NFL Week 6 Picks: Early Predictions for Every Game

Jake RillSenior Writer IOctober 12, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) and wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) plat\y against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Last year, the Baltimore Ravens ran away with the AFC North, going 14-2 and finishing with a six-game lead to win the division title. This year, things may end up a bit closer, at least if the early weeks of the 2020 season are any indication.

The AFC North is the only division in the NFL to have three teams with at least four wins. The Pittsburgh Steelers remained undefeated on Sunday, improving to 4-0 with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Meanwhile, the Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns topped the Indianapolis Colts as both improved to 4-1.

Cleveland's only blemish thus far is a 38-6 loss at Baltimore in Week 1. But the Browns will have a chance to prove themselves as a potential AFC North contender on the road against the Steelers in Week 6.

With Week 5 nearing its conclusion, here's an early look ahead at next week's schedule, along with predictions for each matchup.

         

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Week 6 Schedule, Predictions

Sunday, Oct. 18

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, 1 p.m. ET

Washington Football Team at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. ET

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, 4:05 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m. ET

      

Monday, Oct. 19

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills, 5 p.m. ET

Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET

Picks in bold

    

Top Matchups to Watch

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

In recent weeks, the Browns are proving to be an exciting team. They've won four straight games, which included a 32-23 win over the Colts on Sunday. Cleveland has scored at least 32 points in each of those victories, and even with running back Nick Chubb (right MCL injury) out, its offense remains potent with fellow running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leading the way.

The Browns beat the Colts, who entered Week 5 with the top-ranked defense in the NFL. Now, Cleveland immediately faces another tough challenge in Pittsburgh, which had the No. 2 defense in the league entering Sunday before it held on for a 38-29 win over Philadelphia.

The Steelers have been playing well on offense, too, and they had a new playmaker emerge in Week 5. Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool had four total touchdowns (three receiving and one rushing), more than helping to make up for the loss of Diontae Johnson, who had left the game early with a back injury.

With Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore all playing so well, these head-to-head matchups could end up being crucial in deciding the AFC North champion this season. And this will be the first of two Browns-Steelers matchups, as the two will meet again in Cleveland in Week 17.

     

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

Tom Brady is 43 and Aaron Rodgers is 36, but that doesn't change the fact that both are former Super Bowl champions who are among the best quarterbacks of their era. And they both can also still play at a high level, too.

It should be an exciting offensive matchup when Brady's Buccaneers and Rodgers' Packers go head-to-head in Week 6. Because Brady spent the majority of his career in the AFC with the Patriots, this will only be the third time that he'll be playing against Rodgers. The last meeting between the two quarterbacks came in Week 9 of the 2018 season, when Brady led New England to a 31-17 win.

Rodgers' Packers are off to the better start this season, as they're 4-0 with wins over the Vikings, Lions, Saints and Falcons. They'll be well rested heading into this matchup coming off their bye in Week 5. Meanwhile, Brady's Bucs fell to 3-2 with a loss at Chicago this past Thursday and will be seeking a bounce-back victory following their extra time to prepare.

If Tampa Bay can win this game, it can prove it's among the top contenders in the NFC despite its misstep against the Bears. But Green Bay is sure to make it a competitive matchup as it looks to remain unbeaten.

     

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Chiefs' franchise-record 13-game winning streak is now over. In Week 5, they suffered a 40-32 loss to the Raiders, marking their first defeat since Week 10 of the 2019 season. That streak included the playoffs, as Kansas City won Super Bowl LIV during that stretch.

It won't be easy for the Chiefs to bounce back in Week 6, either, as they're set for a tough road matchup against the Bills. It's possible that Buffalo will still be undefeated when the two teams play next Monday night, depending on how it fares in its Week 5 matchup against Tennessee on Tuesday.

Although Kansas City is no longer unbeaten, it's still 4-1 and owns quality victories over Baltimore and New England. And reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes has been playing at a high level, passing for 1,134 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions through five weeks.

Can the Chiefs rebound, or will the Bills notch one of their biggest wins of the season? It's likely to be a competitive matchup with stellar quarterback play, as Buffalo's Josh Allen has passed for 1,326 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception through its first four games.