Week 6 was interesting. The week started with six undefeated teams, that number represented the most teams entering Week 6 undefeated in NFL history. At the conclusion of the week, five teams remained unbeaten (Denver, New England, Cincinnati, Carolina & Green Bay). The NFL elites started to separate from the pack. Pittsburgh used its’ third starting quarterback of the season. And Denver’s offense finally scored another touchdown, of course this supplemented by another stellar job defensively, where CB Aquib Talib executed another pick-6. Phillip Rivers threw the ball a whopping 65 times for over 500 yards. And Detroit finally left the land of the winless.
Tom Brady threw his first pick of the year, but it didn’t matter. The Patriots offense was efficient against the Colts (almost 5 yards/carry & over 300 yards passing), plus the defense did just enough. New England can’t take full credit for its performance; the Colts gave the Patriots plenty of help in the form of an extra down, great field position and points; all in the matter of minutes. Chuck Pagano attempted a “fake punt, on-side kick, run dive play” late in the 3rd quarter and of course it failed miserably.
The Jets used a dominate performance by Chris Ivory (146 rushing yards) in a blowout win against the Redskins. With a critical matchup with New England looming in Week 7, the Jets have an opportunity make a strong statement against the AFC East’s perennial leaders, as well as playing in the first “pivotal” game of this NFL season. Landry Jones came off the bench to lead Pittsburgh to an impressive victory over Arizona. In his first regular season action ever, Jones did more than enough (8/12, 168, 2 TDs) for Mike Tomlin to declare him the starter until Roethlisberger gets fully healed. After 8 consecutive quarters without a TD, Denver’s offense finally scored the traditional way. The Broncos feature a dominating defense, but will need more from its’ offense to have a legitimate shot in the playoffs. Miami finally got the type of performance from its defense expected after the huge offseason. The Dolphins defense intercepted two passes, recovered two fumbles, collected six sacks (8 QB hits) and scored a TD. The naysayers won’t dissipate after one exceptional performance, but it was an undeniable step in the right direction regardless of the fact that it came at Tennessee’s expense.
The Falcons/Saints kicked the week off in perhaps the most underwhelming Thursday night game of the season. The final score, 31-21 Saints, may suggest that this was a good game, however this was a dud from start to finish. In Minnesota, the Vikings beat the Chiefs despite a dreadful performance from the offense (2 INT’s; 2.4 yards per rushing attempt). Currently, Minnesota boasts the second best defense in the NFL as points against, (16.6 per game). If the offense could ever get on track, this would be a dangerous team. Carolina overcame a 9 point fourth quarter deficit to pick up a road win in Seattle. In the process, Cam Newton became the latest QB to expose what is starting to look like a leaking pass defense in Seattle. The Panthers continue to impress despite a less than stellar roster. Green Bay used a huge 1st quarter to squeak out a win against Chargers. Detroit decided to stick with Stafford and he rewarded the Lions with his most complete performance since week 1 of last year (400 yards passing, 4 TD). Detroit’s offense has been dreadful this season under second year coach Joe Lombardi. Lombardi called plays from the booth and not the side-lines against the Bears and low and behold, the Lions actually threw the ball downfield. The Eagles moved into a tie with the Giants after picking up a win on Monday Night Football. The worst division in the NFC is still winnable for each team, including a team that is playing with replacement level guys. Talk about parity!
- (Detroit) Matthew Stafford – 27-42, 405 yards passing (37 yards rushing), 4 TDs in a win.
- (Houston) DeAndre Hopkins – 10 receptions, 148 yards, 2 TDs in a win.
- (New Orleans) Benjamin Watson – 10 receptions, 127 yards & TD.
Honorable Mention: Gotta give Phillip Rivers some love here, as he threw for 500 yards, albeit in a loss at Green Bay
- (Tennessee) Marcus Mariota – 219 yards passing, 2 INT’s, 2 fumbles in loss.
- (Kansas City) Charcandrick West – 9 carries, 33 yards, fumble in loss.
- (NYG) Shane Vereen – 4 carries, 0 yards, 1 catch for 6 yards in loss.