NFL Week 6: Who Will Remain Standing of the Unbeatens?
Even though we’re only six weeks into the season, we still have three unbeaten teams left in the NFL. New Orleans, Kansas City and Denver are all atop their respective divisions (with Kansas City and Denver fighting it out in the AFC West) after New England and Seattle dropped from the unbeaten ranks last week. The question is who will come out of this weekend with an unblemished record – and one team won’t (home teams are in CAPS, lines from the Mirage in Las Vegas and the choice for the game in BOLD).
New York Giants vs. CHICAGO BEARS (-9)
Although I am writing this on Thursday night, I haven’t watched a minute of the game (my wife’s parents aren’t big television devotees and the internet is circumspect here). With this in mind, I have to refer to my suggestion from last week in reference to the Giants. “There are a couple of problems with the Giants, namely their offense and their defense.” That’s all I needed to go with to take the Bears and give the points this week.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. BUFFALO BILLS (+7)
Although the Bengals have been on a roll of late, they haven’t exactly shown some tenacity on the road. The Bills, however, have been tough on their home ground. They are 2-1 on their home turf and, in that loss, covered the spread against the New England Patriots. There’s no reason to believe that they won’t do the same, if not beat, the Bengals when they come to town.
Detroit Lions vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS (+3)
“Megatron” – otherwise known as Calvin Johnson – wasn’t able to go last week against Green Bay and it cost the team heavily. He is not expected to go this week, meaning that QB Matthew Stafford won’t have his greatest weapon to go against a strong Browns defense. I expect the Browns to be able to take this one down at home, outside, rather than in the comfy confines that the Lions enjoy under the dome in Detroit.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Even with the great possibility that QB Michael Vick won’t start for the Eagles, they still have enough firepower to be able to best the lowly Bucs. Bucs QB Mike Glennon is learning on the job and he’s still not ready to face what, to this point, has been a porous Eagles D. This might be a runaway for the boys from Philly IF they continue to push the Chip Kelly philosophy.
Green Bay Packers vs. BALTIMORE RAVENS (+3)
To this point in the season, the Ravens are 2-0 at home; Green Bay is 0-2 on the road. This is setting up for a big Ravens win due to the disarray in the backfield for the Pack due to injuries. The Ravens could use this victory to keep pace with the Browns, who will probably win over the Lions.
St. Louis Rams (+7.5) vs. HOUSTON TEXANS
To be honest, count me as one of those that are jumping off the Houston Texans bandwagon. QB Matt Schaub is a shell of what he was over the last few seasons and RB Arian Foster talks a great game but (other than a couple of weeks ago) doesn’t deliver. WR Andre Johnson has been hobbled by nagging injuries and, to make matters worse, TE Owen Daniels went on the IR this week. To give the Texans over a touchdown spread, even against the lowly Rams, is a stretch.
Oakland Raiders vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-9)
After their late night win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, the Raiders aren’t going to be up for the road trip to KC. Head coach Andy Reid and QB Alex Smith have these Chiefs running well right now and there is no way that the Raiders will get close to them.
Carolina Panthers (+2.5) vs. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Vikings are in a tough strait at this point in the season. They thought they had their franchise QB in Christian Ponder, then went and signed former Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman to the roster. That isn’t going to sit well with Ponder and, even though he has RB Adrian Peterson behind him, he’s not going to be able to stifle the Panthers defense to pull this one out. Write it down here: Freeman will be the starter for the Vikings next week.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NEW YORK JETS (-2.5)
QB Geno Smith has been doing some great things with the Jets, but it has been their defense that has been overlooked. The Steelers are drifting into the New York Giant territory: a team that was once great that needs to be retooled. For the Jets to only be a 2½ point favorite in this game is an insult to the Jets.
Tennessee Titans vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-13.5)
You don’t think there’s a team angrier about losing their unbeaten status than the Seahawks? Especially after two tough road games that they went 1-1 in (winning the first against Houston, losing to Indianapolis)? The Seahawks will be out for blood in this game and the Titans will be the brunt of that punishment.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. DENVER BRONCOS (-27.5)
This is the largest line that has ever been set since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970, and there’s a reason for it. There is only one way this stays under the 28 point line…that is if Broncos coach John Fox sends in the reserves after halftime to keep it close.
Arizona Cardinals (+11) vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
The 49ers will win this game, but not by the spread that the books are putting it at. The Cardinals have a good QB in Carson Palmer, a WR in Larry Fitzgerald that is a bona-fide star and a sneaky good WR in Malcolm Floyd. San Francisco will be able to keep them behind, but not by 11 points.
New Orleans Saints (+2.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
This will be the game where another undefeated team falls. New Orleans was great against the Chicago Bears last week, but going into the Patriots’ lair is a different story. I do believe that the Pats will win this game, but it will be a 24-23 or 28-27 affair, leaving me to take the points for the Saints on the road.
Washington Redskins vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (-5)
After hearing all the rancor after losing the shootout to Denver, QB Tony Romo and the Cowboys are going to have some fun in whipping up on their archrivals from Washington. About the only thing the ‘Boys didn’t show against the Broncos was a defense; that will definitely change as the ‘Skins come to Dallas to take a beating.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) vs. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
After beating the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, do you really think that the Colts are going to fall to the ‘Bolts? The Colts have shown themselves, at least through the first quarter of the season, to be a strong contender for the AFC crown. Putting the Chargers down will put them further to that goal.
Last Week: A .500 week at 7-7, but our fourth consecutive .500 week in a row.
(P. S.: As I am watching now on NFL Mobile, I see my pick of Chicago isn’t a sure thing. They start the 4th quarter leading 27-21, so let’s see what happens.)
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