It is already the middle of October and it feels like the season just started. A few teams have stood out and have their sights set on the playoffs. The flip side of that is many fanbases have already set their sights on the draft. There is one undefeated team, the Minnesota Vikings, and there is one winless team, as most of you would be able to guess, the Cleveland Browns.
This week only two teams are on a bye and those teams are Minnesota and Tampa Bay. There will still be 15 games this week. Last week was tough on predictions considering two undefeated teams lost in upsets. Hopefully this week is better. Here are Hagan’s Haus picks of week six.
Last Week: 8-6
Denver 23 @ San Diego 16: The Denver Broncos are coming off a surprising loss to the Falcons. The key in this game, as shocking as it might sound, is if Trevor Siemian can play. If he can the Broncos should have no issues. If he doesn’t the Broncos will need to protect the football and run the ball. Philip Rivers won’t be afraid of this defense like most quarterbacks, but I don’t trust the Chargers at all. The Broncos will be determined to get a win.
San Fransisco 20 @ Buffalo 31: Buffalo has really hit their stride after starting out 0-2. Firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman has provided a spark to the Buffalo offense. Since firing Roman, the Bills have won three straight games and are averaging 178 yards rushing. With Roman they were only averaging 75.5. This rush attack will keep the Bills defense fresh and allow them to make tons of plays in this game.
Jacksonville 22 @ Chicago 23: The Bears have looked better offensively with Brian Hoyer, but their defense gets thrashed giving up 25.5 points per game. The Jaguars have been difficult to figure out thus far, but I think they are the better all around team. The problem with picking them is that Blake Bortles struggles on the road as he has a 1-14 record on the road. Until he and his team prove otherwise it will be impossible to pick them on the road.
Los Angeles 24 @ Detroit 21: The Lions are a competitive team, but at the end of the day they are still the same old Lions. They won’t win more than eight and will miss the playoffs. The story is already written and won’t change. The Rams defense will get to Matthew Stafford frequently in this game and Stafford struggles mightily against teams with a great pass rush. The Rams will score defensively in this game and get a road win.
Pittsburgh 38 @ Miami 24 : If Miami wins this game the NFL is just playing games with us. This should be a cake walk for the Steelers, but then again, “Any Given Sunday”. The Steelers defense doesn’t get a lot of credit, but are only giving up 18.6 points per game. That’s good enough for ninth in the NFL. The strength of the Steelers is their offense and Miami will not be able to stop Big Ben and company in this one.
Cincinnati 22 @ New England 31: Tom Brady scoffs at the thought of being rusty. That and he played against the only winless team in the NFL. Tom Brady will be on a mission all season and the Bengals are heading towards the dumpster. Marvin Lewis has been around too long without a playoff win and his team is declining without coordinators Hue Jackson and Mike Zimmer. The Patriots will dominate this game and Tom Brady will throw for 350 yards.
Carolina 34 @ New Orleans 31: There is no way one player is the difference of the Panthers from being 15-1 to starting this season off 1-4. This isn’t all about losing Josh Norman. Something is wrong in Carolina, but what is it? This game is a rivalry game and always great. Drew Brees can still sling the rock, but the Saints aren’t a great team due to their historically bad defense. This could be a shootout and I am unwilling to give up on the Panthers just yet.
Baltimore 17 @ New York (G) 27: The Giants are one of the biggest roller coaster teams in the NFL. They will find a way to get rolling at home to win this game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Ravens are not as good as their record. Their defense is playing solid and only giving up 17.6 points per game but they are only scoring 18.8 points per game. I don’t think 18 or 19 points is going to be enough in this game. The Giants will be able to put up points on this defense.
Philadelphia 21 @ Washington 23: The Eagles are coming off their first loss of the season. This is also an important division game for them on the road. Carson Wentz has finally thrown an interception and will throw another in this game. The Redskins will find a way to win this divisional game, but just barely.
Cleveland 10 @ Tennessee 20: I am convinced that Tennessee is actually a pretty good team. They are 10th in points given up per game, tied for eighth in sacks, and tied for fifth in interceptions. This defense is really good and if they get anything from their offense they can win a lot of games. The Browns are still the Browns. They have played four quarterbacks already and that number may reach double digits this season. The Titans defense will wreck havoc on the Browns to keep them winless.
Kansas City 24 @ Oakland 31: The Raiders are finally back! They sit at 4-1 and are tied for first in the AFC West. Derek Carr is quietly making a case for MVP. He sits at 11th (min. of 100 pass attempts) in completion percentage with 66.8 percent. He is also eighth in yards, third in touchdown passes, has only thrown two interceptions and has the seventh best passer rating (min 100 attempts). The Chiefs have been known to have a great defense, but going into the Blackhole, they won’t be able to stop this prolific Raider offense.
Dallas 24 @ Green Bay 27: This could be the game of the week. It will be fun to see the NFL’s leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliot, versus the best rush defense in the NFL. The Cowboys average a league best 155.2 rush yards per game, while the Packers allow the least amount of rushing yards per game at only 42.8 yards per game. The Cowboys will rush for 100 yards as a team in this game, but their defense will not stop Aaron Rodgers at home.
Atlanta 14 @ Seattle 23: The Falcons are not for real just yet, but if they win in Seattle they are. The Falcons started last season 5-0 before finishing 3-8, which is why it is hard to trust this team. Seattle is coming off of a bye week and with two weeks to prepare for Matt Ryan and company, the Seahawks defense will be too much for the Falcons.
Indianapolis 27 @ Houston 24: This game is big for the AFC South. The winner of this game will be in first place. It is tough to know how this game will turnout since Houston is at home. This game will be won by quarterback play and Andrew Luck is easily the better quarterback. As long as the Colts can protect Luck for most of this game, he will be able to put them in a position to win.
New York (J) 19 @ Arizona 24: Many experts expected these teams to both be good and even playoff teams. The Cardinals were expected to be one of the favorites to contend for the NFC crown and they haven’t looked good. Carson Palmer should play in this game, but the Jets will get a lot of big hits on him. The Jets will continue to struggle as long as Fitzpatrick is the quarterback. He will make enough mistakes in this game to hurt his team.