It’s that time of the week again: Time to plan out and arrange your weekend football viewing around all of the other events, responsibilities, or conflicts happening in your busy life. We want to be helpful to you in this endeavor, so we’ve analyzed the Week 6 NFL schedule and picked out a half-dozen games that are worth your time and interest (in addition to your favorite team’s game, the matchups that will make or break your fantasy team, etc., of course). Without further ado, here are the six NFL Week 6 games you need to watch, listed in chronological order.
Colts at Texans – Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS and NFL Network
At this point, we’re leery of listing any Thursday night matchup in the “games to watch” section, but — at least on paper — Colts-Texans seems like it could be the game to break a string of miserable midweek blowouts. Not only is it a divisional contest between teams with winning records, but Indianapolis and Houston already have a couple of games of breathing room between themselves and the other half of the AFC South (horrible 1-4 Tennessee and even more horrible 0-5 Jacksonville). Thursday night will determine who’s in the early driver’s seat for divisional honors.
Patriots at Bills – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The Bills’ Kyle Orton era got off to a good start with a road win in Detroit on Sunday: The veteran (pictured) threw for more than 300 yards in his first outing since replacing struggling EJ Manuel under center. The next task for Orton and the Bills? A home AFC East showdown with New England on Sunday afternoon. The teams are tied at 3-2 atop the division, and the Patriots come into Buffalo with a lot of momentum after spanking previously undefeated Cincinnati, 43-17, last Sunday night.
Steelers at Browns – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The Browns have surprisingly been a consistent fixture in the must-watch section despite keeping Johnny Manziel on the bench. Cleveland’s first four games have been decided by eight points — total. One of those nail-biters was a 30-27 final-play loss on opening day in Pittsburgh, when Cleveland’s comeback kids erased a 24-point halftime deficit before losing in a heartbreaker. They’ll try to avenge that defeat in front of the Dawg Pound at home on Sunday afternoon. If the margin gets lopsided early, just make sure you don’t change the channel: The Browns are obviously never out of a game. They rallied from 25 down last Sunday to stun Tennessee.
Panthers at Bengals – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The Bengals return home licking their wounds after an ugly trip to New England this past weekend. They’ll face Cam Newton (pictured) and the Panthers in an attempt to get back on the winning track. Both teams are on top of their respective divisions, and Sunday’s showdown should provide a good measuring stick for two ballclubs with postseason aspirations. Keep an eye on the turnover battle: Each team coughed it up three times in Week 5, and whoever plays the cleaner game should come out on top.
Cowboys at Seahawks – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
There are four teams remaining in the NFC that only have one loss, and two of them square off at CenturyLink Field Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys will need to play well in a road environment in front of a hostile crowd — but, according to Tony Romo, they had to do that last week in the not-so-friendly confines of their own AT&T Stadium. (Maybe there will be more Cowboys fans in Seattle than Dallas? OK, probably not.) The Cowboys have won four straight, but that streak will be severely tested in Seattle: The Seahawks have won 17 of their last 18 regular-season games at home.
Giants at Eagles – Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
With Washington floundering, the NFC East is already a three-team race, even though October isn’t even half gone. That makes Sunday night’s nationally televised showdown between the Giants and Eagles even more crucial. Philly comes in tied with Dallas at 4-1, with New York creeping up behind them at 3-2 after three consecutive victories. This should be a good one to end your football Sunday with: The last team to beat Philadelphia at home in the regular season? That would be the Giants, nearly 12 months ago.