As Week 6 of the 2020 NFL Season is upon us, the only schedule change for this weekend because of COVID-19 is the Chiefs-Bills game originally scheduled for this past Thursday to be moved to Monday night before the Cardinals-Cowboys game at Arlington, putting together a ESPN MNF doubleheader for the first time since Week 1. The teams on bye this week as planned from the start are the Saints, Seahawks, Chargers, and Raiders, 3 of whom won in dramatic fashion last week. Time to explore once more who can win starting Sunday afternoon:
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (1pm): After securing their first win of the season hosting Jacksonville, Houston finds themselves with another, yet tougher rival to face in Nashville. Tennessee impressed many with their dominating win over Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills last Tuesday. Tannehill vs. Watson is a matchup to watch, and even without Corey Davis and Adam Humphires, weapons like AJ Brown and Derrick Henry stepped and delivered. In Nashville against a less-than-impressive Texans team, the Titans could once again remain perfect after this weekend.
PREDICTION: Titans win 31-20
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles (1pm): Baltimore still rolls with their only blemish of the season against Kansas City. They will now take their talents to Philadelphia to face a struggling Eagles team that nearly scared a perfect Steelers’ team. Carson Wentz will once again face a tough AFC North team, but at home this time around. With a more mobile QB in Lamar Jackson to face, Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox may have trouble catching up with the reigning NFL MVP while the Ravens’ impressive defense can give Wentz trouble with how he may rely on so many weapons he had to throw to this season as of now.
PREDICTION: Ravens win 34-23
Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings (1pm): A game like this can shift around and the Falcons finally fired Dan Quinn after struggling the last few seasons following their blown-lead loss in Super Bowl LI. Julio Jones is probable to return while Dalvin Cook’s groin injury will keep him out. The Falcons could use this break to get their first win of the season but their defense is still problematic and facing Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson won’t be a cake-walk. Could the Vikings’ defense play well against Matt Ryan’s good-looking offense. It hasn’t been utilized well enough to win a game yet, so a second Vikings win is in sight.
PREDICTION: Vikings win 30-27
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1pm): In a game like this, most people would see it as underrated. However, this game could determine who takes the lead in the AFC North, and for Cleveland, that’s a big deal considering they have not been 4-1 since 1996. The Steelers and Browns split the series last season and the game at Cleveland ended with blood almost spilt when Myles Garrett butted heads with Mason Rudolph. With a close game, both teams can be poised to be playoff contenders. Pittsburgh is already with a perfect record and Cleveland’s only loss is at Baltimore to start the season. The Browns’ offense is finally starting to be utilized, and the Steelers see rookie WR Chase Claypool rising after a monster performance against Philadelphia. This will be a close game, but the home team is the winner.
PREDICTION: Steelers win 31-28
Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1pm): Detroit comes out of their bye week looking to find out why they can’t hold on to most of the two-score leads they’ve had in all their games of the season so far. The reason may finally be discovered in Jacksonville as both teams will look for their second win of the season. Adrian Peterson has been solidifying himself as the lead RB for Detroit and Stafford sees star weapons in Jones, Golladay, and Hockenson. For the Jaguars, Minshew is content with rookie RB James Robinson and WR’s Cole and Shenault, Jr. Both 1-win teams will be close but Detroit appears more loaded than the Jaguars.
PREDICTION: Lions win 28-24
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts (1pm): Joe Burrow struggled hard in Baltimore last week, just like the Browns did to start the season. There were rumors of a possible A.J. Green trade, but he made it clear he wants to stay with the Bengals. Despite the weapons Burrow has, he is still looking to help them develop an identity while the defense tries their hard with their only hope at this rate being Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins being healthy. The Colts’ loss at Cleveland can’t be too unexpected cause of the Browns’ recent surge, but they could do more and may do so at home this time around. They’re still perfect at home this season and may keep it that way.
PREDICTION: Colts win 27-17
Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers (1pm): Both teams are coming off impressive wins to stay in the fight for first place in their division. Chicago defeated Brady and the Bucs last Thursday night and Carolina won at Atlanta while McCaffrey was still on IR. Mike Davis has stepped up in his absence, giving Bridgewater a lot of weapons to look at, including him, Robby Anderson, and DJ Moore. Nick Foles still has ways to utilize his offense and can use David Montgomery in the backfield and have Allen Robinson II, Anthony Miller, and Jimmy Graham. The Panthers haven’t faced a tough defense for a little while, so this may be a challenge that’s too difficult for the Panthers to overcome.
PREDICTION: Bears win 23-20
Washington Football Team @ New York Giants (1pm): Between both teams last week, hearts were broken and renewed. For Washington, after Kyle Allen left the game with an injury, Alex Smith returned for the first time since November 2018 while the Giants allowed two-straight field goal drives in a close loss against Dallas despite Day Prescott falling with a hard injury that could leave him sidelined for the rest of the season. After the offense looked well enough last week, the Giants could see some reasons to win at home this weekend and Kyle Allen is still slated to start on Sunday. RB Antonio Gibson and WR Terry McLaurain, Jr. are the best options for Washington and Kyle Allen, but the Giants’ defense has weapons, minus Lorenzo Carter that can overwhelm him and give them their first win of the season and actually still remain in the race for the NFC East lead.
PREDICTION: Giants win 30-20
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots (1pm): After being unable to play last week due to COVID-19, both teams are finally ready to return to action in Foxborough. For the Patriots, Cam Newton and Stephen Gillmore are also active after being taken off the COVID-19 list and while Drew Lock is most likely to start for Denver, RB Melvin Gordon and TE Noah Fant are unlikely to play. The Patriots look to set to return to peak physical form from the start of the season while the Broncos may have to wait another week for their second win of the season.
PREDICTION: Patriots win 31-17
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins (4:05pm): Fitz-magic and the Dolphins shocked Jimmy G and the 49ers in the Bay Area last week, putting some light in their playoff hopes despite not in the playoff race as of yet. The Jets’ problems continue as Le’Veon Bell was released and instantly signed with the Chiefs. Despite not getting Bell, the Dolphins still have Myles Gaskin and De’Vante Parker to lead the offense and the defense can still put up a show. Joe Flacco is in line to start for the Jets again but may struggle with an aging Frank Gore and injuries on offense still occurring.
PREDICTION: Dolphins win 34-14
Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:25pm): This game also qualifies as one of the most impressive matchups to watch this weekend. After the last two Rodgers-Brady matchups were between Green Bay and New England, it finally takes a different direction to Raymond James Stadium. Tom Brady may be starting to decline more after he confused a 4th-down play with a 3rd-down play that cost his team the game last week at Chicago. However, Evans, Godwin, and Miller appear to be active while Fournette is questionable. As Brady often leans on the passing game, he can still utilize Brate and Gronkowski despite O.J. Howard out for the rest of the season. However, the Packers with Rodgers, Jones, Adams, and Valdez-Scantling have still looked fierce offensively and the defense has also looked tough. Expect a huge shootout with the Packers most likely winning the game on the final drive.
PREDICTION: Packers win 34-31
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (SNF @ 8:20pm): The Rams have trended upwards with their only loss of the season at Buffalo while the 49ers have started to struggle with all the injuries affecting them such as the loss of Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas. It was a huge reason the 49ers’ defense was exposed against Miami, and with the Rams’ high-powered offense, it won’t be any easy for the 49ers as their offense may be tough, but with Aaron Donald leading the Rams’ defense and the offense still tough, the Rams may get their revenge after getting swept by Jimmy G last season.
PREDICTION: Rams win 27-23
Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills (MNF @ 5pm): Many people would’ve expected both teams to be undefeated when they play each other at this point, but the Chiefs and Bills were upset by the Raiders and Titans respectively, putting them both at 4-1. The Chiefs have found a new RB to back up Clyde Edwards-Hilaire in Le’Veon Bell, giving the Chiefs a push offensively with Watkins sidelined for a few weeks with an injury. Without White and Brown, the Bills nearly looked lost on both sides but if both players return on Monday, this potential playoff matchup will look like one of the best games of the season. With Allen hosting Mahomes, watch out for Josh pulling through in the end.
PREDICTION: Bills win 33-26
Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys (MNF @ 8:15pm): It’s a temporary era the Cowboys are in with Prescott out for the rest of the season. Despite trailing by 3 in the 4th quarter, Andy Dalton pulled through to give the Cowboys their first look at 1st place in the NFC East this season. The Cardinals have themselves a shifty-looking QB in Kyler Murray and he was able to help his team defeat the Jets, but one of their star defensive players Chandler Jones is out for the season with a biceps injury. Both teams have a great-looking offense but a questionable defense. However, Leighton Vander Esch could be active for MNF, giving the Cowboys’ defense the push they have been looking for since Week 2.
PREDICTION: Cowboys win 31-24