NFL Predictions Week 6

Week 5: 9-6
Season: 47-29
All Time: 386-215

Thursday Night

Colts @ Texans

Big prime-time divisional matchup between the two title contenders in the AFC South. This season’s Thursday night games have so far been uniformly one-sided, and with the Colts coming off a hard fought win and the Texans a resounding loss, I can see that trend continuing. This matchup reaffirms just how vital the QB is in the NFL. Despite QB being one of the only positions that the Colts are measurably more talented at than the Texans, the difference between the two teams at the position is enough to make the Colts road favourites. My only concern is how a shaky Colts’ o-line can deal with a nasty Texans’ front 7.

Colts by 10

Sunday First Wave

Patriots @ Bills

Well, we all looked pretty stupid doubting Brady and the Patriots… The return of a fully healthy Gronk set the stage for another sub-par performance from the Bengals in primetime. I also owe an apology to Kyle Orton (although I still don’t agree with starting him over EJ), but despite him guiding the Bills to a victory over Detroit I’m taking the Patriots here, even on the road. It may be more competitive than in seasons past, but there is still a clear big brother in this rivalry.

Patriots by 7

Panthers @ Bengals

This should be a close one. As stated above, the Bengals looked below average in their Sunday night loss, whereas Carolina only pulled away from Chicago when it counted late in the 4th. I still like Cincy to prove that last week was a blip, but I’m not sold on this being a home lock by any means. The Panthers are maddeningly inconsistent, but they have the potential to do damage.

Bengals by 3

Steelers @ Browns

Last week saw a historic comeback for the Hoyer-led Browns, which will buy him a lot of time under centre for Cleveland this season. The Steelers dealt with the Jags, but that isn’t exactly a show of force. This should be a very tight, low-scoring encounter – though I expect the Steelers to grind out a victory here.

Steelers by 3

Packers @ Dolphins

Miami are coming off a bye week and Green Bay a longer than usual rest following their Thursday night demolition of Minnesota. It’s a fairly gruelling away trip for the visitors, but the extra days will help them prepare. Lacy, when not concussed, looks every bit as deadly as the Packers hoped. He should make some waves even against a top-tier run defence, and I like Green Bay to snag this one in a fairly competitive affair, off the back of more experienced QB play.

Packers by 7

Lions @ Vikings

With both teams coming off losses, this game’s fate will be decided to large part by the injury lists. With Teddy Bridgewater’s and Calvin Johnson’s knocks both hurting their teams’ chances in week 5, how fit they are going into this one will be crucial. I expect both to play, with the Lions taking a narrow road victory.

Lions by 3

Broncos @ Jets

Two very disparate performances last week, with the Broncos easing past a solid Cardinals squad and the Jets massacred in San Diego. This shouldn’t even be worth writing a preview on, but stranger things have happened…

Broncos by 21

Ravens @ Buccaneers

With both coming off of narrow losses this is one of the less publicised yet more intriguing games of the week. Glennon did not look terrible against the Saints, but I expect the Ravens to win nonetheless. It’s hard to go against a very good pass rush with a woeful offensive line.

Ravens by 10

Jaguars @ Titans

Big game in the battle for the no. 1 overall pick of next year’s draft. I have to take Tennessee, who have looked the slightly better team overall, but aside from their surprise week 1 showing there hasn’t been too much difference. As usual, the Titans’ fortunes rest on Locker’s health – which is about as safe as leaving your life savings on your doorstep.

Titans by 3

Sunday Second Wave

Chargers @ Raiders

Last week saw a BIG win for San Diego (even against poor opposition) and a post-London bye for the Raiders. This game is always a feisty affair and the Chargers will be eager to make amends for dropping this one last year. Despite being on their fourth choice Centre, I like the visitors to win confidently here. Rivers is leading the MVP race at this point, and rookie Brandon Oliver’s breakout last week was Darren Sproles-esque. Bury all the footballs you want Oakland, it won’t help.

Chargers by 14

Redskins @ Cardinals

Washington last week kept the Seahawks close in a penalty strewn game, but in truth they were outclassed from start to finish – and had Harvin not had 3 TDs called back the scoreline would have reflected it. Arizona looked surprisingly weak against Denver, and losing star DE Calais Campbell to a very dirty block hurts them massively. Even so, they are the better team playing better football right now. Messy QB situation aside, Arizona all day.

Cardinals by 10

Cowboys @ Seahawks

Dallas are really making us all eat our post-week 1 slamming of them, and are looking like genuine play-off threats. Of course, we all know how this story ends in week 17, but let them enjoy their spotlight for now. The Cowboys’ running game is winning them games right now, but it meets a buzz-saw in the Seahawks defence… in Seattle. This is only going one way.

Seahawks by 10

Sunday Night

Giants @ Eagles

A very interesting divisional game between a vastly improved Giants team and an Eagles squad whose decimated o-line has hamstrung a once potent offence. Luckily for Philly, their special teams have balled out the last two weeks, keeping them in games. This should be a very tight one, but at home I’ll give the Eagles the benefit of the doubt. I would not be at all shocked if New York won this one, however – the pieces are clicking offensively.

Eagles by 3

Monday Night

49ers @ Rams

Not the sexiest Monday night matchup on the face of it, but this game has been edge of your seat stuff the last few meetings. Whilst the Niners are a team on top and the Rams stuck in the QB-less doldrums, I still expect it to be a tight one. San Francisco are getting stronger every week, so even away from home I don’t really expect a slip up.

49ers by 4