© Bob Self / USA TODAY Sports
The 2022 NFL Season returns for its 6th edition, with some intriguing matchups, including chances to renew divisional rivalries. In the NFC East, the league’s only undefeated team, Philadelphia, faces a stern test against Cooper Rush’s Cowboys. They hope to perform more convincingly than their recent win over the Cardinals.
Elsewhere, both the Colts and Jags will be hoping to get into the end zone after a week in which their misfiring offenses could only manage field goals. The Packers and Giants return to domestic games after exploits abroad, and Miami Head Coach Mike McDaniel faces uncertainty under center in what is probably a must-win game.
These are my picks from the best of the Week 6 schedule.
© Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers
Spread: Jet +7.5, Packers -7.5
Total: Over/Under 46.5
Moneyline: Jets +275, Packers -330
The Green Bay Packers pick themselves up after a fruitless first trip overseas to face the 3-2 Jets at Lambeau Field. The record 13-time champions were ahead 17-3 on Sunday before a momentous 91-yard drive speared the heart out of the team, and it would only get worse as Rodgers suffered the ignominy of a very public sacking to close out the game.
There are reasons for positivity going into this clash, however. Randall Cobb recorded his highest yardage in three years on Sunday, rolling back the years to his Dallas days. Lazard notched his 3rd score in 4 appearances, and a double-headed rush monster in Jones and Dillon will keep the Jets’ defense occupied.
New York has compiled significant yardage on offense this year, particularly passing yards, where Zach Wilson has returned under center since his late pre-season injury. Against Miami, rushing yards won the day, though, as New York punched five touchdowns over the line. The stand-out performer from Sunday’s blowout win against the Dolphins was Breece Hall, who followed up his Rookie of the Week winning appearance in Week 4 by setting a Jets rookie record of 197 scrimmage yards on 18 carries and two catches.
Defensively, while the Jets aren’t giving up a considerable amount of yardage against their opposition, they conceded an average of 25 points through Weeks 1-4. I’m discounting Miami’s total due to the nature of their injuries on offense, limiting their scoring potential. Defense will be their downfall for me, and I expect Aaron Rodgers to exploit his opportunities in this contest.
I’m backing the Packers on the spread and favoring the Over in this game which I believe will be comfortably exceeded.
© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons
Spread: 49ers -5.5, Falcons +5.5
Total: Over/Under 43.5
Moneyline: 49ers -225, Falcons +190
The San Francisco 49ers were impressive against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night in a contest that yielded over 50 points and saw them grow stronger as the game wore on. However, they didn’t leave the battle unscathed, with Nick Bosa, Emmanuel Mosely, Jimmie Ward, and Robbie Gould all suffering injuries.
It feels like a case of players getting their opportunities, with Jeff Wilson finally getting a run of games after signing with the team as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2018, averaging 75 yards and 15 receptions in each game. That will need to continue if the 49ers are to progress from a hit-and-miss AFC West this year.
Defensive injuries are concerning; it’s in the secondary where San Francisco has genuinely performed, averaging less than 250 yards and 12 points conceded per game, the lowest combination in the league.
Atlanta has been tough to put away this season, nearly adding the Buccaneers to the list of teams defeated from losing half-time positions. Head Coach Arthur Smith has developed a top-10 offense with Patterson, Pitts, and London. The Falcons have scored double digits in the 4th quarter in 3 of their last four games. Here they come up against the best defense in the country in terms of yards allowed. However, I can’t see them forging enough holes to make it count.
I think the spread is too close to call, given the uncertainty around 49ers kicker Robbie Gould’s participation. San Francisco’s game on Sunday was their first to exceed the Over in 2022, but I don’t think they’ll achieve the same feat in Week 6. Therefore, I will back the Under in this game as I don’t see either team exceeding 21 points in this contest.
© Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: Bills -2.5, Chiefs +2.5
Total: Over/Under 53.5
Moneyline: Bills -140, Chiefs +120
Sunday’s matchup at Arrowhead represents probably the most intriguing matchup of the 2022 season so far. Moreover, this is likely the biggest test for Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott, a dress rehearsal for a potential AFC Championship game in his ongoing mission to turn a regular playoff berth into greater success.
The Bills opened their 2022 season strong, despatching the Rams and Titans in style before stuttering through their next couple of games. Last Sunday’s victory against the Steelers was impressive as a highlight reel, with a 98-yard touchdown play. The perfect introduction to what the Bills can do when they are clicking on all cylinders. They are also outstanding on the other side of the ball, stopping aerial and ground plays in equal measure to limit total opposition yards better than 31 other teams.
Stefon Diggs came bursting out the gates this season, and when Allen can find him, it has been a sign of the Bills’ ascendancy. All three wins by 3 points or more coming where Diggs has had over 100 yards. They have been a match made in heaven for Bills Fans.
Andy Reid is his usual self, and Patrick Mahomes has proven he can evolve post Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce is back to his devastating best, as he displayed in a record-setting fashion last week. Having had the least amount of yardage ever by a player to score four touchdowns.
KC has scored on every turnover they’ve created this season, which is a remarkable stat. Josh Allen and the Bills must protect the football to be victorious Sunday.
On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs come in as a middle-of-the-pack defense, ranking at number 14. While the KC added some nice pieces this off-season, they are not in the Bills’ class on defense. Buffalo retooled their number-one ranked defense this past off-season with getting over the KC hump in mind.
This game is a toss-up, and in the Mahomes/Allen era, the Chiefs have won three of the four matchups. The game will be close; the Chiefs are not a team to be underestimated, particularly at home. All things being equal, the Bills’ defense is probably the difference in this game. The game could very well be for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Whatever happens, back the Under.
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