It's Week 6 in the NFL, which means that everyone should be in a rhythm as they head toward the NFL's mid-season. The bye weeks are now in effect, players are well into game shape and everyone is starting to figure out who the pretenders and contenders are. In this week's NFL picks, there are some obvious choices and some not-so-obvious ones in the AFC West. Let's get right to it:
Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
A match-up of two teams searching for that elusive second win, the Chiefs' defense seemed on the verge of helping last week with a 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Bucs present far less of a challenge, but the Chiefs have clearly proven themselves the lesser team week after week. The Bucs had the bye week to get ready while KC is enduring as much drama as last season. Still, there's too much talent for KC to drop to 1-5.
Chiefs 14, Bucs 10
Oakland Raiders (1-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (5-0)
Classic trap game for the Falcons, but this is a young, hungry team for a steady, unemotional coach so I doubt anyone is taking the Raiders for granted in Atlanta. Instead the Raiders will be the latest AFC West team to step up to Matt Ryan and company and it likely will not be pretty. Oakland's secondary might be the worst that Ryan will face all season, so expect the receiving corps to have a field day at home.
Falcons 33, Raiders 17
Denver Broncos (2-3) @ San Diego Chargers (3-2)
The Broncos brought in the free agent prize of the offseason in Peyton Manning, but so far have a losing record to show for it through a third of the season. Still, Manning is rounding back into form and he knows what these rivalry games mean in the standings and to the fan base. Yet no one is writing about the Chargers' surprisingly strong defense this season anchored by a varied pass rush and an incredible season from Antoine Cason thus far. Norv Turner pulls a surprise here.
Chargers 17, Broncos 16