NFL Week 6 Predictions and Storylines

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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.

The NFL is never short of interesting players, coaches, or matchups. This week we’re looking at redemption stories, underdogs, and undefeated juggernauts. Here are my Week 6 predictions and storylines.

Bears (4-1) @ Panthers (3-2)

Spread: Panthers -1.5

What to watch: I can’t take my eyes off these Chicago QBs. It’s a dumpster fire of poor play that sometimes does something really cool. This team has played well against opponents with winning records and nobody is taking them seriously. I’m watching it for the same reason we watch Nascar; I want to see them crash.

Week 6 Predictions: The Bears disappoint me and upset the Panthers. The defense is too good and the Panthers are too average. Bridgewater will play it safe like he always does but can’t do enough to beat the Bears once Nick Foles throws an improbable touchdown to Allen Robinson. Bears win it 23-21.

Bengals (1-3-1) @ Colts (3-2)

Photo from USA TODAY Sports

Spread: Colts -7.5

What to watch: Rookie QB Joe Burrow is interesting and his teammates love him, though the jury’s still out on AJ Green and his future with the club. On the other side, Philip Rivers is trying to shake the stereotype that he chokes. The defense has been playing phenomenally, but has yet to face a particularly strong offense – it isn’t exactly changing here. The turnover machine will be interesting to watch in this one. It may be some ugly football, folks, but at least we’re watching football.

Week 6 Predictions: I’m predicting 4 interceptions between the two QBs- they can’t help themselves. The Colts defense will stifle the former Heisman winner and his offense, but I think there’s some 4th quarter heroics that will be in vain. A few big plays, maybe a late TD by Burrow, but this one is all Colts 28-10

Browns (4-1) @ Steelers (4-0)

Spread: Steelers -3.5

What to watch: The AFC North has never been a pushover, but when were the Browns the team that you would say that about? This team is flat out fun to watch when they’re on offense. They have weapons across the board and Baker Mayfield is finally flourishing with a new coach. Do I trust them? Hell no. But Pittsburgh needs a challenge after playing all losing teams so far this season, so it’s time to find out if they are the real deal or not. This will legitimately be a good football game.

Week 6 Predictions: The Steelers are for real and Baker Mayfield coughs it up at least 3 times. The Browns were able to keep up in a shootout with the Cowboys 2 weeks ago, but this isn’t the Dallas defense and the Steelers will make Mayfield pay for all those commercials he’s starred in. Yes they’re funny. No I’m not happy about it. Steelers win 31-14.

Washington (1-4) @ Giants (0-5)

Spread: Giants -2.5

What to watch: This is competition for the number one overall pick, what could be more exciting than that? Okay, a lot of things. But at least there’s two young exciting second year quarterbacks! Never mind. One is benched and the other can’t hold on to the ball. I’m going to see what’s worse here: offense or defense? The Giants are literally breaking scales on offensive metrics but Washington might not be able to capitalize. I’m looking for Daniel Jones to improve, Antonio Gibson to show some fantasy promise, and Alex Smith to stay off the field. Please keep that man safe.

Week 6 Predictions: Honestly, if Dwayne Haskins was starting, I would say that Washington would take this one. But Ron Rivera hates him and wants to Tank for Trevor. Washington gets a handful of sacks and a fumble recovery, but the offense sputters out and the Giants get their first win 24-20.

Lions (1-3) @ Jaguars (1-4)

Spread: Lions -3

What to watch: When is Matt Patricia going to get fired? One coach down, at least 2 more to go. Patricia’s team has gotten worse every year, and the guy known for his defensive prowess is leading a team that ranks dead last in defensive EPA/play. Gardner Minshew is always fun though, and the exotic QB (see what I did there?) is going to have some plays that both dazzle and confuse you. It’ll be interesting to see who can really perform better at the QB position: the young upstart or the vet looking for redemption?

Week 6 Predictions: Matthew Stafford and the Lions pick apart a bad Jaguars defense. The Jacksonville front can’t generate enough pressure and Stafford throws to Kenny Golladay a ton in this one. He makes a dumb deep throw or two, but overall it doesn’t feel that close the whole contest. Lions win 34-24.

Texans (1-4) @ Titans (4-0)

Photo from Andrew Nelles- The Tennesseean

Spread: Titans -3.5

What to watch: Tennessee manhandled the previously undefeated Bills and the Texans finally got their first win of the season. Both teams are looking to continue that momentum this week in an AFC South showdown. The past few years, the teams have split the games fairly even, so it will be fun to see how interim HC Romeo Crennel does against his pupil Mike Vrabel. Crennel was the defensive coordinator of the Patriots during the time Vrabel played for them. Fantasy owners are keeping a close eye on AJ Brown and Derrick Henry, as the two will most likely be the recipients of most offensive production.

Week 6 Predictions: The Texans finally won their first game of the season, but their defense is not playing very well. JJ Watt is still a force on the line, but the rest of the unit is getting exposed. Vrabel and the Titans know this team well and will want to win at home against their division rivals. Tannehill will throw for 2 TDs and King Henry will run for another 2 this game. Deshaun Watson makes a few amazing plays to keep it close, but the game is never out of hand for the Titans who win it 31-21.

Falcons (0-5) @ Vikings (1-3)

Spread: Vikings -4

What to watch: The Falcons just parted ways with former Head Coach Dan Quinn, so it will be fun to see how the team changes this week against a Vikings team that can’t seem to execute what should be a good offense. Whether it’s scheme or talent, the Vikings are struggling, mostly on defense. That doesn’t seem to matter to the Falcons, though, because they can’t move the ball and they can’t get in the endzone. I want to see how Matt Ryan and his team come back from such low points in his career.

Week 6 Predictions: Matt Ryan bounces back but the defense gives it away… again. After going scoreless for the past two games, Matty Ice puts it in the endzone any way he can three times on Sunday, but the Minnesota offense destroys the Falcons on the ground and in the air. Atlanta’s defense doesn’t do enough. They remain winless. I think it’ll be closer than people think, but the Vikings take this one 35-28.

Ravens (3-1) @ Eagles (1-2-1)

Spread: Ravens -10

What to watch: This one seems very lopsided on paper but… no wait. This one is going to be very lopsided. The Ravens are still on their revenge tour after being dominated by the Chiefs on Monday Night Football so it will be fun to watch this offense continue that trend against the lowly Eagles defense. Carson Wentz had a bit of a revival last week, playing well enough to keep his team in it against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. If he doesn’t, maybe we finally see Jalen Hurts in at QB for more than a gadget play. 

Week 6 Predictions: The Ravens crush the Eagles, who have no offensive firepower at the moment. With one of the top defenses in the league, Baltimore puts the Eagles into constant 3rd and long situations, which they can’t convert. Every single player that gets a snap on offense scores a rushing TD. Maybe a play action pass to Mark Andrews over the middle. Jalen Hurts sits on the sideline, waiting for his chance. It won’t come this week. Ravens win 35-14.

Broncos (1-3) @ Patriots (2-2)

Spread: Patriots -9.5

What to watch: Is Drew Lock back yet? How about Cam Newton? Is this game even happening? That’s all I’m looking for in this one. If they do play, I want to see how the Denver receivers do against a Belichick defense. Between Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and Tim Patrick, the team has weapons and my fantasy team needs some production. As for the Patriots, it’s still fascinating to see how the offense fares without Tom Brady. It’s completely different, of course, with the much more mobile and strong-armed Cam Newton. If he isn’t in the game, though, it doesn’t matter who the Patriots have behind center.

Week 6 Predictions: There are a lot of question marks around this one. If Gilmore is sidelined, Denver covers the spread but still loses the game. If Gilmore is activated in time, Patriots win it 24-13.

Jets (0-5) @ Dolphins (2-3)

Photo from Getty Images

Spread: Dolphins -9.5

What to watch: Honestly, I’m hoping to see Adam Gase fired at halftime of this one. More realistically, Jamison Crowder has talent and is severely under-appreciated, so I love to watch the guy just ball out. I wonder how the rookie RB La’Mical Perine will fare with LeVeon Bell out of the way too. Lastly, I want to see Fitzpatrick do his thing. The Dolphins don’t have many offensive weapons but they’re keeping up with their opponents. I’m entranced by bad football, what can I say.

Week 6 Predictions: Gase inexplicably keeps his job because he’s blackmailing ownership after losing to Miami. Fitzpatrick destroys the league’s worst defense and Jamison Crowder’s Hall of Fame talent is wasted yet again, even though he probably gets 6 catches, 90 yards, and a TD. Dolphins win it 21-7.

Packers (4-0) @ Buccaneers (3-2)

Packers: -1

What to watch: Are the Packers the best team in football? They might be. Aaron Rodgers is having his best season in years and absolutely cannot be stopped. They’ve scored at least 30 points every game but the Bucs will be the best defense they’ve played so far. I’m hoping to see some more of Rodgers’ magic against this group. I’m also wondering how fired up Tom Brady is after all the memes about his fourth down confusion in last week’s game against the Bears. A pissed-off Tom Brady is fun to watch and fantasy owners could be in for a treat, especially since Arians said that Godwin is set to return.

Week 6 Predictions: I don’t see how the Packers can lose, but if they do, it’d be against the Buccaneers. I even think they’ll score less than 30 for the first time this season. Nonetheless, Rodgers outduels Brady in a tight game with a few lead changes. I don’t foresee many field goals in this one and I expect a 2pt conversion or two, while the Packers win with a 4th quarter touchdown. Green Bay wins it 29-28.

Rams (4-1) @ 49ers (2-3)

Spread: Rams -3.5

What to watch: The Rams’s defense has taken the crown from the 49ers with future HOFer Aaron Donald leading the charge. Handsome Jimmy G is not playing well at all since coming back from injury, and it will be interesting to see how Shanahan helps out his QB. A game between division rivals is always tough, so this will be a fun one to watch. 

Week 6 Predictions: Los Angeles will take advantage of and abuse the 49ers’s offense. Too staunch against the run, the exotic looks from Shanahan won’t matter, and there will be some new twists in there. I’m not convinced Goff is a top 10 QB talent, but the metrics say otherwise. The 49ers are too injured and the Super Bowl hangover is real. Rams win this one 24-17.

Chiefs (4-1) @ Bills (4-1)

Photo from Robert Hanashiro- USA TODAY Sports

Spread: Chiefs -4.5

What to watch: The Bills are coming off a rough week after getting spanked by the Tennessee Titans, while the Chiefs are trying to come to terms with their first loss of the season to the Raiders. Both were undefeated prior to Week 5, so they both have a bit of a redemption story here. Whether you prefer the unlikely hero in Buffalo or the heavyweight favorite in Kansas City, this game will pit two solid teams against each. The spread is in the Chiefs’ favor, but this should still be fun to watch, especially if the Bills get some key pieces back.

Week 6 Predictions: I think almost anyone would tell you the Chiefs are the more talented squad, but any week could see an underdog team make a surprising upset. I don’t think that happens here. The Chiefs get right this game and although Josh Allen makes significantly less mistakes and plays much better than his Tuesday night performance, Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes remind everyone why they won the Super Bowl last year. Chiefs win 42-21.

Cardinals (3-2) @ Cowboys (2-3)

Spread: Cardinals -1

What to watch: The original Monday night game, the Cowboys look to Andy Dalton to take over at the QB position. That alone is a good enough reason to watch this matchup. Besides that, Kyler Murray has been electric this season. His running ability and new favorite wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are key pieces to this air raid offense. Defense is probably going to take a backseat this game, so there should be lots of fun for fantasy owners in this one.

Week 6 Predictions: Despite the awful Dallas defense, Dalton and the offense play well enough to toss a few touchdowns while Ezekiel Elliot makes some noise on the ground. Elliot catches more passes out of the backfield than any game this season and makes the Cardinals defense suffer. Kyler Murray grabs a rushing touchdown and a pair of passing touchdowns, but ultimately can’t do enough to outscore the Cowboys. Dallas wins 28-27.

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Episode 35