The NFL slate is stacked for this week, with a lot of intriguing match-ups on the sixth Sunday of NFL action. Here is a preview of the games:
Green Bay Packers (4-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-2)
If you are going to have any chance against Green Bay’s superb quarterback Aaron Rodgers, you better have good cornerbacks.
And the Vikings might have the deepest cornerback room in the NFL, going five deep with starting quality cover men-Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, McKensie Alexander, Terrence Newman and Tramaine Brock.
They also have a very good pass rush, a cornerback’s best friend.
Because of the Vikings strong cornerback situation, they can stay in this game, which is a toss-up
Chicago Bears (1-4) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky makes his second career start.
He’s still getting comfortable playing under center, something he didn’t do in college.
It’s also very hard for rookie quarterbacks to win on the road, especially without your to three receivers (all injured).
Baltimore should win this game.
Detroit Lions (3-2) at New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Lions star quarterback Matthew Stafford is hobbling around on a severe ankle injury; he was clearly in a lot of pain last week against Carolina.
The Saints are coming off a bye-week, so they are the healthier team, and should have a really good game plan.
The Lions have the 27th-ranked pass defense, so Saints QB Drew Brees should be able to lead his team to a win through the air.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at Oakland Raiders (2-3)
The Chargers are good on the road, because with no home field advantage in their new L.A. digs, they are essentially playing all road games.
The Raiders are have a lot of injuries on defense, and the Chargers have the NFL’s 32nd-ranked run defense, so this game could be a shoot-out, and it could go either way.
Los Angeles Rams (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
The Jaguars have the most talented defense in football, and it showed last week in a 30-9 win over Pittsburgh. Jacksonville has the NFL’s best cornerback combination – Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. And they should give Rams developmental QB Jared Goff, coming off a bad game against Seattle, fits.
Also the Rams aren’t very good against the run and Jags rookie running back Leonard Fournette is having a terrific season.
Jacksonville should win a close game.
Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
It could be hard for Miami to keep up on the scoreboard in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Dolphins have the NFL’s 32nd-ranked offense, and Atlanta is ranked fourth.
The Falcons, coming off a bye-week, get back star pass-rusher Vic Beasley and offensive right tackle Ryan Schroeder.
Atlanta should win.
New England Patriots (3-2) at New York Jets (3-2)
While most coaches hate playing on Thursday night, New England’s Bill Belichick loves it. He likes the benefit on the back end when you have 10 days to prepare for the next games. The Patriots are coming off a Thursday night win over Tampa Bay, and with extra time in the lab, Belichick should have a great game plan against the Jets.
New England should prevail.
Cleveland Browns (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3)
The Browns made a quarterback changed, going from over-matched rookie DeShone Kizer, to second-year player Kevin Hogan. Hogan actually took over in the second half last week against the Jets and went 16-19 for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
The Texans lost perhaps their two best front-seven players last week with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus going down for the season.
The Browns fifth-ranked defense is playing very well under coordinator Gregg Williams.
Don’t be shocked if Cleveland pulls the upset
San Francisco (0-5) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
San Francisco’s defense hasn’t been very good and they threw veteran linebacker Navarro Bowman overboard this week to send a message. Bad defenses don’t travel well, and the 49ers’ 28th ranked unit travels cross-country to face the Redskins with the NFL’s #8 offense.
The Redskins will be without star cornerback Josh Norman who has broken ribs, but should still win this game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
The Cardinals have the NFL’s 32nd-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, and they did something to fix that by trading with New Orleans for Adrian Peterson. What should also help their running game improve is getting their left guard (Alex Boone) and left tackle (D.J. Humphries) back from injuries.
Tampa Bay also has a lot of defensive injuries, including starting linebacker Kwon Alexander and safety Keith Tandy, who will miss this game.
The pick here are the Cardinals.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
The Steelers are coming off an embarrassing 30-9 loss to Jacksonville. Under coach Mike Tomlin, they have been very good bouncing back after humiliating losses.
The Chiefs will be without three starters on offense – two offensive linemen and receiver Chris Conley.
The Steelers are very healthy and get back their outstanding right tackle Marcus Gilbert who missed the last three games due to injury.
The pick here is Pittsburgh.
New York Giants (0-5) at Denver Broncos (3-1)
The Giants are a mess. They lost four receivers to injuries last week, including Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall for the season. Also, starting defensive end Oliver Vernon and linebacker Jonathan Casillas are out this week with injuries.
Denver is coming off a bye-week and is very healthy.
The Broncos should win this game.
Indianapolis Colts (2-3) at Tennessee Titans (2-3)
It’s unclear whether the Titans franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is going to play this week. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury.
If Mariota plays, the pick is the Titans, if he doesn’t, the pick is the Colts.