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NFL 2018: Top 3 Matchups from Week 6

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Vinay Kanakadandila

Upsets continued in week 5 of NFL, Records were created, Chiefs and Rams remain undefeated and finally the Arizona Cardinals registered their first win, the last team in this season to register at least one win.

The Jaguars who had a great shot at shutting out Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, got stumped by Bad Blake and their own offensive problems. The defense tho still had a partial success by restricting the dynamic young QB Mahomes, who did not throw a touchdown pass but had two interceptions, the first two this season.

The success of Chiefs has already been rewarded with their Week 7 matchup against a surprising Cincinnati Bengals has been flexed to prime-time slot on Sunday. Now Chiefs will be playing in Prime-time two weeks in a row and still many more to come.

But, the best moment of week 5 came on Monday night when Drew Bress surpassed Peyton Manning, who congratulated Brees in this amazing video, for the most passing yards in the history of NFL. He did so with a 62 yard touchdown pass, the most Drew Brees way to do so. This record just proves it how underrated Drew Brees really is. Brees should be in the Greatest of All Time conversation along with the likes of Favre, Brady, Rodgers and Manning (Peyton, Not Eli, sorry Giants fans).

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The best of all this is that couple of Brees fans have walked 71,941 yards, that is almost 41 miles to see Brees break the record. Kudos Guys, Take a Bow!

Now on to week 6, we have some exciting matchups, including the 2 division matchups that are crucial with playoff complications and one could be AFC Championship game. Also, we have a London Game this week, Raiders host the Seahawks, thankfully it is at noon kickoff instead of early morning as other London games start.

#3 Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4) (TNF)

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NFC East is a hot mess right now. Even with a 1-4 record, if Giants win on Thursday they could still be in the conversation of winning the division. The only way any team will be in the postseason is by winning the division no other team will have an opportunity to be even considered for the Wildcard berth in the loaded NFC. That's why this game this early is key for both the teams.

Giants, if they don't win on Thursday, could very well prepare for the next season.

Unsettled Eagles, Distractions Giants

Eagles are not what everyone expected them to be. Injuries have derailed their season. Eagles defence though are 10th in yards per game allowed, they are still not that dominant unit that all expected them to be. A struggling Marcus Mariota put up almost nearly 350 yards against the up and down Eagles Defense.

Eagles lost another close battle last week against the Vikings in last year's NFC Championship game. They even lost Jay Ajayi for the season due to a torn ACL in that game. With Ajayi out, reports surfaced that the Eagles are trying to trade for their former Running back LeSean McCoy from the Bills. Meanwhile, it will be Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement, who is expected to be back from his own injury, to help out Carson Wentz and rest of the offence to take the early lead.

Eagles will get their shot to redeem themselves after two straight narrow losses against an equally struggling Giants team who for some reason are not able to find Wins despite having dynamic playmakers in their offence. A team with a young top shelf rookie of the year candidate Running Back Saquon Barkley and a dynamic WR in Odell Beckham Jr should be able to win games in a consistent manner. But, the distractions aren't helping the team in any way.

During his interview with ESPN, OBJ threw Eli Manning under the bus for the Giants struggles and rightfully so. When asked if there was an issue at the quarterback OBJ replied, "I don't know." These kind of distractions are the last thing that Giants need this season. If Giants lose this game again because of inept quarterback play maybe it is time to look for the future in that position in New York.

Speaking of distractions, Sterling Shepard threw tantrum in the sideline last week. I think OBJ had some kind of influence on this team, Good or Bad.

Giants defence isn't that bad this year, they are 12th in Yards per game allowed, but 19th in points allowed. If the offence doesn't turn the ball over that much, they have a chance to win this game and still be relevant in the NFC East race this year. If not, they could be an eye for the number 1 overall pick in next year's draft. Ed Oliver would love to be the face of the franchise for a New York team.

Fantasy Outlook

Must Start:

Odell Beckham Jr, WR Giants: Eagles give up fourth-most points to WR position and OBJ has started to be back to his old self. Oh, and he is throwing Touchdowns as well. Bonus points!

Jake Elliot, K Eagles: Giants give up most points to the Kicker position and Jake Elliot is good.

Under the Radar:

Wendell Smallwood, RB Eagles: With Ajayi out for the season, its Smallwood time in Philly. With Clement and Sproles handling their own injuries, Smallwood should get more touches.

Eagles Defense: Giants give up 7th most points to Defenses, not surprising by looking at their 1-4 record.

Caution:

Zach Ertz, TE Eagles: Giants defence has been exceptional against TEs this season, granted they didn't face any premier Tight Ends like Ertz, but still it is something needed to be monitored.

Alshon Jeffery, WR Eagles: Giants gave up 100 yards to a receiver once, to Will Fuller and the next best 86 yards in the same game to DeAndre Hopkins. They rank 2nd in points given to WRs and all the Eagles WR struggled big time this season and needs to be on the bench for this game.

Prediction

No NFC East team has won the division back to back years since Eagles did it in 2003 and 2004. It looks like the tradition is going to continue this year as well. Eagles are pretty banged up on offence to put up any yards or points. This is the game for the Giants to prove they are relevant and after a very close 63-yard kick loss on Sunday against the Panthers, Giants will win the game in New York this week, or else It will be Ed Oliver era in New York from 2019, unless they go with Drew Lock with number 1 overall. That would be typical Giants.

Giants 20, Eagles 17

#2 Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)

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We are in week 6 of the 2018 NFL Season, Cincinnati Bengals are on top of the division and Pittsburgh Steelers are at the bottom just like everyone predicted. Steelers had a very frustrating year marred with controversies and bad play. Meanwhile, Bengals quietly is building up to be the explosive offence in the division.

This Matchup is going to be crucial to deciding the fate of Steelers who are 0-1-1 currently in the division and cannot afford to lose one more.

Surging Steelers, Primetime Bengals

Steelers will begin their three-game divisional matchups this week starting with the division topper the Cincinnati Bengals. Steelers already lost to Raven and tied to Browns. They cannot afford to lose this and fall behind everyone in the division. Surprisingly, by the halfway mark of the season, the Steelers will be done with the division and start their tough conference and non-conference matchups.

This week will be critical for Steelers success this season. Things do not look easy for the Steelers. They will be on the road against very good Bengals defence. Steelers are 25th in points allowed per game, meanwhile, Bengals are ranked Top 4, with Steelers just behind them in 5th.

There is a good chance for a shootout in this game. Unlike, Falcons Steelers will be facing a tough Cincinnati defence who know how to contain Antonio Brown well. The Matchup to watch this week will be between Antonio Brown and Cincinnati Bengals' Cornerback William Jackson III. WJIII had an amazing year last year shutting down the best wideout in the game. When lined up against WJIII, AB was target 8 times last year with none of them resulting to a reception with four of them broken up by the former first-round pick out of University of Houston.

Fantasy Outlook

Must Start:

Ju Ju Smith Schuster, WR Steelers: If the trend continues and AB is shadowed by WJIII, routes could open up for Ju Ju and with Steelers potentially playing catch up, targets could come his way more often.

AJ Green, WR Bengals: Steelers give up third most to WRs and Green is having a great season.

Under the Radar:

C.J. Uzomah TE Bengals: Steelers D is giving up 2nd most to TEs. With Eifert out it is Kroft also injured its Uzomah turn in Cincy.

Andy Dalton, QB Bengals: Steelers gave up third most to QBs especially to the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Fitzpatrick and Flacco. But with Joe Haden back they could contain Julio Jones and Matt Ryan but I don't think it is going to be that easy on the road to stop this Dalton-Green Express.

Caution:

Bengals and Steelers Defences: Look out for this game to be a shootout with nothing much from the defences, unless Road Ben shows up in Cincy and also if T.J.Watt would like to distance himself from his brother to be on top of the Sacks leaderboard.

Prediction:

This game will go down the wire and Bengals, who are getting noticed, will get the win and remain on top of the AFC North and Steelers will be looking for the return of Leveon Bell.

Bengals 27, Steelers 20

#1 Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2) (SNF)

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When I am wrong, I am wrong. I thought the Chiefs will have a tough time dealing with the Jaguars. If the Bad Blake didn't show up, they probably would have. Jaguars did run a number on Patrick Mahomes, who was held without a touchdown pass but had two picks, his first two of the season. Mahomes, still put up 300 yards in the air and also ran for a touchdown.

Mahomes had survived almost every test he was put into so far in the year and on Sunday he will be on another test to see if he can handle the pressure of playing in prime-time against one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.

AFC Championship Preview 2?

Last week, I pencilled in the matchup of Chiefs-Jaguars as a preview for the AFC Championship game, this matchup I also a possibility for the big AFC game come January.

The Chiefs are off to a fast start again winning 5-0. Last year, they started the same way but things went downhill since then. They started 9-0 in 2013 and did not win a playoff game. But, this 5-0 start seems different. Chiefs are being tested in weekly basis against some good teams and are passing them with flying colours.

Offensively, they are on top of their game with top-level players. Defensively, they started up slow, but Dee Ford, who is in his contract year, is having a career year, especially in week 5 stifling Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offence.

With Eric Berry due to come back soon from the injury, the defence needs do just enough to help the offence. This week's matchup against uprising Patriots is going to be key for the Chiefs. The Chiefs are 3.5 point underdog despite the 5-0 start, that shows how difficult it is to play against the Patriots in Foxborough.

Patriots got Julian Edelman back last week and all of a sudden they look like their old self when they took care of the business against the Colts Thursday Night. After playing Luck, Patriots will be playing another dynamic QB in Mahomes who is shredding defences in a weekly basis.

If there is any coach who can install a game plan to contains Mahomes it is Bill Belichick, who heaped praises on Mahomes. IF Mahomes can overcome the Patriots this Sunday Night, it will be the best Win that Mahomes and Chiefs had this year so far taking the reigns for AFC out of the hands of Patriots.

Fantasy Outlook Must Start:

All Skill Position players involved in both the teams. This game is going to be a good old college-style Air raid shootout.

Under the Radar:

James White, RB NE: White has been producing points in PPR format since week 1 and should be in the flex position this week as well.

Caution:

Defences, both these defences have been bad this season so far and it is not going to change this week. Chiefs are not facing Bad Blake to be lucky again, instead, they will be facing the exact opposite.

Prediction

In 2014, Chiefs humiliated Patriots 41-14 at Arrowhead Stadium, which set up the most famous dialogue "On to Cincinnati" by Belichick.

And in Week 1 f the opening kickoff in 2017, Chiefs beat Patriots in Foxborough 42-27. Can Chiefs complete the Trifecta of blowouts this Sunday? That could very well happen.. But, if there is any coach who can plan a long revenge that is Belichick. Chiefs will win but no way they are blowing out Patriots for the third time in a row.

Chiefs 30, Patriots 28

Edited by Nishant Jayaram

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