NFL Week 6: What we learned
It was another week of NFL action disrupted by the corona virus but we still got to see some great action. Brady & Rodgers went head to head in Tampa Bay while the Browns faced the Steelers in a huge AFC North clash.
But what did we learn from week 6 of the 2020 NFL season?
Tennessee are legit contenders:
The Titans did their best to blow their perfect start on Sunday, going from 21-10 up at HT to 36-29 down with less than two minutes to play. Luckily, Ryan Tannehill once again worked his magic, driving his team 76 yards down the field before finding A.J. Brown to tie the game at 36 and force overtime.
It was then time for star of the game Derrick Henry to take over.
The running back had 22 carries for 212 yards, along with two catches for 52 yards and two touchdowns including the winning score in OT. This thriller was a perfect example of the talent on show in Tennessee and even though their offence is often considered predictable, great offence always beats great defence. Final Score in Nashville, Titans 42-36 Texans.
Lets not get carried away, the Titans were taken all the way by a coach-less Houston Texans team but they still boast an elite level QB and quality on both sides of the field. The Titans are now set up perfectly for their week 7 showdown with AFC rivals Pittsburgh(5-0), the winner of next weeks showdown will take sole possession of top seed in the conference. It will be very interesting to see what Tennessee's so called 'predictable offence' can do against the elite defence of the Steelers.
Dallas need to find a way to win without Dak:
The Cowboys went into their Monday Night Football matchup with Arizona on the back of an impressive win over the Giants in week 5 after losing Dak Prescott to a season ending injury during the game. However, this did not show on the field as they suffered a humbling defeat to the Cardinals.
The Cowboys are currently top of their division with a 2-4 record and with the the rest of the teams in the NFC East struggling they are still in a great position to reach the post season, even without Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys struggled for offence throughout the game, scoring their one and only touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Andy Dalton was unimpressive at quarterback and they'll need to see a turnaround from him if they are to sustain a playoff challenge, nobody is expecting Prescott numbers but he has to be better than he showed in his first start.
Star RB Ezekiel Elliott has to be the main man for Dallas now that Dak is out but he did put on a performance to fill Cowboys fans hearts with expectation. Fumbling and losing the ball twice in the second quarter to cost Dallas dearly. If the Cowboys are going to make the post season they need Elliott at pro-bowl level and Andy Dalton to show a little bit more of his experience.
It's back to back wins for the Cardinals and another impressive performance from QB Kyler Murray. Arizona are very much contenders for a post season place after picking up an impressive road win. Final Score in Dallas, Cowboys 10-38 Cardinals.
Steelers mean business in the AFC North:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of three teams in the NFL with a perfect record so far this season (5-0) and they are putting together this run on the back of elite defence.
Pittsburgh vs Cleveland was arguably the biggest game of week 6 as the the two AFC North teams went head to head, each with four wins to start the season, but the Steelers showed they are the main threat to Baltimore in the division, exposing the weakness' of Baker Mayfield and the Browns team as a whole.
Offensive highlights on the day for Pittsburgh, James Conner ran 101 yards over 20 carries and scored the first touchdown of the day, while Chase Claypool and Benny Snell also got over the line. But defence was the key for the Steelers on the day as they limited the Browns to just one touchdown in the second and forced Mayfield to the bench in the second half. Final Score, Steelers 38-7 Browns.
Many, myself included, expected the AFC North to be a three horse race this season but after this hammering it appears that the Steelers are the only team truly capable of challenging Lamar Jackson and the Ravens for division champs.
Giants are capable of winning:
It may have been a narrow one point victory but the Giants showed they are capable of at least one victory this season as they won the battle for last place in the NFC East.
In a tight encounter in New Jersey, the Giants defence was the reason they won on Sunday. It wasn't perfect but they held Washington to just 19 points, picked off Allen in the first half and then forced the fumble which led to the eventual game-winning score. Final Score at MetLife, Giants 20-19 Washington.
Call this one the Tank for Trevor Tryout. Late last December these teams squared off in what was affectionately billed as the Chase Young Bowl, where the loser would be in prime position to claim the Ohio State star. The Giants won a shootout in overtime and Young accordingly ended up in D.C. Sunday's meeting had both fan bases deliberating on possibly drafting Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.
The silver lining for the Washington Football Team (1-5), It currently owns the draft tiebreaker over its NFC East foe in the upcoming Lawrence sweepstakes. But my god they need to come up with a new team name because the Washington Football Team, a sucks.
Patriots need CAM back balling:
The New England Patriots season is being derailed by Covid and injuries. The virus is effecting everyone but its hurting the Patriots in key positions. They have also been hit by injuries to key players like Sony Michel & Julian Edelman to go along with on-field struggles for both.
The most important thing for New England is getting Cam Newton back to MVP levels. The former Panthers QB has been struck down by the virus himself but returned during Sundays game against Denver. However he did not look like the elite level quarterback they brought to New England as the Patriots managed to put up just 12 points after just 10 points in the defeat to the Kansas City which came before last weeks bye.
Nothing is clicking on offence for the Patriots at the moment and they need Cam Newton to find his feet in New England sooner rather than later as they look to keep in touch with Miami (3-3) & Buffalo (4-2) in the AFC East. A return to form for Cam should correlate with a a turn in the performances of Julian Edelman and N'Keal Harry, the Patriots top two receivers combined for two catches and just eight yards on Sunday.
Missing Tom Brady more than they would have thought me thinks. Final Score in New England, Patriots 12-18 Denver.