10/11/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
NFL WEEK 5 PREVIEW
Seattle at Cincinnati
After four weeks of the regular season, not too many people would have thought it would be Cincinnati that was 4 and 0 while Seattle was 2 and 2. A big part of the reason for the Bengals start is because Andy Dalton has only been sacked twice, which is tied for lowest in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, Russell Wilson has been sacked 18 times so far this season, which is tied for the most in the league. The Seahawks will also be without RB Marshawn Lynch for the second straight game. Seattle may also be without another back, as Fred Jackson remains questionable after sustaining a high ankle sprain last week. After starting the season 0 and 2, the Seahawks have won 2 straight on the strength of their defense, which has surrendered only 10 points since the return of Kam Chancellor. Chancellor and company will be tested this week by the Bengals Andy Dalton, who has thrown for 1,187 yards and 9 touchdowns against just 1 interception. A.J. Green has 25 catches for 417 yards and 3 TD's so far as well. Cincinnati is looking to start the season 5 and 0 for the first time since 1988, which was the last time the Bengals reached the Super Bowl.
Washington at Atlanta
The Falcons offense has been clicking through their first 4 wins of this season, and they'll have a chance to make it 5 straight wins against a Redskins defense that comes in banged up. Washington will be without both starting cornerbacks, DeAngelo Hall will miss his 2nd straight game due to a to injury, while Chris Culliver will sit out due to a knee injury. That's not good news for trying to shut down Atlanta's weapons on offense. Matt Ryan has passed for 1.202 yards and 6 TD's versus 2 interceptions But both of Ryan's picks came in Week 1. Julio Jones has caught 38 passes for 478 yards and 4 touchdowns. Davonta Freeman has put up 342 yards in total offense and scored 6 TD's in the past 2 games since taking over as the Falcons starting running back. Washington is also hurting on offense as well. DeSean Jackson will miss his 5th consecutive game due to injury, while TE Jordan Reed, who leads the team in receiving, will also be out. Atlanta has won their first 2 home games this season, while Washington has lost their past 5 road games dating back to last year.
St. Louis at Green Bay
The Packers will be looking for their 12th consecutive win at Lambeau Field, and also to start 5 and 0 for the first time since 2011. The Rams have had 2 impressive victories, against Seattle in their season opener at home and last week at Arizona. But were less than impressive in 2 losses at Washington in Week 2 and at home against Pittsburgh in Week 3. The Rams offense got a boost last week as well from rookie RB Todd Gurley, who rushed for 155 yards in last week's win. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL with 11 TD passes, and has yet to throw an interception this season. Both teams are tied for 2nd in sacks with 17 each, but the Rams will be without LB Alec Ogletree, who fractured his right fibula last week. Green Bay is looking to start 5 and 0 for the first time since 2011. The Packers have won the past 4 meetings between these teams as well.
Denver at Oakland
The Broncos will be looking to start 5 and 0 while at the same time extending their winning streak against the Raiders to 8 games. Peyton Manning has had the Raiders number as well, winning 9 consecutive games going back to when he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts. So far this season though, the backbone for Denver has been their defense. The Broncos lead the NFL in sacks are giving up the lowest average yards against per game. Their 11 takeaways are tied for 2nd most in the NFL, while their 17.3 points allowed per game is tied for 2nd lowest. They'll get even more help this week as DE Derek Wolfe will return from a 4 game suspension. Despite having a chance to start the season 3 and 2 for the first time since 2011, the Raiders defense rank 31st in the NFL. They will be tested by Manning and company, with Ronnie Hillman expected to start at RB after rushing for 103 yards in last week's win. Demaryius Thomas has also caught 33 passes for 361 yards through 4 games as well. Oakland has been led by QB David Carr, who's 922 yards passing is just 46 yards less than Manning, and who has thrown 7 TD's against 2 interceptions. Rookie WR Amari Cooper has been his top target, catching 24 passes for 339 yards and 2 TD's.
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