Bing Predicts: NFL Week 6

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Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
> Bing Predicts winner: Carolina (51%)
> Kickoff time: 8:25 PM EDT (Thursday)
> Game spread: Carolina -3
> Matchup history: Eagles lead 6-4-0

This could be the game of the week, with two 4-1 teams going at it. The Panthers get the nod here — they’re at home and Cam Newton tips the scales. The quarterback came up big in the win at Detroit on Sunday. Carolina was held to 28 rushing yards, but Newton’s arm was enough to get the job done. It’s not just Newton. The Panthers defense is the NFL’s third-best, giving up just 274 yards per game.

In comparison, Philadelphia’s defense allows 346 yards per game, 22nd in the NFL. Still, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw a career-high four touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals.

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Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons
> Bing Predicts winner: Atlanta (72%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Atlanta -9.5
> Matchup history: Dolphins lead 8-4-0

No matter his quarterback rating, veteran Miami’s Jay Cutler has job security. His coach, Adam Gase, has made that clear. The Dolphins are heading into the game in Atlanta, in which the Falcons (3-1) are favored. Cutler did rally the Dolphins (2-2) with a late game-winning touchdown against the Titans on Sunday, but his three touchdowns in four starts match his three interceptions. Maybe it’s time to retire to the TV booth.

The Falcons should be rested and ready after a bye. Five starters — Julio Jones, Vic Beasley, Ricardo Allen, Mohamed Sanu, and Ryan Schraeder — were banged up coming off the loss to the Buffalo Bills, so the bye week came at a great time. Matt Ryan, who is averaging 277.2 passing yards per game, is going against a Dolphins’ defense that has given up 309.5 yards per game. Might not be a good time for Miami — or any team — to go up against the rested Falcons.

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Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
> Bing Predicts winner: Green Bay (53%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Green Bay -3.5
> Matchup history: Packers lead 60-51-2

It doesn’t matter that the Vikings (3-2) are home where the goofy fans make it a tough place to play, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be the difference. This is why the Packers (4-1) are favored. Rodgers has not lost his touch with late-game heroics. That was proven again with Sunday’s comeback win at Dallas. Actually, he’s pretty good throughout four quarters, leading the NFL with 13 passing touchdowns. He’s had seven in the past two games with no interceptions.

Sam Bradford started on Monday night in the Vikings’ win over the Bears. However, he aggravated his knee so he sat the second half in favor of Case Keenum, who led three scoring drives. The Vikings are hurting since losing rookie running back Dalvin Cook for the season, but running back Jerick McKinnon rushed for 95 yards on Monday. It should be a typical, hard-nosed NFC North battle.

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Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
> Bing Predicts winner: New Orleans (51%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: New Orleans -4
> Matchup history: Tied 12-12-1

The Saints (2-2) have won two straight and are coming off a bye week. They are rested and have had extra time to prepare for the Lions (3-2). That alone should make them the favorites. Drew Brees and the Saints also have the NFL’s eighth-best offense (averaging 370.5 yards per game). The defense, though, is ranked 29th in the NFL, allowing 374.8 yards per game while Detroit’s is 18th (330.4).

Detroit has also won the last three meetings between the two teams — one each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 — but this is 2017. Detroit’s defense, led by safety Glover Quin, has looked better than it has in years until the loss to Cam Newton and the Panthers on Sunday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been sacked a dozen times in the last two games and came up limping on Sunday with hamstring and ankle injuries. It’s uncertain if he’ll be able to play, but he’s tough, so do not count him out. Detroit fans thought for a minute they had a playoff bound team — and maybe they do — but it’s early in the season and the waiting is the hardest part.

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New England Patriots at New York Jets
> Bing Predicts winner: New England (74%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: New England -9.5
> Matchup history: Patriots lead 61-54-1

The Patriots — dare we say the struggling Patriots — have won five of the last six in the series so it’s no surprise that New England (3-2) is favored again. Quarterback Tom Brady threw his first interception in the Week 5 win over Tampa Bay and lost a fumble. But he also threw for 303 yards and a touchdown, his 11th of the season. The Patriots aren’t the same team from 2016, and their defense gives up a league-worst 447.2 yards a game. But it was a good sign they found a way to hang on and beat the Bucs.

The Jets (3-2) were supposed to be an NFL laughingstock this season, but apparently they didn’t get the memo. They’ve won three straight with quarterback Josh McCown throwing for three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Jets’ run should end in this big AFC East showdown, especially since the Patriots are 10-0 in their last 10 regular season road games. It’s good to be king even if the crown is a bit tarnished.