It's Week 7 in the NFL, and it's time to make picks and predictions for the coming week of NFL football.
This is the week we find out if Colt McCoy can be good two weeks in a row against a defense not as good as Pittsburgh's. We also will find out if the Dallas Cowboys can fall to 1-5 and if the Kansas City Chiefs can get back to winning again.
Last week was a much better week for me, but I didn't quite make double-digit wins. So here's to hoping my picks pan out to a week of double-digit wins.
So without further delay, here are my Week 6 picks.
Last Week: 9-5
Week 1: 12-4 Week 2: 10-6 Week 3: 14-2 Week 4: 9-5 Week 5: 7-7 Week 6: 9-5
Let's get this game out of the way since Cleveland is "my" team.
Colt McCoy looked much better than expected against one of the best defenses in the league last week in Pittsburgh. Not only did McCoy walk off the field (meaning he wasn't carried off), he looked increasingly confident and poised as the game went on.
The Browns don't have a lot of offensive weapons, so if McCoy turns into the quarterback his supporters think he can be in the NFL, the Browns may finally have lucked out. Whether he'll start this weekend or not hasn't been announced, but unless there's a miracle with another quarterback's ankle, we're just going to assume McCoy gets the start.
New Orleans has a good defense, ranked just below Pittsburgh, so McCoy really isn't going to have an easier week ahead of him.
For the Saints, Drew Brees knows how to throw that football and Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan tends to leave his secondary exposed in some of his blitz packages.
As much as I'd like to predict a Browns win, even with the close games the Saints have played this year, it's going to be a Saints victory.
Saints 24 Cleveland 17
The Steelers defense is awesome and Ben Roethlisberger can extend plays like no other quarterback in the league right now.
The Miami defense is ranked 13th against the pass, so Roethlisberger won't have quite the leeway he had against Cleveland's soft secondary. But Pittsburgh has proved this year they'll wear you down on defense and eek out a victory with little points.
Steelers 21 Miami 13
The Redskins lost a close one Sunday night, but the Redskins are becoming a better team.
The Bears can't protect the quarterback, but as long as Jay Cutler remains upright, the Bears always have a chance to win.
The Bears have a much better record than their play would indicate, but good teams find ways to win games. That being said, the Bears aren't that good of a team.
The Redskins have McNabb, and he's one of the best quarterbacks in the business and the Bears defense is vulnerable to the passing game.
Redskins 28 Chicago 10
The Bengals are coming off of a bye week while the Falcons are coming off of a tough loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bengals have two star wide receivers, but Carson Palmer has been making too many forced throws this season. The Bengals also have struggled to reach the quarterback, recording only six sacks all season.
If Matt Ryan stays untouched, it's going to be a good day for Atlanta fans, who have watched their team struggle even in the wins.
It's going to be another struggle, but one the Falcons should come out ahead on as Ryan lights it up.
Falcons 30 Bengals 21
Kevin Kolb will be the starter Sunday, but that's proving not to be a big issue as Kolb's QB rating from Sunday's game versus Atlanta was 133.6
The Tennessee Titans now have a big question at quarterback as they have to determine if Vince Young's knee is healthy enough for the start. Once again, though, there's nothing wrong with having Kerry Collins start the game.
The Eagles' passing game most likely will be hurt with the absence of DeSean Jackson, but LeSean McCoy is one of the league's better runners.
Then there's Chris Johnson, who already has 596 rushing yards this season for the Titans.
The Titans have the edge in the running game, and the Eagles are minus some offensive stars.
Titans 17 Eagles 14
The Buffalo Bills have 0-16 potential and the possibility of the Baltimore Ravens choking against the Bills is pretty low.
The Bills did hang in there with the Patriots a few weeks ago but, again, the chances of the Bills taking out one of the league's elite teams is pretty low.
Not much to analyze here.
Ravens 35 Bills 10
The Chiefs are reeling after losing two straight games after a 3-0 start to the year. The Jacksonville Jaguars are just trying to earn some respect in the league and prove they're better than their record.
However, the Jaguars lost both David Garrard and Trent Edwards Monday night, and there's the possibility neither of them will be ready for Sunday's game.
Todd Bouman has been re-signed, and the Jags might have to sign another quarterback before the week is out if Garrard isn't cleared to return to play from a concussion.
The Chiefs have a healthy quarterback in Matt Cassel. His play has steadily improved this year while being coached by Charlie Weiss.
The only offensive weapon the Jags really have right now is Maurice Jones-Drew. But if there's no passing game, Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs defense will be more able to shut the talented running back down.
Chiefs 31 Jaguars 20
In San Francisco, Mike Singletary still is the coach and Alex Smith still is the quarterback.
In Carolina, John Fox still is the coach, but Jimmy Clausen is back on the bench after he was unable to give the Panthers the spark Fox was looking for. So Matt Moore gets the ball again.
Not sure how much of any of that will matter for Carolina because Smith is better than both of Carolina's signal callers at the moment,
Neither of these teams are good, but the 49ers have shown the ability to stay in games against good teams.
49ers 35 Carolina 24
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3-2, but both losses were against good teams, the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The St. Louis Rams are 3-3 and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford has proven to be just about everything he was advertised to be as the NFL Draft's No.1-overall pick.
While the Rams still aren't one of the league's most talented teams, head coach Steve Spagnuolo has done a marvelous coaching job, and to the players' credit, they've responded to him and are executing.
The Bucs also are rebuilding, but the general consensus at the beginning of the season is the Bucs were further ahead of the Rams.
According to NFL.com, Bradford has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,357 yards and seven touchdowns with eight interceptions.
Steven Jackson, the team's main ground threat, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the past five seasons and already has 507 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.
The Bucs' defense hasn't performed up to expectations and Cadillac Williams only is averaging 2.5 yards per carry.
Whatever the problems are in Tampa Bay, St. Louis appears to be on the rise after beating the San Diego Chargers, and I'm riding that train this week.
St. Louis 27 Tampa Bay 17
This should've been an easy game to predict if things had stayed the way they were even two weeks ago. But undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall provided the Cardinals with a much-needed spark.
The Cardinals lead the NFC West despite being outscored by 50 points this season, meaning the matchup with the Seahawks this week really does have playoff implications.
The Cardinals are going to be a tougher opponent than the Bears were as they have a much better offensive line. And Max Hall looks good in his limited action so far.
There's plenty of tape on Matt Hasselback, and I have a feeling Ken Whisenhunt will be ready for whatever the Seahawks have in store.
Cardinals 24 Seahawks 20
We could sit here and break this game down 20 different ways, but the facts are the Patriots still are an elite team that is playing well and just came off of a tough victory over the equally-elite Baltimore Ravens.
The Chargers have been finding new ways to lose games every week, and the loss last week to the Rams is the capper to that trend.
The Chargers may have hit rock bottom with that loss, but they're not going to shake off this funk versus Tom Brady and the Bill Belichick-led Patriots.
New England 42 Chargers 28 (Phillip Rivers can still score, just not enough)
The Broncos are 2-4 despite quarterback Kyle Orton throwing for almost 2,000 yards already this season.
However, the Broncos running game is nowhere to be found and Knowshon Moreno's health is a factor as he played through an injured hamstring last week.
The Raiders have no quarterback and have no real pass defense. Now they're facing a pass-first team.
Then there's Tim Tebow to consider, especially since this is a home game for the Broncos. Head coach Josh McDaniels has shown a willingness to throw Tebow in the game for the home crowd on the goal line, so take that into account in your fantasy league.
On the field, the Broncos are a better team than their record and the Raiders won't be able to stop Orton.
Denver 34 Oakland 21
While there's no question Brett Favre will start, Aaron Rodgers also will be on the field, and he showed last week he's shaken off the affects of a concussion sustained two weeks ago.
The Vikings won both contests versus the Packers last year, and the Packers have been getting killed by their own mistakes this year while racking up injuries two weeks ago versus the Redskins.
Linebacker Clay Matthews is slated to return this week, and the Vikings still are trying to get their passing game back to where it was last year. Randy Moss now has a few weeks of practice under his belt with Favre, and that should start to show results this week.
There's also Adrian Peterson, and the Packers defense is ranked 21st against the rush.
This could end up being a close game where it could come down to the Packers ability to not make mistakes which, until proven otherwise, you have to factor in now.
Vikings 20 Packers 17
The Dallas Cowboys have several problems, most of them revolving around the coaching staff.
The Giants appear to have solved their problems and are one of the hottest teams in the league.
Dallas is desperate for a win, coming into the game 1-4. But Tony Romo tends to throw interceptions when the game is on the line, and that's when the coaching staff is able to quit tripping over their own headphones.
Dallas' aging offensive line is going to get brutalized by the Giants defense, and the way the Dallas secondary self destructs only will help Eli Manning get his offense down the field.
Giants 30 Dallas 20