NFL Picks - Week 6


SEASON: 48-28-1


Sunday Morning


Houston at Tennessee

I wrote about it back in Week 1 as well, but it’s worth pointing out again that when the Texans built a 24 point first half lead in their divisional round game in Kansas City it looked like this was going to be our 2020 AFC Championship game. Alas, fate (and the Chiefs’ offense) stepped in and would not allow it. And now the odds of these two teams meeting in the 2021 conference final are all but 0%. First of all, while Houston is on a 1 game winning streak, that’s on the heels of a 4 game losing skid. Look, let’s stop beating around the bush here and talk brass tacks, they’re 1-4. But the Titans making a deep playoff run seems even more far-fetched. Not because they’re playing poorly (hell they're 4-0), but because there’s no way they actually complete the season. Their whole facility is a ticking COVID time bomb. It’s only a matter of time before another outbreak causes them to forfeit games. So as you can see, the chances that these teams meet in any playoff round, let alone the AFC Championship game, are slim and none, and slim just tested positive. 


Titans 27-20

Cincinnati at Indianapolis 

I know there’s an extra wild card in each conference this season, but I think we might already be running out of playoff spots in the AFC. And much like they were when Andrew announced his retirement, the Colts may be out of luck. Just look at the teams in front of, or around, them right now. The Steelers, Bills, Titans, and Chiefs are leading divisions. The Ravens and Browns are in position for the first two wild cards at 4-1. Then there’s the Raiders at 3-2 and the Patriots coming off their COVID-mandated bye at 2-2. Right now Indy is 3-2 and in that last group fighting for the final spot. Obviously there are still a lot of games to play (hopefully), so this doesn’t mean a ton just yet, but when Philip Rivers is your quarterback sometimes it gets late early. He’s been subpar more often than not this season, and if he continues to play at this level I don’t like the Colts’ odds. But if we’ve learned anything from cinema, it’s that you never tell Indy the odds. Oh wait, that was Han Solo that said that. Yeesh, I don’t know what that means for the Colts then. 


Colts 23-17

Atlanta at Minnesota 

Last week I picked the Falcons because I figured they had to get a win sooner or later. Turns out it was later. I should have known better, yet here we are. It’s like that old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, okay, you got me again but you already knew I was an easy mark, shame back on you. Fool me four times, you’re quite the little prankster aren’t ya? Fool me five times, at this point I’ll just be the bigger man and admit that I’ve made some mistakes, but also you should fire some people because this is ridiculous. And that’s exactly what happened. Atlanta cleaned house after their latest loss, removing head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff. Will those changes pay immediate dividends and lead to their first win of the season on Sunday? I think it just migh ... Hold it! Nice try Falcons. I won’t be fooled a 6th time! ... You’re actually going to win now aren’t you? Damn it!


Vikings 31-22

Denver at New England

Ah the rivalry that defined the AFC from 2012-2015. Manning vs. Brady. And now? Rypien vs. Hoyer. Uhhh huhhhh. It’s only been 5 years, but it might as well have ... Wait a minute, didn’t I already use this opening? Hey, this is a Week 5 game, how the hell did it get in here? Oh right, COVID. Ya hate to see it. Unless you’re Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who said “And in a weird way, I’m kinda happy to see some of this stuff happen. Because you see who the whiners are, who the bitchers are, and who can’t handle adversity.” Oh Vic. How out of touch can you get? Not just with society, which you clearly are if you say you’re “kinda happy” that some players got COVID, but also with your own team. We’re coming up on Week 6 and you don’t know who the whiners are yet? He clearly doesn’t have his finger on any pulse. And if he did he’d be able to tell that it’s elevated, because everyone has COVID!


Patriots 23-13

Washington at New York Giants 

Did Washington emerge victorious from their Week 5 game against the Rams? No. Were they even close? Also no, it was 30-10. But did they have at least one winner? Yes, Alex Smith. Smith made his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday after missing all of last season due to a gruesome leg injury that could have cost him life and/or limb. Many wondered if he’d ever play again, and not only did he play last week, he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. He went out there and played vintage Alex Smith football, averaging 2.2 yards per attempt and taking 6 sacks. He ended the game with a 3.3 QBR. Ok, that was mean-spirited. Honestly, I don’t blame him for any of his paltry stats. For one thing, his o-line gave him almost no time to throw. But also, he was probably preoccupied wondering if his leg was going to snap in half. Good for him for getting back out there, but also probably good for him, safety-wise, if he doesn’t have to get out there again. Oh no, I just realized I have to pick one of these teams to win.

Giants 24-21

Baltimore at Philadelphia

Outside of their Week 3 loss to the Chiefs the Ravens have allowed 10.5 points per game. So they’ll probably win the Super Bowl as long as they don’t have to play Kansas City again. Their season has basically become a round of Press Your Luck: No Chiefs, no Chiefs, no Chiefs ... STOP! Chiefs. SHIT! Agh, tough break Baltimore, better luck next year. With Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott out for the remainder of the season I’m left wonder, are the Eagles the favorite to win the NFC East now? And if so, just how many wins will it take? I think the answer to the first question is surprisingly yes, and the answer to the second is, maybe 6? Side note: those are also the answers to the questions are you still willing to watch an NFC East game? And, how many beers would you need to make it through the whole thing?


Ravens 27-15

Cleveland at Pittsburgh 

Call this a corporate retreat game, because before it’s over we’re gonna learn a lot about these teams; and maybe, just maybe, they’ll learn something about themselves as well. Also, someone will probably do something stupid that their co-workers laugh about for the next few months. Looking at you Baker Mayfield. The Browns' recent success has folks wondering if we’re finally seeing them achieve their full potential. So it’s fitting that right as they’re hitting that crescendo they’d run into the Steelers, a team that Cleveland has only beaten 7 times since 1994. For full context, they’ve played each other 49 times in that span. Pittsburgh is their measuring stick, and they’ve been coming up short for decades now. But maybe, juuuust maybe, it’s time for a growth spurt. What do I base that on? Clearly not history. Sometimes you just have faith. Like when you do a trust fall at a corporate retreat. My eyes are closed and I’m falling backwards, are you there Browns? Browns ... Browns?!? Oh god no!


Browns 30-27

Chicago at Carolina 

I keep not believing in either of these teams. I’ve been doubting them at every turn, and I’m ready to say that I was wrong ... about one of them. These Panthers are pretty solid! Bears, keep digging through that trash, because that’s where you belong. In fact, I’m gonna tie mine up in a tree so you can’t get at it. Suckers. I don’t know how exactly Chicago is 4-1, I just know that I’m not buying it. Will I be saying this same thing when they’re 10-1? No. Because that timeline doesn’t exist. They’ll probably be 5-6 at that point. Mark my words! No? Fine, read my words! Also no? Well then wait, who am I talking to right now? Hmm, this is sad now. The Panthers, on the other hand, have been anything but. I think they get their fourth win a row and take the Chic-ugh-o Bears down a peg. 


Panthers 23-20

Detroit at Jacksonville 

I know they were only on bye for a week, but it feels like we haven’t seen the Lions play in a month. And maybe they haven’t. Would anybody notice if the Lions didn’t have another game this season? Probably some of the players. Their families would also sense that they were at home more than usual. But outside of that, I’m not so sure. Actually, the lack of Lions would probably be most noticeable in the resulting league-wide dip in comebacks. Statisticians would see the decline and, after exhaustive research, discover that it was due to Detroit being absent from the schedule. In case you weren’t aware, the Lions have now lost five straight games in which they’ve held a double digit lead. That’s an NFL record. Is it possible that we see a sixth on Sunday? Absolutely. They’re playing against Minshew and the Jags, anything could happen. If there are less than 8 combined interceptions in this game I’ll be disappointed. That being said, I believe Detroit will hold on for the win this time, and very few people will care. 


Lions 34-30

Sunday Afternoon 


New York Jets at Miami

Were Dolphins fans happy with their blowout win over the Niners? I’m sure it was an enjoyable afternoon for a group that hasn’t had a ton over the last few years. But the problem was, Ryan Fitzpatrick was too good. His performance is just making us wait longer for the Tua debut. Delaying the in-Tavagailoa-table. Yeah, I know it didn’t work, but sometimes you just gotta take a shot. It’s that same philosophy that Ryan Fitzpatrick has based his game around. And that’s why Miami fans shouldn't be too worried. If I know Fitzpatrick like I think I do he’ll string together a couple stinkers soon enough. Speaking of young QBs, will the Jets move on from theirs if they get the #1 pick? It’s something they have to start seriously thinking about since they’re hurtling with increasing momentum towards that top spot. One thing’s for sure, if New York does decide to ditch Darnold they should avoid signing Fitzpatrick as a bridge QB; that is unless they want to wait a while to see that rookie on the field. 


Dolphins 27-17

Green Bay at Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers turned the ball over on downs to seal their fate at the end of their Week 5 Thursday night loss in Chicago. Shortly after the play was over Tampa quarterback Tom Brady held up four fingers while staring at the refs. It quickly became apparent that Brady had not known what down it is. Or at least that’s what Tom would have you believe. I think he knew, but when he got aggressive and threw an ill-advised downfield pass that didn’t convert the 4th & 6 he pretended that he thought he had another down, in an effort to make himself look better. And Brady has such hubris that he probably thought he could convince the refs that he was right, or even that he should just get another down. Part of me admired the attempt. Shoot your shot Tommy. But most of me finds it hilarious. Nice try pal, ya lost to the Bears, this is the life you’ve chosen now. To make matters worse, the Bucs are now facing the undefeated Packers, whose offense has been so potent that they haven’t had to worry about keeping track of whether or not it’s 3rd or 4th down. Usually they don’t get that far. 


Packers 38-30

Sunday Night


Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 

After a calamitous return for Jimmy Garoppolo the 49ers try to right the ship against a Rams team that's regaining their Super Bowl form. If you ask me it's not a recipe for San Fran success, but what do I know? Let's see what Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth has to say about it:

We've all been there Cris. I mean, not necessarily there, but I feel ya.


Rams 27-16



Kansas City at Buffalo

Oof, what a tough blow to Thursday to lose this game. And I don’t mean for Fox/NFL Network’s production of Thursday Night Football, because they’re still airing the game. That sweet advertiser cash will still be rolling in. What I’m taking about is Thursday the day. This is a huge match-up and now it's gone. Thursday had to suffer through Dolphins/Jags and Broncos/Jets. Even the Bucs/Bears meeting that looked good on paper was kind of a slog. Finally Thursday had something to hang its hat on: Chiefs and Bills, two division leaders with explosive offenses. Grab the punk, light that wick, run like hell and ... oh god Scottie tripped. He’s too close! Get up Scottie! Get up! Should we run back for him? There’s not enough time! He knew the risks involved! He’ll live with the consequences! Scottie cover eyes! Your gorgeous eyes Scottie, cover them! Scottie!!! ... and watch the fireworks baby. But now? Nothing. Monday gets a marquee match-up while Thursday is left with an empty, charred wasteland. Just like poor Scottie’s face. You know he could’ve been a model. People from New York were interested!


Chiefs 31-24

Arizona at Dallas

After a monumental, franchise-altering Sunday in Dallas, the major takeaway from the Cowboys’ Week 5 win has to be: aren’t you just thrilled for Andy Dalton?!? I mean the poor guy gets kicked to the curb by Cincinnati, and it looks like he may never get another shot to show us all what he’s made of. But now fortune has smiled on Dalton and all of us by granting him another opportunity to shine. Does it make it any less enjoyable that it required Dak Prescott’s ankle snapping in half to get us here? Yes. Actually it’s not enjoyable at all. In fact, I find it despicable that Dalton even entered the game after Prescott’s injury. The Cowboys should have played with only 10 men out of respect. Boy, real roller coaster of emotions for me here. It’s actually like a typical 2020 Cowboys game. Started off one way and then totally flipped somewhere around the middle. Will that pattern remain with Andy Dalton at the helm? Only (half)time will tell.


Cardinals 24-22 



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