2021 NFL Expert Picks: Week 6

2021 NFL Expert Picks: Week 6

by October 14, 2021 2 comments

Three NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 6.

These three writers will make their picks for the entire season, earning two points for any correct win-loss outcome and an additional three points for correctly predicting the exact score. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A cumulative points total and record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 18 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.

Sam Schneider, Joe Heller, and Andersen Pickard contributed to this article.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sam: Buccaneers 24, Eagles 16

Who are the “Iggles”, really? They got whooped in three straight contests (two at home), before going into Carolina and taking down Sam Darnold‘s Panthers last weekend. We’ll get a front-row seat for the Tom Brady (15 touchdowns, two interceptions) show on Thursday Night Football. Unfortunately, it’s Thursday Night Football, so temper expectations of a fun game. We are going to see a lot of plodding from the Tampa Bay running backs in a contest that will end quickly.

Joe: Buccaneers 31, Eagles 13

Tom Brady and the Bucs will once again put up points with ease in a rout of the Eagles on Thursday night, improving to 5-1. Jalen Hurts and co. will struggle to keep up on the scoreboard from the start and will be in desperation mode early.

Andersen: Buccaneers 28, Eagles 16

The Buccaneers should have no trouble defeating the Eagles on Thursday night football. While Philly will notch a few scores of its own, the Bucs are more powerful and dominant. Tampa Bay cruises to 5-1 in this one.

Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sam: Jaguars 31, Dolphins 17

I picked Jacksonville to beat the Tennessee Titans last week, and was humbled by the Titans absolutely blowing them out of the water to the tune of 37-19. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me? I’m going back to the well with the Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence (not Urban Meyer) gets a signature win and looks like the No. 1 pick, regardless of whether or not Tua Tagovailoa dons the pads in a game that Miami is favored.

Joe: Jaguars 24, Dolphins 20

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will get their first NFL win. The Jaguars have looked better and better each week, and in this game against the Dolphins, who have just one win on the season, they will come away with the narrow victory.

Andersen: Dolphins 24, Jaguars 17

The Dolphins have shown signs of life almost every week this season, but they only have one win to show for it. Things could get better this week if Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) suits up as expected. Myles Gaskin‘s breakout game last week also suggests the Miami offense could cruise against the Jaguars.

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Sam: Packers 34, Bears 20

Broken record take of the week: Vegas still cannot get the Green Bay line right, regardless of Cincinnati coming close last Sunday. The Packers are favored by 4.5 points against a division foe whose rookie quarterback has looked *checks notes* really, really not good. Khalil Herbert has a game for Chicago but he’s not David MontgomeryAaron Rodgers exposes the Bears’ secondary.

Joe: Packers 31, Bears 17

The Bengals gave the Packers a scare last week. Now, Green Bay’s oldest rival will pay the price as Aaron Rodgers and company jump out to an early two-score lead, which they will not relinquish.

Andersen: Packers 27, Bears 16

Justin Fields earned his first win last week but won’t fare as well against Green Bay. While he does throw for a pair of touchdowns in this one, the defense is unable to sufficiently slow down the Packers’ offense, which will come out firing from the get-go.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions

Sam:  Bengals 30, Lions 20

Joe Burrow is back on the field after an injury scare following their loss to Green Bay. The offense is fully healthy, save for Samaje Perine who will likely be replaced by Chris Evans. Cue up the the breakout game. Cincinnati rolls into Detroit and steamrolls the Lions in a game that sees Brandon Allen and Evans on offense together once it’s out of hand. The Bengals defense eats Jared Goff for Sunday brunch.

Joe: Lions 34, Bengals 30

This game will be a high-scoring affair with both teams coming off of heartbreaking losses. Lions coach Dan Campbell will get his elusive first win as an NFL head coach. Joe Burrow will keep the Bengals in the game but come up just short.

Andersen: Lions 21, Bengals 17

The Bengals are on the up-and-up, but they’ll suffer their second consecutive loss this weekend. Meanwhile, look for Detroit and rookie head coach Dan Campbell to celebrate a hard-fought first win of 2021. This game will be close, but it has the feel of a possible Lions upset win.

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts

Sam: Texans 24, Colts 23

Houston is a bad team. Fortunately for them, the Colts are, too. The Indianapolis secondary that was supposed to be a strength this season has been abhorrent and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Davis Mills will take advantage. People forget that Mills is a rookie, and he’s steadily improved, including an admirable performance against New England. Houston is my pick, and I’ll take the 10-plus points Vegas is giving me in this matchup.

Joe: Colts 27, Texans 24

The perfect remedy for a one-win Colts team, who suffered a brutal overtime loss last week, is a chance to beat a division mate. The Texans will drop to 1-5 with the loss. The Colts, who have dropped to two games behind the division-leading Titans, need to gain ground quickly, starting with this game.

Andersen: Colts 24, Texans 17

The Colts jumped out to a huge lead against the Ravens last week before choking it away. The same can be said about Houston in their eventual loss to the Patriots. On paper, the Colts are the far better team, and they’ll prove it on Sunday. Jonathan Taylor will find the end zone twice in this one.

Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Giants

Sam: Rams 27, Giants 20

This is going to be closer than most fans would think. Eventually, Daniel Jones (who should suit up after clearing concussion protocol) will be bested by the Los Angeles front, but not before everyone watching the RedZone channel have pulled up a seat for the Kadarius Toney show. Rams win an unexpectedly fun affair.

Joe: Rams 41, Giants 20

Even if the Giants weren’t decimated by injuries, they’d be a tough pick in this one. The Rams’ offense has too many weapons for the Giants’ defense to contend with. The New York offense won’t be able to muster many points, either.

Andersen: Rams 34, Giants 21

The Giants might pull within two scores late in the game, but it’s still going to be all Los Angeles through 60 minutes of action. The Rams are far superior on both defense and offense while the Giants have struggled and could be without their five best offensive playmakers.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington Football Team

Sam: Chiefs 44, Football Team 17

Kansas City is not screwing around, after being lambasted by Buffalo on national television. They hung 42 on Philadelphia on October 3, and while their defense is not good/very bad, they get an opposing defense that has allowed 135 points in the last four weeks. You read that right. Washington is tied for second in the NFC East; don’t let that fool you into thinking they are in the Chiefs’ class.

Joe: Chiefs 34, Football Team 20

Both teams are looking to get back to .500 on the season. The Chiefs will rebound from their loss to the Bills, picking apart Washington’s defense. Offensively, Washington won’t have enough answers to keep up or steal this game.

Andersen: Chiefs 27, Football Team 17

The Chiefs are the better team here, despite what a painful primetime loss to the Bills might suggest. Furthermore, Washington has struggled out of the gate, their playoff aspirations quickly slipping away from sight.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

Sam: Panthers 27, Vikings 17

The fact that Minnesota is favored in this game is baffling. The supposed “high-powered” offense has disappeared in the past two weeks as they scored 26 points in two games. Meanwhile, even after allowing 57 points in their last two, Carolina’s defense still ranks second in total yards allowed per game. This is a Panthers cakewalk.

Joe: Vikings 34, Panthers 31

This game will be another back-and-forth matchup. As has been the case twice before this season, Kirk Cousins will lead the Vikings on a late game-winning scoring drive, culminating with a touchdown this time. The Panthers will drop their third consecutive game and fall to two games being the Buccaneers in the NFC South.

Andersen: Vikings 28, Panthers 24

The Panthers might get Christian McCaffrey back for this one, but the Vikings could have Dalvin Cook. Minnesota is the better team, and after consecutive losses to the Cowboys and Eagles, it’s far from a lock that Carolina can hold its own against the Vikings.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sam: Ravens 31, Chargers 26

For one of these division leaders, the magic will be paused for a week. Each have an offense and defense capable of being the best in the league but stall often. In what should be a fun game, the nod goes to Baltimore and their history of finding some way to win. Flip over to this one in the last two minutes.

Joe: Chargers 28, Ravens 24

In a matchup between a pair of 4-1 teams, Justin Herbert will throw for another 300-plus yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have a chance late, beginning a new 100-yard rushing game streak. The Chargers are clicking on all cylinders, though, and get the edge in this one.

Andersen: Chargers 35, Ravens 31

Last week saw an offensive bombardment between the Browns and Chargers. We’ll see similarly high-powered offensive showings in this Chargers-Ravens game, too. Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson will both put on a show, but it will be the former’s talented supporting cast that helps give Los Angeles the edge.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Cleveland Browns

Sam: Cardinals 29, Browns 20

This won’t be as close as the score would indicate. Odell Beckham Jr has eclipsed 80 yards just five times in his Browns tenure (over two-and-a-half years) and is 29 years old. Baker Mayfield has a torn labrum and is trying to play through it. Neither will finish the season for Cleveland, and the offense against Los Angeles last week was an aberration. Arizona rolls on.

Joe: Browns 38, Cardinals 37

Similar to their loss to the Chargers last week, the Browns will be in a score-for-score game against Kyler Murray and the undefeated Cardinals. Unlike last week, though, Baker Mayfield and the Browns will come away with the victory, much to the pleasure of not only Browns fans but to those in South Beach, too.

Andersen: Browns 31, Cardinals 28

The 5-0 Cardinals will drop a step down their pedestal by losing to the Browns. Cleveland came oh-so-close to edging out the Chargers last week and should actually be able to get the job done against a similarly strong Cardinals squad in Week 6.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

Sam: Broncos 23, Raiders 17

What distraction? There is really no change in how Las Vegas will operate without Jon Gruden on the sidelines. In fact, it may be a blessing in disguise. That said, the Raiders have not faced a statistically powerful defense yet and are in for a rude awakening against their division mates.

Joe: Raiders 24, Broncos 17

Life without Jon Gruden on the sidelines begins with a win for Derek Carr and the Raiders. They will put an end to their two-game skid. The Broncos will drop their third straight game, falling further back in a division that they shared the lead of just three weeks ago.

Andersen: Broncos 24, Raiders 14

The Broncos will secure a victory under the strong play of Teddy Bridgewater, as well as the success of the Denver defense. On the other hand, the Raiders were embarrassed by the Bears last week and are also without Jon Gruden, who resigned from his post as head coach of the team.

Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots

Sam: Patriots 28, Cowboys 26

A young offense finally rewards their faithful with a home victory after beginning 0-3 in Foxborough, something fans in Massachusetts are unfamiliar with. The Pats have scored 25 points in each of their two victories this season. They’ll need to add a field goal against a game Dallas squad who is likely going to circle this loss when it comes time to determine playoff seeding as one they wished they had back.

Joe: Cowboys 34, Patriots 17

The Cowboys will continue to roll against Bill Belichick’s team. Trevon Diggs will add two more interceptions to his impressive start. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will have another tough game against the Cowboys’ defense.

Andersen: Cowboys 21, Patriots 20

We could be in for a close game on Sunday afternoon. The two biggest factors in this game will be Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons. If both are playing well, Dallas will have success slowing down both the passing and running games of New England. However, the Patriots also have a strong defense, so they should be able to keep the score close for all 60 minutes.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sam: Steelers 26, Seahawks 16

Absolutely no chance Geno Smith is beating Pittsburgh in the Steel City. The Seahawks are beat up and the Steelers have a knack for taking advantage, especially at home. Smith is a backup for a reason, and Keith Butler‘s defense is going to remind everyone of that. The Seahawks are sent back to the Pacific Northwest reeling from a primetime loss.

Joe: Seahawks 24, Steelers 20

Even with Geno Smith under center, the Seahawks will get the better of Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Smith, while he isn’t Russell Wilson, will limit mistakes with the football in the win.

Andersen: Seahawks 17, Steelers 16

Geno Smith looked serviceable while taking over for Russell Wilson last week. As long as this continues, the rest of the Seahawks’ offense can make enough plays to propel Seattle over Pittsburgh. On the other hand, rookie Najee Harris could run absolutely crazy over the Seahawks’ weakened line.

Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans

Sam: Bills 33, Titans 18

Tennessee looked good last Sunday, the problem is that it was against Jacksonville. Their previous win was versus a weak Indianapolis and they had another at Seattle before we knew the Seahawks’ issues. The Titans were destroyed by Arizona and dropped one to the woeful Jets, as well. A 24th-ranked passing attack is not going to cut it against an underrated Bills defense, and it sure can’t keep up with Josh Allen and company.

Joe: Titans 27, Bills 14

The Titans should have Julio Jones back for this Monday night matchup. He will provide the difference for his team to pull off the upset. Josh Allen and the Bills will come on a little sluggish offensively after putting so much into successfully beating the Chiefs a week ago. Derrick Henry will eclipse the 150-yard mark on the ground.

Andersen: Bills 28, Titans 24

Sure, Derrick Henry will look like a monster once again. However, the Bills’ defense can afford to let him have a big game if it means they are able to slow down the passing attack. On the other hand, the Buffalo offense is very strong, relying on four talented pass-catchers.

Point Totals

Sam: 92
Joe: 104
Andersen: 104


Sam: 46-34
Joe: 52-28
Andersen: 52-28

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Sam Schneider on Twitter @BuyAndSellYou
Joe Heller on Twitter @JerseyJoe317
Andersen Pickard on Twitter @AndersenPickard

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Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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