No Thursday Night Football in week six, however, the wait was worth it, well possibly not if you are a fan of an NFC East club. Still, the division did manage to edge to 5 wins thanks to a moderately entertaining divisional meeting which gives the Giants short term bragging rights, in New York anyway! In other matters, TB12 cemented his reputation leading the Buccs to a handy win over a disappointing Green Bay, while the NY Jets looked every bit a team destined for an 0-16 season.
Ok, on with the roundup starting with the nights big game in the AFC North…
Are The Steelers For Real?
Its been a while since the Browns at the Steelers was a headline game, but with the two going into the match up with a combined 8-1 record it was one with some meaning. As it turned out the game was pretty much over by half time. Pittsburgh capitalised on a couple of turnovers and pretty much ran over the Browns defense. Big Ben had a quiet day but played error-free and that makes a nice change for the Steelers after last years debacle at QB. Don’t write the Browns off yet, but they will probably have to hope they can scrape into that 7th Wild card spot if they want to be playing in January.
What Happened To Green Bay’s Offense???
Well, pretty much the same as happened with their defense they forgot to turn up! Unlucky 13 springs to mind here as Aaron Rodgers had gone 12 consecutive regular-season games without throwing a pick, and then just like busses two arrived together! Anyway, after bouncing out to a 10-0 lead Green Bay proceeded to have the most anaemic offensive performance we have seen from them in years. The Packers had a net 107 yards passing (yes 107 yards) and Rodgers averaged 2.7 yards per attempt! Don’t just blame him though, the OL was like a set of swing doors giving up 5 sacks and he really has very little in the way of offensive weapons on the depth chart behind Davante Adams. Add a poor showing by the defense to this with zero sacks while allowing 158 yards rushing and you can see that there will be questions again regarding their questionable use of what should have been a great draft.
Don’t take too much away from the Buccs though. Their OL kept Brady on his feet pretty much throughout and their defense capitalised on the Packers mistakes. Putting up 38 unanswered points is a good day at the office even against a team who were having a monumental off day and its the perfect antidote to last weeks poor showing against the Bears. Speaking of whom…
Chicago Win Again!
The Bears are this year’s masters of the scrappy win having ground out another win thanks mainly to three Panthers turnovers. Neither side impressed, however, Chicago is now 5-1 despite not playing all that well only managing to win those 5 by a combined 18 points! Lucky or do good teams still win when playing badly?
We will find out soon as their next five games are all tough ones.
The NFC East Managed A Win
The East has now amassed 5 wins total – the same as the Bears and numerous other teams. Shockingly bad for a division who houses the 2018 SuperBowl winner. Still, the Eagles at least showed a bit of fight in their loss to one of those 5 win teams the Ravens. Dallas looked awful against the Cardinals, and although the fingers are pointing at Andy Dalton, he can’t take much of the blame as it was dropped passes fumbles and an inept defense that let Arizona humiliate them. Still, for the neutral, it was a fun way to end the week.
The NFC East’s solitary win came in the battle of the basement dwellers as the Giants finally got a win, beating divisional rivals the Washington er Football Team by a point. Kyle Allen could have run in the final game-winning two-point conversion had he not panicked and on this showing, there won’t be too many wins for either side this year.
Best of The Rest
Ryan Tannehill kept the Titans unbeaten with his best performance of the season which included a364 yards passing 4 TDs and a clutch final drive to tie the game with 4 seconds left. They just about deserved their OT win. Tannehill will be in the MVP conversation if he keeps this up and as we have said before looks like one of the trades of the decade.
Atlanta finally got a win against a disappointing Minnesota who seems totally devoid of ideas on defense. Not that Atlanta’s defense was much better as the two QBs combined for 714 yards passing. Matt Ryan completed 75% of his passes ad finished with 4 TDs. The odds of him being transferred soon remain high and he has just added a later round pick to his value with this performance.
The NY Jets took another huge step towards winning the Trevor Lawrence lottery with a hapless showing against the Dolphins. Nil points is never a good look, but when you win the turnover battle and can’t get on the board you know you have problems. At least Sam Darnold won’t get any flack this week as he was sidelined.
The Real Jimmy Garoppolo stepped forward this week for the 49ers who kept their postseason hopes just about alive with a good win against divisional rivals the Rams. The NFC West is strong this year and they are still bottom at 3-3.
Denver cashed in on New Englands Covid woes winning 18-12 at Foxboro thanks to 6 field goals. This was not a good game to watch and will only remain in the mind briefly as the Patriots have a losing record for the first time in more years than we can be bothered to look up.
Gardner Minshew had a good game in defeat against Detroit in the battle of the also-rans throwing and running for TDs. Sadly the Jags are just so bad everywhere else on the field that even his efforts won’t be enough to win them many games going forward. Still, there is always 2021 to look forward to when hopefully the Jags will get to play in London again.
Finally the Reigning Superbowl champions KC took care of business against Buffalo and ended the Bills unbeaten run in the process. The scoreline flattered the Bills big time and after their 4-0 start, they are now 4-2. Still, they remain favourites in a weak NFC East; something we never dreamt we would be saying!
Anyway, the week’s results in full are below:
Sunday Nights Results
Tennessee 42 Houston 36 (OT)
Indianapolis 31 Cincinnati 27
Atlanta 40 Minnesota 23
Denver 18 New England 12
New York Giants 20 Washington 19
Baltimore 30 Philadelphia 28
Pittsburgh 38 Cleveland 7
Chicago 23 Carolina 16
Detroit 34 Jacksonville 16
Miami 24 NY Jets 0
Tampa Bay 38 Green Bay 10
San Francisco 24 LA Rams 16
Kansas City 26 Buffalo 17
Arizona 38 Dallas 10