The NFC North and AFC East will match up in a pair of games for the NFL Week 6 slate. The Packers (3-2) will return from London’s loss to the Giants with the hope of rebounding against the other New York team, the Jets (3-2).
Meanwhile, the Vikings (4-1) aim for another win against the Dolphins (3-2), who have lost two in a row after a 3-0 start.
New York Jets vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lambeau Field
When the New York Jets Have the Ball
Against the Dolphins, the Jets had their first game with 40 points since Week 6 of the 2018 season.
But that 40-17 final was a little misleading with Miami a missed field goal away from taking a 20-19 lead early in the fourth quarter with its third-string rookie quarterback. The Jets pounced after that miss with three touchdown drives that covered a grand total of 91 yards thanks to short fields from special teams, a turnover, and a fourth-down stop.
The Jets are an improved offense led by young players this year. Zach Wilson has been solid in his first two games of his second season, scoring a touchdown himself in each game.
Rookie running back Breece Hall exploded on Sunday with 197 yards from scrimmage, and he can be a problem for a Green Bay defense that struggled to contain Saquon Barkley for four quarters last week.
No Air Force
The Jets do not have dominant receivers but do have a formidable group made up of:
- Garrett Wilson
- Corey Davis
- Elijah Moore
- Tyler Conklin (Tight End)
Wilson is not asked to throw the ball as often as Joe Flacco was to start the season, but the Jets have also avoided big deficits the last two weeks. Wilson can be pressured into mistakes and the Packers are above average in pressure rate with 12 sacks. However, they only brought Daniel Jones down once in London.
Wilson is completing 56.1% of his passes, which isn’t much different from his 55.6% as a rookie, so hitting the easy throws is something he will have to get better at. But after seeing the Packers get pushed to overtime by Bailey Zappe and lose to Daniel Jones the last two weeks, anything is possible with Wilson in this matchup.
When the Green Bay Packers Have the Ball
Aaron Rodgers has rebounded from a bad Week 1 for the second year in a row, but his last four games are more in the “solid” category than anything that will put him on a third-straight MVP run. Every week he has thrown for exactly two touchdowns with around 240 yards, so that part has been consistent at least.
The fear is that this is what the Packers ultimately are without Davante Adams this year. Just an offense that can consistently score 20-to-27 points, but the moment they slip up on third down or in the red zone, you can forget the big plays or winning any shootouts.
Some of the playcalling left something to be desired in London too with the Packers failing to score any offensive points in the second half after a 20-point first half. Rodgers saw his last few passes batted down in the red zone with the Packers only needing a yard for a first down.
Maybe they need to defer more to running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon if they are the best-skill players on the offense as Rodgers tries to build trust with rookies Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson.
The Saleh Effect?
The Jets have been a mediocre defense in yards and points allowed this season despite having "defensive mastermind" Robert Saleh at the helm. They are 28th on third down and 26th in the red zone, so situational football has been bad.
Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson also had no issues comfortably picking apart this defense. The Jets fared better against backup-quality quarterbacks such as Jacoby Brissett, Mitch Trubisky/Kenny Pickett, and Teddy Bridgewater/Skylar Thompson.
Rodgers at home is always a difficult task as he is nearly impossible to intercept in Lambeau Field. But the Jets will have a chance to win a third-straight game for the first time since 2019.
The Packers are a 7-point favorite with a total of 46 points at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. Since 2019 under Matt LaFleur, the Packers are 19-10 ATS as a home favorite, the second-best record in the NFL. LaFleur also was 22-0 SU as a favorite of at least six points, but he suffered his first loss in that situation last week against the Giants.
Green Bay also was a 10-point favorite over the Patriots at home two weeks ago, a game they trailed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter and needed overtime for a 27-24 win.
So, it has been a rough two weeks, but I still believe this team is better than the Jets and will play better in this matchup against a defense that struggles in situational football. Aaron Jones did not get a touchdown against the Giants and should be a featured choice in the red zone in this matchup.
Trust the Packers to cover in a lower-scoring game that goes under for your NFL picks.
Score Prediction: Packers 27 - Jets 17
NFL Pick: Under 46 Points (-115) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Packers -7 (-115) at Bovada
Minnesota Vikings vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
When the Minnesota Vikings Have the Ball
The Vikings are 4-1 thanks to three straight weeks of pulling off fourth-quarter comebacks against teams not expected to make playoff noise this year:
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is currently ranked 16th in QB Rating, and his yards per attempt (6.7) and passer rating (86.4) would be the lowest of his career as a starter. But he is engineering those late drives to win games that have been a weakness in his career.
Still, it is hard not to feel some disappointment that this offense with Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen is not more dominant than it is. Even after completing their first 18 passes against the Bears and building a 21-3 lead, the Vikings were trailing 22-21 in the fourth quarter before pulling out the win.
Health may heavily dictate this matchup. The Dolphins need top corner Xavien Howard to do his best against Jefferson. Howard was limited in snaps against the Bengals and did not play at all against the Jets despite trying his best to be ready.
That is usually a good sign the player will play the following week, but a bad groin may not be what the Dolphins want him to test out against Jefferson’s route running.
However, Jefferson has not been inevitable this season. He had just 48 yards against the Eagles and a career-low 14 yards against Detroit. But he has gone off for at least 147 yards in the other three games, so he could be in store for another monster performance if the Dolphins remain down their top corners as Byron Jones has yet to get off the PUP list this season.
When the Miami Dolphins Have the Ball
Again, health is a big deal for the Dolphins here, so this is a matchup you need to keep up with the injury reports for. The Dolphins lost left tackle Terron Armstead and wide receiver Tyreek Hill during Sunday’s game.
Neither is expected to be a serious injury, but they are worth monitoring. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle also hasn’t looked right the last two games and he’s had 23 yards in his last six quarters.
But the quarterback remains the big issue here. This early in the week, it could be one of three options on Sunday: Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater, or Skylar Thompson. All have playing experience in the system this year after head injuries to Tagovailoa and Bridgewater in the last two weeks.
Bridgewater lasted one pass on Sunday before he was removed due to the NFL’s new concussion protocol, which is a direct result of Miami’s mishandling of Tua’s injury.
With Thompson in the game, the Dolphins did not fall apart, but his inexperience showed. On the bright side, the Dolphins had by far their best rushing game of the season (137 yards) as it was the first time they broke 90 yards in 2022.
Raheem Mostert led the way with 113 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota is nothing special on run defense this year, and the Vikings are allowing quarterbacks to complete 70% of their passes.
If the Dolphins get Tagovailoa back, then expect this spread to change by multiple points. If Bridgewater is the starter, then this sets up an interesting situation for him against the team that drafted him.
However, if it’s Thompson, then that would be the worst-case scenario for the Dolphins, who really have not played a ton of great football this year despite the 3-0 start. But both these teams have leaned on winning close games this season.
The Vikings are a 3-point favorite with a total of 45.5 points at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. Let’s go with the assumption that Howard gives it a go at corner, which still means I like Jefferson to go over his yards for the Vikings as Cousins loves to lock onto him in games like this.
Believe it or not, since Cousins joined the Vikings in 2018, Minnesota is 8-5 ATS as a road favorite, the second-best record in the NFL. But it is too hard to trust the Vikings to pull off a fourth close game in a row.
Let’s also assume it is Bridgewater at quarterback, so someone with veteran experience who can take advantage of the receivers and hopefully an improved running game.
Minnesota may pull out the win but expect it to be another close game with both teams scoring into the 20s, just like the last three Minnesota games. But I like the Dolphins to cover for your NFL picks.
Score Prediction: Vikings 24 - Dolphins 23
NFL Pick: Over 45.5 Points (-110) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Dolphins +3 (-110) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.