NFL Week 6 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 6 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 5 results: Rick: 9-5; Coin: 9-5
Cumulative: Rick: 35-41-1; Coin: 41-35-1


Sunday, October 18

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-8, 46 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Colts return home with a 3-2 record after a tough, 32-23, loss at Cleveland, while the Bengals hit the road for the second straight week after being humbled by Baltimore, 27-3. That game was a low point for the Cincinnati offense, as one might expect, pitting rookie QB Joe Burrow against an experienced Ravens' defense that's #1 in the league at 15.2 points allowed per game.

The Colts had no excuses against Cleveland. They were simply outplayed, but, they should rebound against the Bengals, who are 29th offensively (20.4 ppg). Indianapolis is second overall in points allowed, giving up just 17.6 per game.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Colts 27 Bengals 14


Detroit Lions (-3 1/2, 54 1/2) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm (Fox) - Tricky read here, as both teams have won just once each this season, though they've been mostly competitive in their games. The Jaguars defeated the Colts in week 1, but have lost four straight, allowing 30 points or more in each loss. Detroit manage a week 3 win at Arizona, 26-23, then lost to New Orleans, 35-29, and had a bye last week.

These are two of the worst defensive teams in the league - Jacksonville (29.4 points allowed per game), Detroit (31.8) - so expect a high-scoring affair. In a game that could come down to the last team with the ball winning, the points favor the home boys.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Jaguars 33 Lions 30


Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-3 1/2, 55 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Vikings took a tough loss at Seattle Sunday night, losing a 13-0 half time lead only to re-take the advantage in the 4th quarter and then lose it, 27-26, on a fourth down miracle by the Seahawks with 15 seconds left.

Minnesota lost their main offensive threat, Dalvin Cook, in the third quarter of that loss, though Alexander Mattison picked up the slack nicely. Cook is likely out for this contest.

Atlanta is tied with the Jets for the second-worst defense in the league (32.2 ppg). Only Dallas is worse (36.0). The 0-5 Falcons can score points, but they manage to give up more every time.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Vikings 34 Falcons 24


Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-9, 45 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - One would assume a healthy Cam Newton would provide enough offense for the Patriots to win handily here, but the Broncos - despite their 1-3 record - aren't normally an easy out. Only Tampa Bay blew them out, 28-10. The Broncos lost to Tennessee by two and Pittsburgh by five. They defeated the Jets on October 1 and have had an extensive layoff due to an unexpected bye week due to this meeting being cancelled from week 5 (Covid). This is their first game in 17 days.

The Pats have been off since their 26-10 defeat at Kansas City, October 5, without Newton. New England's #1 QB and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are likely to play, though they might be less effective than expected.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Broncos 23 Patriots 21


Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-2 1/2, 44 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - After losing their first two games, the Panthers are tied with the Saints and Buccaneers at 3-2 in the NFC South and have been solid on both ends in wins over the Chargers, Cardinals and Falcons, whom they visited and defeated last week, 23-16.

The Bears got a super defensive effort in last Thursday's 20-19 victory over Tampa Bay. despite the extra time off, they have to travel and their offense is still something of a mystery. Nick Foles has been erratic and the Bears are one of just eight teams averaging fewer than 100 yards rushing per game.

Considering that neither team is explosive on offense and serviceable on defense, expect a low-scoring affair and a narrow win for Carolina.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Panthers 20 Bears 13



Washington Football Team at New York Giants (-3, 43) 1:00 pm (Fox) - 0-5 Giants continue to show signs of life, coming close to a win at Dallas last week, only to fall late, 37-34. 1-4 Washington continues to show nothing after defeating the Eagles, 27-17, in week one. Their four straight losses have been by 15, 14, 14, and 20 points.

The math says both teams will be 1-5 after this one ends.

Coin Flip: Washington

Prediction: Giants 31 Football Team 14


Baltimore Ravens (-7 1/2, 46 1/2) at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm (CBS) - One would have to be an eternal optimist to take the Eagles in this one. Not only has Philadelphia shown an unwillingness to be consistent on offense, their defense lapses are beginning to add up as well. They had many chances in last week's, 38-29, loss at Pittsburgh, but, with three minutes left in the game, left Steeler wideout Chase Claypool wide open for his fourth TD and could not respond late.

Philly is 1-3-1, while the Ravens are 4-1, their only loss suffered three weeks back to the Chiefs, 34-20. All of their wins have been by at least 14 points. Five games in, the Ravens have the league's best defense (15.2 ppg) and best points differential, at +73. The Eagles are -32. Baltimore is taking no prisoners, making the Eagles look like unwilling victims.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Ravens 36 Eagles 16


Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3 1/2, 51) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Steelers really weren't that impressive against an inconsistent Eagles team in last week's 38-29 win, but they have the luxury of remaining at home for a fourth straight week, plus the bye from their road trip to Tennessee being cancelled. They haven't played on the road since downing the Giants, 26-16, in week one. When they play at Tennessee next week it will have been 41 days between road games.

Cleveland, meanwhile, has been making plenty of noise, winning their fourth straight last week with a 32-23 home win over the Colts. After a week 1 loss at Baltimore, 38-6, the Browns have scored 32 or more points in each of their four wins. With Pittsburgh at 4-0 and Baltimore also at 4-1 with the Browns, this won't decide the division, but it is an important game for both squads.

If Cleveland's defense can produce some stops the offense may put out the lights at Heinz Field.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 27 Steelers 24


Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-2, 48) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Houston seems to have regained some dignity after firing their coach and getting a 30-14 win over the Jaguars last week. Still, they're 1-4 for reasons beyond coaching, and having to travel to Tennessee, where the short-handed Titans pounded the Bills Tuesday night, 42-16, winning the turnover battle, 3-0.

Houston really needs this game more than the Titans, so they will be motivated, but it appears the the 4-0 Titans have developed a winning formula. They're now 4-0 and have a 10-3 record since their bye in mid-November 2019 including two playoff wins.

These two split their series last season, played two weeks apart in weeks 15 and 17, with the Texans winning at Tennessee, 24-21, and the Titans triumphant at Houston, 35-14, in the season finale. Both went to the playoffs, but the Titans advanced to the conference championship, losing to Kansas City, 25-24.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 27 Texans 20


Click here for late games.


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