More often than not, it is the underrated games on the schedule that turn out to be some of the most entertaining, while some of the highly anticipated contests turn out to be duds.
For example, look at Week 5. The contest between Cincinnati and New England was thought to be a highlight of the week, but the two teams combined for a 13-6 snooze-fest in which Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 52 games.
On the flip side, Monday Night Football between the New York Jets and Atlanta was thrilling until the last second when a field goal won it for the Jets.
Here are three underrated games on the Week 6 plate set to surprise.
|Away Team||Home Team||Predicted Winner|
|New York Giants||Chicago Bears||Bears|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Buffalo Bills||Bengals|
|Green Bay Packers||Baltimore Ravens||Packers|
|Detroit Lions||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Carolina Panthers||Minnesota Vikings||Panthers|
|St. Louis Rams||Houston Texans||Texans|
|Oakland Raiders||Kansas City Chiefs||Raiders|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New York Jets||Jets|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Buccaneers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|Tennessee Titans||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|New Orleans Saints||New England Patriots||Saints|
|Arizona Cardinals||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Washington Redskins||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Indianapolis Colts||San Diego Chargers||Colts|
Chris Roling's Predictions
San Francisco Sneaks Past Arizona
The 49ers destroyed Houston last week, but that's not saying much with how Matt Schaub and Co. have self-destructed as of late. Outside of a win over Green Bay in Week 1, San Francisco has failed against quality opposition, such as Indianapolis and Seattle, losing to both by a combined score of 56-10.
Fortunately for the 49ers, a contest against the 3-2 Arizona Cardinals does not pose much of a threat.
Arizona has just enough to make the matchup a game thanks to a run defense that allows just 79 yards per game. This will force Kaepernick to take to the air, where he'll be greeted by Patrick Peterson, the NFL's No. 12 overall corner this year, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
In the last two games, San Francisco has allowed a combined 14 points and Arizona has allowed 16. Expect a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: 49ers 17, Cardinals 10
Dallas Downs Washington
The Washington Redskins are a mess, which is perfectly encapsulated by the team's 1-3 record coming out of a bye.
Robert Griffin III is simply not himself, and the fact he has thrown for 320 yards or more in three losses is not impressive considering he has consistently played behind thanks to Washington fielding the NFL's worst defense.
Griffin is just a shell of last year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and averages just 18 yards on the ground per game—down from his 54.3 average from a year ago.
Dallas has not been much better defensively as Gregg Rosenthal points out:
Remember how the Redskins gave up most yards in first 2 games since '67? (1,023 yards.) Cowboys gave up exact same number last 2 weeks.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 7, 2013
Part of that stat is because Tony Romo and Co. had a date with Denver last week, scored 48 points—with Romo going for over 500 yards and five scores—and still lost.
Expect one of Sunday Night Football's most entertaining games of the year as Dallas keeps the ball rolling offensively in a shootout.
Prediction: Cowboys 36, Redskins 30
Cleveland Stuns Detroit
Don't look now, but the contest between the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions is not going to go as planned.
Detroit's star receiver Calvin Johnson is questionable, meaning he's a game-time decision. Despite the official listing, Tim Twentyman of the team's official site says things look good for Johnson:
WR Calvin Johnson officially listed as questionable on the injury report to play Sunday with that sore right knee. I like his chances.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) October 11, 2013
Regardless, Johnson is dealing with an issue that will likely limit him or keep him out of the game entirely. We saw what that means for the Lions' offense last week—just six points against Green Bay, which touts the NFL's No. 20 overall defense.
Conversely, Cleveland is elite on defense under Ray Horton and boasts the league's No. 4 defense. Cleveland also boasts star corner Joe Haden, who will be matched up with Johnson if he plays and ranks as the No. 9 overall corner, per Pro Football Focus.
The bottom line: A hobbled Megatron is better than no Megatron, but Cleveland's defense has kept the team in games all year. Expect more of the same here as the Browns' offense exploits the NFL's No. 25 defense.
Prediction: Browns 28, Lions 17
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