We’re past the quarter pole, and things are getting weird. Keep your eyes on these matchups in week six.
NFL Week 6: Browns at Steelers: Sunday, 10.18 1:00 pm ET
The AFC North has four four-win teams at the moment. Something’s gotta give.
What to watch for: I can’t think of a better reality check for these early season AFC North contenders than seeing what happens at Heinz Field on Sunday. Chase Claypool’s superhuman effort in week five propelled the Steelers to a win. The Browns are starting to look like the team some folks thought that they’d be last season. So, who’s the real deal? Maybe both, maybe neither. The AFC North still runs through Baltimore until further notice, but one of these teams looks like they’re going to put up a fight, so I’m keen to see which one. Based on several decades of history, I’m leaning Pittsburgh. Speaking of fights, let’s keep it clean, Myles Garrett and others.
NFL Week 6: Bears at Panthers: Sunday, 10.18 1:00 pm ET
Can the Bears keep up their momentum? (signs point to no…)
What to watch for: The Panthers have won three games straight after losing their first two to pirate-themed playoff contenders, the Raiders and Buccaneers. The Bears are a stunning 4-1, with that lone loss coming against a Colts team that looks like a contender as well.
Why is it stunning that the Bears are 4-1?
Probably because they’ve benched their franchise quarterback in favor of super-sub Nick Foles, who hasn’t been great. He’s thrown five touchdowns to three interceptions in three games and has yet to pass for more than 250 yards in a game, averaging less than five yards per attempt. I’m pretty shaky on the Bears here, as three of their wins came against a triad of teams with only one win between them (Lions (1-3), Giants (0-5), Falcons (0-5)) and that fourth win over the Buccaneers featured a full-blown senior moment and meltdown from TB12.
NFL Week 6: Packers at Buccaneers: Sunday, 10.18 4:25 pm ET
Brady. Rodgers. Let’s get it on.
What to watch for: Touchdowns. Lots and lots of them. You almost don’t care who wins this one. It’s going to be a two buckets of popcorn kinda game. Somehow Vegas has the over/under in the mid fifties…not sure how they got to that number. Green Bay is averaging 38 points per game. Tampa Bay is averaging 28. The Packers aren’t exactly a stout defense. We don’t trade in gambling recommendations here at sportsarefromvenus.com, but there will be a lot of touchdowns in this game.
NFL Week 6: Chiefs at Bills: Monday, 10.12 5:00 pm ET.
Who’s going to rebound from the week five loss?
What to watch for: These teams each have a lone blemish on their record, with both coming in week five. The Bills looked like one of the best teams in the AFC until they got positively dismantled by a Titans team that played with some serious attitude. The Chiefs may have gotten trapped a bit by the Raiders in a home divisional matchup last week, but they showed some vulnerability against a quarterback-less New England team as well.
One of these teams has to rebound to avoid a losing streak, and honestly, I’m not sure who’s better positioned to do that. Buffalo will make Mahomes uncomfortable all game, trying to make him look human for the third straight week, while Buffalo might have to think outside the box offensively to keep the chains moving against a Chiefs defensive unit that’s far less vulnerable than Las Vegas made them look.
For more NFL thoughts and opinions from Tom, check out his author page.
Image Source: Associated Press Images