By Ishaaq Muhammad
With the NFL now in Week 6, here are the keys to all the games this weekend:
Broncos vs. Chargers
The Denver Broncos face the San Diego Chargers Thursday night in what should be an interesting matchup, with Broncos coach Gary Kubiak not coaching due to a migraine issue. Trevor Siemian will be the starter once again as long as his shoulder doesn’t give him any problems. The 1-4 Chargers are no slouches, but have problems this season with giving up big leads.
49ers vs. Bills
San Francisco is all in with Chip Kelly’s new system, but it has not been enough thus far, seeing as though they carry a 1-4 record. Colin Kaepernick will be the starter Sunday for the first time this season, and it will be interesting to see what he will produce. The Bills are red-hot, thanks to LeSean McCoy heating up and leading this team offensively.
Eagles vs. Redskins
This matchup is highly anticipated because of the competitiveness of this division thus far into the season. This game could give the Eagles the top spot in the division, or they could be tied for second with the Redskins. This will all depend on how the Eagles defense responds after a lackluster performance against the Lions.
Browns vs. Titans
The last time these teams faced off, Johnny Manziel led the Browns to a 28-14 win. The tables have since turned in terms of team dynamics, as Tennessee will look to turn the tide against the Browns, who have yet to win a game under Hue Jackson.
Ravens vs. Giants
The Ravens have a tough matchup against the Giants, who just suffered a loss to the Packers. This game is going to depend on what Giants receiver Odell Beckham does.
He hasn’t been consistent this year, so it will be good to see what he does against a secondary that is top 10 in passing defense this year.
Panthers vs. Saints
The Panthers will have Cam Newton back this week, as this team has lost its way due to the lack of secondary.
The Panthers have not lost to the Saints in their last three meetings. We will see how receiver Kelvin Benjamin does against the Saints defense, which is ranked 31st in the league.
Jaguars vs. Bears
The Jaguars have a tough game against the Chicago Bears. Their record alone shouldn’t instill fear, but the Bears rank second in yards per play in the entire NFL with Brian Hoyer leading the charge.
The Jaguars have the seventh-ranked defense, so this should be good test for them.
Rams vs. Lions
The Rams face the Detroit Lions, who are heating up after beating the Philadelphia Eagles. That win saved their season, and now they could be on the verge of making a push for second in the division if they keep the intensity up. The Rams need to take care of the football if they want to win this game.
Steelers vs. Dolphins
The Steelers’ high-powered offense plays one of the worst defenses this week against the Dolphins. This team has recently received Le’Veon Bell back, and he has produced tremendously for them already. This Dolphins team will need a miracle if they want to win.
Bengals vs. Patriots
The last time these two teams played, the Patriots won, 43-17, and with the addition of Tom Brady coming back from suspension, it will be a tough game for Andy Dalton and the Bengals to win.
They are going to need a lot more production out of their running game if they want a shot of beating the Patriots.
Chiefs vs. Raiders
The Raiders are coming out of the gates speeding along the season with a record of 4-1. However, there are some major problems with this defense, and they need to be addressed if they want to continue to win.
The Chiefs have been average thus far and Jeremy Maclin will have to produce big for them if they want to be great.
Falcons vs. Seahawks
This game should be a good one. The Falcons are red-hot right now with the top-ranked offense in the league, and they face the Seahawks, who have the top-ranked defense. Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham appears to be at full health, and this will be an advantage for them seeing as though the Falcons own a poor defense.
Cowboys vs. Packers
The Cowboys’ season was thought to be over until Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot decided to step up and contribute. This is a big game because the Cowboys could lose their advantage in the NFC East with a loss, and the Packers could lose a chance of catching the Vikings if their luck continues.
Colts vs. Texans
In a division that is closely contested, a win for the Colts would have them tied for first.
However, this will not be easy, because Houston has not lost a game this season when playing at home.
The Colts’ offensive line will have to protect Andrew Luck more efficiently in order to win this game.
Jets vs. Cardinals
This is the first time Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles will be coaching on opposite sidelines, and it will be a tough feat for the Jets to overcome, because their defense has allowed 82 points throughout its last three games. The Cardinals now have Carson Palmer back, which is huge for this team and will be a challenge for the Jets.