Back for some Week 6 picks. Last week I went 6-8. Not good. Here's hoping for improvement this week.
Seattle vs Chicago
The Seahawks are rested coming off a bye week. Plus, they now have new running back Marshawn Lynch in the fold. How much action he gets this week will be interesting. I expect anywhere from 12-15 touches. The Bears get Jay Cutler back, which they have to be greatful for. Todd Collins looked awful against the Panthers last week. Either way, I think the Bears will rely heavily on Matt Forte this week, easing Jay Cutler back into the game. I just don't like the Seahawks on the road, even after the bye.
Chicago 20 Seattle 10
Miami vs Green Bay
The Dolphins are also rested coming off their bye week, and two home primetime losses to divisional rivals. The Packers are banged up on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers is still a question mark, Jermichael Finley is out for the year, and Clay Matthews may not play. They're vulnerable for an upset against a rested Dolphins team. Do I think it happens? No. The Packers still have enough playmakers, at least on the defensive side, to still cause problems for Chad Henne. It'll be close, but the Packers get the win in the end.
Green Bay 27 Miami 23
Kansas City vs Houston
Both of these teams need a win here. The Chiefs lost their first game of the year last week at Indianapolis. While the defense showed up, the offense could not take advantage of a week Colts defense. The Texans got stomped at home by the NY Giants. The offense looked out of sink and Eli Manning took advantage of a bad secondary. While both teams need the win, I'm giving the edge here to the Texans. They can't fall to 3-3 in the super competitive AFC South. I expect a better game from the offense. And until Matt Cassel proves he's for real, I can't pick him in a big game on the road.
Houston 30 Kansas City 17
Cleveland vs Pittsburgh
I almost feel like I don't need to write anything for this. Big Ben's return for Pittsburgh. Cleveland is starting rookie Colt McCoy on the road against the Steelers. I fear for his well-being. Maybe the Browns should just line-up Josh Cribbs under center the whole game. They'd probably have a better chance. This, without queston, is my lock of the week.
Pittsburgh 34 Cleveland 6
San Diego vs St. Louis
Both teams are coming off bad losses. The Chargers fell to 2-3 with a road loss at Oakland, a team they hadn't lost to in 13 straight meetings. The Rams looked awful on the road at Detroit. The Rams also lost their #1 WR, Mark Clayton, for the year. That will hurt considering he was Sam Bradford's favorite target. The Chargers offense, even with their record, has been clicking all year. And considering the Rams just got lit up by the Lions, I would expect nothing less from the Chargers. I think Rivers goes for 400 yards again, and probably 4 TDs. The once tied for first in the NFC West Rams fall again.
San Diego 38 St. Louis 20
Detroit vs NY Giants
The Lions got their first win of the week last week. Good for them. Their reward? Going to New York to face a Giants team that looks like they've finally found their identity. The Giants pass rush will cause problems for Shaun Hill. Also, expect Eli and company to pick apart a week Lions secondary.
NY Giants 35 Detroit 14
Baltimore vs New England
They may not admit it, but you better believe the Patriots haven't forgotten about last years embarrasing home playoff loss against the Ravens. It's the first game of the post-Randy Moss era, so it'll be interesting how the offense performs. I think a lot of Wes Welker's success was because of Moss, and now defenses will be able to gameplan for Welker better. The Patriots have secondary problems, and it'll be interesting to see if Coach Bellicheck fixed it during the bye week. If not, Joe Flacco can take advantage of that. And the more people the Patriots have to drop into coverage, the more open space that leaves for Ray Rice. This one will be close throughout, but I like the Ravens in this one because of their strong Front 7 on the defensive side.
Baltimore 24 New England 19
Atlanta vs Philadelphia
A big game in the NFC. Mike Vick's status remains in question for the Eagles. My gut feeling says he probably won't play, and will come back after Philly's bye week. Kevin Kolb looked ok in replacing Vick last week, but it was still obvious that Vick is the better option. The Falcons, meanwhile, have looked like the best team in the NFC for the first five weeks. Matt Ryan looks to be growing into the franchise QB position, and the defense has been playing pretty well. I think they're for real, and I like them here on the road. Winning in Philly should put any doubts about the Falcons to rest.
Atlanta 23 Philadelphia 21
New Orleans vs Tampa Bay
Who would have thought that this game would have some big implications. Tampa Bay, at 3-1, has a chance to prove if they are for real. The Saints, meanwhile, would fall to 3-3 with a loss here, putting them 2 games behind the Bucs in the loss column. The Saints offense has looked lost without Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, but they're expected to get Thomas back this week. Tampa Bay is coming off a surprising road win at Cincinnati. This one won't be a blowout, it'll be closer than people think. I think the Saints though will pull it out in the end. They have the experience, and I just Drew Brees to do enough to get the win.
New Orleans 31 Tampa Bay 23
NY Jets vs Denver
The Jets have looked great since their Week 1 loss to Baltimore. The offense has looked tremendous. LT looks like he's bee reborn again. The addition of Santonio Holmes last week just gives them more weapons and makes them just that much better. The Broncos have been riding the arm of Kyle Orton so far this year, but he can't do it all for them. The Broncos defense is plagued with injuries, and that's not good going up against a strong Jets team. Look for the Jets to run, run, run against an injured Broncos front 7.
NY Jets 28 Denver 16
Oakland vs San Francisco
The Raiders are coming off a nice win last week at home against San Diego. And at 2-3, they're still in contention in the AFC West. San Francisco, at 0-5, is looking for a win. According to their owner, they can still win the NFC West. It's possible because of the weakness of the division, but 0-5 is just too hard to overcome in my opinion. With that being said, however, I like the 49ers here. Frank Gore should be in line for a big day. I expect this one to be high scoring, but the desperation of San Francisco wins out in the end.
San Francisco 37 Oakland 33
Dallas vs Minnesota
This game should be called the Desperation Bowl. Both teams, pre-season favorites, are 1-3 and cannot afford another loss. The Cowboys need this win more. Every team in their division is 3-2 and have looked good. The NFC North has an injured Packers squad and a Bears team that still has some flaws. Look for an heavy dose of Randy Moss in this game in his first home game back at Minnesota. Brett Favre says his elbow is bothering him, but that won't stop him from playing. I just think the Cowboys are missing something this year, and Wade Phillips better be worried if he loses this week, which I think they will.
Minnesota 30 Dallas 20
Indianapolis vs Washington
The Redskins are coming off a nice OT win against the Packers. They've been winning ugly, but a win is a win. The Colts defense looked much better in their home win last week against the Chiefs. Peyton Manning looked a bit off, but expect him to rebound this week against a poor Redskins secondary. The Redskins running attack is without Clinton Portis, and Ryan Torain was unable to do a good job filling in last week. I think the Colts offense will be able to handle the Redskins D, and Donovan McNabb and company won't be able to keep up.
Indianapolis 34 Washington 23
Tennessee vs Jacksonville
Two 3-2 teams in the AFC South looking for separation. The Titans are coming off a surprising road win at Dallas, while Jacksonville didn't fall asleep against the Bills. The Jags secondary, however, still looked vulnerable. I think Vince Young should be able to take advantage of that. I also think David Garrard can take advanage of a bad Titans secondary. This one looks to be a shootout, and it also features two of the best running backs in the game with Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew. I like the Titans just a little better on the road.
Tennessee 35 Jacksonville 31
Those are my picks. Myself and some friends are working on a "50 Best & 50 Worst Moments in Wrestling" blog, which will hopefully be up in a week or so.
Until next time,