The Chiefs and Saints are are off during week six and there are 15 games on the slate including a struggle for power in the AFC South to get the schedule underway. Let’s take a look at this week’s games.
The Chiefs and Saints are are off during week six, but there are 15 games on the slate including a struggle for power in the AFC South to get the schedule underway. Let’s take a look at this week’s games.
Indianapolis vs. Houston
In 11 of the last 12 seasons either the Colts or Texans have won the AFC South. Indy has won the division on eight occasions. Again these two squads appear to be the best in the division. The Colts have won three straight in the series but have dropped three of four at Reliant Stadium. Indianapolis is 2-0 against the spread on the road this year. The Texans are 2-0 straight up and against the number at home.
Green Bay at Miami
The Packers are on the road for the third time in four weeks and face their former assistant coach Joe Philbin. Green Bay is 1-2 on the road with a 38-17 win over Chicago and double-digit loses against Seattle and Detroit. The Packers are 1-2 on the road against the spread after going 3-5 against the number away from home last year. The Packers have a few extra days to prepare after crushing Minnesota on October 2. Miami is coming off of a bye after beating Oakland in London. The Dolphins are 1-1 at home with an opening day win over New England and a 34-15 week three loss against the Chiefs. Miami has lost three of four games following a bye in each of Philbin’s two seasons.
Jacksonville at Tennessee
After winning three games on the road and covering half of their contests away from home last season, the Jags have been beaten badly in all three of their road tests this year. Jacksonville lost at Philadelphia 34-17 in their first game after leading 17-0, fell at Washington 41-10 in week two, and lost to San Diego 33-14 on September 28. The Jags have split their last eight games with Tennessee and gone 2-2 in Nashville over the past four years. The Titans are playing their second of three home games during a four week stretch. Tennessee was just 1-4-3 against the spread at home last season and this year has not been radically improved. Last week, Tennessee blew the largest lead at home in NFL history when they allowed the Browns to come from 25 points back and eke out a 29-28 win.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay
In recent history, the Ravens have been very good at home and not so great on the road. Last year, they went 6-2 at home and 2-6 on the road; against the spread, they were 5-3 at home and 2-5-1 on the road. Two years ago, Baltimore went 6-2 at home and 4-4 on the road. This season, the Ravens are 2-1 at home with mixed results on the road. The Bucs are 0-2 at home after starting the year with losses against Carolina (20-14) and St. Louis (19-17). On the road last week in New Orleans, the Bucs looked improved, but lost a heartbreaker in overtime to drop their overall record to 1-4. Tampa Bay went 3-5 at home last season and have not beaten Baltimore since 2002.
Denver at New York Jets
Somehow it is week six and the Broncos are playing just their second road game of the year. Denver fell at Seattle 26-20 in overtime during week three. Last year, the Broncos were 6-2 away from home and 5-3 against the spread outside of Colorado. They are coming off of a 41-20 home win over the previously unbeaten Cardinals. The Jets are 1-2 at home this year with a 19-14 win against the Raiders, a 27-19 loss against Chicago, and a 24-17 setback against the Lions. New York was 6-2 straight up and against the number at home last year. The Jets are adept at rushing and stopping the ground game, however, their passing attack is floundering and their pass defense is only slightly above average. They appear to be trending down having failed to score a point against the Chargers in week five, despite subbing Michael Vick in for Geno Smith part way through the game. Coach Rex Ryan said Smith will be back under center in week 6.
Detroit at Minnesota
The Lions were 3-5 last season on the road, both straight up and against the spread. This year, Detroit is 1-1 away from home both overall and against the number. Detroit last had a winning road record against the spread in 2010. The Lions got smoked in Carolina 24-7 during week two and beat the Jets in New York 24-17 during week four. The Lions are coming off an unimpressive 17-14 home loss to the Bills, but may have running back Joique Bell back in week six. Minnesota has extra time to prepare for this contest after playing poorly in Green Bay on Thursday during week five. The Vikings are 1-1 at home with a convincing week four win over Atlanta, and an ugly loss to the Patriots in week two. Minnesota went 5-10-1 last season with all five of their victories at home. The Vikings have won three of the last four in this series and 15 of the last 16 in the Twin Cities. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who impressed in the week four win over the Falcons, should be healthy for week six.
New England at Buffalo
After back-to-back prime-time games, the Patriots play their first divisional contest since losing at Miami on opening day. New England is 1-2 on the road, also falling to Kansas City 41-14 while beating Minnesota 30-7. Last year, the Pats were 4-4 on the road and 2-6 against the spread. They are fresh off a 43-17 dismantling of the Bengals, the NFL’s last undefeated team, and the pundits who declared the Brady-Belichick era over appear to have jumped the gun. Buffalo is 1-1 at home having beaten Miami 29-10 and losing to San Diego 22-10. In 2013, the Bills were 4-4 at home and 6-2 against the number. The Bills also come into the contest on a high note after their surprising 17-14 win in Detroit. New England has won five straight and 20 of the last 21 match-ups with the Bills.
Carolina at Cincinnati
The Panthers are 1-1 on the road with a season opening six point win in Tampa Bay, and a four touchdown loss at Baltimore in week four. This is the first of back-to-back road games for Carolina as they travel to Green Bay next week. Last season, Ron Rivera’s squad went 5-3 on the road and 3-5 against the spread. Carolina was 6-2 against the spread on the road in 2012. Last week, they won a back-and-forth contest against the Bears at home. The Bengals have been nearly unstoppable at home recently. They’ve covered 10 straight home games including routes of Atlanta and Tennessee this year. The Bengals are 2-0 against Carolina over the last 10 years. They will be looking to rebound from a week five walloping at the hands of Brady and the Pats in New England.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
The Steelers travel to Cleveland looking to sweep the season series with the Browns. In week one, Pittsburgh beat Cleveland 30-27 in a game that the Steelers led 27-3 at halftime. Pittsburgh threw for 376 yards in the game while the Browns passed for 198 yards. Cleveland went just two for 11 on third down in the first meeting. Pittsburgh has won four straight, eight of nine, and 19 of the last 22 match-ups with the Browns. Cleveland is 1-1 at home with a 26-24 win over New Orleans and a 23-21 loss against Baltimore. The Browns were 3-5 straight up and against the spread at home last season. Both teams won in week five, with the Browns pulling off an impressive comeback in Tennessee and the Steelers taking care of the rebuilding Jaguars.
San Diego at Oakland
The Chargers have beaten division rival Oakland in four of their last five meetings and split two games last year. The Raiders won in the Bay Area 27-17 last October. While Oakland won just four times in 2013, three of the four took place at home. The Raiders are coming off of a bye week following a 38-14 loss to Miami in London. Coach Dennis Allen was fired after the 0-4 start to the year. Two of the four Raider games have been decided by a touchdown or less, though their only home game was a Texans 30-14 route. San Diego is 1-1 on the road falling to Arizona 18-17 and beating Buffalo 22-10. They are 4-1 overall, though, and most recently shut-out Rex Ryan’s Jets (31-0) in week five.
Chicago at Atlanta
For the forth time in five weeks, the Bears are on the road. The Falcons are playing their only home game during a four week stretch. Atlanta beat New Orleans at home 37-34 in week one and made it 2-0 at home with a 56-14 victory over Tampa Bay on September 18. The two teams have split their last four meetings with both teams earning a pair of victories at home. Both teams struggle to defend opposing passing games, and both are coming off road losses in week five.
Dallas at Seattle
The last time Dallas had a winning road mark was 2009, but the Cowboys are 2-0 away from home this season with wins over Tennessee and St. Louis. It will be a big task to win in Seattle. The Seahawks are 2-0 at home this year after going 7-1 last season and 8-0 in 2012. Dallas has won three of their last four against Seattle, but all three wins came in Texas. Dallas is the best rushing team in the NFL while Seattle has a vaunted run defense. Something will have to give on the ground in week six. Both teams are coming off of wins in week five.
Washington at Arizona
The Redskins travel across the country after hosting Monday Night Football. Washington is 0-2 on the road with a 17-6 loss against Houston and a 37-34 setback at Philadelphia. The Skins were 1-7 overall and 2-6 against the spread on the road last year. Arizona is 2-0 at home with victories over San Diego (18-17) and San Francisco (23-14). The Cards were 6-2 at home in 2013 and 5-3 against the spread. The Redskins have won eight straight meetings with Arizona dating back to 2000. The quarterback situations for both teams are in doubt right now. Starters Robert Griffin III and Carson Palmer have both missed the last several weeks (though Palmer could be ready for week six). Washington’s back-up, Kirk Cousins, has been up-and-down since taking over. He played miserably in their week four loss to the Giants, but rebounded somewhat in a week five loss to the Seahawks. Arizona’s back-up, Drew Stanton, has been more consistent, but was injured in week five; his week six status is unknown. If neither Palmer nor Stanton can go for Arizona, they may have to turn to third string rookie Logan Thomas.
New York Giants at Philadelphia
In week six, the Giants play their first of two straight divisional road games prior to a week eight bye. New York is 1-1 on the road, falling to Detroit 35-14 in week one and beating the Redskins 45-14 in week four. Last season, New York went 4-4 on the road and 3-5 against the spread. The Eagles are playing their fourth home game during the first six weeks of the season, and are a perfect 3-0 at Lincoln Financial Field so far. Philadelphia has a bye next week before back-to-back road games in Arizona and Houston. The teams have split the season series in each of the last three years.
San Francisco at St. Louis
Despite the Niners being an elite team over the last few years and the Rams being in rebuilding mode, their match-ups have been tight. While San Francisco won both games last season, 23-13 and 35-11, two years ago the Rams won at home in overtime, and tied the Niners in the Bay Area. San Francisco is 1-1 on the road this year with a win in Dallas and a loss in Arizona. The Rams are 0-2 at home with setbacks against the Vikings and the Cowboys. Last year, the Rams were 5-3 straight up and against the spread at home. San Francisco went 6-2 away from home last year and 6-1-1 against the number.