Well, it finally happened. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun on wings of backdoor covers, we crashed and burned last week, going 1-5 to drop the season's overall record to 17-13. It was bound to happen and yet still stings a bit knowing that we misled you, the reader. The lesson here is to never bet anything that's not the Detroit Lions.
In the interest of righting the ship and the pocketbook, here are our best picks for Week 6.
LIONS (-3) over BUCCANEERS
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. What Dan Campbell's team is doing both in the win-loss department and in the covering-the-spread department is truly impressive. They have a chance to extinguish any lingering doubts that they're fugazi by going down to Tampa Bay on Sunday and taking care of business. And outside of the pesky Seattle Seahawks, all this team does is take care of business. Destroying Carolina looked easier than expected. That defensive front is causing all sorts of trouble for opposing quarterbacks and generating turnovers or tremendous field position for the offense more often than not. Baker Mayfield has shown signs of his former self thus far yet it will probably take 30 points to beat a Jared Goff offense operating near perfection. We just don't see it. Lions 35, Buccaneers 24
CHIEFS (-10.5) over BRONCOS
To this point, Sean Payton has found far fewer answers than his predecessor Nathaniel Hackett found and one simply hates to see it. They won't manifest on a short week against Patrick Mahomes. Even though Andy Reid's high-flying unit has been a bit muted so far, the defense has been stellar and Russell Wilson may be an easier opponent than Justin Fields, who lost by 31 at Arrowhead a few weeks ago. Think about an alternate line of -21 or more because this is bound to get ugly. Chiefs 38, Broncos 14
RAIDERS (-3) over PATRIOTS
Whether you think Mac Jones is to blame for New England's offensive ineptitude or not, it doesn't change the fact that they have too many major problems to list. Their last touchdown came during the second quarter of Week 3. The Raiders made plays when they needed to against Green Bay, primarily because they have a few playmakers. It's a fishy line due to an expected Pats take-over in Sin City but, hell, they could play this one in Mark Wahlberg's backyard and we'd still lay the points. Raiders 22, Patriots 13
CARDINALS (+6.5) over RAMS
We couldn't have imagined betting Arizona at any point this season a few weeks ago but expectations have changed quite a bit for Jonathan Gannon's squad. They are not going to win many games but they are definitely going to compete and Joshua Dobbs has proven he's not one to lay down. The Rams have also proven to be a bit better than expected but still have fundamental issues with the roster that will take years to fix, not a few weeks. This won't be particularly fun to watch but it'll be close. Rams 23, Cardinals 17
COWBOYS (-2.5) over CHARGERS
The Cowboys are better than they looked on primetime this week. The 49ers are just the entire team's boogeyman. It happens. They'll return to form against the Chargers in what will effectively be a home game in Los Angeles. The primary reason to be confident in a Cowboys cover is that Brandon Staley is one of the few coaches in the league who can match Mike McCarthy's legendary ineptitude in crunch time. Both sides will go back and forth before a crucial mistake by Staley will give Dallas a shot at a late field goal to win, and they'll capitalize. Cowboys 30, Chargers 27
BROWNS (+5) over 49ERS
The fact of the matter is that the 49ers are due for a stinker. They have played nearly flawless football for five weeks and have firmly established themselves as the NFL's best team. They're coming off an emotional and dominant playoff rematch win over the Cowboys. Now San Fran has to travel to Cleveland, playing in the fall Ohio weather, against a Browns team coming off a bye. All that combined with the excellent defensive gameplans Jim Schwartz has cooked up so far with Myles Garrett and Co. means this is a classic trap game for the 49ers. We'll even be so bold as to suggest the Browns will not only cover but pull off the upset in a defensive slugfest that only a coordinator could love. Browns 16, 49ers 13