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Week 6 NFL Picks

The Rams explosive offense will go head to head with the NFL’s top defense in Jacksonville on Sunday. Amazingly, neither of those statements is false. Seriously. Both are true.

(Also, I gloat over another Eagles victory.)

Last Week: 7 – 7 – 0
Season:    44 – 33 – 0

Thursday Recap

Eagles at Panthers
I’m still a Cam Newton defender. When on his game, he’s one of the NFL’s top five players. The problem is “when on his game” is becoming less frequent. If you watched the game Thursday night, you saw two quarterbacks getting assaulted for much of the first half. How both quarterbacks responded to being under such pressure decided the game. Carson Wentz, a second year quarterback who never blinks, was unfazed. He stood in the pocket all night, took countless hits and made enough big throws to give his team a chance to win the game. He wasn’t perfect, but he kept chucking. Newton let the pressure impact his play, and maybe more importantly, his body language. He started throwing of his back foot, throwing early to avoid hits, and guessing where his receivers would be instead of hanging in the pocket. When Newton’s attitude goes south, his play goes with it. I understand he didn’t get much help last night from his line. They struggled in pass protection even though the Eagles rarely blitzed, and the Carolina ground game was a complete disaster (14 rushes for 9 yards outside of Newton). Regardless, you can’t let go of the rope like Newton did. The Panthers had two opportunities late in the 4th to win that game and Cam collapsed.

Remember how I said the Panthers would be in trouble if they found themselves trailing in the 4th quarter because of how clutch the Philadelphia offense has been with 4th quarter leads? NAILED IT! Eagles offense in the 4th quarter: Six plays, 10 yards, no 1st downs and 3:18 burned off the clock. (You can’t see it, but I’m ducking away from my computer…)

Also, anyone else see Carson Wentz stand up an NFL safety at the goal line? That was awesome. Now please don’t ever do it again, Carson. Thanks.

My mood:

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Dolphins at Falcons
It’s been a tough week for Miami. If you ever needed proof that men do stupid stuff when they allow their groin area to be their compass, Chris Foerster is that proof. Come on guys, don’t do drugs, don’t do drugs at work, don’t record yourself doing drugs, don’t record yourself doing drugs at work, and for GOODNESS SAKE DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH A STRIPPER. THEY DON’T LOVE YOU! FALCONS If I were Charles Barkley; Falcons -13

Packers at Vikings
Let’s play “tiers of the NFC.” Tier One is still the Falcons and Packers, in my opinion. Aaron Rodgers is a ninja and I’m not ready to drop the Falcons because they lost at home to Buffalo without their top two receivers and best pass rusher. Just below them are the Eagles, Panthers and maybe the Redskins. I think Washington is better than most, and their defense is underrated. Tier 3 are the teams that could be really good or are just hanging on before they regress to “ehhh they’re ok.” Dallas is here because their heads are all the way up their butts right now and that defense is atrocious. Also, their owner is dividing his own locker room and their All-Pro running back is gone for six weeks. I can’t decide what the Lions and Seahawks are from week to week. The Rams are supposed to have a great defense but that secondary is a problem. If the Vikings didn’t lose Dalvin Cook they’d be in Tier 2 but it’s hard to imagine them making too much noise with such a neutered offense even if their defense is the best in the NFC. Tier 5 is the rest because I’m already bored of this game. Maybe the Bucs and Saints deserve better, but I’m not a believer. (Also if you think I really believe the Eagles are in Tier 2 you are a sucker. I’m just trying not to jinx things. The Eagles are better than the 2007 Pats.) PACKERS If I were Charles Barkley; Packers -3

Lions at Saints
I don’t know if it’s Matthew Stafford or the coaching staff, but watching Stafford dink and dunk until the Lions trail by multiple scores in the 4th quarter is really, really dumb. Stafford is good. Let him the rip it the entire game. LIONS If I were Charles Barkley; Lions +4

Patriots at Jets
I don’t think the AFC North is the worst division in football, but it’s certainly the most boring through five weeks. PATRIOTS If I were Charles Barkley; Patriots -10

49ers at Redskins
As I mentioned earlier, the Redskins are a good team. I think the Eagles caught them off guard in Week 1 and Washington had the Chiefs on the ropes in Kansas City in Week 4. As for the 49ers, congrats to you guys. Your last three weeks have been can’t miss TV. Sure the majority of that Cardinals loss was garbage, but you guys always keep it interesting, right down to the wire. If things go differently in the final minutes, the 49ers could be 3-2 and not 0-5. Kyle Shanahan is doing good work there, competing while staying in line for a top three pick is the best way to turn a franchise around in one year. REDSKINS If I were Charles Barkley; 49ers +11

Bears at Ravens
I wish the Ravens owner permitted John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome to sign Colin Kaepernick back in the summer. This would have solved several issues. 1. Kaepernick would be on an NFL team and the constant noise about him being blackballed would be gone. (As I said last week, it’s true he’s been blackballed, but it’s also true he’s not good enough to warrant the headaches he’d bring to a team.) 2. The anthem protests, which Kaepernick pretty much has nothing to do with at this point (he was protesting police treatment of minorities) would never have happened. 3. Trump would be floundering in some other cesspool instead of sticking his head into this NFL issue. 4. I wouldn’t have to watch Joe Flacco anymore. For what it’s worth, I liked Mitch Trubisky on Monday. RAVENS If I were Charles Barkley; Ravens -7

Browns at Texans
I defended Hue Jackson last week. I’d like to publicly shrink away from that proclamation of support. I still like Jackson, but I completely forgot he has continually passed on talented young quarterbacks who are currently taking the NFL by storm. On Sunday he’ll get front row seats to another breakout performer he didn’t like enough to draft. Did I mention the quarterback Jackson actually did draft has already been benched? TEXANS If I were Charles Barkley; Texans -10

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Buccaneers at Cardinals
The NFC South boasts two of the NFL’s premier receivers and neither Julio Jones nor Mike Evans have looked the part yet. Evans is averaging 11.5 yards per reception in 2017. That’s a full two yards lower than his previous career low. The addition of DeSean Jackson was supposed to free up Evans. Is this a Jameis Winston problem? Did Hard Knocks make everyone think Winston was going to take a leap he’s not quite ready to take yet? Bingo. CARDINALS If I were Charles Barkley; Cardinals +2

Rams at Jaguars
Don’t laugh, but I’m legitimately excited to watch this matchup. The Rams boast the NFL’s 2nd best offense in terms of points scored. They’re also 5th in yards per game. The Jaguars, meanwhile, lead the league in takeaways and boast a stingy 16.6 points allowed per contest, good enough for 2nd in the NFL. Imagine how good the Jaguars would be if Blake Bortles could ever figure out quarterbacking in the NFL. JAGUARS If I were Charles Barkley; Jaguars -2.5

Steelers at Chiefs
Obviously I am not in the Pittsburgh locker room, but that team gives off a vibe that they don’t really like each other too much. There was the whole “miscommunication” about the anthem in Week 3. Then we got to witness the Ben Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown drama after a victory in Week 4. In Week 5 the Jaguars trounced the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have two of the most electrifying offensive players in the league. How are they averaging less than 20 points per game? Roethlisberger stunk last week but he can’t be the only problem. CHIEFS If I were Charles Barkley; Chiefs -4.5

Chargers at Raiders
Speaking of talented receivers not performing well at the start of the 2017 season… has anyone seen or heard from Amari Cooper? Cooper hasn’t amassed more than 10 receiving yards in any of his last three games. His season high in both catches (5) and yards (66) came in week one. Since then, he has 8 catches for 56 yards. IN FOUR GAMES. Maybe Derek Carr should remain on the sideline until Cooper comes back form the dead. CHARGERS If I were Charles Barkley; No Line Yet

Sunday Night (8:30PM ET)

Giants at Broncos
Eli Manning should fake a devastating injury, give his body 10 months off, and comeback refreshed in 2018 for one final push. I obviously have no love for the Giants but losing two of your top receivers for the season in the same game was rough to watch. I can’t believe Ben McAdoo lasts the season. Sounds like that team has already quit. BRONCOS If I were Charles Barkley; Broncos -12

Monday Night (8:30PM ET)

Colts at Titans
I know they keep saying Andrew Luck is going to play this season but if it’s not in the near future, there may not be much of a reason to bring him back until 2018. Luckily for the Colts, most of their schedule thus far has been outside the conference and Monday marks their first division game, so they are right in the thick of the division with plenty of opportunities to make up ground. My apologies to ESPN, who when they original scheduled this contest thought Luck and Marcus Mariota would be an exciting matchup. Instead, they’re flirting with a showdown featuring Jacoby Brissett (who hasn’t been that bad, I’ve actually enjoyed watching him) and Matt Cassel. TITANS If I were Charles Barkley; No Line Yet

*****

If I were Charles Barkley;
Last Week: 8 – 6 – 0
Season:    38 – 38 – 1

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