Wednesday, 9 October 2013

NFL Week 6 Preview

Week 5 was an odd sort of week; more injuries by the dozens for vital players, very late kick-offs and surprises to be had.
For myself, I went 8-14 making me 30-15 over the three weeks of doing this preview post.

The injuries sustained including Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer who got tangled up on the touchline and ruptured his ACL and is done for the season.  The Browns still beat the Buffalo Bills thanks to a solid defensive effort and Brandon Weedon, who has the job back for the season. The Browns have a tough schedule ahead of it meaning the winning record will disappear, but you felt stronger for their chances with Hoyer under centre.

The surprises were the Indianapolis Colts holding up the Seattle Seahawks at home to give them their first defeat of the season 34-28; meaning the Colts have beaten both the formidable 49ers on the road and now the Seahawks at home.  Due to the continual woes of the Houston Texans and Matt 'Pick 6' Schaub - who threw his fourth consecutive return interception in as many games at San Francisco - the Colts will probably have a home playoff game which in the Lucas Oil stadium will be of benefit to this still young side led by the ever-impressive Andrew Luck.

The game of the week including 99 points as the Denver Broncos went into Cowboys Stadium and won 51-48 thanks to a Matt Prater field goal as time expired thanks to a Tony Romo interception late in the fourth quarter to set up great field position for the undefeated Broncos who are one of three undefeated teams remaining at 5-0 along with Kansas City and New Orleans.  Romo should not get the burden of responsibility as he, was in the ultimate shootout with Peyton Manning (who threw his first interception of the season), threw for 506 yards. The Cowboys defence needs to man up and make some plays and they should still win the NFC East which is just plain woeful.

New York Jets won on Monday Night Football in Atlanta 30-28 thanks to a Nick Folk field goal as time expired and led by a Geno Smith less than two minute drive to get into position.  The Falcons came up short again on a big stage, losing two prime time games in a week on home turf.  Matt Ryan has a 2-6 record on MNF; yet credit to Geno for making the plays needed. The Falcons though are now 1-4, four games behind the Saints and reportedly without Julio Jones who has broken a bone in his foot to coincide with the continual high ankle sprain for Roddy White and the absence of Steven Jackson.

Eli Manning threw some more interceptions, he has 12 through five games thus far.  At the moment the Giants have the No.1 pick in the 2014 draft. The Giants are officially worse than the Jacksonville Jaguars who scored the most points in one game thus far at the St. Louis Rams yet still lost 34-20.

Week 6 predictions (Byes for Atlanta and Miami)

Giants (0-5) at Bears (3-2)
The Thursday Night Football feast continues with a winless team getting prime time air time. Eli Manning has thrown so many interceptions and this week has faces a formidable defence who will be hungry and eager to bounce back from two straight defeats.  They will bring too much pressure to Eli and Jay Cutler just needs to protect the ball and target Alshon Jeffrey who had 200+ yards off of 10 receptions.
Prediction: Bears by 7

Saints (5-0) at Patriots (4-1)
After losing in a monsoon in Ohio, Tom Brady was visibly perturbed by the lack of options he had as the young receivers dropped three of his last eight passes when the ball was there to be caught. The 13-6 road defeat meant Brady snapped his 52 consecutive games with a touchdown.  Hopefully the return of Rob Gronkowski at home will elicit a huge crowd response; they will need it against a very good Saints side whose defence is playing as well as the Drew Brees offence.
Prediction: Saints by 6

Bengals (3-2) at Bills (2-3)
Andy Dalton won a game throwing for 212 yards. The Bengals defence who sacked Tom Brady four times face the hugely respected talent of Thad Lewis..wait, who the hell is Thad Lewis.
Prediction: Bengals by 8

Lions (3-2) at Browns (3-2)
Cleveland's three game winning streak will be coming to an end this week due to the presence of Brandon Weedon in the dropback.  The Lions are a formidable defence whose front seven will be eager to target the 29 year old QB who holds on to the ball for too long.  Calvin Johnson will return also to prompt a big day for himself and Reggie Bush who had a quiet game last week.
Prediction: Lions by 10

Raiders (2-3) at Chiefs (5-0)
The Chiefs are 5-0 (3-0 v NFC East) and this is their first divisional match of the season against an improving Raiders led by Tyrelle Pryor.  The Chiefs are still making few mistakes and Jamaal Charles either running or catching the ball is having the sort of season that should be getting more recognition.
Prediction: Chiefs by 7

Panthers (1-3) at Vikings (1-3)
The Vikings return from their late summer holiday in London with a W, against the frustrating Carolina Panthers.  The Vikings if they play Matt Cassel will probably have too much for this Panthers team who cannot get the best out of Cam Newton.  It will probably be Cassel's last start as the Vikings acquired free agent Josh Freeman after he was cut from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Prediction: Vikings by 3

Steelers (0-4) at NY Jets (3-2)
Unbelievably the Jets have a winning record and are one game behind the division leading Patriots who they might join at 4-2 if results go their way this week.  Expect J-E-T-S to hold up their end of the bargain; they are getting offensive options back on the field with Mike Goodson in the backfield, Stephen Hill making plays at wide out and Santonio Holmes possibly returning, as well as the defence holding firm.  Big Ben will be shrinking come Sunday night.
Prediction: Jets by 7

Eagles (2-3) at Bucs (0-4)
The Bucs come off a bye with Mike Glennon firmly placed in the quarterback position yet the defence is not making plays.  If Michael Vick remains injured Nick Foles could well step up into the position as he did in the 2nd half of the Giants game and get results.  From a fantasy perspective avoid LeSean McCoy, Foles is a passer and will seek out DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek alternatively.
Prediction: Eagles by 4

Packers (2-2) at Ravens (3-2)
Felt the Ravens were lucky to escape Miami with a W as the Dolphins did some good things including a pick six of the worst throw ever seen by Joe Flacco.  The Packers after a bye look ready to shake things up with a mixture of passing and Eddie Lacy back holding the rock.
Prediction: Packers by 4

Rams (2-3) at Texans (2-3)
Hmm, this is a tough one to call. Usually two bad or losing sides you look at the quarterback, yet the Texans vaunted defence is not making plays; perhaps signing the ageing Ed Reed was a mistake. Yet the Texans should follow the 49ers game plan to nullify the Rams and Sam Bradford.  If Arian Foster is back to his best then that is probably going to be the difference.
Prediction: Texans by 7

Jaguars (0-5) at Broncos (5-0)
The Broncos are 28 point favourites to win this game...get on it people
Prediction: Broncos by 27

Titans (3-2) at Seahawks (4-1)
The Seahawks lost their first game of the season but on the road.  Back at the boisterous home turf, the intimidation factor might be too much for Ryan Fitzpatrick, whilst the Titans wideouts will be too soft for the Seahawks secondary.
Prediction: Seahawks by 10

Cardinals (3-2) at 49ers (3-2)
After their two game skid, the 49ers look to have got their heads back on straight after the Aldon Smith incident.  The defence are making plays as always, Kaepernick is not making turnovers and Frank Gore keeps on running.  The Cardinals are doing some good things but mostly on the defensive side, yet that is in the secondary. The 49ers O-line will be too strong to protect Gore.
Prediction: 49ers by 7

Redskins (1-3) at Cowboys (2-3)
Tony Romo played very well, remember that, and he was finding targets all over the field and yet because of playing Denver it became a throwing contest, so expect DeMarco Murray to have a big day against the weak Redskins defense.  Be interesting to see how RG3's knee looks after a bye.
Prediction: Cowboys by 7

Colts (4-1) at Chargers (2-3)
Philip Rivers is the biggest fake in all of football; he is playing well and yet he faces the Raiders and seemingly freezes. Admittedly he has not many options to throw or hand off to, whereas the Colts are playing with confidence. Interesting to see if Donald Brown gets the goal-line carries over Trent Richardson again for fantasy purposes.
Prediction: Colts by 7

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