Another week and another slew of crazy and unpredictable NFL action is on our plate. All teams have played at least a quarter of their games this year, and we are starting to get a feel for how some are. However, there are still a few teams that we don’t know about five games in. These games are getting hard to pick, but here comes another effort from yours truly. Let’s get it.
Last Week: 8-6
Thursday, October 12th, 8:25 e.t.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) @ Carolina Panthers (4-1)
We kick off Week 6 with the best of the fourteen games. Both the Eagles and Panthers are built a lot alike. Two tough quarterbacks capable of making plays with their legs, defenses that can get after the ball, and a running attack that could take over a game. Also, these teams ate #1 and #2 in the league in converting third downs on the year. In a tough one to pick I am going to go with the Eagles. They can control the clock with their running game better than Carolina in my opinion.
Philadelphia 26, Carolina 20
Sunday, October 15th, 1:00 e.t.
Miami Dolphins (2-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Fresh off of their BYE, the Falcons host the offensively challenged Dolphins. There is not much to debate here, the ‘Phins will not be able to keep up with Atlanta on the road. I expect Matt Ryan to carve up Miami en route to a healthy win.
Atlanta 37, Miami 14
Cleveland Browns (0-5) @ Houston Texans (2-3)
This could be our first battle of rookie QBs on the season, and these rookies could not be having more polar opposite of seasons. DeShone Kizer was benched last week versus the Jets for poor play and turning the ball over while Deshaun Watson has accounted for five touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. Houston did suffer a major blow losing both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus last week, but it won’t matter this week at home versus Cleveland who still looks like a hot mess on offense.
Houston 30, Cleveland 10
Detroit Lions (3-2) @ New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Here’s a fun stat: the Saints have not turned the ball over yet this year. No team has ever opened the season with five straight turnover-free games and they look to be the first against a team that, to be honest, I don’t know too much about. Are the Lions a good team or one that has been fortunate to play teams like the Cardinals, Giants, and the Sam Bradford-less Vikings? I think Detroit has a solid squad, but I do not see them going in to the Big Easy and winning for the second straight year. I saw what Cam Newton did to this “D” on the road and I’m convinced that Drew Brees can do the same at home.
New Orleans 27, Detroit 24
Green Bay Packers (4-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-2)
How good is Aaron Rodgers? He lead his team back on the road against Dallas with the go-ahead touchdown pass at the eleven second mark. The craziest thing is, that was not surprising to anybody. We all expected it to happen and it did. Right now the Vikings offense is Jekyll and Hyde and they will have no chance if it is slumping this week, even at home. Green Bay is the hot team right now and I think they will go on the road and take care of business like the Lions did two weeks ago.
Green Bay 22, Minnesota 16 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***
Chicago Bears (1-4) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Mitchell Trubisky looked pretty good on Monday night before throwing a pick in the final minutes, but let’s face it, he was going against a very good defense. The Chicago offense was very sloppy and wiped out a lot of nice plays with penalties. That shows that the Bears are not a quality team. They’ve been no shows in their two road games this season, and I expect that to continue against a Raven team that may have found a bit of their mojo on offense last week against the Raiders.
Baltimore 29, Chicago 13
New England Patriots (3-2) @ New York Jets (3-2)
Who woulda thunk it: both the Pats and Jets have the same record five weeks into the season. The Patriots looked great on offense for the second and third quarters against Tampa Bay while their defense looked awesome for the first 50 minutes of that game. Against the Jets, who were barely able to beat the struggling Browns, I think Bill Belichick and company will overwhelm them on both sides of the ball.
New England 30, New York 15
San Francisco 49ers (0-5) @ Washington Redskins (2-2)
If I had to pick the best out of the winless teams, there is no doubt it would be the 49ers. They actually could have won any of their last four games and are hanging in there. However, they are finding ways to lose which is what bad teams do. The Redskins are not a bad team. They have an even record, but their two losses came against squads with a combined record of 9-1. Jay Gruden’s team, at home, should get their ground game going against a Niner team that can be had in that department.
Washington 27, San Francisco 10
Sunday, October 15th, 4:05 e.t.
Los Angeles Rams (3-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
Who woulda thought that this would be an interesting game? We got a good offense versus a good defense. The Rams did just turn the ball over five times against Seattle but they still remained in the game thanks to a solid effort from their “D”. Meanwhile the Jags were busy going on the road and dominating the Steelers. It is still hard to tell if the Jaguars are for real because they seem to appear and then disappear the next week. I was going to pick them at home, but I got a weird feeling that this will be their knuckleball of a game. Rams win.
Los Angeles 20, Jacksonville 14 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
The Cardinals were torched a week ago against a good Eagle team and have managed just 22 points over their last two games. They are not protecting Carson Palmer well, but luckily for them Tampa Bay has struggled to get to the passer (although they did a fine job at that versus New England a week back). That said, I don’t know if I like their odds traveling across the country to play a very ticked off Cardinal team that will be looking to take some shots on offense. I like an Arizona upset here.
Arizona 26, Tampa Bay 25
Sunday, October 15th, 4:25 e.t.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) @ Oakland Raiders (2-3)
The Chargers picked up their first win of the year against a very banged up and still winless Giants team while the Raiders struggled on offense for the third straight week. Oakland’s problem is that they have not been able to run the ball during this stretch. Luckily, the Chargers have had a lot of problems stopping the run themselves and that does not bode well for them here. I think the Raiders can eek out a win without Derek Carr at the helm here, but with a loss, they would drop to last place shockingly enough.
Oakland 21, San Diego 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
Ben Roethlisberger’s comments following his five interception performance were concerning stating that maybe he didn’t have it anymore. To me, that just sounded like a QB frustrated with his performance and I can see him breaking back out at some point. However, that will not happen this week. The Chiefs have too many weapons on offense to contend with and they are hitting on all cylinders right now. At Arrowhead, I love the home team.
Kansas City 38, Pittsburgh 24
Sunday, October 15th, 8:30 e.t.
New York Giants (0-5) @ Denver Broncos (3-1)
Why can’t Sunday Night Football flex out of this game? The Giants are a mess right now and are essentially missing their entire receiving corps and cannot protect their QB against one of the best defenses in the league on the road. The Broncos should have no problem steam-rolling Big Blue here.
Denver 35, New York 7
Monday, October 16th, 8:30 e.t.
Indianapolis Colts (2-3) @ Tennessee Titans (2-3)
This game could be very intriguing with Andrew Luck versus Marcus Mariota or it could be another blah Monday night game with Jacoby Brissett versus Matt Cassel. Let’s hope it is the former. I think Mariota should be a go for this game and the Titans really need a win to keep pace in the division at home. The Titans have struggled to beat the Colts as of late, but I think that trend ends on Monday night. Their defense is good enough and the offense is much better with #8 healthy. I do reserve the right to change my mind on this contest provided who is starting at QB for each team.
Tennessee 28, Indianapolis 17