NFL 2021 Week 6 Preview & Bettors Guide: Al Davis and a better Raiders
LOS ANGELES, October 14, 2021 — 10 years ago, Raiders owner Al Davis died. Coach Hue Jackson rallied the team. The Raiders produced an epic and inspiring road win for the ages.
10 years later, the Raider Nation has taken another gut punch. Jon Gruden is not dead, but he is gone. (Cancel Culture gets Raiders coach Jon Gruden for thinking mean thoughts)
As General Manager Mike Mayock brilliantly stated in his press conference Wednesday, everyone still has a job to do.
Interim coach Rich Bisaccia’s job is to rally the players in what will be a very tough road game this week. In the weeks following Davis’s death, the injury-riddled collapsed down the stretch. This year the Raiders are about to get healthier.
Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota got injured on his first and only carry of the season. Gruden had planned to use him in various trick situations. Bisaccia is expected to do the same.
The 2021 Raiders, as Mayock reminded everyone, are still a 3-2 team.
Many experts expect the Raiders to fold. The Raiders have always had an “us against the world” mentality. These past few days, that view has felt very realistic. Whether deserved or not, this Raiders team is facing a major case of adversity at a critical juncture in the season.
Adversity is part of life. Character is how we respond to it. A decade ago, the Raiders showed character, heart and guts. They channeled their grief and shock into great football.
This Sunday will tell us a lot about Silver and Black.
Excuses will not be tolerated. They have a divisional matchup against a hated archival. Mayock knows the locker room is in pain, but he also understands that everyone’s job is to get the job done.
With that, Here is the NFL 2021 Week 6 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by
SportingNews.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 14, 2021, 8:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles — The Buccaneers are very good. The Eagles are not. Tom Brady is on fire having thrown 5 touchdown passes last week. The Eagles do not have the defense to stop him. This could get ugly early. Buccaneers cover.
Sunday, October 17, 9:30 a.m.
Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars — The British are wondering why America hates them so much to give them such awful games. The Jaguars are a mess, but the Dolphins are not much better. The Dolphins have regressed on defense and quarterback play. League rules prevent this game from being canceled. Dolphin win but fail to cover.
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Porkbarrels — Do not be fooled by the Chief’s 2-3 record. They will turn the switch on. Ron Rivera’s defense is below his usual standards. Taylor Heinicke is not playing badly but the Chiefs have so many weapons. Chiefs cover.
Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) at New York Giants — The Rams have a great offense. The Giants are pathetic. Saquon Barkley hurt himself again. As much of a mismatch, this is, a garbage touchdown is very plausible. The rams win but fail to cover.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) — The Colts lost a heartbreaker at Baltimore in a game they dominated until they blew a 16 point fourth-quarter lead. The Texans have very little talent, but they punch above their weight. The spread is high and a garbage touchdown is realistic. The colts win but fail to cover.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Detroit Lions — The Lions lost a ridiculous home game against Green Bay when their kicker missed two field goals that could have won it. While Green Bays’ kicker missed three field goals and an extra point, the Bengals still could not capitalize. The Lions are losing gut-wrenching games when field goals against them are good. The Lions are starving for a win. Joe Burrow is playing well. This could be another game that goes down to the wire. The Lions continue to suffer pain. Bengals win but fail to cover.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears — The Bears went on the road and stunned the Raiders, but this week reality returns. Aaron Rodgers has led the Packers to four straight wins. Chicago has a defense, but not nearly enough offensive firepower to match Green Bay. Justin Fields is still a rookie. Go with the hot hand. Packers cover.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3) — Down by 16 in the fourth quarter, Lamar Jackson led an epic comeback on Monday Night Football. He and Justin Herbert are both putting up offensive numbers. As well as the Charges have been laying, go with the home field in this evenly matched game. Ravens cover.
Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Carolina Panthers — Both teams collapsed at home last week. The Panthers lost to a weak Philadelphia team while the Vikings needed a miracle to defeat winless Detroit. Kirk Cousins and Sam Darnold are both inconsistent. Go with the home field. Upset special, Panthers win outright
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-3) — The Cardinals are the NFL’s only unbeaten team. Their offense is for real. Yet Baker Mayfield can match Kyler Murray and Kevin Stefanski is as innovative as Kliff Kingsbury. The defense got torched for 47 points last week, but expect them to rebound. Give the Dawg Pound the benefit of the doubt at home. Browns cover.
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5) — The Raiders insisted that the Jon Gruden fiasco did not affect their home loss against Chicago. If that is true, it reflects even worse on the Raiders. They could rally around new coach Rich Bisaccia, but the Broncos have just lost two straight and are just as desperate. These games usually go down to the final play, but Denver has a good defense. The Raiders do not get the benefit of the doubt on the road with a new coach until they earn it. Broncos cover.
Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New England Patriots — The Cowboys have more talent. Dad Prescott is playing well. Ezekiel Elliott is running hard. Mac Jones is still raw. These are not the same Bill Belichick Patriots. Nevertheless, Mike McCarthy is too conservative to expect a blowout win. Cowboys win but fail to cover.
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) — Both of these teams have underachieved, but the Steelers had a dominating win over Denver last week. Russell Wilson is out for a few weeks, which changes everything. The Steelers lost Juju Smith-Schuster for the season. Expect Mike Tomlin to run the ball and then run it some more. Steelers cover.
Monday, October 18, 8:00 p.m.
Buffalo Bills (-4.5) at Tennessee Titans — The Bills have won four straight, and their victory at Kansas City was a major statement. The Titans have been uneven. Josh Allen has been playing very well, and the Buffalo defense is for real. Derrick Henry is still running with authority but could be a non-factor if the Titans fall behind and need to throw the ball. The bills win but fail to cover.
About the Author:
Brooklyn-born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist, and comedian. But he lives for football. Particularly the Raiders.