NFL Week 6 Picks

Thanks to a down year for the NFC East, the Giants can stay in the division race with a win on Thursday Night Football

Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley

The best part about your team playing on Thursday Night Football is that you only have to wait four days between games. The worst part is that you then have to wait at least 10 days until the next game.

The Giants are hosting the Eagles on Thursday Night Football this week in what is a must-win game for the Giants, and a need-to-win game for the Eagles. A Giants win would improve them to 2-4, tying them with the Eagles record-wise and putting them ahead of the Eagles head-to-head tiebreaker-wise. A loss would make the gap two games between the two teams and prevent an all-out quarterback controversy for the Eagles.

The NFC East might be won this year by an 8-8 team, and if things keep going the way they are in the division, it might be won by a 7-9 team. And there’s nothing better than a 7-9 playoff team hosting an 11-win team in the first week of the playoffs. The Redskins are 2-2, the Eagles are 2-3, the Cowboys are 2-3 and the Giants are 1-4. A Giants win on Thursday to go along with a Redskins loss to the Panthers (likely) and a Cowboys loss to the Jaguars (very likely) would give the 2-3 Redskins a half-game edge over the other three teams at 2-4.

It was five years ago that the Giants opened the season 0-6 before winning four straight games, and at 4-6, playing for first place in the NFC East against the Cowboys. They lost that game and would go on to miss the playoffs, but at 0-6 a team should never again have a chance to think about the playoffs. At 1-4, the same should be able to be said, but the NFC East always has a weird way of working things out and very rarely is a team able to run away and hide with the division. Here’s to the 7-9 Giants winning the division and hosting a playoff game.

(Home team in caps)

NEW YORK GIANTS +1.5 over Philadelphia
My bold prediction before the season was that the Eagles would miss the playoffs. Maybe it wasn’t so bold since a lot of Super Bowl champions fall apart the following season after playing a month’s worth of extra games, especially for a franchise like the Eagles that had never won a Super Bowl. Sure, they are the middle of a solid window of opportunity to add on to their championship, but I can’t help but think that they are more than content with their 2017 season, at least for now.

On top of that, I wished for the ultimate quarterback controversy between Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. The team is now 1-2 with Wentz after benching Foles for going 1-1.

A Giants win on Thursday Night Football would save the Giants’ season, improve them to 2-4, give them the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys and give every NFC East team two wins for now. It would also drop the Eagles to 2-4, which would mean they would be 1-3 with Wentz as their starter and the calls for Foles to be the starter would be out of control. The Giants have to win this game for so many reasons. I need the Giants to win this game.

HOUSTON -10 over Buffalo
It’s one thing to get behind the Bills at home. It’s another thing to get behind them on the road in a dome against the offensive threats and pass rush of the Texans. I’m in no way a believer in the Texans, but now at 2-3, it’s possibly they are turning into the team everyone thought they would be. It’s hard for me to see them winning a game by two possessions, but I’m not about to back Josh Allen to find out.

Seattle -3 over OAKLAND
There’s so much to love about Jon Gruden’s 1-4 Raiders. From Gruden’s cockiness as a broadcaster to his ridiculous contract to completely run an organization to his decision to run Khalil Mack out of town to his team being an absolute disaster, it has been a pleasure watching him destroy the Raiders both on and off the field. And while I’m certainly not a Seahawks fan after what happened on the goal line in the Super Bowl a few years ago, it makes it a little easier to stomach picking them when the Raiders are their opponent.

MIAMI +3.5 over Chicago
The Bears have sucked for so long I forgot what it was like to have them be competitive. It’s weird. Since their Week 1 collapse, the Bears defense has allowed 41 points over the last three games, and their offense even chipped in last game with Mitchell Trubisky somehow throwing six touchdown passes in a 48-10 rout of the Buccaneers.

The Bears are coming off their bye week, but it’s still much too early to trust them. It’s often easy to get caught up in how a team has played lately, but as a Giants fan I know more than anyone that you need to trust every week in the NFL like a brand-new season. I want to like the Bears, but it’s a little early for them to be giving points on the road, especially in Miami where the Dolphins seem to always play close games and pull out wins.

CINCINNATI -2 over Pittsburgh
I despite both of these teams. The Bengals for me foolishly believing in them so many times during the Andy Dalton era and the Steelers for losing every big game and playoff game to the Patriots. I probably should take the points in this division matchup, but my dislike for the Steelers far outweighs that of the Bengals.

NEW YORK JETS -2.5 over Indianapolis
Jets fans were ready to retire Sam Darnold’s number after Week 1, even though the defense deserved the credit for their blowout win in Detroit. Then after three weeks of losing, despite going into this season knowing the entire season was to be used as experience for Darnold, Jets fans returned to their old ways, questioning whether or not Darnold was the future. Now after a big win at home against the Broncos in which the Jets’ rushing game put up fake-like numbers, Jets fans think there is a path for them to the postseason.

My ideal situation for the Jets would be to just fall short of a postseason berth. That way, their fans are strung along and they end up with a pick in the middle of the first round, which is exactly won’t they don’t need as they try to build a team around Darnold. I don’t even think I need to root or pull for this happen. It’s the Jets, so it will happen all on its own. I can easily see an 8-8 season for them.

Carolina +1 over WASHINGTON
The Redskins were flat-out embarrassed on Monday Night Football as the Superdome Saints made their triumphant return. Those are the Saints everyone thought they would be getting in Week 1 before their loss to the Buccaneers and before their near-loss to the Browns. The Redskins couldn’t have picked a worse time to play in New Orleans.

As a Giants fan, it’s looking more and more like a near-.500 record will win the NFC East and that means tiebreakers are going to play a huge role in determining which of the crappy NFC East teams will win the division. The Giants and Cowboys have both already lost to the Panthers, so that means the Redskins have to as well to keep, and then the Eagles will also have to. Let’s Go Panthers!

MINNESOTA -10.5 over Arizona
Either the Eagles aren’t good (very possible) or the Vikings everyone expected this season have finally arrived (also very possible). But the Vikings’ win on the road over the Eagles was a very good sign for a team that struggled to a 1-2-1 start after being considered a true contender before the start of the season.

I’m a Vikings believer. Not only because Brittni is a Vikings fan and forces me to be when the Giants aren’t playing, but because I think they are a very balanced team, minus their kicking issues, which have now reached the historically-accurate Dan Bailey. The Rams might be 5-0 and the best team in the NFC and possibly the league, but the Vikings proved that they can go there and play with the Rams, and have Kirk Cousins not fumbled on the last possession of their meeting, maybe it’s the Vikings everyone is talking about as the team to beat in the NFC.

The Vikings are a very good team, and the Cardinals are a very bad team with a rookie quarterback. Very good teams blow out very bad teams at home. Well, unless the very good team’s quarterback turns the ball over every possession and then in that case, you lose a game to the Bills you were favored by 17 points in. But that won’t happen again!

CLEVELAND -1.5 over Los Angeles Chargers
A season after going 0-16, the Browns could easily be 5-0. They tied the Steelers because their kicker missed a game-winning field goal, lost to the Saints by 3 because their kicker missed two field goals and only lost to the Raiders in overtime despite four turnovers. The Browns have the ability to be a good team, they just need consistency.

When the Chargers have to play games in the Eastern Time Zone, bad things usually happen. And considering the Chargers never live up to their expectations, and with this specific Chargers team being a preseason favorite to reach the playoffs, there’s no way they don’t go 8-8 this season.

Tampa Bay +3 over ATLANTA
The Falcons are a joke and each week that passes with their current coaching staff makes the joke even bigger. They couldn’t convert in the red zone in their Week 1 loss to the Eagles, couldn’t get a stop in their overtime loss to the Saints, couldn’t hold on in their one-point loss to the Bengals and got destroyed in their 24-point loss to the Steelers.

I enjoy watching the Falcons’ fall from grace after their collapse in the Super Bowl and I can only hope they lose every game.

Los Angeles Rams -7 over DENVER
I thought the Denver defense was supposed to be good? Or did everyone think it was still the 2015 season? The Broncos allowed 323 rushing yards to the Jets last week. Yes, 323! And 198 passing yards for a total of 521 yards of offense to the Jets. The Jets! Yeah, let me back the Broncos against the Rams and feel confident about it …

JACKSONVILLE -3 over Dallas
The Cowboys suck. I can’t say this enough. And the more I say it, the more angry I get that the Giants gave away their Week 2 game in Dallas.

The Jaguars are good and one of only three teams in the AFC with a chance to reach the Super Bowl. Going back to the NFC East tiebreakers, after the Jaguars beat the Giants, I now need them to sweep the division. Let’s Go Jaguars!

TENNESSEE +3 over Baltimore
Two teams that seem to always lose when you think they are going to win. Now in a matchup between them, someone has to win, or I guess they could provide us with the third tie of the season. But considering that both teams will likely show up and play poorly, which is what these teams do when you pick them, give me the points.

Kansas City +3 over NEW ENGLAND
You want to prove you have the best offense in the history of the league? Go into New England on Sunday Night Football against the weakest Patriots team in years and come out with a win. If the Chiefs lose this game, there’s no sense in believing they will be anything other than a minor obstacle for the Patriots on their way to another Super Bowl appearance because a loss in the game could be the home-field tiebreaker in the AFC Championship Game.

GREEN BAY -9.5 over San Francisco
That’s a lot of points until you realize that the C.J. Beathard 49ers lost at home to the Josh Rosen Cardinals.

Last week: 6-9
Season: 30-33