Week Six NFL Predictions

Now that we’ve distinguished the contenders from the pretenders, we’re getting a good idea on what’s to come.

Week Six NFL Predictions

We are now over a quarter of the way through the NFL season, and there seems to be a common theme of sloppy football this year. Tom Brady said as much in a press conference last week, saying that he’s been watching “a lot of bad football”. It’s not just the bad teams either, as supposed contenders like the Rams and Packers have played inexcusably bad in certain games so far in 2022. Making power rankings has been interesting to say the least, given the amount of “bad football” we are watching this year. Anyways, I went 10-6 on my week five predictions, bringing my record to a respectable 45-34 on the year. I could have done better however, as I almost picked the Cowboys to beat the Rams, but I didn’t quite pull the trigger. Dallas won 22-10. I also picked the Bengals to upset the Ravens, but Justin Tucker made a last second field goal to give Baltimore a 19-17 win. There weren’t quite as many surprises in week five as there have been in recent weeks, but there is still plenty to discuss, including the first coach firing of the season. So without further ado, here are my week six power rankings and predictions.

Each team’s record and rank from last week is listed in parentheses.

The cellar dwellers:

#32. Carolina Panthers (1-4, 30)

#31. Houston Texans (1-3-1, 32)

#30. Chicago Bears (2-3, 31)

The scrappy underdogs:

#29. Washington Commanders (1-4, 29)

#28. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4, 26)

#27. Detroit Lions (1-4, 23)

#26. Seattle Seahawks (2-3, 28)

#25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3, 19)

#24. New York Giants (4-1, 27)

#23. Atlanta Falcons (2-3, 24)

That Thursday night game was so sad:

#22. Denver Broncos (2-3, 14)

#21. Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1, 17)

Longshot playoff contenders:

#20. Arizona Cardinals (2-3, 20)

#19. New England Patriots (2-3, 21)

#18. New Orleans Saints (2-3, 22)

Finally the contenders!

#17. New York Jets (3-2, 25)

#16. Cleveland Browns (2-3, 18)

#15. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4, 15)

I don’t know what to do with these teams:

#14. Los Angeles Rams (2-3, 9)

#13. Green Bay Packers (3-2, 8)

#12. Miami Dolphins (3-2, 10)

More serious contenders:

#11. Minnesota Vikings (4-1, 16)

#10. Tennessee Titans (3-2, 12)

#9. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2, 11)

#8. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3, 7)

#7. Baltimore Ravens (3-2, 4)

The best of the NFC:

#6. Dallas Cowboys (4-1, 13)

#5. San Francisco 49ers (3-2, 6)

#4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-0, 5)

#3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, 3)

The Super Bowl favorites by a country mile:

#2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1, 1)

#1. Buffalo Bills (4-1, 2)

Week six predictions:

Washington Commanders @ Chicago Bears:

Another miserable Thursday night is on tap this week. Washington put up a valiant effort in week five against the Titans, but Carson Wentz threw an interception in the end zone in the final seconds, dropping the Commanders to 1-4 on the season. The Bears also fought hard as they set a new season high with 22 points against the Vikings. However, their defense could not contain Justin Jefferson, who caught 12 passes for 154 yards, and the Bears lost by a touchdown. Justin Fields escaped with no turnovers for the first time this season, a positive sign. Neither of these teams are good, but Washington has slightly more talent and are desperate for a win, given their disappointing start to the season, so I’ll take them to get a road win.

Prediction: Commanders 23, Bears 17

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons:

The Niners took care of business last week, crushing the Panthers 37-15. They have outscored their opponents 61-24 over the last two weeks. Atlanta put up another good fight this past week against the Buccaneers, but their comeback fell just short after a bad roughing the passer call that gave Tampa Bay a free first down and allowed them to run out the clock. Both of these teams are well coached and play hard, but San Fran has considerably more talent.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Falcons 19

New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns:

The Pats made a huge statement in week five, shutting out the Lions 29-0 after Detroit had averaged 35 points per game prior to that matchup. New England’s defense was stifling and Detroit could not stop New England’s running game. As I predicted, Cleveland fell just short in a shootout against the Chargers, losing 30-28. The Browns have a similar offensive strategy to New England as they heavily use running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. However, New England has the better defense in my opinion, and Bill Belichick always gives his team an advantage. Both teams will have similar game plans, but I think the Patriots will execute theirs better.

Prediction: Patriots 23, Browns 21

New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers:

These teams are headed in opposite directions. A week after barely holding off the Patriots, the Packers embarrassed themselves in London by losing to the Giants 27-22. Their defense is underperforming given how much talent they have, and Aaron Rodgers just doesn’t have much to work with offensively. On the other hand, the Jets crushed the Dolphins 40-17 last week behind a dominant rushing attack led by dynamic rookie Breece Hall. Quarterback Zach Wilson continued to play well after he led a game, winning drive the previous week against the Steelers. This could go badly, but I’m going to take the Jets to win. Green Bay is favored by a touchdown, but I think they have too many problems to overcome against a team with as much momentum as the Jets have right now.

Prediction: Jets 26, Packers 24

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts:

This is the second matchup between these teams this season after the Jags shutout Indi 24-0 in week two. After a hot start, Jacksonville has come crashing back to Earth with back-to-back losses. Their week five loss was especially depressing, as they could muster just six points against the lowly Texans. The Colts’ offense has been even worse, as they haven’t scored over 20 points in any game this year. They mustered just 12 points against the Broncos last Thursday night, but they somehow won in overtime because Russell Wilson was shockingly worse than Matt Ryan. Indianapolis is at home and won’t want to lose the season series to Jacksonville, so I’ll take them to win, but it probably won’t be pretty.

Prediction: Colts 22, Jaguars 17

Minnesota Vikings @ Miami Dolphins:

The Vikings have won four of their first five games. Their offense has been consistently solid with Justin Jefferson at the forefront. The defense leaves something to be desired however, as they have allowed 71 points to the Lions, Saints, and Bears over the last three weeks. The Dolphins suffered an ugly 40-17 loss to the Jets last week. The defense had by far their worst performance of the season, and the offense was underwhelming after Teddy Bridgewater left the game with a concussion. Tua Tagovailoa is likely to miss at least one more game, but Bridgewater’s concussion is much less serious so he may be able to start this week. If he does, I think the Dolphins will win. They have lost two in a row, are playing at home, and have the better defense, plus you could argue that they have the better offense when they get adequate quarterback play. I also think the Vikings are due for a loss. However, if Bridgewater can’t go and rookie Skylar Thompson gets the start, the Vikings should win easily. I’ll count on Bridgewater playing for the sake of these predictions.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Vikings 21

Cincinnati Bengals @ New Orleans Saints:

The Bengals were close to pulling off an upset of the Ravens last week, but Lamar Jackson led a last minute drive that ended with a game winning field goal by Justin Tucker. Cincinnati’s offense struggled with Tee Higgins out due to an ankle injury, but he should be back out there this week. The Saints won a shootout over the Seahawks in week five 39-32. New Orleans predictably dominated a bad Seattle defense. Gadget player Taysum Hill, a quarterback/running back/wide receiver/tight end hybrid, ran for three touchdowns and threw for another to lead the way. New Orleans’ defense hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far, but they are capable of being one of the best in the league if they make the right adjustments. Joe Burrow has not played up to his potential to this point in the season, and I think that will continue in an extremely hostile environment at the Super Dome in New Orleans. I’m taking the Saints in another upset.

Prediction: Saints 24, Bengals 23

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Giants:

The Giants have massively over achieved to start the season, going 4-1 through their first five games. Last week was their most impressive win yet, as they upset the Packers 27-22 in London behind a great game from Saquon Barkley and a dominant second half defensive performance. The Ravens haven’t played their best football of late, but they are still 3-2 coming into this matchup. Although they have a great record, the Giants are not nearly as talented as the Ravens. I think they will start falling back to reality as their schedule gets tougher in the weeks to come. Baltimore shouldn’t have too much of a problem winning this one.

Prediction: Ravens 27, Giants 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Pittsburgh Steelers:

The Buccs took care of business against the Falcons last week, but it wasn’t without controversy. Atlanta fought back from a 21-0 deficit to cut the score to 21-15 in the fourth quarter, and had just stopped Tampa Bay’s offense on third down. But defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was called for an absurd roughing the passer penalty that gave the Buccs an automatic first down that allowed them to salt away the remainder of the clock. As for the Steelers, I thought they would keep things interesting against the Bills last week but they most certainly did not, losing 38-3. They face an even better defense this week, so I don’t see them having much more success than they had last week. They have a talented offense, but their coaching is holding them back.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Steelers 13

Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Rams:

Both of these teams are in tailspins. The Panthers finally fired head coach Matt Rhule after going 1-4 to start the season. Quarterback Baker Mayfield sprained his ankle in a week five loss to the 49ers and he might not be able to play this week, but that might not be the worst thing considering how badly he has been playing this season. The Rams are struggling because their offensive line is in shambles. They have been thoroughly overwhelmed in back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Cowboys, both of whom have great pass rushes that took advantage of La’s o-line. However, they have a great opportunity to get back on track this week against a reeling Carolina team. Firing a bad head coach can kickstart some teams, but I just don’t think the Panthers have the talent to beat the Rams, even if they are extra motivated this week.

Prediction: Rams 27, Panthers 17

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks:

Geno Smith and the Seahawk offense continued to surprise in week five, scoring 32 points against the Saints. However, their defense is one of the worst in the league and they couldn’t make a stop. Arizona is still one of the most predictable teams in the NFL, but Kyler Murray is a great quarterback and he does his best to keep his team competitive. Arizona’s defense isn’t good either, so this should be a shootout. I’ll take Seattle to win at home. Their coaching is better and their offense has been much more consistent than Arizona’s.

Prediction: Seahawks 33, Cardinals 30

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs:

This is the game of the year right here. Both of these teams are 4-1 and they are by far the two best teams in football. These teams last faced off in the playoffs last season, and the Chiefs won 42-36 in overtime. It was a classic duel between the two best quarterbacks in the NFL. This bout should be no different. I’ll take the Bills to get some revenge, but this is really a toss up.

Prediction: Bills 38, Chiefs 34

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles:

I thought the Cowboys were doomed after the week one injury to Dak Prescott. Instead, they have won four straight games behind an elite defense and a solid offense. This team will be dangerous when Prescott returns. The Eagles are still undefeated at 5-0 after they held on for a 20-17 win over the Cardinals last week. I would probably pick Dallas if Dak was healthy, but I just don’t think Cooper Rush will be able to keep up with Jalen Hurts and the Eagles even with a good defense behind him. This one should be fun either way though.

Prediction: Eagles 23, Cowboys 20

Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers:

For the fourth time this season, the Broncos will play in prime time. Don’t ask me why. Russell Wilson is cooked. He only managed to lead Denver to nine points in regulation and overtime combined in a 12-9 loss to the Colts last Thursday night. It was an inexcusable performance for any quarterback, much less one who is signed to a $250 million contract. Unless Wilson has a dramatic turnaround, Denver is in big trouble. The Chargers offense was clicking on all cylinders last week as they put up 30 points in a win over the Browns. Denver has a much better defense than Cleveland, but they should be able to do more than enough to win based on how bad Denver’s offense has been of late.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Broncos 16