NFL Week 6 Review: Hits and Misses

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Honolulu transplant from Nashville, Tennessee. Teaching high school English during the day, coaching Track & Field in the afternoon, then drinking enough to do it all over again.

Too competitive for an amateur, too amateur to be competitive.

Prior to the Week 6 slate of games, I discussed what to look for and made some final predictions about each game. I went 9-5 through the week, which isn’t all that bad, but things didn’t exactly play out how I expected. Here’s an NFL Week 6 review with my big hits, close calls, whiffs, and a bonus where I talk about the absolute worst miss of the week:

Big Hits:

Browns @ Steelers
Prediction: 31-14 (Steelers)
Result: 38-7 (Steelers)

I said that Baker Mayfield would cough the ball up 3 times. I was wrong: he only threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 4 times. I’m not mad about this. I also said the game would end 31-14, which is actually giving the Browns too much credit. The game ended 38-7. Watching this game play out exactly how I pictured was a massive ego boost. The Cleveland Browns will play the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday, but will Mayfield be healthy enough to suit up against their rising division rivals? The Steelers play the Titans and that will be the game for the number 1 seed in the AFC. Please make it a primetime game.

Photo from Don Wright / Associated Press

Jets @ Dolphins
Prediction: 21-7 (Dolphins)
Result: 24-0 (Dolphins)

This was never in doubt. The Jets might be worse than the 2019 Bengals. I said Crowder would get 9 catches (he had 7) and 90 yards (he had 48) and a TD (the Jets were shut out). We got to see the rookie Tua Tagovailoa for all of 2 minutes and a few handoffs, but the lefty didn’t even get a chance for any real mop up duty. Before the season, I thought he would be the starter beginning this week, but I guess it doesn’t matter if they cover the spread and get the win. If you picked the Jets to win, you should quit watching sports.

Bears @ Panthers
Prediction: 23-21 (Bears)
Result: 23-16 (Bears)

Chicago upset Carolina like I predicted, though I was a little off and expected more from the Panthers’ offense. Bridgewater doesn’t throw the ball deep, and the Bears still intercepted him twice. Once on the first drive of the game and again at the end of game when he was forced to throw to win. I predicted that the Bears defense would be too good for Bridgewater to make the necessary plays, but outplayed my expectations a little bit, finishing the game 23-16. My original prediction was 23-21. 

Washington Football Team @ Giants
Prediction: 24-20 (Giants)
Result: 20-19 (Giants)

Kyle Allen is not a starting quarterback and I don’t understand why Rivera would pull their young starter Dwayne Haskins for him. I was wrong in that Washington actually only got 1 sack and 1 interception, but Danny Dimes did not play particularly well in this one either. Still, they get their first win of the season and the score is close to what I expected, though they don’t cover the spread.

Close calls:

Bengals @ Colts
Prediction: 28-10 (Colts)
Result: 31-27 (Colts)

The Colts have played some weak offenses this year, and I expect offenses to catch up to this team as the season goes on. The Bengals surprised me and shot right out of the gate, scoring 21 unanswered points. In the 2nd quarter, though, Trey Burton came back from the dead and scored on two touchdown passes from Philip Rivers and the defense remembered they were playing Cincinnati. They held the Bengals to only 3 points in the 3rd quarter and shut them out in the all-important 4th. I was so sure the Colts would win but the Bengals will sneak up on you if overlooked. At least they hit the over.

Lions @ Jaguars
Prediction: 34-24 (Lions)
Result: 34-16 (Lions)

I really expected the Lions to be more efficient and effective throwing the ball in this one. Instead, D’Andre Swift (RIP my fantasy team) turns into a playmaking machine and crushes the box score. I thought the Jaguars would have had a better showing offensively against the Lions weak defense, and Keelan Cole did have a good game, but James Robinson had a pathetic 2.4 yards per attempt (YPA) while catching one of only two touchdowns on the day. Jacksonville fans should be majorly disappointed in their offense, but I’m pretty happy about predicting another Jacksonville loss.

Texans @ Titans
Prediction: 31-21 (Titans)
Result: 42-36 OT (Titans)

I thought Tennessee’s fans might feel pretty good throughout this game, but instead I’m pretty sure a few people had to check their blood pressure at the end. After going into halftime up 21-10, the Titans defense collapsed, giving up 26 points in the second half. It came down to a last second touchdown to tie and Tannehill guided the offense down the field with a Derrick Henry touchdown on the first drive in overtime. While I’m happy to be right about the Titans winning, I’m ashamed of how much I wildly overestimated the Tennessee defense. Always bet the over with the Titans, but never start their defense in fantasy.

Chiefs @ Bills
Prediction: 42-21 (Chiefs)
Result: 26-17 (Chiefs)

I expected a major rebound from the Chief’s coming off the first loss of their season. Instead, we got a rainy Monday night where the Andy Reid offense was actually a dominant run game. A pissed off Clyde Edwards-Helaire is good for fantasy owners but I don’t think anything can really replace the aerial downfield attack that Mahomes does so well. That change in offensive philosophy should account for the massive drop in points expected. The Bills were close to covering my prediction, but Josh Allen could never get anything going in the air, and this team continues their losing streak.

Ravens @ Eagles
Prediction: 35-14 (Ravens)
Result: 30-28 (Ravens)

The Ravens didn’t overwhelm the Philadelphia offense and they certainly didn’t score a massive number of rushing touchdowns. Instead, they settled for field goals often. The Eagles even attempted some late-game heroics to bring the game within reach in the last few minutes. Baltimore was probably never in any real danger, but that fourth quarter act by the Eagles is not a good sign. Baltimore needs to salt the game away a little sooner or risk being shocked by a better team. So far, the only team they’ve beaten with a winning record are the Cleveland Browns in the first game of the season. I was right about the win, definitely wrong about how it would happen.

Whiffs:

Falcons @ Vikings
Prediction: 35-28 (Vikings)
Result: 40-23 (Falcons)

At least I was right about Matt Ryan popping off? I did not expect Kirk Cousins to crash and burn as badly as he did. I also did not expect the rushing attack to be this bad against the usually poor defense of the Falcons. Instead of the back and forth adventure I thought it would be, Atlanta cruised to victory on the shoulders of their reinvigorated passing attack. The Falcons faced some adversity this week, so the win should feel good for Atlanta sports fans.

Broncos @ Patriots
Prediction: 24-13 (Patriots)
Result: 18-12 (Broncos)

Hi, I’m calling for Bill Belichick, wondering if his team forgot how to play offense? I get that New England doesn’t have any weapons, that has been the narrative for a few years now. But this team is reeling right now. Even with Cam Newton and James White returning to the lineup, the offense produced more turnovers than scoring drives. The Broncos offense wasn’t exactly spectacular either, scoring exactly 0 touchdowns, but they moved the ball down the field with 3 drives going over 12 plays and 5 minutes. Bad prediction. Bad football.

Rams @ 49ers
Prediction: 24-17 (Rams)
Result: 24-16 (49ers)

My predicted score was only off by one point. I see this as an absolute win. Unfortunately, the Rams don’t see it that way. The 49ers took control of the game, exposing a defense weak at the second level. Handsome Jimmy G didn’t throw the ball deep often, but he didn’t have to. The Rams couldn’t do a damn thing on defense. There were some head scratching miscues and play calls  by the Rams offensively. They had off target deep balls and an odd double pitch to the same side of the field. But the 49ers did their jobs and flipped my expected score almost exactly. I’ll take a moral victory in this one, but that’s only because I’m not a Rams fan- it’s not a good sign that the team is 0-2 against teams not in the NFC East. 

Cardinals @ Cowboys
Prediction: 28-27 (Cowboys)
Result: 38-10 (Cardinals)

The only reason this isn’t my biggest miss of the week is because I was less confident in this game. I had no idea how the Dallas offense would look in its first full game without Dak Prescott, and the answer was terrible. Andy Dalton is a game manager in the worst way. At one point he completed 11 passes for only 60 yards. I miss Dak. I’m also jumping off the Kyler Murray hype train. The guy completed 9 passes on 24 attempts. All but Christian Kirk had below average yards of separation, but a good quarterback makes at least some of these throws. He can still improve, but that stat alone is a little scary. Screw the Cowboys defense and Andy Dalton for making me look stupid. And screw Tony Dungy for saying this is a “blessing in disguise.”

See What Had Happened Was…

Packers @ Buccaneers
Prediction: 29-28 (Packers)
Result: 38-10 (Buccaneers)

AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Not only did I get the pick wrong, I totally whiffed on the ass-whooping that Tom Brady and the Bucs defense handed the Packers. A-Rod gave us an iconic Hingle McCringleberry celebration, but it was quickly forgotten as the Tampa Bay defense never let Rodgers get that close to the endzone again. I thought this would be “a tight game with a few lead changes,” but the Bucs quickly erased the Green Bay lead and never looked back. Sorry Packers fans. This isn’t the end of the world, but this team has some holes to patch on both sides of the ball. And I need to reevaluate my opinion of the Buccaneers.

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