Hey it’s Moneyline Mo, the man in the know. I’m coming at you with my picks for Week 6. I still haven’t hit my goal of a 16-0 week, but Week 5 was my best week yet, with a record of 13-3. In fact, if you look at my statistics at this point in the season, I currently have a 67.5% winning percentage! That means that two out every three picks of mine weren’t bad! Now, that could fall apart this week, but it’s important for us to take time to celebrate our success! Sure, it feels fleeting, but we’ve done this together! Let’s just take a quick moment as writer and reader to smile and reflect on the past columns and picks that got us to this point.
That was nice, right? But now it is time to say bye to my high score last week and hi to our first score of bye weeks. We won’t have the full 16-game weekly slate for MONTHS now, so there’s going to be less of a buffer for me to maintain my winning ways every week. Can I still do it? Let’s take a look at the 14 games of Week 6.
TAMPA BAY OVER PHILADELPHIA
Things have looked a little ROCKY for PHILADELPHIA to start the season, but they SPLIT open their SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK last week to get a win. My SIXTH SENSE is that is Tampa Bay is UNBREAKABLE, and when they are done with THE VISIT, Philadelphia will need to pour themselves a GLASS!
MIAMI OVER JACKSONVILLE
These two cities are separated by about 350 miles which is about a 70-minute in-state flight. So of course, this game is being played in London. It is fascinating that this will be the 30th game in London and yet there has never been a matchup between two winning teams over that run of games. I feel like that’s an achievement that should be celebrated!
Unlike last week’s game, this one will be on local television! And I know all of you are going to set your clocks early so that you can watch two 1-4 teams battle it out. Some of you might even skip church for this one!
The league also announced this week that there will be a game in Germany as early as next season and my guess is that it will be Green Bay versus Washington. Do I have any sources or intel? Am I just wildly speculating? Did I leak Bruce Allen’s e-mails? I’ll never tell!
GREEN BAY OVER CHICAGO
This Sunday, we get the 203rd game in the greatest rivalry in all of football. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m in my mid-30s, so for me, I’ve always felt like the rivalry during my lifetime has been Green Bay and Minnesota. My parents didn’t watch football. I learned the sport from watching it with my neighbors and playing Tecmo on my Nintendo. For me, I missed that part of being in Wisconsin where there’s generations of families hating Chicago’s football team.
Now for my football fan relatives in Illinois, the Green Bay-Chicago rivalry is still burning strong. But in my personal experience, I’ve never hated Chicago the way I hate Minnesota. And if you ask me, hate is always the best and healthiest measurement. While I hope this game is a laugher, one way to guarantee chuckles, guffaws, chortles, and giggles is to watch the game at the Cactus Club on Sunday and get treated to a halftime performance by comedian, sports talk radio host, and displaced Bears fan Ramie Makhlouf.
CINCINNATI OVER DETROIT
I laughed out loud at Cincinnati’s special teams mistakenly thinking their missed field goal had gone in and then I showed it to my wife. She felt bad for them, which then made me feel bad for having laughed at them. A day later, I was watching the baseball playoffs and Gavin Lux thought he hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the 9th and he started to celebrate until the wind kept the ball in the park for a deep flyout. And you know what? I laughed out loud. I can’t help it; premature celebrations will always be funny to me. Ain’t I a stinker?
INDIANAPOLIS OVER HOUSTON
I know Indianapolis is down to start the season, but you can’t count them out yet. Looking at their schedule, I see three certain losses, but depending on what they do in their one remaining game against Tennessee, it’s feasible that they could still win the division. And when you need to come back from a bad start, there’s no one better than Frank Reich!
LOS ANGELES (N) OVER NEW YORK (N)
Last year, we had Tampa Bay win its championship in Tampa Bay. Something to keep an eye for this year is that we might end up with Los Angeles versus Los Angeles IN Los Angeles for the championship. And if you ask me, the long-suffering fans of football in Los Angeles really deserve a title.
CAROLINA OVER MINNESOTA
Carolina is now 0-2 since they traded away Dan Arnold. Taking away the Darnold to D. Arnold connection clearly has impacted the team, like I thought it would! However, karma has been much rougher to Minnesota even though they barely beat Detroit last week. Minnesota currently has the toughest remaining schedule by opponent record in the league. This is a big game for both of these teams because it very easily could be a tie-breaker for the final spot available in the playoffs when the season comes to an end.
LOS ANGELES (A) OVER BALTIMORE
If the playoffs started this week, Los Angeles would have the top seed in the conference with Baltimore as the second seed. Of course, the playoffs don’t start this week, but I wanted to share that pretext before emphasizing that this is THE GAME OF THE WEEK. And you better believe that THE GAME OF THE WEEK is going to be buried as part of the 12 p.m. slate of games on Sunday and might not even be available locally. I know there’s more flexibility later in the season to shift times around, but the rigidity is such a bummer when you get a compelling matchup and the average fan doesn’t have a way to watch the game.
KANSAS CITY OVER WASHINGTON
Okay, I know we just did a “if the playoffs started this week” scenario, but to just quickly revisit that, if that were the case, Kansas City would currently not be in the playoffs! I think they are going to win this week to get back to .500, but their schedule is tough the rest of the way. In a weird way, if Kansas City doesn’t make it back to the championship, that might work out pretty well for Eric Bieniemy to finally get a well-deserved head coaching gig in the offseason. The coaching carousel wants top candidates, but teams don’t have the patience to wait for a guy whose team is playing in the championship, so they settle for a coordinator that was on a playoff team but not a championship team. It sure seems to me like it would be worth it to show a couple weeks of patience, but I don’t own a football team…at least not yet. Anyhow, I think it’s going to work in Bieniemy’s favor this year.
CLEVELAND OVER ARIZONA
At the beginning of the season, I predicted that both of these teams would underperform. Right away, it was clear that I was wrong with my preseason prediction. That’s the great thing about doing this every week, my feelings can change and I’m not locked into a position I took. I think sometimes you get national pundits who only make a preseason prediction and then try to force their perspective of the entire season to match the hypothetical narrative they created ahead of time. Who benefits from that?
This week, I’m calling my shot that Arizona will lose their first game of the year to Cleveland on Sunday. Get that champagne ready to go, surviving members of the 1972 Miami team! What if it turned out that Larry Csonka was a faithful reader of my columns? Thanks for the support, Larry!
DENVER OVER LAS VEGAS
Frank Caliendo needs to retire his Jon Gruden impression now, right? After this week, I feel like there’s no way he can perform it again. It’s not a full Vaughn Meader situation since Caliendo has other impressions, but I am genuinely curious about his thoughts regarding Gruden’s abhorrent e-mails. Is there an impressionist’s code with written or unwritten rules that could guide Caliendo? Did I just uncover a new secret society?! Were there hidden messages in all those FrankTV ads???
DALLAS OVER NEW ENGLAND
I want this game to get the same treatment as Tom Brady facing New England a couple weeks ago.
THIS SUNDAY: MCCARTHY. BELICHICK. ROUND FIVE.
Bill Belichick is currently up 3-1 in this showdown between two masterminds, but I think Mike McCarthy gets one this Sunday.
SEATTLE OVER PITTSBURGH
I’m not a fan of Seattle, but like many, it made me so happy to see Geno Smith look so impressive filling in after Russell Wilson got hurt on Thursday night. I had no idea he was playing for Seattle or even in the league, so to see him look so sharp on the field was inspiring. So many times, athletes are written off as busts when it is probably a case that they weren’t the right fit for the situation they were in. And in my opinion, you can extrapolate that to everyday folks stuck in jobs that don’t fit their true talents or maybe have bosses that hinder their abilities. We’re all victims of circumstances beyond our control. So, with that in mind, let’s go Geno!
BUFFALO OVER TENNESSEE
If you look at the schedule for the remaining Monday night games, there is currently only one other matchup that features two teams with winning records (at the moment) going head-to-head. That’s still better than the all-time London stats, but we’re veering to a lot of Monday night games being afterthoughts instead of games that have any meaningful impact on the season. So, let’s cherish this week as one of the good ones!
And speaking of cherishing, what a treat we got to have playoff baseball again right here in Milwaukee. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but any time you make the postseason in baseball, that is a special season in my book. It’s unpredictable and always ends with a gut punch, but that’s part of the beauty of the sport. There’s a reason why I pick football games and not baseball games. Can you imagine a daily picks column for baseball? The upside is, I will now have more time to commit to football and working to provide you the expert analysis you’ve come to expect from. And that is a Moneyline Mo Promise (trademark pending).
LAST WEEK: 13-3
SEASON TO DATE: 54-26