NFL Picks Week 6: 5 Biggest Storylines In Football

Michael WallCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2010

NFL Picks Week 6: Five Biggest Storylines In Football

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is hit by Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 3
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    So we are heading into Week 6 of the 2010 NFL season.  What have we seen?  What have we learned? 

    The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be for real.  

    Brett Favre may not be so good of a guy.  Michael Vick has started to build a new fan base.  

    The favorites to win the NFC (Vikings, Cowboys, Packers) at the beginning of the season are struggling.  

    The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets are really good.  The AFC is better than the NFC.    

    The NFC East and AFC South are up for grabs, where no team has stood out.

    Randy Moss and Tom Brady do not approve of each others' hairstyles.   

    Right now, it is almost impossible to predict to who will be in the Super Bowl.    

    There is always parity in the NFL, but this year it is more extreme than ever.  Parity has translated to sloppy games where special teams and awful turnovers are determining games. Example: Week 5 Saints and Chargers games.   

    Here are the top five intriguing games of Week 6.  

5. Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 PM SUN

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 31:  Michael Vick #7 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL action December 31, 2006 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 24-17.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    For the second time since his return to the NFL, Michael Vick will play against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons.  

    Or will he? 

    Andy Reid has yet to announce Vick's status for Sunday's game, but it has been reported that it is doubtful that he will play.    

    If Michael Vick does play, how good will he be?  Will he be able to match his success of the first four weeks? 

    Some people were saying that Vick was the early favorite to win MVP.  Sounds pretty crazy now.  If Vick misses another week, how safe is his job? 

    Andy Reid said last week that Michael Vick is the starting quarterback, but he also said that about Kevin Kolb before benching him.  

    Last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, Kevin Kolb played well, maybe not as good as Vick, but he at least showed Philadelphia fans that he could be the team's starting quarterback.  

    Kolb passed for 253 yards and one touchdown.  More importantly, he threw no interceptions and completed 21 of 31 passes, which helped him earn a 103.3 passer rating.   

    By the way, can the Atlanta Falcons win their fifth straight game and build on their lead in the NFC South?

    Philadelphia fans have a big day of tailgating on Sunday as the Phillies play at eight that night.  Should be an interesting day in Philadelphia.  

4. Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 PM SUN

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 14:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions on August 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steelers won 23-7.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Steelers were 3-1 in the first four weeks of the season, without their starting quarterback. 

    Ben Roethlisberger returns this weekend from his four-game suspension to play the Cleveland Browns.   

    Remember that Texas quarterback, Colt McCoy?

    Pittsburgh's defense was mostly responsible for the team's three wins, but the offense was not too shabby. Will the return of Big Ben mess up any chemistry? 

    I doubt it since the team has already had to shuffle their quarterbacks due to injuries.  It is important for the Steelers to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens, who handed Pittsburgh their only loss. 

    Colt McCoy is likely to start this weekend due to injuries suffered by Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.  Is another quarterback controversy in the works? 

    This is probably not how and when the Browns wanted to debut McCoy.  The rookie has to go into Pittsburgh and play arguably the best defense in the NFL, who are coming off a bye week.   

    Good luck Colt, we will be rooting for you.  And praying too.  

3. New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 PM SUN

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    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts as he walks off the field after being defeated by the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. T
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The defending-champion New Orleans Saints have struggled this season.  Last week's performance against the Arizona Cardinals was uncharacteristically sloppy.   

    On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shined this season.  

    Right now, New Orleans sits at third place in the NFC South at 3-2, behind both Tampa Bay (3-1) and Atlanta (4-1).  

    The Saints will put themselves in some major trouble if they lose this game.  Not only would they still be in third place, but they would have one loss each against Atlanta and Tampa Bay.   

    This is a possible statement game for both teams.  The Saints need to prove that they are still the team to beat, while the Bucs need to prove that they are a legitimate playoff team.  

    Tampa Bay has not won any games against good teams this season.  Their three wins came against Carolina (0-5), Cleveland (1-4), and Cincinnati (2-3).  The Steelers handed the Bucs their only loss.  

    Which team will step up this weekend?  The defending champions or the underdog?   

    The NFC will be rooting for Tampa Bay.  

2. Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM SUN

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 and Randy Moss of the New England Patriots sit on the sidelines  against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 4, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The New England Patriots had a bye last week, so this will be the first game without Randy Moss. 

    How much will the offense change?  Will it be more or less productive?  The trade of Moss came at good time for two reasons.  

    One, the Patriots had two weeks to prepare without Randy Moss.  Two, the Baltimore Ravens have no recent film to see how the New England offense may change.  

    The Baltimore Ravens are arguably the best team in the NFL right now.  They have defeated two of the best five teams in football, the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.  By the way, they have done it without Ed Reed.

    Can Baltimore defeat another playoff contender?  If the Ravens win this Sunday, they will become the clear-cut favorite to win the Super Bowl.  

    This game should be the best one of the week, as it features two the best five teams in the NFL.  

1. Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings, 4:15 PM SUN

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    MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings on their 34-3 victory during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This a MUST-WIN game for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings.  It is also a rematch of last year's divisional round playoff game, where the Vikings dominated the Cowboys by winning 34-3

    Both teams sit at 1-3.  Both teams' offenses have struggled.  Both teams' coaches may be on the hot seat. 

    The Minnesota Vikings made a big splash last week by trading for Randy Moss, but that acquisition did not translate to a Vikings' victory in New York. 

    Brett Favre is also in the midst of allegations made by Jenn Sterger. Tony Romo probably wishes he had a similar controversy so the media would not focus on his terrible performance on the field. 

    Both teams, especially the Cowboys, were picked to make it deep into the playoffs.  Right now, it is hard to imagine that both teams will make the playoffs. 

    However, no one in the NFC East or NFC North is exactly running away with the division.  The Chicago Bears are 4-1, but how long will that success last and the Green Bay Packers are only 3-2.  Everyone else in the NFC East is 3-2, so the Cowboys could still win the division.  

    If you look at both teams' schedules, this game may be more important for the Dallas Cowboys, but Minnesota also needs to gain some momentum.  Next week the Cowboys play the Giants while the Vikings play the Packers.  

    Once again, this is a must-win for both teams.  Especially for the quarterbacks and head coaches.