Almost without fail during this NFL season, one or two games a week that almost certainly looked like wins for one team ended in upsets. Think Seahawks over Giants last week. Or Buffalo over New England in Week 3. The list goes on and on.
Needless to say, picking teams who are "guaranteed to lose" is a tough job in today's NFL. If Week 6 holds serve, at least one of the following teams will win their game this weekend. Still, these five teams should struggle to keep their heads above water in their respective matchups this week:
To the Colts' credit, their four losses since being blown out by the Texans in Week 1 have been close games. You'd be tempted to think they are "due" for a win, but it's unlikely to happen this weekend. The Colts travel to Cincinnati to take on a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton, who is better than any quarterback the Colts have on their roster. The Bengals also have a defense they can rely on, which isn't something the Colts can boast.
A rookie quarterback getting thrown to the birds in Pittsburgh has the potential to get pretty ugly, even with some of the injuries on the defensive side of the ball for the Steelers. Blaine Gabbert leads the NFL's worst overall passing attack, which doesn't bode well for the Jaguars on the road. The Steelers aren't the same dominant team we've seen in recent years, but it'd be a huge upset if Gabbert beat Pittsburgh on the road this Sunday.
St. Louis Rams
Undoubtedly, the weekend's biggest upset would be if the winless Rams went to Lambeau Field and knocked off the undefeated Packers, who are 15.5-point favorites at home. While that'd certainly be a great story if it happened, the chances are more than remote, with the way the Rams have played as of late. No team has self-destructed in the way the Rams have this season. And with their top three cornerbacks on the shelf, the Packers' red-hot offense should run circles around the Rams defense.
The Jets are a team that looks ripe for the upset pickin', but it's hard to envision a scenario where Matt Moore, who is making his first start of the 2011 season, goes to New York and leaves with the Dolphins' first win. Miami struggles to run the football, which is the way the Jets have been beat on defense this season. If Moore doesn't have a running game, the Jets will tee off on him in the passing game. The Dolphins' franchise needs a ray of hope, but it's not coming down on them this weekend.
The Browns look like a team whose arrow is pointing up, but they have to travel to the West Coast to take on an emotionally charged Raiders team. In the first game in Oakland since Al Davis' passing, that crowd will be rocking, and you'd have to think that the players themselves will want to win one for their departed owner. Emotion can, at times, drag a team in opposite directions, but it should be a driving force this Sunday. While I can see a way for the Browns to beat the Raiders, I wouldn't bet on it.