2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 6

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I started to feel good about my picks early last Sunday but the later games killed my predictions for the week. And thus, the difficult season of NFL predictions continues. Whether it be injuries, poor play, general mistakes, or the great unknown that is NFL parity, picks are getting harder to do.

Point spreads come from Vegas.com as of Friday morning.

Last Week: 7-7
Last Week against the spread: 8-6

This Week: 10-4
This Week against the spread: 7-5-1

Overall: 54-36
Overall against the spread: 47-38-4

Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
Michael Vick will not play against his former team this week and Kevin Kolb will start in his place. I’ve never been a Kolb fan and it’s for that reason that I like the Falcons to win this game.
Prediction: Atlanta 21, Philadelphia 20
Actual Score: Philadelphia 31, Atlanta 17
Spread Pick: Atlanta +2 1/2
Actual Score: Philadelphia 31, Atlanta 17

Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) at Houston Texans (3-2)
This game will be decided by the run game. The Chiefs have the No. 3 run game in the league led by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, and the No. 6 run defense. The Texans are No. 5 on both offense and defense in the run game. I think playing at home and against the No. 27 pass defense in the league, the Texans will win this one.
Prediction: Houston 24, Kansas City 20
Actual Score: Houston 35, Kansas City 31
Spread Pick: Kansas City +4 1/2
Actual Score: Houston 35, Kansas City 31

New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Tampa Bay has the No. 9 passing defense in the league. I’m not sure I completely believe in them, but the Saints have been a normal football team and have not been great. As much as it goes against my instincts because I believe the Saints should win this game, I’m going with the home team here.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 20, New Orleans 17
Actual Score: New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 6
Spread Pick: Tampa Bay +4 1/2
Actual Score: New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 6

Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
The Packers are hurting big time with injuries all over the field. With or without Aaron Rodgers, who is questionable after suffering a concussion last week against the Redskins, I think the Dolphins can contain the Packers’ offense and put up enough points on their defense to win.
Prediction: Miami 23, Green Bay 17
Actual Score: Miami 23, Green Bay 20
Spread Pick: (no line as of Friday morning)

San Diego Chargers (2-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-3)
I can’t believe the Chargers have played so poorly and so inconsistently so far this season that I’ve actually considered picking the Rams to win this game. They can’t possibly lose to St. Louis, can they? Yes, as sad as it is for me to write this, the Rams could win this game. The thing is, though, the Chargers have the No. 3 passing defense in the league and will shut down Sam Bradford. St. Louis’ No. 22 pass defense will struggle against San Diego’s league-leading passing attack.
Prediction: San Diego 24, St. Louis 14
Actual Score: St. Louis 20, San Diego 17
Spread Pick: San Diego -8
Actual Score: St. Louis 20, San Diego 17

Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at New England Patriots (3-1)
This should be the most exciting game of the week. The Ravens and Patriots are two of the only “sure” teams we have in the league right now. Baltimore’s defense is No. 3 in the league whereas the Patriots are No. 29. The Ravens only have the No. 19 offense, though, and that’s where I think they’ll struggle.
Prediction: New England 20, Baltimore 17
Actual Score: New England 23, Baltimore 20
Spread Pick: New England -2 1/2
Actual Score: New England 23, Baltimore 20

Detroit Lions (1-4) at New York Giants (3-2)
The Lions are riding high after their huge first victory of the season last week but is there any other team in the league — besides maybe the Jets and Ravens — that is playing better than the Giants are right now? The Giants crushed the Bears and Texans in back-to-back weeks and they currently have the No. 1 defense and the No. 5 offense.
Prediction: NY Giants 24, Detroit 16
Actual Score: NY Giants 28, Detroit 20
Spread Pick: Detroit +10
Actual Score: NY Giants 28, Detroit 20

Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
An old rivalry that goes back many years, I don’t expect the Browns to have much of a chance here. The Steelers have had two weeks to prepare for the Browns and have Ben Roethlisberger coming back.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 14
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 28, Cleveland 10
Spread Pick: Cleveland +13 1/2
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 28, Cleveland 10

Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Chicago Bears (4-1)
The good news for the Bears is that Jay Cutler will be coming back and they don’t have to endure another rocky performance from Todd Collins. The bad news is that it’s looking likely that Lance Briggs will miss this game. The defense might struggle a little with the loss of one of its best players, but I think the Seahawks are bad enough that it won’t cause as much trouble. Expect some success from Cutler and the passing offense against the league’s No. 31 pass defense.
Prediction: Chicago 23, Seattle 17
Actual Score: Seattle 23, Chicago 20
Spread Pick: Seattle +6 1/2
Actual Score: Seattle 23, Chicago 20

New York Jets (4-1) at Denver Broncos (2-3)
This is the type of game the Broncos end up winning; games they shouldn’t win. They have the No. 2 passing offense in the league and the Jets are No. 23 defending it. The Broncos wing it all over the field, not because Kyle Orton is anything special, but because they have the worst run game in the league. However, I think the Jets’ attacking defense will force Orton to make some mistakes and the Jets prevail.
Prediction: NY Jets 27, Denver 20
Actual Score: NY Jets 24, Denver 20
Spread Pick: NY Jets -3
Actual Score: NY Jets 24, Denver 20

Oakland Raiders (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
The 49ers can’t possibly drop to 0-6, can they? They can’t lose to the lowly Raiders, right? I just don’t see how a team with as much talent as the 49ers have can be winless right now. They almost beat the Falcons a couple weeks ago, but didn’t stay disciplined. With their backs against the wall and their bay-area rivals coming to visit, I think they pick up their first win.
Prediction: San Francisco 24, Oakland 21
Actual Score: San Francisco 17, Oakland 9
Spread Pick: Oakland +6 1/2
Actual Score: San Francisco 17, Oakland 9

Dallas Cowboys (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
If somebody would have told me that the Cowboys or Vikings would have been 1-4 after the sixth week of the season, I would have called him a liar. But that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I thinking bringing Randy Moss in on a short week to prepare for one of the top teams in the league was difficult for the Vikings to do in their loss to the Jets. This week, they get a team that’s erratic and not as tough mentally or physically. I like the Vikes at home.
Prediction: Minnesota 24, Dallas 17
Actual Score: Minnesota 24, Dallas 21
Spread Pick: Minnesota -1 1/2
Actual Score: Minnesota 24, Dallas 21

Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Washington Redskins (3-2)
Washington is always a tough place to play because of the size and noise of the crowd. Donovan McNabb is questionable with a hamstring injury, but if he plays I’m going to enjoy the McNabb-Peyton Manning duel. The Colts have one of the worst run defenses in the league, but the Redskins haven’t done a good job running it. I like Manning’s Colts in this matchup.
Prediction: Indianapolis 23, Washington 19
Actual Score: Indianapolis 27, Washington 24
Spread Pick: Indianapolis -3
Actual Score: Indianapolis 27, Washington 24

Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
The Jaguars have had some success defending the run this season so they may be able to keep Chris Johnson in check. The Titans have the better overall defense, though, and I think they take care of business here.
Prediction: Tennessee 27, Jacksonville 20
Actual Score: Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 3
Spread Pick: Tennessee -3
Actual Score: Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 3

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