NFL

NFL Picks for Week 6: Justin Herbert and the Chargers will make it clear they are contenders

In 13 games this week the visiting team is the favorite, including the Dallas Cowboys, by 4 points to beat the Patriots at Foxborough.

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NFL Picks for Week 6: Justin Herbert and the Chargers will make it clear they are contenders
RONALD MARTINEZ AFP

We enter Week 6, which means the end of the first third of the first season with a calendar of 18 weeks and 17 games. The contenders are separating from the suitors, but there are always teams that fly under the radar in the first half of the season and close in spectacular fashion, as the champion Buccaneers did in 2020.

Not counting the game in London between Miami and Jacksonville, in 13 games this week the visiting team is the favorite, including the Dallas Cowboys, by 4 points to beat the Patriots at Foxborough.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore (-3)

This is a duel between two of the top three teams in the AFC. The other, of course, is the Buffalo Bills.

Both Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson have played at MVP level and this is why this game promises to be special.

Herbert, Offensive Rookie of the Year, has 1,576 yards, 13 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and a 104.7 rating; Jackson, MVP a couple of seasons ago, has 1,519 passing yards, 8 passes to the end zone, 3 interceptions and a 104.4 rating. Additionally, Lamar leads the Ravens in rushing yards with 341 (6.1 average) and a pair of touchdowns.

Both had spectacular games in Week 5: Herbert passed for 398 yards and 4 touchdowns (one more on the ground) in the victory over Cleveland, while on Monday Night Jackson put on his own show with 442 yards and four touchdowns to beat the Colts in overtime.

Should we expect a shootout in Baltimore? It is probable. The Chargers and Ravens defenses didn't have a good time against the Browns and Indianapolis, and this week they have to deal with two teams averaging more than 400 offensive yards per game.

Maybe the last gunslinger with the ball will be the winner.

Hebert has a better arsenal at his disposal. The Chargers lead the league with 56 points in the fourth quarter, including 26 on Sunday against the Browns. Running back Austin Ekeler scored three touchdowns in that crazy fourth quarter and now has seven under his belt.

Mike Williams (31 receptions, 471 yards) also leads wide receivers with six touchdowns.

With so many injuries in Baltimore's backfield, Jackson has become the Ravens' one man band. In the passing game, his most reliable man is Marquise Brown, with 28 receptions, 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While Herbert, Jackson and offenses are going to be in the spotlight, you should watch a couple of defensive rookies.

On the Chargers side, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (two interceptions) and for the Ravens, Odafe Oweh (three sacks).

Pick: I'm convinced the Chargers are contenders, but to be sure they have to show that they can win these kind of games on the road. It won't be easy, but Herbert will find a way to beat the electrifying Lamar Jackson. Bolts 31-28 Ravens

SURE PICK

Dallas (-4) at New England

Bill Belichick's defense is going to have a bad time with Dak Prescott and rookie Mac Jones is going to have a bad time with Dan Quinn's defense. Cowboys 33-20 Patriots

UPSET

Arizona at Cleveland (-3)

Arizona's defense is the best at third down and Cleveland's offense is mediocre at third down. Cardinals 24-19 Browns

TWO MINUTE DRILL

Tampa Bay (-7) at Philadelphia

Tom Brady does not forget the loss to this team in the Super Bowl. Bucs 37-21 Eagles

Miami (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville (in London)

The Jaguars have been competitive in every loss so I wouldn't be surprised if they win in London. Dolphins 24-23 Jaguars

Minnesota (-1) at Carolina

A couple of weeks ago, Carolina looked like the "Black Horse" in the AFC. I still have faith in that defense. Panthers 24-20 Vikings

Green Bay (-4.5) at Chicago

Working together, coach Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers are 4-0 against Chicago. Packers 28-20 Bears

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Detroit

Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase will soon enter the discussion of the best QB-WR duo in the NFL. Bengals 31-28 Lions

Houston at Indianapolis (-9.5)

One is a total disappointment; the other is Houston. Colts 31-21 Texans

Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) at New York Giants

If Daniel Jones (concussion) can't play, this is going to end very, very ugly. Rams 34-20 Giants

Kansas City (-7) at Washington

A blessing for coach Andy Reid to return to Washington just as his team is desperate for a win; the coach is 19-11 against the WFT. Chiefs 31-27 Washington

Las Vegas at Denver (-3.5)

Rich Bisaccia makes his debut as interim coach for the Raiders following the Jon Gruden email scandal. Good luck at Mile High, coach. Broncos 24-20 Raiders

Seattle at Pittsburgh (-5)

Without Russell Wilson, Seattle is an easy prey for a defense like Pittsburgh's. Steelers 27-13 Seahawks

Buffalo (-5.5) at Tennessee

The Titans lost to the Jets and suffered for a while with the Jaguars. The conclusion is simple. Buffalo 33-20 Tennessee

OVER / UNDER

Chiefs vs. WFT OVER 55.5

Seahawks vs. Steelers UNDER 44.5

Cowboys vs. Patriots OVER 51

Last week: 12-4

In season: 52-28