With five weeks in the books the 2016 NFL season is already beginning to take shape. We have seen some power house teams emerge and others wither under the pressure. Week 6 begins with a good matchup on Thursday night between the Broncos and the Chargers, and this week features some prime time matchups. Take a look at the power rankings going into this week to see which times might rise and which teams might fall. This week’s game of the week features the Atlanta Falcons who are up against the Seattle Seahawks. I am anxious to get on with predictions, I am hopeful to keep this winning predictions record alive this week. Here are the picks for week 6 in the NFL.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Falcons (4-1) vs. Seahawks (3-1)
The Week’s edition of Game of the week features two good teams out of the NFC, with the Falcons going into Seattle to take on the Seahawks. The Falcons proved to everyone last week that they are the real deal this season with a strong win over the Broncos. Now say what you want about last year’s 5-0 team that collapsed, I have faith in what they are doing in Atlanta this year with this team. The offense is amazing and the defense showed what they could do last week. This is a different test for them in a game where the Seahawks are coming in as favorites for me. The Seahawks do not have Paxton Lynch throwing the ball, they have Russell Wilson and Wilson is a top quarterback. The Seattle defense is a different look than the Broncos. The Seahawks have looked good this year, but they need a win in a game like this one to solidify their status as a true contender this season. Seattle wins this game on the arm of Wilson and with a dominating performance by this defense. If this game was in Atlanta the pick would go the other way.
Broncos (4-1) vs. Chargers (1-4)
The Broncos head to San Diego this week on Thursday night to face the Chargers in a AFC West matchup between teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Broncos were handed their first loss of the season last week to the emerging Falcons and are looking for a rebound win this week against the Chargers. The Chargers could easily be 5-0, but they are not. They have literally fumbled games away this season behind the inconsistent late game antics by the players. This is actually a winnable game for the Chargers with their talented offense, but they need to put together a solid all around game to beat this Broncos team. The Broncos will win this one because of their talent and consistency.
49ers (1-4) vs. Bills (3-2)
Colin Kaepernick is starting this week. This is an interesting change for the 49ers this week as they have lost faith in Gabbert and are giving Kap one last chance. Chip Kelly knows that he only has a little longer before his name is black-listed like Tim Tebow in the NFL and he is going for broke with Kaepernick for the rest of the season. Kap used to be a great NFL quarterback in his first couple of seasons, but as of late has become inconsistent. The Bills on the other hand are playing great football, dominating opponents of late in route to a three game winning streak. Look for the Bills to dominate this game from start to finish and look for there to be another quarterback call in San Francisco after this one.
Eagles (3-1) vs. Redskins (3-2)
Another great matchup this week between NFC East rivals the Eagles and the Redskins. The Eagles were handed their first loss of the season last week against the Lions. The rookie Wentz was solid yet again, but turnovers were ultimately the doom of the Eagles in that game. While I believe that they will be more consistent this week, I think that the Redskins are playing good football, and with this game being in Washington look for the Redskins to take this one. They have rattled off three straight wins after their 0-2 start and are pushing to close the gap in the NFC East. If Cousins can put together another solid game, the Redskins should be able to pull out what is sure to be a close one.
Browns (0-5) vs. Titans (2- 3)
These poor Browns, they are in full rebuild mode this season as they try to completely revamp this roster into something that Hue Jackson can actually work with. Their decision to pass on Wentz is looking poor in hindsight but they also got key players in other positions that are helping them so far this season. The Titans are looking pretty good this year, they are much improved from the team they were last year. The rushing attack of the Titans has been very impressive this season behind DeMarco Murray as he continues to dominate opposing defenses. Look for the Titans to pull this one out at home, not sure I can pick the Browns to win at any point this season even though I think they will win at least one.
Ravens (3-2) vs. Giants (2-3)
Another great game this week as the Ravens come to town to face the New York Giants. The Ravens have been on a two game slide as of late but look to bounce back this week against a strong Giants team. The Ravens have the third best defense in the NFL, and with the Giants run game struggling, coupled with not being able to get the ball consistently to OBJ, the Giants look to take another “L” this week. Ravens get back to their winning ways in this game.
Panthers (1-3) vs. Saints (1-3)
A game that looks to be an old fashioned shoot-out in New Orleans between the Saints and the Panthers. The Panthers have struggled this season for consistency after losing the Super Bowl and losing key players to injury. They have gone from a team that is feared to one that is wounded and gasping for air. The Saints have been unlucky to start the season, losing a couple close games in route to their 1-3 start, no one expected more from them but they have to be in panic mode to try and get back to at least .500. Look for the Saints to win this game at home to start to get their season back on the right track.
Jaguars (1-3) vs. Bears (1-4)
An intriguing matchup in Chicago takes place this week as the Jaguars come to town to face off against the Bears. Coming off of a bye week this week, the Jaguars are looking to grab another win against a injury ridden Bears team. The Jags have not been the offensive powerhouse they were last season, but things seem to be on the up for Bortles and company. On the other side are the Bears, who have impressed without Jay Cutler. Brian Hoyer has been throwing the ball like a champ, keeping his team in games and utilizing the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball. The Bears need to get Alshon Jeffery more involved in the offense in the weeks to come in order to start producing wins, so look for Hoyer to try and find the star wide out in this game. The Bears win a close one at home for their second win of the season.
Rams (3-2) vs. Lions (2-3)
Another close call this week as the Rams play the Lions in Detroit. The Rams lost bad at home last week to the Buffalo Bills in a game where nothing seemed to go right for the Rams. They were able to get Todd Gurley going a little bit more in that game, but it wasn’t enough as the Bills continued their good run of form. The Lions had a good week last week; taking down the undefeated Eagles at home. This game will be a close one between teams looking to build some type of momentum, but ultimately I have to give the edge to the Rams as they have been a little more consistent this season and have the stronger defense. The Lions are playing at home, but that won’t be enough to do away with this pesky Rams defense. Todd Gurley will post his first 100 yard game this week.
Steelers (4-1) vs. Dolphins (1-4)
A game that looks to be a very one-sided affair in Miami. The Red-hot Steelers come to town looking to build on their great start to the season. The Steelers have been an offensive juggernaut since the return of LeVeon Bell, as his presence on the field has taken the pressure off of Roethlesberger and allowed him to toss 9 touchdowns through the air in the last two weeks. While I think this game will be closer than expected this week, the Steelers should easily dispatch this struggling Miami team, you might even see a different Miami quarterback come off the bench in the second half.
Bengals (2-3) vs. Patriots (4-1)
The hard early season schedule continues for the Bengals as they limp into Foxborough to face the Patriots. The Bengals were waxed last week by a good Cowboys team, being completely dominated on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile the Patriots had Tom Brady make his return to football this season in glorious fashion throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns. The Bengals desperately need a win to keep their season from completely falling apart, but this Patriots team is too good to go down in this one. The Patriots take this game at home.
Chiefs (2-2) vs. Raiders (4-1)
An intriguing matchup this week as the Chiefs take on the Raiders in Oakland for an early season AFC West contest. The Raiders have been impressive lately in route to a great 4-1 start, putting up some solid wins against good opposition, the Raiders have impressed with their offense prowess behind the arm of Carr and his receivers Cooper and Crabtree. The Chiefs have been very up and down this season, and the bye week came at a perfect time for them as Jamaal Charles looks to come back strong this week adding some firepower to this offense that has desperately needed his playmaking ability. Look for the Chiefs to upset the Raiders this week in Oakland behind the strength of their defense and a break out performance on offense.
Cowboys (4-1) vs. Packers (4-1)
Another candidate for game of the week this week as the Cowboys head to Green Bay to face the Packers in this NFC matchup between playoff contenders. Bad memories surround this game from two seasons ago when the Cowboys lost in the playoffs to the Packers on a “non-catch” from Dez Bryant (I will still fight tooth and nail with anyone that it was a catch). Both teams have performed well this season in route to matching 4-1 records. Dallas has been dominant as of late with strong play from their rookies Prescott and Elliott. On the other hand, the Packers have been winning games on pure talent alone as they have struggled to put together a complete game. This game has the makings of a classic as both teams look to continue their impressive runs of form. I give the slight nod to Dallas in this one because of how well this offensive line is playing. They have been punishing good defensive fronts this season, allowing the talented Elliott to run rampant in route to his league leading 546 yards. The Packers will keep it close, but in a game that Prescott needs to win in order to possibly keep his job, the Cowboys will emerge victorious.
Colts (2-3) vs. Texans (3-2)
The Colts come to town this week to face the Texans in a matchup between two young AFC South teams. The Texans got a piece of humble pie again last week as they went to Minnesota to face the Vikings and got blown out by a good team. Many tabbed this Texans team as one that could make a playoff run due to their free-agent influx last offseason. But in 2016 they have struggled against good opposition. Fortunately this week they do not face good opposition, they face a struggling and inconsistent Colts team. Again I will say that Andrew Luck is a boss and single handedly keeps his team in games, and he will do that again this week, but the Texans are too strong to lose this one and should be able to extend their lead in the division after this contest. Look for Fuller and Hopkins to have big games this week for the Texans.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME
Jets (1-4) vs. Cardinals (2-3)
Two teams with playoff aspirations face off this week on Monday Night football. Late last season this would have been a classic matchup to watch between these two teams, but with how things have been going in 2016 this one might just be a dud. The Jets have been horrible this season, and a lot of their struggles come down to the off-season holdout between the Jets and Fitzpatrick. I don’t think it is Fitzpatrick’s fault necessarily, but it is because of his lack of reps with the team in the offseason and the loss of Eric Decker(who is one of his favorite targets) to injury as well. The Cardinals have been extremely up and down this season but got a solid win last week against the 49ers, and they look to build off of that performance. Larry Fitzgerald has looked timeless this season producing great statistical numbers for his team. Look for the Cardinals to stay on course in this one and get to .500 with a win on Monday Night.