The moment we (Bears fans at least) have been waiting for: “Trubisky Time”. Earlier this week the Bears finally announced their second overall pick, Mitchell Trubisky, would finally get his first career start. The rookie comes in to replace a struggling Mike Glennon who’s performance reminded many of “Turnover Jay”. With Chicago’s recent quarterback failures, it’s hard to believe it can get any worse. The only question is, “Will the Monday Night Football stage be too big for Trubisky in his debut?”
Here are six games to watch in week five (in no particular order):
Monday Night Football:
Minnesota Vikings (2-2) @ Chicago Bears (1-3) Monday 8:30pm EST
Last Thursday, Mike Glennon attempted to lead the Bears to their second consecutive victory of the season. To keep it short, Glennon accounted for four turnovers and the Bears were embarrassed on national television against their rivals in Green Bay. This week, with another prime time game upcoming, the Bears made the move that their fans have been waiting for: Glennon grabs the bench and Mitchell Trubisky takes over as the starter. Trubisky is a play maker with his arm and with his legs. Look for the Bears to establish the ground game early with Howard and Cohen to get Trubisky comfortable. On the other side, the Vikings come in off a close loss to the Lions last Sunday. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook suffered an ACL tear during the game, causing the ground game to take a hit. This week, look for Latavius Murray to be more sharp with a week of practice as the starter under his belt. As for Sam Bradford, he is day-to-day at this point. If he could return Monday night and perform like he did in week one, the Chicago secondary could have a long night chasing around Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen who are both having breakout seasons. Solid defense and inexperienced quarterbacks (if Bradford sits) point towards a low scoring affair, but don’t be surprised if the Bear’s offense has some extra confidence with this quarterback change.
Vikings: 23 Bears: 27
Sunday Night Football
Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) @ Houston Texans (2-2) Sunday 8:25 pm EST
The lone undefeated team escaped a scare from the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football in week four. Now, the Chiefs head to Houston and find a suddenly dangerous Texans team who scored a franchise record 57 points in their win over the Titans in week four. Rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson led the way with five total touchdowns, while Lamar Miller added another score on the ground. As expected, the Texan’s defense is one of the best in the league fronted by JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on the defensive line. Across from them will be a Chiefs offense that has surprised many with their early season success. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt has accounted for 659 yards from scrimmage along with four touchdowns this season. Alex Smith looks as confident as ever under center, continually finding Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce through the air. The Chiefs also boast a talented defense of their own that looks to go into Houston and shut down a high flying offense.
Chiefs: 24 Texans: 20
Thursday Night Football
New England Patriots (2-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) Thursday 8:25pm EST
OFFENSE! EVERYWHERE! Tom Brady and the Patriots offense head down to Tampa for a big game as they sit at 2-2 and look to avoid a second straight loss. The defense probably won’t show up again, so I won’t bother including them in the trip to Tampa. The Patriots have given up 128 points through 4 games which ranks 31st in the league, just in front of the Colts. If you ask me, the Patriots are suffering the effects of a Super Bowl hangover, but are bound to wake up any moment and be right back in their elite form. The Bucs rebounded nicely from a week three thrashing to the Vikings, and beat the Giants at home. This Buccaneer’s offense has many weapons. James Winston is off to the best start in his career, and Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Cameron Brate continue to help Winston and the passing game thrive. Doug Martin will be back for the Bucs fresh off his four game suspension. If you have any offensive fantasy players on either team, play ’em.
Patriots: 34 Bucaneers: 37
Sunday (Day Games)
Carolina Panthers (3-1) @ Detroit Lions (3-1) Sunday 1pm EST
The Lions came into the season as slight favorites in the crowded NFC North, and have answered the bell (thus far). Matthew Stafford, fresh off his huge contract extension, isn’t exactly off to a Pro Bowl start, but nonetheless, he has lead his team to three victories, which is what truly matters at the end of the day. Averaging just under 300 yards per game, the offense has much room for improvement. The Lions defense however, is one of the better units in the league, only giving up 17.5 points a game. The opposing Panthers come in fresh off their upset win in Foxborough in week four over the Patriots. Cam Newton seems to be playing like his true self once again, throwing for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns, in their week four victory. He found wide receiver Devin Funchess two times in the end zone, and frequently targeted Kelvin Benjamin who did a nice job filling the void left by Greg Olsen. The Panthers are off to a nice start and look to keep pace with the Falcons in their division.
Panthers: 34 Lions: 28
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-1) Sunday 4:05 EST
Four weeks ago, this matchup looked rather uninteresting with the Rams beating a miserable Colts team, and the Seahawks getting beat up at Lambeau to start the season. However, here in week five, this matchup will play a big part in deciding this division. The Rams are legit. If their road win over the Cowboys wasn’t enough to prove it, just take a look at their offense that averages a league leading 35.5 points per game. Jared Goff is having an incredible bounce back season so far, with seven touchdowns and only a single interception. Todd Gurley is finally reaching his peak and leading this Rams offense week in and week out. The Seahawks come in off a second half surge against the Colts last Sunday night to secure a victory. Exploding for 36 points in the second half, the Seahawks look to continue that success into the game against LA. The defense looked dangerous once again, forcing two turnovers, and scoring on both. Of course, this comes against a struggling Colts offense, but it’s a start. Russell Wilson had himself a nice second half as well. Running back Chris Carson broke a bone in his leg and was placed on IR. Eddie Lacy will be the next man up but with many questions about how well he can perform still lingering, the pressure will be on Russell Wilson to make some special plays.
Seahawks: 24 Rams: 35
Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-2) Sunday 4:25 pm EST
The rematch. These to teams have created a slight rivalry in playoff games over the past few years. Between the “Dez caught it” incident along with last year’s miraculous throw and catch from Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook to set up the game-wining field goal for the Pack in Dallas, the Cowboys don’t necessarily love seeing the cheese heads in their stadium. The Packers sit at 3-1 tied atop their division. The defense has certainly been an area of concern, and the test against a good Cowboys offense should shine some light on where this unit stands. The Packer’s offense will (most likely) be without Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams who were both injured last week against the Bears. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will be in the lineup to help Rodgers and company secure the victory in Dallas. The Cowboys come in at 2-2 fresh off a loss to the surging Rams at home. Still, the Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFC with Das Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot in the backfield running behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Look for the Cowboys to put up POINTS this week against a poor Packer’s defense.
Packers: 27 Cowboys: 38