Week 6 NFL Picks: Road Teams That Will Stumble in Hostile Environments

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 10, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Baltimore Ravens fans cheer for safety Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens (not pictured) in an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 44-13. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

If you've taken in an NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium within the last five seasons then you know just how mighty a factor the Baltimore Ravens crowd is week after week.

If not, odds are that you've heard the sea of purple roar from start to finish on television. That hostile environment will play host to the struggling Dallas Cowboys in Week 6, who will feel worlds away from Texas when they take the field on Sunday afternoon.

Dallas isn't alone though. There are a handful of road teams preparing themselves for nonstop boos and noise this weekend. 

Here are my picks for three teams that will stumble in tough environments this weekend. 


Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys, who were considered by many to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender following their season-opening win over the Giants in New York, will attempt the impossible in Week 6 in Baltimore.

Dallas will try to get a win at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens have won 14 games in a row dating back to December 2010. Since John Harbaugh took over as head coach of the Ravens, Baltimore has gone 31-5 at home. That's a win percentage of more than 86 percent.

Therefore, don't expect the 4-1 Ravens to fall in front of their noisy fans in Week 6. Baltimore has won three in a row overall and the Cowboys have plenty of issues offensively. Quarterback Tony Romo is extremely rattled and Dallas' running game doesn't exist at the moment, ranking 29th in the NFL.


Buffalo Bills

One week after being embarrassed by 42 points on the road at San Francisco, the Buffalo Bills will head to Arizona to face off against the Cardinals, who are 3-0 in the desert this season. Ken Whisenhunt's Cards have won eight straight home games dating back to last season and won't exactly need a big-time performance to beat the Bills, who are busy beating themselves this year.

Buffalo has 13 giveaways in five games this season, which is sure to play right into Arizona's hands. The Cardinals have forced 11 turnovers in 2012 and are flying around defensively.

Another critical stat to watch for pertains to the Cardinals' offensive output at home. Arizona averages nearly 24 points per game at University of Phoenix Stadium this season, compared to fewer than 12 per game on the road.

When you consider that the Cardinals are only surrendering 14 points per game in Glendale this season, a Bills win in Week 6 seems all but impossible. 


New England Patriots

The New England Patriots will travel to the West Coast for the first time this season in Week 6. Tom Brady and company will try to pull off the unthinkable and win in Seattle.

Just ask the Green Bay Packers, it's tough (in all seriousness, the Fail Mary still haunts me to this day).

Pete Carroll's Seahawks are 2-0 at home in 2012, and allowing just 9.5 points per game at CenturyLink Field. Sure, Seattle's top-five defense has been strong on the road too, not allowing more than 20 points in any game thus far, but it's otherworldly at home.

Seattle has given up just two touchdowns in two home games this fall, and held both opponents to under 300 total yards. The true test will come this Sunday afternoon though, when Seattle hosts an explosive offense in the Patriots.

Still, don't underestimate the power of the 12th man. Seattle boasts by far the best crowd in the NFC, and will let Brady and his receivers hear just how much they are not welcomed in Week 6. I would compare Seattle to Baltimore, where Brady and the Pats lost in Week 3.


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