What goes into an NFL upset?
Sometimes, the underdog truly commands an upset. Whether it's an unforeseen offensive performance or a fortuitous defensive stand, underdogs can surprise everyone by showing new levels of preparedness or intensity.
Other times, the favored team just doesn't show up with the same profile that led everyone to think they would win. Bad planning, poor execution or lack of focus can each contribute to an upset. All three can combine for a perfect storm of ineptitude.
Finally, outside influence can directly cause or contribute to an upset—terrible calls, weather, home-field advantage and so much more. These aren't excuses and can be, of course, overcome by the better team. They are, however, certainly part of the equation.
If every game were played on paper, there would never be any upsets or surprises. The game isn't played on paper, though, is it? It is played in an imperfect world by imperfect people. That humanness, that imperfection is what truly contributes to an upset—not randomness but the possibility of variance.
That hope for the unexpected is what people love about sports. The old saying is that "everyone loves an underdog," but maybe we just love that an underdog can exist.
So which underdogs are putting their opponents on upset alert in Week 6?