My Week 5 picks went 8-6, bringing my 2020 season mark to 54-22, or a 71.0 percent win rate.


Here are my Week 6 picks. Each section details which team is predicted to win and provides a quick summary of why that selection was made. The picks also contain a confidence value for each selection, based on a 1-10 scale with “10” being the most confident and “1” being the least confident.


Now on to the picks!


Sunday, October 18


Chicago at Carolina


KC’s pick: Carolina


Confidence level: 4


Matt Rhule has done an incredible job with the Panthers, as Carolina has racked up three straight wins without superstar Christian McCaffrey in the lineup. The Panthers defense is a major reason why, as over the past three weeks Carolina ranks second in points allowed per game (per The Panthers passing attack has also shown tremendous improvement with Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore both playing very well. The Bears rushing attack has been non-existent in its last two games, as Chicago posted a total of 63 rushing yards in that span. Combine these trends with the Bears scoring 20 or fewer points in three of the past four games and it equals a Carolina pick.


Cincinnati at Indianapolis


KC’s pick: Indianapolis


Confidence level: 7


The Colts finally returned to earth last week, as the Browns powerhouse offense controlled the game and put Philip Rivers into unfavorable situations that showed the downside of his risk-taking ways. The Bengals do have the makings of a superb offense, having scored 30+ points in two games this year, but they also have posted 304 or fewer offensive yards on three occasions and 70 or fewer rushing yards three times. The Colts do have some injuries on defense, but even with those ailments they should be able to return to form this week and post a convincing win.


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Detroit at Jacksonville


KC’s pick: Jacksonville


Confidence level: 2


Minshew Mania isn’t the phenomenon it used to be, as the Jaguars have lost four straight in part due to their offense having seven turnovers in that span. Jacksonville’s defense is also to blame, as the Jaguars allowed 127 points in those losses. That defensive performance has been even worse over the past two games, as Jacksonville gave up 991 offensive yards in those contests. Detroit’s defense has been equally bad, but the Lions offense should be healthy following a bye week and thus can turn this game into a shootout. High scoring games are usually a 50/50 proposition, so the Jaguars get this one via home-field advantage with a very low confidence rate.


Atlanta at Minnesota


KC’s pick: Minnesota


Confidence level: 5


Last week’s one-point loss to Seattle was the Vikings second one-point loss of the year, but it came with a silver lining of Minnesota’s defense allowing a season-low 314 yards against one of the best offenses in the league. Atlanta’s offense got out to a great start earlier this year, but the injury to Julio Jones has led to the Falcons posting fewer than 300 net passing yards in four straight games. Atlanta’s abysmal pass defense gives the Vikings the most favorable pass defense matchup of the week and should offset the loss of Dalvin Cook, so Minnesota gets this pick.


Denver at New England


KC’s pick: New England


Confidence level: 7


There are myriad reasons to pick the Patriots in this one. Bill Belichick has two weeks to prepare for whichever young quarterback the Broncos end up with under center. Denver’s defense has allowed 26+ points in the past three games and generated zero turnovers in three out of four games. The Broncos offense has committed eight turnovers for the season and two or more turnovers in each of the past three contests. New England has rushed for 185+ yards in three games this year and should be able to keep that trend going against a subpar Denver rush defense. Add this to it being a road game for the Broncos and it equals a very confident New England selection.


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Washington at New York Giants


KC’s pick: New York


Confidence level: 5


Washington’s quarterback woes are why they might have the worst offense in the league, but defense could actually be their weakest link, as the Football Team has allowed 30+ points in four straight games. New York needed time to adjust to life without Saquon Barkley, but the addition of Devonta Freeman has led to the Giants posting 225 rushing yards over the past two games. New York’s pass defense has also held its own this season by allowing fewer than 300 net passing yards in all but one game. It’s not difficult seeing New York rack up a high point total against Washington, but it is tough to imagine Washington doing the same, so the Giants get this one with a solid confidence level.


Baltimore at Philadelphia


KC’s pick: Baltimore


Confidence level: 7


Outside of the Kansas City contest, Baltimore’s defense has been superb this year, as the Ravens have allowed 17 or fewer points in every other game and a single-digit point total in two contests. This platoon has also forced ten turnovers this year and should add to that total against the risk-taking Carson Wentz. The Ravens aerial attack has been non-existent, as they have tallied fewer than 200 net passing yards in three of the past four games, but they’ve scored 27+ points in four out of five contests this season. The Eagles used effective game planning over the past couple of games to gain a win over the 49ers and nearly pull off an upset at Pittsburgh, so they have a chance to win, but the Ravens significant advantages assure that they end up as the pick in this one.


Cleveland at Pittsburgh


KC’s pick: Pittsburgh


Confidence level: 3


It’s great to see this matchup return to the level it had when this was one of the most heated rivalries in NFL history. Cleveland is no fluke, as the Browns are arguably the best run blocking team in the league. That ground game dominance is why Cleveland has racked up 32+ points in four straight games despite not throwing for 300 net passing yards in a single contest. Pittsburgh counters this with the best pass rush in the league and arguably the strongest rush defense in the NFL. The Browns defense is nowhere near as powerful as their offense, as that platoon has allowed 30+ points on three occasions. Combine that with this being a home contest for the Steelers and it equals a Pittsburgh selection.


Houston at Tennessee


KC’s pick: Tennessee


Confidence level: 5


Last week Houston showed how much of a difference a coaching change can make, as the Texans set a season high in offensive yards and points and a season low in rushing yards allowed on the way to a convincing win over Jacksonville. The Titans were equally convincing in a dominant win over the Bills on Tuesday night that showed the COVID-19 situation was only a speed bump for this resilient club. Houston’s earlier rush defense woes could return when facing the Titans power rushing attack, so Tennessee is the pick here by a comfortable margin.


New York Jets at Miami


KC’s pick: Miami


Confidence level: 6


A strong case can be made for Brian Flores being the NFL coach of the year after five weeks, as the Dolphins have racked up two wins and stayed close in every contest despite having one of the toughest matchup slates so far this year. Miami doesn’t have a ton of talent on offense and yet they have scored 28+ points in three of the past four games largely by letting Ryan Fitzpatrick be aggressive on downfield passing. This is by far the most favorable matchup for the Dolphins this year, as the Jets easily rank last in the league in offensive expected points added, so Miami gets this selection with a fairly high confidence level.


Green Bay at Tampa Bay


KC’s pick: Green Bay


Confidence level: 3


The Packers offense has been a juggernaut this year, as the best offensive line in the league has led to Green Bay having the highest offensive expected points added mark and posting 30+ points in every game this year. Tampa Bay will aim to offset that with an offense that hasn’t lived up to expectations yet still ranks 11th in points per game despite dealing with significant wide receiver or tight end injuries in every contest. Turnovers could be key, as Green Bay’s defense has tallied only three of those while Tampa Bay has racked up nine. That factor gives the Buccaneers some paths to victory, but Green Bay remains the percentage play in this one.


Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco


KC’s pick: Los Angeles


Confidence level: 6


Jimmy Garoppolo took a lot of grief for last week’s surprising upset loss to the Dolphins, but the reality is San Francisco’s banged up secondary was more to blame than anything else. The 49ers were missing two starting cornerbacks and two top backup cornerbacks and Miami took full advantage of this with an aggressive passing attack. The earliest injury reports indicate that San Francisco could be without as many as five cornerbacks in this contest, which is a terrible place to be when facing a Rams offense that might have the best quartet of wide receivers in the NFL. That makes Los Angeles a fairly strong pick in this matchup.


Monday, October 19


Kansas City at Buffalo


KC’s pick: Kansas City


Confidence level: 2


Last week’s loss to the Raiders showed why the Chiefs have been going all out to avoid getting into shootout contests, as Kansas City is now 5-4 in shootout contests over the past two seasons. The Bills also have concerns about their Week 5 showing, as the Titans defense may have given the rest of the league a blueprint about how to deal with Buffalo’s heavy use of three and four wide receiver sets. This contest will come down to if the Bills can turn this into a shootout that favors their current approach. The Chiefs have been so good at preventing games from going in that direction that the pick lands in their column, but by a very small margin.


Arizona at Dallas


KC’s pick: Arizona


Confidence level: 3


There is no doubt that the Cowboys offense will take a big backwards step following Dak Prescott’s ankle injury, but it’s worth noting that Andy Dalton averaged over 10 yards per attempt on 11 passes after taking over when Prescott left the game last week. Dalton was a quality NFL starter for many years and has what might be the best starting wide receiver trio in the league, so this offense will still be potent. The problem for Dallas is Arizona’s offense has racked up 400+ yards on three occasions and could put up 500 or more against the Cowboys abysmal defense. That factor is enough to place this selection into the Cardinals column.