Joey P’s Week 6 NFL Picks

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Each week I pick the winners of all the NFL games (or try to, anyway) without point spreads and without bias, either. 

A streak of four straight winning weeks came to an unfortunate end. I remain undaunted despite a 5-9 mark that dropped my overall record to 45-32 (.584).

I anticipate a bounce-back weekend with another 14-game slate. Taking the week off are Dallas, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Seattle.

NOTE: All games will be played on Sunday afternoon unless otherwise noted.

Carolina 30, Philadelphia 27 (Thursday night): The Thursday Night games have been getting better lately, and these two teams are coming off impressive wins. I’ll take the host Panthers by a nose.

Baltimore 23, Chicago 10: Since 2008 rookie quarterbacks who’ve played in Baltimore are winless in 11 tries. The Bears’ promising Mitch Trubisky will be the latest victim. What’s worse, he’s coming off a Monday Night game. The Ravens’ offense sprang to life in Oakland.

Atlanta 23, Miami 16: Last week the Dolphins were able to take advantage of Marcus Mariota’s absence. But Matt Ryan will take the field for the Falcons and Atlanta is at home in a snazzy new stadium.

Houston 30, Cleveland 6: They keep dropping like flies in Houston. Defensive studs Whitney Mercilus and JJ Watt are out. But the Texans are at home and, let’s face it, they’re playing the Browns.

Green Bay 27, Minnesota 20: The Packers won’t be in cozy Lambeau Field, but they should be able to beat a Vikings team that sputtered at Chicago and is playing on a short week.

New Orleans 26, Detroit 23: This is my hunch play of the week. The Saints are home, coming off a bye week. For Detroit, it’s historically been one step forward then two steps back.

New England 34, New York Jets 17: Remember the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back“? The Patriots have theirs and the Jets are in their way.

Washington 16, San Francisco 13: I haven’t been impressed with Washington, but San Francisco is winless and has to travel from west to east. Winless + long travel = bad combination.

Tampa Bay 20, Arizona 17: This is one of the toughest games to call. I’ll go with the younger quarterback and the team on the rise–even though the Cardinals are at home.

Jacksonville 30, Los Angeles Rams 23: This is an interesting matchup between two teams that are trying to break into the NFL elite. The Rams can score, but the host Jags can defend and put up points.

Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 17: The Steelers’ offense, a potent unit on paper, continues to sputter. The Chiefs are unbeaten and at home. Steelers could lose by more than 10 points.

Oakland 17, Los Angeles Chargers 16: The Raiders have been puzzling, an underachieving bunch despite some elite skill-position talent. They’re at home, and their three-game losing streak has to end here. Doesn’t it?

Denver 23, New York Giants 13 (Sunday night): The Giants don’t have a running game, healthy receivers, wins, or (for that matter) hope. Denver has the home field and one of the league’s nastiest defenses.

Tennessee 33, Indianapolis 16 (Monday night): I must admit that I wasn’t prepared for Mariota to sit out last week’s game. The Titans are at home and they are clearly the better team.


About Joe Platania

Veteran beat writer, Joe Platania, is entering his 39th year in Baltimore media. He covers sports with insight, humor, and prescient eye. A former longtime member in good standing of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and the Pro Football Writers of America, Platania manned the CFL Stallions beat for The Avenue Newspaper Group of Essex (1994 and ’95) and the Ravens beat since the team’s inception — one of only three local writers to do so — for PressBox, The Avenue, and other local publications and radio stations. A sought-after contributor and host on talk radio and TV, he often appears on “Inside PressBox” (10:30 a.m. Sundays) and he can be heard at 10 a.m. Saturdays on the “Purple Pride Report,” WQLL-AM (1370). He has also appeared on WMAR-TV’s “Good Morning Maryland” (2009), Comcast SportsNet’s “Washington Post Live” (2004-06), and WJZ-TV’s “Football Talk” postgame show — with legend Marty Bass (2002-04). Platania is the only sports journalist in Maryland history to have been a finalist for both the annual Sportscaster of the Year award (1998, which he won) and Sportswriter of the Year (2010). He is also a four-time Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association award winner. Platania is a graduate of St. Joseph’s (Cockeysville), Calvert Hall College High School, and Towson University, where he earned a degree in Mass Communications. He lives in Cockeysville, MD.

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