It’s been an exciting NFL season through the first five weeks. Yet, despite all of the parity and the upsets that have occurred so far this season, there are still seven teams that only have one loss and three teams that remain winless (Buffalo, Carolina, San Francisco). I had a great week with my predictions last week, going 9-5 in a week that saw a lot of favored teams end up losing.
For my Week 6 Power Rankings, click here. To check out Joshua Huffman’s awesome 2010 NFL Pick ‘Em Contest, click here.
Last week’s prediction record: 9-5
Record on the season: 35-25
Upset Special record: 3-1
For my Week 6 Power Rankings, click here.
Here are my predictions for Week 6 of the 2010 NFL season:
Bye Week Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (2-3), Arizona Cardinals (3-2), Carolina Panthers (0-5), Buffalo Bills (0-5)
New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
The New Orleans Saints are in trouble. They’ve now dropped two of their past three games, and none of their wins this season have been by more than five points. The offense is not playing anywhere near expectations, and their defense will only be able to hold up for so long. I still think the Saints can turn things around, especially against a Buccaneers team that is better than expected but still isn’t “great.”
2010 Week 6 Prediction: New Orleans Saints defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) at Houston Texans (3-2) **Upset Special**
Even though they lost, the Kansas City Chiefs proved that they are indeed for real in Week 5’s loss to the Colts. The Chiefs played tremendous defense, holding the Colts to just a single touchdown, but failed to get much offensive momentum going. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, can’t find a way to stop any opposing QB, and their offense has been downright awful in their two losses. Don’t be surprised to see Kansas City continue their hot start and pull off the win against the Houston Texans.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Houston Texans
Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at New England Patriots (3-1)
The Baltimore Ravens were strong against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, while the New England Patriots had a Bye Week to get used to not having Randy Moss on their roster anymore. I don’t think the Patriots are going to miss Moss that much (he was barely a part of the offense so far this season), but don’t be surprised when the fan base is up in arms after the Ravens defense stuffs the Pats offense.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Baltimore Ravens defeat New England Patriots
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Chicago Bears (4-1)
The Chicago Bears defense has been tremendous this season and is the major reason the Bears are 4-1 so far this season. The Seattle Seahawks are going to struggle to score against the Bears, but Chicago isn’t going to fare much better if Jay Cutler isn’t ready to go at QB. Todd Collins was awful last week against Carolina, and Caleb Hanie has only played in 4 career NFL games and only attempted fourteen passes.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Chicago Bears defeat Seattle Seahawks
Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
The Miami Dolphins had a Bye Week to think about their abysmal loss to the Patriots in Week 4, but the Dolphins are going to have their hands full facing the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers’ loss to the Redskins in Week 5 once again highlights their weaknesses: They commit far too many penalties and their defense has the potential to be dominating but is far-too-often inconsistent. Aaron Rodgers also hasn’t exactly played like the potential MVP candidate that he was hailed as entering the season. I originally was going to pick the Packers to win this, but with the injuries mounting up for Green Bay (including a concussion suffered by Rodgers), I think the Dolphins will have a chance to pull this one out.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Miami Dolphins defeat Green Bay Packers
San Diego Chargers (2-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-3)
The San Diego Chargers have been their own worst enemy this season. They rank second in the league in least total yards allowed and rank first in the league in total yards gained, yet they’ve lost three games. The Chargers could easily be 5-0 at this point in the season, but they’ve been amazingly mistake prone and have seen some horrible play from their special teams. The Rams are coming off a horrible loss to the previously winless Detroit Lions, and unless the Chargers decide to fumble the ball a couple times and let the Rams get a kickoff return for a touchdown, this should be an easy win for San Diego.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: San Diego Chargers defeat St. Louis Rams
Detroit Lions (1-4) at New York Giants (3-2)
The New York Giants defense has added back to back huge games to their resume, but Eli Manning still looked a little shaky against an extremely poor Houston Texans pass defense. The Lions have actually played better than their 1-4 record indicates, and Shaun Hill has done a good job stepping in for the injured Matt Stafford. The Giants, playing at home, should be able to come up with the win, but it’ll be extremely close.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: New York Giants defeat Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
It’s tough to see the Philadelphia Eagles pulling out too many wins with Kevin Kolb at QB. The offense doesn’t have the same spark that it does when Michael Vick is able to play, as evidenced by the Eagles’ lackluster performance against the 49ers in Week 5. Kolb’s numbers looked good enough, but when you notice that Philadelphia only converted on 25% of their 3rd down plays and that the Eagles only won by a field goal despite San Francisco turning the ball over five times, there’s room for concern. Atlanta hasn’t been blowing anyone away with their play recently, but they still look like one of the teams to beat in the NFC. Unfortunately, the NFC is looking significantly weaker than the AFC through the first five weeks.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Atlanta Falcons defeat Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
The Cleveland Browns have the unenviable task of facing Ben Roethlisberger’s first start of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns have played a lot of close games this season, but neither Seneca Wallace nor Jake Delhomme are good enough quarterbacks to defeat the Steelers defense.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Cleveland Browns
New York Jets (4-1) at Denver Broncos (2-3)
The New York Jets held on to win against the Vikings last Monday, even though the Jets had enough opportunities in the first half that they should have scored 40+ points. The Jets defense was extremely solid in the first half, and they’ll need to play well to stop Kyle Orton and the Denver Broncos. It’s hard to believe, but Orton is on pace to break Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a season, yet the Broncos are only 2-3 going into Week 6. Mark Sanchez is still inconsistent at quarterback, but the dual-headed monster of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Green continue to produce big numbers night in and night out, and that’ll be the difference against Denver.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: New York Jets defeat Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
It’s a bad sign when you come into a game against a winless opponent and aren’t the favorites, but that’s where the Oakland Raiders stand. The San Francisco 49ers probably do have more raw “talent” than this Raiders squad, but the 49ers also have a league worst -10 turnover ratio. They’ve seen close games against the Saints and the Eagles dissolve because of turnovers, and it’s starting to become a psychological roadblock. I don’t believe San Francisco’s owner’s proclamation that the 49ers are going to win the NFC West, but I do believe they’ll be able to beat the Raiders.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: San Francisco 49ers defeat Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Both the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings entered 2010 hoping to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLV. Now, both teams are just trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Cowboys offense has struggled to score this season, partially because they’ve been amazingly unbalanced. Tony Romo has attempted at least 30 passes in every game this season, and has attempted at least 46 passes in each of the Cowboys’ losses. The Minnesota offense hasn’t been a lot better, with Brett Favre throwing interceptions at a much higher rate than he did a year ago and the Vikings defense doing everything it can to keep the team from losing. Dallas will win this game, but only if they are able to integrate their running game back into the main offense.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Dallas Cowboys defeat Minnesota Vikings
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Washington Redskins (3-2)
Both the Colts and the Redskins are lucky to be 3-2 considering how poorly they’ve played at times. The Colts offense was stagnant against the Chiefs, but escaped with the win because Kansas City’s offense was worse. The Washington Redskins’ three wins have been by a combined fourteen points. This game is going to come down to which offense is more explosive, and so far Peyton Manning and the Colts have at least shown signs of high-level play this season, while the Redskins’ offense has only scored more than 20 points once this season (27; Week 2 against the Texans).
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Indianapolis Colts defeat Washington Redskins
Monday Night Game: Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
David Garrard has been playing excellent football the past two weeks after the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Trent Edwards to be the backup quarterback. The Tennessee Titans have pulled off some impressive victories this season, but so far have alternated wins and losses. Coming off a win against the Cowboys, it looks like it’s time for the Titans to lose once again.
2010 Week 6 Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars defeat Tennessee Titans
All stats and standings from espn.com