Week 6’s Most Compelling Games
Every Sunday at 1 PM eastern I face a terrifying first-world problem. Get the violins out now because it’s rather traumatic. Ok here goes: I only have three televisions with Sunday Ticket piped through. Awful, right? Especially if you prefer to see how games unfold and not just the scoring culminations the RedZone Channel provides.
Even with the bye weeks, there are SEVEN early games in Week 6. Which should be a priority, and which should inspire you to work on your paper airplane collection instead?
Here is my very subjective look at which games are the most intriguing. Games are assigned a number from 1-10, with a 10 being off the charts watchable.
Chicago (1-4) at Baltimore (3-2)
Mitchell Trubisky had a so-so debut last Monday night but still remains a somewhat compelling watch. The Ravens should pressure the rookie often, and Joe Flacco will feel some pressure of his own; both teams have strong pass rushes. With a win and Steelers loss to Kansas City, Baltimore would be in the AFC North driver’s seat.
4 – This may be low scoring and sloppy.
Cleveland (0-5) at Houston (2-3)
The Browns are beyond sad losers or funny losers; at this point they’re just losers. For the Texans, Deshaun Watson’s pocket presence and ability to deftly use his legs has made him must see t.v. Plus it will be interesting to see how the Texans adjust after J.J. Watt’s sorrowful injury.
2 – Interest in Watson mitigated by woeful opponent.
***Green Bay (4-1) at Minnesota (3-2)
Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback of our generation, and his mastery is a pleasure to watch. The Vikings will present Rodgers on the toughest, most complex defenses he will face. Vikes DE Everson Griffen will look to keep his streak of a sack in every game this season alive.
10 – As good as it gets for a divisional game this early.
Detroit (3-2) at New Orleans (2-2)
The Saints have won two in a row and have a chance to be above .500 for the first time in a couple of seasons. The Lions stumble in with a tough loss against the Panthers after a fourth quarter comeback bid fell just short. New Orleans starts its post-Adrian Peterson era. The Lions offensive line must improve and give Matt Stafford more time.
5- Not many adrenaline-indicing individual matchups.
Miami (2-2) at Atlanta (3-1)
We’re still trying to figure out if these are the same Falcons that played in the Super Bowl. The offense is certainly struggling to produce big plays in the post-Kyle Shanahan era. Meanwhile Miami’s Jay Cutler experiment is strangely intriguing.
5 – Will we ever get sick of Cutler?
***New England (3-2) at New York Jets (3-2)
Talk about the Patriots’ dominance all you want, but I just see the facts: two 3-2 teams vying for the division lead. Tom Brady has been dealing with a shoulder injury on his non-throwing side. While it shouldn’t impact him in this one, the minor injury shifts the spotlight to the offensive line and the extreme pressure to protect Brady.
8 – Imagine the Jets being the ones to alter the trajectory of New England’s storied dynasty.
San Francisco (0-5) at Washington (2-2)
Aside from the Kirk Cousins live audition there isn’t much to be excited for here. Cousins will have his left tackle Trent Williams who missed practice all week with a kneecap injury. On the other side of the ball, Josh Norman is out, deflating a bit of the intrigue. The 49ers are underrated on defense but the roster mostly devoid of firepower.
3 – Cousins sweepstakes and not much else in this one.
Tampa Bay (2-2) at Arizona (2-3)
Two promising teams that have mostly been disappointments. The Bucs do have an emerging offense, with Jameis Winston topping 300 yards in his last three games. But overall this one doesn’t present much intrigue.
4 – This feels like a game made solely for fantasy footballers.
***Los Angeles Rams (3-2) at Jacksonville (3-2)
Aaron Donald vs. Leonard Fournette. Need I say more? Luckily there is even more to this one, including Jared Goff trying to navigate the treacherous waters of Jacksonville’s rockstar corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
9 – Possibly the NFL’s two most up and coming teams.
***Pittsburgh (3-2) at Kansas City (5-0)
This one pits the NFL’s best team against a national team at a crossroads. Is Ben Roethlisberger of 2017 more like the oft-underrated playmaker or that five interception disaster we saw last week? The NFL’s second-best offense (KC) against the third-best defense (Pittsburgh). Yes, please.
10 – Extra point for Tony Romo in the booth!
Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at Oakland Raiders (2-3)
Derek Carr returns for Oakland, and his dependability coming of the back injury will go a long way to determining whether Oakland has any shot to catch K.C. Speaking of bad backs, Chargers first round pick, Mike Williams, makes his debut in this one.
4 – Two of these points are solely based on this being a divisional game.
New York Giants (0-5) at Denver Broncos (3-1)
Watching the Giants this season had already been like walking on scorching hot coals, and this week’s version will be without Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. This just isn’t a compelling test for Denver’s dominant defense. Offensively the Broncos are dull and have had red zone issues. By the way, the Broncos are our survivor pick in this week’s newsletter. Have you subscribed yet?
3 – Not waiting all day for Sunday night.
Indianapolis (2-3) at Tennessee (2-3)
Even if Marcus Mariota (hamstring) plays on Monday night, this one is dreadfully dull on paper. Two of the worst scoring defenses in the leagues, and two of the lowest scoring teams in football. Honestly, I’m getting sleepy just thinking about this one.
3 – What else is on Monday night?