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Stampede Blue’s NFL Week 6 staff picks

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Colts fans and players finally have something in common this weekend, as they’ll all be sitting on their couches, watching the games unfold in Week 6.

A week ago, some (and I want to say most) were thankful the bye was coming at this point because some (again, probably most) expected the Chiefs to beat up on Indy in the same way the Patriots did on Thursday Night Football a year prior. Instead, an exciting win has Indy tied atop the AFC South with promises of a much healthier roster by the time Week 7 rolls around.

So while we all have a chance to take a deep breath and relax, let’s take a look at the slate of games we have in front of us over the next five days.

Thursday Night Football was a delight the last two weeks, but tonight’s contest between the Giants and the Patriots should be a lopsided affair. Daniel Jones is missing just about all his normal skill players on offense, while their secondary has continually been exposed as possible the worst in football. Although wouldn’t it be something if Danny Dimes replicates the good luck charm Eli Manning had during those two Super Bowls?

Make sure you’re up bright and early if you have any interest in round two of Bucs vs. Panthers, as the two square off across the pond at 9:30 EST. With Cam Newton still out and Christian McCaffrey off to an MVP-caliber season, Kyle Allen will just need to manage the game as the Panthers try to avenge their Week 2 loss on Thursday Night Football.

Thank God the NFL didn’t schedule back-to-back weeks with 10 games playing at 1:00 EST — it was far too difficult to keep up with and had fans heads on a swivel. Here’s how I have the six early games broken out:

Somewhat bearable:

Bengals @ Ravens

I’m intrigued:

Saints @ Jaguars

Seahawks @ Browns

Ooh this will be good:

Eagles @ Vikings

Texans @ Chiefs

Comedy gold:

Redskins @ Dolphins

If you aren’t most excited to watch the Dolphins and Redskins face off, then your sense of NFL humor is really far off.

The late afternoon slate is highlighted by two of the smartest play-callers in football battling it out in California, as Kyle Shanahan and his undefeated 49ers travel to Los Angeles to face Sean McVay and the win-needy Rams. The 49ers’ offense toyed around with the Browns defense all night, and their defense should be able to keep Jared Goff in check if they can apply the same pressure on him as they did Baker Mayfield on Monday night. Elsewhere, the 1-3-1 Cardinals and the 1-4 Falcons duke it out in Arizona, the Titans and Broncos meet in Denver (bet the under on that one) and Sam Darnold returns to action as his Jets host the Dallas Cowboys.

Sunday Night Football had lots of historical intrigue before the season kicked off, as Ben Roethlisberger vs. Philip Rivers is a classic matchup between two gritty quarterbacks. But with the Steelers sitting at 1-4 and down to their third-string quarterback, and the Chargers most recently being beat by the then winless Denver Broncos, this game is one with minimal interest.

Fortunately things end off on a high note, with an NFC North showdown coming in historic Lambeau Field. The Lions have been one of the pleasant surprises through this point of the season, but they have their work cut out for them against a red-hot Packers team that’s got things going on both sides of the ball.

Let’s take a look at the updated standings, check out the staff picks for the week and cross our fingers for better results this time around.

Greg Rader: 53-24 / Elliot Denton: 52-25 / Mateo Caliz: 50-27 / Zach Hicks: 50-27 / Brett Mock: 50-27 / Chris Shepherd: 48-29 / Chris Blystone: 47-30 / Blake Pace: 47-30 / Josh Hudgens: 45-32 / Stephen Reed: 43-34 / Matt Danely: 42-35 / Andrew Aziz: 41-36

Thursday 8:20 pm ET

Giants @ Patriots

Sunday 9:30 am ET

Panthers (6) @ Buccaneers | Contrarians: Andrew Aziz, Matt Danely, Zach Hicks, Brett Mock, Chris Shepherd

Sunday 1:00 pm ET

Redskins (6) @ Dolphins | Contrarians: Aziz, Mateo Caliz, Elliot Denton, Blake Pace, Stephen Reed

Saints (10) @ Jaguars | Contrarian: Danely

Bengals @ Ravens

Seahawks @ Browns

Eagles (8) @ Vikings | Contrarians: Danely, Hicks, Shepherd

Texans @ Chiefs

Sunday 4:05 pm ET

Falcons (8) @ Cardinals | Contrarians: Chris Blystone, Hicks, Shepherd

49ers @ Rams (7) | Contrarians: Blystone, Hicks, Greg Rader, Shepherd

Sunday 4:25 pm ET

Titans (6) @ Broncos | Contrarians: Aziz, Danely, Hicks, Rader, Shepherd

Cowboys @ Jets

Sunday 8:20 pm ET

Steelers @ Chargers (10) | Contrarian: Blystone

Monday 8:15 pm ET

Lions @ Packers (10) | Contrarian: Shepherd

Who do you have coming out on top in Week 6?