NFL Week 6: Predictions for most interesting matchups

This week in the NFL, the league’s best squares off, a rematch from last year takes place, a rising star will go after an MVP, and a division is on the line.

Here’s a look at some of the interesting games coming up in Week 5.

New England Patriots (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-2)

The NFL’s top offense goes up against the NFL’s best defense. The Patriots offense, led by quarterback (QB) Tom Brady, is ranked first in the league. Unlike seasons in the past, the Patriots have a running game, led by second-year running back (RB) Stevan Ridley, to assist Brady. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense is ranked first in the league and is assisted by a home crowd that is arguably the loudest in the league. However, the Patriots defense is also improved from last season, and the Seahawks have only scored more than 16 points once this season. The Patriots offense has to do just enough against the Seahawks defense to win.

Prediction: Patriots 22, Seahawks 13

New York Giants (3-2) at San Francisco 49ers (4-1)

No team in the NFL has played as well as the 49ers the last two weeks. Their offense seems to have caught up with their defense as they outscored their last two opponents 79-3. Yes, those two games were against the struggling Jets and Bills, but impressive nonetheless. Meanwhile, the Giants offense is as explosive as ever, but their defense has struggled. Their normally dominant pass rush has registered just eight sacks all season, tied for 24th in the league. The Giants must get to QB Alex Smith, who currently leads the league in passer rating. If they can’t, the 49ers will likely win the rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game.

Prediction: 49ers 26, Giants 20

Green Bay Packers (2-3) at Houston Texans (5-0)

The Texans will play their first game this season without leading tackler Brian Cushing, who tore his ACL and is out for the season. The Packers aren’t without their own injuries. They lost RB Cedric Benson last week to a foot injury, and wide receiver Greg Jennings continues to sit out with a nagging groin injury. The Packers offensive line is struggling to protect last year’s MVP QB Aaron Rodgers. In the Packers last two losses, Rodgers was sacked 13 times. Meanwhile, Texans defensive end J. J. Watt is having a defensive MVP type season and already has 8.5 sacks through just five games. If Green Bay can’t protect Rodgers, it could be a long day for the Packers.

Prediction: Texans 27, Packers 24

Denver Broncos (2-3) at San Diego Chargers (3-2)

Superiority in the AFC West is up for grabs. In his days with the Indianapolis Colts, QB Peyton Manning struggled against the Chargers and is 1-5 in his last six meetings against San Diego. Chargers RB Ryan Mathews’s three best games in his career running the football have come against the Broncos. In three games against Denver, Mathews has rushed for 382 yards and 3 touchdowns. If the Chargers can run the ball effectively, they’ll control the clock and keep Manning off the field.

Prediction: Chargers 26, Broncos 23