Week 6 NFL picks
Giants at Bears
The Giants have turned the ball over 8 more times than any other team in the NFL. That would be 20 turnovers, or an average of 4 per game. That's... you know... a lot. Meanwhile, no team in the NFL has consistently produced more turnovers over the last few years than the Bears, who have continued that trend by forcing 14 so far this season. Only the Chiefs and Seahawks have produced more turnovers, at 15 a piece. But beyond the turnovers, the Giants just flat stink. Their season will officially be over sometime around midnight tonight.
Bengals at Bills
The Bills' starting QB is a guy named Thad Lewis. I don't know if there's any relation to Chad Lewis.
Lions at Browns
Matthew Stafford is 8-17 on the road for his career, and he may or may not have Calvin Johnson at his disposal this weekend. The Browns are giving up 4.3 yards per play, which is best in the NFL. Their defense is balling. I'm a believer.
Raiders at Chiefs
The Chiefs are not only 5-0, but they've won 4 of those games by at least 2 scores. I really like the Raiders this year. They haven't been the awful mess that everyone has expected, and Terrelle Pryor has been dangerous, but going on the road in KC is a lot to ask.
Panthers at Vikings
The Vikings' top 3 QBs are Christian Ponder (hurt), Josh Freeman (newly signed and still learning the offense), and Matt Cassel. Sadly, Cassel might actually be the best of the three.
The Panthers have played a lot of boring games this season. They're 30th in defense, and 24th on offense. However, I like their chances of moving the ball against the Vikings' horrid pass defense, which is giving up 326 yards through the air per game.
I also like the Panthers' chances of containing Adrian Peterson. The Panthers give up just 3.6 yards per carry (6th in the NFL) and 92.2 rushing yards per game (7th in the NFL).
At some poinnt, Cam Newton has to start playing well, right? I'm a little uneasy banking on that, but we'll see.
Steelers at Jets
Before the Jets beat the Falcons on Monday night, there was an early line Vegas had set in which the Steelers were 1 point favorites. Then the Jets beat the Falcons and the line is now Jets -2.5. The fact that the Steelers were ever favorited in this game is ludicrous.
Let's get something very straight... The Steelers are awful. Their OL can't protect or run block, and their defense is shell of what it used to be. The only things they have going for them are Antonio Brown and the fact that they're coming off their bye. Don't be fooled by their stellar franchise's reputation.
Eagles at Buccaneers
Good Eagles offense vs. good Bucs defense
Bad Bucs offense vs. bad Eagles defense
I feel like the Eagles are going to move the ball on pretty much anyone they face. It's really just a matter of whether or not they can punch it in once they get in close instead of settling for 3 too often. However, I think the Bucs will struggle to move the ball with 3rd round rookie QB Mike Glennon. Glennon demonstrated a great deep ball at the Senior Bowl in Alabama in January, so that is something the Eagles will be need to be mindful of. They should be content to let the Bucs dink and dunk their way down the field, waiting for them to make a mistake.
Packers at Ravens
As noted in my Week 5 NFC hierarchy/obituary, the Packers' third leading receiver is on pace for 100 catches and 1300 yards:
Surprisingly, they're also 5th in the NFL with 141 rushing yards per game. The last 3 years, the Packers have ranked 20th (2012), 27th (2011), and 24th (2010) on the ground. They're also playing respectable defense (19th in the NFL), which all they really need to do with that high octane offense. They're simply the better team here, and may very well be one of the top 5 teams in the NFL.
Rams at Texans
All the talk this week about the Texans is about Matt Schaub and his recent penchant for throwing pick 6's (He has 4 straight games with one).
However, nobody seems to be talking about Houston's defense, which has been stellar. The Texans are allowing 134.2 passing yards per game. 11 teams have given up double that amount. The next closest team (Niners) have given up 54.6 more passing yards per game. They're giving up 7 first downs through the air per game, an extremely low total.
And now they get Sam Bradford and the Rams, who average 6.1 yards per pass attempt (30th in the NFL).
Jaguars at Broncos
Picking this game is like spelling your name correctly on the SATs.
Titans at Seahawks
The Titans are built a little bit like the Seahawks. They like to control the ball on the ground, limit turnovers, and play good defense. The Seahawks just do it better.
Saints at Patriots
This is a very interesting matchup. I noted last week that I don't think a lack of home field advantage for the Saints is as big a deal as people make it out to be. In the 7 full seasons Drew Brees has been in New Orleans, the Saints are 36-20 at home, and 34-22 on the road.
However, the Pats are 31-3 at home since 2009.
At this point, the Saints are playing better football than the Pats, who have struggled offensively so far, but I think this could be the week the Pats turn it around.
The Saints' defense might be a mirage. The Saints' offense has generated 12 drives of 10+ plays, has dominated time of possession, and has set up opposing offenses with terrible field position. The Saints' defense is more about Drew Brees than Rob Ryan. That formula has worked so far, but even with the Pats' offensive struggles, they ain't the Bucs, Cards, or Dolphins, three teams the Saints have played so far this year.
Cardinals at 49ers
The Niners have won 7 of the last 8 matchups between these two teams. 8 of 9 on the way.
Washington team at Cowboys
Washington's secondary is hot burning trash, and Tony Romo (the late INT aside) is playing fantastic football. The bye will help them regroup, but until the Washington team can beat somebody other thean Oakland's backup QB, I'm not trusting that they're anything close to a good team yet this year.
Colts at Bolts
The Colts beat the 49ers on the road, and the Seahawks. OK, I see you, Colts. I believe. Don't burn me. Thanks in advance.