2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 5

Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images /
9 of 16
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images /

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

Sunday, October 10, 1PM ET

I feel so tricked. After Week 1, I thought for sure the Philadelphia Eagles were going to be a competitive bunch in 2021. While it’s obviously still early in the year, I never would have guessed they’d follow up that performance with three straight losses.

Speaking of shocking outcomes, I also didn’t anticipate the Carolina Panthers sitting at 3-1 heading into Week 5. Although their three early wins came against one of the worst teams in the NFL, they’ve proven to be a capable bunch as Sam Darnold is finally playing in an environment that supports his talents.

This one, however, will come down to the Panthers defense, which is quietly asserting itself as one of the league’s elite units. With playmakers at every level, it’s excelled at pressuring quarterbacks, clogging run lanes and capitalizing on mistakes. Don’t be surprised if we see more of the same in this one, leading to plenty of frustration on Philly’s end.

Jalen Hurts has another solid game, but can’t muster enough points against Carolina’s stingy defense. And while the Philadelphia defense steps up to keep Darnold from blowing them out, it’s not enough when all is said and done.

Prediction: Panthers win 20-16 | Spread: Panthers (-4)