As we approach the halfway point of the 2014 NFL season, we are starting to get a clearer picture of which teams are legitimate playoff contenders and which teams will have top-five draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Week 6 of the NFL season is full of games that can have serious implications in the standings for some teams and other games that look like they could be potential blowouts. Are there any potential upsets on the slate for Week 6? There will be almost surely be at least one. Here is a look at three potential games that could wind up being upsets in Week 6 of the NFL season.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
New York Giants (3-2) Over Philadelphia Eagles (4-1)
Point Spread: Eagles favored by 3 points
This Sunday Night Football matchup in Philadelphia should be a good one. These bitter rivals are both right in the thick of the three-team race in the NFC East standings. The Eagles are coming in at 4-1, but have struggled mightily all year on the defensive side of the ball and with their running game that was so effective in 2013.
The Giants come in to the game with a 3-2 record after reeling off three straight wins. Eli Manning has looked like the Eli Manning of old during the streak throwing for eight touchdowns and only one interception; bad news for an Eagles defense that ranks 29th in the league against the pass. The Eagles are tough to beat at home, but if Manning and the Giants can keep rolling offensively, they could very well leave Philadelphia with a win.
Carolina Panthers (3-2) Over Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Point Spread: Bengals favored by 6.5 points
The Bengals entered their Week 5 game against the New England Patriots as one of the top contenders to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLIX. After an embarrassing 43-17 loss to the Patriots — a game in which many of the Bengals’ flaws were exposed — it looks like the Bengals may not be as good as originally thought. Throw in the fact that star wide receiver A.J. Green won’t be playing in this game and you could have the makings of a potential upset.
If the Panthers can keep their momentum going following their impressive come-from-behind win against the Chicago Bears and attack the flaws that the Patriots exposed, it is entirely possible for them to go into Cincinnati and surprise the Bengals on their home turf. This game could come down to the play of Cam Newton. If he’s at the top of his game, the Bengals could very well lose their second straight game.
Chicago Bears (2-3) Over Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Point Spread: Falcons favored by 3 points
Will the real Jay Cutler please stand up? Whichever version of the Chicago Bears’ quarterback that shows up in Atlanta — combined with the Bear’s offensive line play — may be the deciding factors in this game. The Falcons’ defense ranks near the bottom of the league in all major defensive statistical categories, so this is truly a favorable matchup for the Bears’ offense. For the Falcons, their success on offense revolves around the play of their offensive line, a group that has battled the injury bug all year, and on defense they will have to put pressure on Cutler. If Cutler has time to sit in the pocket, it’s hard to envision him not picking apart the Falcons’ secondary with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, and Martellus Bennett as his targets.