5 Bold Predictions For Week 6 of the NFL Season
We're six weeks into the NFL season...yes, really, time does fly...and we're already one team away from the 1972 Miami Dolphins having their annual toast. I can't make the bold prediction of the Minnesota Vikings losing this week, as they're on bye, but here are five I can make....
1) The Niners Will Gain More Yards With a New QB...But Still Lose
No matter where you stand on the Colin Kaepernick situation, we can all agree on two things concerning the newly re-minted San Francisco quarterback: he's a better option than Blaine Gabbert, and he's definitely not the same quarterback who got the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII. Judging by the success Gabbert was able to have running the football under Chip Kelly, (Leading all QBs with 179 yards) the mobile Kaepernick should somewhat thrive under a similar game plan. However, it doesn't excuse Kaepernick's poor numbers throwing last season, and the suddenly resurgent Bills, where the Niners visit this week, will take advantage. It'll be close in Buffalo, but Kaepernick's first start, much like his Super Bowl start, doesn't end in victory.
2) Odell Beckham Jr Avoids The Temptation To the Dark Side
The Giants lost their Sunday night game against the Packers last week, their third in a row, but Odell Beckham Jr. won a friend for life in the kicking net, perhaps the same he attacked in the loss than began New York's losing streak two weeks ago. After scoring a touchdown, his first of the season, he ran over to the kicking net and gave it a hug, ending the "feud". Obviously the Internet remembers everything, including Beckham's prior outbursts, and Ravens CB Jimmy Smith, who will face off against Beckham this Sunday, has implied he's going to try to get into the receivers head this week. However, Beckham won't fall to that, now at peace with his demons after finally scoring six. Instead, it will land Baltimore into some sticky situations on the road.
3) Ryan Tannehill Gets Benched
It's really amazing that somehow Ryan Tannehill is entering yet another make-or-break season. New head coach Adam Gase was praised for being an offensive guru upon his arrival into Miami, but the Dolphins are discovering fairly quickly that having Peyton Manning in his prime in Denver contributes a lot to that guru title. The Dolphins are 1-4 thus far on the season, and that one is against the Browns so does it really count? Furthermore, Tannehill has not made the next inevitable step in his progression, and the Dolphins' management indicated their patience is wearing thin when they released several starting offensive linemen. Going up against the tough Steelers defense, Tannehill's time finally runs out, as he's benched for Matt Moore.
4) Cam Newton Helps the Panthers Back On Track
The defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers picked up right where they left off last season...and that is by no means a good thing. Fresh off their Super Bowl 50 loss, the Panthers have started this season off 1-4, not helped by the injury to Newton, who, even while healthy, has not been the dominant force he was last season. Newton is a competitor and a fiery spirit, and there's no way, if he does indeed play this week (he's still in concussion protocol as of Thursday but is limited in practice) that he'll let the Panthers drop to 1-5. They have a big test, their playoff odds already in dire straights as is, against the equally desperate Saints, but the Panthers hold on for their second win of the season.
5) The Falcons Ground the Seahawks
The Falcons are for real. There's no denying that after Matt Ryan and Julio Jones were able to take down the mighty Broncos defense. But one more signature win would silence the doubters for good and quite possibly seal up the NFC South...OK, maybe not really, but you get the idea. Beating Seattle in Seattle, still home of the insufferable 12th Man, would be the official last word that Atlanta is for real.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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