Pick: Colts 24, Bears 17.

Tennessee at Miami

This is as close as the NFL will get to a pointless matchup this week. The Titans are averaging 15.5 points, which is tied for the lowest in the league, while the Dolphins average 17.8, which ranks fifth-fewest.

Pick: Dolphins 17.8, Titans 15.5.

Houston at Minnesota

The run around? Well, Houston is the only team in the league that has yet to rush for a touchdown while the Vikings have rushed for a league-low 64.3 yards per game.

Pick: Texans 19, Vikings 16.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh

The Jets lost 24-3 to the Chiefs. The Chiefs lost 43-14 to the Steelers. That math is pretty straightforward.

Pick: Steelers 67, Jets 14.

Atlanta at Denver

Atlanta is gaining a league-high 478 yards per game, and last week Matt Ryan threw for a career-high 503 yards while Julio Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards. It will be tough to sustain that kind of production against a Broncos defense that has given up six passes of 20 yards or more, tied for fewest in the league.

Pick: Broncos 24, Falcons 20.

Cincinnati at Dallas

Ezekiel Elliott leads the league in rushing with 412 yards, and the Cowboys have four rushes of 20 or more yards this season, tied for second-most in the league. The Bengals are one of only three teams that have yet to allow a rush of 20 or more yards this season.

Pick: Bengals 24, Cowboys 20.

Buffalo at Los Angeles

The Bills were outscored 50-38 in the first two games, going 0-2. They outscored opponents 49-18 in the past two games and went 2-0. The Rams are 3-1 despite having allowed 13 more points than they’ve scored this season.

Pick: Rams 13, Bills 9.

San Diego at Oakland

The Chargers have held a fourth-quarter lead in each of their three losses this season, they’ve blown two double-digit leads in the second half and have been outscored 52-19 in the fourth quarter. The Raiders are 3-1, but they have allowed more yards than any other team in the league.

Pick: Raiders 34, Chargers 31.

New York Giants at Green Bay

Expect a close game. None of the Packers’ three games have been decided by more than seven points while three of the Giants’ four games have been decided by three points or fewer. Green Bay has allowed a league-low 42.7 yards rushing per game while the Giants are the only team that has yet to intercept a pass this season.

Pick: Packers 33, Giants 24.

Tampa Bay at Carolina (Monday night)

Not only have the Bucs been held to seven points in a game this year, they’re the only team to have it happen to them twice. That should be the perfect prescription for the Panthers’ defense, which has yet to hold an opponent to fewer than 20 points this season. Also, Carolina has won six in a row over the Bucs.

Pick: Panthers 24, Bucs 13.

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O’Neil’s Week-5 NFL picks: Cardinals rule? Not this year