With Week 6 upon us, there are a few things to keep an eye on this week and beyond.
The bulk of the remaining schedule for the Indianapolis Colts' schedule looks pretty friendly. After this week's game against the hapless Jets, Indianapolis gets Cleveland, Tennessee, Miami, and Jacksonville. From there, they'll play the Patriots in New England and get two games against Houston in the final three weeks. In between those games, there's Buffalo, Tennessee on the road, Detroit and Kansas City.
If the Colts continue to play inspired football like they did last week against Green Bay, I like their chances of finishing the season in the 8-8 or 9-7 range. To me, that would make Andrew Luck a lock for the Rookie of the Year. As impressive as Robert Griffin III has been, Luck has been sensational, and taking this team from a putrid 2-14 last year to a possible winning record this year is paramount to RG3's numbers.
The Minnesota Vikings are also worth watching going forward, particularly RB Adrian Peterson. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is looking like the runaway winner for the MVP right now, but if I had a vote, it would go to A.P. He's currently eighth in the NFL in rushing yards less than a year removed from completely blowing out his knee last season.
We knew the Falcons were going to be good, but who had the Vikings being the NFC's No. 2 seed five weeks into the season? Do you think Christian Ponder and Percy Harvin have the seasons they are having if Toby Gerhart is taking a bulk of the carries? I don't. A.P. vs Matty Ice will become one of those classic MVP debates of "value" against numbers. It's early, but I think Peterson deserves some MVP consideration.
Week 6 offers up some exciting games this week. We get the much-anticipated NFC Championship rematch between the 49ers and Giants. Houston and Green Bay do battle Sunday night in a game that looked a bit more even in the preseason. There's also an intriguing showdown between Baltimore and Dallas on tap.
The rest of the week seems pretty cut-and-dry, which means there's a good chance I can keep the momentum going with my picks. Last week, I went 8-6 to draw even for the season at 37-37-2. The Titans upset over the Steelers already has me down one for the week, so let's take a look at the rest of this week's slate.
As always, the lines are brought to you by USA Today's Danny Sheridan.