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Right now Alex Smith is the NFL MVP for 2017. The previously maligned quarterback is leading the league in completion percentage, yards per pass attempt and passer rating. The additions of Tyreek Hill in 2016 and rookie Kareem Hunt this year certainly help as well. The Pittsburgh defensive front seven is nothing special and won’t be able to handle that duo. Whispers about the demise of 35 year old Ben Roethlisberger (6 TD, 7 INT) will gain momentum this week in Iron City.
In a network decision nobody anticipated before the 2017 NFL season began, a Sunday afternoon Jets game will be broadcast to most of the nation. Three games dominate the NFL Week 6 afternoon broadcast distribution. Most of the nation will be fed the following games Sunday afternoon. In the early time slot CBS will air the New England Patriots at New York Jets for the lead in the AFC East.
The two Super Bowl LI contestants are the biggest initial Week 6 favorites. Atlanta is a 9½ point home favorite, and New England is favored by the same amount on the road. The Falcons face a Miami team that has scored a mere six points in their last two games and are averaging just 8.3 points per game on the season. The defending Super Bowl champions travel to New Jersey to take on their arch rivals for the biannual encounter. The Jets have ruined management tanking plans and could enter on a three game winning streak should they defeat the Browns on Sunday.
Welcome back to Gillette Stadium TB12.
After an impressive 33-13 victory at Cleveland, the Patriots return to Foxboro to face the Cincinnati Bengals. Gillette Stadium will be rocking for the 2016 home debut of Tom Brady after his four game Article 46 exile. With clear skies and only a slight breeze perhaps the wine and cheese crowd might even remain in their red seats and brave the 67° forecasted temperature to view TB12 live, rather than retreating to the Putnam Club lounge.
The game kicks off at 1:00 pm eastern time with fairly extensive nationwide coverage by CBS. Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play duties, with Dan Fouts adding in the commentary. Why these two are considered by CBS to be the number two broadcast team while the Greg Gumbel-Trent Green duo is third is baffling.
The NFL Week 6 game between New England and Cincinnati will be broadcast in either all or parts of 28 states. The Pats-Bengals game will be the most highly distributed game for CBS, who will only broadcast one game next Sunday. The Patriots impressed in their 33-13 victory at Cleveland while the Bengals were ‘outphysicaled by Dallas’ and were dominated at the line of scrimmage in their 14 point loss to the Cowboys. As a result the betting line has quickly jumped up two full points; the Patriots are now favored by eight.
The Patriots host Cincinnati and are listed as seven-point favorites. Last week the Bengals handled Miami with ease, though a disconcerting habit of settling for field goals kept the final score relatively close at 22-7. The Bengal defense looked much better with the return of Vontaze Burfict from his suspension
Aside from the highly anticipated annihilation of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, there are several quality matchups which should be very competitive during the afternoon preliminaries. In the early afternoon Arizona travels to Pittsburgh looking to avoid a second loss after winning their first four games; that will not be an easy task at Heinz Field against a Steeler offense that boasts of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. 5-0 Cincinnati at Buffalo is a another compelling early game, and Denver – with their inconsistency on offense – may not have as easy a game as had been previously thought when they travel to Cleveland. There are also two good late afternoon games: San Diego at Green Bay, and Carolina at Seattle.
In the New England area CBS will broadcast the Bengals-Bills game early, followed by the Chargers-Packers at 4:25 pm; Washington at the Jets will be the single game on FOX early.
New Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn spent nearly twenty years as a defensive line coach prior to becoming Seattle’s defensive coordinator for two years, when the Seahawks were the NFL’s best defense and won the Super Bowl. While it is still a work in progress, Atlanta’s defense has noticeably improved from the porous sieve that they were the last couple of years. The Falcon offensive line suffered through more than their share of injuries last year; that group being healthy has led to a much improved offense, especially running the ball
The highlight of NFL week 6 will be the Sunday night game when the New England Patriots visit the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game. Patriot fans are looking forward to some vindication for the sting and botched frame job that led to a litany of lies and the oblivious ignoring of basic science by the NFL in the fiasco of a witch hunt that became known as deflategate in that game. In anticipation of a scorched earth response, the betting line has already moved 2½-points (from 5 to 7½) in the last 48 hours.
In the highly anticipated rematch of last January’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots have opened as 5-point favorites at Indianapolis. The Colts have failed to live up to their off-season hype thus far, while the Patriots appear to gearing up for this game as part of the 2015 Scorched Earth FU tour.
|NBC Sports Boston - Aug 3rd, 2021|