The Week 6 NFL schedule is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Fantasy’s Kyle Soppe and ESPN Chalk’s Dave Bearman hand out helpful nuggets as well. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 6 slate, including a showdown between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
Ravens (4-1) at Eagles (1-3-1)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 67.2 | Spread: BAL -7.5 (47.5)
What to watch for: Opposing tight ends have racked up 32 catches for 323 yards and five touchdowns through five games against the Eagles, with much of that damage coming against a struggling linebacking corps. Enter Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, who is tied for third in the NFL with five receiving scores. — Tim McManus
Bold prediction: Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will throw at least four TD passes. Jackson, last season’s NFL leader in touchdown passes, hasn’t thrown for more than three in a game since his MVP season. But the Eagles have allowed 10 touchdown passes this season, and only five teams have given up more. — Jamison Hensley
Stat to know: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a 53.1 Total QBR this season (25th in the NFL) and a league-leading nine interceptions. No Eagles QB has led the NFL in picks over a full season since the 1970 merger.
What to know for fantasy: Jackson had just one game last season with fewer than 19 fantasy points. But he has been under 19 fantasy points in three of his past four games.
Betting nugget: Jackson is 8-0 outright and 6-0-2 against the spread (ATS) in his career as a road favorite.
Hensley’s pick: Ravens 31, Eagles 23
McManus’ pick: Ravens 33, Eagles 20
FPI prediction: BAL, 73.5% (by an average of 8.6 points)
Browns (4-1) at Steelers (4-0)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 61.2 | Spread: PIT -3 (51)
What to watch for: After adequately controlling the run game in their first three games, the Steelers saw Miles Sanders and the Eagles exploit some of the weaknesses opened up by their aggressive blitzing. They’ll have to stop the rush better to be successful against a hot Browns team. Even though Nick Chubb will be out, the Browns have a solid ground game with Kareem Hunt — and quarterback Baker Mayfield’s mobility makes him a running threat too. — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool will catch two more touchdowns, rewarding fantasy owners who added him after his four-TD outburst last weekend. — Jake Trotter
Stat to know: The Browns have four consecutive wins for the first time since 2009, but they have not won five straight since 1994, when Bill Belichick was the head coach. One reason for the string of victories: Mayfield has tossed two touchdown passes in all of those four wins, his longest multi-TD streak since his five straight games back in 2018.
What to know for fantasy: Cleveland’s Hunt has been a top-27 RB in 11 of 13 games since joining the Browns. He caught 11 of 13 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in his two games against the Steelers last season.
Betting nugget: All four of Cleveland’s wins have gone over the total, and the team covered in the past three.
Trotter’s pick: Steelers 28, Browns 24
Pryor’s pick: Steelers 30, Browns 27
FPI prediction: PIT, 57.0% (by an average of 2.5 points)
Texans (1-4) at Titans (4-0)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 50.3 | Spread: TEN -3.5 (53.5)
What to watch for: The Titans will be creative in finding ways to pressure Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel was very aggressive last time out, sending defensive backs on the blitz. The Titans will also have Jeffery Simmons back to team up with Jadeveon Clowney on the inside, with Vic Beasley Jr. and Harold Landry III coming off the edge in their NASCAR package. They’ll have to be disciplined and keep Watson from extending plays and finding his speedy receivers down the field. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: With Ryan Tannehill starting at quarterback, the Titans are 11-3 (.714) and have averaged 30.4 points per game. That’s the best win percentage (minimum 10 starts) and most team points per game for a Titans/Oilers QB since the 1970 merger.
What to know for fantasy: In his first season without DeAndre Hopkins, Watson is on pace to set new career highs in both passing touchdowns and passing yards.
Betting nugget: Tennessee is 3-11 ATS in games that follow fewer than six days’ rest since the start of the 2013 season.
Barshop’s pick: Titans 31, Texans 21
Davenport’s pick: Titans 34, Texans 20
FPI prediction: TEN, 61.8% (by an average of 4.2 points)
Falcons (0-5) at Vikings (1-4)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 48.5 | Spread: MIN -4 (54.5)
What to watch for: What does an 0-5 team look like with a new coaching staff but a season likely past the point of being salvaged? Do the Falcons uncover a new identity or form of motivation to rattle off a series of wins under interim coach Raheem Morris? The scheme might not change, but what kind of stops does Atlanta pull out against a Vikings team scratching to keep its playoff hopes alive? — Courtney Cronin
Bold prediction: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will throw three touchdown passes, tripling his total from the past three weeks combined. But it won’t be enough, as Vikings running back Alexander Mattison does his best Dalvin Cook impersonation with more than 100 rushing yards and two scores of his own. — Mike Triplett
Stat to know: Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley has an NFL-high four 100-yard receiving games this season.
What to know for fantasy: After throwing four touchdown passes on 36 attempts in Week 2 against the Cowboys, Ryan has just one touchdown toss over the past three weeks (114 attempts). Over that stretch, Ryan is QB24 in total points, just 0.5 points ahead of a struggling Sam Darnold, who missed Week 5.
Betting nugget: Minnesota is 23-10-1 ATS at home over the past five seasons, the best mark in the NFL.
Triplett’s pick: Vikings 33, Falcons 27
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 30, Falcons 27
FPI prediction: MIN, 62.8% (by an average of 4.5 points)
Bears (4-1) at Panthers (3-2)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 42.2 | Spread: CAR -1.5 (44.5)
What to watch for: This game is all about pressure. Can the Panthers, who have not allowed a sack in two straight games, keep quarterback Teddy Bridgewater clean against Chicago’s Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack, who have 3.5 sacks each? And can the Panthers muster a pass rush with defensive end Brian Burns (concussion) doubtful and tackle Kawann Short now out for the season with a shoulder injury? — David Newton
Bold prediction: Bears rookie tight end Cole Kmet will catch at least five passes and one touchdown. Chicago’s second-round pick (No. 43 overall) out of Notre Dame, Kmet has just one reception for 12 yards though five games. Quarterback Nick Foles attempted 42 passes in Week 5, but Kmet finished the game with zero targets and played just 21 of 63 offensive snaps. That has to change. The Bears have too much invested in Kmet for him to be a bystander, so look for Foles to target the rookie early and somewhat often on Sunday. — Jeff Dickerson
Stat to know: Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson now has three 100-yard receiving games through five games this season. He had three such games all of last season with the Jets.
What to know for fantasy: Carolina running back Mike Davis has a 15-yard rush, a 10-yard reception and at least five receptions in three straight games. Christian McCaffrey did not have such a streak last season.
Betting nugget: Carolina is 3-0 both straight up and ATS in its past three games.
Dickerson’s pick: Panthers 17, Bears 16
Newton’s pick: Panthers 24, Bears 20
FPI prediction: CAR, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)
Broncos (1-3) at Patriots (2-2)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 41.8 | Spread: NE -9.5 (45)
What to watch for: The Patriots totaled more than 200 rushing yards in each of their first two home games, and if they hit the mark again Sunday, they would match the 1976 and 1978 teams as the only ones to rush for 200 or more in three consecutive games. Quarterback Cam Newton’s return, and his rushing prowess, will stress the Broncos’ defense. — Mike Reiss
Bold prediction: The Broncos will force two turnovers. Why? Well … because they’re really, really due. And if they don’t, this game could get ugly. The Broncos have been one of the league’s worst in takeaways this season — one interception and one fumble recovery in four games — but the Patriots are tied for eighth in giveaways with seven. — Jeff Legwold
Stat to know: Newton posted a Total QBR of 73 in the Patriots’ first two games of the season. But then the quarterback play hit a snag, as Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham combined to post a Total QBR of 28 in the past two outings. That was the worst team QBR in the league combined in Weeks 3 and 4.
What to know for fantasy: When he gets at least 15 touches, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game over his career.
Betting nugget: Pats coach Bill Belichick is 23-11 ATS at home as a favorite over the past five seasons. more.
Legwold’s pick: Patriots 24, Broncos 17
Reiss’ pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 13
FPI prediction: NE, 63.6% (by an average of 4.8 points)
Bengals (1-3-1) at Colts (3-2)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 37.3 | Spread: IND -8 (46.5)
What to watch for: Keep an eye on the Colts’ pass rush against Bengals QB Joe Burrow. One of the things the Colts, who have the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense, have struggled with this season has been getting to the quarterback; they’re tied for 15th in the league in sacks (11). But leave it to the Bengals to come along at just the right time. Burrow has been sacked a league-high 22 times through five weeks. — Mike Wells
Bold prediction: The Colts will have a plus-five sack differential. The matchup in pass protection is heavily tilted toward the Colts. Indianapolis protects the quarterback well, and the Bengals are depleted on the defensive line. On the flip side, Burrow has been sacked more than any other QB in the NFL. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown four passing touchdowns this season, the fewest through his team’s first five games of a season in his career. His low through six games is seven (2007 and 2011). Rivers has also gone under 250 passing yards in four straight; he hasn’t done so in five straight since 2013-14.
What to know for fantasy: Bengals running back Joe Mixon is on pace for 384 touches this season, a number that only Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry have hit since 2015.
Betting nugget: Indianapolis is 6-3 ATS as a home favorite since the start of last season, tied for the second-best cover percentage over that span.
Baby’s pick: Colts 23, Bengals 14
Wells’ pick: Colts 27, Bengals 17
FPI prediction: IND, 67.6% (by an average of 6.3 points)
Lions (1-3) at Jaguars (1-4)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 14.8 | Spread: DET -3 (55)
What to watch for: Look for Jaguars running back James Robinson to carry the ball more than 20 times. Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jay Gruden admitted he has abandoned the run way too soon in each of the Jaguars’ past two games, so expect him to commit to Robinson pretty heavily against the Lions. And it makes sense because the Lions are giving up an NFL-worst 170.3 yards per game rushing. — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will look like the quarterback he was last season, throwing for 330 yards and three touchdowns, in a game that will still come down to the final possession due to Detroit’s poor defense against Gardner Minshew — who will also throw for 300 yards and two scores. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: Minshew needs 235 passing yards to have the most ever by a Jaguars QB through six games. He can also join Mark Brunell (1999) as the only players in Jaguars history with three straight 300-yard passing games.
What to know for fantasy: Robinson has at least 17 touches in every game this season, totaling at least 90 yards in four of those five games.
Betting nugget: Detroit is 7-1 ATS coming off a bye since the start of the 2012 season.
Rothstein’s pick: Lions 27, Jaguars 24
DiRocco’s pick: Lions 28, Jaguars 20
FPI prediction: DET, 60.2% (by an average of 3.6 points)
Washington (1-4) at Giants (0-5)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 9.0 | Spread: NYG -3 (43)
What to watch for: We get Washington defensive end Chase Young up against Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas — the No. 2 overall pick from April matched against the struggling No. 4 overall selection. It’s been a rough start for Thomas, as he’s ranked 61st out of 68 tackles in pass-block win rate (79.4%), an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats. Young, meanwhile, flashed his form early before missing some time with a groin injury. He returned last weekend and should be close to 100 percent and a handful for Thomas off the edge. — Jordan Raanan
Bold prediction: Washington defensive end Montez Sweat will take advantage of a weak New York offensive line and beat right tackle Cameron Fleming for a sack/fumble that leads to a deciding touchdown for Washington. Furthermore, Washington will record four sacks to break a three-game skid against the Giants. It ranks fifth in sacks with 15, but eight occurred in the opener. Against this line, Washington’s pass rush will get healthy. — John Keim
Stat to know: The Giants are last in the NFL in rushing, with just 79.0 yards per game. But Washington is second to last at 81.4 rushing yards per game.
What to know for fantasy: In Weeks 2-4, Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton totaled 134 yards on nine catches. In Week 5, he racked up 129 yards on eight catches against a divisional foe in the Cowboys. In Week 6, he gets another NFC East rival that has been routinely challenged deep down the field by opponents.
Betting nugget: In the past 35 seasons, when a team with an 0-5 or worse record is favored, the under is 12-6.
Keim’s pick: Washington 21, Giants 20
Raanan’s pick: Giants 23, Washington 22
FPI prediction: WSH, 52.7% (by an average of 1 point)
Jets (0-5) at Dolphins (2-3)
4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 28.7 | Spread: MIA -10 (47)
What to watch for: The Dolphins are favored for the first time in 21 games (December 2018) and favored by more than a touchdown for the first time since November 2016. They haven’t won back-to-back games by double digits since 2015, before the Brian Flores and Adam Gase eras in Miami, while the Jets have lost every game this season by at least nine points. Something has to give! — Cameron Wolfe
Bold prediction: The Jets won’t convert more than five third downs. They’re 28th in third-down percentage, and the Miami defense is seventh. This will mean a long day for QB Joe Flacco, whose undefeated record against Miami (6-0) will be history. — Rich Cimini
Stat to know: The Jets have started 0-6 only once in franchise history, in 1996. That team finished 1-15. As of now, the Jets have a league-high 43.6% chance to get the top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, according to FPI.
What to know for fantasy: Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has scored at least 21 fantasy points in four straight games, the longest streak of his career.
Betting nugget: Miami is 4-0 ATS against the Jets since the start of the 2018 season.
Cimini’s pick: Dolphins 31, Jets 13
Wolfe’s pick: Dolphins 30, Jets 17
FPI prediction: MIA, 73.5% (by an average of 8.6 points)
Packers (4-0) at Buccaneers (3-2)
4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 85.0 | Spread: GB -1.5 (55)
What to watch for: The Bucs are hopeful that Tom Brady can get back some of his weapons, such as wide receiver Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette, along with a healthier Scotty Miller and Mike Evans. But the big question is how they’ll replace 347-pound defensive tackle Vita Vea, who was a key reason the Buccaneers have had the league’s top-ranked rushing defense over the past two years and why their pass rush has improved to be among the best. Who will try to rattle Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers now? — Jenna Laine
Bold prediction: The Packers’ defense will finally make a stand. Aaron Rodgers & Co. have carried the team to a 4-0 start, but after a bye week to figure out what has gone wrong, Mike Pettine’s defense will find a way to come up big. Look for the Smiths (Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith) to have success against the statuesque Brady, and Kenny Clark’s return will help a run defense that so far has allowed nearly 5 yards per carry. — Rob Demovsky
Stat to know: The Packers’ 93.3 offensive efficiency is the second highest through four team games since 2008 (95 by the Rams in 2018). And per the Elias Sport Bureau, Green Bay now has four consecutive games scoring at least 30 points with zero turnovers, tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history (2010 Patriots, seven straight).
What to know for fantasy: Tampa Bay running back Ronald Jones is the only player in the NFL this season with multiple games of 100 rushing yards and five targets.
Betting nugget: Green Bay is 4-0 ATS, making it the only undefeated team ATS left this season.
Demovsky’s pick: Packers 27, Buccaneers 24
Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Packers 27
FPI prediction: TB, 53.0% (by an average of 1.1 points)
Rams (4-1) at 49ers (2-3)
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 81.8 | Spread: LAR -3.5 (51.5)
What to watch for: The 49ers’ struggling offensive line gets its toughest test yet with Aaron Donald & Co. coming to town. The Rams are tied for the NFL lead with 20 sacks, and the Niners have allowed 18, fourth most in the league. Donald is capable of wrecking games by himself, and the Niners’ interior line has been of particular concern. If San Francisco can’t get it figured out in a hurry, it could be another long night. — Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: Donald will turn in his third multi-sack performance of the season. The defensive tackle is coming off a four-sack performance and will continue to wreak havoc in the backfield against the 49ers, whom he has 11.5 career sacks against. — Lindsey Thiry
Stat to know: Rams quarterback Jared Goff has a 70% completion rate in three consecutive road games, the second-longest streak in Rams history (Kurt Warner, five).
What to know for fantasy: Los Angeles running back Darrell Henderson has three games with at least 14 touches this season. He has rushed for a score in all three of those games, and he even caught a touchdown last weekend at Washington. .
Betting nugget: San Francisco is 0-3 ATS and straight up at home this season. The Niners’ only two wins have come at MetLife Stadium (defeating the Giants and Jets).
Thiry’s pick: Rams 28, 49ers 24
Wagoner’s pick: Rams 30, 49ers 27
FPI prediction: LAR, 53.0% (by an average of 1.1 points)
Chiefs (4-1) at Bills (4-1)
Monday, 5 p.m. ET | Fox/NFL
Matchup rating: 85.5 | Spread: KC -5 (57.5)
What to watch for: Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs is averaging a career-high 101.8 yards per game in 2020, good for second in the NFL. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have allowed two 100-yard receivers through five games this season. Look for quarterback Josh Allen and Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to push that number to three come Monday. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will again become a prominent part of the Chiefs’ offense and will score his first touchdown since Week 1. While he might not have a huge game against Buffalo’s rushing defense, the Chiefs will feature him more than they did last weekend against the Raiders, when he had 10 carries and three catches. The Chiefs abandoned their running game far too early against Las Vegas and won’t make that mistake two weeks in a row, particularly with Sammy Watkins out of the lineup. — Adam Teicher
Stat to know: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes began his 2018 MVP season by completing 64% of his passes for 1,513 yards, 14 touchdowns, two interceptions and an 86.1 Total QBR through five games. That stat line isn’t too far from what Allen has done through five games this season: 69% passing, 1,589 yards, 14 touchdowns, three interceptions and an 85.2 Total QBR.
What to know for fantasy: Mahomes has 235 passing yards, 20 rushing yards and multiple passing scores in four straight games. He is the first quarterback with a streak like that since Aaron Rodgers in 2016.
Betting nugget: Kansas City is 7-1-1 ATS in Monday games under Andy Reid and 4-0-1 ATS on Monday night with Mahomes at quarterback.
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 31, Bills 27
Louis-Jacques’ pick: Chiefs 38, Bills 34
FPI prediction: KC, 67.5% (by an average of 6.2 points)
Cardinals (3-2) at Cowboys (2-3)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET |
Matchup rating: 37.4 | Spread: ARI -1.5 (55)
What to watch for: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is 6-0 all time at AT&T Stadium. He went 5-0 while at Allen High School, including three state championships, and 1-0 with Oklahoma, winning the Big 12 championship. The Cowboys are well aware of what he means to Arizona’s offense. “He has a unique skill set. He’s so quick and explosive, and he can get the ball out of his hand very quickly,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “Obviously he can make any throw, he can hit all the quadrants of the field, and he’s leading the league in rushing as quarterbacks. So I think that in itself tells you the stress that he puts on your defense. … He’s a dynamic player and he’s definitely the centerpiece of that offense.” — Todd Archer
Bold prediction: Murray will throw for 350 yards and run for another 100 in a reminder to everyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that he’s a legend there for a reason. — Josh Weinfuss
What to know for fantasy: Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds has 6.8 more points this season than Kenyan Drake … on 54 fewer touches.
Betting nugget: Arizona is the only team in the NFL to see all five of its games go under the total.
Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 34, Cowboys 24
Archer’s pick: Cardinals 33, Cowboys 31
FPI prediction: ARI, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)
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