Week 6 NFL Picks: Underdogs Destined to Land Stunning Upsets

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 12, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the NFL International Series game between Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium on September 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

It's happens every weekend. 

One team heads into a game as a heavy favorite, while the other is viewed as an afterthought, yet somehow, the underdog ends up emerging victorious. 

We've seen it happen many times this year, as the Browns went from being an early-season lottery team to a 3-2 club entering Week 6, while the Redskins and Falcons went from playoff teams to cellar-dwellers. 

Luckily for the teams in the latter category, it's still early, but they'll need to turn things around soon before it's too late. 

With that in mind, here's a look at underdogs that will land surprising upsets over favored opponents. 

 

2013 NFL Schedule-Week 6    
DateTime (ET)AwayHomePrediction
10/13/20131 p.m.Green Bay PackersBaltimore RavensPackers
10/13/20131 p.m.Cincinnati BengalsBuffalo BillsBengals
10/13/20131 p.m.Detroit LionsCleveland BrownsLions
10/13/20131 p.m.St. Louis RamsHouston TexansTexans
10/13/20131 p.m.Carolina PanthersMinnesota VikingsPanthers
10/13/20131 p.m.Oakland RaidersKansas City ChiefsChiefs
10/13/20131 p.m.Pittsburgh SteelersNew York JetsSteelers
10/13/20131 p.m.Philadelphia EaglesTampa Bay BuccaneersEagles
10/13/20134:05 p.m.Jacksonville JaguarsDenver BroncosBroncos
10/13/20134:05 p.m.Tennessee TitansSeattle SeahawksSeahawks
10/13/20134:25 p.m.New Orleans SaintsNew England PatriotsPatriots
10/13/20134:25 p.m.Arizona CardinalsSan Francisco 49ers49ers
10/13/20138:30 p.m.Washington RedskinsDallas CowboysRedskins
10/14/20138:40 p.m.Indianapolis ColtsSan Diego ChargersColts

 

Dallas at Washington 

In last season's regular season finale, the Dallas Cowboys lost the NFC East when they were beaten 28-18 by the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. 

Now, the roles have reversed, as the 1-3 Redskins head to Dallas in dire need of a victory after going without a win until their rather unconvincing triumph on the road in Oakland. 

On paper, the Cowboys are heavy favorites, especially after how dominant Tony Romo looked against Denver. 

But the Redskins will be motivated, and with another week of time to recover, Robert Griffin III will be even better than he was during the first four games of the season. 

And, if there's any team that RG3 can get back on track against, it's Dallas with its 31st-ranked pass defense. 

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Quarterbacks Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys and Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins talk following the Redskins 28-18 win at FedExField on December 30, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Ima
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Prediction: Redskins 31, Cowboys 27

 

Pittsburgh and New York

We're only five games into the Geno Smith era in New York, but already, he looks like the type of dual-threat quarterback the Jets were hoping for when they took him early in Round 2 of the 2013 NFL draft. 

But for everything Smith's done to lead the Jets to a 3-2 start, he's also been prone to turning the ball over at inopportune times. However, that shouldn't be much of a worry against the Pittsburgh Steelersthe only team in the league without a forced turnover to date. 

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 07:  Quarterback Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets drops back against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at the Georgia Dome on October 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

However, without Kellen Winslow on the field, Smith will have a much more difficult time connecting through the air, and as bad as the 0-4 Steelers have been, that's the most effective way of beating them. 

Heading into the game, Mike Tomlin's defense is fifth in the league in terms of pass defense but 25th against the run, so for Smith and the Jets to come away with a win, they'll likely have to do it on the ground. 

I don't see that happening though. Despite his porous offensive line, Ben Roethlisberger is simply due for a big day, and I think it comes on Sunday. 

Prediction: Steelers 21, Jets 17

 

New Orleans at New England

Normally, any game featuring Tom Brady and the Patriots doesn't begin with New England playing the role of underdog, as that's what happens when a guy leads a team to three Super Bowl titles. 

But last week, the Patriots suffered arguably the most demoralizing loss of Brady's career, as New England's offense went utterly silent against the Cincinnati Bengals, which resulted in a 13-6 defeat.

So with the Patriots set to host the 5-0 Saints and their electrifying offense, one would think that New Orleans will waltz to victory, especially without star tight end Rob Gronkowski on the field.

However, with Stevan Ridley back in the mix for the Patriots, his presence will force Rob Ryan's defense to respect the pass a little bit more. I think a rejuvenated Brady wills the Patriots to a scrappy victory over the Saints and their vaunted offense. 

Prediction: Patriots 27, Saints 24