NFL returns to London in Week Five as the New York Jets face the Atlanta Falcons at Tottenham Hostspur Stadium on Sunday.
The Jets are protecting a perfect overseas record in the regular season (2-0) and head to the English capital hoping to string together successive wins after a difficult start.
The Falcons are also struggling for momentum, with just one win to show for their efforts. Below are our NFL expert Nat Coombs’ prediction for that game and the rest of the Week Five match-ups.
Jets @ Falcons*
London calling for two struggling teams, as we expected they would, but it’s the Jets who arrive the happier camp, after their first win of the season. Zach Wilson will continue to build, and rock The Karate Kid bandana, but this is the Kyle Pitts breakout game™.
Lions* @ Vikings
Good Vikings? Holding the Browns offense to just 14 points last week. Bad Vikings? After a stunning opening drive, Kirk Cousins and the offense did their best impression of the East Dillon Tigers before Coach Taylor got his teeth into them. The Lions have to win sometime, right? Right?
Saints @ Washington*
The much-vaunted front seven of Washington hasn’t lived up to its billing so far. If the Saints line remains banged up, this may be a breakout game. And right now, I’d take Taylor Heinicke over Jameis Winston. Yes, really.
Patriots* @ Texans
The Texans have been playing hard for David Culley, and the Patriots are far from convincing, but putting rookie QB Davis Mills in front of Bill Belichick is like booking a boyband to play the Download festival. It won’t end well.
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Dolphins @ Bucs*
The Florida bowl! Miami ran the risk of being too hyped going into this season, and at 1-3 they’re getting pretty near must-win territory. Miami will have a shot if the Tampa Bay secondary stays banged up, and it looks like Gronk will be out, too, so don’t expect a runaway win here for the champs, but a win, nevertheless.
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Packers* @ Bengals
The Pack have made a smart move in grabbing Jaylon Smith to bolster their D, and after their season-opening blip prompted a ridiculous overreaction they’re reverting to type, and will be contending in the playoffs, despite flaws. The Bengals are highly watchable with the Burrow-Chase-Higgins trifecta, but without investing in the line, it’s like the NFL equivalent of a 2-2-6 formation in football. It may make sense to, y’know, protect their franchise QB who’s just come back from a season-ending injury. Hot take!
Broncos @ Steelers
On my podcast this week (The Nat Coombs Show, available at all good pod-catchers since you asked) Iron Mike Carlson suggested the only play that Big Ben Roethlisberger can manage is the Statue of Liberty! If Teddy Bridgewater plays, take the Broncos. If it’s Drew Lock, go Steelers. Either way, expect Najee Harris to have 174 carries.
Eagles @ Panthers*
One of the best defenses in the league got their nose bloodied by the Cowboys last week, so went out and comfort-bought Stephon Gilmore, though he won’t be eligible to play in this one. Jalen Hurts was promising against the Chiefs but is yet to convince he can start for the Eagles. It would help if they dialled up some ground game around him.
Titans* @ Jaguars
The best landing spot for a demoralised Titans is Jacksonville, winless, gaps across the roster and an under-fire coach after some Michael Gove-esque footage of him dancing in a club after last week’s defeat went viral. The Titans should win this easily, despite their shortcomings, but this could have Trap Game written all over it!
Browns @ Chargers*
Both teams are legit, but the hype machine is firmly behind LA. The Browns won ugly last week, their 14-7 “thriller” against Minnesota the NFL equivalent of a 1-0 Tuesday night win in rainy Stoke. Justin Herbert is developing at a Josh Allen-level rate of astonishing, which means by 2025 one of them is going to be the greatest QB of all time.
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Bears @ Raiders*
The Chargers (Joey Bosa, specifically) smack-talked Derek Carr and the freewheeling pass-happy offense of Vegas fell down to earth in primetime, but the Raiders are legit. Justin Fields has now been given the starting job for Chicago, meaning under-fire Matt Nagy has managed to draw criticism despite making the right call. Week on week, lots of improvements for the Bears, but the Raiders should bounce back.
49ers @ Cardinals*
Jimmy G is expected to play, which, despite all the excitement around Trey Lance, is a good thing for San Fran. The NFC West is proving tougher than trying to rap Kamikaze by Eminem at a karaoke night (yep, personal experience) and this is a super tough one to call, but I think the slipstream of this Kingsbury/Murray offense rolls to another win.
Giants @ Cowboys*
It would be the most Cowboys move ever to start wavering and end up having to beat Washington in the final week of the season to make the playoffs. I believe in Danny Dimes and the Giants’ ability to score on Dallas. Trouble is, the Cowboys will put up 40+.
Bills @ Chiefs*
I wrote about this in more detail here. It’s the game of the weekend, and so fascinating to see if Andy Reid can unlock this mightily impressive D of the Bills. He’s going to have to, as Buffalo will score on this fragile Chiefs D. Contain the emerging Bills ground game (including limiting Allen’s runs) and the Chiefs could nick it. Arrowhead will be jumping.
Colts @ Ravens*
Colts may be a lot better than their record suggests (remember one of their losses was a narrow defeat to the legit Rams) and we’ll know a lot more about them after this test. Would Baltimore have won so easily against Denver if Teddy had stayed fit? Lamar in primetime is a hard thing to back against.
|NFL Week Five Predictions|
|Nat’s selections in bold | UK kickoff times|
|Sunday, 10 October|
|Atlanta Falcons vs New York Jets, 2.30PM|
|Houston Texans vs New England Patriots, 6.00PM|
|Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions, 6:00PM|
|Carolina Panthers vs Philadelphia Eagles, 6:00PM|
|Washington Football Team vs New Orleans Saints, 6:00PM|
|Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennesse Titans, 6:00PM|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Miami Dolphins, 6:00PM|
|Cincinnati Bengals vs Green Bay Packers, 6:00PM|
|Las Vegas Raiders vs Chicago Bears, 9:05PM|
|Los Angeles Chargers vs Cleveland Browns, 9:05PM|
|Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants, 9:25PM|
|Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers, 9:25PM|
|Monday, 11 October|
|Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills, 1:20AM|
|Tuesday, 5 October|
|Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts, 1:15AM|
|14-fold @ 679/1 with Betfair (Mobile)|
|14-fold @ 679/1 with Betfair (Desktop)|
|Odds correct at time of publication.
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Nat Coombs is a British writer, broadcaster and NFL expert who has been anchoring live sport across UK TV & radio for over ten years. Nat will be providing Squawka with predictions for the 2021 NFL season.