NFL WEEK 6 PREDICTIONS
Coming off its first win of the 2020 season, the Houston Texans travel to AFC South Division rival Tennessee. The Titans will play on a short week of rest after playing Buffalo on Tuesday. Houston has actually won two of the last three and eight of twelve in the series. The Texans won last year in Nashville…but they did lose the previous three… TENNESSEE TITANS 31, HOUSTON 27
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Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow is still learning. He was sacked seven times in a loss to Baltimore last week. The Colts defense had its worst game in a loss to the Browns last week, but the unit is still one of the NFL’s best. In Indy and coming off a loss, the Colts should cruise to an easy victory… INDIANAPOLIS 30, CINCINNATI 17
It will be Game 1 for the Falcons without head coach Dan Quinn who was promptly fired after last week’s loss to Carolina. Atlanta found a way to lose to Carolina at home last week to start the season 0-5. Minnesota has won the last four in the series, including last year’s 28-12 victory. The Vikings almost pulled off an upset in Seattle last week and they’re at home in Week 6… MINNESOTA 34, ATLANTA 31
Denver and New England haven’t played since 2017. Both teams are remarkably different in 2020. Cam Newton is under center in New England and backup Brett Rypien for the Broncos. Broncos starter Drew Lock has been out with a shoulder injury. The Patriots had an off week due to the coronavirus. With some extra prep time and a third-string quarterback traveling to Foxborough, this looks like a Pats win… NEW ENGLAND 30, DENVER 21
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The great thing about Sunday’s Washington-Giants game is that one of these two teams is getting a win. The Giants are 0-for-5 this year. Washington’s only win is over the 1-3-1 Eagles. Both Washington and New York are likely to be in contention for the next year’s No. 1 draft pick. The Giants have won the last three in the series. The Redskins are still searching for a quarterback… NY GIANTS 23, WASHINGTON 20
The Ravens and Eagles are two teams headed in opposite directions. Baltimore is 4-1 and will contend for the AFC title. The Eagles are 1-3-1 but somehow are in second place in the NFC East. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still the reigning MVP and the Eagles gave up 38 points to the Steelers last week. The Ravens and Eagles have only played four times since 2004 and the home team has won each game. Not this time… BALTIMORE 33, PHILADELPHIA 27
It’s possible the Browns-Steelers Week 6 matchup is the best game of the week. The two AFC North rivals square off with the division lead at stake. The Steelers are 4-0 for the first time since 1979. Cleveland is 3-1 for the first time since Bill Belichick was the head coach. Since 1994, the Browns have only beaten Pittsburgh seven times. Only two of those wins were in Pittsburgh and the last one was in 2003. The Steelers are hard to beat at home… PITTSBURGH 29, CLEVELAND 27
It’s the much-anticipated matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The Packers might be the best team in the NFC. RB Aaron Jones is third in the league in rushing yards per game (93.5) and the defense is good enough to win a championship. Brady was on fire in a win over the Chargers but then apparently didn’t know it was fourth down last week in a loss to Chicago. Green Bay has won the last three in this series. Make it four… GREEN BAY 30, TAMPA BAY 25
The injury-depleted 49ers were blown out by the Dolphins last week. Now, they face a stretch of seven games against potential playoff teams. The first is a visit from the Rams who are 4-1 and their only loss was by three points to the 4-0 Buffalo Bills. The Rams lead the league in sacks (20) and the defense gives up just 18 points a game. The offense is highly efficient and the Niners have problems. Still, it’s hard to see San Francisco lose two in a row at home… SAN FRANCISCO 24, LA RAMS 21
The Chiefs were upset by their rival the Las Vegas Raiders last week. Buffalo’s game with Tennessee was moved to Tuesday, but the Bills are clearly the favorite to win the AFC East. QB Josh Allen is a rising star and he’ll compete against the Chiefs Patrick Mahomes who has 1,474 yards passing and 13 touchdowns so far this season. Allen isn’t far behind with 1,326 yards and 12 scores. Buffalo is a tough place to play, but the Chiefs don’t normally lose two in a row… KANSAS CITY 34, BUFFALO 31
The big news in Dallas is that QB Dak Prescott is done for the season. Backup Andy Dalton will take over and try to save the season. The Cowboys are just 2-3 but lead the NFC East Division. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray comes to town fresh off a 27-for-37 for 380 yards and a touchdown performance against the Jets. It’s hard to win in Dallas and Dalton is no slouch… DALLAS 28, ARIZONA 27
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2020 NFL Football Season
2018/19 Regular Season Predictions
New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Tom Brady kept the Patriots unbeaten with three touchdown passes last week against listless Washington. Now, it’s on to the next NFC East notch in the belt – the New York Giants. The Daniel Jones magic ran out as the rookie quarterback lost his first game. The Giants managed just 211 yards of offense against Minnesota and the New England defense is even better. It won’t be a fun trip to Foxborough this week… New England 37, NY Giants 17
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Bucs
Kyle Allen has now won four straight starts (including last season’s finale) and the Panthers are 3-2 after beating Jacksonville last week. RB Christian McCaffrey is a man on a mission after becoming the first player since Jim Brown to total 175 or more yards in four a season’s first five games. He’ll face a Bucs defense that was leading the league against the run heading into Week 5. With the Bucs at home, it might be time for an upset… Tampa Bay 28, Carolina 27
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
The Seahawks kicked off Week 5 with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Rams last Thursday. Russell Wilson has been on fire. The Browns were 2-2 before a Monday night game with the 49ers. Their offense is flying high, but the defense is suspect. Cleveland has yet to win a game at home. That streak will continue… Seattle 27, Cleveland 23
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs
Wow! The Texans offense exploded last week putting up 592 total yards and 53 points in a win over Atlanta. Ironically, the NFL’s most explosive offense, the Chiefs, was held to just 13 points last week in a loss to Indianapolis. The 13 points were the fewest since QB Patrick Mahomes became the Chiefs starter. Sunday’s game could be a shootout at Arrowhead Stadium. Look for the Chiefs to bounce back… Kansas City 44, Houston 38
Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins had a week off to rest up for the NFL’s ultimate pillow fight of the week. Barring a tie, at least one team will walk away with a victory on Sunday. The Redskins were picked apart by Tom Brady and the Patriots last week. The offense struggled, but they go up against a defense that has surrendered 30 or more points in each of its first four games. This is a toss-up, so give the advantage to the rested team playing at home… Miami 17, Washington 13
San Francisco 49ers @Los Angeles Rams
For the first time all season, the 49ers will face an opponent with a winning record. Sure, the Niners are playing well defensively – they are third in the league in rush and total defense – but consider the teams they have played. The Steelers, for example, average just 67 yards a game on the ground. Facing the Rams will be a whole different ordeal for San Francisco. The Rams have won three of the last four in the series including both games last year… LA Rams 42, San Francisco 33
Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals
Is there anything worse than a defense that gives up 592 yards of offense? Surprisingly, the Falcons, who got torched by Houston last week, give up fewer yards per game than their Week 6 opponent Arizona. The Cardinals, which got their first win last week against Cincinnati, give up 411.8 yards a game to Atlanta’s 378.2. The Falcons might not fix everything, but the experience of QB Matt Ryan will prevail over the youth of Arizona QB Kyler Murray on Sunday… Atlanta 28, Arizona 21
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos
Denver picked up its first win of the season last week when the Broncos surprised the Chargers. Philip Lindsay rushed for 114 of Denver’s 191 yards to lead the way. The Broncos will need more of that on Sunday against Tennessee. The Titans ran into Buffalo last week and found out the Bills defense is for real. Tennessee should be able to give Denver a heavy dose of RB Derrick Henry which will open up the passing game for QB Marcus Mariota… Tennessee 20, Denver 17
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets
The Cowboys will be looking to get back on track after losing two straight to New Orleans and Green Bay just last week. The Jets, unfortunately, will take the brunt of the punishment on Sunday. New York, which has been playing without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, who is out with mononucleosis, is dead last in the NFL in total offense. The Jets average a measly 179.5 yards per game and are now 0-4. Only the Dolphins have scored fewer points… Dallas 34, NY Jets 10
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Steelers are in trouble. With QB Ben Roethlisberger out for the season, Mason Rudolph was supposed to be the starter the rest of the season. Last Sunday, he left Pittsburgh’s game with Baltimore after taking a vicious hit from Earl Thomas. Devlin Hodges, an undrafted rookie from Samford, is now the only quarterback on Pittsburgh’s roster. The Chargers are teetering on the brink as well. After a loss to Denver last week, the Chargers are now 2-3. But, they are playing at home and have a veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers… LA Chargers 24, Pittsburgh 20
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
2018/19 season predictions
If someone would have said an early-season Monday night NFC North clash between the Lions and Packers would be for the division lead back in August, the response would have been a collective “yeah right.” But, that is exactly the case. The Packers are 4-1 after a big win over Dallas last week. The Lions (2-1-1) had an extra week to prepare for Green Bay, a team they have now beaten four times in a row. Detroit won both games last season and both in 2017. It’s an impressive streak considering the Lions had won just four of the previous 23 games in the series. Can the Lions make it five straight? Not likely… Green Bay 31, Detroit 27
Can it get any worse for the Giants? After battling to take a late 31-30 lead over Carolina last Sunday, they watched as Panthers K Graham Gano hit a 63-yard field goal with one second to play. It dropped the Giants to 1-4. Now, they face the Eagles who have lost two straight. The Giants have beaten the Eagles just once in the last eight tries. Make it nine… Philadelphia 27, NY Giants 24.
After starting the season with two wins and some Fitz-Magic, the Bucs got a much needed extra week to prepare for Atlanta. The Falcons are a surprising 1-4 after getting drilled by Pittsburgh last week. In Atlanta, the Falcons will be tough to beat. They have beaten Tampa Bay in three straight. That is likely to become four in a row… Atlanta 31, Tampa Bay 28.
The Bengals sit at the top of the AFC North at 4-1. Pittsburgh needed a big 41-17 win over Atlanta last week to even its record at 2-2-1. As is customary in a Steelers-Bengals matchup, there will be plenty of violence. One thing is for sure. Sunday’s game will be physical. Cincinnati is somehow fourth in the NFL in scoring averaging 30.6 points per game. They are also unbeaten at home this season. Pittsburgh has won the last six straight against the Bengals. Something has to give… Pittsburgh 27, Cincinnati 24.
After disposing of Oakland last week, the Chargers get another shot at a win when they travel to Cleveland. These aren’t the same Browns though. QB Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards last week and led the Browns to a 12-9 overtime win over Baltimore. The Browns and Chargers have played in each of the past three seasons. L.A. is 2-1. Could the Browns really win two in a row? Nah… LA Chargers 27, Cleveland 20.
The Seahawks lost a tough one to the Rams last week giving up nine fourth quarter points in a 33-31 defeat. At 2-3, Seattle is still very much alive in the playoff race in the NFC. The Raiders are 1-4 after a brutal 26-10 loss to the Chargers. Oakland can’t run the ball – 95.2 yards per game, 24th in the NFL – and the defense is porous (29.8 points per game, 29th). Even playing at home will not be enough… Seattle 28, Oakland 14.
After a 3-0 start, Miami has dropped two straight to fall to 3-2. The Dolphins’ offense averages just 19.8 points a game. The Bears defense is the best Miami has seen so far this season. Chicago gives up 16.3 points a game, third in the NFL. The Bears and Dolphins have played just times in the 2000s. Miami is 3-1. Chicago’s only win came in 2010 in Miami. Khalil Mack and company will be too much… Chicago 21, Miami 18.
The Vikings pulled themselves right back into the thick of the NFC North race with a 23-21 win over Philadelphia last week. They face Arizona, which scored its first win of the season last week a 28-18 victory over San Francisco. The Cardinals will continue to play with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. The Vikings defense will be too much for the young QB to overcome… Minnesota 33, Arizona 20.
The Jets are streaky. Last week, Isaiah Crowell rushed for 219 yards and rookie QB Sam Darnold completed just 10 passes but three were for touchdowns in a 34-16 win over Denver. The Colts played well but lost to New England last week to drop to 1-4. The 10-day layoff between games might be exactly what the Colts need to get healthy. The last time the Jets faced Indianapolis at home? That was 2016 and the Colts scored a 41-10 win. Watch for it to happen again… Indianapolis 35, NY Jets 23.
Despite losing rookie Derrius Guice for the season, the Redskins have found a running game behind veteran Adrian Peterson. He is a big part of Washington’s early success in 2018. They will host 3-1 Carolina, a team the Redskins have not beaten since 2006, on Sunday. Washington has lost five straight to the Panthers. The last loss was in 2016, a 26-15 defeat also in Washington. Carolina has the No. 1 running game in the NFL. That will make a difference… Carolina 28, Washington 20.
The Bills and Texans may be the two NFL teams that no one can figure out. After starting the season 0-2, the Bills dismantled Minnesota 27-6. After getting blanked by Green Bay, Buffalo beat Tennessee 13-12 last week. Houston started the season 0-3 and has won two straight following a 19-16 win over Dallas last Sunday night. The two teams have played just eight times and the series is locked at 4-4. Houston has won the last two in the series when playing at home. That could be the difference… Houston 23, Buffalo 17.
The Rams are the best team in the NFC. At 5-0, the Rams have the best offense in the NFL and one of the best defenses. Denver fell to 2-3 after a surprising blowout loss to the New York Jets. The Broncos offense is scoring only 20 points per game and the defense is giving up points by the bunches (26.2 per game). Since 2000, the Rams are 4-1 against Denver with the only loss coming in 2002 in Denver. The Rams did win the last time they played in Denver (2010) and should overpower the Broncos again… LA Rams 34, Denver 28.
The Jags took one on the chin from Kansas City in a game where QB Blake Bortles threw four interceptions. Jacksonville had 502 yards of offense but lost 30-14 dropping their record to 3-2. The Cowboys lost a close one (19-16) to Houston last week. The Dallas passing game is awful (172 yards per game, 30th in the NFL) leading to just 16.6 points per game (30th). The last time these two teams played was 2014. Dallas won 31-17 in Jacksonville. Look for the Jags to return the favor… Jacksonville 32, Dallas 18.
Expect both the Ravens and Titans to be reeling after close unexpected losses last week. The Ravens fell to Cleveland 12-9 in overtime. Tennessee turned the ball over three times in a 13-12 loss to Buffalo. Both Baltimore and Tennessee play outstanding defense. The Ravens are second in scoring defense (15.4 points a game) and the Titans are fourth (17.2). The difference is on offense where Baltimore has the NFL’s eighth-best passing offense (305 yards per game) and averages 26.1 points a game compared to Tennessee’s 17.4… Baltimore 24, Tennessee 21.
Sunday night’s Chiefs-Patriots clash could be a preview of the AFC title game. The two teams met last in year in an epic battle won by Kansas City which scored three fourth quarter touchdowns in a 42-21 victory. The Chiefs are off to a 5-0 start. New England recovered from two September losses to move to 3-2 after beating Miami and Indianapolis in consecutive weeks. Kansas City won in Foxborough last year. It’s not happening again… New England 34, Kansas City 33.
The 49ers are without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the remainder of the season. C.J. Beathard has filled in, but his performance last week left much to be desired. Beathard did complete 34-of-54 passes for 349 yards against Arizona but his four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles) were the big reason why the 49ers lost to the Cardinals 28-18. Now, the Niners head to Green Bay to face the Packers. History is on San Francisco’s side. The 49ers won at Lambeau Field the last two times they played their (2012, 2014) and since 2010, San Francisco is 9-1 on Monday night. Don’t expect the streaks to last… Green Bay 27, San Francisco 20.