IT'S WEEK 6 OF THE 2017 NFL SEASON!
The season has been so overshadowed by the kneeling controversy that it is making it hard to enjoy the games. The owners, select players, the players' union, and NFL commissioner will meet this Tuesday coming to come up with a viable solution to the situation. We can only hope that the resolution will be accommodating to all parties. Last week, I spotlighted Breast Cancer Awareness month. This week I want to shine a light on another epidemic that shares awareness this month. That epidemic is domestic violence. If you see someone in an abusive situation, say something to someone in authority or who can help. Abuse can be in several forms including physical, mental, verbal, and financial. It just takes a second to help.
The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, and Seattle Seahawks have byes this week. The Cowboys can certainly use it after the loss last week and the Elliott suspension. Ok, shall we proceed into the week's games, then?
CHICAGO BEARS VS BALTIMORE RAVENS:
This is one of the flash in the pan types of situations that is expected out of Ravens QB Joe Flacco. He will be up against Bears rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky. The variable here will be the Ravens defense. Even with a more than shaky offense, Flacco and the defense should be able to hold off the Bears' injured and stretched thin defense. Both QBs are struggling, so in a low scoring game, the Ravens take this one at home.
CLEVELAND BROWNS VS HOUSTON TEXANS:
The emergence of Texans rookie QB Deshaun Watson has been a great asset to the team. Losing DE JJ Watt for the season is not helping an already weak defense. Yet, Watson's numbers on offense prove that they may be able to overcome any flaws on defense. He's passed for over 500+ yards in the past two weeks, thrown nine TDs, and scored one himself. Not bad after taking over the helm from Tom Savage. On the other side of the ball, rookie QB DeShone Kizer has had it rough. There is no bright spot at all for the Browns. Unfortunately, the Browns will not get a win here in week 6. The Texans will be .500 at the end of the game.
GREEN BAY PACKERS VS MINNESOTA VIKINGS:
These two ball clubs have been playing great football so far this season. The Vikings are going to have to contain Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. If you leave him with any amount of time during the play or at the end of the game, he will try to destroy your hopes and dreams. The Packers are getting injured players back slowly but surely. Rodgers should have some protection from the line. Minnesota will fill the void of rookie RB Dalvin Cook with QB Case Keenum handing off to Jerick McKinnon. Let's hope that Keenum rises to the challenge in another week with out Sam Bradford. The winner is Green Bay on the road.
DETROIT LIONS VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS:
The Saints are going to take advantage of the Lions' low ranked pass defense even though they have a pretty awful pass defense themselves. Detroit's QB Matthew Stafford puts on a good show, but the numbers have his passing game in the cellar. Do not get it twisted. Detroit's record shows that they have managed to win, but not in the fashion they expected after signing Stafford to that stand alone contract. Their running game is fluttering with Ameer Abdullah coming around. The experience of Brees and being at home gives the nudge to the Saints for the W.
MIAMI DOLPHINS S ATLANTA FALCONS:
Atlanta is coming off of a bye week. Miami is just looking sloppy. Their QB Jay Cutler is showing more and more of why he should have stayed retired instead of coming back to be Jay Cutler. They played a Tennessee Titans team that did not have Marcus Mariota last week. If you think that their secondary is saving them, think again. Expect Atlanta to find a way to exploit that. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is eager to get the team off to a great start for the rest of the season. Sticking with the old school gets Atlanta the win here.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS NEW YORK JETS:
This is where everyone who did not think that the Jets were a quality team will find out that they are not. Maybe there are some folks in Vegas that have the Jets getting this win over Tom Brady and company, but the reality of it is that they will not. This season has not been what New England was looking for at this point, but they have been winning and doing it through Brady and a pretty decent defense. New England wins. Although.......anything could happen.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS WASHINGTON REDSKINS:
Can it get any worse for the 49ers? It might have to before it gets better. The Redskins are coming off of a much needed bye week to face a 0-5 team. Is there an advantage because the 49ers head coach is Kyle Shanahan? If that was the case, they would have some wins to show for it. As much as most hate to admit it, the Redskins' offense is awesome when they are all on the same page. QB Kirk Cousins is trying to stretch the field as well as hand the ball off. Not a difficult task when San Fran is near the bottom is stopping the run. Washington will take the win.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS ARIZONA CARDINALS:
Tampa Bay should protect the ball. If they do this one thing, they will be the victors of this contest. Arizona did bring in running back Adrian Peterson after his short stint with the New Orleans Saints. If he picks up the slack left after David Johnson got hurt, Arizona could put up a fight out there in the desert. The only way that the Bucs do not win will be because they shot themselves in the foot. Tampa gets the win.
LOS ANGELES RAMS VS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:
Running back Leonard Fournette is the key here. If the Jaguars can get their running game going against a Rams defense that is slow to stop the run, the Jags just may get this win. Even with the return of Aaron Donald, the Rams will have a tough time keeping up with the Jags defense. This matchup will be an interesting game to watch since both teams are so evenly matched. When in doubt, give the advantage to the home team. Jags win this one.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:
So..........What a debacle last week was for the Steelers against the Jaguars! Against a more formidable team this week, the result will surely be the same. Does it seem like QB Ben Roethlisberger has checked out? Pittsburgh's defense could not contain Leonard Fournette last week, so there is much doubt in their containment of Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt or TE Travis Kelce or WR Tyreek Hill. Again, on any given Sunday anything can happen, but not this Sunday. The Chiefs are getting it done and the Steelers just are not. Home team wins.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS VS OAKLAND RAIDERS:
Lucky for the Raiders that QB Derek Carr will be back. Do not expect a spectacular performance from him, but it will be better than what they had the past weeks with E.J. Manuel. A win here will get Oakland back on track. Do not count out the Chargers though. The "almost won" team is not NOT playing. They just are not winning either. Games have been close, but they cannot seem to close out. On paper, they are a solid team. They do not appear to be underperforming because they are in games, so what is it? Let's hope they figure it out before too long. With their QB returning, Raiders are the choice here.
NEW YORK GIANTS VS DENVER BRONCOS:
New York will have a who's who of receivers today. Odell Beckham, Jr. came back a little sooner than expected to help his struggling squad only to break his ankle last week and be out for the season. QB Eli Manning is a sitting duck with his O-line looking like a banner you run through at the beginning of the game. Such a poor start to this 2017 season for the Giants. They will count on their defense, but they cannot sustain holding back a Broncos offense that has no problem scoring when QB Trevor Siemian is dialed in with his offense. New York just does not have anything to really compete with other teams. Broncos will win this contest.
Cross your fingers and hope all of my choices work out. LOL! Just a couple of reminders before I go. First, remember it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month as well. Last, do not forget to check out launch/Halloween party in a couple of weeks, if you are in the DC area. Info is on the website. Good luck to your teams and picks!
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