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Week 6 Cheat Sheet

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Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions

All players questionable unless noted

Tom Brady (ankle) QB, New England Patriots

Tom Terrific popped up on the injury report Friday, but NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Brady will play. Apparently the Pats like to see how many heart attacks they can cause in Metropolitan Boston.

Fred Jackson (ankle, illness) RB, Buffalo Bills

Another player who will play after missing Friday with an undisclosed illness. 

Reggie Bush (ankle) RB, Detroit Lions

Reggie says he's a game-time decision, but he hasn't practiced all week. Given that lateral movement is the running back's biggest asset, if he tries to play on a bum ankle, then we don't expect a whole lot out of him. Sitting Bush might be the prudent move for Detroit. UPDATE: Rapoport reported Sunday morning that the Lions do not plan to have Bush available against the Vikings, but the back will try to test out his ankle pregame.

Calvin Johnson (ankle) -- DOUBTFUL -- WR, Detroit Lions

Save a visit from the AllSpark, Megatron will to sit this week. The reason he is on this list is to remind fantasy footballers to take him out of their lineups. UPDATE: RapSheet reported Sunday it's unlikey Johnson is a go. Plan accordingly.

Mike Evans (groin) WR; Vincent Jackson (rib) WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans was limited all week after missing last week's game. Jackson returned to practice Friday on a limited basis and both will play Sunday, according to Rapoport.

Greg Olsen (ankle) TE; Jonathan Stewart (knee) RB; Charles Johnson (hip) DE, Carolina Panthers

All three Panthers were limited on Friday. Johnson and Stewart also practiced Thursday on a limited basis.

Eric Decker (hamstring) WR; David Harris (shoulder) LB; David Nelson (ankle) WR, New York Jets

Decker was limited all week, but coach Rex Ryan said he'd hoped to see more from his No. 1 receiver. Harris didn't practice Thursday or Friday, and Nelson was limited the past two practices.

A.J. Green (toe) WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Green was in a walking boot Friday and is "day-to-day," but he's expected miss this week.

Jake Locker (right hand) QB, Tennessee Titans

The quarterback is listed as questionable, but he's another one who isn't expected to play. Clipboard Jesus looks to toss the pigskin against the NFL's worst pass defense this week.

Devin Hester (hamstring) WR, Atlanta Falcons

Hester returned limited on Friday after picking up DNPs on Wednesday and Thursday. Surely the receiver wants to face his former team.

Malcom Floyd (calf) WR, San Diego Chargers

The wideout was limited all week

Derek Carr (ankle, knee) QB; Marcel Reece (quadriceps) RB, Oakland Raiders

The rookie was limited all week, but he'll start in Tony Sparano's first game as interim coach, according to Rapoport. Reece was limited all week.

Brooks: Must-see matchups
What are the most intriguing Week 6 battles in games across the NFL? Bucky Brooks provides his scouting eye. READ

Jordan Reed (hamstring) TE; Trent Williams (knee) OT; Brian Orakpo (ankle) LB, Washington Redskins

All three were limited on Friday.

Carson Palmer (right shoulder) QB; Drew Stanton (concussion) QB, Arizona Cardinals

Stanton was cleared from his concussion, per Rapoport, and will start if Palmer can't go. Bruce Arians is playing this one close to the vest and doesn't plan to say who will start until right before game time. UPDATE: Rapoport reports that Palmer is slated to start against Washington.

MNF

Vernon Davis (back) TE, San Francisco 49ers

Davis practiced on a limited basis all week and appeared on pace to play, but the tight end says he's unsure if he'll go.

Weather Tracking*

After two weeks of good weather, we are greeted with some fall conditions. A few games could be impacted by storms and high winds.

Panthers at Bengals -- 61 degrees / Chance of rain late in the game (26 percent)
Packers at Dolphins -- 87 degrees / Chance of rain (23 percent)
Lions at Vikings -- 56 degrees / Chance of strong winds (13-16 mph)
Jaguars at Titans -- 72 degrees / Thunderstorms (70 percent)
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups to watch

Dez Bryant vs. Richard Sherman

With Jerry Jones declaring the Cowboys have no intention of ignoring Sherman's side of the field, we could see the duo match up several times on Sunday. The cornerback's length will make it difficult on Bryant in 50-50 balls, where the wideout usually dominates smaller defenders. Bryant has shown a proclivity for making big catches but will have his hands full with one of the NFL's premier shutdown cornerbacks. The Cowboys must be able to take advantage of the few times Sherman gives an inch to have a chance against one of the league's stingiest defenses.

Sammy Watkins vs. Darrelle Revis

Bill Belichick finally took the embargo off Revis Island last week and the Pro Bowl CB was able to slow A.J. Green. The Bills expect Revis to shadow Watkins, at least in part, Sunday. The rookie has displayed an ability to make tough catches and can get open in space. He'll stay busy handling veteran cornerback. However, Kyle Orton, in his one game, showed he isn't afraid off allowing the dynamic receiver to make plays in contested coverage. If Watkins can beat Revis and stretch the field, it will make it worlds easier on Orton and the rest of the Bills' offense to put up more than 17 points this week.

Giovani Bernard vs. Luke Kuechly

Sans A.J. Green and several other passing weapons, we anticipate that Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will utilize Bernard even more this week on the ground and in the passing game. Last week the Panthers were gashed on screens. That is until Kuechly began his show of force. If Bernard is allowed to get loose it on the second level, it could be a long day for the Panthers' defense. However, if Kuechly neutralizes Bernard, the Bengals might be out of weapons for Andy Dalton.

Did You Know?

General Knowledge

There are 20 teams with a .500 or better record.

Twenty-four teams (75 percent) are in or within one game of first place in their respective divisions, the most through Week 5 since realignment in 2002.

Teams have combined for 248 touchdown passes through Week 5, the most TD passes through the first five weeks of any season in NFL history (2013, 247; 2011, 241; 2012, 234; 2002, 226; 1985, 217).

Through Week 5, tight ends have combined for 752 receptions, 8,194 receiving yards and 72 touchdown catches, all of which are on pace to be the highest combined totals for the position of any season in NFL history.

Ben Roethlisberger's 18-1 record against the Browns translates to the highest winning percentage (.947) of any starting quarterback against a single opponent since 1950 (min. 15 starts). Roger Staubach is next on the list, with a 16-1 record (.941) versus the Giants. Next comes Tom Brady, who is 22-2 (.917) against the Bills. With Roethlisberger and Brady taking on their respective opponents this weekend, we will see two of the top-three most dominant quarterbacks against a single opponent since 1950.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Kyle Orton is undefeated (1-0) against Tom Brady as a starter. That game pitted the then-Broncos quarterback and head coach Josh McDaniels against Brady and Belichick. This time, Orton is in Buffalo, and McDaniels is on Brady's side.

The winner owns sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The last time the Bills sat alone atop the division at least six weeks into the season was 2008 (Week 7).

The Patriots' defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in three of their last four games. They face a Bills offense that has scored 17 or fewer points in its last three games. (So you're saying this won't be a shootout?)

Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals

Deep ball Cam, ho! In 2014, the Panthers already have 11 receptions on passes thrown 20-plus yards in the air. In 2013, Carolina had a total of 12 such receptions.

The Bengals are one of two teams that has ran the ball more than 50 percent of the time entering Week 6 -- 50.4 percent (the Texans being the other). Bernard has 82 offensive touches (68 carries, 14 receptions). He is on pace to touch the ball 328 times. Last season he had 226 touches.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

We hereby kick off our, "Get Le'Veon Bell in the end zone" campaign. The running back has 460 rushing yards, one TD and 24 receptions for 228 yards. He is one of three players with 300-plus rushing yards and one TD or fewer -- Frank Gore (one), Matt Forte (zero).

The Browns have scored between 21 and 29 points in all four games. The last time the Browns scored 21-plus points in each of their first four games was in 1969 (first seven games), which was led by starting QB Bill Nelsen & RB Leroy Kelly and went 10-3-1 before losing to Minnesota in the NFL Championship game.

The Browns did not have a giveaway in Week 1 at Steelers. They have not gone consecutive games without a turnover against the Steelers in the same season since 1965.

Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins

Jordy Nelson has accounted for 44.6 percent of the Packers' receiving yards, 33.7 percent of receptions and 34.4 percent of targets, ranking first in all of those categories in the NFL.

The Dolphins have not played a game decided by fewer than 13 points -- one of three teams that has yet to play a game decided by eight or fewer (MIA, MIN, NYG).

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Lions kickers are four of 12 this season (33.3%), and are the only team making less than half their attempts. In the last 25 seasons, no team has ever made fewer than 50 percent of their attempts. Only four teams have missed more field goals through Week 5 since 1970: the 1973 Redskins (10), 1972 Colts (10), 1970 Saints (nine), 1970 Jets (nine). Of those four teams, only the 1973 Redskins advanced to the playoffs. The other three teams combined for 11 wins. (There is a reason the team cheered Matt Prater in a meeting this week.)

Matt Asiata had 15 carries for 72 yards last week against Green Bay, marking his first career back-to-back 70-plus-yard effort. He and rookie Jerick McKinnon face a stiff run defense allowing just 74.4 yards per game.

Denver Broncos at New York Jets

Peyton Manning needs five touchdowns to tie Brett Favre for the all-time record (508). Rex Ryan's Jets have given up five-plus TD passes only once (Andy Dalton, Week 8, 2013).

Manning is 1-2 against the Jets under Ryan, which is his tied for his fourth-worst winning percentage versus any head coach (min. three games, including playoffs). Manning is 1-5 against Pete Carroll, 1-3 against Jimmy Johnson and 2-5 against Dave Wannstedt. Manning is also 1-2 against Bill Cowher and Steve Mariucci.

Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All 12 of the Ravens' touchdown drives have been 65-plus yards in 2014. Eleven of those 12 drives have been 80-plus yards.

Steve Smith Sr. likes to play the Bucs. He has seven 100-yard receiving games versus Tampa, his most against any single opponent. (Career vs. Bucs: 98 receptions, 1,404 yards, six TDs -- 22 games).

Doug Martin, yeesh. The Buccaneers are 2-13 in the last 15 games that Martin has played. He has fewer than 100 rushing yards in seven straight games (longest streak of his career) and fewer than 50 yards in every game he's played this season.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

Good news for Bishop Sankey: The Jags are allowing 100-plus rushing yards in four of five games this season.

Jaguars rookie Allen Hurns has 16 receptions, 280 yards and three touchdowns this season. The franchise rookie record for receiving TDs is five, accomplished by Justin Blackmon in 2012 and Matt Jones in 2005. Jacksonville had only one player finish 2013 with more than three receiving TDs -- Marcedes Lewis (four).

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

Philip Rivers has four straight games with passer rating above 120.0, an NFL record with minimum 20 pass attempts per game. The quarterback has gone 25 straight games with at least one passing touchdown and four with a completion percentage above 70.

The Raiders have not won back-to-back home games versus the Chargers since winning four straight from 1998-2001 when Jon Gruden(!) was head coach.

The Raiders have scored 14 points or fewer in all four games this season.

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

Whether Stanton or Palmer starts for the Cardinals, one quarterback will have the stats in their favor. Redskins' opponents have a passer rating of 108.3 this season -- second worst in the NFL (JAX, 112.8). Washington has allowed nine pass TDs and caused just one INT in last three games.

The Cardinals have only four sacks this season. Four players in the NFL had more than four sacks heading into Week 6: Justin Houston (six), Ryan Kerrigan (six), Marcell Dareus (five) and Willie Young (five).

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

Antone Smith has six career touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving), all of which are 38-plus yards. Since 1940, only two other NFL players' shortest TDs -- among their first six career offensive TDs -- is greater than 38 yards: Bob Trumpy, whose shortest among his first six was 45 yards; and Mel Gray, whose shortest, among his first six TDs was 40 yards.

How's this for stats that don't tell the whole story: Jay Cutler is averaging 200.5 passing yards per game in the Bears' two wins this season and 298.0 YPG in the three losses. Meanwhile, Matt Forte is averaging 27 yards rushing per game (2.16 yards per rush) in those two wins and 88.33 yards per game in the three losses (4.65 yards per rush). Moral of the story, friends: Just don't turn the ball over, Jay.

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks

The Cowboys have had two straight games with 445-plus yards of total offense. It's the team's first time with 445-plus yards in consecutive games since Weeks 12-13, 1998. Dallas has never had three straight games of 445-plus yards. (Who's betting that ends in Seattle?)

Seattle allows the fewest rushing yards to the left (59) and right (44) sides of the field in the NFL. The Seahawks have given up 150 yards up the middle. DeMarco Murray has the most rushing yards in the NFL to the left (324) and right (234). He has just 112 up the middle.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants' defense has been sturdy since Week 1. New York has won 11 straight games when allowing 20 points or fewer (3-0 this season) and have 10 takeaways in their last three games. Big Blue has held opponents to 15.2 percent on third-down conversions in the past three games (best in NFL).

According to Pro Football Focus, Nick Foles ranks 33rd out of 35 QBs in accuracy percentage with a minimum of 50 attempts (66.3 percent). Only Chad Henne (66.2) and Drew Stanton (61.7) are behind Foles. Last season, Foles ranked 10th with 74.2 percent. Also according to PFF, Jeremy Maclin has been targeted 55 times, but only 25 of those were catchable. Maclin caught all 25.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

Quick Stats:

The Rams' defense is last in the NFL with only ONE sack this season.

Colin Kaepernick has been sacked 13 times this season (T-fourth most in NFL).

The St. Louis defense is allowing 192.3 passing yards per game (best in NFL).

Kaepernick has thrown for more than 200 yards in each game this year.

San Francisco is third in the NFL with 145.0 rushing yards per game.

St. Louis is allowing 152.5 rushing yards per game (T-29th in NFL).

The 49ers are second in the NFL in time of possession with 34:38 per game.

The Rams are sixth in the NFL in time of possession with 32:24 per game.

San Francisco's defense has not allowed a 300-yard passer in five straight games.

Austin Davis is averaging 312 pass YPG in his three career starts.

The 49ers' offense has 20 rushing plays of 10-plus yards (T-third most in NFL).

The Rams' defense has allowed 21 rushing plays of 10-plus yards (T-most in NFL).

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the Colts' win over the Texans and previews every other Week 6 game. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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