NFL: Week 6 Picks

Week 5 was nothing short of interesting with it’s blowouts and come-from-behind victories.  We still aren’t at the point where too many teams have separated themselves from the pack as the league’s best and worst, but we are getting there.

We’ve got another nearly full slate with just two teams on byes this week in the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints.

I had a good week 5, going 12-3 to improve to 48-28 on the season (not to shabby if I do say so myself).  Now here are my week 6 picks.

Thursday Night Football

  • Colts @ Texans: How about a close Thursday Night game for once? I do think we finally get one with this AFC South match-up.  It’s an early battle for the division.  The Colts have been led by their offense this season, the Texans by their defense.  Which wins out?  I think Andrew Luck does. INDIANAPOLIS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Steelers @ Browns: Ben Tate is back and looked good in week 5.  The Browns are finding ways to win, even when they don’t make it easy for themselves.  But it’s hard to win in the NFL, and they’re already half way to their 2013 win total.  As for the Steelers, they moved above .500 last week, but it wasn’t a pretty 17-9 game against the 0-5 Jaguars.  So I think Cleveland finds a way to get themselves above .500 at home. CLEVELAND WINS
  • Patriots @ Bills: It’s the final regular season match-up between the AFC East rivals, and New England is in Buffalo looking for revenge.  It’s also a game that could very well determine the division.  The Pats had their best game of the season last week against a very good team in Cincinnati.  But the Bills are also coming off a good road win over Detroit.  So which team keeps the good feelings going and stays above .500?  I think Tom Brady and company find a way to build off their drubbing of the Bengals and get a big road victory. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Panthers @ Bengals: The Bengals didn’t come out of their bye week like a team that had been previously undefeated and making other teams look silly.  They came out and let a struggling Patriots team walk all over them. As for the Panthers, they eked out a good win over a strong Ravens squad.  If this were a home game for Carolina, I might choose them, but I think Cincy rights the ship in front of their fans to improve to 4-1. (though they could be without AJ Green along with Marvin Jones, meaning the run game MUST step up for my prediction to come true) CINCINNATI WINS
  • Jaguars @ Titans: The Jaguars are bad enough to continue their 0-fer of a season.  But this might be one of their only good chances for a win. Tennessee blew a 25-point lead to the Browns last week.  And Jacksonville should feel good about holding Pittsburgh to 17 points in week 5.  Let’s see what Blake Bortles can do against a porous Titans defense on the road. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Packers @ Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill has started to show Miami fans what they’ve wanted to see for a few years now. But with the pats and bills having strong years, it’s going to be hard to make noise in the AFC East. As for the Packers, they are starting to round into shape after a shaky start. I like Aaron Rodgers on the road here. GREEN BAY WINS
  • Lions @ Vikings: Detroit was less than impressive at home a week ago, and continue to get little from the injured Calvin Johnson.  But the defense was still solid, and I think they can continue this on the road against the overachieving Vikings. DETROIT WINS
  • Broncos @ Jets: Rex Ryan’s team is in shambles. And now they have the defending AFC Champs coming to MetLife. Yikes. No cornerbacks against Peyton Manning, a struggling quarterback and an improperly used running game. Triple yikes. I though New York would be good this season, but unless a lot goes wrong fro a Denver, I just don’t see them breaking their skid. >DENVER WINS
  • Ravens @ Buccaneers: Baltimore is coming off a tough loss to Indianapolis, but it’s not as bad a loss as Tampa suffered to the Saints. There are just too many questions on defense for this Bucs team. BALTIMORE WINS

Sunday 4/4:25PM Games

  • Chargers @ Raiders: Sure there is a chance Oakland upsets the streaking Chargers at home, I just don’t see it happening. SAN DIEGO WINS
  • Bears @ Falcons: This might be the most intriguing matchup outside of Giants-Eagles for me. Two high powered offenses with questions on defenses that need to get back on track. Both squads surrendered 30-plus points on the road in week 5, so expect a shootout. I’m taking the home team here behind a big performance by Matt Ryan. ATLANTA WINS
  • Cowboys @ Seahawks: The Boys passed their first real test a week ago against Houston. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant found a way around the ferocious JJ Watt. But now they’re in 12th man territory taking on the still hungry and explosive Super Bowl Champions. DeMarco Murray is on pace for a record season on the ground, and Dallas will need a huge day from him if they’re to have any chance in Seattle. And even that might not be enough. SEATTLE WINS
  • Redskins @ Cardinals: Washington gave themselves a chance against the Seahawks, but couldn’t convert. Things don’t get any Easter on the road this week. Arizona has been a surprise after losing Carson Palmer, mostly on the strength of their defense. Until Kirk Cousins can get better on 3rd down, and until the Skins can stop the run, I can’t pick them consistently. ARIZONA WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Giants @ Eagles: Talk about a big game! Philly has been atop the division all season, while the Giants are making a surge after an 0-2 start.  I haven’t been too impressed with Philly of late, especially when they almost blew a big lead to the lowly rams a week ago.  Their run game isn’t as potent as we thought going into the season.  But they are still a 4-1 football team.  That being said, I think Eli Manning and the offense are clicking and the defense has been stout in the 2nd half f games.  To me, this might come down to special teams.  The Eagles have been forcing turnovers galore, and New York has been having issues in the return game.  NEW YORK WINS

Monday Night Football

  • 49ers @ Rams: An NFC West clash caps off Week 6. While The Niners haven’t been nearly as impressive as I thought they’d be this year, they’re better than the Rams on both sides of the football. And that’s why I think they pick up their 4th win of the season.
    SAN FRANCISCO WINS
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NFL: Week 5 Picks

Just two teams on bye this week, Miami and Oakland after their trip across the pond.

Week 4 finished 8 and 5 for me, bringing my season total to 35-26.  Here are my week 5 predictions.

Thursday Night Football

  • Vikings @ Packers: Both teams are coming off impressive wins of the blowout variety. No Matt Cassel.  No Teddy Bridgewater.  No Adrian Peterson.  So yeah, I like Aaron Rodgers to get above .500 in a big way. GREEN BAY WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Bears @ Panthers: Chicago was manhandled a week ago by a hungry Packers team.  Carolina’s defense hasn’t been what we all thought coming into the season.  So what gives? While I have more confidence in the offensive weapons of the Bears, I’ve see the Panthers D rise to the occasion.  And in front of their home crowd, this is the perfect time to do just that. CAROLINA WINS
  • Browns @ Titans: Fresh off a bye, the Browns get a rested Jordan Cameron back, and should have running back Ben Tate ready to get the majority of the carries.  Tennessee hasn’t put up much of a fight this season, while Cleveland has.  While I don’t see many wins in the Browns future, I see them competing hard, and that is why I am taking them to win this game. CLEVELAND WINS
  • Rams @ Eagles: I am going to regret this one, but sometimes you have to go out on a limb.  St. Louis’ defense is where I thought they’d take a step forward.  And with how bad Philly’s run game has looked the past couple weeks, look for Nick Foles to feel the pressure of the Rams front 7.  So give me a close road win. ST LOUIS WINS 
  • Falcons @ Giants: The Giants look like a contender the past two plus games, while Atlanta has been inconsistent.  Matt Ryan’s offense has been potent, but the defense hasn’t been up to the task.  And that is why I think a red hot Eli Manning gets the home win and moves his G-Men above .500. NEW YORK WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Saints: Tampa should be riding high off their first win of the season, a comeback victory over Pittsburgh.  This while the Saints have to try and figure out how to right the ship defensively and pull themselves out of a 1-3 hole.  Luckily for New Orleans, Tampa’s defense hasn’t been holding many down, so it’s a good team to face at home. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Texans @ Cowboys: Never thought this would be a match-up of two 3-1 teams.  Houston has been carried by their defense, while the run game and a better-than-previously thought defense has lifted Dallas. Jerry World has been surprisingly unkind to the boys, and I think it continues to be. HOUSTON WINS
  • Bills @ Lions: A good defense versus a very good defense.  Kyle Orton versus Matthew Stafford.  A road game for Buffalo.  I think you know where I am going with this. DETROIT WINS
  • Ravens @ Colts: This might be my favorite match-up of the week.  Andrew Luck has looked every bit as good as you’d have thought he should the past two weeks.  Baltimore has put up huge numbers despite being without Ray Rice.  Both squads are on win streaks coming in.  Indy’s defense is a concern, so I’m thinking this will be a high scoring affair, with the edge going to the home team.  INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Steelers @ Jaguars: Pitt is coming off a stunning loss to the Bucs, while Jacksonville just looks to make strides as they march towards a top pick. PITTSBURGH WINS

Sunday 4/4:25PM Games

  • Cardinals @ Broncos: The only game featuring two teams coming off byes, so in that respect they’re even.  With a combined 5-1 record, we also get to see two teams looking to push themselves above the rest in their respective conferences.  But let’s be honest, a home game for the Broncos, coming off a tough loss to Seattle.  Of course I am going with Peyton Manning. DENVER WINS
  • Chiefs @ 49ers: Kansas City did some things against New England.  Jamal Charles looked healthy and Alex Smith did a good job milking the clock with short completion passes.  It’s hard to trust Colin Kaepernick right now, but I think if Frank Gore continues to play well, this team can grind out a home win. SAN FRANCISCO WINS
  • Jets @ Chargers: I really thought New York would be better.  They upgraded the skill positions, bu the secondary has looked paper thin, and Geno Smith hasn’t proven to be the answer at quarterback yet. The Chargers are 3-1, including a big win over Seattle.  Philip Rivers has looked like the 2nd half quarterback that helped lead San Diego into the playoffs last season.  So to me, it’s a simple game to pick. SAN DIEGO WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Bengals @ Patriots: Tom Brady is 4-1 in his career against the Bengals.  But Tom Brady also has a struggling offense that couldn’t stop the Chiefs defense.  And Cincinnati’s defense so far has been a lot better than the Chiefs.  Give me the road team to be the only 4-0 team in the league. CINCINNATI WINS 

Monday Night Football

  • Seahawks @ Redskins: The defending champs are rested following a bye, while the Skins are rested after playing on Thursday Night in week 4.  Washington is in a shambles, while Seattle looks like a team poised to make a serious run at repeating.  SEATTLE WINS