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If you're planning to bet on any NFL games this weekend, USA TODAY Sports' Lorenzo Reyes says these three are the way to go. USA TODAY Sports

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Todd Gurley can finally share some of the spotlight with the rest of the Los Angeles Rams, and the running back is already reaping the rewards.

Once the focal point of every opposing defense, Gurley is enjoying a resurgence in his third year thanks in part to new coach Sean McVay's varied attack. The offense ranks as the league's highest-scoring at 35.5 points per game, and quarterback Jared Goff has received much of the praise for the turnaround given his 112.2 passer rating that now stands second best in the league.

But Gurley remains the centerpiece of the offense, perhaps more than ever. He has an NFL-high 106 touches, which represent 53.5% of the Rams' plays (also a league best). His 596 total yards from scrimmage are topped only by Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt.

Facing a Seattle Seahawks defense that ranks just 27th against the rush, Gurley should again see a heavy workload and could be the determining factor in whether the Rams can prevail and prove themselves legitimate contenders in the NFC West.

The Seahawks have previously bottled up Gurley, limiting him to just 89 yards on 31 carries in two games last year. But this year's defense hasn't lived up to its past smothering standards, as it is allowing 134 yards per game on the ground. And though the group ranks fourth against the pass, it likely won't be able to take Goff for granted as in past matchups by loading up the box.

Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright could prove to be the Seahawks' best weapons for countering Gurley. The two will be called on to contain Gurley not only as a runner but also in the passing game, where he has 234 yards and three of his seven touchdowns.

Here are four other matchups that could define Week 5 in the NFL:

Green Bay Packers OTs David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga vs. Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Aaron Rodgers might be able to breathe easier on Sunday, as his starting offensive tackles could be playing together for the first time this season. Both Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bulaga (ankle) are listed as questionable after each played in just one game so far.

Their absence has taken a toll on Rodgers, who has already taken 15 sacks. His recourse to the pressure has been to revert to a quick-strike attack, as his 5.3 average completed air yards are the third-lowest of any starting quarterback, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. 

Dallas, however, knows how lethal Rodgers can be when not contained in the pocket, as his late-game heroics in last season's NFC divisional playoff game helped end the Cowboys' run. Lawrence, who has emerged as the NFL's sack leader with 7 1/2, will play a crucial role in corralling the quarterback and limiting the rest of the defense's exposure to big plays. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli could create problems for Green Bay by matching him up with Bulaga, who has said he likely won't be 100% healthy even if he plays.

More: USA TODAY Sports' Week 5 NFL picks

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters

Perhaps no one has gained more from Deshaun Watson settling in as the Texans' starting quarterback than Hopkins. After he was targeted 16 times in the opener but had just seven catches, the Texans' top receiver has established a connection with the rookie first-round pick. In last week's 57-14 rout of the Tennessee Titans, Hopkins had a season-high 10 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Peters, meanwhile, described his most recent performance as "hella weak" after giving up two touchdowns in a 29-20 win over the Washington Redskins. The outing was uncharacteristic for the confident cornerback and sets up an intriguing matchup against an old foe.

Hopkins and Peters have each had their share of big plays in their early-career showdowns. In three games against one another, Hopkins has twice eclipsed the 100-yard mark while Peters has four total interceptions. The two might not be locked against one another for all of Sunday night's tilt, but the matchup would be a revealing indication of Watson's aggressiveness and risk tolerance.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell vs. Jacksonville Jaguars' front seven

After three weeks of substandard production, the Steelers' offense looked closer to its old form in a 26-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh established its pace by leaning on Bell, who had 39 total touches for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

An even bigger breakout, however, could be waiting against the Jaguars' defense. Jacksonville's last-ranked rush defense is allowing as many yards per carry (5.7) as its stingy secondary is permitting for every pass attempt. 

The Jaguars will need a disruptive effort from defensive tackle Calais Capbell and the rest of its front against a stellar Steelers offensive line. But coach Doug Marrone said the rest of the defense was also accountable for the woes against the run. Linebackers Myles Jack and Telvin Smith will be counted on to keep the patient Bell from breaking past the second level.

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton vs. Detroit Lions' secondary

Newton will be under more intense scrutiny than usual after the fallout from his remark to a female reporter this week. In Detroit, he faces a defense holding its own despite several shortcomings.

Though Newton is completing a career-high 65.2% of his passes, he has thrown just five touchdowns against five interceptions with a quarterback rating (48.3) that nearly mirrors last year's output. He will have to be judicious against a Lions defense that ranks second in the NFL with seven picks.

Detroit is in the middle of the pack for both total yards allowed (15th with 322.5 per game) and passing yards allowed (21st with 236.3), but its 17.5 points per game is tied for fourth-lowest in the league. Keeping Carolina from stringing together long drives could be a challenge, as the Panthers rank first in third-down conversion percentage at 51.9%.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

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