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December 3, 2021
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The Sports section predicts the outcomes of Week 6 of the NFL regular season.

Writers of The News-Letter’s Sports section came together to predict the outcomes of the NFL’s Week 6 schedule. Each writer cast their vote; the commentary below is based on the results. 

Buccaneers v. Eagles RECAP (6-1, Bucs)

Cynthia Hu: The Sports writers’ prediction of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking the win in this matchup came through as they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 at Lincoln Financial Field. Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, and his running back, Leonard Fournette, ran for another two touchdowns. Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown got in on one of the TD’s and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts passed for a touchdown. This score is a bit closer than expected, but the Buccaneers move up to a 5-1 record as the Eagles fall to a 2-4 record.

Dolphins v. Jaguars (4-3, Dolphins)

Christopher Xiao: The Jacksonville Jaguars are embroiled in head coach scandals and are by far the worst team in the NFL. Despite how bad the Miami Dolphins have looked so far (getting blown out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5 was just the latest embarrassing moment), they are still better than Jacksonville, who have yet to make a single field goal this season. If Miami ends up losing, they should take a long hard look at their coaching staff and front office.

Vikings v. Panthers (4-3, Vikings)

Tad Berkery: This is an intriguing matchup between a team that has likely slightly underachieved and has some high-end starpower but also lots of holes and a team that has the opposite. The Carolina Panthers (3-2) have the edge when it comes to record but racked up those wins against three suspect teams while losing to the impressive Dallas Cowboys but also the inconsistently mediocre Eagles. 

The Minnesota Vikings, in contrast, have played a tougher schedule with extremely challenging games against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns, decent tests against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks and a date with the Detroit Lions. Our panel gives the Vikings a slight edge considering their tougher schedule and greater starpower, with an expectation that this matchup will be very tight and close to a coin flip.

Chargers v. Ravens (4-3, Chargers)

Alex Forlenza: As a Baltimore Ravens fan, this Ravens team should not be 4-1. The fashion in which they have won is ridiculous to the point it looks scripted for them to win at the last minute. The Los Angeles Chargers, on the other hand, are one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, and they would have at least two wins without quarterback Justin Herbert. So the incredibly marginal way the Ravens have won probably won’t cut it against this Chargers team. 

Moreover, teams that have played Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson typically do a little bit better defending him, which is all you need against this depleted Baltimore roster. (That being said, the Ravens’ first draft pick, wide receiver Rashod Bateman, is back this week, and Jackson is putting up 50.)

Rams v. Giants

All Sports writers voted that the Los Angeles Rams would win over the New York Giants.

Texans v. Colts (6-1, Colts) 

Berkery: We are fairly confident that we know where this one is going. The Houston Texans have played teams tighter than many would have expected, but they are still hard to back in a matchup against a competent Indianapolis Colts team given the massive holes throughout their roster and the instability at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Colts might be the best 1-4 team we have seen in a long time. They’ve opened with a brutal schedule and played those quality teams tight along the way. This feels like the week where Indianapolis finally gets a nice break and moves closer to a record more representative of their talents. Expect the Colts to have a nice week.

Chiefs v. Washington (6-1, Chiefs)

Hu: One of the biggest surprises has been the Kansas City Chiefs’ slow 2-3 start. While still ranking fifth in terms of points and yards, they have also given up the most points in the league. The Washington Football Team isn’t doing much better — their defense is ranked 31st in points allowed. Despite a great game against the Giants, Taylor Heinicke needs to step it up and show that he deserves a spot in the top-32 quarterbacks. Either way, we expect this to be a high-scoring game with the Chiefs coming out on top.

Packers v. Bears (6-1, Packers)

Berkery: A classic rivalry and intradivisional matchup, this feels like one of those games that will be exciting and tight even if the two teams are in very different places. The Chicago Bears have shown flashes of success with rookie quarterback Justin Fields but are lackluster at offensive line and depleted at running back. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers are rolling, fully recovered from their Week 1 blowout loss to New Orleans, and in stride with solid depth and star players like quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones performing at their finest. Our panel likes the Packers’ odds and expects the Packers to continue their string of impressive performances.

Bengals v. Lions

All Sports writers voted that the Cincinnati Bengals would win over the Detroit Lions.

Cardinals v. Browns (6-1, Cardinals)

Forlenza: Honestly, the lopsidedness of this vote shocked me. Obviously the Kyler Murray Cardinals are ridiculously talented, with a ton of defensive stars like linebacker Chandler Jones. They probably have the first or second-best offense in the league and some of the most dynamic players leading it. However, Cleveland is really, really good at football. They barely lost to the Chargers last week, and they still had 200+ yards rushing. The Cardinals will probably win, but it's closer to a 60-40 split than this ridiculous vote.

Cowboys v. Patriots (4-3, Cowboys)

Xiao: The New England Patriots have an anemic offense, are battered by injuries and have a defense that gave up three touchdowns to a third-round rookie QB. The Dallas Cowboys have scored above 30 in their past three matchups. Bill Belichick will try his best, but the Cowboys will prevail.

Raiders v. Broncos (5-2, Broncos)

Forlenza: The Las Vegas Raiders are a mess for obvious reasons. The Denver Broncos are not particularly good, but generally speaking, the more focused team wins games, and the Broncos are not so bad that the Raiders could just show up and win. That being said, sometimes turmoil galvanizes a team, and there is a non-zero chance that the Raiders come together as a locker room and somehow pull out a win. The Broncos are still gonna win by two scores because not only are they more focused, they need it to stay competitive in their division. 

Seahawks v. Steelers (4-3, Steelers)

Josh Felton: The Geno Smith era in Seattle has officially commenced. Despite falling to the Rams last Thursday, Smith looked impressive against one of the best defenses in football. This is in large part due to the fact that there was little preparation against him. This week will be much different. Going up against another potent defense in Pittsburgh, it is unlikely Smith will be able to duplicate his previous performance.

Bills v. Titans (6-1, Bills)

Hu: This one’s a pretty simple answer. The Buffalo Bills have been extremely dominant this past couple of weeks and are heading into Monday night as the NFL team with the highest-scoring offense and defense. Quarterback Josh Allen has been looking extremely lethal, coming off a 315-yard, three-touchdown performance. Allen along with safety Micah Hyde and rookie defensive end Gregory Rousseau will prove difficult to beat. The Tennessee Titans do have running back Derrick Henry, but he’s probably not going to be enough to get them the dub.

David Baik, Josh Felton, Alex Forlenza, Eric Lynch and Christopher Xiao contributed to this article. 

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