Last week I was an impressive 12-3 in my picks. Finally got back on track, so now I’m looking to continue to improve upon that in my Week 6 NFL predictions. Last week, I missed on only Carolina, Buffalo and New England.
– Carolina played well after looking bad on both sides of the ball in previous weeks. I was surprised that they were able to out score the Bears offense, but, nonetheless, they deserve credit for finishing strong.
– If Detroit had made one of three missed field goals, they would have won. I don’t regret my pick of them beating Buffalo.
– New England is back. I said it was a matter of time, I just didn’t realize it was going to be last week. Cincinnati looked outclassed, but Andy Dalton didn’t look like the problem for once in the public spotlight. That’s a plus for them. Seeing how the Patriots came out, nobody was going to beat them last week.
The byes this week are Kansas City and New Orleans. Here’s my gif for the week. Golden Tate’s almost goal post dunk, which would have resulted in a penalty.
Thursday, 10/9 – 8:25 pm ET
Indianapolis Colts 3-2 @ Houston Texans 3-2
Prediction: Houston Texans
This is hard. Indianapolis is coming off a hard-fought win over Baltimore and they have quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts are talented and Luck is a difference-maker. However, this is a Thursday night game in Houston. The home team, outside of Washington in Week 4, has won every Thursday night matchup. Why? With a short week to prepare, visiting teams have an even shorter week to come up with some way to attack the opposing defense. That puts more value and emphasis on the run game. The run game is one of Indianapolis’ glaring weaknesses, while Houston thrives, assuming running back Arian Foster is good to go. I still think the Colts are the better team, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a strong defensive performance from Houston as the short week takes a toll on the Colts offensively.
Sunday, 10/12 – 1:00 pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2 @ Cleveland Browns 2-2
Prediction: Cleveland Browns
Let’s call this my upset pick. Pittsburgh has been off and on this season and needed a game-sealing pick-six to beat Jacksonville last week. The Steelers are the better team here, but Cleveland traditionally plays above their talent level at home, particularly against divisional opponents. This one will be close, but I think Cleveland gets the win and pulls right back into the AFC North race.
New England Patriots 3-2 @ Buffalo Bills 3-2
Prediction: New England Patriots
Buffalo is a surprising 3-2, but I can’t pick them – even at home – against the Patriots. New England got back on track against Cincinnati and I’m not buying into Kyle Orton as Buffalo’s savior at quarterback. Quarterback Tom Brady does seem to be showing his age ever so slightly, but it won’t matter this week. New England is finding their groove. Watch out.
Carolina Panthers 3-2 @ Cincinnati Bengals 3-1
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati did not look good against New England on Sunday night, but I think they will figure things out against Carolina. The Panthers played well at home last week to beat the Bears, but traveling to Cincinnati isn’t easy. The Bengals still haven’t lost at home during the regular season since the end of the 2012 season. The injury to receiver A.J. Green hurts the Bengals offense, but I think Andy Dalton will do enough to move against a Carolina defense that hardly resembles the formidable 2013 model.
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-5 @ Tennessee Titans 1-4
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has to win one, right? Tennessee lacks a great defense and they are dealing with injuries in the secondary and to starting quarterback Jake Locker. Jacksonville is still… Jacksonville, but I think rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will do enough to steal one from the Titans.
Green Bay Packers 3-2 @ Miami Dolphins 2-2
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
Minnesota isn’t a great gauge, but it certainly looked like Green Bay was back on track last Thursday night. I expect that to continue this week, despite a road trip to Miami. The Dolphins are coming off a bye and should be able to run the ball with Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno, if he is cleared to play, but I think Aaron Rodgers will be too good to stop for Miami’s secondary.
Detroit Lions 3-2 @ Minnesota Vikings 2-3
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings
This game is more of a toss-up than you might expect. With star receiver Calvin Johnson and even running back Reggie Bush likely out for Detroit, the Lions offense will suddenly be significantly undermanned. The Detroit defense is formidable, but Detroit is one of those teams who is much more inclined to play well in the confines of their dome. With Minnesota’s rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater coming back from injury, I think you will see more of his development in the form of a win. I wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Mike Zimmer has the Vikings defense giving quarterback Matthew Stafford headaches all day.
Denver Broncos 3-1 @ New York Jets 1-4
Prediction: Denver Broncos
I could talk about how the Jets are trending down and how quarterback Geno Smith is not anywhere near Peyton Manning’s level in this matchup. However, all I really need to say is that the Jets pass defense is atrocious. Manning will have fun Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens 3-2 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-4
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens
Tampa Bay’s performance against New Orleans, at New Orleans, last week was impressive. However, I’m still picking Baltimore this week, even as the Bucs return home. The Buccaneers have always been known to play the division well, regardless of their record, so I’m not putting too much into last week for them. Baltimore, on the other hand, tends to be very successful following a loss. The Ravens are a good team that will figure out how to win this week.
Sunday, 10/12 – 4:05 pm ET
San Diego Chargers 4-1 @ Oakland Raiders 0-4
Prediction: San Diego Chargers
Sunday, 10/12 – 4:25 pm ET
Chicago Bears 2-3 @ Atlanta Falcons 2-3
Prediction: Atlanta Falcons
I’m a fan of quarterback Jay Cutler, but shootouts don’t tend to fall his way. He will put up big numbers, in what figures to be a shootout, but I’m taking Atlanta at home. Their defense is still awful, but the Chicago defense isn’t exactly that much better. Expect points and I’m picking Atlanta.
Dallas Cowboys 4-1 @ Seattle Seahawks 3-1
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
You have to love what Dallas is doing this season with the run game and their powerful offensive line. They are looking very good offensively and even their defense is improving. Seattle, though, is playing at home. This should be close, but I think the deciding factor will be Seattle’s effort stopping the run game. Dallas will get their yards, but I don’t think it will be enough to counter the home-field advantage. As a bonus pick, next week at this time, we will be talking about how Tony Romo can’t save Dallas is tight games and owner Jerry Jones will be reminiscing about when he argued for taking Johnny Manziel in the draft.
Washington Redskins 1-4 @ Arizona Cardinals 3-1
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
Coast to coast games are hard on any team, but traveling to take on a very good Arizona team at home is even harder. With quarterback Carson Palmer expected back, the Cardinals should get back on track and show, again, the potential in their offense. They have a lot of talent if they have a quarterback who can move the ball around.
Sunday, 10/12 – 8:30 pm ET
New York Giants 3-2 @ Philadelphia Eagles 4-1
Prediction: New York Giants
As the weeks go by, Philadelphia continues to win, but I feel less and less confident about them. Their offense remains high-powered, but you can’t seem to trust their offensive line, their run game or quarterback Nick Foles. Well… what else do you have then? The Giants, on the other hand, continue to get better and better offensively and I don’t think their defense is that bad. This should be close, but I’m going to take the Giants with their offense clicking and Philadelphia seeming to back their way through the season thus far.
Monday, 10/13 – 8:30 pm ET
San Francisco 49ers 3-2 @ St. Louis Rams 1-3
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
I love seeing quarterback Austin Davis playing well for St. Louis. He is a guy who wasn’t expected to play this season and now he is playing well with the lights on him. That said, he still isn’t good enough to carry a team against the 49ers. San Francisco will run the ball effectively and then attack a weak Rams secondary. The 49ers defense isn’t what they have been, but they should be good enough to baffle the inexperienced Davis.