We are now heading into week six of the 2018 NFL season and teams are starting to prove who they are. Some of the top teams from last season have been slow out of the gate due to injuries. Some of the bottom teams from the previous season have had decent years so far with their rookies and new additions to the team. We will be getting a better understanding of each and every team within the next couple of weeks to see how will break away from the pack. I will be breaking down each game on the NFL schedule for this week and giving a brief description of each team and who will win.
NFL Week 6 Preview
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) vs New York Giants (1-4)
The Philadelphia Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champions but have started out of the gate slow this season. The Eagles went the first two weeks without Carson Wentz who was still recovering from his torn ACL last season. The Eagles got their number one receiver back last week in Alshon Jeffery but lost their starting running back Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL.
The New York Giants have been in the media a lot this season due to their play and their star player voicing his opinion. The Giants took running back Saquan Barkley with the second overall pick in last years draft and he has been a stud for the Giants. New York just can’t seem to be consistent on the offensive side of the ball and haven’t been very good on the defensive side of the ball either.
The Eagles came out of this game with a 34-13 win over the Giants.
Buffalo Bills (2-3) vs Houston Texans (2-3)
The Buffalo Bills have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season. The Bills got demolished in their first game of the season to the Ravens with a 47-3 final score and then lost to the Chargers the next week 31-20. Josh Allen took over at quarterback in the second half of the Chargers game and made some nice plays and eventually took over the starting spot. The Bills have then beaten the Vikings in Minnesota and the Titans within the past three weeks. Buffalo has one of the best defenses in the league and can run the ball with the best of them but have no receivers who can dominate and make plays which has hurt them a lot this season.
The Houston Texans started off the season 0-3 but have won their past two games in overtime due to some questionable coaching decisions by the opposing teams. Houston has been solid on defense this season but their offense seems to be struggling putting together strong performances in back to back weeks. I think the Texans riding a two-game win streak will put together a nice offensive performance at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) vs Atlanta Falcons (1-4)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the best teams the first two weeks of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick started the first three games for the Buccaneers and put up huge numbers for those three games. Fitzpatrick was the first player in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in three consecutive games to start a season. Tampa Bay ended up losing to the Steelers in week three on Monday night football before getting demolished by the Bears in week four.
The Falcons were supposed to be one of the top teams in the NFC this season with their defense and uptempo offense. The Falcons lost both of their starting safeties and their middle linebacker during the first three weeks of the season and had to put them on IR for the rest of the season. Their offense has been fine this season averaging almost 25 points per game which is near the tops in the league. Atlanta should bounce back this week against a weak defense and needing a win to at least salvage their season.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) vs Cleveland Browns (2-2-1)
The Los Angeles Chargers are one of the best teams in the league when fully healthy. They have one of the top defenses and one of the top offenses and should be considered a contender. They have dealt with injuries this season which is why they have started slow like the past few years. When the Chargers start to click and get healthy they will be a scary team come December and January.
The Browns are the surprise team this season with their new additions. Cleveland had two top five picks this past draft in which they landed Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward. The Browns have been in every game this season and could be either 4-1 or 5-0 at this point. They tied the Steelers in week 1 and lost to the Saints in week 2 on a missed field goal. Baker Mayfield has been a spark for the Browns with his play and his ability to win games. The Chargers will look to get rolling this week after winning their last two games.
Seattle Seahawks (2-3) vs Oakland Raiders (1-4)
The Seattle Seahawks have had an up and down season this year. Nobody really knows what to expect from the Seahawks this season. They have a steady offense with Russell Wilson and a good running game but with a rebuilt defense they have questions on that side of the ball.
The Oakland Raiders were one of the top teams in the AFC a couple seasons ago and they hired John Gruden this offseason to a 10 year 100 million dollar deal to take this team to the next level. The Raiders have been horrible this season and have had turmoil within the organization since the beginning of training camp. The Seahawks should go into Oakland and run away with this game after their tough loss to the Rams the week before.
Chicago Bears (3-1) vs Miami Dolphins (3-2)
The Chicago Bears have been the surprise team of the league this season. With all of their new additions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Bears traded for all-pro defensive end Khalil Mack from the Raiders after him and Oakland parted ways. The Bears have been one of the best defenses in the league this season and when Mitchell Trubisky is on this team can be a contender.
The Miami Dolphins started off the season 3-0 and everyone thought they could be a contender in the AFC. After heading to New England and getting demolished 38-7 and then blowing a 17 point halftime lead last week to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bears coming off of their bye week will be ready for this matchup and go into Miami and come away with an easy victory.
Arizona Cardinals (1-4) vs Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1)
The Arizona Cardinals started off the season with Sam Bradford as their starting quarterback. The Cardinals were one of the worst offensive teams in the league during the first three weeks of the game. Josh Rosen took over during his last drive of their week 3 game and has started since then and giving the Cardinals a bolt on the offensive side of the ball.
The Minnesota Vikings have started off slow this season on the defensive side of the ball. The Viking’s new addition Kirk Cousins has been a huge piece for Minnesota with his ability to run the offense and keep teams in the game. The Vikings know it’s their time to make a run and it starts Sunday at home coming off of a huge win at Philadelphia.
Indianapolis Colts (1-4) vs New York Jets (2-3)
The Indianapolis Colts finally have their franchise quarterback back after missing the past two seasons due to a shoulder injury. The Colts have had some flashes this season but our 1-4 on the season. Andrew Luck has looked good at times throwing the ball which is a good sign for the Colt’s future.
The Jets, on the other hand, have a rookie starting a quarterback in Sam Darnold who has had an up and down season as any rookie would. The Jets have looked great in their wins and in their losses they have hurt themselves with turnovers and penalties. The Jets being at home will have the advantage in this game and with the Colts being down TY Hilton and Jack Doyle on offense.
Carolina Panthers (3-1) vs Washington Redskins (2-2)
The Carolina Panthers have started off the season strong even with having an early bye week. The Panthers have one of the best front 7’s in the league and their secondary has done their part to keep their defense strong. Cam Newton and the offense has been consistent this season and Christian McCaffery has had a nice season in the running game and the receiving game.
The Redskins with new quarterback Alex Smith at the helm and Adrian Peterson in the backfield have formed a duo. The Redskins have been decent this season but probably won’t be in contention towards the end of the season. The Panthers will shut down the running game of the Redskins and Newton will be too much for the Redskins defense after giving up 40+ points to the Saints on Monday night football.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) vs Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an up and down season so far but seemed to get things going last Sunday against the Falcons. The defense stepped up in a big way and the offense was clicking in the running game and the passing game. The Steelers will look to put the slow start behind them and start making a run in October.
The Bengals, on the other hand, have looked pretty good this season with a 4-1 record and clicking all over the field. This is one of the best rivalries in sports history and AFC North football which will make for a huge game in the division. The Steelers will look to keep the momentum going into Cincinnati and keep the running game going and the defense getting better and better each week. The Steelers will have their bye week after this game so look for them to lay it all on the line with a week off and take this huge game in Cincinnati to get back into the division and AFC race.
Los Angeles Rams (5-0) vs Denver Broncos (2-3)
The Los Angeles Rams are the best team in football right now. Their offense is on another level with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Copper Kupp, and Robert Woods. Their defense has been good this season as well with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh as their anchors on the defensive line. Sean McVay is one of the best and youngest head coaches in the league.
The Denver Broncos took a beating last weekend to the Jets giving up 300+ rushing yards and allowing big play after big play. The Broncos are a different team at home with the altitude and it will be cold and snowing in Denver. The Rams are just on another level to every other team in the league right now but it will be an interesting game Sunday if it does indeed snow to see how the Rams play in the weather but the Rams should take this game.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) vs Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are struggling this season after their great season last year. The Jaguars star running back has been dealing with injuries all season long which has hurt their offense and Blake Bortles has been very inconsistent. Their defense has been everything that you would expect from the number one defense a year ago.
The Dallas Cowboys have also been inconsistent this season but they really only have Ezekiel Elliott on offense because their receiving core isn’t very good. Their defense has been okay with their young players and kept the Cowboys in their games. The Jaguars defense should be able to hold the Cowboys offense in check on Sunday and Bortles should be able to do just enough to walk away with a win.
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) vs Tennessee Titans (3-2)
The Baltimore Ravens had a good first four weeks of the season including a huge win at Pittsburgh. The Ravens added some new weapons on offense which has helped Joe Flacco in Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead. The Ravens defense has been incredible this season which is the strength of their team and has been for years.
The Tennessee Titans and new head coach Mike Vrabel had a good start to the season minus a couple tough losses. The defense with their new additions and the offense with a better system has been amazing for the Titans. The Titans should bounce back at home after a tough loss to Buffalo and win a close one against the Ravens.
Sunday Night Football:
Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) vs New England Patriots (3-2)
The Kansas City Chiefs made a huge change this offseason with changing their starting quarterback from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes and it looks like they made the right choice so far. Mahomes has been the talk of the league this season with his stellar performance and although he didn’t have great numbers last week against Jacksonville, he still threw for over 300 yards and had a rushing touchdown in a blowout victory.
The New England Patriots started the season 1-2 which is odd for them but they have found their way the past two weeks like they always do. The Patriots one weakness would be their defense which is struggling to start the year with a new defensive coordinator. There is going to be a shootout in Foxborough on Sunday night and the Chiefs will prevail because they have the better defense right now.
Monday Night Football:
San Francisco 49ers (1-4) vs Green Bay Packers (2-2-1)
The San Francisco 49ers had high hopes coming into this season with a full year of Jimmy Garoppolo and the addition of Richard Sherman on the defensive side. After losing in Garoppolo in week three to a torn ACL for the season. The 49ers have a bright future ahead of them with their young pieces in place.
The Green Bay Packers have seemed off this season since Aaron Rodgers left game one with a knee injury in which he returned. The Packers haven’t played their best football yet this season but being at home in a primetime game I expect the Packers to come out strong and try to get on a roll Monday night.
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