2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 6
Picking the NFL's Week 6 Action
Don’t look now, but Week 6 of the 2013 NFL campaign is already upon us. In what seems like no time at all, we’ve gotten into the meat of the season and are starting to see contenders pull away from pretenders. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make picking each week’s action any easier.
The rollercoaster ride calmed down a bit for me in Week 5, as I managed a 9-5 record on the weekend’s 14 games. Combining that with records of 7-9 (Week 1), 13-3 (Week 2), 7-9 (Week 3), and 11-4 (Week 4), my record on the season improves to a respectable 47-30. Considering how hard it is to pick NFL games at times, I’d like to think that’s a record worth being proud of.
Now headed for Week 6, there will be plenty of intriguing storylines to follow.
There are a few NFC clubs with poor records who, due to other divisional teams struggled, are still in position to earn a playoff spot. That, however, means that they must flip the switch and start playing with a sense of urgency. Other teams sporting better records are simply looking to keep their position atop the standings intact. And then there are some teams that are just looking to get through the next 12 weeks of NFL action healthy.
Either way, it should be another exciting week of football. Here’s a look at the 15 Week 6 games and what you should expect from each showdown.
New York Giants (0-5) at Chicago Bears (3-2)
The Bears got really lucky that they got matched up against the Giants in Week 6, because they’re downhill slide needs to stop. Going up against the winless G-Men provides the perfect opportunity for that. The Giants’ have been miserable through five games and should provide Alshon Jeffery with yet another opportunity to put up huge numbers.
Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
With a confidence boosting win under their belts, the Packers are looking like a team ready to steal the division crown. In the other corner, the Ravens have limped their way to 3-2 and appear a loss or two away from falling apart. While Aaron Rodgers tears the Baltimore defense up through the air, Eddie Lacy will rumble on the ground and hand the Ravens their third loss on the year.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-3)
Coming off a big win against the Patriots, the Bengals will be looking to stay in the race for the AFC North crown. Playing against an offense led by Thad Lewis, who was on the Bills’ practice squad a week ago, will certainly help their chances. Assuming Andy Dalton can put up a few touchdowns on Buffalo’s patchwork secondary, Cincinnati should have no trouble winning this one.
Detroit Lions (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (3-2)
Both of these teams have gotten off to better starts than expected, but one will have to fall to .500 before the weekend is over. The Lions have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, which should make life difficult for the skittish Brandon Weeden. Even though the Browns have a tough defense of their own, getting Calvin Johnson back should be enough to land Detroit in the win column.
St. Louis Rams (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3)
As bad as the Texans have been over the last three weeks, the Rams have been worse. They can’t find a reliable running back – Zac Stacy looked good, though – and the passing game is spotty. Even the defense is giving up too much ground, as shown last week against the Jaguars. No matter who’s starting at quarterback for Houston, J.J. Watt and their defense shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping the St. Louis offense in check.
Carolina Panthers (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Apart from their fluke win against the Giants, the Panthers have been a mess this season and Ron Rivera is feeling the heat. On the other side, the Vikings have been a few plays away from a much better record despite playing against a tough slate of opponents. Look for Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota offense to run rampant on Carolina as they try to stay alive in the NFC North race.
Oakland Raiders (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
As much of a surprise as Oakland’s semblance of success has been, the bigger surprise has been the fact that the Chiefs are undefeated through five games. Andy Reid has his team playing lights-out football, and that should continue in Week 6. Unless the Raiders can completely nullify Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City offense, there’s no way they can keep up on the scoreboard against the Chiefs’ stout defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) at New York Jets (3-2)
Not many would have guessed that the Jets would be 3-2 after three late-game comebacks courtesy of rookie Geno Smith. That’s where they are, though, and the Jets should enjoy more success this week against a Steelers team that has floundered so far in 2013. Even with a bye week under their belts, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the offensive firepower to overcome Gang Green’s tough defense.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
With Josh Freeman gone and the drama in the rear-view mirror, the Buccaneers are coming off a bye week with plenty to prove. Mike Glennon is a liability under center, but the defense could have a big game. Look for Darrelle Revis, Mark Barron and DaShon Goldson to bait the Eagles’ new starting quarterback Nick Foles into a couple of interceptions on their way to Tampa Bay’s first win.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) at Denver Broncos (5-0)
They might be coming off a close call against the Cowboys, but the Broncos are going to cruise against a pitiful Jaguars team. Peyton Manning will carve up the Jacksonville secondary for the first half, but should be on the bench by the third quarter. For that matter, don’t be surprised to see the entire Denver second-team in by the fourth quarter.
Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
Through five games, Russell Wilson is finally hitting his stride and appears dialed in as the Seahawks’ leader. Meanwhile, the Titans thrust Ryan Fitzpatrick into the starting lineup and fell short against the Chiefs in Week 5. While they’re no longer undefeated, Seattle won’t fall victim to Fitzpatrick's sneaky scrambling abilities or arm this week.
New Orleans Saints (5-0) at New England Patriots (4-1)
Even with Rob Gronkowski back in the lineup, the Patriots simply don’t have enough firepower to get it done against the Saints. Arguably the most balanced team in the NFL, New Orleans is racking up yards in bunches while shutting opponents down on defense. Look for Cameron Jordan and the rest of the Saints’ 3-4 front to give Tom Brady fits all night long.
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Despite a shaky offense, the Cardinals defense has willed the team to 3-2 to start the season. They’re currently tied for second place in the NFC West, but that won’t last long. After a rough first couple of weeks, the 49ers are back on pace to being one of the conference’s best teams and should cruise to another dominant victory at home against Arizona.
Washington Redskins (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
As awful as this division looks, the Cowboys are clearly the leaders and will prove it this week against the Redskins. Coming off the best performance in his NFL career, Tony Romo will connect with Dez Bryant and the rest of his receivers early and often against one of the worst defenses in the league. No matter what the Washington offense does, their defense will lead them to another loss.
Indianapolis Colts (4-1) at San Diego Chargers (2-3)
Are you kidding, San Diego? Despite having an explosive offense, Philip Rivers and Co. managed to choke against an inferior Raiders team last week and continue to make fans miserable. At the same time, the Colts are quickly proving themselves to be one of the top contenders in the NFL. Barring a complete meltdown by Indianapolis, they’ll be 5-1 by the end of Monday night. Look for Trent Richardson to have plenty of success against a weak Chargers defensive front.