Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 6


With each passing week we are seeing a Rams team that is not an easy win for anybody and sooner or later that will amount to a few wins, but the ball has not been bouncing St. Louis’ way. I know that pain as I’m picking a mediocre 39-37 straight-up on the season so far and a dreadful 34-40-2. This week the Rams will be under the spotlight as they host the 49ers on Monday night and hopefully the bright lights will help them, as well as me, show up in the win column.

What is the spread? In the gambling world, a “spread’ is a term used to handicap games by allowing a team to lose or win by a certain number of points while still winning for a bettor. If the Rams are +3 against the Seahawks, that means that the Rams could win outright or they could lose by two points and still be a victory for a bettor. In the same situation as above, the spread could also read as the Seahawks -3 which again would mean they have to win by three or more points to cover the spread.



Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (+3)

Though a lot of people are going to immediately point to Andrew Luck, the Colts defense has helped this team a lot. The past three games have seen Indy hold opposing offenses under 350 yards and have forced three turnovers in each. As great as last week’s narrow loss to the Cowboys look, the Texans and Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled against an average defense. It feels like Fitzpatrick is doing just enough to hold of Ryan Mallett right now. I have not seen enough from Houston to think they can win a tough game like this. Colts win 28-21 (Colts cover)


Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-5)

Even though the Jaguars are 0-5 they have looked like a competitive and competent team for the first time in years. Blake Bortles is making mistakes, but with this team playing for the future he is looking great. When you look at the Titans you see a team with huge holes all over. The quarterback situation seems sketchy, the receivers are inconsistent and the defense allowed the biggest road comeback in history. Jacksonville has impressed me and the Titans are on the verge of being the worst in the league. Jaguars win 17-14 (Jaguars cover)

Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5)

The Ravens season may be directly tied to Eugene Monroe. With the stud left tackle in the lineup the Ravens looked like one of the top teams in the AFC. However, after his knee surgery Baltimore was forced to start rookie James Hurst who allowed two sacks and two tackles for a loss. The Buccaneers have managed to lose three of their four games by six points or less, but their opponents have a combined 8-11 record. It may sound simplified, but the Bucs are just not good. Ravens should take this in a beatdown. Ravens win 35-17 (Ravens cover)

Denver Broncos at New York Jets (+8)

Denver almost single-handedly put to rest the grumblings that the Cardinals were a top team last week. The Broncos offense has a wealth of weapons, but the running back situation will be interesting to watch with Montee Ball hurt. Well it seemed like a matter of time before the Jets quarterback situation imploded. Week 5 saw the team bench Geno Smith for Michael Vick who combined for 60 yards and an interception. The Jets are stuck until Rex Ryan gets the boot, and since that hasn’t happened stay far away from the Jets. Broncos win 35-14 (Broncos cover)

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (+2)

It’s hard to be excited about the Lions right now. The offense was okay, but was not the same without Calvin Johnson. Add to that a secondary that still gets torched by speedy receivers and the team looked weak in their loss to the Kyle Orton led Bills. The Vikings will need to start thinking about the future, but it will be difficult offensively when the line has been pretty terrible. Obviously Christian Ponder is a bust, but you can’t fault him entirely for the beatdown to the Packers. Lions should win this one, but they need to make sure not to let the Vikings hang around. Lions win 24-21 (Lions cover)

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+3)

The downfall of the Patriots was greatly exaggerated. A pummeling of a strong Bengals team has ensured that New England is still here. The team is clearly not the top team they were at one point, but a solid defense and a deep stable of running backs will keep them around. I knew Kyle Orton was better than people expected, but I still was not expecting a 300 yard performance. However, the running game has become anemic and mildly horrifying to watch. Patriots win 28-21 (Patriots cover)

Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals (-7)

The Panthers are punching above their weight class right now. They have a -54.8 rushing yards per game and have been outscored 99-60 in the past three games. The Bengals run defense sorely missed Vontaze Burfict as the Patriots backs combined for 220 yards rushing. Andy Dalton still looked good, but with AJ Green’s status in doubt it will be the first time we see if the fiery quarterback can be the guy in Cincy. Bengals win 24-21 (Panthers cover)

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-1.5)

The Steelers continue to be unimpressive. Sure they won last week, but they barely beat the Jaguars. Pittsburgh is allowing 330.8 yards per game defensively, but their offense has bailed them out averaging 404 ypg. Don’t sleep on these Cleveland Browns. With the AFC North looking winnable, they could make their first postseason trip since 2002. The team is rushing for 143.3 yards per game while Brian Hoyer has been the game manager the team needs. Browns win 27-17 (Browns cover)

Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins (+3.5)

The Packers have suddenly decided to turn the offense on. Over the past two games Green Bay has outscored opponents 80-27 and Aaron Rodgers has thrown for seven touchdowns and no picks. The Dolphins are coming off of a bye and have certainly not been hearing grumblings of a quarterback controversy. The Fins’ still have work offensively to accomplish, but defensively they have allowed the second fewest yards to opponents. Packers win 31-20 (Packers cover)

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (+7

I think it is safe to say that Mike McCoy is the frontrunner for the coach of the year. The Chargers rank in the top 10 in almost all significant categories in the NFL and have been using an over-the-hill Antonio Gates and now a rookie running back to perfection. The Raiders bye week saw the ousting of lame duck coach Dennis Allen and the ushering in of lame duck coach Tony Sparano. The Raiders rank last in points as well as overall yards and have allowed nine turnovers through four games. I’m feeling like this is going to be a massacre. Chargers win 35-17 (Chargers cover)

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (-8)

This is going to be the week that the Cowboys get their chance to prove if they are real. The team is 4-1 and Jason Garrett has realized that the team is best to ride DeMarco Murray as far as he can possibly take them. Clock control has finally become the Cowboys friend. Even though the Seahawks did not look their best, Russell Wilson put the team on his back and got the ‘W’. It’s hard to deny the greatness of Seattle, even when they are not at their top form they still find a way to win. Seahawks win 24-21 (Cowboys cover)

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals (-3.5)

There may be no team playing as poorly as the Redskins over the past two weeks. Washington has been outscored 72-31 while amassing a total of 118 yards on the ground compared to the 378 they’ve allowed. The Cardinals are a good team, but after a blowout loss to Denver and uncertainty at the quarterback position, it is hard to be excited about the team. If Arizona wants to be elite, they need a healthy Carson Palmer and their secondary needs to step up and look better than last week. Cardinals win 17-10 (Cardinals cover)

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

The Bears are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but they manage to fall apart seemingly every week. Jay Cutler has also developed the perfect sense to throw interceptions at the worst time. The Falcons are suffering from the same issues that have plagued them for years. A lack of pass rush, four sacks, and running game has caused the entire team to rely on Matt Ryan. That’s not saying that ‘Matty Ice’ can’t support the team when they need it, but he can’t bail them out constantly. Falcons win 24-21 (Bears cover)

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)

I don’t believe that anybody really saw the Giants offensive onslaught coming. This is a team that has scored 105 points in the last three weeks with Eli Manning throwing for eight touchdowns and one interception. The Eagles continue to win games thanks to their offense just plainly outscoring other teams, because their secondary has been pretty ugly. This is a team giving up over 400 yards of offense a game. The Giants are red hot and going against a defense that is questionable at best. Giants win 34-28 (Giants cover)


San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (+3.5)

No team in the NFL confuses me more than the 49ers. San Fran ranks in the top 10 in points per game and offense, but only 20th in scoring. The team lacks an identity and the front office is a complete mess right now. The Rams defense was supposed to be the team’s saving grace this season, but instead it has become their albatross. The team has one sack through four games and the safety play has been downright painful to watch. Luckily, Austin Davis and the Rams offense is keeping them alive in games. The last two games the Rams lost were by a combined nine points against teams with an accumulative 8-2 record. Austin Davis has been slinging the ball as well as anyone and I think the young gun will shine under the bright lights of Monday night football and put up the Rams second win of the season. Rams win 27-17 (Rams cover)