The All-Important NFL Picks- Week 6
Every season, there's always one or two teams that are able to stay undefeated coming into November, which certainly makes the 1972 Dolphins uneasy in their seats. However, with both the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals losing in week five, every NFL team has now suffered at least one loss this regular season. Is this good for the league? Well, by the way the draft and salary cap is set up, Roger Goodell and his cronies probably cross their fingers in hopes of every team finishing 8-8, so yeah, the NFL is most likely licking their lips right now. The bright side about this is that every team is still in the hunt for the playoffs, and with that, let's check out what we'll be in store for this weekend:
Last week's picks: 12-3
Total regular season picks: 40-36
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) @ Houston Texans (3-2): Thursday, 7:25 PM
This week, ESPN has sparked the intriguing debate of which franchise player is more important to their respected teams (Andrew Luck or J.J. Watt). Even though he's only in his fourth season, Watt is already the best defensive player in the league and he'll be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame if he plays half as good as he is right now for the entirety of his career. However, in my opinion, Andrew Luck is more important to his team simply because he is their quarterback of the present and future. On top of that, he's slated to eventually enter the ranks of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady when it comes to some of the best all-time, which I completely agree with.
As for the game, both Indy and Houston have been playing at top-notch levels; Luck and the Colts survived against an impressive Baltimore Ravens team 20-13, and although the Texans lost to the Cowboys, we all learned that they have a very supporting fan base. It's still difficult for me to jump on the Texans' train against Andrew Luck, so I'll take the Indianapolis Colts to win on Thursday night.
New England Patriots (3-2) @ Buffalo Bills (3-2): Sunday, 12:00 PM
So, is the dynasty of the New England Patriots really over? That's what people were saying before the Pats took down the Bengals 43-17 in a convincing fashion. There have also been reports that Tom Brady's relationship with Coach Bill Belichick has turned sour. For that, let me say this: if you look at every dynasty from the last few decades (Cleveland Browns of the '50s, Green Bay Packers of the '60s, Pittsburgh Steelers of the '80s, San Francisco 49ers of the '80s, Dallas Cowboys of the '90s, Patriots of the 2000s), their starting quarterbacks had shaky relationships with their head coaches, to say the very least. Heck, there were reports that Browns Quarterback Otto Graham threw a punch at Paul Brown on the sidelines, and they won multiple championships together! With that being said, I'm wondering if this Brady-Belichick feud is being fueled more by the media, if anything.
Right, the game (I almost forgot). Kyle Orton played very well against the Detroit Lions in his first start of the season, and if he continues to play like that, E.J. Manuel should get used to wearing a headset. I'm conflicted with this one because the Pats played so well last week, but give me the Buffalo Bills in an upset; their defense seems to be in-tune and Sammy Watkins is probably getting the benefit of the doubt with Orton throwing to him. However, please note that I'm not picking the Bills because of Brady and Belichick not getting along... If this is what I think it is, we won't hear a peep about this argument in November.
Chicago Bears (2-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-3): Sunday, 3:25 PM
Well, the Atlanta Falcons have apparently fallen from grace after losing their last two games in matchups in which they favored. It also doesn't help that they're in the same division as the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers, who are on track to once again make the playoffs. This Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears will be a good measuring stick to see if they can truly contend in the NFC or not. The Bears, on the other hand, have also lost two in a row and are beginning to suffer at the hands of their own quarterback. I don't think that Cutler is a below-average starter, but when you have larger-than-life targets like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett, completing passes should come at ease. I'll take the Chicago Bears to win on the road because I simply like their offense matched up with Mike Smith's defense. Also, keep an eye on Julio Jones lining up against Kyle Fuller; Fuller clearly lost his matchup against Jordy Nelson two weeks ago, and if the same goes in Atlanta, the Falcons may be able to steal a win.
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-1): Sunday, 3:25 PM
As I'm looking at the NFL standings, I'm beginning to wonder what happened to the Dallas Cowboys of 2013 and where they are being held captive. Seriously, who expected them to go 4-1?? If you are raising your hand, stop embarrassing yourself and put your hand down; also, you're probably lying to yourself because nobody expected this to happen... not even the Cowboys themselves. However, we must now accept the fact that Dallas is actually a pretty good team now, so let's exhale and take it like cherry-flavored cough syrup.
Before I get carried away, let's actually talk about the game. The key matchup, in my opinion, is Rod Marinelli's impressive defense against Marshawn Lynch; the Cowboys definitely have the firepower to stop Beast Mode, and it will be very helpful if they keep him under 100 yards rushing. You know what, I'm in a bit of a giving mood right now, so I'll take the Dallas Cowboys to get the HUGE upset IN SEATTLE. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we could very well be seeing pigs fly this Sunday.
New York Giants (3-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (4-1): Sunday, 7:30 PM
Like the Cowboys, the Giants are on a big comeback trail at the moment, but this was to be more expected of from New York; Tom Coughlin's teams are at their best when they hit rock-bottom, and even though they weren't at that point yet, they've stayed strong as a team and are looking like the Giants of 2011. The Eagles, though, have looked good for the entire regular season so far, thanks to their balanced offense and quick 3-4 defense. New York will be without running back Rashad Jennings for this game, which will certainly hurt the passing game when Eli Manning will be looking into the flat for a possible bail-out option. Rookie Andre Williams is a sufficient replacement, but the Philadelphia Eagles should be able to pull out a victory if everything works out on their part.
Hey, you made it! Congrats! Now it's that time of the week where we get to read the rest of my picks (don't be afraid to play some slow jazz while reading this, it enhances the experience):
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) @ Cleveland Browns (2-2): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Carolina Panthers (3-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-1): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Denver Broncos (3-1) @ New York Jets (1-4): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Detroit Lions (3-2) @ Minnesota Vikings (2-3): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Green Bay Packers (3-2) @ Miami Dolphins (2-2): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) @ Tennessee Titans (1-4): Sunday, 12:00 PM
San Diego Chargers (4-1) @ Oakland Raiders (0-4): Sunday, 3:05 PM
Washington Redskins (1-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-1): Sunday, 3:25 PM
San Francisco 49ers (3-2) @ St. Louis Rams (1-3): Monday, 7:30 PM