NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 6 NFL Writer Picks: Can the Chargers Upset the Colts? 

Another week’s worth of NFL action is in the books, and Terrence Kirker has taken a rather commanding lead in our season-long picks competition. Here’s how we stack up heading into Week Six:

Terrence: 53-24

Gregg, Jonathan: 48-29

Keet, Brian: 46-31

Michael: 45-32

Taylor, Kevin: 43-34

Ben: 40-36.

Let’s see what’s in store for this week.

New York Giants (0-4) Chicago Bears (3-2)

Kevin: Chicago Bears – I’m finally going against the Giants, which means they’ll win. But whatevs.

Keet: Chicago Bears – The Giants just look plain awful and the Bears need to keep winning in a close NFC North battle.

Taylor: Chicago Bears – Because there’s never really any reason to pick the Giants to win.

Gregg: Chicago Bears – The Giants are awful. Plain and simple. I made the mistake of picking them last week because I figured they had to win eventually. I won’t make that same mistake again. The Bears are the best defense they’ve faced this season and Eli is the most turnover-prone player in football. Look for a lot of picks and an 0-6 Giants start.

Terrence: Chicago Bears – Forte and Marshall should have a monster fantasy day. Giants can’t prepare on a long week, so they probably get blown out in a short week.

Jonathan: Chicago Bears – The Bears have looked quite mediocre the last few weeks, but the Giants are still terrible until proven otherwise. Plus, Cutler owes the Giants for some of the beatings he’s taken at their hands.

Ben: Chicago Bears – I want the Giants to win so bad it’s pathetic, but I don’t think it’ll happen on the road against the Bears with Brandon Jacobs starting.

Brian: Chicago Bears – The Big Blue Turnover Machine visits one of the most opportunistic defenses in the game. No contest.

Michael: Chicago Bears – The Giants can’t seem to do anything right at the moment.


Consensus: Bears

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) Buffalo Bills (2-3)

Kevin: Cincinnati Bengals – Cincy can’t mess up when they’re facing friggin’ Thaddeus Lewis. And FYI, that D is legit. 

Keet: Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals are better than how they played against the Browns. They’ll pick up a second straight W. 

Taylor: Cincinnati Bengals – Wasn’t pretty last week, but I’m assuming that’s a kind of win that can get the Bengals onto a roll. Also, playing against a Thad Lewis-led team can probably do that for you.

Gregg: Buffalo Bills – The Bengals can thank the rain and an off-week by Tom Brady for their third win. The Bills will have enough after ten days off to take down a suspect Bengals team. The whispers about Andy Dalton holding back the Bengals get louder this week. 

Terrence: Cincinnati Bengals – Who’s playing QB for Buffalo?

Jonathan: Cincinnati Bengals – Cincy has a stout defense, Buffalo has zero offense. Still should be a low-scoring game, which will keep it closer than it should be.

Ben: Cincinnati Bengals – If Cincy plays like they did against the Pats they’ll be fine.

Brian: Cincinnati Bengals – In a quarterback-driven league, it’s not good to have to promote a practice team player on one week’s notice.

Michael: Cincinnati Bengals – Are the Bengals in for another letdown game? I would’ve said yes if E.J. Manuel was healthy.


Consensus: Bengals

Detroit Lions (3-2) Cleveland Browns (3-2)

Kevin: Cleveland Browns – Yep, four in a row. Detroit looked AWFUL without Megatron. They might lose this one even if he plays.

Keet: Detroit Lions – There’s only so much luck that the Browns can have. It runs out here with too many weapons for Stafford to crush this secondary with.

Taylor: Detroit Lions – I might rethink this one if Calvin is out again, but the Lions should really be able to beat the Browns without him. 

Gregg: Detroit Lions – The Browns have been riding high since the Trent Richardson trade but it ends this week. Calvin Johnson should play this week and Reggie Bush will be motivated by his worst outing of the season against the Packers in Week Five. Too much offense to handle for the resurgent Browns.

Terrence: Detroit Lions – Brandon Weeden will continue to disappoint.

Jonathan: Detroit Lions – The Dawg Pound, plus a now-healthy Joe Haden covering a now-injured Megatron, gives the Browns a real chance at the upset – but not with Weeden at QB. The loss of Hoyer will sink the Browns back down to the cesspool we expected them to be.

Ben: Cleveland Browns – Upset alert! The Browns have been playing well and I think their defense does enough to squeak out a win.

Brian: Detroit Lions – Who would have thought the backups gave them a better chance to win? There’s no way Weeden magically becomes a winner.

Michael: Cleveland Browns – The Browns have the talent on defense to slow down the Lions’ offense (it won’t hurt if Megatron doesn’t play again, too). 


Consensus: Lions

Oakland Raiders (2-3) Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)

Kevin: Kansas City Chiefs – KC is at home and it’s still the Raiders, right? Yeah, so I’m going with the undefeated team here.

Keet: Kansas City Chiefs – Oakland looks respectable for a change, but this KC defense isn’t messing around.

Taylor: Kansas City Chiefs – Highly interested in picking the Raiders here because they burned me last week, but KC doesn’t make enough mistakes. 

Gregg: Kansas City Chiefs – I am starting to come around on Terrelle Pryor but not enough for the Raiders to pull the upset in KC. Andy Reid is an early candidate for Coach of the Year and he gets a bigger lead as the Chiefs triple their win total from 2012 this Sunday.

Terrence: Kansas City Chiefs – The miracle season continues to 6-0 for the “Fighting Andy Reids”.

Jonathan: Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs will triple last season’s win total after Week Six! The Raiders don’t have the horses, especially with glue factory candidates McFadden and Jennings most likely out.

Ben: Kansas City Chiefs – The Raiders have been surprising people, but won’t beat the 5-0 Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Brian: Kansas City Chiefs – I know they can’t keep winning forever, but the Raiders certainly aren’t going to do anything about it. 

Michael: Kansas City Chiefs – Those two games against the Broncos are looking more exciting by the week.


Consensus: Chiefs

Carolina Panthers (1-3) Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

Kevin: Minnesota Vikings – I can’t buy Cam Newton right now. Adrian shall feast at home.

Keet: Carolina Panthers – It’s all about defense. Matt Cassel is starting again, and he’s not good.

Taylor: Minnesota Vikings – In light of Friday’s awful news involving Adrian Peterson, I’m thinking the poor Panthers may be in for a beatdown.

Gregg: Minnesota Vikings – All Peterson, All Day. The Panthers are just looking for an excuse to fire Ron Rivera and the sight of AP running all over the field Sunday will do it. The Panthers leave Minnesota with a 1-4 record and an interim head coach.

Terrence: Minnesota Vikings – Peterson is the difference. Newton hasn’t been sharp.

Jonathan: Carolina Panthers – The Panther defense is still decent, and the Vikings have three quarterbacks, which is to say, they have zero quarterbacks. AP can’t do it alone, and Carolina will put nine in the box to stop him.

Ben: Carolina Panthers – They looked bad against the Cards, but I think they manage to find their footing against the Vikings.

Brian: Carolina Panthers – With the acquisition of Josh Freeman, they now have three backup quality quarterbacks. I have no idea what has gotten into Carolina, but I’ve got to believe that the team without Freeman on the roster has to stand a better chance of winning.

Michael: Minnesota Vikings – Coming off a bye, this team will likely have a sense of urgency about them, especially at quarterback.


Consensus: Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) New York Jets (3-2)

Kevin: Pittsburgh Steelers – A week after Geno was sublime, he’ll be trash. That’s what rookies do, yo.

Keet: New York Jets – The Steelers are off to one of their worst starts ever. I love it.

Taylor: Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers aren’t going 0-16. The Jets are a nice story, but Geno won’t play mistake-free football again. Coming off the bye, I think this is the week.

Gregg: Pittsburgh Steelers – Ok, I am going to get stuck into the “they’ve got to win eventually” trap with the Steelers this week. Stupid, I know, but coming off the bye I think Big Ben does enough to pull the upset on the road. 

Terrence: New York Jets – I basically am picking the Jets because I want the Steelers to be winless along with my Giants.

Jonathan: New York Jets – Yes, the Jets are coming off a short week, and may be a little overconfident after beating Atlanta, but there’s no way Pittsburgh should be favored. Gang Green takes the slight and punishes Roethlisberger with it. This is not the game for Le’Veon Bell to make an impact. 

Ben: New York Jets – Well hello, New York Jets. What a win for Geno Smith on Monday Night Football. I don’t think this one is as close.

Brian: New York Jets – Until the Steelers prove they have some sort of idea what is going on with their offense, I cannot in good conscience pick them to win.

Michael: New York Jets – Who would’ve thought the Jets would be the better of the two New York teams this year? That Geno Smith sure is fun to watch.


Consensus: Jets

Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)

Kevin: Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Glennon. That is all.

Keet: Philadelphia Eagles – I don’t buy that the Bucs are an 0-5 team, but I don’t think they keep up with Vick and the Eagles, assuming Vick can come back.

Taylor: Philadelphia Eagles – Crap game of the week.

Gregg: Philadelphia Eagles – It does not matter who starts at QB for the Eagles, there will just be too much offense for the Bucs to handle. Tampa won’t be able to score enough to keep up. Schiano’s time is limited. 

Terrence: Philadelphia Eagles – Vick is probably out, but that won’t slow the Eagles against the Bucs.

Jonathan: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs are off the bye and with an extra week of practice with their new QB. The Eagles’ defense can’t stop anyone who isn’t stopping themselves, so Muscle Hamster could get off the wheel, and a safe gameplan will get the Bucs the W. 

Ben: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I think Tampa gets their first win coming off a bye week at home.

Brian: Philadelphia Eagles – Freeman was the biggest problem, but wasn’t the only problem. We’ll find out about those on Sunday.

Michael: Philadelphia Eagles – Because they’re in less dismay than the Bucs. 


Consensus: Eagles

Green Bay Packers (2-2) Baltimore Ravens (3-2)

Kevin: Green Bay Packers – Baltimore is inconsistent as hell and Green Bay is too good to fall below .500 again.

Keet: Baltimore Ravens – I don’t know if this Packers defense will stop many more teams this season. No more Clay Matthews for a few weeks makes this a risky game for them.

Taylor: Green Bay Packers – …because I guess the Packers are the better team? 

Gregg: Green Bay Packers – I simply do not believe in the Ravens. They got lucky in Miami and the Packers’ offense is far superior to that of the Dolphins. With Clay Matthews out, Joe Flacco should have some time to throw, but in the end Aaron Rodgers will be too much for the Ravens’ struggling D. 

Terrence: Green Bay Packers – Baltimore just can’t keep up at the Packers’ pace. Trading TDs for FGs just won’t cut it. 

Jonathan: Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore has been struggling, but they’ll be at home versus a Packer team missing a top linebacker. The Ravens should be able to run the ball enough to keep Rodgers off the field. Harbaugh has told Ray Rice he’s going to focus on him more, but don’t expect that to continue. Harbaugh is like every other lying, abusive boyfriend who behaves for a week to placate his girl before going back to his old ways. Maybe we just don’t know him like Rice does…

Ben: Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore is 35-7 at home since John Harbaugh took over and they’re starting to get hot. 

Brian: Green Bay Packers – They each have significant holes in their squads, but only one of these teams has Aaron Rodgers and the corps of capable pass catchers. Is Green Bay actually the better running team too? 

Michael: Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers is good enough to cover up a lot of their problems, especially with all the injuries on defense.


Consensus: Packers

St. Louis Rams (2-3) Houston Texans (2-3)

Kevin: Houston Texans – Even Schaub can beat the Rams. Although don’t be shocked if we see another pick-six. 

Keet: Houston Texans – Just run the football in Houston and they’ll be fine.

Taylor: Houston Texans – A loss at home to the Rams would really be cause for concern. Like, really. 

Gregg: Houston Texans – Hey, I’m all about the redemption story. Matt Schaub throws 4 TDs and no interceptions in a beatdown at Reliant Stadium. The good will last for a week and he throws 4 pick-sixes in Week Seven.

Terrence: Houston Texans – I really wanna pick the Rams here but the Texans are coming back home and desperate for a win. 

Jonathan: Houston Texans – The Texans certainly have problems, but they should be able to overcome a lousy St. Louis team. Considering Schaub’s career is about over and Yates’ ceiling is Kyle Orton II, the Texans should give Case Keenum a chance. The home fans will be excited, and Keenum just has to dump the ball off to Foster and Tate anyway.

Ben: Houston Texans – Houston’s really struggling so I’m sure they’re real happy to have the Rams at home this week. Houston gets back on track.

Brian: Houston Texans – After a devastating loss to the Seahawks and a crushing defeat in San Francisco, the Texans have finally found an NFC West opponent they can actually defeat. 

Michael: Houston Texans – This will be the game that Matt Schaub finds a way to turn it all around.


Consensus: Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) Denver Broncos (5-0)

Kevin: Denver Broncos – And we’re back to Chad Henne. So, the Jags should at least score, I guess.

Keet: Denver Broncos – I don’t need an explanation for this.

Taylor: Denver Broncos – Will Peyton even play after halftime?

Gregg: Jacksonville Jaguars – …HAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING. Broncos in an absolute rout. Even Peyton Manning might feel bad enough for his former division foe to ease up in the third quarter. 

Terrence: Denver Broncos – Yes!!! We know the Broncos will win. I’m picking this one against the spread. Denver (-28)…I’ll STILL take the Broncos!

Jonathan: Denver Broncos – Broncos by 50. This could be even more egregious than the Jax-Seattle matchup from a few weeks ago. The question is, do we see Brock Ostermuller behind center after Denver goes up 35-0 early in the second quarter? If the NFL had relegation, the Jaguars would be in danger of being sent to League One, where they would still lose to Bristol City.

Ben: Denver Broncos – HA! Next.

Brian: Denver Broncos – Have you ever seen 53 grown men cry after being publicly humiliated? Tune in to watch the waterworks.

Michael: Denver Broncos – Though we all know how this one is going to end, watch the Jags shock the world and pull off the upset. 


Consensus: Broncos

Tennessee Titans (3-2) Seattle Seahawks (4-1)

Kevin: Seattle Seahawks – Poor Titans. They probably lose this one even with Locker. But it’s in Seattle and Ryan Fitzpatrick is their QB.

Keet: Seattle Seahawks – I’m still buying this defense as the best in the league. No Jake Locker = Win for Seattle.

Taylor: Seattle Seahawks – Expecting a massive blowout in this game. 

Gregg: Seattle Seahawks – Back at home after a tough road trip to Houston and Indy, the ‘Hawks should handle the Titans with ease. Russell Wilson has never lost at home and that doesn’t change this week. 

Terrence: Seattle Seahawks – Back home after a tough loss to the Colts and Lynch will have a big day.

Jonathan: Seattle Seahawks – Seattle is at home versus a very average (not bad, just average) Titan team that becomes below-average with Fitzpatrick stinking up the QB position. Another lost week for Cop Speed. 

Ben: Seattle Seahawks – They’re gonna be out for blood after a close one in Indy. Not to mention it’s almost impossible to beat the ‘Hawks at home.

Brian: Seattle Seahawks – They’ve been exposed, but they’re still one of the best teams in the league. 

Michael: Seattle Seahawks – Despite the loss in Indy, they’re still the class of the NFC. 


Consensus: Seahawks

New Orleans Saints (5-0) New England Patriots (4-1)

Kevin: New England Patriots – Every undefeated team loses sooner or later, right? Gronk’s return makes this a shootout. It being in New England gives the Pats the edge.

Keet: New Orleans Saints – The Patriots have been lucky enough this year. Their luck ended last week and will continue to struggle here.

Taylor: New Orleans Saints – Losing two games in a row is something Tom Brady doesn’t really do, but it’s kinda out of his control, especially if Gronk is out yet again. The Saints are just better. 

Gregg: New Orleans Saints – My gut wants to go with the Pats, but the Saints just seem to have it going on this year. New Orleans’ defense should be able to make enough plays even with Gronk back to make sure the offense can roll over the Patriots. 

Terrence: New Orleans Saints – I know about the Patriots after a loss and playing at home, but have you seen the Saints play? Brees and company have too much for the Pats to handle.

Jonathan: New England Patriots – The Pats could finally get Gronk back, which means Brady can finally have a reliable receiver. The pressure is on the New England defense, which will need to generate pressure. They should be able to give Breesus Christ just enough different looks to get a turnover or two.

Ben: New Orleans Saints – With Drew Brees playing the way he is and the defense playing better than they have in a long time, the Saints move to 6-0 with a win on the road against the Pats. 

Brian: New Orleans Saints – On a man-vs.-man comparison, New Orleans will beat New England across the board. Brees vs. Brady, Graham vs. Gronkowski, Sproles/Thomas vs. Blount/Bolden, and the receivers are still a toss-up because the two QBs distribute the ball so well. 

Michael: New Orleans Saints – Well, the Saints may have something to say about the whole “class of the NFC” thing.


Consensus: Saints

Arizona Cardinals (3-2) San Francisco 49ers (3-2)

Kevin: San Francisco 49ers – And just like that, that early 1-2 start is a thing of the past for the 49ers. 

Keet: San Francisco 49ers – Arizona may be the worst 3-2 team in the league. The 49ers are making their comeback.

Taylor: San Francisco 49ers – Even though Colin Kaepernick kinda sucks.

Gregg: San Francisco 49ers – Back-to-back blowouts have the 49ers back on track. The Cardinals must feel good after a complete domination against the Panthers, but they just don’t have enough to beat San Francisco at Candlestick.

Terrence: San Francisco 49ers – I think this one is closer than most think, but the Niners get the edge at home. 

Jonathan: San Francisco 49ers – The Niners look like their dominant selves again. The Cards come in with a winning record and a good defense, but no running game plus immobile quarterback equals doom for the desert birds.

Ben: San Francisco 49ers – The Niners are going back to basics and it’s working. I think they get another win at Candlestick against the Cards. 

Brian: San Francisco 49ers – I expect this one to be close, as each team has a good defense and mediocre offense. San Francisco has all the upside, though, and they play at home. 

Michael: San Francisco 49ers – With the defense playing the way it is, nobody is realizing how bad Colin Kaepernick has been lately. 


Consensus: 49ers

Washington Redskins (1-3) Dallas Cowboys (2-3)

Kevin: Dallas Cowboys – Last week was a letdown, sure, but Tones Romes and co. can’t let it bleed into a third straight loss against RG3. Not at home.

Keet: Dallas Cowboys – This Redskins secondary is awful. Romo should do wonders here.

Taylor: Dallas Cowboys – They’ll probably find a way to blow it since they’re heavily favored, but I think they found out last week that the way they’re going to maximize their win total is by throwing the ball a ton. Should work pretty well against the awful Redskins. 

Gregg: Dallas Cowboys – No player in the NFL catches more unnecessary flack than Tony Romo. The guy played his ass off last week against an exceptional Broncos defense. The Redskins are coming off a bye and they’re certainly motivated, but there will be too much Romo for this defense to handle. 

Terrence: Dallas Cowboys – Just for the record, I absolutely despise Tony Romo and hate his guts…and yes I went against him in two leagues last week.

Jonathan: Dallas Cowboys – The ‘Boys come off a heart-breaking loss to Denver, and get to take it out on a Washington team that’s been a disaster so far. Romo won’t repeat last week’s performance, but could still go for 400 yards and four touchdowns.

Ben: Dallas Cowboys – If the ‘Boys play anywhere close to the level they did against Peyton and the Broncos then they’ll cruise in this one. 

Brian: Dallas Cowboys – They nearly took down the Broncos in a shootout. Washington has less offensive firepower and a less solid defense vs. Denver.

Michael: Dallas Cowboys – Tony Romo won’t have the gaudy stats this week, but he’ll at least get the win. 


Consensus: Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts (4-1) San Diego Chargers (2-3)

Kevin: San Diego Chargers – San Diego keeps doing just enough to make me believe. They’ll win a close shootout at home. 

Keet: San Diego Chargers – Trap game? Perhaps not, but the Chargers will pull off the shocker at home on Monday Night Football.

Taylor: Indianapolis Colts – I’d imagine the Colts are too disciplined and focused to blow one on the road against a crap-tastic Chargers team that just got their doors blown off by the freaking Raiders. 

Gregg: San Diego Chargers – Upset special of the week right here. San Diego looked awful against Oakland, but Philip Rivers will bounce back in a big way with a W on Monday Night Football.

Terrence: San Diego Chargers – Here’s my reasoning: For the last three years, I can’t figure this team out. I really wanna pick the Colts, so I’m doing the opposite when it comes to the Chargers games. 

Jonathan: San Diego Chargers – Everyone is rightfully on the Colts’ bandwagon, but King Laserface is on his home throne, and Indy could suffer a letdown after such a big win over Seattle last week. The Bolts shouldn’t turn the ball over five times again.

Ben: Indianapolis Colts – Indy is now looking like a legit force in the NFL and with the Chargers coming off a loss to the Raiders I don’t think this one stays close.

Brian: Indianapolis Colts – San Diego has a hard time stopping other teams from scoring points and the Colts have been able to move the ball on both Seattle and San Francisco. 

Michael: Indianapolis Colts – With Andrew Luck at the helm, this could be a very scary team come January.


Consensus: Chargers

About the author: Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been with NFL Soup since its inception, and is a jack of all trades, helping with breaking news, fantasy football advice and NFL Draft coverage. Smith also heads NFL Soup’s live chats and radio shows. Taylor also contributes content to our sister sites, MLB Soup, NBA Soup and NBA Water Cooler. He lives in San Diego, where he also is a writer for the L.A. Clippers. Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTaylor.

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