It's still early on in the 2013 NFL season, but Week 6 figures to be one of the most exciting weeks thus far. Given a few high-profile matchups, there should be some exciting games in store.
Week 5 had its fair share of big moments. The Denver Broncos barely inched past the Dallas Cowboys in a shootout for the ages, while the Indianapolis Colts surprised many by defeating the Seattle Seahawks. The Cincinnati Bengals also shocked the NFL world by taking down the previously undefeated New England Patriots and not allowing a touchdown.
It's commonplace for there to be blowout games scheduled each week, but Week 6 actually features fewer than usual. The Broncos should handle the Jacksonville Jaguars with ease, and the Oakland Raiders will more than likely fall to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
But other than those two games, the rest of the schedule has games with opportunities for upsets nail-biters.
There are three games that every fan of the NFL needs to watch in Week 6. They'll be head and shoulders above the rest of the slate of games.
|Chicago Bears||24-14||New York Giants|
|Green Bay Packers||28-20||Baltimore Ravens|
|Cincinnati Bengals||28-10||Buffalo Bills|
|Detroit Lions||38-20||Cleveland Browns|
|Kansas City Chiefs||33-17||Oakland Raiders|
|Minnesota Vikings||26-13||Carolina Panthers|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||24-15||New York Jets|
|Philadelphia Eagles||20-10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Houston Texans||31-24||St. Louis Rams|
|Denver Broncos||42-7||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Seattle Seahawks||21-13||Tennessee Titans|
|New England Patriots||31-27||New Orleans Saints|
|San Francisco 49ers||23-15||Arizona Cardinals|
|Washington Redskins||35-28||Dallas Cowboys|
|Indianapolis Colts||30-22||San Diego Chargers|
Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2)—Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Thought to be two Super Bowl-caliber teams heading into the season, both the Packers and Ravens have struggled at times through the first five weeks.
Green Bay's defense has let the offense down. Aaron Rodgers has been playing great—as have his receivers—but the team won't be able to win games if the defense continually allows 374.8 yards per game. That has translated to 24.2 points per game for the opponent.
That being said, the offense does have the potential to score more than 24.2 points per game. Rodgers is a top quarterback in the NFL, and Green Bay has received surprising production from its running backs. The Packers rank fifth in the league with 141.0 yards per game on the ground.
Baltimore has been blown out by the Broncos and defeated at the hands of the Buffalo Bills by just three. The offense doesn't seem to be clicking with consistency, and Ray Rice's inability to rack up yards on the ground and lack of usage has been detrimental to the team's success. He played well last week against the Miami Dolphins, but it'll be interesting to see if he can continue in Week 6.
In four games this season (he missed Week 3 against the Houston Texans), Rice has failed to record a 100-yard game on the ground. He does have three touchdowns, but he's also lost two fumbles.
The Ravens appear to be the better team on the surface, but it's impossible to count out Rodgers and his plethora of wide receivers. Baltimore's defense is stout, but Rodgers has shown the ability to pick apart good defenses in the past.
Look for Green Bay to win 28-20.
New Orleans Saints (5-0) at New England Patriots (4-1)—Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
This is hands down, by far, 100 percent the game of the week, as two powerhouse teams battle in a potential Super Bowl preview.
The Patriots are fresh off their first loss of the season, as Tom Brady and Co. have struggled to find rhythm offensively this season. Losing Wes Welker to the Broncos didn't help, but the injuries to Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski have left Brady looking to less-established receivers.
The good news for him is that both Amendola and Gronkowski will be active against the Saints, ESPN's Ed Werder reports. Gronk had previously been out all season, and Amendola made his first appearance since Week 1.
Had it not been for the Broncos' historic offense, the Saints offense would be right up there as the best in the NFL. Drew Brees is connecting with all of his receivers consistently, and Jimmy Graham is putting together an unbelievable season.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has his unit playing better than expected, and head coach Sean Payton is proving on a weekly basis that last season's poor record was a direct result of the absence of his football genius. Now he's back, and the Saints are reaping the benefits.
This is a game that could truly go either way.
If Brady didn't have Amendola or Gronk, then I'd pick the Saints 10 times out of 10. But with quality weapons, the Patriots have a legitimate shot to knock off the Saints.
It will be close, but New England will win 31-27.
Washington Redskins (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3)—Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET
The NFC East is historically terrible, but this matchup of sub-.500 teams actually has major implications for the top spot in the division.
The Cowboys are fresh off a devastating loss to the Broncos in a game that was theirs to win. Tony Romo set a franchise record for passing yards in a game but also threw a costly interception late in the fourth quarter, giving Denver the field position necessary to kick the go-ahead field goal.
If you can look past his team's lackluster record, then Romo is actually having a strong season. He's thrown 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and he has racked up 1,523 yards in the air. He's also on pace for a career-high completion percentage. He currently checks in at 71.8 percent.
On the other hand, the Redskins have been surprisingly bad. They were the favorites to win the division prior to the season, and while there's still plenty of hope, they haven't played well at all.
Robert Griffin III hasn't looked like the offensive Rookie of the Year he was last season, and the defense has failed to make stops at critical points in the game. Ryan Kerrigan is having an outstanding season at linebacker, but he can't do it alone.
Despite appearing to be a lopsided affair, this game will be tight because of the divisional implications. Division rivals seem to almost always play tight games.
Dallas should come out on top 35-28, though, because Romo has been simply too good entering play in Week 6.