NFL Week 6 Predictions: Get Ready for Some of the Best Games of the Season
This week is a week of great games.
If you care to see, take this link to my piece predicting the upsets.
Week 7 in the NFL could be the season's best slate. Outside of the playoffs, this week is one that will separate the "could be's" from the "ain't gonna happens."
Division rivals dominate the matchups this week, and there are some doozies.
Seattle (4-2) at San Francisco (4-2)
This game is a big one.
At the beginning of the season the Seahawks were the thinking man's pick to be the surprise team of the season. Needless to say, this incensed 49ers fans.
I read article after article seeing comment after comment from 49ers fans dismissing the Seahawks as a team not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath (some foul mouths on 49ers fans). Now the Seahawks are being talked about as a team that could take the division.
Seriously, you might want to keep the kids away... the San Francisco fans can get nasty.
With both sitting at 4-2, the winner is leading the division and in the driver's seat with the head-to-head win.
SF is coming off a horrible loss to the Giants. A home game they were supposed to win turned into a dismantling that also ended a couple of streaks. They hadn't allowed a 100-yard-rusher in 22 games and hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown at home in 12 games.
That's all over now.
Seattle is coming off an emotional come-from-behind win against New England. Rookie Russell Wilson did his best Tom Brady impression with two fourth quarter touchdown passes to spark the comeback win.
Two big questions and the answers will determine the outcome:
Will Seattle have a letdown after such a big win, or will they keep the momentum going against their hated division rival?
Will San Francisco carry the brutal loss hangover into next week, or will they get over it and step up against their hated division rival?
San Francisco 24 - Seattle 17
New Orleans (1-4) at Tampa Bay (2-3)
New Orleans finally won a game! Did anyone see that as a headline in Week 7?
Josh Freeman goes for 328 and three touchdowns in a win! Did anyone see that headline coming at all this season?
This game is very interesting. Does the win last week finally get NO on track? Or was it simply a feel good evening that saw them get a win and Brees gets the record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass?
Can Tampa build on the win last week and get to .500? Is Josh Freeman the QB we saw in 2010 with all the poise? Or is he the throw-away from last year?
New Orleans 31 - Tampa Bay 17
Arizona (4-2) at Minnesota (4-2)
Did anyone have these two teams at 4-2 going into Week 7?
No, you didn't. Don't lie.
Christian Ponder? Seriously? We all thought this was a mistake, a throw-away pick for Minnesota.
Kevin Skelton? I mean John Kolb? Who is minding the store for Arizona? How have they won four games?
Last week was a bad week for both teams. Arizona lost to a schizophrenic Buffalo Bills team—which I predicted—with a defense that would give up 35 points to my old high school team...which is one of the "Best of the Rest" in the USA Today Super 25 rankings, but still. (Can I get a whup whup for Maine South?!!)
Minnesota lost to the Redskins. Not an awful loss, but RGIII wasn't sure what state he was in. Fortunately for Washington, he knew how to find the end zone.
Minnesota needs to keep pace with the Bears. Arizona needs to keep pace with the Niners and the Seahawks.
Both teams are going into this game thinking they should win.
Who steps up? The Arizona defense? Or does Percy Harvin continue his stellar play?
Minnesota 20 - Arizona 17
Tennessee (2-4) at Buffalo (3-3)
This is another game featuring two teams coming off upset wins.
Buffalo actually showed they can field a defense. Crazy, I know.
Tennessee, as I predicted, knocked off Pittsburgh behind the calm of Matt Hassellbeck.
Neither of these teams is very good. Neither of these teams will make the playoffs. Neither of us—me and you—wants to watch this game.
Ahhhhh Chris Johnson. He is mired in one of the greatest falls. Remember when he was a god? He was the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy.
Now, he's available in my fantasy league. He was solid last week against the Steelers. Can he keep the momentum going?
Ryan Fitzpatrick. He'll give you three touchdowns. He'll also give you three INTs. If he could just cut down on the turnovers, he could be something. The guy went to Harvard. I have to believe he has the intellect to understand that INTs are bad.
Throw the ball out of bounds. Throw the ball where the other team can't catch it...yes, can't catch it. Does he give the Bills a stellar game?
Tennessee 27 - Buffalo - 24
Washington (3-3) at NY Giants (4-2)
Remember when we all saw the wheels the come off in Week 1? The Giants lost the opener to the dreaded Cowboys. They were beaten convincingly.
Remember when we all saw RGIII destroy the New Orleans Saints, tossing for 320 yards and and two touchdowns and running for another 42 yards?
Since then, Eli has calmed the team and the defense is back to harassing everyone in sight to the tune of 4-1 over their last five games including an utter destruction of the 49ers.
RGIII was knocked senseless and came back the next week to beat the Vikings, passing for 182 yards and a touchdown while running for 138 more yards and two touchdowns.
This game determines first place in the division. With a win Washington ties the Giants atop the NFC East. Philly is in the mix as well, but they're off this week so they'll be a game out.
With a Giant win, they give themselves a little cushion.
Can Eli and company continue their roll against a Washington D that doesn't scare anyone?
Can RGIII continue his run to the Rookie of the Year award?
NY Giants 31 - Washington 27
Dallas (2-3) at Carolina (1-4)
Dallas was oh so close last week.
Beating Baltimore would have gone a long way in restoring their confidence. They didn't play a bad game. They just didn't play quite well enough—I'm looking at you, special teams.
Carolina is doing exactly what a lot of us thought—falling flat on their face. They had an off week last week, so at least they didn't lose.
Tony Romo is loved in Dallas. Why? I honestly don't know. His playoff record is horrible. His turnovers are costly.
The best thing about Carolina is seeing and hearing Greg Olsen talk about his son who was born with congenital heart condition. The guy is playing through pain and heartache. He's genuine and a class act.
Can Witten regain his pre-2012 form? Can Romo go a game without tossing an INT or four?
Can Cam Newton stop doing the Superman thing when his team is down 56 points? He's barely Lois Lane. I see him do it now, and I feel sorry for him. He looks foolish and with Steve Smith on your team, that could get you a punch in the face.
Cowboys 27 - Carolina 13
Baltimore (5-1) at Houston (5-1)
This one is going to be interesting, and it's a whole lot harder to peg with Ladarius Webb and Ray Lewis sidelined.
The injury to Brian Cushing was glaring last week against the Packers. Houston seemed to lack mojo and confidence on the defensive side. I understand that when Aaron Rodgers gets like that no one can stop him, but I have to believe that Cushing would have bloodied himself in an effort to stop the mauling.
Joe Flacco thinks he's the best QB in the NFL. We all know that's not true, but his stats aren't awful: eight touchdowns and four INTs.
Matt Schaub is one of the best QBs in the NFL. Going into last week he hadn't been sacked!
What does Baltimore do without their emotional leader and top cornerback? How do they respond to this devastating news?
How do the Texans get their mojo back?
Houston 24 - Baltimore 16
Green Bay (3-3) at St. Louis (3-3)
Both teams are coming off of upsets. One did the upsetting, and the other was upset.
Who else thought the Packers were in big trouble following their loss to the Colts?
Who else thought the Rams were going to struggle mightily without Danny Amendola?
This game has blowout written all over it. The Packers seem to be coming to terms with the fact that Greg Jennings is out. Aaron Rodgers is finding James Jones and Jordy Nelson with regularity.
The Rams are simply not that good without Amendola. He was the safety valve for Bradford. It's like taking Rice away from Young or taking Welker away from Brady.
Can the Rams defense step up and pressure Rogers?
Can the Packers continue to play confident football?
(Aaron Rodgers says "Shhhhhhhh")
Packers 38 - Rams 17
Cleveland (1-5) at Indianapolis (2-3)
We have a Cleveland sighting!
It was a big week for the Browns last week, which I predicted...sort of a recurring theme, no?
Indy definitely had a let down. The emotional toll of having a sick coach lying in the hospital and a comeback win over the Green Bay Packers was too much for this young team. They were flat in a brutal loss to the Jets.
Going into the season, I saw Brandon Weeden as an older version of Colt McCoy. I stand by my original assumption as we approach Week 7.
Weeden is sitting on stellar stats...or not.: seven touchdowns, 10 INTs, and 1,519 yards.
Going into Week 7 last year, the Browns were 2-3. Colt McCoy had eight touchdowns, three INTs and 1,200 yards.
Can Cleveland build on their first win of the season?
Is the hangover over? Will Indy have a bounce back game? Can they get back to .500? I actually see this as being a recurring speech for the coaching staff.
Cleveland 27 - Indianapolis 24
Jacksonville (1-4) at Oakland (1-4)
The battle of 1-4 teams! Awesome.
A game between two teams I don't care about, from two states that don't care about, playing a game I don't care about.
I remember when the Raiders were something. They ain't anymore. Ditto Carson Palmer.
I remember when the NFL granted Jacksonville a franchise and thinking "WHY?!!!!"
The Raiders played a nice game last week and should have pulled out the "W" against the Falcons. It was easily their most complete game of the season.
Jacksonville had an off week. Lucky for them, they had ample time to try to wash the stink from the Chicago Bears' beat down from the week before.
These teams are playing for pride. I think they still have some left.
I am not a fan of Blaine Gabbert. I think the guy plays scared. Chad Henne needs a shot at the starting job. I'm not a fan of this either, but they don't have anyone else on the roster.
Can Jacksonville put together a good game?
Can the Raiders see the good from last week and keep that momentum going?
Raiders 28 - Jacksonville 17
NY Jets (3-3) at New England (3-3)
Oh, New England. What have you become?
No one is scared of you anymore—except Buffalo. The NFC West giggles when you come to town.
The Jets are exactly what we thought they'd be. A team that would need a lot of breaks to be competitive this season. They haven't gotten them so they are stuck at 3-3 with a dead-end quarterback.
It was a nice win for the Jets last week, beating up on the NFL's collective little brother. The little success story with the rookie quarterback and the ailing coach. Well done, Jets.
New England's collapse in Seattle was a rough one. "You mad bro?" Pure balls. Gotta love Richard Sherman.
I thought the Pats were back with their scoring bursts in consecutive weeks. Apparently not.
I thought the Seahawks would be good this year, but I didn't see a comeback against a team of the Patriots' caliber.
Can the Pats get back to their scoring ways? Is Gronk healthy?
Can the Jets and Mark Sanchez distance themselves from controversy?
New England 42 - Jets 24
Pittsburgh (2-3) at Cincinnati (3-3)
Ummm...hi Steeler Nation. You lost to Tennessee. So please sit down in the corner, seen and not heard.
Cincy, you lost to Cleveland. Go join Steeler Nation in time out. Mike Holmgren is so happy with the win he's calling it a career.
Both of you should be embarrassed.
The game this week is a must win for both teams to try to keep pace with the Ravens. I don't think either of them has a shot in hell of catching Baltimore, but they could at least keep the wild card in their sights.
Polamolu's absence is glaring for the Steelers. They miss him a lot.
Cincy is simply not very good outside of AJ Green and Andy Dalton. They have no running game, and the defense is suspect at best.
Can the Steelers ride Mendenhall? Can his knee take it?
Can Cincy outscore the Steelers?
Bengals 38 - Steelers 27
Bears (4-1) at Detroit (2-3)
Coming off a bye week after destroying the Jags, I'm pretty sure the Bears would have rather played this past week to ride the momentum.
The Bears can solidify their spot atop the division with a win this week. 4-1 after six games isn't too shabby. The defense is playing lights out, and Jay Cutler even smiled last week.
The loss of Alshon Jeffrey will hurt but getting Earl Bennett back will cushion the blow.
Matthew Stafford must be having nightmares about throwing on Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. He has to keep his INTs down for Detroit to have a chance in this game.
Calvin Johnson has to step up big.
Can the Bears defense continue their stomp to the Pick Six record book?
Can Detroit find a way to score on the Bears defense?
Bears 31 - Lions - 20