Locks and Shocks: Week 5
Each week Dan Barber, Fergus Head, Reece Mowlem and Owen Turner pick one team who is a lock and certain to win their game and one team who will cause a shock and win their game despite being the underdog. Below are this week's picks.
Lock: RAVENS over Raiders
Over the past two weeks I've been 0-2 in my locks and 2-0 in my shocks. Go figure. I'm determined to get it right this week, so I'm kicking a man while he's down. The Raiders are falling apart, with Amari Cooper demonstrating his inability to catch the football and Lynch beginning to struggle. Also, they will be Carr-less for at least a few weeks. I expect the Ravens to bounce back after two disappointing weeks against E.J Manuel and the Silver and Black.
Shock: JAGUARS over Steelers
Yes, again I have gone for the team that is playing my team. The Jaguars have been branded a 'Jekyll and Hyde' team this year for their up and down start to the year. After their dismal performance against the Jets a week ago (see my last Shock), they will pick it up again against a Steelers team that perennially tends to play at the level of their opponent.
Lock: BILLS over Bengals
And so the plight of the Bengals resumes its happy trudge. With the Bills and Tygod playing lights out, a lazer beam from Lesean McCoy will put to be the lazer-lead offense of the Bengals. Vontaze Burfict will have a big impact but nothing can stop the stampede that's coming.
Shock: BUCCANEERS over Patriots
Oh dear Tom. Oh dear oh dear. Brady puts together another undeniably GREAT performance, but his defence lets him down again. Perhaps it's time to address the decline of Bill Belichick more than that of TB12? Perhaps not. But still, the Bucs come through strong and Doug Martin has a nice start to his return against a very porous New England defence. Have fun out there, you only return from drug use once in a life... wait no my bad. Just have fun.
Lock: LIONS over Panthers
Trying to find a lock in the current NFL climate is proving near on impossible but I have to choose someone, so here it is. The Lions have surprised most this year by having one of the best defences in the league, adding to their already high flying offence guided by the great Matt Stafford. I expect to see the Panthers brought back down to earth after their win against the Patriots and don't be shocked if this game is won with the final throw.
Shock: BEARS over Vikings
The Minnesota offence lost another key piece last week as rookie running back Dalvin Cook tore his ACL, ruling him out for the rest of the season. Even if Sam Bradford is able to suit up on Monday night, I'm predicting the Bears to once again look good on their home field and vanquish the visiting Vikings. What a way for Mitch Trubisky to start his NFL career.
Lock: EAGLES over Cardinals
Not many games out there this week that look like a sure thing, so I'm going to go with the Eagles to take down the Cardinals. It's a tale of two Carsons here... I've so impressed with Carson Wentz progression this year and he's got the Eagles performing way above expectations, whilst at the same time we're seeing the inevitable regression of Carson Paler and the Cardinals are hovering at 2-2 with both wins coming by three points against the 1-4 Colts and the 0-4 49ers. Eagles at home all day.
Shock: TEXANS over Chiefs
Going for the big one here... Final undefeated team into the NFL loses at the five week mark. Despite the scorelines, the Chiefs only squeaked out a win at home against Washington and were handed the win by three Philip Rivers interceptions against the Chargers the week before. The Texans meanwhile just absolutely smoked a solid Titans team who were riding high off the win versus Seattle. DeShaun Watson has the confidence of this team sky-high right now after his 5 TD performance and I'm putting my record on the line that that confidence will carry the Texans to the W. Would also like to say a quick congrats to my fellow predictors this week, who ditched the technicalities and went for actual shocks and came through with them as well.
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Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).