The Week 6 NFL slate is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score predictions.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Fantasy‘s Kyle Soppe and ESPN Chalk‘s Mackenzie Kraemer hand out helpful nuggets as well. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 6 schedule, including a showdown between two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.
9:30 a.m. ET | NFL Network
Matchup rating: 56.2 | Spread: CAR -2 (47)
What to watch for: Shaquil Barrett likely won’t be rendered sackless two weeks in a row, especially against the team that allowed him three sacks in one quarter in Week 2. The Bucs also will have a healthy Devin White, who suffered a sprained MCL on the Panthers’ opening series in Week 2 and missed three games, giving them an extra run-stopper to slow Christian McCaffrey. — Jenna Laine
Bold prediction: McCaffrey will top 175 all-purpose yards for the fifth time in six games. OK, when it’s put that way, it might not sound bold, but the one time he didn’t reach that total this season came against Tampa Bay, which held him to a season-low 53 yards from scrimmage. — David Newton
Stat to know: The Panthers’ defense allows just 5.95 yards per pass attempt, third fewest in the NFL, and a 42.3 QBR (fifth lowest). But it has been susceptible against the run, allowing 4.87 yards per rush, the seventh most among all teams. And the Buccaneers pass on just 60.2% of plays, the 20th-highest rate in the league.
What to know for fantasy: Bucs receiver Chris Godwin has finished three weeks as a top-10 receiver this season, while teammate Mike Evans has finished outside of the top 45 on three occasions. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Carolina is 4-0 outright and against the spread (ATS) in Kyle Allen starts, including 3-0 this season. In the past 10 seasons, the only quarterback to start his career 5-0 outright and ATS is Patrick Mahomes. Read more.
Newton’s pick: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 24
Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Panthers 24
FPI prediction: TB, 54.9% (by an average of 1.8 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 85.3 | Spread: KC -4 (55)
What to watch for: The Chiefs scored 13 points, by far their lowest total with Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback, last weekend in a loss to the Colts, while the Texans hung 53 on the Falcons. So it will be interesting to see whether the Chiefs can bounce back despite potentially being without two injured starting offensive linemen and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The Texans, who are 12th in the league in scoring defense allowing 22 points per game, offer a significant challenge. — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Mahomes and Deshaun Watson will combine for 750 passing yards. This game will be about the offense, and we’ll see big games from two of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks, who almost combined to surpass that total in each of their Week 5 games. — Sarah Barshop
Stat to know: The Chiefs are allowing 155.8 rushing yards per game this season, which is the third-worst in the NFL and the most for Kansas City through five games since 2008. The Texans acquired Carlos Hyde via trade with the Chiefs prior to the regular season, and his 310 rushing yards this season ranks 15th among running backs.
Betting nugget: Watson is 8-1 ATS in his career as a road underdog, with four outright wins. Read more.
Barshop’s pick: Chiefs 38, Texans 31
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 31, Texans 30
FPI prediction: KC, 66.8% (by an average of 6.0 points)
Matchup must-reads: What separates Watson and Mahomes? One huge stat … Mahomes says ankle injury won’t limit his mobility vs. Texans … Re-drafting the top 10 picks of the 2017 NFL draft: Where will Mahomes, Watson land? … Texans’ Lunch Pail Crew eats up blocks for Watt, Mercilus
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 74.6 | Spread: MIN -3 (44)
What to watch for: The Eagles are coming off a 10-sack performance, while the Vikings harassed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones last weekend with aggressive blitzes. Philadelphia scheming to stop Dalvin Cook and the run while Minnesota’s pass rush aims to force Carson Wentz into a tough spot is a matchup of two stalwarts. — Courtney Cronin
Bold prediction: Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will be happier with the direction of the offense under QB Kirk Cousins after this one. They will combine for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns against a patchwork Eagles secondary. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: Wentz has gone four consecutive games with a completion percentage south of 60%, the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest by an Eagles starting quarterback since Mike McMahon went seven straight starts in 2005.
What to know for fantasy: Minnesota’s Cook has had at least 20 touches in every game this season and is on pace for 362. See Week 6 rankings.
Victor Cruz predicts the Vikings are going to utilize Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs more vs. the Eagles while Rob Ninkovich thinks Philadelphia’s defense is going to step up.
Betting nugget: Mike Zimmer is 31-12-1 ATS at home as the Vikings’ coach, the best ATS percentage by any coach in the Super Bowl era (minimum 25 games). And he is 2-0 this season. Read more.
McManus’ pick: Vikings 26, Eagles 24
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 30, Eagles 28
FPI prediction: MIN, 65.1% (by an average of 5.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Howard emerging as Eagles’ lead back: ‘Kind of going that way’ … Vikings will put newfound balance to test against Eagles’ elite run D … Thanks, Phillies: Eagles away from the nest for rest of October
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 56.9 | Spread: JAX -1 (44)
What to watch for: Expect Saints pass-rushers Marcus Davenport and Cameron Jordan to be in the face of Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew. The rookie is tied for the NFL lead with seven total fumbles and four lost fumbles — three of which happened last weekend — and the majority have come when he’s been sacked or scrambling to avoid a sack. Davenport and Jordan have combined for six sacks and two forced fumbles. — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette will snap the Saints’ streak of 31 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, including the playoffs — the longest active streak in the NFL. The Saints’ front seven is playing great, and will make Fournette work for it. But he has 333 yards over the past two games. — Mike Triplett
Stat to know: New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara has been held under 70 rushing yards for four consecutive games. He is averaging 3.95 yards per rush over his past four games after rushing for 97 yards (7.46 per rush) in Week 1.
What to know for fantasy: DJ Chark was drafted in just 11.8% of fantasy leagues. Yet through five weeks, he has the same number of fantasy points (105.5) as Brandin Cooks and Stefon Diggs combined. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Teddy Bridgewater is 26-7 ATS in his career as a starting quarterback, the best mark by any quarterback with at least 15 starts in the Super Bowl era. He’s 14-2 ATS in his career as an underdog (7-9 outright). Read more.
Triplett’s pick: Saints 23, Jaguars 20
DiRocco’s pick: Jaguars 24, Saints 21
FPI prediction: NO, 57.8% (by an average of 2.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Florida Man 2.0: Behind Minshew’s mustache lie ‘genius tendencies’ … Can Saints add Fournette to their under-100 club? … Inside the ‘ax-cident’ and a quirky piece of Jaguars history … Shad Khan thinks Ramsey will play against Saints … Saints getting money’s worth from WR Thomas, no matter who’s at QB
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 51.2 | Spread: SEA -1.5 (46)
What to watch for: Russell Wilson has been fabulous this season, with 14 total touchdowns and no interceptions. Can a banged-up Cleveland secondary finally force him into turnovers? If not, it could be another long day for the Browns. — Jake Trotter
Stat to know: According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, Seahawks receivers are producing 3.8 yards of average separation when targeted this season, best in the NFL. They have been considered open — three or more yards of separation at arrival of the throw — on 55% of their targets, also the highest mark in the NFL.
What to know for fantasy: Wilson leads the league in touchdown pass percentage (7.7%) and is in search of his third straight season finishing as a top-three player in that metric. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Seattle played last Thursday, while Cleveland played Monday. Since 2015, teams coming off Thursday games are 10-3 ATS against teams coming off Monday games. Read more.
Henderson’s pick: Seahawks 27, Browns 20
Trotter’s pick: Seahawks 28, Browns 17
FPI prediction: SEA, 53.9% (by an average of 1.4 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 40.9 | Spread: BAL -12 (47.5)
What to watch for: Baltimore averages 36 runs per game, a monumental challenge for Cincinnati, which has given up the second-most rushing yards this season (167.6 per game). — Jamison Hensley
Bold prediction: With that in mind, the Ravens will have at least 250 rushing yards. This is a bad matchup for the Bengals, who have allowed 250 rushing yards or more in two of the first five games this season. Baltimore running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Lamar Jackson each has more than 300 rushing yards this season. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: Jackson has a 68.4 QBR when pressured this season, the second-best in the league (minimum 20 action plays). But Andy Dalton is second-worst in that category (0.9 QBR).
Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich see the Ravens having no problems in their matchup vs. the Bengals.
Betting nugget: The Ravens are 32-0 as a double-digit favorite, making them the only active franchise to never lose as a double-digit favorite. However, since 2010, they are just 3-10 ATS in those games. Read more.
Baby’s pick: Ravens 35, Bengals 14
Hensley’s pick: Ravens 33, Bengals 17
FPI prediction: BAL, 81.0% (by an average of 12.0 points)
Matchup must-reads: How to fix Bengals’ struggling offense? Start in the red zone … No longer ‘Marvin’? Humphrey making big name for himself … Bengals leaning on strong connections while trying to snap winless start … From picks to deep passes: Jackson’s learning curve still steep
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 0.0 | Spread: WSH -3.5 (42)
What to watch for: Washington has the NFL’s sixth-worst rushing offense, averaging 69 yards per game. Miami is the NFL’s worst run defense at 176 yards per game. Washington interim coach Bill Callahan is a big “establish the run” guy, so we’ve got a team that can’t run but wants to versus a team that can’t stop the run but knows it needs to do so. — Cameron Wolfe
Bold prediction: With Callahan stressing commitment to the running game, the Redskins will run the ball 40 times — their highest total since the season opener in 2018. The Dolphins will keep the Redskins under their per-game average, but Adrian Peterson will rush for a season-best 80 yards. — John Keim
Stat to know: The 0.0 FPI matchup quality — on a 0-100 scale — is the worst of any game measured since it was first tracked in 2008. This marks the sixth game in the Super Bowl era between teams with a combined record of 0-9 or worse, and the first since 2004. The Dolphins and Redskins are the only two teams in the NFL that rank in the bottom five in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
What to know for fantasy: In a matchup of two of the worst teams in terms of offensive snaps with a lead this season, it’s worth noting that Terry McLaurin has been targeted four times when Washington was leading and turned it into three catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Washington is the second team 0-5 or worse to be listed as a road favorite in the Super Bowl era, joining another Redskins team in 1998 (-2.5 at Philadelphia, lost 17-12). Read more.
Keim’s pick: Redskins 24, Dolphins 16
Wolfe’s pick: Washington 23, Miami 19
FPI prediction: WSH, 63.2% (by an average of 4.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Redskins, Dolphins battle it out in Week 6 Winless Bowl … Dolphins’ ideal 2020 draft: Tua Tagovailoa leads bounty of first-rounders … Redskins not changing stance on Haskins after Gruden’s firing
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 80.7 | Spread: LAR -3.5 (50.5)
What to watch for: The ground game will be crucial. The 49ers boast the top rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 200 yards per game. That could spell trouble for a Rams defense that ranks 15th at stopping the run (107 yards per game). On the flip side, the Rams average 96 yards, and the 49ers’ front has been among the best in allowing only 82 per game. — Lindsey Thiry
Bold prediction: Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay are known for their offensive acumen, and these teams average a combined 61 points per game. But both sides have injuries and questions marks dotting their offensive depth charts. The over/under for this one is set for 50.5. It’ll go under. — Nick Wagoner
Stat to know: Twelve running backs in the NFL have had at least 20 rushes and are averaging over 5 yards per rush, and the 49ers have three of them in Matt Breida (6.5), Raheem Mostert (5.8) and Tevin Coleman (5.5). Yet the only 49ers player with multiple rushing touchdowns this season is Jeff Wilson Jr. (four), who averages 2.9 yards per rush.
Betting nugget: Underdogs with 4-0 or better records are 15-8-1 ATS since 2003, and 4-0 ATS since 2015. Read more.
Wagoner’s pick: Rams 23, 49ers 17
Thiry’s pick: Rams 28, 49ers 24
FPI prediction: LAR, 56.2% (by an average of 2.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Rams off to uneven start, but don’t plan on relinquishing NFC West … Behind dynamic run game, 49ers forging a fast and physical identity … Gurley (thigh) doesn’t practice; day-to-day
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 28.0 | Spread: ATL -2.5 (51)
What to watch for: The Cardinals figured out how running the ball can lead to victory. Sure, it was against the Bengals, but a win is still a win. Watch for Arizona to repeat that run-first game plan against Atlanta, even if David Johnson is either slowed or doesn’t play due to back issues. — Josh Weinfuss
Bold prediction: Devonta Freeman will have his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and more than 20 carries as the Falcons finally achieve the balance they’ve been seeking. — Vaughn McClure
Stat to know: Matt Ryan has 300 passing yards in every game this season, and he could join Kurt Warner and Steve Young as only players with 300 in each of their teams’ first six games in the Super Bowl era (Patrick Mahomes could also do so this weekend). But the Falcons will also be trying to avoid their worst six-game start since 2007 (1-5), the season before they drafted Ryan.
What to know for fantasy: Kyler Murray had just 17 total rushing yards in his first two career games, but he’s racked up at least 27 in each of the three games since, and his 16-game pace over those three games is that of a 1,000-yard rusher. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Over the past two seasons, Atlanta is 6-15 ATS, the worst record in the NFL. That includes 2-9 ATS on the road and 3-12 ATS in non-division games. Read more.
McClure’s pick: Falcons 28, Cardinals 21
Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 20, Falcons 17
FPI prediction: ATL, 55.6% (by an average of 2.0 points)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 60.6 | Spread: DEN -2.5 (41)
What to watch for: Noah Fant and Jeff Heuerman should be targeted a lot. The Titans have surrendered eight touchdowns in the passing game this season, and four of those have been to opposing tight ends. They also have surrendered one 100-yard receiving game this season, also to an opposing tight end. — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: Derrick Henry will rush for more than 100 yards and have two touchdowns. Denver’s defense is 22nd against the run (126.4 yards per game), a prime spot for the Titans and Henry to get back to their smashmouth style of offense. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: The Titans are the only team that has yet to see an offensive drive end in a turnover this season. And the Broncos’ defense is tied for the second-fewest takeaways in the NFL this season (three, all in Week 5).
What to know for fantasy: Courtland Sutton is a top-10 receiver in terms of fantasy points per catch with 3.23 (minimum 20 catches). That rate ranks ahead of Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton and, even after the historic Week 5, Will Fuller. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: The underdog has won all five Tennessee games this season outright. Read more.
Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich are rolling with the Titans in their matchup vs. the Broncos because of their run game and being motivated after a loss.
Davenport’s pick: Broncos 24, Titans 21
Legwold’s pick: Broncos 17, Titans 13
FPI prediction: TEN, 50.8% (by an average of 0.3 points)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 39.1 | Spread: DAL -7.5 (45)
What to watch for: It’s the No. 1-ranked offense and a two-game losing streak versus the No. 32 offense and a four-game losing streak. Sam Darnold‘s return from mono will help the Jets out of their offensive funk, but the Cowboys have too many playmakers on both sides of the ball for this to be close. By the fourth quarter, it could be a two-touchdown game and the stadium will be overrun by Dallas fans. — Rich Cimini
Bold prediction: Ezekiel Elliott will have 20 or more carries after three consecutive games without reaching that number. He never has gone four straight games in his career without reaching 20 attempts. In their past three games vs. a Gregg Williams-led defense, the Cowboys have averaged 137 yards on the ground and had six rushing touchdowns. — Todd Archer
Stat to know: The Cowboys’ defense allows a third-down conversion just 26% of the time, second-best in the league — and the Jets’ offense converts only 21% of its third downs, the worst in NFL this season.
What to know for fantasy: Amari Cooper is coming off a career-high 226 receiving yards against the Packers, but in the game following his other two career 200-plus-yard contests, he has averaged just 40 receiving yards. See Week 6 rankings.
Archer’s pick: Cowboys 26, Jets 13
Cimini’s pick: Cowboys 24, Jets 13
FPI prediction: DAL, 72.8% (by an average of 8.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Why haven’t the Cowboys, Prescott agreed on a deal? … For Darnold’s sake, Jets must rebuild O-line the Dallas way … Mistakes overshadow career days for Cooper, Prescott … Darnold’s return intensifies spotlight on Gase
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 44.6 | Spread: LAC -7 (41.5)
What to watch for: The Chargers are allowing 120 rushing yards per game this season, No. 18 in the NFL, and have given up more than 190 rushing yards in a game twice. So will the Steelers lean on James Conner and the running game to help protect rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges? They average just 67 rushing yards per contest, 28th in the NFL. — Eric D. Williams
Bold prediction: JuJu Smith-Schuster will have his first 100-yard receiving game this season. The Chargers have one of the better pass defenses in the league, but third-string QB Hodges isn’t afraid to throw the ball. Smith-Schuster is looking for redemption after fumbling away a chance to win last weekend’s game against Baltimore in overtime. — Brooke Pryor
Stat to know: Melvin Gordon gained just 31 yards on 12 rushes in last weekend’s season debut, but he hasn’t been held under 40 rushing yards in consecutive weeks since 2016 Weeks 3-4.
What to know for fantasy: Conner has yet to deliver more than 55 rushing yards in a game this season, but he is facing a Chargers team that gave up 174 yards on 25 carries to Indianapolis’ Marlon Mack and 114 on Phillip Lindsay‘s 15 totes for Denver earlier this season. See Week 6 rankings.
Betting nugget: Quarterbacks making their first career starts are 7-0 ATS this season. Read more.
Pryor’s pick: Chargers 24, Steelers 21
Williams’ pick: Chargers 24, Steelers 13
FPI prediction: LAC, 64.4% (by an average of 5.1 points)
What to watch for: Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had one of those Aaron Rodgers games yet this season, the kind when he just shreds a defense. But the Lions could be just what Rodgers needs. They rank 30th in the NFL in passing defense, allowing 280.8 yards per game. — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: Kerryon Johnson gains more than 100 yards and scores two touchdowns — one rushing and one receiving — to lead the Lions to their third consecutive victory at Lambeau Field. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: The Lions blitz 9.1% of the time, the lowest percentage by a team this season and the lowest since 2006 when that data became available. And according to ESPN pass-rush metrics powered by NFL Next Gen Stats, the Lions are last in the NFL in pass rush win rate, beating their blocks within 2.5 seconds just 29% of the time. The Packers, meanwhile, have the eighth-best pass block win rate in the NFL (60%).
Betting nugget: Detroit has won and covered all four meetings between these two teams in the past two seasons, including three times as an underdog. Prior to that, Detroit had been 4-18 straight up and 6-16 ATS in its previous 22 meetings against Green Bay. Read more.
Victor Cruz believes the Lions will put up a fight but it won’t be enough against the Packers.
Rothstein’s pick: Lions 28, Packers 24
Demovsky’s pick: Packers 28, Lions 27
FPI prediction: GB, 65.8% (by an average of 5.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: How Packers’ Matt LaFleur is doing what other first-year coaches haven’t: win … Against Packers, Lions can lean on Patricia’s success against top offenses … Packers’ good vibrations: Rodgers likes ‘the vibe on this team’ … Rewriting the Rodgers narrative, according to his backup center