By Andrew Nason
Here’s a sad fact. I got as many games right last week as the number of interceptions Big Ben Roethlisberger threw against Jacksonville. Unlike Ben, I still think I have it, so check out my week 6 predictions as I try to bounce back.
Last Week’s Record: 5-9
Season Record: 44-33
Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers
Wins over the Patriots and Lions back to back weeks still aren’t enough to convince me that the Panthers are legit. On the other hand, Carson Wentz is looking like a MVP candidate and the Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the league. Wentz may not have the biggest names at his disposal for weapons, aside from Alshon Jeffrey, but he has made his supporting cast look like Pro Bowlers, and I expect that to continue.
Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta comes off a bye week after losing to the Bills, and should have their offense fully rested and ready to dominate Miami, who was able to take advantage of the Matt Cassel lead Titans last week. Smokin Jay does well enough against bad opponents, but against elite teams, he’s laughable.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
The Packers head into Minnesota coming off a huge win over Dallas and with Ty Montgomery likely back in the lineup, while Minnesota, despite still winning games, comes in with questions as to whether Sam Bradford will be healthy enough to be under center, or if Case Keenum will be at the helm of the offense.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is in the midst of a 2-game winning streak and should be well rested coming off a bye week, while Detroit is dealing with injuries on its defense, which struggled mightily against Cam Newton and the Panthers, allowing 355 passing yards as a tight end Ed Dickson had a field day. Who dat saying they gon beat them Saints? It’s not me.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Who would have thought this week 6 match up would determine 1st place in the AFC East? It’s sad for a lot of reasons. It means the Patriots have struggled and the Jets have blown their chance at tanking for the top pick in next year’s draft. Well, New England will do the Jets a favor and give them a good smack down and help their draft odds, and set the AFC East back to its normal form.
San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins
49er fans will be very interested in this game, as they may be looking at their future quarterback in Kirk Cousins. The 49ers continue to struggle and welcome the Redskins who are coming off a bye week and should be well rested. With Washington’s weapons, they should have no problem against the 49ers defense. No Josh Norman in the secondary is a blessing for Brian Hoyer and the San Fran offense, but not enough.
Chicago Bears @ Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Trubisky looked decent in his debut, showing the potential the Bears see in him. He faces another tough defense this week in Baltimore, who are coming off a win over the Raiders and will be looking to make a move in their division with Pittsburgh struggling. The offense is starting to find a groove, and should be good enough against Chicago.
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Had the Browns stuck with Deshone Kizer, I would say this game has blowout potential for Houston, but instead, Kevin Hogan will get the start for Cleveland. Hogan is much smarter and safer with the football than Kizer, so expect less turnovers from the Browns, but still expect the loss.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
I’m torn here. I think Tampa has the potential to be one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but they haven’t played like it. If the offense doesn’t find a rhythm, Arizona and Carson Palmer, although having a bad season, are good enough to beat them. But with Doug Martin back and looking good in his debut against the Patriots, and Patrick Peterson only able to cover one of Tampa’s many targets, I’ll give the advantage to the Bucs based on potential.
Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars secondary has been giving QB’s nightmares all season, especially last week after picking off Ben Roethlisberger 5 times and only giving up 9 points to the Steelers. The cornerback tandem of Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye is the best in the NFL today. The Rams offense, who averaged 35 points a game prior to last week’s loss to Seattle, will likely have issues again unless they can get Todd Gurley to break off big runs to keep the Jags honest. With Leonard Fournette’s high level of play masking Blake Bortles struggles, Jacksonville has the ability to scrape out another quality win this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Antonio Brown is still elite. Le’Veon Bell is still elite. Ben Roethlisberger on the other hand, is not. Coming off a 5-interception performance in a loss to the Jaguars, Big Ben officially showed that he is on the decline. The Chiefs meanwhile, haven’t slowed down, and show no signs of doing so any time soon.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Isn’t is strange how Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota always seem to get hurt at the same exact time? Probably just a coincidence, but a week after both sat out with injuries, both could be back on the field, Carr appearing to be the most likely. Normally, I would pick the Raiders no problem with him under center, but this team scares me. Even with Carr at quarterback, they’re big name offensive players have struggled mightily. Amari Cooper has been one of the least productive wideouts in the league, Marshawn Lynch’s average runs are minimal, Michael Crabtree has struggled with injuries, and I’ve seen tight end Jared Cook miss a lot of balls thrown his way. Against most other opponents, I would take the field, but the Raiders should be fired up for a division game against a bad Chargers team.
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos
I imagine when the NFL was scheduling this game, they figured this would be a match up of two really good teams, both competing in tough divisions. Well, they got half that right. The Giants limp into Denver without a win and with virtually their entire receiving core hurt, including OBJ, who is done for the season. This may be the easiest day at the office for the Broncos star cornerbacks.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota was a game time decision last week and was ultimately designated inactive The Titans went on to lose to the Dolphins. With Mariota having another week to recover, and the extra day because of the Monday night game, I would be shocked if Tennessee sat him again, especially with a chance to pick up a division win against a less than stellar opponent.