Our hyper-specific predictions last week were...not great. Nobody landed one of their called shots. But is that going to stop us this week?
No, obviously. Since when has being wrong on the internet ever stopped anybody?
Here are our most specific predictions for Week 6.
Jon Meerdink: Eric Stokes scores a defensive touchdown
I’m of the opinion that the Packers’ defense is going to basically be entirely random (while weighted toward the negative) toward the rest of the season, but that means they’ll randomly have a few good moments. We’ll get one this weekend, when Eric Stokes scores his first defensive touchdown in a truly ridiculous manner, like a ball ricocheting off someone else’s head and getting lodged in his facemask as he falls into the end zone or something.
Paul Noonan: Rashan Gary records at least 3 sacks
Zach Wilson has been excellent when not pressured, and terrible when pressured. No quarterback, in fact, has bigger splits than Wilson in this regard. This week, Wilson faces a major challenge in the duo of Rashan Gary and Preston Smith, and while the Jets’s line has some talent (versatile tackler Alijah Vera-Tucker is excellent, as is center Connor McGovern), the rest of that line is highly suspect. But a suspect line isn’t the end of the world, and to some extent, you can gameplan around it. No, the bigger issue for Wilson is just how long he holds the ball.
Last season, Wilson basically refused to check down, eventually getting his brains beaten in, and missing 4 games in the middle of the season. That experience did change his behavior a bit, but so far this season, he’s back at it. We made a big deal earlier this year about how long Bears’ second-year quarterback Justin Fields holds onto the ball, and for most of the year, he’s led the league in NextGenStats Time to Throw Metric. He no longer does, as Wilson shot by him, leading the league with 3.22 seconds. (Fields is still second, tied with Daniel Jones at 3.06.) Back when Flacco was playing, the Bengals Trey Hendrickson got him 3 times. Rashan is going to eat in this one.
Tex Western: Romeo Doubs scores on a play-action deep ball
Although the Jets are Football Outsiders shows the New York Jets’ defense as ranking 29th against #2 wide receivers, 29th against passes over the middle, and in the bottom third of the NFL in defending deep passes over the middle. I think the Packers do commit to the run game early on in this game and that this approach will help Rodgers finally connect with Doubs on a play-action bomb for a touchdown (provided he holds on to the football.)
Rcon14: Royce Newman is so bad he gets replaced in Week 7
Quinnen Williams is one of the better defensive tackles in the league and he’ll get matched up with Royce Newman regularly this Sunday. I expect Newman to allow multiple pressures and struggle in the run game badly enough that Green Bay kicks Elgton into guard and plays Nijman at right tackle for the remainder of the season.