The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 26-17 on Thursday Night Football. With no Rams game on Sunday, here are the games to keep an eye on and who to cheer for. I’ve put together the ultimate Week 5 cheering guide.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings – 1 p.m. ET
The Detroit Lions head to Minnesota to try to win their first game of the season. Jared Goff and the Lions have had a brutal start to their season with tough opponents, but lost by 10 points last week to the Bears. With McVay, Goff is 0-11 as a starter. The Lions have been plagued with injuries and could be without Penei Sewell. Frank Ragnow is already out and the team lost Romeo Okwara for the season.
The Vikings are 1-3, but have dealt with some bad luck. A missed field goal led to a loss against the Cardinals. Outside of that, Kirk Cousins has the Purple and Gold offfense playing well. This is a team that could be fighting for a NFC Wild Card spot at the end of the season.
The Los Angeles Rams sit at 4-1 and aren’t threatened by either of these teams. However, if the Rams are playing for wild card positioning later in the year, a Vikings loss won’t hurt. As Rams fans, it also doesn’t hurt to root for Jared Goff. The Vikings should have their way with the Lions secondary, but Goff could also have some success as well.
Verdict: Go Lions!
Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers – 1 p.m. ET
The Philadelphia Eagles have just one win against the Atlanta Falcons this season and have lost their last two games by 10 or more points. The Carolina Panthers meanwhile have been a quiet surprise with their lone loss being to the Dallas Cowboys last week.
The Panthers are 3-1 and due to their division record, they hold the tiebreaker over the Rams. Carolina likely won’t be vying for a top seed in the NFC this season, but when in doubt, hope the better NFC team loses.
The Panthers are four point favorites at home and the Eagles are dealing with several offensive line injuries. The good news for them is the Carolina boasts one of the best blitzing defenses and best fronts in the NFL. An Eagles win would benefit the Los Angeles Rams, but don’t count on it.
Verdict: Fly Eagles Fly!
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1 p.m. ET
The Los Angeles Rams already have the tiebreaker over the Buccaneers due to the head-to-head. However, the more losses for the Buccaneers, the better. However, that odds of that happening at the hands of a Jacoby Brissett led Dolphins team is very slim.
Brady has historically struggled against the Dolphins, but at home, the Dolphins shouldn’t pose much of a threat.
Verdict: Fins Up!
Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 1 p.m. ET
Since getting demolished by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the Green Bay Packers seem to be back on track. They’ve won three straight and seem to have found their groove on offense. With that said, the Packers are once again a team to be reckoned with in the NFC.
This week, they go up against the Cincinnati Bengals who are 3-1 and led by former Rams assistant, Zac Taylor. This will be a battle between two former Rams offensive coordinator’s in Matt LaFleur and Taylor. However, one of these coaches is in the AFC which is the one Rams fans should cheer for on Sunday.
The Bengals escaped the Jaguars last week and also have a big win against the Steelers. While this is at home, the Packers should be able to pull away in the second half. Rams fans should root for the upset.
Verdict: Who Dey! Who Dey! Who dey say gonna beat the Bengals!
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 4:25 p.m. ET
The Dallas Cowboys might be one of the top three or four teams in the NFC right now. However, unlike Arizona and Los Angeles, the Cowboys actually have a very easy schedule. The Cowboys play one team with a winning record the rest of the season right now – the Cardinals. 12 or 13 wins is not out of the realm of possibility.
With that being said, any loss that Cowboys manage, benefits the Los Angeles Rams. This is a team that could be in contention for the number one seed at the end of the season. The Giants aren’t necessarily good, but Daniel Jones has played well and Saquon Barkley looked like the Saquon Barkley of old against the Saints.
The Cowboys will likely win this game, but an upset from the Giants wouldn’t hurt the Rams at all.
Verdict: Go G-men!
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals – 4:25 p.m. ET
It’s never easy to cheer for a division rival. There are two ways to think about this. The 49ers are 2-2 so far this season. A second straight division loss would put them at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the division and likely knock them out of the division race. The 49ers would essentially be in the wild card hunt.
Contrarily, the Cardinals are 4-0 and have a win over the Los Angeles Rams this season. A win would keep them a game ahead while a loss would only put them ahead of the Rams due to a tiebreak. As I mentioned, this is about picking the lesser of two evils.
In this situation a 49ers win does more for the Rams than a Cardinals win. At 3-2, the 49ers are still not a true threat to the Rams. However, at 5-0, the Rams would be looking for the Cardinals to find losses down the road. I wouldn’t fault a Rams fan for cheering against the 49ers, but a 49ers win is probably better in the long-run.
Verdict: 49ers…I guess.