Fearless Rick's NFL Football Picks - Week 6 early games

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WEEK 6 NFL Picks

All times Eastern

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Byes: Minnesota, Tampa Bay

Week 5 Results: Coin: 5-8-1; Rick: 8-5-1
Cumulative: Coin: 32-44-1; Rick: 43-33-1

Thursday, October 13

Denver (-3, 46 1/2) at San Diego, 8:25 pm (CBS-NFLN-Twitter) - The Broncos lost their first game of the season last Sunday, at home to Atlanta, 23-16, and now hit the road against the ever-dangerous Chargers.

Being favored by a mere field goal on the road against a 1-4 divisional rival is a big plus for Denver, which could pretty much end San Diego's season, if it already wasn't dashed at Oakland last week. The Charger defense - of which there is little of - is allowing 10+ more points per game than Denver against weaker opponents.

Coin Flip: San Diego

Prediction: Broncos 31 Chargers 21

Sunday, October 16

San Francisco at Buffalo (-8, 44 1/2), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Now sporting a three-game winning streak, the Bills are on the verge of making some serious noise in the AFC playoff race. While catching New England (whom they play at home in two weeks after a trip to Miami next week) may be a pipe dream, finishing the season 9-7 or 10-6 or better is a palpable proposition in Upstate New York.

The traveling Kaepernick sideshow visits what should be a raucous stadium of rabid Buffalonians. This game may more resemble a circus once the Bills offense gets rolling. Looking for a complete rout and a further repudiation of coach Chip Kelly's weird offensive schemes with suitable kudos to Buffalo's defense.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Prediction: Bills 34 49ers 13

Jacksonville at Chicago (-2 1/2, 47), 1:00 pm (CBS) - At 17 points per game, the Bears are third last in the league in scoring (17.0 points per game) better than only the Rams and, surprisingly, the Texans, each at 16.4. Jacksonville has scored almost as many points as the Bears (84-85) while playing one less game. Neither team is very good, but the Bears are ugly personified.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Jaguars 17 Bears 13

Los Angeles at Detroit (-3, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Both teams played home games last week, the Rams being pounded by visiting Buffalo while the Lions were handing the Eagles their initial loss of the season, 24-23. That speaks volumes for the Lions, who were in desperation more after a 1-3 start. Now 2-3, they can even up with the Rams (3-2) with a win, making the playoff race a little more interesting, albeit quite early.

Offense favors the Lions heavily. They're scoring at a clip of 23.8 ppg. LA is only putting up 16.4 per outing. Defensively, the Rams are better, but if their offense can't sustain drives (they can't) and coaching decisions continue to be poor, the Lions will ear them out.

Coin Flip: Detroit

Prediction: Lions 26 Rams 17

Pittsburgh (-7 1/2, 47 1/2) at Miami, 1:00 pm (CBS) - In a week in which there are some lopsided-looking contests with large point spreads, this one looks like the real McCoy. Miami is floundering offensively, which bodes well for the visiting defense.

Pittsburgh's offense is beginning to appear very machinated, purposeful, and unstoppable.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Steelers 38 Dolphins 7

Cincinnati at New England (-8 1/2, 47), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Desperate for a victory after a soulless loss at Dallas, the Bengals travel to Foxboro to face their worst nightmare: Tom Brady with a chip on his shoulder.

At 2-3, the Bengals aren't yet panicking, but a loss here would make them 2-4, which looks a lot worse and may actually be so. Most everybody will be loving the Patriots this week, and it's arguably difficult to find many flaws in New England nor take sides against Tom Brady, but the Bengals are a pretty good football team with losses to the Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos, so the have quality.

Figure on them losing here as well, but not by very much, qualifying this as an upset. A combination of a decent defense and an opportunistic offense will keep Cincy close.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Patriots 27 Bengals 23

Carolina (-3, 53) at New Orleans, 1:00 pm (FOX) - In New Orleans, it's accepted that the team will not play defense of any kind at any cost. This attitude has resulted in a 1-3 start to the season prior to last week's bye. The Saints have allowed 35 to the Raiders (loss), 45 to the Falcons (another loss), and 34 to the Chargers (win!). Their other defeat was being on the wrong side of a 16-13 decision at the Giants. The game was reportedly so ugly that fans were leaving MetLife Stadium before the national anthem, protesting the poor quality of play in the NFL.

As for the defending NFC champion Panthers, they're pretty much toast after losing at home to Tampa Bay Monday night. Now, on the road, they may have a better shot at beating a woeful New Orleans team that can still score in bunches, but, as previously mentioned, has apparently given up playing defense.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Panthers 34 Saints 27

Baltimore at NY Giants (-3, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - With the Giants at home giving Baltimore three points, the oddsmakers are telling us that this is essentially an even-up contest. Neither team has produced wins that are unusually impressive; in fact, the Giants have not won since week two and are on a three-game losing streak.

The 3-2 Ravens were doused at home, 16-10, by nearby Washington, their second straight loss. Neither team has any real offense. The Ravens are averaging 18.8 points per game, the Giants a point less than that. Baltimore has a decided edge defensively, allowing 20 fewer points and 457 fewer yards than New York. Bingo!

Coin Flip: NY Giants

Prediction: Ravens 24 Giants 17

Cleveland at Tennessee (-7, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Cleveland is the only team without a win, but the Titans are 0-2 at home this season with losses to Minnesota (25-16) and Oakland (17-10), so this may not be one to put in your last man standing column. While the Titans are an improving bunch and the Browns are allowing 29.6 ppg, this is a winnable situation for Cleveland.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Browns 22 Titans 20

Philadelphia (-2 1/2, 45) at Washington, 1:00 pm (FOX) - The Redskins have won three straight after an 0-2 start, inning over the Giants, Browns and Ravens in succession. Philly suffered their first loss of the season, a 24-23 result in Detroit after a week off.

Hard to think of any good reasons why the Eagles would be favored on the road this early in the season (they were also at Detroit and look what happened), unless one wants to look at the disparity in points allowed (Eagles, 12.8; Redskins, 24.4). Philly is scoring at a 28.8 ppg clip; Washington, 23.0. This being a divisional game, the home team should be respected.

Coin Flip: Philadelphia

Prediction: Redskins 24 Eagles 21

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