2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 5

Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images /
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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)

Sunday, October 10, 4:05PM ET

I’ve been a big supporter of the Los Angeles Chargers this season, and for good reason. Justin Herbert has been sensational, the defense is playing well, and the presence of Brandon Staley appears to be bringing out the best in that bunch.

Unfortunately, matchups matter. And when it comes to the Cleveland Browns, I think they may have a slight edge on the Chargers. Why? Well, their offense is exceptional, but it’s actually their outstanding defense that has me concerned about Los Angeles’ ability to produce points in Week 5.

As we saw in Week 4, the Browns know how to shut down top offenses. They held the Vikings to only seven points, as the pass rush kept Minnesota from ever getting things going. That could end up being the case against the Chargers as well, as Herbert could very well spend most of Sunday running for his life or picking himself up off the ground.

Cleveland keeps Herbert from another huge performance while relying on their excellent ground game to wear down the clock. It’s a tough, low-scoring affair that sees the Browns walk away with a hard-earned road win.

Prediction: Browns win 19-16 | Spread: Browns (-1)