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In Wilbon's World

NFL Report Card: Week 6

Welcome to what probably has been the most eventful weekend of the NFL season so far.

We got a sense that the Saints are for real, largely because they have a hard-hitting defense to go with Drew Brees flinging it down the field. We might have learned that the Giants, while very, very good, simply hadn't been tested until they arrived in New Orleans. We learned that Brett Favre's new team, the Vikings, and his old team, the Packers, have the right QBs. We were reminded not to trust the Bengals just yet. We learned that traveling across the country and winning is difficult even for pretty good teams, like the Eagles.

We're finding out that the Baltimore Ravens could be the heartbreak team of the '09 season. It's three straight (and counting?) after that phenomenal comeback in Minneapolis came up short Sunday.

The 3 best games

Vikings over Ravens

Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson, as long as they're healthy, look pretty unstoppable. Favre's ability to still connect on the deep ball late in the game when everybody on the defense knows it's coming is amazing. The Ravens could have something special in Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, but that defense has to tighten it up quite a bit if Baltimore is going to shake its losing streak, which stands at three games.

Saints over Giants

It's fair to wonder if anybody can play defense (or will be allowed to play it) in the NFL this season. Drew Brees treated the G-Men like trash down in the Big Easy. And while the Saints don't consistently shut teams down, they can force big turnovers, and did just that with Eli Manning, who can't blame all his miscues on missed blocking assignments. The Saints move to the No. 1 spot in the NFL, at least for now.

Raiders over Eagles

Who'd have thought the Raiders, after getting their doors blown off in East Rutherford by the Giants, would have what it takes to gather themselves and look like a bunch of professionals the very next week against the Eagles, who were coming off a bye-week?

Ones I picked

Carolina over Tampa Bay

Don't know if you can gloat about this pick, even though it's a desperate home team losing. But if Tampa can't win this game, whom do they beat this season?

Patriots over Titans

Whoa! What in the world has happened to the Titans? How do you go from 13-3 to looking like an expansion team? Rarely has a good team fallen apart so quickly.

Saints over Giants

Nothing like defensive pressure to disrupt an offense. New Orleans looks like the best team in the NFC, just as good as idle Indy in the AFC.

Pardon these picks

Eagles over Raiders

In my confidence pool, where 16 points is as much as you can award, I had the Steelers as my 16-point pick over Cleveland, the Jets as my 15-point pick over Buffalo, the Patriots as my 14-point pick over the Titans, and the Eagles as my 13-point pick over Oakland. Ooops. Lesson here: NEVER be certain that a team, no matter how good, can travel 3,000 miles and win.

Seattle over Arizona

If the Cardinals can start to win on the road just a little bit, they'll be right there at the end of the season as division winners.

Bengals over Houston

Cincinnati just cannot stand a little prosperity. I should know better. Shame on me.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  October 18, 2009; 8:17 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Post Pro Picks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Pick Against Mike: Week 6 | Next: Time to cut bait for Skins

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The Jets-Bills game was the worst football game every played at any level. The entire Tennessee Titans team should committee seppuku. (Japanese ritual suicide.)

Posted by: sschlein | October 19, 2009 1:24 PM
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