FRIDAY AFTERNOON QUARTERBACK: NFL WEEK 6
Our Week 6 of this NFL season began exactly as we thought it would, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles, but not covering since they were on the road. I’m not sure why it keeps happening, but we have to factor it in with our thinking from here on out.
Of course, all the Bucs care about is getting the victory, winning 28-22. Tom Brady all but took the night off, completing 34 of 42 passing for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. It was his second lowest yardage total of the season and just two touchdowns? After five last week? Maybe it’s time for him to hang it up after all.
By the way, I can’t be the only one to notice how much better an actor Brady is in his commercials these days. He’s no Peyton Manning, but he’s pretty close to Baker Mayfield and, frankly, that’s light years better than he used to be.
Antonio Brown has been Brady’s favorite target since his return from the COVID-19 list and that will bear watching. Mike Evans caught just two passes Thursday night for 27 yards. Chris Godwin was a little more involved, hauling in five for 43, but Brown had nine for 93 and a score.
There are no participation trophies in the NFL, but Philadelphia battled back into the game and Jalen Hurts is looking more like an NFL QB every contest.
This will be our first week with byes, as NFL Red Zone’s Soctt Hanson mercifully gets a break from taking us to the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets games. The San Francisco 49ers need the break to heal up and the New Orleans Saints might want to think about sliding into the Houston Texans’ DMs about Deshaun Watson with the extra seven days to think about it.
Byes: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+3, O/U: 47)
Somewhere along the line a group in Londoners had the thought that they’d like to see an NFL football game. When the NFL found out, they said, “Yeah, well, we’ll see about that.” For the second week in a row, UK fandom gets a dumpster fire, but perhaps less of one as Miami could see the return of Tua Tagovailoa. Urban Meyer might have gotten a public reprieve thanks to Jon Gruden’s epic fall into the abyss, but in the Jags facility he’s still in a mess. If they’d fired him this week, I’d pick Jacksonville to win. As it is, I think the losing streak hits 21. Dolphins 24, Jaguars 20
HOUSTON TEXANS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-10, O/U: 43)
I guess the UK fans did get lucky in that they could have been forced to sit through this game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tyrod Taylor is not coming off IR, which means the tank is on in Houston with no reprieve in sight. Davis Mills looked OK against the New England Patriots last week, but a lot of quarterbacks have. Carson Wentz has to be a little healthier now and he nearly pulled off the upset over the Baltimore Ravens last week until the defense flopped and flayed around and surrendered a 19 point lead. Colts 23, Texans 6
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS (+5, O/U: 44.5)
I think Justin Fields is going to be good and play a long time, but he’s about to get a serious lesson in the Packers vs Bears rivalry Sunday. Since 2008, Chicago has defeated Green Bay a total of four times. Yes. Four. In 13 years, they’ve won four games against the Pack. Sunday won’t be five. Aaron Rodgers might be leaving town next year, but he still has legal paternity over Chicago. Packers 27, Bears 17
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (+6.5, O/U: 54.5)
The Chiefs aren’t out of it by any means, but this is a team that’s coughing blood and can’t afford to fall any further behind in the AFC playoff race. It’s likely that the No. 1 seed is already off the table and the AFC West is slipping away too. But there are three wild card spots and they could absolutely still claim one of those. The march begins in Washington. Chiefs 41, WFT 23
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS (+1, O/U: 46)
The Sam Darnold we saw over the last two weeks looks very familiar, tossing five interceptions over two games. I don’t think I have to mention that they were losses. Kirk Cousins opened the season hot as well, but cooled down over the last couple of contests. He got a nice little help from luck and the Detroit Lions last week. He did complete 73.53 percent of his passes and, according to Pro Football Focus, he’s the fourth best QB in the league in completions beyond the first down marker. With Carolina, it all comes down to Christian McCaffrey and he’s looking less and less likely to play. So, good news Minny. Vikings 26, Panthers 20
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-2.5, O/U: 52)
This right here is the game of the week and a quarterback match up between two guys vying for the NFL’s MVP award. I’ve taken Greg Roman to task for years for the way he calls Baltimore’s offense like he’s in a Pop Warner league, and while he’s probably not listened to me, he’s certainly listened to someone. The last two weeks he’s asked Lamar Jackson to play NFL quarterback and Lamar has delivered. Justin Herbert has never had that problem in LA’s offense and while I think this one is a coin flip and the Ravens are at home, I’m feeling Los Angeles. Chargers 27, Ravens 24
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DETROIT LIONS (+3.5, O/U: 47)
Joe Burrow took some reckless hits against Green Bay last week in a spirited effort that he probably should have won. You can’t even talk about Detroit finding new ways to lose, because they aren’t. They’re losing the exact same way over and over again. The only thing scary about the Lions is the chance they can backdoor cover in garbage time. There’s too much talent for this team to go 0-17, but you could have said the same thing about the 2008 0-16 squad. Bengals 31, Lions 24
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (+10, O/U: 48)
Daniel Jones looks like he’s on track to play Sunday and New York needs him to keep it close. Jones is shutting up his doubters this season, but creating plenty more about his teammates and coaching staff, beginning with head coach Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. This is a long trip and an early one for LA, but this can’t be a game you drop if you’re a serious contender. Rams 34, Giants 23
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-3, O/U: 49.5)
The Browns took a shot to the teeth last week, falling to the Chargers when they were given the ball back with 1:31 to go. Baker Mayfield had the chance to take his place amongst the upper tier of franchise quarterbacks with a game winning drive and never got his team to the 50 yard line. Kyler Murray continues to play at an MVP level, but Arizona isn’t going undefeated. Cleveland’s defense can slow the Cards down and the running game can keep Murray on the sideline. Ultimately, a loss here, to an AFC team, has no real effect on Arizona so it’s time. Browns 31, Cardinals 27
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DENVER BRONCOS (-3.5, O/U: 44)
It would be easy to see Las Vegas folding up their tents here after the week they had, and they certainly could. But this is a talented team and Derek Carr is having a career season. It could turn out that they’ll be better off with Gruden gone. As for Denver, they’re always going to be dangerous at home, but I like Vegas to get a win for their new interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. Raiders 24, Broncos 21
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+3.5, O/U: 50)
The only teams the Patriots have beaten this year have fielded rookie quarterbacks. Dak Prescott is not a rookie. In fact, he’s in the MVP mix right along with Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson. He’s definitely got the Comeback Player of the Year award locked up. Mac Jones will be facing a solid defense with a corner back in Trevon Diggs, that’s intercepted a pass in every game this season. Cowboys 41, Patroits 16
Straight up: 12-4
Against the spread: 7-9
Straight up: 53-27
Against the spread: 40-40
The NFL season is rolling along and the Week 6 Schedule is up and taking bets at BetOnline.AG.