No Punt Intended: NFL Picks Week Six Edition
By Brody Burns
Editor’s Note: This article was originally intended to be published 10/10/13, but technical difficulties at the USD campus prevented that from happening.
Last Week: 9-5 Season Record: 38-22
Indianapolis (-1.5) at San Diego – Sunday’s loss to the Raiders may define the Chargers season. It was a game that they should have won, a game they were favored to win by close to a touchdown, and on paper were clearly the “better” team. On Sunday night, they turned the ball over five times, had no running game and forced no turnovers. Turnovers are the theme of the week. The Chargers are minus 8 on the season in turnover differential, and that puts them close to the bottom in the AFC. The team has only forced two takeaways all season in five games. Monday night will be competitive, but the Colts are too good, and the Chargers too one-sided to win. My Pick: Colts 31, Chargers 24.
NY Giants at Chicago (-8) – One reason to pick the Bears is they’re the home team on a short week. The real reason to pick the Bears is because they are playing the god-awful Giants who have the worst scoring defense in the league (behind the woeful Jaguars) and are minus 100 in scoring differential through five games. QB Eli Manning leads the league in interceptions with 12 in just five games, and the team’s turnover differential is minus 13 through five games. Talk about some ugly football. My Pick: Bears 29, Giants 16.
Green Bay (-3) at Baltimore – The Packers are much better than their 2-2 record suggests. Aaron Rodgers was absolutely lethal against Washington three weeks ago, played a pedestrian game against the Bengals two weeks ago, and was decent last week against the Lions. I think Aaron Rodgers will have a break out game against the Ravens, whose maligned defense gave up 300 yards to Ryan Tannehill last week. Look for Rodgers to rack up big fantasy stats this week. My Pick: Packers 30, Ravens 24.
Cincinnati (-7) at Buffalo – The Bills find themselves playing an AFC North team for the third week in a row, after a win over Baltimore and a loss at Cleveland. Cincinnati is the best team in the AFC North, and the Bills should be a welcome sight. The only question is which Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Bengals team shows up? The team that beat the Packers and the Patriots, or the team that lost to the Bears and the Browns. Bengals are 0-2 on the road this year, but Sunday they should get their first road win. My Pick: Bengals 24, Bills 14.
Detroit (-2.5) at Cleveland – One has to feel for Browns QB Brian Hoyer. After backing up Tom Brady in New England, Hoyer finally got his shot this year for his hometown team. His steady play led the Browns to back-to-back victories before he tore his ACL last weekend. The Browns are unquestionably in the market for a QB in this year’s draft, meaning the backup role appears to be in Hoyer’s future. I think the Browns benefit from being at home, and having a long week off, while QB Brandon Weeden stokes no confidence, they’re defense plays hard. Corner Joe Haden is the second best corner in the league. My Pick: Browns 20, Lions 19.
St. Louis at Houston (-7.5) – The only thing Texans QB Matt Schaub needs to see more than a dismal Rams defense is a bye week. Last week Schaub made the dubious distinction of breaking the record for most consecutive games with pick sixes. That’s four games in a row and counting that he’s thrown a touchdown pass to the opposing team. We all keep waiting for the Texans to actually show up this season and I think they do it this week. My Pick: Texans 23, Rams 20.
Carolina at Minnesota (-2.5) – Against the Cardinals last week, Cam Newton demonstrated his overall lack of preparation with three picks, no TDs, and a shocking QBR of 5.7 (out of 100). The guy has so much pure talent, but seems to put in no time to learn his craft. He needs veteran leadership and a new coach to get the best out of him. I think the Vikings keep things going off of a long week, as long as Ponder isn’t under center. My Pick: Vikings 24, Panthers 20.
Oakland at Kansas City (-9) – The Raiders, flush off of a beat down of the Chargers, head to Kansas City for another AFC West divisional matchup. The Chiefs at 5-0 and are one of the three remaining unbeaten teams, thanks largely to their number one ranked scoring defense. The Chiefs don’t give up points. Raiders QB Terrell Pryor impressed on Sunday night, but Arrowhead is a tough place to win for visitors. My Pick: Chiefs 27, Raiders 17.
Pittsburgh at NY Jets (-2.5) – Rookie Geno Smith led the Jets to a surprising victory over the Falcons on Monday night. The Rookie turned in a breakout performance against the heavily favored Falcons (147.7 rating, 80% completion, 3 TDs). Mark Sanchez better start shopping his talents elsewhere. The Steelers will make this competitive, and coming off the long week will have ample preparation time. I think Geno is due for a hangover. My Pick: Steelers 17, Jets 16.
Philadelphia (-1) at Tampa Bay – Chip Kelly hinted this week that QB Nick Foles may be able to win the job permanently through putting on an “unbelievable show.” I don’t think that will happen this week. I’m on the upset on this one. My Pick: Buccaneers 28, Eagles 27.
Jacksonville at Denver (-28) – This game has the historic achievement of carrying the largest spread in the history of the NFL. The only real question is will the Broncos cover? Yes. The Mile High Machine keeps scoring at a historic rate. Jaguars are officially in the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes. My Pick: Broncos 42, Jaguars 10.
Tennessee at Seattle (-13.5) – The Seahawks return home after a tough road loss to the Colts, and they couldn’t be happier to play at home. They haven’t lost a home game since Christmas Eve 2011, and have a current ten game win streak at home. This streak has the makings to turn into one of those ridiculous streaks like the Seahawks haven’t lost at home in four years. Or the Seahawks haven’t lost at home since Miley Cyrus was Hannah Montana. Keep an eye out for it. My Pick: Seahawks 34, Titans 20.
New Orleans at New England (-2.5) – This is the game of the week. Drew Brees and the Saints are looking like a Super Bowl contender again, and I’m sure Brees and Coach Sean Payton duet Peaches and Herb “Reunited” on a regular basis. Or perhaps it’s more of Thicke’s “Lost without U.” The Patriots are coming off a dismal offensive showing in Cincinnati, and I don’t think there is any way the Patriots lose two in a row. My Pick: Patriots 31, Saints 30.
Arizona at San Francisco (-11) – The Niners look to keep things rolling with a division game against the Cardinals. I think they win based off the strength of the defense, because the conundrum that is Kaepernick is baffling right now. His average over the last four games: 139 yards passing, 49% completion percentage, .75 TD, 1 INT a game. The Niners will win this game, but they certainly are not as good as last year. My Pick: Niners 26, Cardinals 20.
Washington at Dallas (-5.5) – Washington heads to Dallas for the Sunday Night Game, and the nauseating level of RG3 ads promises to be in the heavy oversaturation department. Meanwhile, Tony Romo looks to bounce back from his late fourth quarter pick in a loss to Denver. The key to this game is Tony Romo, coming off of a 500 yard game, going up against the worst defense in football. This could get ugly. My Pick: Cowboys 31, Washington 20.