Steve Believes: Week 6, 2018 NFL Season

  • Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants. The Eagles are coming off a game in which Adam Thielen beat them with a four-yard touchdown reception, a 68-yard reception and an onside kick recovery, the first of which was aided by a lousy roughing the passer penalty against Michael Bennett. Plus, the penalty and touchdown proved to be the difference in the 23-21 Minnesota Vikings victory. As for the Giants, they gave the Carolina Panthers all that they could handle, but ultimately fell short, as Graham Gano beat them at the buzzer with a 63-yard field goal. Neither team is out of contention in the NFC East, but one of them could be by the end of this game, with that one team being the Giants. They played the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints pretty tough at MetLife Stadium, and both of those teams are better than the Eagles at this point. The Eagles are very depleted with all the players that are missing due to injury and because of that, I like the Giants in an upset.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons. Both of these teams got punched in the mouth when they each played last, with the Buccaneers getting the steamrolled by the Chicago Bears, while the Falcons got their butts kicked against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that was firing on all cylinders. The Buccaneers have one thing in their favor and that is the fact they had the bye last week, so I could go with them here. However, the Falcons need this game way and because of that, I like their chances at getting their second win of the season.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals. I highlighted the Steelers in my previous pick, so it goes without again saying what they did last week against the Falcons. As for the Bengals, they rallied from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Miami Dolphins and now have sole possession of the AFC North. The Steelers have ruined the Bengals’ aspirations a lot in recent memory. However, I don’t see that happening in this game. So with that being said, I like the Bengals in this one.
  • Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns. After getting lit up by the high-powered Los Angeles Rams in Week 3, the Chargers beat the other two California teams at Dignity Health Sports Park to improve to 3-2. As for the Browns, their lone win during their 1-31 run of futility was against the Chargers. A second win against the Chargers in three years gets them over .500 for the first time since 2014. However, I can’t swim that channel yet. So with that being said, I like the Chargers to make it three in a row.
  • Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders. It’s a reunion across the pond in jolly old England, as the Seahawks square off against a familiar face in Marshawn Lynch and his current team, the Raiders. The Seahawks are coming off a game in which the Rams iced it with a quarterback sneak, and face a Raiders team in danger of missing the playoffs for the 15th time in 16 seasons. The Raiders will be a desperate team, but I just don’t see them beating a Seahawks team who could easily be 5-0 right now. I like the team from the Great Northwest to win in Great Britain.
  • Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins. The Bears are hot coming off their bye week, as they have won three in a row, thanks mostly to their elite defense. As for the Dolphins, they got blown out in Foxborough by the New England Patriots, and followed that up with a blown 17-point lead in the Queen City against the Bengals. It’s must win time for a Dolphins team, whom I thought would dethrone the Patriots in the AFC East this season. However, I can’t see them beating a Bears team coming off the bye with their ferocious defense. So with that being said, I like the Bears to make it four in a row.
  • Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings. The Cardinals became the last team to put a crooked number in the win column, as they beat the suddenly free-falling San Francisco 49ers last week in the Bay Area. As for the Vikings, they beat the team (Eagles) who first ruined their 5-0 start in 2016 and then ended their bid at the NFC title at the end of last season. The Vikings appear to be back on track, and I look for them to follow up that season-turning win with another one against the Cardinals.
  • Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets. Despite the fact that they made their Week 5 matchup against the Patriots look respectable, the game wasn’t as close for the Colts as the final score had indicated. As for the Jets, they played inspired football against the Denver Broncos, as their defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers missed that game, due to illness. They ended up winning the game, 34-16. The Colts will get better, but I see the Jets building off that big win with their second in a row this week.
  • Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins. The Panthers had their hands full with the Giants but still won, thanks to the kicking foot of Graham Gano. As for the Redskins, they became a footnote in NFL history, as they were the team whom Drew Brees got the career passing yardage record against, along with a 43-19 loss last week. Now they face a Panthers team that has gotten increasingly comfortable with Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator. The Redskins will play better this week, but I like the Panthers to win a close one in the nation’s capital.
  • Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans. For the second time in three weeks, the Bills pulled off an upset, as they beat the Tennessee Titans at the buzzer. As for the Texans, they picked up their second win in a row, thanks to the exploits of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins once again. Plus, J.J. Watt is continuing his recent resurgence, as he picked up his sixth sack in the past three games to put him into a tie for the league lead with his younger brother, T.J. Look for Watt & Company to make this game a rough one for rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and look for Watson and his unit to do just enough offensively. I like the Texans in this one.
  • Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos. After winning their first three games by double digits, the Rams won their last two games by seven and two points, respectively. As for the Broncos, they nearly allowed two 100-yard rushers in their loss last week against the Jets. I look for the Broncos to play much better this week. And I won’t stop there, because I’m picking them in an upset.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys. Last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs was more bad than good for the Jaguars, as Kareem Hunt led a rushing attack that racked up 126 rushing yards, and two touchdowns to more than make up for the zero touchdown passes and two interceptions that Patrick Mahomes threw. However, Mahomes did throw for 298 net passing yards against one of the league’s best defenses. Plus, it was a rough game for Blake Bortles, despite the 401 net passing yards that he threw, as he was sacked five times by five different Chiefs. Plus, he had five turnovers, one of which was a 20-yard interception return by Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones. As for the Cowboys, their offensive ineptitude showed last week against the Texans, as they could only muster 16 points, despite racking up 298 total net yards. It will show up again this week against a Jaguars defense that boasts both the best tandem of cornerbacks and the best defensive line in football. Look for the Jaguars to get a defensive score or two, and look for Blakes Bortles and his unit to do just enough offensively. I like the Jaguars to rebound with a win.
  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans. The letdown of a big win caught up to the Ravens, as they could only muster three field goals in a 12-9 overtime loss last week against the Browns. As for the Titans, they lost a very winnable game at the buzzer last week against the Bills. The term “must win” applies to the Ravens, as they need this game to keep pace with the Bengals in the AFC North. And I look for them to respond to that challenge with a win against the Titans in Nissan Stadium.
  • Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots. The Chiefs are coming off a very impressive win, as they thoroughly outplayed the AFC runner-up Jaguars last week at Arrowhead Stadium. As for the Patriots, Tom Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns. However, he also threw two interceptions, and the Patriots defense allowed Andrew Luck to throw for 355 net passing yards, along with allowing the Colts to score 24 points. They can’t allow for those things to happen against Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense. However, I think that the Chiefs offense will do that and more. Plus, look for the Kansas City defense to get to Tom Brady all night, even if they don’t have Justin Houston for this one. Chiefs to make it 6-0.
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers. The 49ers defense looked good last week against the Cardinals, as they held them to 220 total net yards. However, their offense overshadowed that performance with five turnovers, one of which was a 23-yard fumble return by Super Bowl 47 hero Josh Bynes. As for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers threw for 423 net passing yard and three touchdowns, but that was overshadowed by Mason Crosby’s five missed kicks, which could have turned an eight-point Green Bay loss into a five-point Green Bay win. Look for Rodgers to put up a slightly lower passing yardage total, yet still lead the Packers to multiple drives ending in touchdowns this time around, and look for Mike Pettine’s unit to add to San Francisco’s offensive woes. Green Bay to go to the very odd record of 3-2-1.