Week 6 NFL game picks: Chiefs edge out Bills; Eagles top Cowboys on Sunday night – NFL.com

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Gregg Rosenthal went 11-5 straight up on his Week 5 picks, bringing his season total to 45-34-1. How will he fare in Week 6? His picks are below.
The lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 13 unless otherwise noted below.

Dangerous game for the 49ers. The frisky Falcons haven’t found an opponent they can’t scare (or beat), and the 49ers are dealing with new injuries in the midst of a two-week road trip. This matchup features Atlanta’s running game — the second-most efficient rushing attack in the league — against the NFL’s best rush defense. Historically, Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan have answers against blitz-heavy teams, and the 49ers’ improving ground attack adds enough to pick them in a squeaker, even if the Falcons safely cover.

The Patriots will miss Damien Harris, but there’s every reason to believe they’ll still run early and often with Rhamondre Stevenson against the Browns’ soft rush defense. The Patriots have improved weekly and know how to make Jacoby Brissett hesitate. Last year’s 45-7 Patriots win is enough for me to believe Bill Belichick gives New England a coaching advantage, with or without Mac Jones

The Packers’ balanced offense is finding answers in time for everyone to notice that Green Bay’s defense never improves. The Jets field a similarly balanced offensive attack and will be able to run on the Packers like everyone else. Zach Wilson is coming off the best two-game stretch of his pro career and these teams aren’t that different in talent. Expect New York to keep it close.

The Colts’ defense has improved enough to believe it will give Trevor Lawrence problems. The Jaguars’ receivers don’t win on the outside enough, and Indianapolis can make it a low-scoring game. Still, the Jaguars have rocked the Colts twice in their last six games because they are tougher up front. Even with Matt Ryan having his top receivers back (unlike Week 2), there’s little reason to think Indy can protect him. 

Seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson will start at quarterback, with Tua Tagovailoa ruled out and Teddy Bridgewater also still in concussion protocol. The Dolphins’ top cornerback, Xavien Howard, and offensive line Jenga piece Terron Armstead are uncertain for Sunday, too. Thompson’s arm strength isn’t great, but I’m more worried about the other players’ availability. The Dolphins are so thin at cornerback and tackle without their stars. If Howard and Armstead play, I’ll flip this pick against a Vikings squad that doesn’t overly impress even if it makes big drives when necessary.

I want to feel better about both teams. The Bengals are still struggling to hit big plays, although they did show some improvement running the ball last week. The defense is well coached and Trey Hendrickson could have a big day against his old team. The Saints’ defense needed to be great for this roster construction to make sense, but it is merely good. With the status of the Saints’ top receivers uncertain, I don’t trust them to overcome their weekly mental errors and fumbles.  

Wink Martindale’s revenge game! In theory, the former Ravens defensive coordinator knows where the bodies are buried in the Ravens’ offense. However, Lamar Jackson has averaged 7.9 yards per attempt with seven scores and one pick against the blitz this season, and the blitz is all the Giants’ defense has. With Marcus Williams out, the best way to beat the Ravens’ defense is over the top. But no offense has struggled to throw the ball downfield more than Big Blue’s attack. 

UPDATE: The Steelers ruled out four starting members of their secondary, including Minkah Fitzpatrick. (Previous prediction: Buccaneers 24, Steelers 20. Odds for this game are up to date as of 4:55 p.m. ET on Friday.)

Kenny Pickett has played better than his numbers indicate, and Tampa Bay’s secondary is the latest part of this team to be incredibly banged up. Everything is hard for these Bucs at the moment, with the offense struggling to run and moving the ball 7 yards at a time. Expect this game to be hard, too.

Carolina’s defense has the personnel to help Steve Wilks stay competitive as interim head coach, if the Panthers are healthy enough. Jaycee Horn, Frankie Luvu and Xavier Woods are names to watch on the injury report. The Rams’ offense is broken enough up front to worry about any opponent, but this is one game where the Rams’ defense should be able to make enough plays — probably against Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker — to earn a victory on its own. However, a spread of 10 points for the Rams against any team is way too much. 

The Cardinals’ defense has settled down, with J.J. Watt and Zach Allen forming a strong duo up front and Isaiah Simmons out of the doghouse. The offense remains dink-and-dunk, but it looks better with Rondale Moore playing. Geno Smith is amazingly the best quarterback in this game — and possibly on planet Earth — but I just can’t trust the Seahawks’ defense to stop anyone. Losing Rashaad Penny makes Seattle’s offense less explosive. 

UPDATE: I am not that wise man I mention below. I am worried about the Chiefs’ secondary with Rashad Fenton out and Trent McDuffie not ready to return. I don’t trust the Chiefs’ secondary enough. I also was surprised at how many Bills are returning from injury: Isaiah McKenzie, Dawson Knox and notably safety Jordan Poyer. (Previous prediction: Chiefs 30, Bills 27. Odds for this game are up to date as of 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday.)

A wise man once told me to always take Patrick Mahomes as a home underdog out of principle until he proves he’s not Michael Jordan. I am that wise man. The Bills are more balanced overall, with a stronger pass rush and defense. I just can’t abide that Mahomes in Arrowhead is anyone’s underdog, especially when the game has slowed down for him this much. 

This is a fascinating game, even with Dallas planning to start Cooper Rush. The Cowboys’ pass rush has grown in diversity and depth. Their secondary is cohesive and communicates, changing snap to snap. But can the ‘Boys hold up if the Eagles try to run straight through them? I respect what the Cowboys are accomplishing too much to not have them at least keeping games within a score, regardless of the opponent, but Rush gets closer each week to making a few killer mistakes. 

The Chargers’ passive play-calling combined with Keenan Allen’s injury has made Justin Herbert’s life more difficult than necessary. The Broncos’ third-ranked defense won’t help matters. Russell Wilson, on the other hand, should get some time to throw against a pass rush desperately missing Joey Bosa. This score completes a week’s worth of picks that include several favorites winning but not covering.  

Logic says the Commanders have more talent with their high pressure rate and deep group of pass-catchers. But Justin Fields and the Bears’ offensive line are coming off their best game, and Washington can’t buy a turnover on defense. In a battle of two of the NFL’s worst teams, I have more faith in the Bears to not beat themselves. 
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