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Week 5 NFL Capsules

NFL Week 5 capsules

Bills (3-1) vs. Jaguars (2-2), in London: The Jaguars will become the first NFL team to play two consecutive games overseas; they are the designated away team after beating the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 last week in their home away from home. It’s Buffalo’s second-ever trip overseas after it lost to Jacksonville 34-31 in London in 2015. The Bills have won three straight and rank second in the league at 34.8 points per game. Their veteran edge rusher, Von Miller, has indicated he expects to be activated from the physically unable to perform list to make his season debut. A Jaguars-Bills game also offers the rare opportunity for Josh Allen to sack Josh Allen: The Jacksonville linebacker by that name already has six sacks this season, tied with Khalil Mack and T.J. Watt for the league lead.

Falcons (2-2) vs. Texans (2-2): Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has not thrown an interception in his first 151 career pass attempts, an NFL rookie record. He combined with an improving Houston defense to help the Texans outscore Jacksonville and Pittsburgh 67-23 during a two-game winning streak. The Falcons have lost two straight games and scored six and seven points, respectively. Dynamic rookie tailback Bijan Robinson has been sensational as a rusher (318 rushing yards) and receiver (19 receptions for 134 yards and a score) in the Falcons’ offense, but he has yet to score a TD on the ground. Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder hasn’t gotten help from his offensive line, as he’s been sacked 11 times over the past two games. For the Texans, linebacker Henry To’oTo’o leads all rookies with 27 tackles this season.

Lions (3-1) vs. Panthers (0-4): While rookie quarterback Bryce Young hasn’t been able to lead Carolina to a victory yet, he has completed at least 20 passes in each of the first three games of his career. Adam Thielen has emerged as the Panthers’ top target and will be looking to bring in at least seven receptions for the fourth straight game. Meanwhile, the NFC North appears to be Detroit’s to lose, and now Jared Goff gets to face a Carolina team that he threw for 355 yards and three TDs against last season. David Montgomery rushed for a career-high three scores last week, but his emergence as RB1 has taken away opportunities from rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, who is averaging 9.8 carries per game. Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson attempts to record at least 1.5 sacks for the third consecutive game, while LB Alex Anzalone has at least five tackles in 21 straight contests, the fourth-longest active streak in the league.

Colts (2-2) vs. Titans (2-2): Indianapolis should get a boost with the return of star running back Jonathan Taylor, who will be up against a firm Titans front that has surrendered only 70 yards per game on the ground. At the very least, Taylor should take some pressure off rookie signal-caller Anthony Richardson. Richardson has four rushing TDs and has the chance to become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to score on the ground in each of the first four games of a season. Speaking of the run game, Tennessee’s Derrick Henry went for over 100 yards rushing for the first time this season last week. However, the Titans need to open up the airways, as high-end offseason acquisition DeAndre Hopkins has yet to top 65 yards in a game. Tennessee owns a five-game winning streak against the Colts dating back to Nov. 29, 2020.

Dolphins (3-1) vs. Giants (1-3): Whether New York has standout running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) available might not matter, as this game has potential blowout written all over it. Even if Barkley does suit up, he might end up being pushed out of the spotlight by Miami’s De’Von Achane, who has scored six total touchdowns over the past two weeks. Since 1970, only three other rookies have found the end zone six times in a two-game stretch — Doug Martin (2012), Mike Anderson (2000) and Randy Moss (1998). Through four weeks, the Giants have the worst point differential in the NFL (minus-76) while Miami has the sixth-best at plus-31. New York quarterback Daniel Jones has already been sacked 22 times this season as he heads to Hard Rock Stadium, where Miami is 13-2 over its past 15 games. The Dolphins are averaging a whopping 511 yards of total offense per game. Meanwhile, the Giants have eclipsed the 250-yard mark just once.

Patriots (1-3) vs. Saints (2-2): The sky is seemingly falling in New England. The Patriots’ feeble offense is averaging just 13.8 points per game, third-fewest in the league. Bill Belichick is coming off the worst loss of his head-coaching career — a 38-3 setback against Dallas — and Mac Jones is hitting on just 63.7 percent of his passes with five touchdowns to four interceptions. Things won’t get any easier against a New Orleans defense that has held three of four opponents under 20 points. The Saints’ offense is also trending in the right direction, with star running back Alvin Kamara looking to build off a season debut in which he went for 84 yards (51 rushing, 33 receiving) and had 13 catches. Kamara will look to take advantage of a New England front seven without Matt Judon, who is out indefinitely with a lower bicep tendon tear. The Patriots bolstered their secondary, though, trading for cornerback J.C. Jackson in the wake of what will likely be a season-ending shoulder injury for rookie Christian Gonzalez.

Steelers (2-2) vs. Ravens (3-1): The Ravens lead the AFC North through a quarter of the season, but the Steelers have gotten the better of their rivals in recent years, having won five of the past six matchups between the teams. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett insists he will play against the Ravens despite sustaining a bone bruise in his left knee during last weekend’s 30-6 loss to the Texans. The Steelers are 29th in total offense (263 yards per game) and tied for 29th in scoring (15.5 points per game). Two of their six touchdowns were scored by linebackers — one apiece from Alex Highsmith (pick-6) and T.J. Watt (fumble return). For the Ravens, Lamar Jackson is coming off a four-touchdown game (two rushing, two passing) in a 28-3 win over Cleveland. Baltimore wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman are trending toward returning from injury absences.

Cardinals (1-3) vs. Bengals (1-3): Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow hasn’t thrown a TD pass in three of four games this season. He could be without one of his favorite targets against Arizona, as Tee Higgins has a broken rib. Shockingly, the Bengals average the fewest total yards of offense in the NFL (236), but the Cardinals’ generous defense has surrendered an average of 374.5. Cincinnati will have to be wary of LB Dennis Gardeck, who already has four sacks and is one of three players in the NFC to record a tackle for loss in each of the first four weeks of the season. Arizona QB Kyler Murray won’t be coming off the physically unable to perform list, leaving Josh Dobbs under center. Dobbs hasn’t thrown a pick this season and has completed 70.7 percent of his passes, good for the seventh-highest percentage in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks.

Rams (2-2) vs. Eagles (4-0): One of two undefeated teams left in the NFL, the Eagles are powered by Jalen Hurts, who’s joined Patrick Mahomes as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with two winning streaks of 10-plus games in the first four seasons of their careers. While Philadelphia ranks No. 2 in rushing offense and No. 5 in total offense, the Rams are No. 2 in passing offense and No. 4 in total yards. Rams QB Matthew Stafford is expected to play through a bruised hip suffered in last week’s 29-23 overtime win over Indianapolis, while star receiver Cooper Kupp could make his season debut after returning to practice this week. Stafford, Kupp and standout rookie receiver Puka Nacua could test a Philadelphia secondary that ranks 27th in passing defense and has given up nine touchdowns through the air.

Broncos (1-3) vs. Jets (1-3): Russell Wilson tossed three touchdown passes for the second time in three weeks to help Denver overcome a 21-point second-half deficit and beat the winless Chicago Bears 31-28 — Sean Payton’s first victory as the Broncos’ coach. Rookie Jaleel McLaughlin stepped up in place of injured Javonte Williams (quad), totaling 104 scrimmage yards (72 rushing, 32 receiving) and a touchdown. The Jets got a season-high game from Zach Wilson (28 completions, 245 yards, two touchdowns) in a 23-20 primetime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Star running back Breece Hall, averaging a robust 6.6 yards per carry, is no longer on a “pitch count” for the Jets. He returns to Denver, where his promising rookie season was cut short by an ACL tear on Oct. 23, 2022. The Jets won that game 16-9 after losing the previous two meetings with Denver.

Vikings (1-3) vs. Chiefs (3-1): Patrick Mahomes shouldered the blame for throwing two interceptions at the New York Jets, but the Chiefs still won their third straight game and will try for their fourth on another road trip. Travis Kelce is going for his third straight game with six-plus catches and 60-plus receiving yards. This serves as a homecoming game for Vikings-turned-Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon, but it’s Isiah Pacheco who has tightened his hold on Kansas City’s No. 1 running back position. He had a career-high 158 yards from scrimmage and a long rushing touchdown against the Jets. Minnesota earned its first win of the season, 21-13, over another winless club, the Carolina Panthers, as Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson connected for two touchdowns to help erase a halftime deficit. Jefferson has gained at least 120 receiving yards in each of his past four homes games.

49ers (4-0) vs. Cowboys (3-1): Everything is going right for San Francisco, which is one of two undefeated teams still standing along with Philadelphia. Running back Christian McCaffery is coming off a four-touchdown performance (three rushing, one receiving) and leads the NFL with 459 yards on the ground. QB Brock Purdy is still undefeated in the regular season, carrying a 9-0 record into the meeting with Dallas. But if any defense is equipped to contain the 49ers, it’s the Cowboys’. Dallas leads the league with three defensive TDs, holds the best turnover differential (plus-9) and is tied for the fifth-most sacks (14). The Cowboys haven’t been slouches on offense, either, averaging 360 total yards of offense per game and winning by at least 20 points in all three of their victories. While the Niners have eliminated Dallas from the postseason in each of the past two seasons, the Cowboys have taken seven of the last nine regular-season meetings between the teams.

–Field Level Media

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