NFL Game Picks: Week 6
Host Charlie Murray and analysts Eric Fenstermaker, Jonathan Draeger and Alex Rocco breakdown the upcoming week in the NFL.
With no Thursday night game due to the various COVID-19 related schedule changes, the Sunday 1 p.m. games will be the first taste of Week 6 NFL action. Let’s take a look ahead at what Week 6 offers and predict the outcomes of each game.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1)
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens head to Philadelphia to take on a struggling Eagles team led by Carson Wentz.
The Ravens bounced back from their loss to the Chiefs by destroying the Bengals and will do the same to the Eagles, which will not be able to contain Jackson or the Ravens’ punishing run game.
That’s without mentioning that Carson Wentz has taken a huge step back this year and is facing a Ravens defense that consistently forces turnovers. This one will get ugly fast.
Prediction: Ravens 38, Eagles 17
Chicago Bears (4-1) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-2)
Chicago is coming into this game fresh off a hard-fought win against the Buccaneers. The Bears offense hasn’t improved much with Nick Foles as the starter, but the defense looked impressive in last week’s win.
The Panthers have won three games in a row following an 0-2 start, mainly due to the play of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who’s thrown five touchdowns to just one interception during the winning streak. Star player Christian McCaffrey is also eligible to come off the IR list this week too.
If McCaffrey is healthy, the Panthers could win, but the Bears defense will be giving Bridgewater fits all day. The Bears win in an ugly, low-scoring matchup.
Prediction: Bears 17, Panthers 13
Cincinnati Bengals (1-3-1) vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
The Bengals only scored three points and allowed rookie sensation Joe Burrow to be sacked seven times against Baltimore. This offensive line is by far the worst in football. To even have a chance against Indianapolis, it has to protect Burrow.
Too bad that won’t happen, as the Colts are going to have something to prove following a tough loss to the Browns. It’s not going to be pretty.
Prediction: Colts 35, Bengals 9
Cleveland Browns (4-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0)
Aside from the Week 1 loss to Baltimore in which they only scored six points, the Browns have scored over 30 in each of their games. The Steelers, meanwhile, look rejuvenated with the return of Ben Roethlisberger despite their struggles to prevent the opposition from scoring.
As good as the Browns appear to be, they’ve only beaten one good team, and they’re in for a reality check this week against a superior Pittsburgh team.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Browns 17
Atlanta Falcons (0-5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-4)
The Atlanta Falcons are an absolute mess. The offense is underperforming, and the defense can’t stop anything. Dan Quinn is gone, so maybe they can look competent for the first time all year.
But the Minnesota Vikings are better than their record shows, and they should be able to handle this matchup. Even if Dalvin Cook is out with an injury, Alexander Mattison should prove tough to stop for the weak Falcons defense.
Atlanta will start the season 0-6 and have a lot of important decisions to make going forward.
Prediction: Vikings 24, Falcons 17
Detroit Lions (1-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
Detroit may be coming off a bye, but the fact still stands that the only team better than the Lions at finding ways to lose is the Falcons. Fortunately, the Jaguars are not much better, as both teams feature decent offenses and terrible defenses.
This is a game that could go either way, but look for Minshew mania to roll for another week and for Lions coach Matt Patricia to find a way to lose another one.
Prediction: Jaguars 33, Lions 24
Houston Texans (1-4) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-0)
The Texans are a much better team than their record indicates, at least on the offensive side of the ball. However, the Titans looked unstoppable against the Bills. As always, the game plan will revolve around Derrick Henry, who makes it easier for Ryan Tannehill to get the passing game going.
This game will be closer than people think, but J.J. Watt and the Texans defense won’t be able to stop Henry.
Prediction: Titans 30, Texans 21
Washington Football Team (1-4) vs. New York Giants (0-5)
The two worst offenses in the worst division in football meet this week. Washington has struggled to score points all season long, and Kyle Allen did not play great last week before leaving the game with an injury. The Giants showed signs of life against an atrocious Cowboys defense, but can Daniel Jones play like that against a decent Washington defense?
This game will be low scoring, but in the end, the Washington defense will make plays and do enough to pull out the win.
Prediction: Washington 14, Giants 7
Denver Broncos (1-3) vs. New England Patriots (2-2)
This game was originally postponed due to the Patriots’ positive tests for COVID-19, but the extra week off now means Cam Newton is most likely cleared to play, and he has been fantastic so far in New England. Denver, meanwhile, is hoping that quarterback Drew Lock will be healthy enough to play, but injuries have devastated the Broncos all season long.
Even if Drew Lock plays, the Patriots should win this one without too much difficulty.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Broncos 17
New York Jets (0-5) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
The Jets are the worst team in football, Adam Gase is the worst coach in the NFL, Sam Darnold has been battered and bruised all season long, and now Joe Flacco might be the starter for the next few games. It’s safe to say that the Jets are a trainwreck. Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing very well for a Miami team that has found ways to stay competitive.
Maybe the Dolphins will beat the Jets so badly that they have no choice but to fire Gase.
Prediction: Dolphins 31, Jets 7
Green Bay Packers (4-0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played this well in years. Combine that with a fantastic ground game, and the Packers offense has been absolutely explosive. Tom Brady was running for his life against Chicago, and the Packers pass rush, led by Za’Darius Smith isn’t going to make things any easier.
Green Bay remains undefeated while Tampa Bay stumbles to a .500 record.
Prediction: Packers 38, Buccaneers 24
Los Angeles Rams (4-1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
The Rams have had a resurgent season and are looking like the team that went to the Super Bowl two years ago. The 49ers, meanwhile, are still struggling with injuries, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked terrible last week against Miami.
The 49ers are just too injured to have a chance. Aaron Donald will have a field day against the depleted San Francisco offense.
Prediction: Rams 31, 49ers 14
Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Following a stunning loss to the Raiders, the Chiefs will be motivated to come out strong against a really good Bills team. Josh Allen has taken a huge step forward as a passer but struggled last week against a so-so Titans defense.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are too motivated to lose this game, but Buffalo will rebound from their bad performance on Tuesday to make this one interesting.
Prediction: Chiefs 42, Bills 31
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
The Cardinals offense has looked great with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, who continues to be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Dallas is coming off a last-second win against a very bad Giants team following the devastating injury to Dak Prescott. Now Andy Dalton takes over the signal-calling duties for Big D.
When it’s all said and done, Kyler Murray will tear up the awful Cowboys defense, and Dalton will struggle to match Prescott’s production, resulting in an Arizona victory on Monday night.
Prediction: Cardinals 28, Cowboys 20
David Fortunato is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.