By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
Below is the game schedule with my Week 6 NFL game predictions. Winners straight-up are in bold. The line is my pick against the spread.
You’ll also see some tremendous notes on the games, teams and players provided by NFL Communications.
Listen to The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts, including myself, every Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm ET on 99.1 The Sports Animal here in Knoxville and streaming here at 991TheSportsAnimal.com, the WNML app or on your smart speakers. We’ll break down all these games, review what’s happened, share injury news, fantasy advice and more. You can call or text the show at 865-656-9900.
2022 Week 5 Straight-Up: 11-5 (69%)
2022 Week 5 Against The Spread: 6-10 (38%)
2022 Season Straight-Up: 46-34 (58%)
2022 Season Against The Spread: 36-44 (45%)
2021 Season Straight-Up: 158-97 (62%)
2021 Season Against The Spread: 140-115 (55%)
WEEK 6 NFL SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern)
|Thursday, October 13||(-1) Washington at Chicago||Prime Video||8:15|
|Sunday, October 16||(-3.5) San Francisco at Atlanta||FOX||1:00|
|(+3) New England at Cleveland||CBS||1:00|
|New York Jets at Green Bay (-7.5)||FOX||1:00|
|Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-1.5)||CBS||1:00|
|(-3.5) Minnesota at Miami||FOX||1:00|
|(-3) Cincinnati at New Orleans||CBS||1:00|
|(-5.5) Baltimore at New York Giants||CBS||1:00|
|Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh (+9.5)||FOX||1:00|
|Carolina at Los Angeles Rams (-10)||FOX||4:05|
|Arizona at Seattle (+2.5)||FOX||4:05|
|(-2.5) Buffalo at Kansas City||CBS||4:25|
|Dallas at Philadelphia (-7)||NBC||8:20|
|Monday, October 17||Denver at Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5)||ESPN||8:15|
Bye week: Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Tennessee
Something has to give.
The Week 6 schedule features two games involving teams with four-or-more wins, and all four clubs in those games are fresh off impressive victories.
- BUFFALO (4-1) heads to KANSAS CITY (4-1) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in a rematch of their 2021 playoff game that many called the greatest in NFL history. In 2022, the Chiefs (31.8 points per game) and Bills (30.4) lead the league in scoring, while Buffalo’s defense (12.2) is tied for the fewest points allowed per game.
- Then, on Sunday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, NBC), DALLAS (4-1) visits PHILADELPHIA (5-0) in a battle for early season NFC East supremacy. The Eagles lead the NFL in turnover ratio (plus-nine) while the Cowboys (plus-five) are tied for second. Each club has just two giveaways, tied for fewest in the league.
This marks only the second time in the past 43 seasons (1980-2022) that multiple Week 6 games will pair teams with at least four wins. In Week 6 of the 2020 season, 4-1 Kansas City earned a 26-17 win at 4-1 Buffalo while 4-0 Pittsburgh recorded a 38-7 win over 4-1 Cleveland.
Also in focus on the Week 6 docket: One of the game’s most hallowed records, familiar faces in former places and surprise teams making significant strides. So butter that popcorn and tune in for a weekend with storylines aplenty.
The Starting 11 entering Week 6…1. PAPA BEAR IN RANGE: The Patriots’ BILL BELICHICK, who served as the Browns’ head coach from 1991-95, has 323 combined regular-season and postseason wins. This week, he has an opportunity to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer GEORGE HALAS (324) for second on the league’s all-time wins list when NEW ENGLAND (2-3) travels to play CLEVELAND (2-3) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). In his 28th year as an NFL head coach, Belichick enters this week with a career 323-159 record (.670), including the postseason. Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA (347) holds the all-time career wins record.
2. REUNION WEEKEND: JOE BURROW and JA’MARR CHASE return to Louisiana with the CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-3), who have a date with the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-3) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). The last time Burrow and Chase played at the Saints’ home stadium, Jan. 13, 2020, they led LSU to a College Football Playoff national title in a 42-25 win over Clemson. Burrow passed for 463 yards and five touchdowns, two to Chase, who registered nine receptions for 221 yards. … Chase went to high school 10 minutes from the Saints’ headquarters in Metairie, La., and also played in the dome as a sophomore in high school, when his Archbishop Rummel Raiders lost to CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE and the Catholic Bears from Baton Rouge in their classification’s 2015 state title game. … In addition to Belichick’s return to Cleveland and the Burrow-Chase game in New Orleans, Week 6 features three other notable returns.
- On Thursday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, Prime Video), Washington head coach RON RIVERA returns to Chicago, where he served as defensive coordinator (2004-06), played nine seasons (1984-92) and earned a Super Bowl XX ring with the 1985 Bears.
- San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN makes his first trip to Atlanta on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) since he served as Falcons offensive coordinator from 2015-16.
- ROBERT SALEH and MATT LAFLEUR meet as head coaches for the first time on Sunday when the Jets (3-2) play the Packers (3-2) at Lambeau Field (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Groomsmen at each other’s weddings, they were also roommates while serving as assistants at Central Michigan from 2004-05. LaFleur’s younger brother, MIKE LAFLEUR, is the Jets’ offensive coordinator.
3. NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 3: The number of seasons since the 1970 league merger in which every NFL team had at least one win entering Week 6: 1990, 2018 and 2022.
4. SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUPS: The NFL’s 2022 leaders in touchdown passes, PATRICK MAHOMES (15) and JOSH ALLEN (14), meet on Sunday at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Buffalo’s JORDAN POYER (four) leads the NFL in interceptions.
- When MINNESOTA (4-1) has the ball at MIAMI (3-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), look for a chess match between coordinators involving wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON and cornerback XAVIEN HOWARD. Since the Vikings selected Jefferson in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft, he leads the NFL in receiving yards (3,563), including a league-leading 547 this season. Jefferson needs 601 more to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (4,163) for the most ever by a player over his first three NFL seasons. Also since Jefferson entered the league in 2020, Howard ranks tied for second in the NFL with 40 passes defensed and third with 15 interceptions.
5. SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: Strap in for BALTIMORE (3-2) at the NEW YORK GIANTS (4-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), an interconference showdown featuring two of the most electrifying players from the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants, off to their best start since opening 5-0 in 2009, have the league leader in scrimmage yards, SAQUON BARKLEY (676). The Ravens have the league leader in yards per rushing attempt, LAMAR JACKSON (7.6). … The Ravens are 2-0 in road games this year, and 19-7 (.731) overall in road games started by Jackson. The Giants are 4-1 in close games this season (each of New York’s five games this season have been decided by eight points or less).
6. STREAK SPEAK: The NEW YORK JETS (3-2) put their unblemished road record on the line at GREEN BAY (3-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The Jets, who have 13- and 10-point comeback wins in the fourth quarters of their first two road games, aim to win each of their first three road games for the first time since 2010, their last playoff campaign. That year, the Jets won their first five road contests en route to the AFC Championship Game.
- MIKE MCCARTHY can become one of three head coaches in Cowboys history to win four straight games over PHILADELPHIA (5-0) when the Eagles host DALLAS (4-1) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Only JASON GARRETT and Pro Football Hall of Famer TOM LANDRY have won four-or-more games in consecutive fashion over Philadelphia on a Cowboys sideline.
7. DID YOU KNOW?: Seattle quarterback GENO SMITH leads the NFL in both passer rating (113.2) and completion percentage (75.2). Smith’s completion percentage is the fourth-best mark all-time for a player through his team’s first five games of a season (minimum 100 attempts). Only DREW BREES in 2018 (77.9 percent), ALEX SMITH in 2017 (76.6) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING in 2013 (75.8) had higher completion percentages. Earlier this month, the Seahawks’ signal-caller won his second career Offensive Player of the Week award, nine years after his first (in Week 5 of the 2013 season). Smith and SEATTLE (2-3) host ARIZONA (2-3) on Sunday at Lumen Field (4:05 PM ET, FOX).
8. UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Five years ago this season, both KENNY PICKETT and TOM BRADY secured significant victories on the same field in Pittsburgh. As a true freshman, Pickett made his first collegiate start in Pitt’s season finale and led the Panthers to a 24-14 victory over the No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes. Three weeks later, on the path to a berth in Super Bowl LII, Brady guided New England to 11 points in the final four minutes, including a two-point conversion to ROB GRONKOWSKI, to give the Patriots a 27-24 win over the Steelers and clinch the AFC East. The two quarterbacks return to Acrisure Stadium when TAMPA BAY (3-2) meets PITTSBURGH (1-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).
9. TREND TIME: The last three Super Bowl champions – the 2019 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-0), 2020 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-0) and 2021 LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-2) – were a combined 14-2 (.875) over the balance of their seasons after their respective byes. Byes begin this week and run through Week 14. All 16 teams will be in action during Week 12, the week of Thanksgiving.
10. THIS MONTH IN NFL HISTORY: Oct. 5, 1992 (30 years ago) – The last time DALLAS and PHILADELPHIA met within the first six weeks of a season with each team having at least three wins. On that day, the Eagles’ defense records four sacks and three interceptions in a 31-7 win as Philadelphia improves to 4-0. After the loss, Dallas rebounds to win 13 of its next 15 games to secure a Super Bowl XXVII title.
11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: The NFC East boasts three teams at 4-1 or better. PHILADELPHIA (5-0) has the NFL’s only undefeated record, including a 3-0 mark on the road. DALLAS (4-1) has won four straight, including victories over each of the 2021 Super Bowl teams. And the NEW YORK GIANTS (4-1) own road wins over each of the No. 1 seeds in the 2021 playoffs, Tennessee and Green Bay.
- The NFC East is just the fourth division since the NFL realigned in 2002 with three teams earning at least four wins through a season’s first five weeks. It also happened in 2002 (AFC West), 2008 (NFC East) and 2020 (AFC North).
OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER IN KC: The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-1) are set to host the BUFFALO BILLS (4-1) in a rematch of last season’s memorable Divisional playoff meeting. The teams enter Sunday’s matchup (4:25 PM ET, CBS) as the top-two scoring offenses in the league, with Kansas City averaging 31.8 points per game and Buffalo averaging 30.4. The Bills also enter Week 6 tied for the top-scoring defense in the league (12.2 points allowed per game).
Sunday’s meeting will mark the first game since 2019 (Baltimore vs. San Francisco in Week 13) featuring the league’s top-two scoring offense in Week 6 or later.
This will be the fifth time that JOSH ALLEN and PATRICK MAHOMES will face off as opposing starting quarterbacks, including the postseason, with Kansas City winning four of the first five meetings. In the previous matchups, Allen has totaled 12 touchdowns (11 passing, one rushing) and a 105.1 passer rating, while Mahomes has recorded 11 touchdowns (10 passing, one rushing) and a 108.1 passer rating.
Mahomes enters Week 6 as the league-leader in touchdown passes (15) this season, while Allen ranks second with 14. This marks the first game since 2011 (AARON RODGERS vs. MATTHEW STAFFORD in Week 12) featuring the league’s top-two leaders in touchdown passes in Week 6 or later.
Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE leads the league with seven touchdown receptions this season, after becoming the fourth tight end ever and first since JIMMIE GILES in 1985 with four touchdown receptions in a single game last week. It marked his ninth-career game with multiple touchdown receptions.
With two touchdown receptions on Sunday, Kelce can become the sixth tight end in the Super Bowl era with multiple touchdown receptions in 10-or-more career games.
The tight ends with the most games with multiple touchdown receptions in the Super Bowl era:
|Antonio Gates||San Diego/L.A. Chargers||21|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England, Tampa Bay||20|
|Tony GonzalezHOF||Kansas City, Atlanta||18|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago||17|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||9*|
|*Entering Week 6|
Kelce can also become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record nine touchdown receptions in his team’s first six games of a season, joining HAROLD JACKSON (1973), Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON (2011) and JULIUS THOMAS (2014).
The players with the most touchdown receptions in their team’s first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era:
|Harold Jackson||L.A. Rams||1973||9|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||2022||7*|
|*Entering Week 6|
— NFL —
FEATHERED AND LETHAL: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-0) are the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team and have finished with a positive turnover differential in each of their five wins this season.
On Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC) against Dallas, the Eagles can become the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to begin a season with a 6-0 record and have a positive turnover differential in each victory.
The teams to win each of their first six games of a season and have a positive turnover differential in each win in the Super Bowl era:
|Los Angeles Rams||1973|
|*5-0 entering Week 6|
Quarterback JALEN HURTS recorded his seventh career game with at least two rushing touchdowns last week, tied for the second-most such games by a quarterback in NFL history, and leads all quarterbacks with six rushing touchdowns during the 2022 season.
With a rushing touchdown against Dallas, Hurts can become the first quarterback with seven rushing touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era.
The quarterbacks with the most rushing touchdowns in their team’s first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era:
|Robert Griffin III||Washington||2012||6|
|*Entering Week 6|
Additionally, with a rushing touchdown, Hurts can join KYLER MURRAY (2020) and CAM NEWTON (2011) as the only quarterbacks ever with a rushing touchdown in five of their team’s first six games of a season.
— NFL —
PRIMETIME PARSONS: Dallas second-year linebacker MICAH PARSONS recorded two sacks in Week 5 and has recorded multiple sacks in three of his first five games this season. With two sacks at Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Parsons can join ELVIS DUMERVIL (2009) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KEVIN GREENE (1998) as the only players to record at least two sacks in four of their team’s first six games of a season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
Parsons has six career games with at least two sacks, tied with NICK BOSA and T.J. WATT for the most such games since the beginning of the 2021 season. With his next game of two-or-more sacks, he can tie JASON PIERRE-PAUL (seven) and J.J. WATT (seven) for the fourth-most such games by a player in his first two NFL seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
The players with the most games with at least two sacks in their first two NFL seasons since 1982:
|Aldon Smith||San Francisco||9|
|Shawne Merriman||San Diego Chargers||8|
|Jason Pierre-Paul||New York Giants||7|
|*In second season|
— NFL —
TOP DAWG: Cleveland running back NICK CHUBB enters the week leading the league with 593 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He has rushed for a touchdown in each of the last four games and is the only player in the league with at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of the first five weeks of the season.
Since entering the NFL in 2018, Chubb ranks second among all players with 43 rushing touchdowns. With a rushing touchdown against New England on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Chubb will become the fifth player ever to record at least eight rushing touchdowns in each of his first five seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN, EMMITT SMITH and LADAINIAN TOMLINSON, as well as ADRIAN PETERSON.
The players with at least eight rushing touchdowns in the most consecutive seasons to begin their careers in NFL history:
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||San Diego Chargers||9|
|*Has seven rushing touchdowns in fifth season|
As a team, Cleveland enters Week 6 with the league’s top rushing attack, averaging 192.4 rushing yards per game. They also rank second in the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns. In each of their five games this season, the Browns have recorded at least 150 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
If they accomplish the feat again on Sunday, Cleveland can join the 1971 Oakland Raiders as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to record at least 150 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of their first six games of a season.
— NFL —
CMC DOES IT ALL: Last week, Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY totaled 54 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards, his fourth-consecutive game with at least 100 scrimmage yards. It also marked his 23rd-career game with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards. Since entering the league in 2017, he is one of two players (ALVIN KAMARA) with at least 3,000 rushing yards (3,911) and 3,000 receiving yards (3,203).
With at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), McCaffrey will surpass TIKI BARBER (23 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (23) for the second-most such games all-time. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (41) has more.
The players with the most games with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in NFL history:
|Marshall FaulkHOF||Indianapolis, St. Louis Rams||41|
|Tiki Barber||N.Y. Giants||23|
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||San Diego Chargers, N.Y. Jets||23|
— NFL —
GETTING GRIDDY: Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON leads the league with 547 receiving yards this season and ranks second with 40 receptions. He recorded 12 receptions for 154 yards in Week 5 after totaling 10 catches for 147 yards in Week 4.
Jefferson can become the fourth player ever to record at least 10 receptions and 125 receiving yards in three consecutive games, joining BRETT PERRIMAN (1995), ANDRE JOHNSON (2008) and MICHAEL THOMAS (2019).
The players with at least 10 receptions and 125 receiving yards in three consecutive games in NFL history:
|Michael Thomas||New Orleans||2019||3|
Last week marked Jefferson’s sixth-career game with at least 150 receiving yards, tied for the most ever by player in his first three seasons. With at least 150 receiving yards in Miami on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Jefferson will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers LANCE ALWORTH (six games) and RANDY MOSS (six) for the most games with at least 150 receiving yards by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.
— NFL —
HEY, ROOKIE: Pittsburgh rookie quarterback KENNY PICKETT, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, recorded 327 passing yards in his first-career start last week.
With at least 300 passing yards against Tampa Bay on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Pickett will become the fourth rookie quarterback ever with at least 300 passing yards in each of his first two career starts, joining JUSTIN HERBERT (2020), KYLER MURRAY (2019) and CAM NEWTON (2011).
New York Jets rookie running back BREECE HALL, the No. 36 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 488 scrimmage yards (275 rushing, 213 receiving) this season. Last week, he set a Jets rookie record with 197 scrimmage yards (100 receiving, 97 rushing) and a rushing touchdown in the team’s win.
With at least 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards in another game this season, Hall can become the fifth rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards in multiple games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers MARSHALL FAULK (1994) and EDGERRIN JAMES (1999), as well as MEWELDE MOORE (2004) and FRED TAYLOR (1998).
Jets rookie cornerback SAUCE GARDNER, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, is one of three players in the league with a pass defensed in each of the first five weeks of the season.
With a pass defensed at Green Bay on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Gardner will join DESMOND TRUFANT (2013) as the only players since 2000 with a pass defensed in each of their first six career games.
Seattle rookie cornerback TARIQ WOOLEN, a fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with three interceptions this season and has recorded an interception in each of the last three games.
With an interception against Arizona on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Woolen will become the third rookie since 2000 to record an interception in at least four consecutive games, joining JAIRUS BYRD (five consecutive games in 2009) and JOE HADEN (four consecutive games in 2010).
— NFL —