And then there were five: Teams look to stay unbeaten

10/18/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Five teams remain undefeated in the NFL heading into Week 6...let's take a look at what's on tap for those teams this week and see who will remain unbeaten and who is likely to taste defeat for the first time in 2015.
Denver at Cleveland
If somebody told you before the season that the Browns would be averaging more points per game than the Broncos five weeks into the regular season, you'd say they were crazy, right? Well the Browns are averaging 23.6 points per game, one point better than what Denver is averaging per game. But the Broncos defense is a big part of the reason they're undefeated so far. So far Denver is allowing 15.8 points per game, which is second lowest in the NFL, 278 yards per game, which is best in the league, and has also forced a league high 14 turnovers. That's made up for a passing attack that ranks 23rd in the league, and a rushing attack that ranks 30th. They'll face Josh McCown this week, who's coming off of a record setting performance in Week 4. McCown passed for a Browns regular season record 457 yards in last week's win over Baltimore. The Broncos are perfect through 3 games on the road so far this season, while the Browns have split their 2 homes games. Denver won the last meeting between these teams 34 to 12 back in 2012.

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Cincinnati at Buffalo
Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert have led a Bengals passing attack that has been one of the best in the NFL so far this season. Their opponent this week will be without at least one important part of their passing offense. Buffalo starting QB Tyrod Taylor will be out this week, and WR's Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin are questionable. That means E.J. Manuel will make his first start under center since Week 4 of last season. The good news for the Bills is that RB LeSean McCoy should be back in on the field this week. The Bills have one of the best run defenses in the league, ranking third in yards against per game. But they'll be tested through the air by Dalton, who is averaging over 300 yards passing per game and has thrown 11 TD's versus just 2 interceptions so far this season. The Bengals are 2 and 0 on the road so far, while the Bills are just 1 and 2 at home. These teams last met in 2013, when Dalton passed for 337 yards and 3 scores in Cincinnati's 27 to 24 overtime win.
Carolina at Seattle
One of these teams is 4 and 0. The other is 2 and 3. If you would assume the defending NFC champs are the undefeated team, you would be incorrect. Not only are the Panthers perfect so far this season, they've won their past 8 regular season games. Winning in Seattle though is a tough thing to do, as the Seahawks have won 28 of their past 30 home games. Both teams will get a boost from returning players this week. Seattle will get RB Marshawn Lynch back, while the Panthers who are coming off of a bye week, will get star LB Luke Kuechly back. Seattle was 3 and 3 last season before righting their ship en route to the NFC title. Carolina is looking to go 5 and 0 for the first time since 2003, which is the season of their only Super Bowl appearance. These teams met in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs last season, with Seattle winning 31 to 17.
San Diego at Green Bay
After losing on the last play of the game on Monday night against Pittsburgh, the Chargers not only have a short week. But they have a short week and have to play Green Bay at Lambeau Field, where the Packers have won 11 and 33 of their past 35 games. The Packers were strong against the pass in last week's home win over St. Louis, but struggled against the Rams running game. They'll need to be strong against the pass again this week as they face the 2nd best passing attack in the NFL behind QB Philip Rivers, who's passed for 1,613 yards and 10 TD's. Of course San Diego will to slow down Aaron Rodgers, who's passed for 1,236 yards and thrown 13 TD's and just 2 interceptions so far this season. The Chargers are 0 and 2 on the road this season while the Packers are 3 and 0 at home. San Diego hasn't beaten Green Bay since 1984, with the Packers winning the last meeting between these teams 45 to 38 in a shootout in San Diego in 2011.
New England at Indianapolis
The last time these teams met, the Patriots rolled to a 45 to 7 win in the AFC Championship and Deflate Gate was born. While the Patriots are perfect through their first 4 games of 2015, the Colts have won 3 in a row after starting the season 0 and 2. Indianapolis might get starting QB Andrew Luck back from injury, but the may want to ride the hot hand of Matt Hasselbeck, who won both starts in Luck's absence. Hasselbeck has thrown for 495 yards and 3 TD's without an interception in his 2 starts, while Luck had thrown 7 picks in his 3 starts. The QB on the other team hasn't thrown an interception yet this season either. Tom Brady has thrown for 1,387 yards and 11 TD's so far. New England will be without starting offensive tackle Nate Solder though, as he was lost for the season in last week's win over Dallas. The Patriots are looking to start 5 and 0 for the first time since 2007, the year they had a perfect regular season. New England has won the past 6 meetings between these teams by an average of 21 points.

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