Sunday, October 16, 2011

NFL Week 6 Predictions

Not going to lie - this week has kind of been a blur for me. Started off in NYC - that was a fun weekend. Then found out Sunday Night that I'd be taking a flight across the country to SoCal. I was out there visiting schools, hanging out with tourists from Contiki Tours, playing (and winning) beach football, and watching Preet earn himself a free dinner - good week overall - but I haven't been able to pay much mind to the NFL or sports in general this week. Let's see if this unanticipated week will help me predict the outcome of the games in week 6 after the jump...

Sunday, October 16th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers (-14.5)
On paper this game should not be close. I'm not saying that the Rams have a legit shot at winning this game - and if I were still alive in any of my three survivor pools this would most definitely have been the pick. But I do think the Packers have a tendency to let teams keep it closer than they should. For me two plus touchdowns is too rich for my blood so i'll be taking the Rams to not get blown out. Although if the Packers win by 50 that wouldn't surprise me. Take the Rams plus the points. 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-12.5)
The Steelers looked like they got back to form last week against the Titans. QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for five touchdowns and they didn't miss a beat on the ground with RB Jonathan Dwyer filling in for an injured Mendenhall. This week I see a similar outcome for Pittsburgh against a lesser opponent. The Jags don't have much to work with and they'll have a hard time competing in this one. I feel comfortable laying the big number and taking the Steelers to continue their strong play at home. 

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) vs. Washington Redskins 
Rumors swirling this week about the return of B-Dawk to philly. Not sure why he was ever allowed to don another uniform but that signing alone would litchrally cure the pain that Eagles fans have felt all year long. They are one loss away from completely being out of contention and you know what, at 1-4 I'm still not sold on them missing the playoffs. I don't trust the Giants, I think the Redskins are wildly over rated, and the Cowboys seem to find ways to lose with all that talent. Now that expectations have been lowered to a more realistic level, I could see things turning around for the Eagles starting this week. I'll take the Eagles on the road to get this win. 

San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions (-4)
Who would have thought that heading into this game both teams would be a combined 9-1? They were a combined 1-9 at this time last year. I really like the way that both teams have been playing this year. Steady Quarterback play, some explosive weapons on offense - Gore in San Francisco, Megatron in Detroit, and very strong turnover margins for both teams - 49ers are +10 in takeaways (1st in the NFL) Lions are +7 in takeaways (2nd in the NFL). I think the short week for the Lions might end up playing a factor in this one which is why I will take the points and back the 49ers.

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
The Panthers have a tendency to keep games close. They haven't lost a game by more than 7 points all year and they've looked very good against teams better than the Falcons. I just think that the Falcons are too good to let this game be close. They will be without WR Julio Jones (hamstring), however Matt Ryan is 21-3 at home after that loss to the Packers and with Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez they will have enough firepower to win this game. I'll take the Falcons in this one.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)
Haven't these teams played the past four weeks? This will be the weekly game that I avoid watching a single snap. Take the Colts - they GOTTA win some time, right? 

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants (-3)

The Giants had an embarrassing loss last week against the Seahawks while the Bills took care of business last week against the Eagles. I talked earlier this week about the Bills Defense and how suspect it is - in a game on the road against a mediocre NFC East team that unit will need to slow down the running game of the Giants. With Shawne Merriman doubtful for this weekend's game - the Bills will be up for a big challenge. Unfortunately I think running attack Bradshaw and Jacobs will be too much for the Bills to handle - couple that with the pressure that the Giants D-Line will be able to apply to Fitzpatrick and I just don't see how the Giants drop their second straight at home. Take the Giants and lay the field goal.

Sunday, October 16th (4:00 ET Kickoffs)
Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens (-7)
This looks like too many points for the Ravens to lay here against a solid Texans team. But then you think about it - with the Ravens coming off a bye, the Texans playing without two stars WR Andre Johnson and DE Mario Williams (out for season), and the fact that Baltimore doesn't let anyone run the ball on their Defense (72.5 yards /game) - things start to make a little more sense. I like the Ravens to win this game, the 7 points looks like a lot - but I'll ride with them to win this one easily. I'll take the Ravens to hold off a hurting Texans team. 

Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders (-7)
The Raiders are coming off an emotional week with the passing of their legendary owner Al Davis - they had a huge win against the Texans last week on the road and now they come back home for what looks to be a cupcake game against the Browns. I think the Raiders are the better overall team - I could just see this game being closer than the 7 points that the Raiders are giving here. I'll take the Browns plus the points in what should be a game dictated by running the football.

Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots (-6)

Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan have reportedly exchanged notes on the Patriots prior to the Cowboys matchup this week with Brady, Belichick and co. You know what those notes probably looked like? 

I'm Fat.
Brady is good.
I like feet.

I just don't see how the Cowboys will be able to matchup against the Pats on the road. I would like to think that the extra week will help in preparation and I'll be rooting for the Cowboys to cover and win outright- but I just don't see it. I'll take the Pats to give the Touchdown at home.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints are one of the premier teams in the NFC - the Bucs will be lucky to make the playoffs. With LaGarrette Blount out due to a knee injury, Earnest Graham will be the guy the Bucs call on to carry the ball - that doesn't sound like a recipe for a Win. The Saints simply have too many options on offense and will keep this Bucs D guessing all day long. I like the Saints to win this game and cover on the road. 

Sunday, October 16th (8:30 ET Kickoff)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (-3)
I'm actually not mad at this matchup for a Sunday Night game. The Vikings have been playing much better than their 1-4 record leads on to believe. AP is always a treat to watch, and we're definitely due for about 4-5 "I'm pretty sure I could have made that throw" discussions amongst friends about McNabb. Always good to have that false confidence heading into the work week. At 2-3 the Bears are one bad loss at home away from Cutler literally mailing in every game. Emotionally he looks detached - its not his fault, he just gets no time to do anything besides throw darts into the 15th row. I expect the Vikings to get a win at Soldier Field in this one, so I'll take them plus the points. 

Monday, October 17th (8:40 ET Kickoff)
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets (-7)
Oh boy things are not looking good for the Miami Dolphins. QB Chad Henne is going to be out for the remainder of the season which is why Matt Moore will be under center for the Dolphins. I'm pretty sure all of South Florida is just hoping and rooting for Andrew Luck to fall into their laps come the draft in April. On paper this should be the perfect recipe for a quarreling Jets Offense to get back on track, but I think the Dolphins will somehow rally to keep this one close against their division rival. I'll take the Dolphins plus the points in this one.

Enjoy the week of Football - the MLB World Series starts this week! Anyone....?

Last Week: 6-6-1
Season Record: 40-34-3

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