14 October 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 6

I think there will be a lot of eyes on a certain matchup this week, namely the one on Sunday night. This will be the New England Patriots' first crack at the Indianapolis Colts since the AFC Championship Game, which famously gave us the term Deflategate. Since then, the NFL  put together a comically bad investigation which led to an overreaction in terms of punishment and proceeded to frankly embarrass itself, yet again. While the NFL has a ton of questions still to be answered, we'll have to wait and see to see what the Patriots will do in Indy on Sunday night.

Here are my Week 6 picks.

Last Week: 8-6
2015: 49-28
Locks: 4-1

Thursday, October 15th
Falcons (5-0) vs. Saints (1-4) - CBS/NFLN, 8:25
New Orleans really has not looked good at all this season and their fabled homefield advantage thus probably does not come into play here, even in a division rivalry. Even as the Falcons have not looked as good at times as their pristine record indicates, their offense should certainly be able to find some success against a bad Saints defense on Thursday night.
Falcons 24 Saints 10

Sunday, October 18th
Washington (2-3) vs. Jets (3-1) - Fox, 1:00
Washington had the opportunity to take out the Falcons in overtime but, naturally, a Kirk Cousins interception (albeit one not wholly his fault) sealed the deal when it was returned for a touchdown. Their offense is still not very good at this point and their turnovers may be lethal against a really good Jets defense in the Meadowlands.
Jets 16 Washington 7

Cardinals (4-1) vs. Steelers (3-2) - Fox, 1:00
It was a wild finish on Monday night but Michael Vick was able to spur on a last-second Pittsburgh drive that culminating with Le'Veon Bell barreling into the end zone for the win. But they still did not look all that consistent on either side of the ball and thus a superior Arizona team could take advantage even with an early start. Don't rule out the Bruce Arians revenge factor after how his tenure with the Steelers concluded.
Cardinals 28 Steelers 20

Chiefs (1-4) vs. Vikings (2-2) - CBS, 1:00
The Chiefs were already struggling on offense and now they have lost Jamaal Charles for the season. That is a huge blow to a team whose season was already going down the toilet, or so it appeared. The Vikings have been very much under the radar this season because they have been pretty meh. Teddy Bridgewater isn't getting it down through the air but they still have a guy named Adrian Peterson.
Vikings 17 Chiefs 7

Bengals (5-0) vs. Bills (3-2) - CBS, 1:00
Forgive me as I accidentally forgot to include this contest when I posted my picks earlier today. The Bengals were all but dead to rights against the Seahawks last week down 17 in the final quarter, but they cranked out the game to tie it in regulation and then won it in overtime. Could we see a letdown against the frisky Bills in Orchard Park? Perhaps but with how well the Bengals are playing right now, I've got no reason not to pick against them right now.
Bengals 27 Bills 23

Bears (2-3) vs. Lions (0-5) - Fox, 1:00
I picked the Lions to get their first win last week, and obviously that didn't happen. When you are benching Matt Stafford mid-game for Dan Orlovsky, who I had forgotten that he had went back to the Lions, you're clearly having some problems. Meanwhile, Chicago is a club that has actually looked respectable in winning two in a row. However, this is also their second straight road contest and I'm not sold that they are better than the Lions are. Detroit, again, for the win.
Lions 21 Bears 20

Broncos (5-0) vs. Browns (2-3) - CBS, 1:00
The Broncos have the third worst offense statistically in the league right now. Think about that. Peyton Manning, let's just say it, has been awful and they have no running game. If the defense was not terrific and their division was not awful, they would not be a playoff team or let alone 5-0. For the Browns, Josh McCown has actually shown some life with his arm of late but that will end against this Denver defense.
Broncos 23 Browns 14

Texans (1-4) vs. Jaguars (1-4) - CBS, 1:00
If this isn't a terrible matchup, I don't know what is. Say what you want about Blake Bortles but he has played pretty well at times this season and he has showed a ton of improvement from last season. Think about this, he already has almost as much touchdown passes this season (10) as he did all of last season (11). Meanwhile, Houston is bouncing back and forth between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. I think Bortles will be the difference here in a matchup against Hoyer.
Jaguars 17 Texans 12

Dolphins (1-3) vs. Titans (1-3) - CBS, 1:00
Will interim head coach Dan Campbell be able to change the lukewarm culture with the Dolphins? Time will certainly tell on that question but it is probably not going to change overnight. Tennessee has been a little all over the place offensively at times but that's not surprising since they are starting a rookie quarterback. Their defense, though, has been nifty at times this season and I think they'll be able to power a nice home victory.
Titans 19 Dolphins 15

Panthers (4-0) vs. Seahawks (2-3) - Fox, 4:05
Seattle is clearly a team that is in trouble right now and after blowing a 17 point lead in the 4th quarter against the Bengals on Sunday, they really aren't even looking like a playoff team at all at this point. Their defense still is very good and we know they are great at home, and the Panthers have really struggled to move the ball at times this season. Carolina's defense is good enough to keep them in the game but I just don't see what the offense will do for them here.
Seahawks 17 Panthers 13

Chargers (2-3) vs. Packers (5-0) - CBS, 4:25
Aaron Rodgers did not look as invincible at home against the Rams with three turnovers but it was the defense that forced Nick Foles interceptions. Given that Phil Rivers struggles at times with taking care of the football, that certainly will help the Green Bay cause. I don't think we will see Rodgers struggling with turnovers at home again this week and I don't think the San Diego struggles will end here.
Packers 31 Chargers 21

Ravens (1-4) vs. 49ers (1-4) - CBS, 4:25
Nobody should be surprised that the Niners have struggled this season but for the Ravens to sit here at 1-4 with losses to Oakland and Cleveland is a surprise, big-league. Their defense has not looked as good as it has been in recent years but while they have struggled against the pass at times, their run defense has not been awful and given how run-heavy Frisco is. Baltimore should win this game but at this point, who the hell knows.
Ravens 14 49ers 12

Patriots (4-0) vs. Colts (3-2) - NBC, 8:30
We can go on and on about Deflategate, or we could not. What we do know is that this all started with the Colts and thus we all know that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the New England organization have had this date circled ever since the schedule came out back in the sprint. That chip on the shoulder, combined with how strong the Pats have looked this season across how inconsistent the Colts have looked, as well as with Andrew Luck not having played in a couple weeks, I think a beatdown is in store. The Patriots are my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 51 Colts 21

Monday, October 19th
Giants (3-2) vs. Eagles (2-3) - ESPN, 8:30

The Giants have had losses when they have had the games in hand, and we saw last week a bit of the opposite with a last-second win against the 49ers on Sunday night. They have looked like the best time in the division, somehow, while the Eagles have been peculiar to watch, to say the least. The Eagles may have the advantage in this contest as the Giants have struggled all season long against the pass (getting torn up by Colin Kaepernick through the air certainly leaves that impression). Sam Bradford will get his act together and lead his team to the W.
Eagles 24 Giants 21


  1. Hi Ben
    Not looking forward to the Fins' game in Tennessee at all. It could be an absolute stinker by both teams. Your LOTW is a logical one but I have chosen Green Bay to plaster San Diego all over Wisconsin. Mystified why CBS have this down as their Game of the Week to be honest.

  2. Originally Shane, the Ravens/Niners contest was rumored to be a Nantz/Simms game at the start for SF being the home of the Super Bowl, but very few people expected Ravens to be that bad, (same couldn't be said for Niners), thus very few expected Chargers to lose at home to Steelers. As a result, CBS has a weak lineup this week.

  3. Thanks Abel. At the start of the season this looked like a great week for CBS but circumstances have kicked in and, as you rightly say, the slate is a bit anorexic in quality for CBS. I still think Arizona at Pitt is the match-up of the week. Shame so few will get to see it.