NFL Picks Week 6
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:10
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
This is a key divisional game that will play a big part in determining whether these teams will attain a wild card birth.
Unfortunately for both teams, neither looked sharp in their week six performances. The Bengals lost to the winless Browns and are allowing a QB rating of 99 as well as a 66 percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks.
The Steelers lost to a lackluster Titans squad and suffered key injuries to their offensive line and running backs. Some guy named Baron Batch led the team with 10 carries and 22 yards.
If the Bengals win, expect AJ Green to have a monster game. The second year wideout is taking the league by storm and put up 135 yards and two touchdowns against highly regarded corner Joe Haden. Anyone remember what Demarius Thomas and Tim Tebow did to Steelers corner, Ike Taylor, in the divisional playoff round?
With that said, the Steelers are coming off a Thursday night game and get an extra three days to rest and prepare. I’m banking on Big Ben exploiting a suspect Bengals secondary and winning a close, hard-fought game in Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh: Will, Jeremy, Jake, Mike, Josh
Houston vs. Baltimore
The Ravens travel to Houston fresh off losing Pro Bowl caliber players on all three levels of their defense. As of Monday, they’re still undergoing tests, but Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis are likely out for the season.
Haloti Ngata’s status is uncertain as well. If the Ravens were your preseason pick, feel free to join me in a swift jump off the bandwagon.
As for the Texans, they will need to regroup after allowing Aaron Rodgers and company to throw for six touchdowns in a Monday Night Football shellacking.
These teams are very similar in that they both want to run the football and play defense, but can also fall back on solid yet unspectacular passing games if needed.
With the absence of Ray Lewis and potentially Ngata, I expect the Texans to take control of the game on the ground, force the Ravens to throw the ball more than they’d like and pick up a rebound win at home.
Houston: Jake, Colin, Jeremy, Mike
Baltimore: Will, Josh
Carolina vs. Dallas
Despite losing to the Ravens last week, the Cowboys certainly showed up to play. They moved the ball effectively on the ground with DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones combining for 185 yards on 32 carries.
Tony Romo passed for 261 yards and led the team on what would have been a game-tying drive had they punched in a two-point conversion.
The Panthers are coming off a much-needed bye and will look to turn around what many expected to be a breakout season. Their issue thus far has been their lack of offensive weapons outside of Steve Smith and Cam Newton. Their running back trio that they shelled out 50+ million for has been mediocre, and there isn’t a No. 2 wide receiver on roster. Don’t expect the Panthers to fix these problems against the stingy Dallas defense.
With or without DeMarco Murray, who suffered an ankle sprain last week, I’m expecting the Cowboys to win handily in Carolina.
Dallas: Jake, Will, Colin, Mike, Josh
Despite typical Jay Cutler malarkey, the Bears have the best point differential in the NFL and sit atop the rugged National Football Conference (NFC) North. While they’ve had a softball schedule thus far, all their wins have come with gusto, cruising to victory by 16 points or more in each.
The Lions are your typical underachievers — young, undisciplined and fumbly. Still, they could beat any team on any day. There’s a chance Jahvid Best may return from the injured reserve this week, and considering his 12-carry, 163-yard performance in a win against the Bears last year, that could be huge.
However, a key aspect of that game was the Detroit crowd – aiding the Bears into nine false start penalties. This game is played in Cheecahgo — say that like the Geico gecko — and the Bears are coming off a bye, so there’s certainly reason to like Da Bears in this one.
I’m going with the upset here. Backs against the wall last week, the Lions pulled out a win against Philadelphia and this game should carry the same importance for the 2-3 squad.
Expect Calvin Johnson or Brandon Pettigrew to have a big game. If the Bears focus too much attention on Calvin, look for Pettigrew to wreak mayhem down the seam of the Bears’ cover two.
Chicago: Will, Jeremy, Colin, Josh
Detroit: Jake, Mike