Sunday's early games featured a handful of surprising outcomes. The Oakland Raiders nearly defeated the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, the Cleveland Browns earned their first win of the season and, I'll say this again, the Jets won.
A few performances stuck out from Week 6's 1 p.m.slate. Let's rehash three of them.
Calling any victory over the Kansas City Chiefs impressive is a stretch, but the Buccaneers came to play on Sunday with a 38-10 win.
Not only did the Bucs hold the daunting Chiefs run game to less than 100 yards, but Tampa Bay's offense exploded as well. Averaging over 12 yards per pass is going to earn you a win under many circumstances, not just against a below-average squad.
Tampa Bay entered the game ranked with the 29th-best passing attack in the league. Josh Freeman was able to reverse that trend with a 15-of-26, 328-yard and three-touchdown performance on Sunday.
The Buccaneers still have a ways to go, but fans saw the team's potential against the Chiefs. If Freeman takes care of the ball, he has weapons in Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson to find down the field.
Defensively, shutting down the league's No. 2 rushing offense is something to hang your hat on.
Greg Schiano's club will have a chance to continue its success versus the New Orleans Saints next week.
New York Jets
I didn't anticipate associating any positive words with the Jets for some time, if at all, this season. But Sunday's 35-9 pounding of the Indianapolis Colts was a dominant showcase on both sides of the ball.
Shonn Greene stole the show for Rex Ryan's team. The ball-carrier toted the rock 32 times for 161 yards and three touchdowns, providing Mark Sanchez with some much-needed stability out of the backfield.
Greene's production allowed the Jets to possess the ball for 7:20 longer than their opponent. Sanchez was able to go 11-of-18 for just 82 yards and two scores, but he took care of the ball—which is the most important part.
On top of that, the Jets' defense was able to force four turnovers and hold the Colts to 41 yards on the ground. Considering the Jets' struggles versus the run so far this season, that's another major positive sign the team can take from Sunday's action.
New York is definitely not out of the woods, but it sorely needed a win. Getting embarrassed week after week is difficult for any team to take.
Beating the Colts is one thing. Ryan's squad will face a major litmus test versus New England next week.
The Browns only won 34-24—paling in comparison to these other blowouts—but the Bengals are a better team than Kansas City or Indianapolis, and the Browns' second half may have been the most impressive two quarters from Sunday's early games.
Cincinnati was winning 14-7 at halftime, before Cleveland went on a 27-10 run to close the game.
Defensively, the Browns forced four turnovers. Andy Dalton threw three critical interceptions, putting the Browns in opportune situations. Combine that with Brandon Weeden's ball security, and Cleveland finally found the recipe for its first victory of the season.
The Browns were outgained by over 100 yards, but a balanced attack spelled the difference. Taking care of the football has been a major issue for Weeden this season, and he finally looked comfortable on Sunday.
Being the youngest team in the NFL, the Browns still have a long way to go. However, this team is slowly heading in the right direction.
Pat Shurmur's crew will have a shot at its second consecutive win against Indianapolis next week.
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