Week 6 Matchup Predictions
Steelers @ Titans: The Titans are the first team since 1954 to give up 30+ points in each of their first five games. On top of that, Ben Roethlisberger is off to one of the best starts of his career, despite the 2-2 record. Chris Johnson has one non-miserable game to his credit this season, and he should continue his misery against the Steelers defense. James Harrison played every snap in last week's return from injury, and he'll be ready to unleash after a full week of practice.
Steelers win 34-20.
Bengals @ Browns: The Browns may be 0-5, but they're not as bad as they seem. Three of their losses where one-score games, and one was decided by ten points. Two of the Bengals three wins were one score games. One of those wins was a 34-27 victory over the Browns. With Joe Haden returning from suspension to shadow AJ Green, the Bengals will have a harder time finding the endzone.
Browns win 28-24.
Rams @ Dolphins: In the Dolphins' past four games, they are 2-2 with both losses coming at the hands of overtime field goals. They now return home to a crowd that is more excited about their team than they've been in years, and they'll face a very solid Rams team that just handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season. However, the annihilation of Kevin Kolb last week was more about a poor Cardinals offensive line than a great Rams pass rush, as the Rams only had six sacks in the previous four games. The Dolphins have only allowed ten sacks through five games, so the Rams won't be able to control the game with their front four this week.
Dolphins win 27-20.
Colts @ Jets: The Jets are coming off of a pretty impressive loss to the Texans - a game that most thought would be a blowout. However, the Colts are coming off of an even more impressive win over the Packers. The Colts have the obvious quarterback advantage with Andrew Luck, and the Jets don't even have a defensive advantage these days.
Colts win 24-20.
Lions @ Eagles: The Eagles are 2-0 at home with impressive wins over the Ravens and Giants. The Lions have had a strange, disappointing season - they are 3rd in total offense, yet 11th in scoring offense, and they are 9th in total defense, yet 26th in scoring defense. The Lions will get their scoring woes (and their abhorrent special teams coverage) figured out eventually, but it won't happen this week against the Eagles' high powered attack in Philadelphia.
Eagles win 28-23.
Chiefs @ Buccaneers: Brady Quinn is starting for the Chiefs. Believe it or not, Quinn actually completed all three of his passes for 32 yards after replacing the concussed Matt Cassel on Sunday. That's a 111.1 quarterback rating! Quinn will have one of the easier matchups against the sub par Bucs' pass defense, but their 4th ranked run defense will force the Chiefs to rely too heavily on their backup caliber quarterback. Also, the Bucs' three losses have all been one score games.
Bucs win 21-13.
Cowboys @ Ravens: The Ravens have now won 21 of their last 22 home games - that's not a good sign for the Cowboys' erratic offense. In addition, Joe Flacco is averaging 345.7 passing yards per game at home this year, and the Cowboys defense has only one interception on the season.
Ravens win 31-21.
Bills @ Cardinals: The Cardinals are coming off of an atrocious performance by their offensive line, in which they gave up nine sacks to a team that had only six sacks in their first four games. Now their offensive line is going to have to deal with the Bills' offseason prize, Mario Williams. But wait - Mario Williams only has 1.5 sacks on the season, and opposite defensive end Mark Anderson is out indefinitely with a knee injury. This could still very well be Williams' breakout game as a Bill, but the defense as a whole won't victimize the Cardinals' line like the Rams did. Ryan Fitzpatrick has eight interceptions on the year, and the Cardinals, ranked 5th in takeaways, will get another strong performance from their defense at home.
Cardinals win 24-20.
Patriots @ Seahawks: One thing you don't want to do in this league is head to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Seahawks' defense is among the best in the league when playing in front of their home crowd, giving up an average of 9.5 points per game. Their offense has also yet to turnover the ball at home this season. However, something still tells me to go with the Patriots. Maybe it's the undying trust that America puts in Tom Brady to win the AFC every season, or maybe it's the Patriots' 1st ranked offense, stout run defense, and 14 defensive takeaways (2nd in NFL).
Patriots win 23-20.
Giants @ 49ers: These teams faced off twice last year, finishing in dramatic fashion in both affairs. Though they split the two games, the Giants got the better victory, as their win over the 49ers sent them to the Super Bowl. The Giants now have to travel to San Francisco for the third time in less than a year, and they'll bring their 2nd ranked offense and improved rushing attack to Candlestick Park. However, since the 49ers lone loss of the season, they've outscored their two opponents 79-3. It's a bad time to catch Patrick Willis and company.
49ers win 24-20.
Vikings @ Redskins: Obviously, my decision on this game wavers upon whether or not Robert Griffin III will pass his concussion test and start at quarterback for the Redskins. He looks to be on pace to get the start, so I'll assume he will. The Vikings are a surprising 4-1 with a win over the 49ers, while the Redskins two wins have come against the 1-4 Saints and the 1-3 Bucs. RG3 has yet to put in a full practice this week, and he won't know if he's cleared to play until Friday. Something few people may have realized is that Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder is just a hair being RG3 in completion percentage, yards, and quarterback rating - and Ponder has the better QBR of the two. Ponder will be facing the league's 31st ranked pass defense.
Vikings win 28-23.
Packers @ Texans: The Packers' offense has been far from what people expected this season - in a very bad way. They're ranked 18th and 21st in scoring offense and total offense. As far as the rankings, their defense is actually their better unit. They now find themselves at 2-3, and regardless of the blown call in the Seahawks game, no one would have expected Aaron Rodgers to even find himself in that situation a month ago. Heading to Houston to face one of the league's best all-around defensive units (and one of the best defensive players in JJ Watt), they'll have a very hard time beating the Texans.
Texans win 27-20.
Broncos @ Chargers: The Broncos may be 2-3 on the season, but all three losses have come at the hands of great teams (two are still undefeated) in close games. The Chargers, on the other hand, have only beaten sub-.500 teams, got blown out by the one good team they faced (Atlanta), and most recently lost to the 0-4 Saints. Peyton Manning will be too much for the Chargers defense to handle, and too much for Philip Rivers to keep up with.
Broncos win 28-20.