Thursday Night Football will showcase a marquee matchup between two of the top three NFC teams with quarterbacks at the top of their games. How will the defenses decide the contest?
The Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars reside on opposite ends of the country, but their fanbases share the same hope. After several years without a playoff appearance, one or both teams could reach the postseason. On Sunday, the two clubs will clash in an attempt to reach 4-2.
It's still too early for definite must-win games, but the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers have a matchup that likely dims playoff hopes for the loser in the contest. In a tough AFC West division, the winner would only reach third place with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos leading the way.
What should we expect from all 14 matchups in Week 6?
Week 6 Picks
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers: Panthers 28-23
New England Patriots at New York Jets: Patriots 31-17
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons: Falcons: Falcons 35-13
Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens: Ravens 20-17
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans: 34-13
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: Packers 24-20
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints: Saints 30-28
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins: Redskins 27-13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals: Buccaneers 28-20
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars: Rams 24-21
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders: Raiders 27-24
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs 31-28
New York Giants at Denver Broncos: Broncos 24-3
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans: Titans 30-20
Premier Week 6 Matchup on Thursday Night
The Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers lead their respective divisions. Both clubs come off victories from the previous outing.
In Week 5, quarterback Carson Wentz lit up the Arizona Cardinals defense with four touchdown passes, three of which came in the first quarter. He moved the offense downfield without much help from the ground attack during the first half. He faces a tough challenge on Thursday against the Panthers' No. 5-ranked defense in passing yards allowed.
Overall, Carolina fields a stingier defense compared to its opponent. The unit has allowed 18.8 points per game through five weeks. The Eagles will need a more balanced attack to take down the Panthers.
Furthermore, Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton found his way over the past two weeks. In that span, he's thrown for 671 yards, six touchdown passes and just one interception against formidable opponents in the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions.
If Newton continues his strong play in the pocket, he's going to feast on the Eagles' subpar pass defense that's ranked No. 29 in yards allowed.
Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars Clash Styles
Inquiring minds want to know which teams may rise through the ranks as unexpected playoff contenders. The Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars have flashed impressive victories but took losses in big games as well.
In Week 4, the Rams earned a 35-30 road victory over the Dallas Cowboys but followed with a loss to the struggling Seattle Seahawks for the top spot in the NFC West. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost an overtime matchup to the New York Jets but crushed the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-9 in the previous outing.
The style clash between the two teams will place significant importance on individual matchups. Rams head coach Sean McVay transformed a sluggish offense into the No. 2 scoring unit in the league. Doug Marrone, the Jaguars lead skipper, has decided to guide his club in a different direction. For the most part, Jacksonville's ground attack and defense have put his team on top of the AFC South division.
This contest boils down to which team imposes its play style on the other. The Rams will look to score 24 or more points with quarterback Jared Goff taking shots through the air. The Jaguars would like to replicate their Week 5 performance and force turnovers to give the offense a short field.
Oakland Raiders Try to Avoid AFC West Cellar vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers lost four consecutive games to start the season but pulled out a 27-22 victory over the New York Giants in Week 5. After all the offseason hype surrounding the Oakland Raiders, a loss would drop a popular favorite to last in the AFC West.
The AFC West projects as a heavyweight division with the NFL's only undefeated team in the Kansas City Chiefs and a rejuvenated Denver Broncos at 3-1.
The Raiders can't afford to fall into the division cellar with two more games against the Chiefs, one contest against the defending Super Bowl champions the Patriots and potentially two pivotal games against playoff-caliber NFC East teams after their Week 10 bye.
The Chargers have an opportunity to put together some momentum with consecutive victories. Even though Oakland and Los Angeles register a combined 3-7 record, it's a critical division matchup with playoff hopes either opening or closing for either team.