NFL Week 6 open thread

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers returned to championship form against the Tennessee Titans at home, whipping them 38-17.  All phases of their game clicked against a tough Titan team, which got blown out for the first time this year.  This week Jacksonville comes to Pittsburgh, bringing their league-worst passing offense but decent defense to play against a Pittsburgh team that looks like it finally has its act together.  Jacksonsville hasn’t won since Week 1 when they beat the Titans for Tennessee’s only other loss this season …. aaaaaand they’re not going to get win #2 today.  Steelers over the Jags, 28-10.

The Steelers weren’t the only people to return to form last week; I went 5-1 on my picks to move my season to 19-11.  Can I keep the momentum going?

  • Vikings at Bears — Two years ago, this might have been for the division lead.  This year, the two teams want to stay out of the division cellar.  The Vikings won their first game last week by crushing the Cardinals at home, but they’re playing in the Windy City today against a team that has won both of its home games this season.  Da Bears should be able to handle the Vikes, 27-17, and Minnesota might find itself in the middle of a QB controversy with another loss.
  • Texans at Ravens — It’s no secret that I’d like the Ravens to lose every week, as they are the Steelers’ toughest division rival.  Houston comes off of a loss to an emotional Oakland team (my upset pick from last week), and they’ll be looking to recapture their momentum, especially in a year where their traditional rival, the Colts, are floundering.  I think Baltimore will be too strong at home, prevailing 23-17 … but I’d be happy to be wrong about this pick.
  • 49ers at Lions — If the Vikes-Bears game is a mere shadow of years gone by, the opposite is true for this matchup.  Two years ago this would have been the Despair Bowl, and now these teams are among the hottest of this season.  San Francisco crushed Tampa Bay last week at home, 48-3 … the same score by which Detroit beat Kansas City in week 2.  This should be a great game, maybe one of the best this week, but I can’t see the Lions losing at home to the 49ers.  Detroit 31-27 in a squeaker.
  • Browns at Raiders — You think last week was emotional for Oakland?  Wait until they play their first game at home after Al Davis’ death.  The Browns have looked surprisingly competitive this year and won their only road game of the season, but the Raiders will be looking to make a statement in front of Davis’ crowd in their return.  Oakland over Cleveland, 33-20.
  • Dolphins at Jets – Jazz will kill me for making a pick in a Jets game two weeks in a row, but I always pick the Monday night game.  Besides, Miami is 0-4 this season, with two road losses already, although they’ve never really been out of any of the games.  Jets are 2-0 at home.  The Dolphins’ leading rusher is questionable with a hamstring pull, and their leading receiver has been promising to get ejected for fighting by the second quarter in this game.  The only possible way the Jets could lose this game is if the Ed Morrissey Jinx is real.  Jets sink the Fins, 27-19.