NFL Picks Week 6: 5 Games That Will Be Closer Than You Might Think
The NFL season is in full swing, and as Week 6 kicks off, many teams we thought would be performing one way have performed another.
Dallas and Minnesota were both preseason Super Bowl favorites, but both have stumbled early and boast identical 1-3 records.
The Texans flew out of the gate, but have stumbled late; the Colts have lost twice; the Rams are doing well with a rookie quarterback; the 49ers are winless and the Chiefs have only lost once.
The entire NFL has been flipped upside down, making it hard for experts to pick the games each week. As Week 6 begins, here are five games that many think will be blowouts that will come down to the wire.
Detroit Lions Vs. New York Giants
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Lions come into the game against the Giants with a 1-4 record. The Giants have a 3-2 record and are tied atop the NFC East.
This game has all the makings of a blowout with the Lions having only one win. Their one win, however, came last week against the Rams in a 44-6 blowout.
The Giants are coming off two straight wins as a result of dominating defensive performances. This week against the Lions, they will need another strong performance against the Lions' surprisingly high-powered offense.
The Lions' offense is led first and foremost by Calvin Johnson. Johnson is a top five receiver with great hands, speed and size. Johnson can change a game all by himself with his highlight reel catches. Jahvid Best and Shaun Hill are no slouches either, and they are leading the Lions offense into New York.
New York will need another huge sack performance against the Lions to prevent them from sticking around.
If the game is close in the fourth quarter, anything can happen.
Cleveland Browns Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Call me crazy, but the Cleveland Browns have a chance to hang around this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yes, the game is in Pittsburgh. Yes, the Steelers have arguably the best defense in the league. Yes, the Browns will most likely be starting rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who will be making his first start in the NFL.
In spite of all these things, the Cleveland Browns can stick around in this game.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be making his first start of the year after being suspended for the first four games after alleged reports he sexually assaulted a Georgia college student.
Roethisberger will be making his first start. He has not seen any game action this year, and he will be thrown into a situation where Steelers fans will want results right away. He will be rusty though and will make some poor decisions.
Colt McCoy was not the winningest quarterback in FBS history for no reason. He is an accurate quarterback who knows how to win. McCoy will also be making his first start, but the Browns will make it easy. They will allow him to take check-downs and locate Joshua Cribbs, who can make plays happen.
The game will be low-scoring, so the Browns should be able to stick around for a while.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The New Orleans Saints are trying to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but they are not having an easy time doing it.
They are facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week in what many would call an easy win. This, however, will not be an easy game for the Saints. They are struggling against everyone they play, and the Buccaneers are red-hot at the moment.
The Saints are coming off a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who gave undrafted rookie Max Hall the start. Tampa Bay has already exceeded expectations and has already matched its win total from last season, where the Bucs finished last in their division.
Josh Freeman has played well for the Bucs this season, beating teams with his arm as well as his feet. New Orleans must shut down Freeman and keep him in the pocket if they want to win.
Drew Brees will continue to spread the ball around to make up for the losses of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.
The Saints will continue to struggle, and the red-hot Buccaneers will give them a run for their money.
San Diego Chargers Vs. St. Louis Rams
Leon Halip/Getty Images
The San Diego Chargers are having a disappointing season, and the Rams are having a season no one thought they would have.
The Rams are being led by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, and for a rookie he has performed outstanding. The Rams have posted a record of 2-3, which is remarkably better than their start a year ago.
The Chargers are 2-3 for a fourth consecutive season, and in each of the three previous years, they have gone on to win the AFC West. They are looking to do that again behind Philip Rivers. The Chargers need rookie Ryan Mathews to get healthy and start producing.
The Chargers need a win this week, but the Rams are not going to roll over and play dead. The Chargers will need to bring their A-game. Rivers stepped up last week with star receiver Vincent Jackson holding out; Rivers and Malcom Floyd lit it up last week, and Floyd came out of the game with over 200 receiving yards.
The Chargers need to keep St. Louis from sticking around, or they could be surprised by the Rams.
Chicago Bears Vs. Seattle Seahawks
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
The Chicago Bears are leading their division and posting a 4-1 record as they play Seattle this week. The Seahawks, in hopes of jump-starting their run game, traded for running back Marshawn Lynch.
Jay Cutler is anxious to get back on the field despite spending most of his last game buried in the turf in a game where he was sacked nine times.
The Pro Bowler has been cleared to return and is anxious to prove all the people who are doubting him wrong. The Bears desperately need Cutler back this week. Todd Collins performed woefully in his place, even though the Bears won 23-6.
Even though the Bears are in first and boast a good record, the Seahawks could spell trouble this week. The Seahawks can make big plays with Justin Forsett and Leon Washington providing blazing speed.
The Bears defense needs to contain the Seahawks to keep them from sticking around.
For questions regarding the article, please comment or send me an e-mail.
Paul Ferguson is an intern at Bleacher Report.
Follow him on twitter at: @paulwall5