NGSC Sports

West Coast Previews: Week 6

We take a look at week 6 of the NFL season and preview what each team is looking at to get themselves a win.
Raiders (2-3) at Chiefs (5-0)
Kansas City rolls into this all-important divisional home game still undefeated and putting football fans everywhere on notice that Denver is not the only team to be excited about in the AFC West. Going into the season who really thought the Chiefs would be 5-0? I didn’t….
However, they face an Oakland team coming off a big win against San Diego last Sunday 27-17.  While they are certainly not impressive on paper, they are a team that will fight you tooth and nail until the end. Terrelle Pryor went 18-23 with two touchdowns and no interceptions against San Diego and while he may not be the next young elite quarterback to take the NFL by storm, he is turning some heads and giving at least a little something for Raiders fans to be excited about.
That being said, Pryor does not have the weapons around him that Alex Smith does. Kansas City comes off a 26-17 victory over Tennessee in a game the Chiefs almost let get away from them. After leading 13-0 at half, the Titans were able to stage a comeback and take the lead in the fourth quarter 17-13. However the cool, calm and collected Smith and company, thanks to the help of a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception, was able to regain the lead for good after a one-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles and a couple field goals.
Smith isn’t the most exciting quarterback in the NFL to watch, but he’s consistent. When you take consistency provided by Smith, put Charles, who currently ranks fifth in rushing behind him, and combine that with the fourth best passing defense in the NFL to back them up along with Andy Reid at the helm — the result is a recipe for success in Kansas City. I have no doubt Oakland will put up their best fight, but it won’t be enough as they simply don’t have the talent to match the Chiefs who have allowed the fewest points per game in the league thus far. The Chiefs winning ways don’t stop this weekend as the battle for the AFC West continues.
Cardinals (3-2) at San Francisco (3-2)
Sticking with the same coast but opposite conference here we have another crucial divisional game with two teams coming off back-to-back wins. Arizona comes off a 13-10 win in Tampa Bay 2 weeks ago and a much more impressive 22-6 win over Carolina last week.
Now the Panthers are not a top tier team, but no one expected the game to be that lop-sided.  In addition, that Cardinals defense is no joke as they currently rank third in rushing yards allowed per game. Cornerback Patrick Peterson recently made the bold statement that he’s the best corner in the NFL. We’ll have to wait and see what Richard Sherman says about that…. However, Peterson is certainly performing at a very high level right now and has three interceptions on the year so far.
They will do their best to slow down a 49er team that has come alive and outscored their opponents 69-14 the last two games.  After rough back-to-back losses against the Seahawks and Colts, panic was beginning to arise in San Francisco but big wins over St. Louis and Houston has settled the nerves among many 49er fans. While San Fran has the second best passing defense in the NFL and is ranked fifth in total yards allowed per game, I’m still not entirely sold on their offense yet. They rank sixth in rushing yards but 31st in passing yards. Colin Kaepernick is coming off a 6-15 performance and so far is not playing the inspiring football that we saw from him last season that had people raving and calling him the next big thing. Frank Gore is a beast on the ground but other than him and Anquan Boldin, the 49ers offense is lacking weapons due to injuries.
That being said the 49ers offense is still more impressive than Carson Palmer and company. In addition, Jim Harbaugh has yet to lose a home game against a conference opponent. In a game I think could be closer than some people anticipate, I’m picking the 49ers in a bloody defensive battle to stay a game behind Seattle in the NFC West.
Colts (4-1) at San Diego (2-3)
Colts come into this Monday night game arguably as hot as any team in football. They’ve won three strait games and although one was against Jacksonville, the other two come over NFC powerhouses San Francisco and Seattle handing the Seahawks their first loss of the season. Colts ride their wave of momentum into San Diego where Philip Rivers and company (or lack there of) will try to bounce back after an upset to the Oakland Raiders last Sunday night.
Andrew Luck continues to build on his rookie success and has put up a very solid stat line so far this season completing
62 percent of his passes and putting up a passer rating of 94.1 (10th in the NFL). He’s done this while facing some of the tougher defenses in the league again in San Francisco and Seattle.  The acquisition of Trent Richardson has given their offense a whole new dynamic and some extra firepower. He will become the centerpiece of their run game and even more crucial to their success now that we’ve learned Ahmad Bradshaw will miss the remainder of the season with neck surgery.
Colts defense has also been better than some anticipated as they currently have the sixth best pass defense in the NFL. Their weakness lies in the ability to stop the run. There are only two teams that have allowed more rushing yards per game this season than Indy is Washington and Jacksonville…. Not exactly two teams you want to have any part of your team compared to.
Luckily for them though, the Chargers rely much more heavily on the arm of Rivers than the ground game. This game is harder to predict than it may seem only because the Chargers are bipolar and you never know what you’re going to get. They play tough in a couple close losses to Houston and Tennessee in which you can’t get any closer to winning than they did. They beat Philadelphia and scored an impressive victory over Dallas in week four 30-21. All of this could lead someone to believe that maybe they are better than once suspected but then they drop a game to Oakland in which Rivers throws three interceptions. Again, you never know what you’re going to get.
Rivers ability to air the ball out is really the only thing the Chargers have going for them right now as their defense is nothing to write home about (they are 27th in yards allowed per game). While historically San Diego has found success against the Colts (Chargers have won 5 out of 6 meetings), I’m not sure that luck will continue. I think its very possible there could be an upset brewing in San Diego because they are a team that manages to find a way to lose the games they should win and win the games they should lose. That being said, I’m still taking the Colts to stay hot and win this game further separating them from the rest of the AFC South.
photo by: anarchosyn

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