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PFT’s Week Five picks

Mike Florio discusses how the upcoming matchup of Falcons, Broncos could be sneaky good.

We continue to stink when it comes to picking games this year, with both MDS and yours truly barely above .500. He’s up by a game, and his lead won’t get any larger (or smaller) this weekend.

For the first time this season, we disagree on none of the 14 games.

To see what we think (and to then do the opposite, for amusement purposes only), keep reading. Or not; the click already has been registered.

Cardinals at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Cardinals have been one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments this season, and on Thursday night they’re without Carson Palmer. But I still can’t believe they’d lose to a team as bad as the 49ers.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 20, 49ers 17.

Florio’s take: Stanton vs. Gabbert in prime time. Kramer vs. Kramer on Netflix may be the better viewing option. By far.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 17, 49ers 10.

Patriots at Browns

MDS’s take: The return of Tom Brady should be an easy one for the Patriots, who will cruise to a double-digit win even if Brady is rusty.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Browns 13.

Florio’s take: I smell a potential upset brewing on the banks of Lake Erie, but I’m not nearly ballsy enough to call that shot. But the Browns will give the Patriots all they can handle, since it’s the closest Cleveland will get this year to a game with a playoff feel.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Browns 21.

Eagles at Lions

MDS’s take: I’m expecting Carson Wentz to go through some growing pains in his rookie season, but not against a terrible Lions defense that made Brian Hoyer look like an All-Pro last week.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 27, Lions 14.

Florio’s take: Jim Schwartz may get carried off the field, again, if coach Doug Pederson learned from Andy Reid how to be nearly unbeatable after a bye.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 31, Lions 20.

Bears at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck has played well this season, but his teammates haven’t given him a lot of help. On Sunday I see Luck putting up big numbers against Chicago and winning a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Colts 31, Bears 30.

Florio’s take: The Colts are the NFL’s laboratory mice regarding the prospect of playing without a bye after a game in London. Like most laboratory mice, it may not end well.

Florio’s pick: Colts 20, Bears 17.

Titans at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Both of these teams look like they’re lacking an offensive identity, as neither Marcus Mariota nor Ryan Tannehill has taken the step forward that their teams were hoping for. This looks to me like an ugly game.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 13, Titans 12.

Florio’s take: Miami commences a four-game homestand with a must-win game at a time when most of the area is under a must-get-out advisory.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 23, Titans 17.

Washington at Ravens

MDS’s take: Ravens receiver Steve Smith is having a great year, and I see him having a big game against Washington’s secondary.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Washington 21.

Florio’s take: Two straight wins is good for Washington, and it’ll have to be good enough for now.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Washington 20.

Texans at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings’ defense is going to eat Brock Osweiler for lunch. This game could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Texans 3.

Florio’s take: The Vikings enter their bye week on a high note, with two weeks to prepare for a showdown with the Eagles.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Texans 13.

Jets at Steelers

MDS’s take: Ben Roethlisberger is leading the league in touchdown passes. Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading the league in interceptions. The Steelers should win this one, big.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 30, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: So If the Steelers beat the Chiefs by 29 and the Chiefs beat the Jets by 23 . . . .

Florio’s pick: Steelers 31, Jets 13.

Falcons at Broncos

MDS’s take: This is a great matchup, the Falcons’ outstanding passing game keyed by Julio Jones against the Broncos’ stellar defense. I see the Broncos coming out on top in a close, back-and-forth game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 21, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take: An unexpected test for the Broncos, who may not have Trevor Siemian. They still have Von Miller and company.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Falcons 23.

Bengals at Cowboys

MDS’s take: I’m impressed with what Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have done as rookies, but I think Bengals coach Marvin Lewis will have some things for them they haven’t seen before, and the Bengals will steal a win in Dallas.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 17, Cowboys 16.

Florio’s take: The extra time to prepare for the Dallas offense will help the Bengals, who found their footing last Thursday night. 3-2 is still a pretty good start for Dallas.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 27, Cowboys 20.

Bills at Rams

MDS’s take: This is a much better game than anyone would have thought early in the season, with the Bills on a two-game winning streak and the Rams on a three-game winning streak. I’ll pick L.A. to keep it going behind a better-than-expected game from Case Keenum.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: Buffalo has found the gas pedal following that Thursday night debacle, but the Rams are on the right track and will be hard to beat before a big crowd at the Coliseum. Especially with Aaron Donald to prove that he can hold Sheldon Richardson’s jock, if for some reason Donald would even want to.

Florio’s pick: Rams 17, Bills 10.

Chargers at Raiders

MDS’s take: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is off to a fine start, with nine touchdown passes and only one interception. The Raiders should rack up a lot of points against the Chargers and win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 35, Chargers 31.

Florio’s take: We’ve seen this movie several times this year. Chargers build a lead, Chargers blow a lead, Raiders eventually rack up another win.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 27, Chargers 17.

Giants at Packers

MDS’s take: The Giants turned in a disappointing performance Monday night and now have to travel to Green Bay on a short work week against a well-rested Packers team. Aaron Rodgers may turn in his best game of the season.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Giants 14.

Florio’s take: As Trump and Clinton do battle again, the Packers haven’t played since before their first meeting — and the Giants are playing on a short week after traveling home from Minnesota and back to Green Bay. And the Packers will be lighting Odell Beckham’s fuse, early.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Giants 20.

Buccaneers at Panthers

MDS’s take: The loser of this game will fall to 1-4 and could already be out of NFC South contention. I think the Panthers are a better team than they’ve shown so far and will rally for a big win.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Buccaneers 17.

Florio’s take: Assuming Cam Newton gets cleared to play, this one should be easy. Without Newton, it’s still winnable for a team that desperately needs to win its second game of the year.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 30, Buccaneers 20.