NFL Picks Week 6: Home Teams Guaranteed to Lose
Homefield advantage? Not here.
While playing at home in the NFL certainly has its advantages, that won’t matter for these teams in Week 6. Whether it’s because of a tough opponent, a bad matchup or simply the fact that they’re just inferior overall, certain home teams are destined to end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard during the next slate of NFL action.
Tennessee Titans (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Even though they have one win to their name this season, you can make a case for the Tennessee Titans being the worst team in the NFL. Mike Munchak’s squad has looked lifeless on both sides of the ball in all four of their losses.
Expect that trend to continue against a Steelers team that righted the ship in a Week 5 victory over the Eagles. For starters, Titans running back Chris Johnson has done virtually nothing in 2012.
That won’t change against Dick LeBeau’s Steeler defense, one that held the explosive LeSean McCoy to 53 yards on the ground. On the other side, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could break out against a Titans defense that has already struggled against the likes of Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers and Christian Ponder so far this season.
This one could get real ugly, real fast for Tennessee on Thursday night.
Seattle Seahawks (vs. New England Patriots)
The Patriots are starting to find their groove offensively, which spells bad news for the Seahawks.
Yes, Seattle plays in arguably the NFL’s loudest stadium, CenturyLink Field. And yes, New England will be making a cross-country flight to play in said stadium.
Still, don’t expect that to stop Tom Brady and his bunch from continuing to batter opponents into submission with their balanced, no-huddle offense. Start on the ground with Patriots running back Stevan Ridley.
The second-year player has rushed for more than 100 yards in all three of New England’s victories so far this season. In fact, the Patriots have rushed for an average of 165 yards per game, good for third best in the league.
And with Brady and Wes Welker still doing their thing, the balanced Patriots boast the NFL’s best offense in terms of overall yards per game (439.4). Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will have a tough time keeping up with the two-time NFL MVP.
San Diego Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)
The San Diego Chargers have traditionally given Peyton Manning fits over the years.
The problem for San Diego is that those fits came years ago, when Manning was under center for the Indianapolis Colts and the Bolts had Super Bowl-caliber talent.
This particular Chargers team doesn’t boast Super Bowl-caliber talent, at least not on defense. Currently, San Diego’s pass defense ranks a pedestrian 20th in terms of yards surrendered per game (260.0). Most recently, the Chargers secondary is coming off a game in which it got torched at the Superdome by Drew Brees in his record-setting performance.
Brees threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns as the Saints came back for a 31-24 win over San Diego. Meanwhile, Manning is slowly but surely reverting back to his dominant ways through the air.
In the Denver Broncos’ past two games, Manning has thrown for nearly 700 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. With Manning heating up and the Chargers secondary scrambling to find answers, expect the Denver aerial attack to be the difference in a Broncos road victory on Monday night.
Cleveland Browns (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
The last time the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals clashed in Week 2, the Browns came up just short in their attempts to secure the first win in the Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson era.
Expect Weeden, Richardson and the Browns to come up just short again in their Week 6 rematch with the Bengals.
The Browns’ usually stout defense struggled mightily to slow down the New York Giants’ balanced offense in Cleveland’s Week 5 41-27 defeat at MetLife Stadium. Not only did the Giants gash the Browns on the ground to the tune of 243 rushing yards, Cleveland’s secondary for some reason decided they weren’t going to guard the explosive Victor Cruz, as the Giants’ wide receiver caught three relatively easy touchdown passes.
Cincinnati’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis and A.J. Green must be licking their chops for this one. Even with cornerback Joe Haden back from his four-game suspension, the Browns are still too vulnerable against both the run and the pass for the Bengals not to take advantage in Week 6.
New York Jets (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
There’s been nothing lucky about how well Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing so far this season.
The Jets are going to need luck and then some to stop a Colts team coming off an enormous victory over Green Bay in Week 5. In that game, the connection of Luck to veteran receiver Reggie Wayne went off.
Wayne caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, while Luck had 362 yards through the air and two touchdowns, as well as a touchdown on the ground. Meanwhile, although the Jets played the unbeaten Texans tough, they came up short anyways in their Week 5 Monday night matchup against Houston.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is still completing less than 50 percent of his passes, which won’t get it done at this level. With the Colts united and fighting for head coach Chuck Pagano (who’s battling leukemia) and Luck settling in nicely, expect the Jets to get grounded for a third-straight game at MetLife Stadium in Week 6.