The NFL season is just roiling along as week 6 is ready to kickoff this Thursday, October 13th with the reigning Super Bowl champions the Denver Broncos visiting the San Francisco 49ers out on the west coast. Minnesota is the only remaining unbeaten team as Philadelphia and Denver dropped their first contests of the season last week. There was only a few upsets in week 5 and there are sure to be a few exciting and high-scoring games this week. Check out our predictions below to see how each team will fare.
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Thursday, October 13th
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
This game will feature the Broncos’ tough defence against San Diego’s high-octane offence. Denver will be looking to rebound from their first loss of the campaign as they were downed 23-16 at home by Atlanta last Sunday. The Falcons overwhelmed them in the game when it came to the visitors’ ground and aerial attacks. The loss dropped Denver’s record to 4-1 on the season and they’re now tied with Oakland for the lead in the AFC West. San Diego lost a heartbreaker last week as they dropped a 34-31 decision to the Raisers in a big divisional game. The Chargers blew a late field goal attempt with just a couple of minutes on the clock and the team is now in last place in the division at 1-4. However, the offence isn’t to blame as San Diego has averaged 312 points a game this year and 373 yards of offence. Quarterback Philip Rivers has 11 touchdown passes, just three interceptions, and averages 294 yards an outing. However, the defence has surrendered over 300 passing yards in four out of their five games contests. But the defence hasn’t allowed more than 93 rushing yards in a game as of yet. The Chargers need to focus on their fourth-quarter efforts to improve their record.
Prediction: Denver rebounds with a close three-point win, 27-24
Sunday, October 16th
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
The Eagles were beaten for the first time in 2016/17 as they were edged 24-23 in Motown by the Detroit Lions. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz wasn’t at his best, but after four games he’s passed for seven touchdowns with just one interception and averages 294 yards in the air per game. His top two targets are receivers Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews. However, pass-catching running back Darren Sproles can also be depended on as the veteran leads the squad with 279 yards from scrimmage. The Eagles are now 3-1 on the season, good for second place in the NFC East. Washington is now on a three-game winning streak and are 3-2 after losing their first two games of the season and are just behind the Eagles in the NFC East making this a big divisional clash. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been leading the attack during the winning streak with six touchdown tosses and a pass completing rate of 69 per cent. The rushing defence could be better though as they’ve allowed 130 yards against per game on the ground and have conceded at least 100 yards in all four games.
Prediction: The Eagles bounce back and snap Washington’s streak with an eight-point victory, 26-18.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bear s
The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-3 on the season and took last week off with a bye. Their last outing was a 30-27 win over division rivals the Indianapolis Colts in England, but they’re still in last place in the AFC South. Speaking of the Colts, they downed the Bears 29-23 in Indianapolis last weekend. Chicago is now 1-4 on the year and in the basement of the NFC North. Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles is ranked 25th in the league with his passer rating 79.4 and is working well with his receivers as five of them are catching at least four passes on average per game with Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson being his go-to guys. For the Bears, quarterback Brian Hoyer replaced regular starter Jay Cutler in the second week due to injury. Since then he’s thrown six touchdown passes with no interceptions and has a pass-completion rate of 71 per cent. Rookie running back Jordan Howard has filled in for Jeremy Langford, who’s also injured, and has two straight games with over 100 yards and averages six yards a carry. The Jacksonville offensive line has conceded 118 sacks since 2014, so the Bears may want to take advantage of that.
Prediction: Chicago wins a by seven points, 24-17.
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
The Bengals ran into the Dallas Cowboys last week and dropped a 28-14 decision after falling behind 28-0 in Dallas. Cincinnati is now 2-3 on the year and sits in third place in the AFC North. They’ve played some tough teams though such as Pittsburgh and Denver. Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton has five touchdown passes on the year with a pass-completion rate of 67 per cent and 301 yards on average per game. He’ll need to be better against New England though and will need some help from receiver AJ Green, who averages seven catches per contest. Quarterback Tom Brady is back at the helm for New England and Rob Gronkowski appears to be healthier. The Patriots beat Cleveland 33-13 on the road last week in Brady’s first game back. He threw 406 passing yards while Gronkowski caught for 109 of them and scored three touchdowns. New England enters the game on top of the AFC East at 4-1.
Prediction: New England wins by 10 points, 31-21.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh has won two in a row since the Eagles blew them away 34-3. They downed Kansas City 43-14 two games ago and beat the New York Jets 31-13 at home last weekend. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been good on 56 of his 74 passes in the past two games for a completion rate of 76 per cent. He’s thrown nine touchdown passes in those games with no interceptions. He’ll be facing a Miami team which has a mediocre pass defense and has recorded a lone pick off in their five outings this season. The Steelers lead the AFC North at 4-1 while Miami is 1-4 and in the basement of the AFC East after losing 30-17 at home to Tennessee last week. Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been struggling with seven interceptions and just six touchdown passes on the year, but he isn’t getting much help from his offensive line as he was sacked six times by the Titans. The Miami defence allows 151 rushing yards against per game and 401 total yards.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins by 15 points 35-20.
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
Cleveland is still the only winless team on the season at 0-5 after losing 33-13 at home to New England. Needles to say, they’re in last place in the AFC North. Isaiah Crowell leads the Browns in rushing with 416 total yards and 83 yards per game while receiver Terelle Pryor has caught for a total of 338 yards and 68 yards an outing, but the team can’t catch a break. Tennessee improved to 2-3 on the season and are tied for second place in the AFC South after their 30-17 triumph in Miami on the weekend. Running back DeMarco Murray averages five yards per carry for a total of 461 yards on the season and he’ll be facing a Cleveland squad which gives up 114 rushing yards per outing on average. The Titans recorded six sacks in Miami and will be hoping for more of the same against Cleveland.
Prediction: Tennessee wins by 11 points, 24-13.
San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are on a bit of a roll while San Francisco is still dealing with the circus surrounding controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick. However, he may get a start soon as Blaine Gabbert has struggled so far this season with a passer rating of 69.6 and a pass-completion rating of 58 per cent to go along with his average of 178 yards in the air each week. Buffalo improved to 3-2 on the year and sits in second place in the AFC East after beating the Los Angeles Rams 30-19 on the west coast last week. San Francisco is in the basement of the NFC West at 1-4 after losing 33-21 at home to Arizona last Thursday. Running back Carlos Hyde has been effective for the 49ers with six touchdowns and 443 yards from scrimmage to lead the team. The Bills have the momentum after their third-straight win, which is the result of an improved defence. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy are key players offensively and the Bills have conceded only 37 points during their current winning streak.
Prediction: Buffalo wins a close one by four points, 28-24.
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions
The Los Angeles Rams’ three-game winning streak was snapped last week when Buffalo visited and downed them 30-19. The Rams are now 3-2 on the year and occupy second place in the NFC West. Running back Todd Gurley is struggling for the Rams with 2.7 yards a carry on average for a total of 54 yards per game, but he’s still the team’s most talented offensive player. The passing game isn’t the best either as the receivers possess good speed, but questionable hands. These include Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and Brian Quick. Quarterback Case Keenum is passing at a 58-per cent completion rate, so they’ll need a better offensive output or a huge game from the defence. The Lions edged the Philadelphia Eagles 24-23 last week to hand them their first loss, but they managed just three points during the second half. The Rams have a good front seven so Detroit may focus on a passing game especially since running back Theo Riddick has five receptions on average and 38 yards per outing as well as three receiving touchdowns. Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford has been working well with Marvin Jones as Jones averages 19 yards per reception and 104 yards per contest. The Detroit receivers are also talented with the likes Eric Ebron, Anquan Boldin and Golden Tate. The Lions are also 2-3 on the year and in third place in the NFC North.
Prediction: The Lions win by 11 points, 24-13.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants
The New York Giants have lost three in a row and are 2-3 on the season after falling 23-16 on the road at Green Bay last week. The Giants are now last in the NFC East. The Ravens have lost two straight at home after dropping a 16-10 decision to Washington last week. Baltimore is now 3-2 on the campaign and in second place in the AFC North. Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning has just five touchdown passes on the season and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is also struggling with just one receiving touchdown. The Giants may want to try a more aggressive approach in their attack if they hope to improve. The Ravens offence also needs some fine tuning and they’ll be facing a Giants team which recorded its first interception of the season last week and allowed Green Bay’s weak running gain to gain 147 yards on the ground.
Prediction: The Ravens bounce back with an eight-point win, 27-19.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
The Panthers are fading as they were beaten 17-14 at home by Tampa Bay on Monday night to fall to 1-4 on the season, which places them last in the NFC South. Last year’s Super Bowl finalists were without quarterback Cam Newton again and have now lost three in a row. It looks like Newton may miss the game in New Orleans as well due to his concussion. If Newton sits then Derek Anderson is likely to get the nod. He gained 278 yards on Monday by completing 18 of his 28 passes, but was picked off twice. Tight end Greg Olsen was effective though with nine receptions for a career-best 181 yards. New Orleans had a bye last week and are 1-3 in the NFC South, one position ahead of the Panthers. Their last outing was a comeback victory in San Diego. The Saints average 33 points an outing at home this season with quarterback Drew Brees racking up 400 yards. Brees will get help from receivers Mark Ingram, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead as they’re the top three in total yards for the team.
Prediction: The Saints win by seven points, 24-17.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Kansas had a bye last week, but were trounced 43-14 in Pittsburgh their last time out after allowing 36 consecutive points. They’re 2-2 on the year and third in the AFC West. They have a big divisional game with the Oakland Raiders this week. Oakland leads the division at 4-1 after their 34-31 home win over fellow divisional squad San Diego 34-31. Kansas quarterback Alex Smith has a 65-per cent pass completion rate and is averaging 265 yards per contest. Jeremy Maclin is leading the receivers with 12 yards a reception and 61 yards a game. Travis Kelce is right behind him with 10 yards per catch and 55 yards per outing. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr has passed for 11 touchdowns and has been picked off just twice. His key receivers this year are Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. The pair has combined for 15 yards per reception and 164 yards a contest and also has scored half a dozen receiving touchdowns. However, Carr needs to be at his best as Kansas leads the league with eight pick offs.
Prediction: The Raiders pull out a close three-point victory, 31-28.
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
The Falcons have momentum behind them after handing the Denver Broncos their first defeat of the season with a 23-16 triumph on the road last week. Atlanta is now 4-1 on the season and sits atop the NFC South. Quarterback Matt Ryan will be up against a tough defence one again. However his 1740 yards leads the league this year as does his 348 yards per game and 10.4 yards per pass. In addition, he has the best passer rating at 121.6, best quarterback rating with 93.6 and averages 15 yards per competed pass. Receiver Julio Jones has been helping out with 103 yards on average per game as he averages 21.5 yards per reception. Seattle leads the NFC West at 3-1 and enjoyed a bye last week. The offence isn’t the same without Marshawn Lynch but quarterback Russell Wilson is completing 65 per cent of his passes and averages 266 yards a game with five touchdown passes and one interception to his name. The defence is still tough as it allows a league-low 184 yards in the air per game and a third-lowest 80 yards against on the ground.
Prediction: Seattle wins by four points, 24-20.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
The Cowboys are doing just fine without injured starting quarterback Tony Romo in the lineup as rookie Dak Prescott has been doing a fine job. He has 1239 passing yards in his four starts to average 248 yards per outing along with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. He’s also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. Prescott set a new NFL record for rookies last week with his 135th straight pass without being picked off in a 28-14 home win over the Bengals. Dallas is now in first place in the NFC East at 4-1. Rookie receiver Ezekiel Elliot has six touchdowns and averages five yards a carry along with 109 yards a game. Green Bay is 3-1 on the year and in second place in the AFC North after their 23-16 home victory over the Giants last weekend. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is struggling at 219 yards per game on average with a 56-percent pass completion. These are his worst numbers since 2008 when he became a starter. He’ll be depending on help from Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.
Prediction: Dallas wins by seven points, 31-24.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
The Colts are 2-3 on the year and in third place in the AFC South following their 29-23 home win over the Bears last weekend. Quarterback Andrew Luck averages 293 yards a game and has thrown 10 touchdown passes. His favourite target is receiver TY Hilton, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 507 receiving yards. The team has an inconsistent defence though and rank near the bottom by conceding 6.5 yards per play. They’ve also given up 117 first downs and 1505 passing yards to rank near the bottom as well as 47 penalties and 429 penalty yards. Houston leads the AFC South with a 3-2 record after losing 31-13 in Minnesota last weekend. Quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller struggled in the game as Osweiler went just 19 for 42 in passing for a completion rate of 45 per cent. He had just 184 yards in the air while Miller gained only 24 yards.
Prediction: The Colts a close four-point contest 35-31.
Monday October 17th
New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals
The New York Jets were 31-13 losers in Pittsburgh to the Steelers last Sunday and are now 1-4 on the season and tied for last place in the AFC East after losing three in a row. Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing below par with a pass-completion rate of 57 per cent, a league-high 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 65. He has some skilled receivers to work with though such as Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. Arizona snapped their two-game losing skid last week with a 33-21 victory in san Francisco last Thursday. They’re now 2-3 on the season and sit third in the NFC West. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer missed last week’s tilt with an injury and he’ll like sit out against the Jets too. Drew Stanton will likely start again after tossing a couple of touchdown passes last week. However, he went just 11 for 28 in passing. The Cardinals will depend on David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to help Stanton out as they lead the squad in rushing and receiving respectively.
Prediction: Arizona wins by 10 points, 31-21.