Don't miss

NFL Talkboard and Pick Six week six: Vikings hope to muzzle Lions

By on October 15, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: Add your own commentary here above the horizontal line, but do not make any changes below the line. (Of course, you should also delete this text before you publish this post.)


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “NFL Talkboard and Pick Six week six: Vikings hope to muzzle Lions” was written by Paolo Bandini, for theguardian.com on Friday 10th October 2014 09.00 UTC

Michael Vick had a candid moment this week, explaining his poor performance in relief of Geno Smith against San Diego by suggesting that he had not prepared as intensely as he should have done. “I felt like I, for some reason, being a quarterback in his 12th year, sometimes you to take things for granted,” said the Jets quarterback. “I think I took the scout team for granted.”

We trust that nobody would take our Pick Six contest so lightly. But on the off chance that any of you did need a little extra motivation, then just check out the work of Daithi, who nailed all six predictions last week – for the second time this season. Joining him in the perfect pickers’ pantheon for week six were Delgado007, dublinross, MortonsFork, NationalDisgrace. Do tip your cap, or at least your internet enabled device, in their digital direction, before getting stuck into this week’s games:

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

Sunday 1pm ET/6pm BST

It speaks to how bad Cleveland have been over the last 15 seasons that Pittsburgh linebacker Lawrence Timmons could sound genuinely surprised when he told reporters that, “I think they’re serious this year. You can’t take them lightly.” The Browns have won just five out of 32 match-ups with the Steelers since returning to the NFL in 1999, but came mighty close to an upset when they met in Pittsburgh in week one – rallying from a 24-point halftime deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, only to then lose on a Shaun Suisham field goal. Cleveland ran the ball at will that day, racking up 191 yards on the ground, and have continued to do so since – averaging 143.3 yards per game. A repeat of that strategy is likely to pay dividends, but, after another dramatic comeback against the Titans last week, the Browns still need to demonstrate that they know how to start games as well as they finish them.

Browns to win

Green Bay Packers @ Miami Dolphins

Knowshon Moreno
Knowshon Moreno is set to play for the Dolphins for the first time since week two. Photograph: Matthew Impey/Wired Photos/REX

Sunday 1pm ET/6pm BST

Miami head coach Joe Philbin defined this game as a “great measuring stick” for his team. He knows the Packers better than most, having served as their offensive co-ordinator from 2007-11, but it does not take such connections to understand that Green Bay are more dangerous than their 3-2 record would suggest. The Packers have scored 80 points over the last two weeks as they crushed the Bears and Vikings. So lopsided was the latter game that Aaron Rodgers was withdrawn in the fourth quarter and told to put his feet up on the bench. Miami have been resting up, too, taking advantage of their bye week to shake off the jetlag from their trip to London, and most importantly to get key players back from injury. Running back Knowshon Moreno is set to play for the first time since week two, while Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey is ready to make his season debut. I am not convinced it will be enough.

Packers to win

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

Alex Henery
Alex Henery missed three field goals for the Detroit Lions against the Buffalo Bills last week, and will be replaced by Matt Prater against the Vikings. Photograph: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Sunday 1pm ET/6pm BST

Just when you think the Lions are turning over a new leaf under a new coaching staff, they go and lose at home to the Bills. Detroit have shown drastic improvement on defense under Jim Caldwell, but now seem to be struggling on the other side of the ball. A slew of injuries to key offensive weapons has not helped. Joique Bell is expected to return this weekend, but the status of both his fellow running back, Reggie Bush, plus star wide receiver Calvin Johnson are up in the air after each left the Bills game with an ankle injury. Even so, Detroit still would have won that match-up were it not for Alex Henery’s three missed field goals, and the kicker has since been replaced by Pro Bowler Matt Prater. The Vikings will have Teddy Bridgewater back at quarterback, two weeks after he led them to a 41-28 upset of the Falcons, but the rookie will not find life so straightforward against that menacing Detroit defense.

Lions to win

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

Dareus
Marcell Dareus is a big part of the Bills defence. Photograph: Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

Sunday 1pm ET/6pm BST

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has spent this week playing down the significance of Sunday’s meeting with the Patriots, insisting that it is Just Another Game. We know better. Four days after Kim and Terry Pegula were formally confirmed as the team’s new owners, Buffalo have a chance to make a huge statement of intent against their fans’ most hated opponent. A win over the Patriots would give the Bills sole possession of first place in the AFC East, but are they up to the task? Much was made of Kyle Orton’s solid debut against Detroit, but Buffalo’s three wins so far have been built first and foremost on a defense that shuts down opposing runners while forcing 10 turnovers in five games. The likes of Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams make their defensive line one of the best in the league, and they are well-equipped to test New England’s dodgy pass protection. But old habits die hard, and the Patriots have won 24 out of 26 match-ups against the Bills since 2001.

Patriots to win

Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan
Quarterback Matt Ryan can help the Atlanta Falcons to victory. Photograph: Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

Sunday 4.25pm ET/9.25pm BST

The Falcons can once again boast one of the most explosive offenses in the league, scoring 30.2 points per game. But they have paired it with one of the flimsiest defenses, giving up an average of 28.6. So it is that a team who beat New Orleans on the opening weekend have since contrived to lose to the Bengals Vikings and Giants. The uniting factor to those defeats is that they all took place on the road. Will we see a more rounded performance as they return to the Georgia Dome? Perhaps, although questions abound as to how this defense will slow down Jay Cutler, Matt Forte et al. A shoot-out would seem to be in order. I’m backing the better quarterback to come out on top.

Falcons to win

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles

LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. Photograph: Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

Sunday 8.30pm ET/Monday 1.30am BST

All of a sudden, the NFC East looks like it is back to being one of the best divisions in the league. Certainly it is one of the most compelling. Philadelphia were supposed to dominate, but despite a 4-1 record, their offense is not quite clicking. LeSean McCoy is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry, while Nick Foles has gone from throwing two interceptions in 13 games last season to five in five this time around. Without the six touchdowns they have generated on defense and special teams over the last three weeks, the Eagles would have been a lot less competitive. Meanwhile, the Giants, so poor to start this season, have now won three in a row, by a combined scoreline of 105-51. Rashad Jenning’s knee injury is a blow, but rookie Andre Williams did a solid job replacing him last week.

Giants to win

And the rest

Here are the remainder of this weekend’s games. These are not included in the Pick Six, but feel free to post your winners for them as well. If you do so, please keep them separate from your Pick Six predictions, as it will make life a lot easier when adding up your scores.

Sunday

1pm ET/6pm BST

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans

Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Denver Broncos @ New York Jets

Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals

4.05pm ET/9.05pm BST

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders

4.25pm ET/9.25pm BST

Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons

Washington @ Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks

Monday

8.30pm ET/Tuesday 1.30am BST

San Francisco 49ers @ St Louis Rams

(Bye weeks: Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints)

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

About GoBet

Sports lover who does not mind the odd sports bet either!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *