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NFL picks, predictions for Week 6: Browns hand Cardinals first loss; Chargers, Bills, Buccaneers stay hot


The NFL season enters Week 6, and there are five matchups between teams with winning records.

The 1 pm ET features the renewal of the NFC North rivalry between the Packers and Bears, which will give rookie quarterback Justin Fields his first start in the series. The red-hot Chargers also face the Ravens in a matchup between Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson.

The 4 pm ET slot also features two exciting games. AFC West surprises Las Vegas and Denver square off in a battle of teams trying to keep pace in the division, and Heisman Trophy winners Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield face off in a game between the Cardinals and Browns.

Buffalo closes out the week with a trip to Tennessee on Monday Night Football. That is a slate full of potential postseason matchups, and those games won’t be easy to pick.

Each week, Sporting News will pick games straight up. Here is a look at our season totals:

With that in mind, below are our picks and predictions for Week 6:

NFL POWER RANKINGS:
Bills, Cowboys, Chargers are the serious contenders; Chiefs, 49ers drop for Week 6

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NFL predictions for Week 6

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday, 8:20 pm, FOX/NFL Network

Remember Tom Brady’s inexplicable loss on “Thursday Night Football” against the Bears last year? Yeah, he probably does too. The Eagles rank third in the league in pass defense (194.8) and protect the ball well, but Brady will press them with a high-flying offense.

Pick: Buccaneers 31, Eagles 21

  • Miami Dolphins (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, 9:30 am, CBS

The Jaguars are going to hear about a 20-game losing streak all the way to London. Both defenses allow more than 30 points per game, and the Jaguars have the worst turnover differential in the league. If Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence is going to win his first start, then it might as well be in the most-unlikely place.

Pick: Jaguars 30, Dolphins 27

  • Green Bay Packers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

Fields will make his first start against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is 21-5 against the Bears, and that includes four straight victories. If Fields wants to end himself to the fanbase, then this is the game to do it. The Bears have a top-10 statistical defence, but so do the Packers. A few turnovers offset a slow start for Green Bay on the road.

Pick: Packers 28, Bears 20

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  • Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Detroit Lions

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

The Lions have lost two games on last-second field goals. The Bengals are 2-2 in four games decided by three points. That status of Joe Burrow (throat contusion) will need to be monitored throughout the week, and Cincinnati needs to show a greater commitment to the running game. Look for the Bengals to win another tight one to split their NFC North section of the schedule.

Pick: Bengals 24, Lions 21

  • Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-10)

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

The Colts are double-digit favorites at home after five straight weeks as an underdog. Houston is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season, and they are catching the Colts on a short week. This game will be closer than expected.

Pick: Colts 29, Texans 22

  • Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

The Rams are rolling with an offense that averages that second-most passing yards at 310.2 yards per game. Sean McVay might emphasize the running game more here, too, especially against a Giants’ team that is sorting out injuries with star offensive players Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay.

Pick: Rams 35, Giants 18

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  • Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

This is supposedly a get-right game for the Chiefs, but they can’t take that for granted on the road at Washington. The good news is Washington has allowed 35.3 points per game and generated just two turnovers over the last three weeks. Kansas City stays patient, and Patrick Mahomes gets them back to .500.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Washington 24

  • Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (-1.5)

Sunday, 1 pm, FOX

Which quarterback do you trust more? Sam Darnold has six TD passes and six interceptions. Kirk Cousins ​​has 10 TDs and two interceptions. Running backs Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey might return for this one, but it comes down to which quarterback can avoid that costly mistake.

Pick: Vikings 25, Panthers 22

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)

Sunday, 1 pm, CBS

This is the most exciting game in the early window, a battle between star quarterback Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson. It’s an early kick for a West Coast team, and that’s something to be cognizant of. But Los Angeles makes 3-0 on the road in fantastic fashion.

Pick: Chargers 30, Ravens 27

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  • Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)

Sunday, 4:05 pm, FOX

The Cardinals and Browns both have elite offenses, and former Oklahoma Heisman winners Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield will put on a show. Which defense can get a stop in crunch time? Murray won the last head-to-head meeting in 2019, and the Cardinals have won the last four in the series. This one is in Cleveland, though, and the Browns knock the last unbeaten team off.

Pick: Browns 33, Cardinals 28

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3)

Sunday, 4:25 pm, CBS

The Raiders and Broncos are both stuck in two-game slides after 3-0 starts, and this is an important game to keep pace in the AFC West race. The Raiders swept this series last season, and Derek Carr gets the passing attack back on track on the road.

Pick: Raiders 26, Broncos 24

  • Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New England Patriots

Sunday, 4:25 pm, CBS

The Cowboys are starting to get a little hype with a balanced offense around Dak Prescott. Dallas has hastened for more than 200 yards the last two weeks. The Pats rank fifth in the NFL in scoring defense and will try to slow that momentum down, but New England will fall to 0-4 in home games this season.

Pick: Cowboys 23, Patriots 20

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  • Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)

Sunday, 8:20 pm, NBC

Geno Smith takes over at starter for the Seahawks, and it’s a tough assignment to face a Pittsburgh defense that has turned up the pass rush the last two weeks with the return of TJ Watt. The Steelers get back to .500 with another efficient performance from Ben Roethlisberger.

Pick: Steelers 26, Seahawks 18

  • Buffalo Bills (-4.5) at Tennessee Titans

Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN

The Bills have a case as the best team in football, but this is a tricky matchup. Remember Derrick Henry’s legendary stiff arm last year? That was in a 42-16 victory against Buffalo. Tennessee is still trying to get Julio Jones back, and that could set up a thrilling AFC shootout. We’re not betting against Josh Allen after making that mistake last week.

Pick: Bills 35, Titans 31



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