Site Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 6

running back DeShawn Wynn leaps over Chicago Bears' Brian Urlacher (54),  

Man, picking against the spread is a lot harder than it looks! Last week got off to a good start, but then when I turned around and looked, the week ended up on a down note at 5-8, taking my overall mark in 2007 to a soft 32-38-2. Well, with that, here’s another crack at it for week 6 around the NFL.

St.Louis at Baltimore (-9)

Both these teams are banged up coming into this one, with the Ravens offensive line hurting and just about everyone of note hurting on the Rams side. The winless Rams will go with Gus Ferrotte again, meaning coming up with points won’t be easy. St.Louis showed signs of life in a home loss to the Cards last week, but the Ravens defense at home usually puts on a show against weak QB’s, which is what will happen here. BUT, I think overall the Ravens offense is not very good, so the under and points is the way to go here. Baltimore 16 St.Louis 9

Cincinnati (-3) at Kansas City

This will be a battle of a bad defense in Cincy vs a bad offense in KC. The 1-3 Bengals need a win in the worst way, and will pull out all the stops at Arrowhead to do it. The Chiefs are not very good, and the win vs the Chargers two weeks ago was a mirage of what they really are – a bad football team. KC is 30th in scoring (12.6), 28th in total offense (282.4) and 32nd in rushing (65.6). I think Cincy starts its climb from the AFC North cellar and plays well here overall on the road. Cincinnati 27 Kansas City 13

Tennessee at Tampa Bay (-3)

Both these teams played poorly last week, the only thing was the Titans were playing an even worse Falcons team, while the Bucs were at Indy. Vince Young and the Titans offense needs to rebound off of an awful game vs the Falcons, but that won’t be easy against a reborn Bucs defense. On other other side, the Tampa Bay offense is on life support with two running backs going down the past two weeks, and their matchup against a suddenly very good Titans D won’t be easy either. I have said all along that Tampa Bay is not as good as they seem, and in this case, the Titans are a better team than they showed last week. Tennessee 17 Tampa Bay 10

NY Jets at Philadelphia (-3.5)

Two teams that with a loss will likely end their playoff hopes for 2007. The one big stat here is that Andy Reid and the Eagles are 8-0 after a bye, and at home vs a bad Jets team that is looking at a possible QB change, they should show signs of life here. Both teams have had inconsistent play at QB with Chad Pennington and Donovan McNabb having issues, but Pennington is a few bad throws away from being benched for Kellen Clemens. McNabb’s issues go along with an O-line that allowed him to get sacked 12 times vs the Giants two weeks ago. Philly is getting healthier, and they should win this one going away. Philadelphia 30 NY Jets 17

Houston at Jacksonville (-6.5)

The Jags are playing good football right now, winning in two tough places to win over the last two weeks – at Denver and at KC. The Texans have their best roster since entering the league, but injuries have really bogged them down as of late, and needed a 57-yard field goal to beat the Dolphins last week at home. They have struggled running (67 yards a game) and Matt Schaub is hurting without leading receiver Andre Johnson, and considering the Jags D has allowed just 9.3 points in their last three games, points for Houston will be hard to come by. Jacksonville 20 Houston 10

Miami at Cleveland (-5)

The Fins have a new starting QB in Cleo Lemon, who starts for the injured Trent Green. He faces a Cleveland D that has allowed an NFL worst 15 TD passes and the 2nd most yards in the air at 1,355. Cleveland is playing tough on offense, but may miss leading rusher Jamal Lewis with a foot injury and have to go with unproven Jason Wright. But, while all signs point to a possible Dolphins upset, I think in the end the Browns are still the better team, and they’ve already beaten the Bengals and Ravens at home this season. Look for the Browns offense to move the ball and put up enough points to win and cover. Cleveland 23 Miami 14

Washington at Green Bay (-3)

Maybe the best of the 1pm starts, the Packers look to move to 5-1 after last weeks setback to the Bears at home, while the Skins look for 4-1. Washington has not played well in Green Bay, dropping 3 in a row dating back to 1988, and after a cakewalk vs the Lions a week ago, this will be a much tougher matchup. Jason Campbell will be hard pressed to duplicate his NFC Offensive Player of the Week award, as the Packers D is much better than people give it credit for. Brett Favre should be able to find some holes in the Skins D, and will take the short passes and then take some downfield shots. Also it looks as if the Packers running game may have finally turned a corner vs the Bears a week ago. Green Bay 24 Washington 17

Minnesota at Chicago (-5)

The Bears saved their season last week with a gutsy win in Green Bay, and this week should gain even more confidence against a Vikings team that can’t find the end zone. The line here is a bit of a shock, as despite the Bears offense being weak, their defense is good enough to basically stop the Vikings cold. Look for the two Bears TE’s, Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen to be heavily involved once again with Minnesota tough against the run. I see a long day for the Vikings offense and a bit of a rebirth by the Bears for at least one week. Chicago 21 Minnesota 6

Carolina at Arizona (-5)

Who would have ever thought at some point in 2007 we’d see Vinny Testaverde vs Kurt Warner?! That’s the likely QB matchup Sunday in the desert, as the Panther limp in with their new 43-year old QB vs the Cardinals. Despite their issues, both these teams are 3-2, so with that this is a big game. Warner seems more suited to make plays here, and while we might see QB’s David Carr or Matt Moore for the Panthers, I think the Carolina offense is going to have a hard time moving the ball. Arizona 17 Carolina 10

Oakland at San Diego (-10)

The Chargers looked more like the Super Chargers of old last week, taking apart the Broncos 41-3 in Denver. Their offense came to life, while their defense played their best game of the season by far. LaDainian Tomlinson has owned the Raiders in his career, rushing for 1,455 yards and 12 TD’s. The story here is Oakland’s offense, and if they will be able to have success against the Chargers defense. The Oakland running game is hurting with LaMont Jordon nursing a sore back, but they do have Justin Fargas and Dominic Rhodes, back from a suspension, to turn to. It won’t really matter, the Chargers offense will be too much for the Raiders D. San Diego 30 Oakland 17

New England (-6) at Dallas

The Hype Bowl in Big D this week with the 5-0 Pats vs the 5-0 Cowboys. This is a tough one to call, as I foresee the Cowboys being a bit drained after their emotional win against the Bills Monday night. They are coming off a short week, and despite being at home are up against a team that does not let big games get to them. The Pats have scored at least 34 points in each game, and have won by at least 17 each week. Impressive. I think we saw some flaws in Tony Romo’s game last week vs the Bills, and I think the Pats will use them and win in a blowout here against a Dallas team that will be over hyped for this game. New England 37 Dallas 20

New Orleans at Seattle (-6.5)

Seattle comes home off their first shutout loss since 2000, and take on a Saints team that has gone from Super Bowl contender to a team that looks like it will get a high first round draft pick in 2008. I think the Hawks against a team like the Saints will torch their secondary, and dink and dunk them all night long with the west coast offense. The Hawks run defense will rebound against a team putting up just 2.9 yards per carry. Drew Brees has just one TD and nine picks. Bottom line, the Saints are just a mess, and we all missed on this team in making our selections for 2007. Seattle 27 New Orleans 13

NY Giants (-3.5) at Atlanta

The Monday night contest at the Georgia Dome showcases the Giants looking to move to 4-2 against the weak Falcons. The Giants defense has stepped it up as of late, and last week stole a few points from the Jets with some timely interceptions. The Falcons actually turned to Byron Leftwich last week after Joey Harrington was just awful, and I wouldn’t doubt to see the same again down the road or even here. The Giants run game is too strong for the Falcons and will control the game from the opening kickoff. NY Giants 28 Atlanta 13

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