Notes from the North

This is one tough week to pick NFL games! Lots of close match ups, competing streaks and intangibles come into play this time around.

So let's jump right into the World's Worst Football Picks for NFL Week 6:

Tennessee over Pittsburgh: Call it a hunch. Call it faith in Hassellbeck. Call it a distinct unease over the Steelers consistency this year. Call it what you will, but I see the Titans winning this one at home. (6)

Atlanta to beat the Raiders: I want to call this the week's only sure bet but I'm not so sure about it. The Falcons are riding high but I think they're heading into a trap game here against the Raiders, who can put a good performance out there when they're really focused. Still, I can' t pick against home team with such a strong record so far. (14)

Baltimore over Dallas: I wish the Ravens were more consistenly awesome, especially on defense where they've fallen off a bit this year. The Cowboys can score points in bunches and could turn this into an offensive battle. (8)

Miami over St. Louis: The Dolphins are at home and playing tough, tough defense. The Rams are on a roll but I just don't think their run game is strong enough to force Miami to follow a more vanilla, all-round defensive scheme. Look for a low scoring game with the Dolphins winning in the fourth. (5)

Philly to beat Detroit: This one scares me. The Eagles are just too inconsistent on offense to make me comfortable. And Detroit has a lot of weapons, even if many of them have been misfiring all season. Please, Coach Reid, don't leave the ball in Mike's hands near the goal line. Please. Pretty please. (12)

Cincinnati over Cleveland: Again, looks like a cinch on paper. But Cleveland has not been playing badly this season and the Bengals have not been consistent. (13)

Jests over Indy: The New York defense impressed me last week. If the Colts hadn't upset Green Bay for an emotional win last week, I might have picked Indy here to surprise Ryan's Jests but New York will be ready for the fast-maturing Colts. (9)

Bucs over Chiefs: I can't figure out either of these teams, to be honest. But Tampa Bay is at home and that's enough for me. (7)

Seattle to beat New England: The Patriots have discovered the value of a strong running attack and that might be enough to neutralise a tough Seahawk defense. But Seattle is at home and playing well. It's possible New England will come in a bit flat and the 'Hawks will take advantage. (4)

Buffalo over Arizona: Wow. Did I really type that? What a huge upset. But, then again, the Cards' weakness is their offensive line and the Bills defensive front has been pining for a chance to shed the bad press and prove themselves in a big game. Buffalo appears to be getting its running game back into shape, providing some balance for their shaky attack. I see the Bills pulling one out here. (3)

Minnesota to beat Washington: I like the way Minnesota has been playing this season: a balanced attack, good ball management and a tough defense. Not bad at all. Washington could win this one, no doubt, but they just don't seem to be as consistent as the Vikes. (2)

San Fran over the Giants: Revenge game? Maybe. But San Francisco is also much more solid from top to bottom than the Giants. This should be a fantastic defensive match-up (so figure it will be a 45-37 final). (11)

Houston to beat Green Bay: If this were last year or the year before, I would be calling this the other way, figuring the Packers would come out flying to avenge the upset last week. But these are not last year's Packers and the Texans should be up for a contest against one of the league's big names in front of a national audience. Yes, the loss of Cushing will hurt but Houston will pull through. (10)

San Diego over Denver: Tough tough call. This one could go either way. But the Chargers are at home and looking at a chance to separate themselves from the pack in their division. Denver, meanwhile, hasn't shown me it can play a full 60 minutes. (1)

October 11, 2012  12:34 PM ET

Oh Mark, you are screwed. I am thinking Buffalo upsets too - so that means they are losing. Haha!

October 11, 2012  02:46 PM ET

Thanks for the optimistic words of encouragement! :)

October 15, 2012  04:34 PM ET

Well, Buffalo pulled it off, so we both look like geniuses! :-)


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