I was 8-6 last week, despite my best effort. I promise, I will achieve perfection in due time! Well… maybe…
I missed on Seattle, Miami, New York (Giants), Carolina, San Diego and Atlanta. I referenced in my Seattle prediction how Seattle is very beatable on the road especially for 1 p.m. kickoff times, but instead of going with my gut, I picked the Seahawks and was burned for it. Miami isn’t looking like the team many thought could be a playoff contender early on. They were playing a Ravens team that actually chose to run the ball this week, but Miami can’t seem to get enough out of their offensive playmakers like receiver Mike Wallace (consistency is still an issue) and running back Lamar Miller (just doesn’t seem to get opportunities). I don’t know why I picked the Giants. Carolina is hard to gauge. Same could be said for Arizona, their opponent last week who now quietly sits at 3-2. I picked the Chargers for, I think, the first time this season and they failed me. Atlanta is just falling apart. With news of receiver Julio Jones being out for the season and fellow receiver Roddy White missing potentially a couple games, this aren’t getting better for team that just got manhandled by the Jets.
This week Miami and Atlanta (they need it) are on a bye. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about my Week 6 NFL Predictions.
Thursday, 10/10 – 8:25 pm ET
New York Giants 0-5 @ Chicago Bears 3-2
Prediction: Chicago Bears
The Giants have been awful this season and going on the road against an angry Bears team that has dropped two in a row after a 3-0 start isn’t going to remedy that. The Giants are falling apart with their defense looking awful, their offense playing incredibly inconsistent and turning the ball over constantly. The Beast defense, while exposed in the past two weeks against the Lions and Saints, may not be the dominant “Monsters of the Midway” of old, but they are opportunistic. Eli Manning and the Giants present a fantastic opportunity. On the other side of the ball, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will get back on track against the poor Giants secondary and surprising lack of pass rush.
Sunday, 10/13 – 1:00 pm ET
Green Bay Packers 2-2 @ Baltimore Ravens 3-2
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
Baltimore got back on track last week as they returned to the run game, beating Miami in the process. While Ray Rice’s significant role on offense is promising, the Ravens still appear to be “off”. Their defense is playing well, but they aren’t playing as well as years past. Their offense, when running the ball, is solid, but too often this season they have relied almost exclusively on the pass. I like Green Bay to expose this Ravens defense with their surprising offensive balance (3rd – total offense, 4th – passing offense, 5th – rushing offense). This game should be a relatively high scoring, close game, assuming Ray Rice is effectively utilized by Baltimore this week. If he isn’t their is too much pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco.
Cincinnati Bengals 3-2 @ Buffalo Bills 2-3
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
There is a chance that Cincinnati overlooks the Bills. The Cincinnati hardly ever wins by the margin expected of them, particularly against lesser competition, but the talent differential is too significant to dispute. Buffalo is really going to miss quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Detroit Lions 3-2 @ Cleveland Browns 3-2
Prediction: Detroit Lions
This game is really up in the air considering two important factors. First of all, Lions superstar, Calvin Johnson, is most likely a game-time decision come Sunday. If he doesn’t play the Lions offense is not the same, as you would imagine, and I think the Browns defense will do a solid job of keeping their own offense in the game throughout. The second factor is that Browns offense. Without Cleveland hero, quarterback Brian Hoyer, the Browns aren’t 3-2. Now that they are back to the Brandon Weeden era, does Weeden continue the momentum? I don’t think so, but anything can happen if Johnson is inactive.
St. Louis Rams 2-3 @ Houston Texans 2-3
Prediction: Houston Texans
My how the mighty have fallen. The Texans are suddenly looking like a “so-so” team and their leader, quarterback Matt Schaub, is taking heat. Schaub has thrown a pick-six in four consecutive games and the Texans are now, or should be, considering a switch to backup T.J. Yates. Either way, the Rams defense this season hasn’t been as stout as was thought coming in and their offense isn’t explosive enough to challenge the Texans defense. If Houston runs the ball and takes advantage of the Rams 27th-ranked run defense, the Texans should win this one.
Carolina Panthers 1-3 @ Minnesota Vikings 1-3
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings
I can’t make up my mind about the Panthers. One week they look good, even in a loss, and then the next week Cam Newton throws three interceptions and lose 22-6, despite the Cardinals throwing three picks of their own and only throwing for 175 yards and running for 90. The Vikings are equally as confusing as they still have much of the team that made the playoffs a year ago, but can’t seem to bring it all together. Matt Cassel is supposed to start at quarterback for the Vikings again. He gives Minnesota a formidable passing offense to go with Adrian Peterson. Cassel isn’t great, but he opens up the offense more than Christian Ponder. I like Minnesota’s offense to attack through the air, find some success and wait for Carolina’s offensive mistakes.
Oakland Raiders 2-3 @ Kansas City Chiefs 5-0
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
You laughed in Week 2, but my joking nickname for Terrelle Pryor, aka “Superstar” (in the Remember the Titans “Sunshine” voice), is not so ridiculous anymore. I’m not sure if he will continue this success, but he has the physical tools and is improving every week. That said, Kansas City and their defense is a whole different beast. The Chiefs defense is legit and gets after the passer as well as any team in the league. With Alex Smith quarterbacking the Chiefs offense doesn’t really turn the ball over. If Kansas City continues to protect the ball and play stifling defense, I expect them to win this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers 0-4 @ New York Jets 3-2
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers
I was really impressed with the Jets performance on Monday Night football. Their offense and Geno Smith were clicking and their defense is very impressive, particularly that defensive front. With that said, I’m taking the Steelers. I don’t have all the supportive numbers or anything, but there is this: Pittsburgh had an extra week of preparation. Think about it… Does Geno Smith want Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick Lebeau to have an extra week to prepare new wrinkles, blitzes and emphasize creating turnovers, which is something Pittsburgh hasn’t done well to this point. I know there is a lot going against Pittsburgh, but I don’t think a proud team like the Steelers and that veteran leadership will allow them to lose a fifth game in a row especially coming off a bye.
Philadelphia Eagles 2-3 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-4
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles
This is interesting. The Buccaneers are a solid defensive team with a great rush defense. Philadelphia is the top rushing team in the NFL. The Buccaneers are starting a rookie quarterback, Mike Glennon, for a second week against the Eagles swiss cheese defense and Nick Foles may be playing quarterback for the injured Michael Vick. I personally like Philadelphia here. The Eagles will run the ball effectively because, frankly, they don’t care how good your rush defense is, they will find success. Foles is a capable quarterback if Vick can’t play and Vick, if he can play, certainly creates a whole new set of issues for Tampa Bay. Glennon may be the second coming of Peyton Manning, but he is still a rookie right now and while I see him, and running back Doug Martin, having a solid game because of how porous the Eagles defense is, I don’t think it is enough.
Sunday, 10/13 – 4:05 pm ET
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-5 @ Denver Broncos 5-0
Prediction: Denver Broncos
Tennessee Titans 3-2 @ Seattle Seahawks 4-1
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee is one to watch as the season plays out. They could push for a wildcard, but this week they play in Seattle against a Seahawks teams that just lost to the Colts a week ago. Seattle is an easy pick here.
Sunday, 10/13 – 4:25 pm ET
New Orleans Saints 5-0 @ New England Patriots 4-1
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
The Saints look outstanding in the early going of the season whereas the Patriots look like they are still trying to find themselves offensively. Tight end Rob Gronkowski may return to the Pats offense that desperately needs him, but it could take some time for him and Tom Brady to get on the same page again. The Saints, on the other hand, have their own superstar tight end in Jimmy Graham, who has been unstoppable in every sense of the word. I expect that to continue and I expect the Saints offense to simply be too much. Don’t discredit either defense in this one though as both have been impressive this season.
Arizona Cardinals 3-2 @ San Francisco 49ers 3-2
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
How are the Cardinals 3-2? Their offense hasn’t been as explosive as people thought it would be, but their underrated defense has kept them in games. San Francisco is a surprise at 3-2 as well, but because people expected a more impressive looking 4-1 team instead. 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, isn’t taking off like how he appeared to be taking off last postseason and this week, against this Cardinals defense, is a tough matchup. So why the Cardinals? I need some surprising picks this week and because you can’t disregard the fact that this is a divisional clash. Divisional games are traditionally much closer and more likely to be upsets as both team knows the other almost as well as they know themselves. Carson Palmer could have one of his interception-filled games and this easily favors the 49ers, but I think Arizona surprises.
Sunday, 10/13 – 8:30 pm ET
Washington Redskins 1-3 @ Dallas Cowboys 2-3
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
Last week’s loss to the Broncos was about as impressive as losses can be for Dallas. Tony Romo dominated every part of the game, except for that final interception that sealed the Cowboys’ fate. Now he needs to come back from it and try to beat a Redskins unit that comes off a bye and is still looking for an impressive win. Robert Griffin III is slowly, but surely coming back into form, but in this one I think the Cowboys are simply too much. Expect Romo to have another great game against the poor Redskins secondary. I expect the Cowboys defense to limit the Redskins offense better than they did the Broncos last week.
Monday, 10/14 – 8:40 pm ET
Indianapolis Colts 4-1 @ San Diego Chargers 2-3
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
I tried picking the Chargers for the first time this season last week and they failed me by losing to the Raiders, 27-17. I picked against the Colts last week despite my better judgement about the Seahawks playing on the road and the Colts got the huge win. I’m taking the Colts, who have been incredibly impressive. I wonder if this is the week we see Trent Richardson break out against the Chargers’ 27th-ranked defense.