While fans bask in the weekly glow fantastic NFL action, bettors and those in pick 'em pools despise contests between top-tier teams with every fiber of their being.
Though it is fun to watch these games on Sunday, the lead-up full of scouring injury reports and breaking down matchups can be daunting for even the most gifted students of the game.
That will likely be the case in Week 6 as there is a cavalcade of great games on the NFL slate. These matchups pit elite quarterbacks against stalwart secondaries, top running backs against ferocious front sevens and great coaches scheming up ways to debilitate the opposition's strengths.
Luckily, we're here to decipher those matchups and help you out. With that in mind, here's a look at predictions for each of Sunday's biggest games.
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens
Coming into Week 6, it's almost as if these two teams completely switched identities.
Gone is the Ravens franchise led by a vaunted defense and a don't-screw-it-up offense. In its stead is a high-powered offense that ranks seventh in the NFL in total yards and a defense that ranks outside the Top 20 against both the pass and run.
Also vanished are the Cowboys teams that continually lost due to poor secondary play and late-game gaffes by Tony Romo. In their place is this year's squad that stands at 2-2 due to an anemic offense and turnover problems from Romo (OK, so not everything has changed).
However, while Dallas had a full week off to fix its woes, the Ravens were not so lucky. With a losing record staring them in the face, look for the Cowboys to recapture their offensive swagger and come out on top.
Simply put, there is just too much talent on that offense for it to be this bad long-term.
Cowboys 24, Ravens 20
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Ravaged by injuries, this Giants team will be far different than the one that beat San Francisco in last year's NFC Championship game.
Starting receiver Hakeem Nicks, tight end Martellus Bennett and cornerback Corey Webster all missed practice Wednesday (via The Star-Ledger's Jorge Castillo), leaving their status very much in the air for Sunday.
That could be a critical blow against a 49ers squad that is firing on all cylinders. Led by a ferocious defense and the best running attack in the NFL, San Francisco pulverized the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets by a combined score of 79-3 in the past two weeks.
While it's highly unlikely that Jim Harbaugh's squad will pull out a third consecutive evisceration against a still-talented Giants team, the 49ers look too good right now to feel comfortable taking New York.
Look for a relatively close matchup that sees San Francisco continue its winning ways.
Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Giants 17
Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers
Truth be told, Sunday night will be when we find out whether the 2012 Packers are just victims of seemingly never-ending bad luck or simply a mediocre football team.
When taking a gander at Green Bay's schedule, it's easy to poke holes in two of its three losses this season. The first came against the Seattle Seahawks in the infamous Golden Tate Hail Mary catch-that-everyone-knows-wasn't-a-catch game.
The second came last week by less unscrupulous means, but fluky ones nonetheless. While you have to give credit to the Indianapolis Colts for coming out and playing in honor of head coach Chuck Pagano, it's also impossible not understand how their 30-27 victory could be seen as a fluke.
There won't be any convenient excuses if the Packers lose at home against the Texans on Sunday. Houston lost star linebacker Brian Cushing to a torn ACL in Week 5, so the team should be in a state of defensive transition.
Cushing's absence should lessen the pass rush load on Aaron Rodgers and could mean big things for the reigning NFL MVP. I'm sticking with the Packers at home here, but if they lose, it could be time to officially write off the team as even a playoff contender.
Score Prediction: Packers 27, Texans 24
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