Sports

Rams edge Seahawks; Bengals beat Packers


Inglewood, CA. October 3, 2021: Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles for a first down against the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season begins Thursday with the Rams visiting the Seahawks in Seattle. The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups.

Farmer’s record last week: 10-6 (.625); season 38-26 (.594). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 7-9 (.438); season 26-37-1 (.429).

Times Pacific. Lines according to FanDuel (O/U = over/under):

Rams (3-1) at Seahawks (2-2)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson against the San Francisco 49ers.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks downfield against the San Francisco 49ers. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Ch. 11, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Rams by 21/2. O/U: 541/2.

Rams couldn’t contain Kyler Murray, but the Arizona quarterback is different than Russell Wilson. Rams have done a good job of corralling Wilson in the past. This is a bounce-back game for L.A.

Prediction: Rams 27, Seahawks 24

Jets (1-3) at Falcons (1-3)

New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis runs after a catch.
New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis runs after a catch against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. (Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Falcons by 3. O/U: 46.

Two bad teams, more dregs for London. The Jets picked up their first victory last week, some slivers of hope there. Falcons folded down the stretch. Give it to the more experienced quarterback.

Prediction: Falcons 24, Jets 20

Patriots (1-3) at Texans (0-4)

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones looks to pass.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Patriots by 9. O/U: 391/2.

Houston is absolutely horrible. Getting 10 first downs would be a triumph. Even with a rookie quarterback on the road — Mac Jones figures to be good, by the way — the Patriots should easily win this one.

Prediction: Patriots 24, Texans 10

Titans (2-2) at Jaguars (0-4)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks to pass.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 30 in Cincinnati. (Emilee Chinn / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Titans by 41/2. O/U: 481/2.

Does No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence catch a break against a soft Tennessee defense the way No. 2 pick Zach Wilson did last week? Can’t overlook the Titans’ weapons who should be able to come through.

Prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 21

Dolphins (1-3) at Buccaneers (3-1)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes against the New England Patriots on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. (Stew Milne / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Buccaneers by 10. O/U: 48.

The Buccaneers are coming off a close, emotional win in rainy Foxborough, but now they’re back home against an opponent who can’t stop the run and doesn’t have an offense that can keep pace.

Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Dolphins 20

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic catches a pass.

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic catches a pass against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Atlanta. (Danny Karnik / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Saints by 2. O/U: 441/2.

Washington’s offense can move the ball, although it really hurts losing tight end Logan Thomas and guard Brandon Scherff, the team’s best lineman. New Orleans is too up and down to be reliable.

Prediction: Washington 23, New Orleans 21

Eagles (1-3) at Panthers (3-1)

Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore runs after a reception.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore runs after a reception against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Arlington, Texas. (Matt Patterson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Panthers by 31/2. O/U: 45.

The availability of Christian McCaffrey is unclear, and he could be a game changer. Still, if the Panthers can protect Sam Darnold — that’s in question lately — they are good enough to ease away.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Eagles 20

Packers (3-1) at Bengals (3-1)

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones runs between Pittsburgh Steelers' Joe Haden and Terrell Edmunds.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones runs between Pittsburgh Steelers’ Joe Haden and Terrell Edmunds on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (Matt Ludtke / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Packers by 3. O/U: 51.

The Packers are better at home. The shoulder injury to cornerback Jaire Alexander figures to be costly. The Bengals have lots of weapons, lots of ways for Joe Burrow to go, plus they’re at home.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Packers 24

Lions (0-4) at Vikings (1-3)

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff calls signals in front of center Evan Brown.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff calls signals in front of center Evan Brown (63) against the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Chicago. (Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Vikings by 9. O/U: 49.

The Lions are 0-4 but are a young team and aren’t terrible. They should have beaten Baltimore. Jared Goff & Co. might not win this divisional matchup, but they’ll make it interesting.

Prediction: Vikings 28, Lions 24

Broncos (3-1) at Steelers (1-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gesturess against the Green Bay Packers.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gestures against the Green Bay Packers Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Steelers by 1. O/U: 391/2.

“New” Steelers offense is nothing special, although it helps Ben Roethlisberger to have Dionte Johnson back. Broncos have dangerous pass rush but pass defense is suspect. Broncos’ QB troubles an issue.

Prediction: Steelers 20, Broncos 18

Browns (3-1) at Chargers (3-1)

Chargers running back Larry Rountree III heads upfield against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Chargers running back Larry Rountree III heads upfield against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on Monday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chargers by 11/2. O/U: 47.

Could be the game of the week after the Chargers looked dazzling Monday night in their thumping of the Raiders. Cleveland has weapons but has to come across the country to face a powder-blue bully.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Browns 24

Bears (2-2) at Raiders (3-1)

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr passes.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr passes against the Chargers. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Raiders by 51/2. O/U: 44.

The Raiders were embarrassed by the Chargers, but that was a temporary letdown. They are really solid at home, and they’re a better team than Chicago. Derek Carr has a big game.

Prediction: Raiders 28, Bears 20

49ers (2-2) at Cardinals (4-0)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray rolls out.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray rolls out. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Cardinals by 51/2. O/U: 50.

The Cardinals, the league’s only unbeaten team, are legit. Kyler Murray is incredibly elusive and that sets up passing game. This team is gathering confidence by the week. Another division win.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, 49ers 21

Giants (1-3) at Cowboys (3-1)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott motions as he looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott motions as he looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers. (Matt Patterson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Cowboys by 7. O/U: 52.

Dak Prescott has been on fire, and Dalton Schultz is increasingly involved in the offense. The Giants couldn’t slow Jameis Winston last week. Dallas figures to step on the gas in this divisional matchup.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 23

Bills (3-1) at Chiefs (2-2)

Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs looks on.

Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs. (Jeffrey T. Barnes / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Chiefs by 21/2. O/U: 561/2.

Chiefs sliced and diced Eagles last week, showing their offense is still a formidable force. Buffalo’s pass defense is really tough, however, and this could be a landmark game for Josh Allen and crew.

Prediction: Bills 28, Chiefs 27

Colts (1-3) at Ravens (3-1)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Chris Board celebrates a play.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Chris Board celebrates a play against the Denver Broncos. (Bart Young / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Ravens by 7. O/U: 46.

The banged-up Colts will have problems keeping pace on the scoreboard against the explosive Ravens. Baltimore’s defense looked good against Denver, although it was against Drew Lock.

Prediction: Ravens 28, Colts 20

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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