Week 6 NFL Picks: Struggling Contenders That Will Bounce Back Strong

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIOctober 11, 2013

The NFL regular season resumed on Thursday, Oct. 10, as the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 27-21. Week 6 will continue on Sunday, Oct. 13, as numerous contenders look to bounce back from recent struggles in the same manner as Chicago.

Here are the teams that actually will.

Green Bay Packers (2-2)

Date: Sunday, Oct. 13

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 38-34, Packers

The Green Bay Packers picked up a critical 22-9 victory over the Detroit Lions during Week 5 to move to 2-2 on the season. That leaves Green Bay as a .500 football team that's in a division in which two teams have already won at least three games.

Who would've thought that the Green Bay Packers would be fighting to move to above .500 in Week 6?

It won't be easy for the Packers, as they prepare to go on the road to face the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Dating back to 2010, Baltimore has gone 23-3 at home during regular-season games.

Forgive me for my skepticism, but I don't know how to count out Aaron Rodgers in a must-win situation.

The Packers are 0-2 during road games in 2013, with the two losses coming by a combined 10 points against the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers. With a big division win behind it, look for Green Bay to finally make the leap and secure a big road win.

It'll be a battle, but if it comes down to Joe Flacco and Rodgers, the choice is obvious.

 

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)

Date: Sunday, Oct. 13

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Prediction: 27-13, Bengals

Coming off of a home victory over the New England Patriots, it's easy to view the Cincinnati Bengals as a team that isn't struggling. Unfortunately, the Bengals responded to its previous big win, a 34-30 comeback over the Packers, with a loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Until the Bengals can develop consistency, this underwhelming offense can be labeled as nothing short of struggling.

Over the past two weeks, Cincinnati has scored a grand total of 19 points against the Browns and Patriots. Most concerning is the fact that the Bengals have topped 21 points in just one of their first five outings.

Cincinnati may possess elite defensive talent, but the offense's youth and inexperience is shining through.

During Week 6, Cincinnati will face a Buffalo Bills team that ranks third in rushing offense and leads the league with nine interceptions. Seeing as Buffalo lost quarterback EJ Manuel, it's on Andy Dalton to improve his marks of five touchdowns to five interceptions and lead Cincinnati to what should be a win.

Bengals fans have reason to be encouraged, as the defense is still one of the best all-around units in all of professional football. Until Cincinnati can develop a more dependable approach through the air and on the ground, however, the Super Bowl aspirations will not be met.

A road game against the Bills may just be what the doctor ordered.

 

Houston Texans (2-3)

Date: Sunday, Oct. 13

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 31-14, Texans

Over the past three weeks, the Houston Texans have been on the wrong end of two blowouts and an overtime ending. Most recently, Houston lost 34-3 to the San Francisco 49ers on the road to fall to 2-3 overall.

The most puzzling fact about Houston's failure is that it ranks No. 1 in passing defense and No. 8 in rushing yards per game.

Houston has an elite running game with Arian Foster, 390 rushing yards, and Ben Tate, 256, working together. The issue has been quarterback play, as Matt Schaub has been a turnover machine with nine interceptions through five games.

After throwing six touchdowns to three interceptions through two weeks, Schaub has two scores to six picks over the past three.

Schaub threw 355 passing yards against the Seattle Seahawks, but saw those numbers decrease to 173 yards and three picks versus San Francisco. Until Schaub can turn things around, the Texans will continue to struggle to win games.

If it can't beat St. Louis at home, Houston may not recover in 2013.

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