Week 6 of the NFL Season is here. It’s the second week of games in London—again sending our best—and the first week of byes. The shine is off the new season and it’s time to dig in and get serious. You can’t win the Super Bowl in October and November, but you can sure lose it. This is where the rubber starts to meet the road and teams start to separate into contenders and pretenders. We’ve seen some incredible games and some good performances. This week features some fascinating matchups and below are the five I’m most anticipating from the Sunday slate.
Sunday Early Games:
Green Bay Packers (4-1) at Chicago Bears (3-2)
About: The Packers stumbled out of the gate but have been rock solid since. They survived a tough battle in Week 5, outlasting Mason Crosby’s kicking issues and the Bengals to move to 4-1. They are near the top of the heap in the NFC, but to stay that way they need to maintain a stranglehold on the NFC North. The Bears are hoping for something different. The team started the season with veteran Andy Dalton but quickly turned it over to Justin Fields. The rookie is 2-1 as a starter, winning his last two starts as the Bears pushed above .500. The Bears are a game behind the Packers, and if Chicago wants to contend for the North and a spot in the playoffs they need to get past their long-time division rival. Can Fields do it at home in his first attempt? We’ll find out Sunday morning.
Los Angeles Chargers (4-1) at Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
About: This is a battle of division leaders in the AFC. The Chargers knocked off the Chiefs and Raiders in consecutive weeks before beating the Browns to move to 4-1 and take the solo lead in the AFC West. The Ravens, meanwhile, stumbled in Week 1 in Las Vegas but have been perfect since, coming off an epic come-from-behind win over the Colts on Monday Night Football. The Ravens are 4-1 and atop the AFC North. This game will have major implications for the AFC playoff picture and these division races. Given how hot Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson have been, this also figures to be a heck of a battle.
Sunday Late Games:
Arizona Cardinals (5-0) at Cleveland Browns (3-2)
About: The late window games, as have been the case the past few weeks, feature some of the most interesting matchups. In this one the last undefeated team, the Arizona Cardinals, square off against the Browns. Cleveland is 3-2 but both losses have been agonizingly close, leads that evaporated late. In Week 1 it was Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and last week it was Justin Herbert making a run late. The Browns need to get a win to keep going strong while the Cardinals are looking to remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL. This figures to be an intriguing matchup between a couple hungry teams.
Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) at Denver Broncos (3-2)
About: Some matchups are on here because of the greatness of the potential. Some because of what it means for the teams. That’s the case with this AFC West battle between a couple wounded teams. The Broncos and Raiders each started out 3-0 and have both lost two straight since. The Broncos have battled injuries and big questions about whether they are a good team. The Raiders, meanwhile, struggled in two straight losses and have dealt with major off-the-field drama, resulting in Head Coach Jon Gruden resigning Monday. The winner here can get back on track while the loser will have a lot of hard questions to answer.
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at New England Patriots (2-3)
About: The Cowboys weren’t able to get past the Buccaneers in the opening game of the 2021 NFL Season but they’ve been perfect since. The Cowboys have used a fierce offense led by Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliot and emerging tight end Dalton Schultz along with an ambitious and improved defense, led by Trevon Diggs. The Patriots, meanwhile, have been up-and-down. Rookie Mac Jones has had his moments as the Patriots beat the Jets in Week 2 and Texans in Week 5, but New England is a woeful 0-3 at home. The once vaunted defense let Davis Mills look like a Pro Bowler last week, which isn’t a great sign when facing Dak and the Boys.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.