Last weeks’ picks were honestly forgettable, but with so many low scoring games, and with the Tampa Bay defense finally coming to life against Derek Anderson, a lot of outcomes defied prediction. A couple things are for real, though:
- Buffalo is surging. Behind an energized LeSean McCoy, this Bills team can hang with just about anybody right now, but this week represents a real test for them against a mobile quarterback who is relatively an unknown anymore in Colin Kaepernick.
- The Seahawks are still pretty darn good at home. They were just starting to heat up in San Francisco before their bye, and Russell Wilson has only gotten stronger since then. Now they’re back home, and watch out Atlanta.
As always, any team can beat any other team on any given week (Except the Browns. They can only beat a couple of teams, and only if the stars align perfectly). That makes for some surprises every single week. Let’s see how well we can do on the surprises this week. Here are Week 6’s Ace Picks…
San Francisco @ BUFFALO – The 49ers aren’t exactly the same 49ers that Kaepernick captained a few years ago that went to the Super Bowl. They aren’t even the same 49ers that walloped the Rams in the first game of this season. So sure, they’ve got Kaepernick back in the saddle, but they’re off the range. Pick: BILLS.
Jacksonville @ CHICAGO – This is a tough one because Chicago, under Brian Hoyer, has played well on offense, and the Jaguars are coming off an offensive spectacle of their own in London. But Blake Bortles has a tendency to turn the ball over at inopportune times, and I think it haunts them in the Windy City. Pick: BEARS.
Cincinnati @ NEW ENGLAND – I want to say that that Bengals defense will be a match for the Patriots offense, but they haven’t really shown it this year, especially not on the road. The loss of Eifert on the offensive side has hurt them in the red zone too. I think this one will be close at the end, but the home team takes it. Pick: PATRIOTS.
Cleveland @ TENNESSEE – This smells like a trap game to me. I mean, Tennessee played over its head in that win last week, and the Browns have actually been in a couple of games this year. I think they will win once this year, and if it’s going to happen this is the perfect week to get it done. Barnidge gets going, and the road team wins. Pick: BROWNS. Upset Special.
LA Rams @ DETROIT – I like the Rams. I really do. But they were exposed a bit by the Bills last week at home, and they take the show on the road this week. I think they’ve been playing well defensively, but Case Keenum isn’t the answer on offense. Speaking of offense, Matthew Stafford got it going last week, and he keeps it going here. Pick: LIONS.
Pittsburgh @ MIAMI – The Steelers can be vulnerable on the road (remember that Philly game a couple of weeks ago?) but they’ve been humming on offense lately, and I think that holds steady for this tilt with the Dolphins. Somehow I see this one being close, though, because Miami is desperate and will come out swinging. Pick: STEELERS.
Carolina @ NEW ORLEANS – While this seems like it will be a high-scoring affair, I see it differently. I think both defenses have been much maligned lately, and they will both step up to the plate in this one. It will be a grinding type of game, and no one grinds harder than the Panthers, especially with Cam back. Pick: PANTHERS.
Baltimore @ NY GIANTS – There’s just something not quite right about those New York Football Giants. Eli hasn’t looked right all year to this point, and all it takes is getting inside Beckham’s head to mess up his game. The Ravens are playing well on defense, and they know how to keep it close. It will help them here. Pick: RAVENS.
Philadelphia @ WASHINGTON – These divisional rivalries always seem to come down to the end, and while this might not be as down and dirty as if the Eagles were playing the Cowboys, it will still be close. That Eagles defense will cause turnovers, though, which will be the difference as they pressure Cousins all day. Pick: EAGLES.
Kansas City @ OAKLAND – This Raiders team is just warming up. I’ve liked them to win the division since before the season started, and they’ve done nothing to make me rethink my thoughts. These Chiefs defenders can be beaten, and Carr has the receivers to do it. Pick: RAIDERS.
Atlanta @ SEATTLE – Atlanta is for real. There. I said it. These Falcons are solid on offense, and can win a shootout. I know we don’t see one of those often in Seattle, where the 12th Man reigns, but I think we see one on Sunday. But I don’t see the home team losing, even though it will be close throughout. Pick: SEAHAWKS.
Dallas @ GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers isn’t the same Aaron Rodgers from the past few seasons. Actually, he wasn’t the same quarterback even last season. It’s not just Jordy Nelson either. He will have more pedestrian games than great ones the rest of the year. Against these Cowboys he will have to pull out a great one. The defense will help too. Pick: PACKERS.
Indianapolis @ HOUSTON – The last time we saw these teams play, the Texans were putting a nice bow on their divisional win last season. Since then they’ve picked up a couple of new toys, but one of them (Osweiler) appears broken. If he can’t throw the ball downfield against an abysmal secondary in the Colts, it will be a long night. It will be a long night. Pick: COLTS.
NY Jets @ ARIZONA – The Jets are broken. Fitzpatrick can’t find the end zone. He’s throwing interceptions left and right. And their defense hasn’t lived up to its billing. The Cardinals gets Carson Palmer back, but he’s not as good as he was last season. Luckily he won’t have to be. David Johnson all night. Pick: CARDINALS.