NFL Week 6 predictions: Bet big on Patriots, Cardinals, Bengals, Eagles

Here are our NFL Nation reporters' predictions for Week 6:


Washington: The Washington Redskins have averaged 3.50 yards per carry the past three weeks and now must face the Jets, who have one of the NFL’s best run defenses (seventh at 3.75 yards per run). And they might have to do so without one or two starting offensive linemen, as both left tackle Trent Williams and center Kory Lichtensteiger have injury concerns. With questions about the run game and with receiver DeSean Jackson possibly still sidelined, it’ll be tough to move the ball. It’s a good matchup for the Redskins’ defense, but that won’t be enough. Jets 17, Redskins 14. -- John Keim

N.Y. Jets: The Jets have a history of stinking in games immediately after the bye week (1-5 under former coach Rex Ryan), but it's a new era. This won’t be as easy as some people might think, but the Jets’ aggressive and opportunistic defense should feast on the turnover-prone Kirk Cousins. It’ll set up a fantastic AFC East showdown the following Sunday -- Jets at Patriots. Jets 23, Redskins 19. -- Rich Cimini


Arizona: The Steelers have 16 sacks this season. The Cardinals have allowed seven. But Pittsburgh has been getting its sacks -- 11, to be exact -- with just four pass-rushers. When defending four pass-rushers, the Cardinals have given up four sacks. The numbers will be in Arizona’s favor. Then there’s a factor that stats can’t predict: How badly will Bruce Arians wants to beat the Steelers, the team that all but ran him out of Pittsburgh after the 2011 season? There might not be a point value that can be put on that. Cardinals 38, Steelers 21. -- Josh Weinfuss

Pittsburgh: The Steelers return home after a momentous victory in San Diego, but the Cardinals won’t make the same mistake the Chargers did. The Cardinals’ offensive line is better, Carson Palmer is dealing and they have enough defensively to fluster Michael Vick, who overall should play better than the past few weeks, but it won’t be enough. The Cardinals will let Le'Veon Bell get his and try to stop everything else. Cardinals 27, Steelers 20. -- Jeremy Fowler


Kansas City: The Chiefs have one offensive touchdown in their past two games and had Jamaal Charles in their lineup for much of that time. This week, without the injured running back, they’re on the road against the NFL’s sixth-best scoring defense. The Vikings are allowing just 18.3 points per game. It’s impossible to expect the Chiefs to score enough to overcome their own shaky defense. Vikings 30, Chiefs 16. -- Adam Teicher

Minnesota: The Chiefs and Vikings have allowed the second- and third-most pressure in the league this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and the game might be won by whichever team can do a better job of taking heat off its quarterback. That should be the Vikings, who can use Adrian Peterson to keep the Chiefs’ pass rush at bay. Particularly if the Chiefs aren’t able to establish the running game without Jamaal Charles, it could be a long day for Alex Smith. Vikings 27, Chiefs 14.-- Ben Goessling


Cincinnati: Cincinnati is the definition of NFL stability, playing this year with a veteran roster and coaches and coordinators who have spent multiple seasons with their players. The Bengals also are so healthy that everyone on their 53-man roster practiced this week. Buffalo, on the other hand, has so much uncertainty swirling around it because of a bevy of injuries that have caused a slight quarterback controversy. It’s hard to predict what the Bills will do because they still don’t know who will start behind center. When you take those factors into account and add in the Bengals’ recent history against the Bills (two straight wins via game-ending field goals) and Rex Ryan-led teams (a 49-9 Bengals win over the Jets in 2013), then it’s reasonable to believe Cincinnati will improve to 6-0. Bengals 24, Bills 14. -- Coley Harvey

Buffalo: Can Rex Ryan stop Andy Dalton? In the first meeting between Dalton and Rex’s defense in 2013, Dalton completed 19 of 30 passes for 325 yards, five touchdowns and a near-perfect 98.9 Total QBR. The Bengals’ offense is arguably the NFL’s best this season, with a league-high 83.7 Total QBR and an average of 6.56 yards gained per play. That’s the third-best of any NFL team since 2010, behind this year’s Arizona Cardinals and the 2011 New Orleans Saints. The Bills are too banged up on offense to get into a shootout with that unit, so they’ll need their defense to hold strong. It’ll be tough. Bengals 28, Bills 20. -- Mike Rodak


Chicago: Jay Cutler is dialed in on offense after consecutive come-from-behind victories, and he usually feasts on Detroit’s defense. Cutler has passed for 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 12 career starts against the Lions. Detroit also struggles stopping the run (No. 27), a good sign for Matt Forte, who leads the league in rushing. Unless the Lions experience a miraculous turnaround, Chicago should snap its four-game losing streak to Detroit. Bears 28, Lions 20. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit: Jim Caldwell essentially challenged Matthew Stafford when he benched the quarterback Sunday. This week will show whether or not Stafford responds. He’s thrown eight interceptions -- including three in Week 5 -- but the Bears only have two picks all season and have been able to create pressure on less than 20 percent of dropbacks the past two weeks. That should be an advantage for Stafford and his offensive coordinator as the Lions avoid a potential 0-16 campaign. Lions 27, Bears 20. -- Michael Rothstein


Denver: The Broncos are 30th in the league in rushing at 71.6 yards per game and have had just seven carries of 10 yards or more in five games combined. The Browns are 31st in the league in run defense -- they’ve allowed 149.4 yards per game -- so the answer to the if-not-now-when question for the Broncos might be never if they can’t run the ball in this one. Either way, their defense is enough to get it done. Broncos 24, Browns 9. -- Jeff Legwold

Cleveland: Logic says Denver’s top-ranked defense ends the Josh McCown run this week. The Broncos rush the passer with abandon, and McCown has been putting up numbers he’s never put up -- including a Browns-record 1,154 yards in his past three games. The key is whether the Browns can bottle up Peyton Manning and a flawed Broncos offense. Logic says that won’t happen; Manning is 6-0 against the Browns. Sometimes logic, though, is illogical. Browns 16, Broncos 13. -- Pat McManamon


Houston: In his career, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has 6.5 sacks on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watt’s sacks have been down this year, in part due to the extra attention paid to him by opposing blockers. But Watt and the Texans defense could get back on track this week. Watt said he feels encouraged by the Texans’ practices. I predict a low-scoring affair Sunday. Texans 13, Jaguars 10. -- Tania Ganguli

Jacksonville: The Jaguars’ offense is finally showing signs of progress after putting up 31 points against Tampa Bay in Week 5. Tight end Julius Thomas should be a bigger part of the game plan in Week 6 in his second game back from a fractured hand, which should help. However, Blake Bortles hasn’t exactly torn it up in his two meetings with the Texans (34-of-72, 320 yards, one TD, one INT) and that’s largely due to the fact that J.J. Watt has dominated the Jaguars (six sacks against them last season). The Jaguars are missing their best offensive lineman, RG Brandon Linder, and his replacement is a rookie, so guess where Watt will likely spend most of his time. Texans 24, Jaguars 20. -- Michael DiRocco


Miami: Interim head coach Dan Campbell makes his debut for the Dolphins and promises the team will be more aggressive. But Campbell inherits an offense scoring just 14.5 points per game and a defense last against the run at 160.5 rushing yards per game. Those issues show up again on the road. Titans 17, Dolphins 16. -- James Walker

Tennessee: The Dolphins are giving up a league-worst 160.5 rushing yards a game and have only one sack. The Titans get back on track by running the ball better and with Marcus Mariota not under such frequent pressure. Titans 24, Dolphins 17. -- Paul Kuharsky


Carolina: Seattle’s inability to protect quarterback Russell Wilson (22 sacks), along with the return of middle linebacker Luke Kuechly to a Panthers’ defense that ranked 10th in the NFL while he was out three games with a concussion, had me leaning toward a Carolina upset. But Seattle hasn’t allowed a touchdown at home this season and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has struggled against this unit in four previous meetings. Seahawks 17, Panthers 13. -- David Newton

Seattle: The fourth quarter has been a complete disaster for the Seahawks this year. According to ESPN Stats & Information, opposing quarterbacks have completed 40 of 48 passes for 449 yards and three touchdowns against Seattle in the fourth quarter and overtime. In all three of their losses, the Seahawks have held fourth-quarter leads, only to relinquish them. Offensively, the Seahawks are expected to get Marshawn Lynch back, but that won’t solve all their issues. Russell Wilson doesn’t seem to trust his protection, Jimmy Graham has been invisible at times, and the offensive line is a work in progress. Expect a low-scoring, uncomfortable victory at home. Seahawks 20, Panthers 14. -- Sheil Kapadia


San Diego: Since 2014, the Packers have outscored their opponent 134-24 in the opening quarter at Lambeau Field. The Packers have held their opponents scoreless in eight of 11 contests. The Chargers cannot afford to get behind on the road. San Diego has playmakers on offense to keep up in a high-scoring game, but slowing down Aaron Rodgers on offense is another matter. Packers 38, Chargers 28. -- Eric D. Williams

Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers is coming off a two-interception game Sunday against the Rams. How good is he in bounce-back games? Rodgers hasn’t thrown interceptions in consecutive contests since Weeks 12-13 of the 2012 season. Plus, he might have receiver Davante Adams back from his ankle injury. Look for the offense to get back on track. Packers 31, Chargers 24. -- Rob Demovsky


Baltimore: The Ravens' defense can't stop anyone, but neither can the 49ers'. Joe Flacco will get a boost from the return of wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Crockett Gillmore, especially when going against the NFL's 30th-ranked pass defense. Baltimore is 15-8 (.652) when Flacco throws for more than 300 yards. Ravens 28, 49ers 24. -- Jamison Hensley

San Francisco: Neither team resembles the clubs that met in the Super Bowl three short seasons ago, with the 49ers returning six starters from that game and the Ravens returning just four. The Niners had three second-half TD drives of at least 80 yards for the first time since 2000 against the Giants, while the Ravens have allowed touchdowns on five of six fourth-quarter drives this season. Expect that trend to continue, and for the Niners’ four-game losing streak to end. 49ers 24, Ravens 20. -- Paul Gutierrez


New England: How good are the Patriots’ cornerbacks? The answer to that question will determine how close the score ultimately is, as this represents their toughest matchup of the season. The quality and depth at the position remains in question and that’s why I don’t think it will be the big-time blowout many New England fans are hoping for. Patriots 34, Colts 20. -- Mike Reiss

Indianapolis: Four consecutive losses by an average of 29 points. Revenge factor. There’s still no word yet on if the starting quarterback will play. The opposing quarterback is putting up MVP numbers. All those factors make it tough to pick the Colts over the Patriots on Sunday. Andrew Luck (shoulder) has yet to beat the Patriots. The Patriots are angry that the Colts are the ones who started Deflategate by turning them in to the NFL. And New England quarterback Tom Brady has yet to throw an interception this season. This one won’t be pretty. Patriots 45, Colts 20. -- Mike Wells


N.Y. Giants: The Giants have the No. 2 run defense in the NFL. But they also have the No. 32 pass defense in the NFL, and that’s going to matter a lot more. Opposing running backs are averaging 7.2 catches and 66.2 receiving yards per game this year against the Giants -- gaining 9.19 yards per reception on average. That means, if the Eagles can’t get their run game going, they should still have plenty of short-passing-game opportunities with Darren Sproles. Their pass rush is gaining steam and should be able to rattle Eli Manning just enough to keep him from outscoring them. Eagles 31, Giants 24. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia: Sometimes the NFL schedule is your friend, sometimes it’s your enemy. For the Eagles, the schedule couldn’t be much better this week. They desperately need to win a division game and the schedule presents a division rival the Eagles defeated twice last season, including a 27-0 shutout. Eagles 33, Giants 23. -- Phil Sheridan