Fact or Fiction: Week 5

Are the Patriots in trouble? Our experts debate that topic and more in Fact or Fiction.

Updated: October 9, 2005, 11:53 AM ET
ESPN.com

Everyone has an opinion about what will happen during the NFL season. And the predictions will either prove to be true or false.

So we've made four bold statements and asked our ESPN experts -- former NFL players Mark Schlereth and Joe Theismann -- whether or not they believe the statements will eventually become fact or fiction.

On which side of the fence do they sit? Click on the links below for their answers.

FACT OR FICTION
 

Mark Schlereth
Fact: This team might have finally run into a set of injuries that it can't find a way to hide with a wrinkle or scheme. The losses of Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi make this team vulnerable to being exploited in the middle of the field. The Pats absolutely must find a way to get someone to elevate their play and step into that portion of the field or they are going to get pounded for the rest of the season. They are going to have to start utilizing their running game to keep this weakened defense off the field.
Joe Theismann
Fiction: The Patriots certainly have some issues, but they are in a weak division so they should be in good shape until playoff time. Their division features quarterback issues on every team and the Patriots feast upon teams with poor quarterback play. There's no doubt in my mind that they will find a way to patch the holes that injuries have exposed and will respond as well as they have throughout this dynasty. Also, don't forget that they still have the best clutch QB in the game, the best clutch kicker, and the best coach. That doesn't sound like the componentss of a team in trouble.