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NN prediction contest Week 5: Can the 49ers get above .500?

Can the 49ers avoid a letdown against the Panthers?

Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after returning an interception Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Coming off the 49ers' impressive win against the Rams on Monday Night, the Niners will have a short week to prepare themselves to face the Panthers on Sunday. Due to our sponsorship with Tallysight, we have to pick every game. But, as we usually do, we’ll narrow it down to six for you at the bottom.

Broncos over Colts: A short week matchup between the two most underwhelming teams this season. I’m hesitant to pick the more incompetent coaching staff in Denver, but Russell Wilson has looked less washed to me than Matt Ryan this season. Maybe Ryan is suffering from the wildest bad turnover luck in team history, but five interceptions and nine fumbles in four games are too many to ignore.

Packers over Giants: The Giants have been thriving by relying on their run game and defense early in the season, but New York will likely be turning to their third-string quarterback Davis Webb with Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor dealing with injuries. That’s a tough recipe for success against Aaron Rodgers.

Commanders over Titans: Am I becoming a Carson Wentz truther? Wentz was horrendous last week against the Cowboys and has looked bad a lot this season, but I don’t think he’s worse than he’s ever been. The Titans ran all over the Colts last week, but I think the Commanders bounce back and defend home field against Tennessee.

Seahawks over Saints: The Seahawks might actually be an above-average team in the context of the NFC this year (which isn’t necessarily saying a lot). Saints quarterback Jameis Winston still hasn’t practiced this week, leading me to pick Geno Smith to stay rolling on the road.

Lions over Patriots: Bill Belichick has an impressive tenure against Sean McVay offenses, which could spell trouble for the Rams transplants with the Lions. However, Detroit is the more talented team, and that should be enough to beat New England.

Jaguars over Texans: The Texans are still searching for their first win of the season, and I don’t think it comes this week against a rising Jaguars team.

Dolphins over Jets: Robert Saleh is finally helping the Jets improve their win-loss record this season. However, facing Dolphins backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, I don’t think the Jets' defense will be able to keep up with Miami’s speed.

Bills over Steelers: The Steelers will build Kenny Pickett a statue if they win this game.

49ers over Panthers: It’s on the road. It’s on a short week. But a 49ers loss in Carolina would still be unacceptable.

Cowboys over Rams: I don’t think Cooper Rush is better than Matthew Stafford right now, but the gap is far smaller than I expected, and I think the rest of Dallas’ roster more than makes up for that difference.

Cardinals over Eagles: I don’t know why I’ve picked against the best team in the NFC for two straight weeks. Granted, the Jags probably would’ve upset the Eagles if not for a bad performance from Trevor Lawrence. Still, I think Kyler Murray’s mobility will limit the ability of Philadelphia’s defensive line to dominate as much as usual.

Ravens over Bengals: The Ravens may just be Lamar Jackson this year, but the Bengals haven’t been consistent enough to pick against him yet.

Kansas City over Raiders: Come on.

Chargers over Browns: The Chargers didn’t dominate the Texans as much as they should’ve, but Justin Herbert looked healthy, and that’s enough.

Vikings over Bears: The odds are looking pretty good that the Bears will be shopping Justin Fields this offseason after landing a pick high enough to draft another top QB.

Buccaneers over Falcons: The Falcons have been a pleasant surprise, and Tom Brady’s life is in shambles, but Tampa is still a far better team.

Marc’s prediction record:
Week 1: 7-8-1
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 7-9
Week 4: 9-7
Overall: 32-31-1

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Here are the six games for this week’s contest:

Titans @ Commanders, 10:00 AM PT

Lions @ Patriots, 10:00 AM PT

Chargers @ Browns, 10:00 AM PT

Dolphins @ Jets, 10:00 AM PT

49ers @ Panthers, 1:05 PM PT

Bengals @ Ravens, 5:20 PM PT