The Week 5 NFL slate is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score predictions.

Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information research provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Fantasy‘s Kyle Soppe and ESPN Chalk‘s Mackenzie Kraemer hand out helpful nuggets as well. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.

Let’s get into the full Week 5 schedule, starting with an NFC South showdown.

Jump to a matchup:

Thursday: SEA 30, LAR 29

1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 65.6 | Spread: NO -3 (46.5)

What to watch for: Is this the week we see the training wheels come off for Teddy Bridgewater? The Saints quarterback is remarkably 2-0 as Drew Brees‘ replacement, but he has thrown for an average of only 185 yards per game in those two starts. That should change against a Tampa Bay team that is averaging 31 points per game and allowing 29. — Mike Triplett

Bold prediction: The Bucs will hold Alvin Kamara under 100 all-purpose yards and under 45 rushing yards. They have the NFL’s second-ranked rushing defense, surrendering only 59.3 yards per game, and they held Christian McCaffrey to just 37 rushing yards in Week 2 (53 all-purpose yards) and the Rams to just 28 total rushing yards in Week 4. — Jenna Laine

Stat to know: Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett leads the NFL with 9.0 sacks through four games. He is the first player with nine sacks through the first four games of a season since Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila recorded nine in 2001.

What to know for fantasy: Jameis Winston has thrown three-plus touchdown passes in consecutive games for the first time in his career, but now he gets a Saints team against which he has never thrown three-plus touchdown passes in a game. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Bridgewater is 25-7 against the spread (ATS) in his career as a starting quarterback, the best mark by any QB with at least 15 starts in the Super Bowl era. Read more.

Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Saints 22
Triplett’s pick: Saints 26, Buccaneers 23
FPI prediction: NO, 59.2% (by an average of 3.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Winston already improving under ‘QB whisperer’ Bruce AriansYes, he’s 2-0, but the Saints will need more from Bridgewater

1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 63.6 | Spread: HOU -5 (49)

What to watch for: Will wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins top 100 receiving yards against Atlanta? After catching eight passes for 111 yards in the season opener, he has not reached 70 receiving yards in any of the past three games. The Falcons rank seventh in the NFL in passing defense per game and have allowed a receiver to top 100 receiving yards in just one of their first four games. — Sarah Barshop

Bold prediction: The Falcons, who have been outscored 38-10 in first quarters this season, will actually have the lead after the first frame in Houston. It won’t hold, though, as J.J. Watt & Co. make life miserable for the Falcons’ offensive line. — Vaughn McClure

Stat to know: Texans edge rusher Whitney Mercilus now has four straight games with a sack, tied for the longest active streak in the NFL with Clay Matthews and Shaquil Barrett. His five sacks this season match the total he recorded over the previous two seasons (21 games) combined.

What to know for fantasy: After scoring 11 times in his first 14 games last season, Hopkins has scored just twice in his past seven games (playoffs included). See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Atlanta has failed to cover 13 straight games against AFC opponents (1-12 outright). That includes losses to the Titans and Colts in the past two weeks. Read more.

McClure’s pick: Texans 24, Falcons 21
Barshop’s pick: Texans 20, Falcons 17
FPI prediction: HOU, 64.0% (by an average of 5.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: How Watson’s ‘NFL experience’ began as ball boy for the FalconsTE Hooper could be the next Falcon to cash inQuinn not worried about job, his staff

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 53.8 | Spread: TEN -3 (38.5)

What to watch for: Marcus Mariota has not thrown an interception this season, but the Bills are tied with the Giants and 49ers for second in the NFL with five picks each. Tennessee adopted a quick-hitting passing attack last week to speed up Mariota’s decision-making, which should be the way to go against a Bills defense that takes away the vertical passing game and is third in the league in allowing a 57.1 completion percentage. — Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: The Bills, who possess the NFL’s fourth-best rushing attack in terms of yards per game, will run for at least 150 yards against a Titans defense that has given up a combined 146 rushing yards over its past two games. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stat to know: The Titans rank 28th in the NFL in both sacks allowed (17) and pressure rate (34.0%). They will welcome back Taylor Lewan from a four-game suspension with open arms.

What to know for fantasy: Derrick Henry has nine straight games with either over 100 total yards or a rushing touchdown. See Week 5 rankings.



Despite QB Josh Allen being listed as questionable for the game, Rob Ninkovich and Victor Cruz both like the Bills’ defense to lead them over the Titans.

Betting nugget: All four Bills games have gone under the total this season. Since the start of last season, 13 of the Bills’ 20 games have gone under. Read more.

Louis-Jacques’ pick: Bills 14, Titans 10
Davenport’s pick: Titans 17, Bills 14
FPI prediction: TEN, 74.0% (by an average of 8.9 points)

Matchup must-reads: Taylor Lewan’s return could be a boon for Titans’ offenseAllen progressing but still in protocolGore closing on No. 3 all-time rusher Barry Sanders

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 52.4 | Spread: NE -15 (42)

What to watch for: Can the Redskins do anything to slow the Patriots’ offense? The Pats are coming off a 16-point performance in which quarterback Tom Brady completed just 18 of 39 passes for 150 yards and an interception. For the season on third downs, he’s completing only 48.9% of his passes and owns a 78.0 passer rating. But he’ll face a Redskins defense that, on third down, allows QBs to complete 87.2% of their throws and post a 140.5 passer rating. — John Keim

Bold prediction: New England running back James White will score two touchdowns, with his playing time rising because he’s a top pass protector and the Redskins are a heavy blitz team. Also note that the Redskins enter the game ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (147.5). — Mike Reiss

Stat to know: The Patriots are looking to become the first team since the 1988 Browns and Dolphins to allow zero passing touchdowns in the first five games of the season. And the Washington passing attack? Since got injured in Week 11 of last season, it has had an NFL-high five starting QBs — and that number would become six if Dwayne Haskins starts.

What to know for fantasy: Through four weeks, there were 44 players with at least 25 carries. Among those players, no one is averaging fewer fantasy points per touch than Sony Michel (0.44). See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: This is the 63rd straight regular-season game that Brady will be favored in, breaking a tie with Steve Young (1993-97) for the longest streak by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Read more.

Reiss’ pick: Patriots 30, Redskins 6
Keim’s pick: Patriots 27, Redskins 7
FPI prediction: NE, 85.7% (by an average of 14.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: Meet Brady’s most trusted teammate: His 1995 shoulder padsRedskins’ January decision to maintain status quo looks bad in hindsightPatriots’ offense searching for identity, as it did in 2018

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 50.5 | Spread: BAL -3.5 (44)

What to watch for: The Ravens’ defense has a penchant for giving up big plays. But to this point, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph hasn’t been able to take advantage of the vertical game, averaging just 3.3 air yards per completion, the lowest for any quarterback with 50 completions since 2006. To take advantage of the Ravens’ weak spot, the Steelers could push Rudolph to unleash more deep throws. — Brooke Pryor

Bold prediction: Ravens rookie receiver Marquise Brown gets back on track after two lackluster games with 100 yards receiving and two long touchdown catches. The Steelers have allowed three touchdowns on passes that have traveled at least 25 yards in the air, tied for third worst in the NFL. — Jamison Hensley

Stat to know: JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s 15 receiving yards against the Bengals were the fewest he has had in a regular-season game in which he registered at least one reception. But he also has not been held under 50 receiving yards in back-to-back appearances since Weeks 11 and 13 in 2017 (he did not play in Week 12).

What to know for fantasy: Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson owns a 20.5% target share this season from Rudolph, up from his 9.7% rate with Ben Roethlisberger under center. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: has covered each of the past five meetings in Pittsburgh. Read more.

Hensley’s pick: Ravens 26, Steelers 16
Pryor’s pick: Steelers 21, Ravens 20
FPI prediction: BAL, 55.4% (by an average of 1.9 points)

Matchup must-reads: Big pass plays tearing up Ravens’ defense‘Do whatever’ to win: Steelers bring back the WildcatRaiders hoping to reverse London trend by changing travel scheduleLeft with no defense, Jackson needs to carry Ravens this season

1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 44.9 | Spread: CHI -5 (40.5)

What to watch for: Khalil Mack will be looking to take over the game against his former teammates. Unless, of course, two guys who never played with Mack in Oakland — right tackle Trent Brown, whom the Raiders feted with a four-year, $66 million contract, and left tackle Kolton Miller, the Raiders’ first-round pick a year ago — have something to say about it and keep quarterback Derek Carr clean. — Jeff Dickerson

Bold prediction: Bears rookie running back David Montgomery finally breaks through with 100 rushing yards. Chicago head coach Matt Nagy is high on veteran backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who’s starting in place of Mitchell Trubisky (left shoulder), but Nagy still wants to control the clock and pound the ball with Montgomery. — Paul Gutierrez

Stat to know: Oakland’s Darren Waller enters play with 33 receptions, tied for the most by a tight end through the first four games in NFL history (Antonio Gates, 2007). He needs nine receptions on Sunday to break the five-game record, held by Zach Ertz (2018) and Eric Johnson (2004).

What to know for fantasy: The Raiders’ Tyrell Williams is the only player with a touchdown reception in all four weeks thus far and has seen five of Oakland’s six end zone targets this season. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: In the past six London games, favorites are 5-1 ATS, and five of the six games went under the total. Read more.

Gutierrez’s pick: Bears 20, Raiders 16
Dickerson’s pick: Bears 19, Raiders 6
FPI prediction: CHI, 63.5% (by an average of 4.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: Mack expected to be with the Raiders ‘for the long haul’Daniel embraces seldom-used, uncertain backup QB lifeRoquan Smith says he’s playing SundayCarr: Burfict’s ‘heart is broken;’ QB says ban isn’t fair

1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 42.5 | Spread: MIN -5.5 (43.5)

What to watch for: How will Kirk Cousins perform vs. the Giants’ 25th-ranked pass defense, which is allowing 279.5 yards per game. The Vikings’ passing game has been bad (169.0 yards per game), prompting receiver Adam Thielen to express his frustrations and, in turn, Cousins to apologize. This should be a prime spot for them to get on track, even with the uncertainty surrounding receiver Stefon Diggs. — Jordan Raanan

Bold prediction: Minnesota will bench Diggs in Week 5 to send a message to the star receiver, especially after he missed practice for non-football injury-related reasons earlier in the week. The last thing the Vikings need is for Diggs’ situation to blow up into a full-blown distraction. — Courtney Cronin

Stat to know: Daniel Jones needs two passing touchdowns and 72 passing yards to have the most in each category by a Giants quarterback in his first three NFL starts since the 1970 merger.



Victor Cruz thinks the return of Golden Tate to the Giants’ offense will allow Daniel Jones to lead the Giants past the Vikings in Week 5.

What to know for fantasy: Dalvin Cook has rushed for a touchdown in all four weeks this season and has seen his reception total increase each week as he continues to make a bid as a top-tier fantasy RB. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Minnesota is 22-10-1 ATS after a loss under Mike Zimmer. Read more.

Cronin’s pick: Giants 21, Vikings 17
Raanan’s pick: Vikings 27, Giants 13
FPI prediction: MIN, 71.6% (by an average of 7.9 points)

Matchup must-reads: Jones brings new energy, hope to GiantsWhat’s happened to Thielen and Diggs?Analyzing how, where Golden Tate fits into Giants’ offense

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 42.0 | Spread: PHI -13.5 (43.5)

What to watch for: The Eagles are paper-thin at cornerback after injuries to Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox. Sidney Jones (hamstring) has practiced this week in hopes of playing. This is a matchup of the worst passing offense in the NFL (Jets, 131 yards per game) vs. the worst passing defense (324 yards per game). — Tim McManus

Bold prediction: Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (mono) returns to the lineup and actually leads a touchdown drive, which would be the Jets’ first since Week 1, and passes for 250 yards against the Eagles’ depleted pass defense. But Darnold’s rust will show up in key situations, including the red zone, causing the Jets to squander multiple scoring opportunities. — Rich Cimini

Stat to know: The Eagles’ Carson Wentz has 963 passing yards on the season, and he needs 400 more to have his most through the first five games of a season in his career (his single-game career high is 364).

What to know for fantasy: Zach Ertz finished last season as TE2 despite not scoring his first touchdown until Week 5. Ertz has not scored this season, but his 24 catches rank fourth at the position this season and keep his floor high. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: is 10-0 all time against and 9-1 ATS. That’s tied for the most outright wins without a loss in any matchup in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Read more.

Cimini’s pick: Eagles 24, Jets 13
McManus’s pick: Eagles 30, Jets 17
FPI prediction: PHI, 75.9% (by an average of 9.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: Jets might delay decision on Darnold until SundayJalen Ramsey to the Eagles: What are the realistic odds?Jets’ high-priced, underperforming offensive line receives wake-up callEagles RBs coach Duce Staley: ‘A lot of Jordan and a lot of Miles’

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 40.4 | Spread: CAR -3.5 (41)

What to watch for: Both teams will be relying on top running backs from the 2017 draft to take the pressure off young quarterbacks. Christian McCaffrey, the eighth pick, leads the NFL in rushing with 411 yards, and Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette, the fourth pick, isn’t far behind with 404. The team that gets the running game going will have a decisive advantage. — David Newton

Bold prediction: McCaffrey surpasses 100 yards rushing and receiving. He’s a bad matchup for the Jaguars because they’ve had issues covering backs out of the backfield. The Jags likely won’t have cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and the domino effect of his absence will be a major issue when McCaffrey lines up on the outside. — Mike DiRocco

Stat to know: Jacksonville receiver DJ Chark Jr. has 19 receptions for 321 yards and three scores this season. He had just 14 receptions for 174 yards and zero TDs in 11 games last season.

What to know for fantasy: Curtis Samuel‘s target share is nearly twice that of DJ Moore (24.1% to 12.1%) with Kyle Allen under center for the Panthers this season. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Both Allen and Gardner Minshew II are 3-0 ATS in their careers as starters. Read more.



Victor Cruz contends that Gardner Minshew is more equipped to lead his team to victory over Panthers QB Kyle Allen.

DiRocco’s pick: Panthers 17, Jaguars 16
Newton’s pick: Panthers 21, Jaguars 17
FPI prediction: CAR, 57.9% (by an average of 2.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: Fournette flourishes in Christian McCaffrey-type workloadAmid defensive changes, Kuechly remains the Panthers’ stopperJaguars looking to cash in on Minshew maniaKhan: No plan to trade CB Jalen Ramsey

1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 9.9 | Spread: CIN -3 (46.5)

What to watch for: The game between winless teams could feature multiple sacks. The Cardinals have allowed a league-high 20 sacks; the Bengals are right behind them at 19. This one could be decided by which quarterback is upright at the end of the afternoon. — Ben Baby

Bold prediction: The Cardinals’ passing game will finally lead them to a win. The Bengals are allowing 8.6 yards per attempt, which is ideal for a team averaging 5.5 despite having Kyler Murray — who has thrown for 300 yards in two of his first four games. — Josh Weinfuss

Stat to know: Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon is averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per rush and 37.3 yards per game this season. The Bengals as a whole have an NFL-worst 2.8 yards per rush and NFL-low 1.5 yards before first contact.

What to know for fantasy: Murray leads the NFL with 187 opportunities this season (pass-plus-rush attempts). See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Since the start of the 2016 season, Arizona is 3-13 ATS in 1 p.m. ET games. Read more.

Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 20, Bengals 17
Baby’s pick: Cardinals 24, Bengals 21
FPI prediction: CIN, 56.2% (by an average of 2.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Cardinals WR Kirk likely out Sunday but ankle betterBengals put WR Ross on IR with shoulder injury

4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 49.4 | Spread: LAC -6.5 (44.5)

What to watch for: With Denver desperate for a win and fellow edge rusher Bradley Chubb done for the year because of an ACL injury, look for Von Miller to ignite the Broncos by getting after Philip Rivers, who has limited mobility. “His quickness with power is awesome,” said Rivers about Miller, who has 16 career sacks against the Chargers. “That’s why he’s one of the best [defensive] ends/outside ‘backers ever.” — Eric D. Williams

Bold prediction: The Broncos have not intercepted a pass this season, but they will get their first one Sunday. The Chargers are 2-6 when the Broncos have intercepted Rivers at least twice and 5-11 when Denver has intercepted him at least once. — Jeff Legwold

Stat to know: Chargers receiver Keenan Allen leads the NFL with 452 receiving yards, and he is the only player with more than 400. He is seeing the most targets per route run (32.4%) among wide receivers this season.

What to know for fantasy: Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton is on pace for 88 catches, 1,236 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. That stat line would be worth 259.6 points, not much different from the 260.1 points that Allen produced last season. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Broncos are 1-7 ATS in their past eight games. Read more.

Legwold’s pick: Chargers 23, Broncos 21
Williams’ pick: Chargers 27, Broncos 20
FPI prediction: LAC, 65.1% (by an average of 5.4 points)

Matchup must-reads: Broncos’ ‘world of suck’ won’t be easily fixedHow Chargers kept team from splintering during Gordon holdoutChubb’s injury further exposes Broncos’ house of cards

4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 77.2 | Spread: DAL -3.5 (46.5)

What to watch for: Can the Packers’ defense replicate what New Orleans did a week ago in holding Ezekiel Elliott to 35 yards on 18 carries? The Cowboys will want to prove last week was more of a fluke than a trend. In three games against the Packers, including playoffs, Elliott has run for 157, 125 and 116 yards on 79 carries. — Todd Archer

Bold prediction: The first team to 30 rushing attempts will win. Elliott is coming off the third-fewest rushing yards of his career, yet the Packers are allowing 142.3 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. On the flip side, the Packers might have to run the ball with Aaron Jones given the turf toe injury to Davante Adams, who caught two touchdown passes in the previous meeting in Dallas. — Rob Demovsky

Stat to know: According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, Aaron Rodgers ranked first in completion percentage into tight windows in 2016. But since 2017, his 29% completion rate ranks 38th out of 43 passers with at least 50 such attempts.



Victor Cruz contends that Aaron Rodgers’ competitiveness will lead the Packers to a win on the road vs. the Cowboys.

What to know for fantasy: Dallas’ Amari Cooper is on pace for a career-high 84 catches and has scored four times in four games this season. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: Both times Rodgers faced the Cowboys in Dallas, Green Bay won the game outright as an underdog (2016 divisional round and 2017 Week 5). Read more.

Demovsky’s pick: Cowboys 30, Packers 21
Archer’s pick: Cowboys 27, Packers 20
FPI prediction: DAL, 60.4% (by an average of 3.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: Elliott took poor game personally, aims to rebound vs. PackersThe Graham mistake 2.0: TE a rare miss for Packers GMWith Elliott next, Packers have to get run defense on track in a hurryLeighton Vander Esch’s star rising as fast off field as on itFor Randall Cobb, Packers game just another week

8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 65.9 | Spread: KC -11 (56)

What to watch for: The Chiefs’ defense allows a touchdown or a field goal on an alarming 43% of their defensive possessions, 25th in the league. The Colts, meanwhile, are scoring on 40% of their possessions, 11th best. Indianapolis’ offensive efficiency might be a good match for Kansas City’s offensive power. But can the Colts keep possession effectively enough to pull the upset? — Adam Teicher

Bold prediction: Nope. Not super bold, but scoring even just a little over 30 points will be enough for the Chiefs to win. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has led the Colts to more than 30 points in a game only once in 19 starts, and that was 31 points in his second start back in Week 3 of the 2017 season. The Chiefs, averaging 33.8 points per game, have scored more than 30 points with quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the starter 13 times in his 20 career starts. — Mike Wells

Stat to know: Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy has three scrimmage touchdowns this season, matching his total in 14 games last season. The Chiefs are averaging 5.2 yards per rush this season with McCoy on the field, compared to 3.3 with him off the field. For context, 5.2 yards per rush with McCoy on the field would rank fifth in the NFL among all teams this season, as opposed to 27th when McCoy isn’t on the field.

What to know for fantasy: Receiver Sammy Watkins scored 46.8 points in Week 1, but that is 18.1 more fantasy points than he has scored in the three weeks since. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: This game has the highest over/under this season. Since 2011, games with totals of 55 or higher are 33-22-1 to the over. Read more.

Wells’ pick: Chiefs 41, Colts 24
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 35, Colts 27
FPI prediction: KC, 80.9% (by an average of 12.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Mahomes, Favre and other NFL stars reveal the larger-than-life tales behind Andy ReidColts GM Chris Ballard has needed his no-flinch, no-panic approachChiefs RB Williams has waited behind big-name backs beforeEbron ‘disgusted’ by drops, takes blame for Colts’ loss

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN/ESPN App
Matchup rating: 56.9 | Spread: SF -3.5 (46.5)

What to watch for: The 49ers are missing left tackle Joe Staley and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, both of whom play positions opposite Cleveland’s best players in defensive end Myles Garrett (and DE/LB Olivier Vernon, depending on alignment) and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. With backups in the lineup, can the Niners neutralize two of Cleveland’s biggest stars? — Nick Wagoner

Bold prediction: Cleveland running back Nick Chubb rushes for more than 100 yards against San Francisco’s No. 1-ranked run defense to power the Browns to their second win on Monday Night Football this season. — Jake Trotter

Stat to know: The Niners’ Jeff Wilson Jr. has scored multiple rushing touchdowns in two straight games. No 49ers player has done that in three straight games since Billy Kilmer in 1961.

What to know for fantasy: Baker Mayfield averaged one touchdown pass every 18 attempts as a rookie. That number is down to once every 34.8 passes this season, and he ranks as QB23 through Week 4. See Week 5 rankings.

Betting nugget: San Francisco is 1-13-1 ATS and 6-9 outright in its past 15 games as a favorite (since Week 12 of 2014). Read more.

Trotter’s pick: Browns 20, 49ers 16
Wagoner’s pick: 49ers 27, Browns 24
FPI prediction: SF, 72.5% (by an average of 8.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: Chubb’s running finally launches Browns’ offenseHow good are first-place 49ers? The answer is to be determined


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