Happy Columbus Day! For those of you that were off, we’re jealous and wish our work schedules had been that kind. For those that worked hard for The Man, we raise a fist in solidarity.
Just like Columbus on his boats (Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria – 2nd grade history anyone?), we face a lot of unknowns going into NFL match-ups every week. Week 6 in the NFL had a tie, a shut-out, and a couple surprising wins. Most of these we didn’t see coming. What more could you ask for?
This is what we thought about week 6…
Indianapolis (33), Houston (28) – Andrew Luck (Colts QB) is a great quarterback. Before this game, Houston was the only team in the NFL to not allow a point in the first quarter of a game. In the first quarter, Luck put up 209 passing yards compared to negative 9 for the Texans. The Colts defense has surprisingly stepped up after losing Robert Mathis for the season, only allowing three third-down conversions in the last three games and are tied for the league lead in sacks. The Colts have also recovered three on-side kicks this year, and were the only team to recover one until Jacksonville also did it this week.
What you really want to know is what J.J. Watt (Texans DE) did. Well, he basically handled the Colts offense by himself in the second half of the game. He’s the first player since 1961 with a receiving touchdown, fumble return touchdown and pick-six in the same season. He had seven tackles, two sacks, four QB hits, three pass deflections, and a fumble return for a touchdown in this game.
New England (37), Buffalo (22) – The Pats took ownership of first place in the AFC East with this win. They played in Buffalo, which was playing its first game under new ownership. All the terrible things being said about the Pats two weeks ago after their shellacking in Kansas City sound crazy now. Tom Brady (Pats QB) brought back the deep ball and the passing game was clicking, which was needed because the Bills eliminated their run game. This was a costly win for the Pats – they lost linebacker Jerod Mayo and running back Stevan Ridley to serious injuries that will keep them out the remainder of the year. So sad. They also lost guard Dan Connelly to a head injury. Kyle Orton (Bills QB) still played better than EJ Manual had all year, but the Bills were lacking a pass defense and run game.
Carolina (37), Cincinnati (37) – Here’s your fun fact for the day – this game was the highest-scoring tie game in NFL history. (Yes, ties can happen in the NFL if the game goes into overtime and no one scores during that 15-minute period.) The game went into overtime, the Bengals kicker had a chance to win it with a 36 yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining…and it went wide right. Ouch. (Bengals fans everywhere were saying, “You have ONE job.”) Cam Newton (Panthers QB) was on fire, even though he apparently injured his thumb and had to keep getting it patched up on the sideline. Andy Dalton (Bengals QB) had a good first half, bad second half. Bengals were without wide receivers AJ Green and Marvin Jones. Mohamed Sanu (WR) has become a big contributor with the other injuries, which will help the Bengals down the road when the other players come back.
Cleveland (31), Pittsburgh (10) – Well, this was embarrassing. The Browns beat Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers QB) for only the second time in his career, and it was a rout. Since falling behind Pittsburgh 27-3 in the season opener between these division rivals, the Browns have outscored the Steelers 55-13. The Browns relied on their run game to score 31 straight points. Browns tight end Jordan Cameron is managing an injury and finally had a break out game. The Browns did lose center Alex Mack to a broken lower leg, he had not missed a snap since he was drafted in 2009 but will be more than likely be out for the remainder of the season. Antonio Brown (WR) was the bright spot for the Steelers.
Green Bay (27), Miami (24) – Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB) threw a touchdown pass with four seconds left to lift GB over Miami. The Dolphins defensive line created problems for the Packers offense the majority of the game. This led to the Packers run game not being very effective. Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins QB) had a bad first half, good second half taking advantage of injuries on the Packers defense. Knowshon Moreno (Dolphins RB) was back from an elbow injury but was outplayed by his backup Lamar Miller (Dolphins RB).
Detroit (17), Minnesota (3) – The Lions defensive line had the highlights coming out of this game. The Lions defense had eight sacks, twelve QB hits, and three interceptions. The Vikings offensive line didn’t give Teddy Bridgewater (rookie QB) a chance. The Lions offense missed Calvin Johnson (Megatron, WR) and their offensive line did not have a great game either. The Lions backup running backs had a great game filling in for injured starter Reggie Bush. Going back to Detroit’s problems last week missing field goals, they signed the recently released Matt Prater from the Denver Broncos (who lost his job to a cheaper rookie) and he missed two field goals. The Lions have now missed ten field goals in six games. Fortunately this week the missing points did not impact the final outcome of the game.
Denver (31), New York Jets (17) – After throwing three more touchdowns, Peyton Manning (Broncos QB) is now just two touchdowns behind Brett Favre’s record of 508 career touchdowns. Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has nine touchdowns through five games, the most ever by a tight end in five games. (After his second touchdown, he was heard saying, “It’s so easy.”) Thomas is a free agent after this year and he will be looking to get paid. In other news, the Jets put up 17 more points than they did last week. After being benched against the Chargers last week, Jets QB Geno Smith looked slightly improved until he threw a pick six (interception returned for a touchdown) at the end of the game. He doesn’t seem very confident, but he doesn’t have a great supporting cast to lift him up, so we can’t blame him. The Jets defense, which is supposed to be their strength, only has three takeaways through six games. On top of that, they lost Dee Milliner (CB) to an Achilles injury.
Baltimore (48), Tampa Bay (17) – Baltimore must know it’s Ravens Week on The Snap, putting up numbers like they did. Joe Flacco, Ravens QB, tossed five touchdowns in the first 16 minutes of the game. As Kanye would say, that’s cray. That speaks to how Gary Kubiak’s (Ravens OC) new offensive scheme is well suited for him, as well as how poorly Tampa Bay played. Poor Lovie (Buccaneers head coach). Another embarrassing game for the Bucaneers. The Tampa Bay defense isn’t getting the job done and the offensive line can’t protect Mike Glennon (QB), who is still playing in place of the injured Josh McCown.
Tennessee (16), Jacksonville (14) – Titans backup QB Charlie Whitehurst led the team to a win over the still winless Jaguars. He was far from great, but the Jaguars didn’t pose much of a challenge. Jaguars QB Blake Bortles continues to impress, but still makes some rookie mistakes. Jax could have won this game, seeing as though they recovered an on-side kick and made it all the way to the Tennessee 37 with 12 seconds left. Impressive. Instead of trying one more play, the Jaguars decided to try a 55 yard field goal, which was blocked. Not impressive. If you’re doing the math, those 3 points would have led the Jaguars to victory.
San Diego (31), Oakland (28) – The Chargers barely managed to beat a winless team, but came back from a 7 point deficit in the fourth quarter. Philip Rivers (Chargers QB) continues to impress. Brandon Oliver (Chargers rookie RB) had another monster week, taking advantage of his opportunities with the Chargers injuries to their other RBs. This was Oakland’s first game back from their bye week, and first game under interim coach Tony Sparano (Remember Dennis Allen got canned after week 4?). The Raiders looked more lively and motivated than they had during the first part of the season. Derek Carr, rookie Raiders QB, actually threw four touchdowns, but he’s still learning – he also threw an interception when the Raiders were close to putting up more points on the board to take the lead.
Arizona (30), Washington (20) – Carson Palmer returned from injury to start at QB for Arizona. DeSean Jackson (WR) continues to earn his keep for Washington, as he caught another long touchdown. All three of his touchdowns this season have been 60 + yards. Kirk Cousins (QB) is still playing for Washington in place of the injured RG3, and remains a work in progress. Turnovers continue to be an issue for him.
Chicago (27), Atlanta (13) – The Bears went into the George Dome in Atlanta and pulled out a victory on the road, in a place where the Falcons have a significant home field advantage. Good Jay Cutler showed up. Brandon Marshall (Bears WR) and Alshon Jeffrey (Bears WR) are getting healthy. This sounds like a repeat of last week, but Atlanta has major o-line issues. Poor Matt Ryan (Falcons QB) is a great player who isn’t getting much to work with…Atlanta has no run game and he has no time to find his WRs, Julio Jones and Roddy White. This is having a negative impact on my fantasy team. Falcons don’t have much of a defense either.
Dallas (30), Seahawks (23) – Anyone that says they saw this coming was a liar. The score makes it appear as though the game was closer than it actually was. The Cowboys went into the loud atmosphere in Seattle and won. They are now 5-1 and tied for first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys kept the ball away and controlled the clock, the same formula the Chargers used to beat the Seahawks in week 2. DeMarco Murray (Cowboys RB) joins Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the second player in history to rush for at least 100 yards in six consecutive games to open a season. Russell Wilson (Seattle QB) had one of his worst games, but didn’t get much help from his offensive line or wide receivers.
Philadelphia (27), New York Giants (0) – So much Manningface. Guess that new offense wasn’t working too well for the Giants. This was the second shut-out game of the season. On top of not showing up on the scoreboard, the Giants lost WR Victor Cruz to a torn patellar tendon, which is a big blow for their offense. It was heartbreaking to watch him crying as he was carted off the field. For the Eagles, LeSean McCoy (RB) looked like the league’s leading rusher he was last season, running for 149 yards, with the Eagles offensive line still playing some back-ups due to injury. Darren Sproles (Eagles RB) did leave the game with a knee injury. Eagles defense was on their A-game all night, with 8 sacks of NY quarterbacks…6 for Eli, 2 for backup Ryan Nassib, who was brought in when the game was out of reach to remove the risk of Eli getting hurt.
San Fransisco, St. Louis – Monday Night Football (TBD)
Whew, that was a lot. If you managed to make it all the way through, you should reward yourself with a piece of chocolate or something. Then you should like us on Facebook. Just a suggestion.
– Val and Michelle