Jaguars finally win a game; Rams, Chargers win

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Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season begins Thursday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups.

Farmer’s record last week: record 12-4 (.750); season 50-30 (.625). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 10-5-1 (.667); season 36-42-2 (.462).

Teams on bye: Atlanta, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, San Francisco.

Times Pacific. Lines according to FanDuel (O/U = over/under):

Buccaneers (4-1) at Eagles (2-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans makes a touchdown reception in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans makes a touchdown reception in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. (Alex Menendez / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Buccaneers by 61/2. O/U: 521/2.

Don’t put a ton of stock in Philadelphia beating Carolina last week. Tom Brady should be able to pick apart that defense, and Tampa Bay’s defense can do enough to thwart Philadelphia threat.

Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Eagles 23

Dolphins (1-4) vs. Jaguars (0-5)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrates his 4-yard rushing touchdown.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrates his four-yard rushing touchdown against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

TV: NFL Network. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Dolphins by 31/2. O/U: 47.

Once again, we ship some bad football across the pond. London sort of considers the Jaguars a home team, and this seems like a decent chance for Trevor Lawrence to put four quarters together.

Prediction: Jaguars 23, Dolphins 21

Chargers (4-1) at Ravens (4-1)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hands off to running back Austin Ekeler.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hands off to running back Austin Ekeler against the Cleveland Browns at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Ravens by 3. O/U: 52.

Ravens are majoring in drama this season, and Lamar Jackson is coming off a phenomenal game in a come-from-behind win. But Justin Herbert is legit, and these Chargers know how to close games.

Prediction: Chargers 31, Ravens 28

Texans (1-4) at Colts (1-4)

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills scrambles as he looks to pass.

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills scrambles as he looks to pass against the New England Patriots on Sunday in Houston. (Matt Patterson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Colts by 10. O/U: 43.

The woeful Texans showed a pulse and then some against New England, so don’t count them out. Plus, it’s a divisional matchup and those are often closer. Still, Colts are home and have the better QB.

Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 21

Chiefs (2-3) at Washington Football Team (2-3)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes warms up before a game.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Chiefs by 61/2. O/U: 551/2.

Don’t give up on the Chiefs, although they’re limping into this one and have a bruised pride to boot. Washington’s defense isn’t what most people expected it to be. Patrick Mahomes comes through.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Washington 24

Vikings (2-3) at Panthers (3-2)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold plays against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold plays against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. (Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Panthers by 1. O/U: 46.

Fantasy owners, rejoice. It appears Christian McCaffrey will be back. That said, the Vikings should be welcoming back Dalvin Cook, and it’s easier to trust Kirk Cousins than Sam Darnold at this point.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Panthers 21

Packers (4-1) at Bears (3-2)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. (Bryan Woolston / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Packers by 41/2. O/U: 441/2.

Packers are not a great road team, but they have a future Hall of Fame quarterback and are the class of the NFC North. The Bears are home, but that won’t be enough for their rookie quarterback.

Prediction: Packers 27, Bears 21

Bengals (3-2) at Lions (0-5)

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis. (Stacy Bengs / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Bengals by 31/2. O/U: 471/2.

Week after week, the Lions keep getting their hearts broken. They are home, but are facing a team that’s better on both sides of the ball. Lions make it interesting, but Joe Burrow comes through.

Prediction: Bengals 28, Lions 24

Rams (4-1) at Giants (1-4)

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs with the ball.

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 7 in Seattle. (Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Rams by 91/2. O/U: 481/2.

Rams are winning but they have a lot of fine-tuning to do. Who better to do that against than the Giants, especially when New York is grappling with serious issues at quarterback. L.A. wins big.

Prediction: Rams 35, Giants 14

Cardinals (5-0) at Browns (3-2)

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt against the San Francisco 49ers.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. (Darryl Webb / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Browns by 3. O/U: 491/2.

Possible game of the week. Cardinals are the league’s only undefeated team and they know how to play fast. The Browns will try to slow it down on the ground and have the players to do it. Still seeing red.

Prediction: Cardinals 28, Browns 27

Raiders (3-2) at Broncos (3-2)

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during a game against the Chicago Bears.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during a game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Las Vegas. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Broncos by 31/21/2. O/U: 44.

The embattled Raiders might get one of those adrenaline surges with a new head coach, although their confidence is ebbing. Broncos should be able to get their passing game going against a bitter rival.

Prediction: Broncos 27, Raiders 23

Cowboys (4-1) at Patriots (2-3)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs upfield.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs upfield against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas on Sunday. (Matt Strasen / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Cowboys by 31/2. O/U: 511/2.

The Cowboys are a machine on offense, and the Patriots are looking pretty wobbly. The game is at Foxborough, and that’s not easy on opponents, but the Patriots will have difficulty keeping pace.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Patriots 24

Seahawks (2-3) at Steelers (2-3)

Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith passes to wide receiver DK Metcalf for a touchdown.

Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith passes to wide receiver DK Metcalf for a touchdown against the Rams on Oct. 7 in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Steelers by 5. O/U: 421/2.

Geno Smith looked good in his long TD drive against the Rams, but the Steelers will make him remember he’s Geno Smith. Pittsburgh has its issues but should have enough to hold serve.

Prediction: Steelers 28, Seahawks 24

Bills (4-1) at Titans (3-2)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to throw against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to throw against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo. (Reed Hoffmann / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Bills by 51/2. O/U: 54.

Both can put points on the board, so which defense steps up? Josh Allen has been tremendous for the Bills. The Titans will use Derrick Henry to control the clock and keep the ball out of Buffalo’s hands.

Prediction: Bills 31, Titans 24

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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