NFL Week 6 Picks: Projecting Winners from Biggest Games

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 9:   Travaris Cadet #39 of the New Orleans Saints runs during a preseason game against the New England Patriots in the first half at Gillette Stadium on August 9, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints will take their 5-0 record with them as they head to New England to take on the Patriots in what is the week's marquee matchup. 

This week runs the gambit of matchups. We have interesting matchups involving top teams, pivotal matchups for teams trying to keep their seasons afloat and what may be the most lopsided matchup in the history of the NFL.

That last distinction belongs to the battle between the 5-0 Denver Broncos and the 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars. Here's my first pick: The Broncos will win.

I'll get a little more in depth for the rest of my predictions.

 

New Orleans Saints

Week 6 Opponent: at New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are coming off of a shockingly inept offensive performance in which they lost 13-6. Things should get better for them this week.

The Saints have wildly improved in pass defense and are currently ranked 12th in the NFL. However, the Bengals have an impressive defensive line that kept Brady under heat all game. The Saints won't be able to apply the same kind of pressure.

This should also help:

The Saints proved their road merit last week in Chicago with an impressive 26-18 win. Drew Brees is leading the second-ranked passing attack, and the offensive is humming.

The Patriots have been playing solid pass defense—except the only team they've faced so far with a passing attack anywhere near as potent as the Saints is the Falcons, and the Patriots allowed Matt Ryan to throw for 421 yards and two touchdowns.

The Saints will outscore the Patriots in this one.

Prediction: Saints 27, Patriots 24

 

Baltimore Ravens

Week 6 Opponent: Green Bay Packers

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 06: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens passes during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This is a big game for both of these perennial playoff teams.  

The Packers (2-2) have been their usual prodigious selves on offense. However, the defense remains a concern—especially on the road.

The Packers have played and lost two road games, allowing 34 points in each. Overall, the defense is ranked 26th in passing and fifth in rushing.

That struggling pass defense must now deal with this too:

Meanwhile, the Ravens have been struggling on offense. Baltimore is 14th in passing and 27th in rushing, and Joe Flacco has thrown six picks over his last two games.

Given the Packers' struggles on pass defense, Flacco will get things back on track in this one, and the defense will provide enough stops to pull out the win. 

The Packers' big weakness in the passing game is the play of the offensive line. The Ravens will exploit that like they did while sacking Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins six times last week. 

Prediction: Ravens 31, Packers 27

 

Cleveland Browns

Week 6 Opponent: Detroit Lions

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 3: Tackle Joe Thomas #73 and center Alex Mack #55 of the Cleveland Browns celebrate after defeating the Buffalo Bills during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 3, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Bills
Jason Miller/Getty Images

I can't believe I'm typing this, but I am excited for a Browns-Lions game.

The Browns have been surging since the shock trade of Trent Richardson appeared to be a giant white flag waving over Cleveland. Instead, the Browns have rattled off three straight wins and are playing solid football.

I like the Browns in this matchup because of the improved play of their defense and the Lions' struggles on offense last week.

Playing without Calvin Johnson, the Lions scored just nine points against the struggling Packers defense. Johnson may be back for this game, but given a certain amount of rust and a Cleveland defense that is eighth in rushing and seventh in passing, the Lions will once again struggle to put up points.

Prediction: Browns 21, Lions 17