Welcome to Week 6 of the NFL season. We went from consistently mediocre to consistently slightly better than mediocre over the last few weeks. Our 8-8 streak has turned into back-to-back weeks with a 10-6 record instead. That is progress I guess, but I would like to see a little bit more. This is a tough week to see major progress though, as many of these games will be tough to pick. Like actually, I have no idea who to pick on almost all of these games. The vast majority of the NFL has been puzzling this season, so many teams are nearly impossible to read. Teams like the Jaguars, Saints, Bengals, and many others leave me sitting over a computer trying to envision every scenario for their final score of a game, only for them to do the complete opposite of everything that their analytics pointed at. Welcome to the NFL I guess. Let’s just get into it before I overthink and revert back to my 8-8 phase.
Washington Commanders at Chicago Bears
Winner: Washington Commanders
Summary: The Commanders are probably about one loss away from really sinking their own ship in the competitive NFC East. This is about as “must-win” a game as you will ever see. The Bears are a hard team to read, but I am simply looking at a roster devoid of much talent, and I just have a feeling that Ron Rivera will find a way to get this team a win on the road against the Bears to stay alive. Wentz finds Jahan Dotson for a score, and another rookie gets his first career touchdown himself, Brian Robinson. Justin Fields throws one, and David Montgomery scores on the ground, but it won’t be enough for Chicago to get the win.
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints
Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
Summary: These two teams are about as weird as it gets, but this matchup should be a blast. It is looking like Andy Dalton will get the start against his old team, and Joe Burrow will go against the city that hosted his historic Heisman season. There is a lot on the line for both of these 2-3 teams, and it will likely be a close one. I think the Bengals will win this game in overtime, finally being on the winning end of a game-winning field goal. Joe Burrow throws for three touchdowns to three different receivers, while Andy Dalton finds Michael Thomas for the touchdown and Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill each score on the ground once. The Bengals get back to 3-3 while the Saints lose another heartbreaker to fall to 2-4.
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons
Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Summary: The Falcons got screwed by a beautiful mixture of Brady refs and recency bias last week, as a putrid roughing the passer call was made late that saved the Bucs from embarrassment. Of course, the refs who felt like they needed to change the course of the game themselves, will face no consequences. Welcome to the NFL. Before I go off of that tangent though, let’s look at this “Kyle Shanahan Bowl”. The tenacious 49ers defense will likely give the Falcons trouble all day, and Jimmy G will do his thing by doing almost nothing but still getting his team the win. Pitts and London score for Atlanta, but a pick-six as well as two Jeff Wilson touchdowns will be enough for the 49ers to fend off this feisty and frustrated Falcons team and move to 4-2.
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns
Winner: Cleveland Browns
Summary: The Patriots honestly shocked me last week, as they rolled over the Lions in Bailey Zappe’s first career start. The Browns, on the other hand, did what the Browns do best. I won’t go into much further detail for the mental health of any Browns fans, but I think everyone knows what that means. They will look to bounce back and take down a vulnerable but high-morale Patriots team. This will be a close one with lots of ground game. In fact, four different players will score on the ground here. Jacoby Brissett throws to Amari Cooper for a score, and Nick Chubb scores twice in addition to a Kareem Hunt rushing touchdown for Cleveland. Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris each rush for a score, and Bailey Zappe finds Jakobi Meyers for an additional score as the Patriots come up just short in the battle of the rushing game here in Cleveland.
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers
Winner: Green Bay Packers
Summary: How about them Jets? A resounding victory against the 3-1 Dolphins has them on Cloud 9 heading into Green Bay. The Packers, on the other hand, just choked a big lead in London to the other New York team, and they aren’t feeling too hot heading into this matchup. This feels like it could come down to the wire, and I think it will. Which quarterback do I see leading a game-winning drive late though? That would be the whiny and talented man that is Aaron Rodgers. I think it’ll be up to Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon early for the productivity, but Rodgers throws two scores late and leads the Packers down the field to kick a game-winning field goal as time expires. Zach Wilson throws two touchdowns and Breece Hall has a big day with 100 yards and a score, but the Jets come up just shy here as Rodgers rains on their early season parade.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
Summary: This was a hard game to pick for me because after three weeks, I was very high on Jacksonville. What have they done to convince me since? Nothing. At all. The Colts, on the other hand, have two quality wins this season. They also have two bad losses. One of those losses was to the Jaguars. They embarrassed them 24-0. This Jacksonville team has proved that it can be 1-14, and still beat the playoff-hopeful Colts. For that reason, I am not scared of a two-game skid for them. This team was founded to annoy the Colts, I am thoroughly convinced. This week will be no different as Trevor Lawrence throws for 250 yards and two scores and James Robinson scores once on the ground. Matt Ryan will throw for two touchdowns, but costly mistakes will be the death of the Colts here as the Jaguars continue to toy with the Colts in the Frank Reich era.
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins
Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Summary: The Dolphins have had quite a fall from grace since making an amazing comeback against the Ravens and taking down the Bills in back-to-back weeks, and they are looking for anything to stop the bleeding. The problem is they are without Tua, and the Vikings are on a tear. Minnesota is a sneaky 4-1 with some quality wins, and the Dolphins are down without too many healthy stars to take this team down right now in my opinion. Kirk Cousins throws two touchdowns, while Dalvin Cook takes the other two in on the ground. Teddy Bridgewater plays okay as he throws for 200 yards and a score, while Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle each run one in here. The Dolphins fall all the way to 3-3 while the Vikings keep surging to 5-1.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants
Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Summary: The Giants are on an absolute roll right now, and Brian Daboll is the Coach of the Year so far. They will get quite a test in the form of the Ravens though, who turned in a great effort against the Bengals last week, and who also have Lamar Jackson under center. The Cinderella run of the Giants will hit a speedbump here I think, as the Ravens play a complete game and torment Daniel Jones enough to get in the win column here. Lamar Jackson throws two touchdowns and runs in another in a dominating performance, while Danny Dimes struggles to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown, Saquon Barkley does what he can to keep the Giants in the game with 100 yards and two scores, but it is to no avail as the Giants fall to 4-2 and the Ravens get another much-needed win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Summary: Wow, the Steelers looked awful last week. George Pickens isn’t the only rookie on the team that “has that dawg in him” though, as we saw Kenny Pickett going after guys twice his size in the large defeat. He is the kind of guy that the team can rally around, but rallying around someone doesn’t save you if your team just simply isn’t that good. Matt Canada has shown time and time again that he is the worst coordinator in the NFL, and I don’t expect them to do much offensively against this stout Tampa defense with or without his horrid play calling. This should be a wire-to-wire win for the Buccaneers. Tom Brady throws for 250 yards and two scores, and Leonard Fournette finds the end zone again while amassing over 100 yards. Kenny Pickett keeps building his connection with George Pickens and finds him for a score, but otherwise, it is another weak performance for Pittsburgh.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Summary: An NFC West battle that should turn out to be a high scorer is exactly what we are seeing here. Kyler Murray and Geno Smith both have the abilities to make plays with their arm and legs and that could lead to a shootout here in Seattle. In the end, I think it will be the Cardinals who touch the ball last and come up with the win here. Kliff Kingsbury surprisingly doesn’t find a way to mess it up as the Cardinals get a much-needed win over a division rival. Kyler Murray throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns, while Geno matches him with 300 yards and two scores through the air, while also running one in himself. In the end, the Seattle defense lets down Smith again as they fall to 2-4 despite great QB play and offensive production.
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
Winner: Los Angeles Rams
Summary: A lot of people will look at a game between the reigning champs and a team that just fired its head coach and defensive coordinator as a blowout. Some people are ready to put their life savings on the Rams here, and while I think they get the win, let’s slow down for a second. The Rams sit at 2-3, and the biggest reason is their offensive line. The strength of this Panthers team? Their pass rush. This could be one of those perfect storm scenarios for Carolina, however, I am not crazy enough to pick them here. The Rams take care of business as Cooper Kupp dominates with over 100 yards and two scores, while Christian McCaffrey’s lone touchdown is not enough for the doomed Panthers.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Winner: Buffalo Bills
Summary: Before I go any further, let me just congratulate the NFL schedule makers for giving us the worst two teams in the league in primetime on Thursday night, and another episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” with Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football, but making arguably the biggest regular season game of the year a normal Sunday timeslot game. I can’t imagine being more brain-dead than our beloved NFL schedule makers. Anyway, that’s a rant for another day. This should be the game of the week, and the Bills are hungry for revenge. This will be a shootout with neither team backing down, and it will exceed the four-quarter limit and head to overtime. The difference between this year’s and last year’s divisional round? The Bills win the coin toss. They march down the field and score a touchdown to win this game. Football is just so poetic. Josh Allen shines with 400 yards and five touchdowns, and Diggs and Davis each catch two of them. Patrick Mahomes does what he can with 300 yards and four scores, but the determination of the Buffalo Bills will be the difference-maker this Sunday afternoon. If I haven’t mentioned it, I hate that this game will be played on a Sunday afternoon. Disgusting.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Summary: This should be quite a matchup between an undefeated Eagles team and an undefeated Cooper Rush. I’ll make that remark every week, it will always be funny. Rush is the definition of a game manager, and he does his job well. He will get his biggest test this week, as the Eagles are the lone perfect team. I don’t see game management being enough to get Rush and the Cowboys through this game, especially with the strength of the Eagles’ run defense putting pressure on the backup QB to get the ball downfield himself. Cooper Rush does what he can with 200 yards and two touchdowns, but the Eagles will get big production out of Jalen Hurts with 300 yards and three touchdowns and Miles Sanders with 75 yards and a score of his own. That should be enough to stay undefeated and end the fairytale of Cooper Rush’s Cowboys. A decision will loom at the Cowboys’ quarterback position after this game.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
Winner: Los Angeles Chargers
Summary: Zzzzz. Oh, sorry, I was sleeping because the Broncos are on in primetime again. At least they have a fun opponent in Justin Herbert’s Chargers here. Russ will be cooking injured this week, and that won’t help the already bleak outlook for the Broncos here. They will likely be playing from behind early, which could lead to some bigger numbers for Wilson, but I don’t see it translating to a win here. Justin Herbert should do enough carving up of the Broncos’ defense to get his team the win here in a divisional battle. Herbert throws for 300 yards and two scores here, as Russell Wilson matches him with a very similar stat line of 300 yards and two scores himself, but it will be the Chargers who get the ball through the uprights more en route to a good win to move them to 4-2.