The leaves are turning and starting to come down throughout much of the country, and that means football season is in full swing. For the Seattle Seahawks and the NFC West, Week 5 could be an opportunity to move ahead in a tight division, though given how poorly most of the division has played so far this year, it could be looked at as an opportunity to avoid falling behind. Regardless of how one wishes to view the games in this first weekend of October, the reality is that there could be a lot riding on the outcomes of these early season games, though much of what is riding may have little to nothing to do with the NFC West teams playing in the games.
Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints — Over/Under 45 — 10:00AM Pacific on FOX
The Seahawks come into this game with an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the NFC West, at least for a few hours until the rest of the division plays in the late slot. On the other side of the field, the Saints enter the game in last place, by virtue of division winning percentage tiebreaker, and with a loss could fall to last place in the entire NFC. So, while the Hawks have weathered the loss of franchise quarterback Russell Wilson better than New Orleans has handled the departure of long time head coach Sean Payton, the Saints are likely to come out fired up in order to avoid finishing Week 5 behind the Matt Rhule led Carolina Panthers.
As for the on field matchups, the big key will be to see how the New Orleans defense is able to matchup against the likes of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and in working to slow down that duo whether they are also able to take the Seattle tight ends out of the game. The Seahawks offense so far in 2022 has fared as well as Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson have performed. When that trio has produced, the offense has moved the ball and put points on the board. When defenses have been able to take those three out of the game, things have been ugly. It will be a key matchup to watch, and expect the Saints to be more capable at slowing them than the Lions were, so take the under.
The pick: Under 45 points, with the Saints to win straight up, but fail to cover the spread.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers — Over/Under 39.5 — 1:05 PM Pacific on FOX
There’s no need to beat around the bush on this one, the Panthers are bad. Their head coach has been bad. Their offensive coordinator has been bad. The quarterback they traded for has been bad. They traded for that quarterback because the quarterback they traded for last offseason was bad. It’s a disaster in Carolina, and the Niners should be able to come away with the victory. That said, the Niners are the Niners and if there’s a team that could find a way to Niner this game up, it’s the Niners.
The pick: Over 39.5 points, with the Niners to win and cover
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams — Over/Under 42 — 1:25 PM Pacific on FOX
It’s no secret the Los Angeles Rams have struggled so far this season. Between Matthew Stafford’s elbow issue that isn’t an issue that was an issue last year but which is obviously bothering him, the Rams offense hasn’t been the same. Add in a receiving corps that was expected to include the real Allen Robinson, when in reality it appears the team simply grabbed somebody out of the stands and put them in a Robinson jersey while hoping opposing defenses wouldn’t notice. Robinson has amassed a whopping 95 yards on nine receptions so far this season, while van Jefferson (802 yards on 50 catches with 6 touchdowns in 2021) has yet to suit up following surgery in August for a knee injury suffered during camp.
If the Rams hope to get their offense rolling again, they’ll need those weapons on the field and to produce, but for now they need to rely on their defense which has been, well, not up to the task at times so far, as Deebo Samuel pointed out earlier this week in a video breakdown.
Deebo Samuel reposted this on his IG after last night’s game pic.twitter.com/B5C6z48IWd— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 4, 2022
On the flip side, the Cowboys come into the game with a backup quarterback, and, well, that is a recipe for most teams to lose when they are not facing the Seahawks. No telling how Cooper Rush will fare against the Los Angeles defense, but here’s to the rare occasion of rooting for Dallas. Just a random trivia fact for those who care, this is the only NFC West game in Week 5 that does not feature a former number one overall pick at quarterback with a former second round pick at quarterback for the opponent.
The pick: Over 42 points, with the Rams to win but fail to cover
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals — Over/Under: 48.5 — 1:25 PM Pacific on FOX
This is not a hard one to decide. The Cardinals are simply missing too many weapons, while the Eagles have quietly put together a very solid roster, and should remain the lone undefeated team in the league. Philly will be able to do that as their undersized (6’1”) quarterback is better able to carry the offense of his team than the undersized (5’1”) quarterback of Arizona.
The pick: Over 48.5 points, with the Eagles winning and covering
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