Whatever you wanted, Week 6 of the NFL season had it.
From overtime games and game-winning drives to the big-time upset, Sunday's NFL action was truly diverse enough to satisfy even the casual fan.
We entered the weekend with three undefeated teams, and that number dwindled to two after the New Orleans Saints lost as time ticked off the clock in New England. Denver and Kansas City—AFC West rivals, I might add—both remained without a loss.
Elsewhere, we also entered Week 6 with four winless teams. The New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all followed that trend again, but the Pittsburgh Steelers showed signs of life in a 19-6 win over the New York Jets.
With only Monday night's Indianapolis Colts-San Diego Chargers showdown still on the docket, we'll take a look at a few of the biggest takeaways from Sunday's action and the complete Week 6 scoreboard below.
Week 6 NFL Scores
|Thursday, Oct. 10||Chicago Bears 27, New York Giants 21|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Cincinnati Bengals 27, Buffalo Bills 24 (OT)|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Green Bay Packers 19, Baltimore Ravens 17|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Detroit Lions 31, Cleveland Browns 17|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Carolina Panthers 35, Minnesota Vikings 10|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||St. Louis Rams 38, Houston Texans 13|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Kansas City Chiefs 24, Oakland Raiders 7|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Pittsburgh Steelers 19, New York Jets 6|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Philadelphia Eagles 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Denver Broncos 35, Jacksonville Jaguars 19|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Seattle Seahawks 20, Tennessee Titans 13|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||New England Patriots 30, New Orleans Saints 27|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||San Francisco 49ers 32, Arizona Cardinals 20|
|Sunday, Oct. 13||Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 16|
|Monday, Oct. 14||Indianapolis Colts (4-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (2-3)|
Just Win, Patriots
Don't look now, but the New England Patriots are 5-1 and in control of their own destiny in the AFC East.
If this was the year the Pats were to take a step back, I don't think anyone would have been surprised, especially after losing Wes Welker and working in a group of unproven talent at the wide receiver position.
It hasn't always been pretty—just look at Tom Brady's stats—but New England continues to win games and defy logic with an approach that keeps it in position to make a splash in the AFC the rest of the way.
This tweet from the NFL has an outstanding quote to confer:
'The Patriots were able to stun the Saints not with dazzling talent but with relentless resourcefulness.' http://t.co/a3v3q1U6xf— NFL (@nfl) October 14, 2013
The Pats keep bringing in players, and Brady keeps making them better. The defensive strategy against New Orleans was also sound, and the Patriots are once again looking like a contender through six weeks of play.
Panthers and Rams: Inconsistency at Its Finest
Would the real Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams please stand up?
It's been a mixed bag for both franchises this season, but blowout wins for Carolina over the Giants and Minnesota Vikings and one for St. Louis over the Houston Texans have us plagued—to say the least—at the 2013 futures of these two teams.
To put it simply, the inconsistency shown here is downright confounding.
Cam Newton looked like an All-Pro on Sunday, as did Sam Bradford. The defenses were stout, the offenses were crisp, and suddenly, each team is within striking distance at the top of its respective division.
Granted, the wins for the Panthers (NYG and MIN) and St. Louis (ARI, HOU, JAC) haven't raised any big-time alarms, but winning the games you are supposed to win is a hallmark of a playoff team.
We'll discuss why this is important in a section you'll see below, but you can bet turning in a repeat performance in Week 7 will be harped on by Ron Rivera and Jeff Fisher in practice all week.
AFC Is Topsy-Turvy
Don't look now, but you wouldn't recognize the AFC if you compared it to its 2012 version.
Who wins the AFC?
Kansas City is the most obvious candidate for comeback team of the year. What Andy Reid has done with that defense and Alex Smith at quarterback makes him an early runaway favorite for Coach of the Year.
Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins (3-2), Tennessee Titans (3-3), New York Jets (3-3) and Cleveland Browns (3-3) are all in the mix, too. Including Kansas City, all five aforementioned teams picked within the first 10 selections of the 2013 NFL draft.
What a difference an offseason makes.
Denver, Cincinnati and New England are doing fine with expectations, but Houston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh all have more questions than answers heading into Week 7.
There's a reason "any given Sunday" is a popular NFL phrase. The AFC is a prime example this season.
NFC Is One Big Mess
The New Orleans Saints were poised to run away with the NFC heading into Week 6.
Now, the Pats made Drew Brees and Co. look human, and the picture below the Bourbon Street stars looks very murky in the NFC. Assuming the Saints stay at the top, who is the favorite to get the other bye when the playoffs begin?
Everything is truly up for grabs on that side of the conference.
The NFC North is loaded—Detroit, Green Bay and Chicago all have just two losses. The NFC West might be scarier—all four teams are at least .500. The NFC East and South lack depth this year, but Dallas and Philadelphia are both 3-3, and the Panthers aren't out of it yet at 2-3.
As noted by Jason McIntyre of TheBigLead.com, the Eagles could be 4-3 and in control of the NFC East after next week's showdown with the Cowboys:
So no DeMarco Murray & maybe no DeMarcus Ware for Dallas vs Eagles? So Philly could be 4-3 w a win over everyone in NFC east? #GoChip— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) October 14, 2013
Who wins the NFC?
Looking forward, every week could be a virtual jockeying for position.
That makes winnable games all the more important for teams who are in the running to make the playoffs. As mentioned with the Rams and Panthers, good teams take care of business against bad teams and find ways to win games against good ones.
Right now, it's all hail the Saints.
In two weeks, we might be singing someone else's praises.
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