It was a crazy week 6 in the NFL, but that shouldn’t be surprising to hear. Let’s see if we can make sense of everything with the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Buffalo’s comeback – The Bills couldn’t pull out an overtime win against the Bengals, but to comeback from a 14-point deficit in the 4th quarter with Thad Lewis at quarterback says a lot about the entire team: the offense, defense, and coaching staff. The record doesn’t show it, but the Bills have been competitive this season and made their opponents work hard for the victory, which wasn’t always the case in the past. Buffalo’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, but it’d be surprising to see them role over, even against better teams.
Cam Newton – He was in the ugly category last week, but now we have give Newton some credit for playing well. He completed 20 of his 26 passes and threw for three touchdowns, running the ball into the end zone for another. Doing so on the road was a great pick me up for the Panthers, especially with a few more winnable games on Carolina’s schedule in the weeks to come.
Tom Brady’s comeback – That’s why he’s Tom Brady, and that’s what he does. As long as there’s time on the clock and the ball is in Brady’s hands, the Patriots are going to have a chance. He continues to get by with a lackluster group of receivers, and his last-minute comeback against the Saints was nothing short of remarkable.
Nick Foles – Philadelphia’s offense didn’t miss a beat with Foles taking over for Michael Vick. Even without an athletic quarterback, the Eagles scored 31 points against a defense that had only given up more than 20 points once this season. Foles connected on 22 of 31 passes for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns, proving that you don’t need a running quarterback to have success in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Denver Broncos – We all expected Denver and Jacksonville to be the blowout of the century, but the Broncos were quite sluggish, at least for a team that ended up with 35 points. Peyton Manning looked uncomfortable and rather impatient, and outside of a fake punt and a few short touchdown runs by Knowshon Moreno, Denver didn’t do much in the running game either. The Broncos better be able to refocus for Manning’s return to Indianapolis next week.
Cleveland’s second half – The Browns had Detroit right where they wanted them, but they completely fell apart in the second half and lost a game they had a chance to win. Even against a good team like Detroit, getting outscored 24-0 at home in the second half is unacceptable for a team that has a legitimate chance to win its division.
Terrelle Pryor – The ups and downs continue for Pryor, who started fast but ended up throwing three interceptions. A poor performance against Kansas City’s defense is understandable, but the Raiders had a chance to win in the 4th quarter and Pryor couldn’t seem to get anything going, despite plenty of opportunities to make a game of it and lead Oakland to victory.
New England’s injury list – The Patriots may have won the game, but their roster got a little thinner in the process. Aqib Talib was playing a brilliant game, completing shutting down Jimmy Graham, before leaving with an injury. The injury-prone Danny Amendola also left after taking a crushing blow to the head. Jerod Mayo also left the game with an injury. This is all in addition to the loss of Vince Wilfork and the continued absence of Rob Gronkowski, as New England’s roster is crumbling before out eyes, especially if Talib or Mayo has to miss significant time.
Minnesota’s defense – Coming into their game against Carolina, the Panthers were one of the worst passing teams in the league, but Minnesota allowed Cam Newton to throw for 242 yards and three touchdowns. The Vikings have been torched in the passing game week after week this season, which has made it difficult for them to win games, no matter who they decide to play at quarterback.
Houston Texans – Playing the Rams at home was supposed to get things back on track for the Texans, but now they have completely derailed. Houston nearly doubled St. Louis in total yards, but with four turnovers and a quarterback change forced because of an injury to Matt Schaub, the Texans got embarrassed on their home field. They now have to go to Kansas City next week, which isn’t the place they want to go in order to break their four-game losing streak.
The Titans with Ryan Fitzpatrick – The fast start to the season by Tennessee has completely disintegrated with Fitzpatrick taking over for the injured Jake Locker. In fairness to Fitzpatrick, beating the defenses of Kansas City and Seattle was a tall order, but the rest of the team played well enough to win the last two weeks, but he didn’t, and that cost the Titans, who would have liked to win at least one of those two games. It’s going to take more than close losses for Fitzpatrick to hold down the fort until Locker can get back on the field.