NFL Recap: Week 6
Wild, Wild Week 6
Written by: Andrew Ziemba
In one of the more wide-open seasons in recent NFL memory, the league gifted us with yet another wild week of storylines and games.
We were treated to a rather surprising start to the week on Thursday, with the Colts traveling to Houston for the home team’s first divisional game. Up until then, every Thursday game had been terribly lopsided, and Andrew Luck made sure to convince you that the trend was to continue, posting 208 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Surprisingly, through all the bone-headed mistakes and terrible offensive line play, the Texans made it a game, ultimately losing 33-28, which gives Indy full control of an awfully weak AFC South. J.J. Watt may have all but solidified his case for MVP this season, scoring his third touchdown on the year. (That’s more than Larry Fitzgerald and LeSean McCoy have combined, folks.)
Sunday would not disappoint either, with plenty of meaningful divisional games and matchups between playoff hopefuls. Playing a must-win game that would put them in control of their own destiny, the Browns came up big at home to comfortably defeat the lackluster Steelers 31-10. Ben Tate looked solid in his second game back from injury, garnering 78 yards and two scores.
The Lions took an uncharacteristic road victory against the rival Vikings, 17-3, doing so without the help of Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush, who were both inactive for the game. Highly-touted rookie Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted three times by a Lions secondary that has struggled heavily in recent years.
In a game not expected to be very interesting, the Oakland Raiders took the nation and the San Diego Chargers by surprise, leading the game 28-21 with just under ten minutes left in regulation. The Chargers, on the back of the mighty Philip Rivers, rallied to score 10 unanswered points and finish ahead, 31-28. Rivers has now had five consecutive games with a passer rating of over 120.0, which is good for an NFL record.
For the night game, the Eagles dominated the enigmatic Giants, 27-0, achieving their first shutout in over 18 years. Pitt grad LeSean McCoy has yet to score that elusive second touchdown of this season, and will have to wait another week.
In the matchup of two of last year’s best teams that could not produce in the post-season, we were presented with the rare NFL tie, as the Bengals and Panthers ended their overtime game with 37 points apiece. Both quarterbacks had solid showings, hopefully silencing their critics for at least one week, with Andy Dalton going 33-43 for 323 yards and 2 scores, and Cam Newton producing a “Cam Newton-esque” stat line, completing 29-46 for 284 yards and 2 scores, tacking on 17 rushes for 107 yards and another touchdown.
Looking at the schedule at the beginning of this season, most would probably have written off the Cowboy’s trip up north to take on the reigning champion Seahawks as an easy win for the latter. The streaking ‘Boys, as it turns out, had other plans. They rode in on the backs of the dynamic DeMarco Murray (29 carries, 115 yards, 1 score) and Tony Romo (21-32 250 yards, 2 scores) and delivered the Seahawks a very rare smackdown at home, pulling away 30-23.
The bitter rival San Francisco 49ers played guest to a Rams team that has been anything but productive on Monday night, and proceeded to go down 14-0 after the first quarter. Not to be outdone, however, the Niners roared back, rattling off 24 unanswered points to pull off the all-important division win, 31-17.
Lastly, kudos to Joe Flacco, who threw an unbelievable 5 touchdown passes against the porous Tampa Bay defense, leading the Ravens to a rout of the Bucs, 48-17.