Week Six produced plenty of interesting results that not many people saw coming. Tennessee looks dead in the water as the Pats completely embarrassed them while Kansas City got their first win against one of the worst-run teams in sports.
Houston (3-3) def. Cincinnati (4-2), 28-17: It must be completely maddening to be a Texans fan. They have alternated wins and losses each week, leading to a .500 record. When Houston plays the way they did on Sunday, they can beat any team. As for Cincy, they fell into a trap game and now have to bounce back in what will be a tough game against the Bears.
Green Bay (3-2) def. Detroit (1-5), 26-0: Daunte Culpepper was horrible on Sunday—a stark contrast to how he and the rest of this team played against the Steelers last week. Green Bay jumped out early and never looked back. However, the Pack's protection problems continue to linger as Aaron Rodgers went down five more times to bring his total to a league-leading 25 sacks taken on the season.
Minnesota (6-0) def. Baltimore (3-3), 33-31: For the first three quarters the Vikings were in complete control. Every time it looked like the Ravens were getting ready to make a comeback, Minnesota answered with a touchdown. However, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and the rest of this offense showed how much they've improved with a strong fourth quarter.
The biggest story to come out of this game is the continued slide of the once vaunted Ravens defense. They have not been able to get off of the field when they absolutely need to. For the most part Minnesota did what they wanted on offense. The Ravens must do something to improve that during their bye week.
New Orleans (5-0) def. New York Giants (5-1), 48-27: As I was watching this game, I was floored by how easily the Saints were moving the ball up and down the field. Almost zero resistance from the G-Men. The Giants' injuries in the secondary were factors, but I don't know if it would have made a bit of difference if all of the starters were playing. Drew Brees' passes were so only his players could get them. This was absolutely humbling for the Giants.
Pittsburgh (4-2) def. Cleveland (1-5), 27-14: This game really wasn't as close as the score indicates. Cleveland's offense was abysmal again, led by Derek Anderson and his turnovers. Pittsburgh's defense looked to be getting to full strength with Troy Polamalu's return. Ben Roethlisberger took apart Cleveland's secondary. Pittsburgh has a huge game next week against the Vikings, so this win is a little bit of extra momentum going in.
Carolina (2-3) def. Tampa Bay (0-6), 28-21: This was really a game of two teams going nowhere. The Panthers got a victory, but Delhomme was below average and you cannot consistently win with quarterback play like that. On a positive note, Carolina went back to running the ball again.
Kansas City (1-5) def. Washington (2-4), 14-6: Washington is right down there with Oakland and the Rams as one of the worst teams in the league. Despite an easy schedule, they find ways to look horrible. It's inevitable that Jim Zorn will be fired. Jason Campbell may be done as a Redskin. The offense needs more than a new play caller.
Kansas City went into Washington and embarrassed an already pathetic team. The Chiefs played harder, smarter, and better in all three phases of the game.
Jacksonville (3-3) def. St. Louis (0-6), 23-20 (OT): Jacksonville should have won in regulation, but mistakes kept the Rams around and nearly cost the Jaguars the game. On the surface, the Jags had good numbers, but they couldn't pull away. The Rams almost got their first victory, but they needed something more to get it.
Oakland (2-4) def. Philadelphia (3-2), 13-9: Play calling killed the Eagles in Oakland. The game should not have been close. When Donovan McNabb was pressured, Andy Reid was stubborn and refused to go to the run game. The Raiders struggled stopping the run and Brian Westbrook was playing well.
Philly has this kind of game every year, so Eagles fans shouldn't worry. However, credit has to go to Oakland for finally showing up and playing ball.
Arizona (3-2) def. Seattle (2-4), 27-3: Seattle falls into the same group as the Texans. They look good one week and then they come out playing like they did against the Cards. Arizona dominated this game from start to finish and Seattle had no answer.
New England (4-2) def. Tennessee (0-6), 59-0: Wow. Is New England that good or did we all completely overestimate Tennessee? I wish I knew.
Buffalo (2-4) def. New York Jets (3-3), 16-13 (OT): Most thought that "The Sanchize" had his "rookie game" against New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and that everything would be fine from there. Not so much. Mark Sanchez didn't look comfortable at all. The Jets ran wild but still could not get the win.
Buffalo persevered after looking wretched last week. They survived their quarterback getting injured early. They still need to figure out how to stop the run.
Another big story here is Kris Jenkins' season-ending injury. That will really hurt the Jets for the rest of the season.
Atlanta (4-1) def. Chicago (3-2), 21-14: Chicago had the ball in the red zone four times and only got seven points out of it. Atlanta took a while to get going on offense, but when they did, they made big plays. This was a solid win for the Falcons.
Denver (6-0) def. San Diego (2-3), 34-23: It may be time for San Diego to focus most of their energy on a wild card berth. For the third straight year, the Chargers are off to a slow start and now the Broncos are firmly in control of the AFC West. Denver looked good again and continues to prove the naysayers wrong.
Top 12 Teams
(last week's ranking in parenthesis)
- New Orleans Saints (3): They looked very good in their dismantling of the Giants. Next week: at Miami (2-3)
- Indianapolis Colts (2): Had a bye week, so they don't rise or fall. Next week: at St. Louis (0-6)
- Minnesota Vikings (4): They almost let a big lead turn into a loss, but pulled out a win against a good team. Next week: at Pittsburgh (4-2)
- Denver Broncos (5): They now have what is essentially a four-game lead six games into the season. Next week: BYE
- New York Giants (1): Every team has a bad game. The Giants just had one, which is excusable for this team. Next week: vs. Arizona (3-2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (7): They've done what they were supposed to do the past two weeks. They now have a big game this week. Next week: vs. Minnesota (6-0)
- New England Patriots (8): One of the most dominating performances I've ever seen. Tom Brady looks like he's back on track. Next week: at Tampa Bay (0-6)
- Atlanta Falcons (10): Picked up a nice win against a good Chicago team as they continue to improve. Next week: at Dallas (3-2)
- Philadelphia Eagles (6): They have one of these bad games every year. It's annoying for Eagles fans, but they will be fine. Next week: at Washington (2-4)
- Baltimore Ravens (9): The offense is fine. Ironically, it's the defense they need to worry about. Next week: BYE
- Arizona Cardinals (NR): I don't love this team, but they have looked pretty good since losing to Indy. Next week: at New York Giants
- Cincinnati Bengals (12): If they are going to stay with the Steelers and Ravens until the end of the year, they have to beat the teams they should beat. The Texans are one of those teams. Next week: vs. Chicago (3-2)
Team To Drop Out of the Top 12: New York Jets
They are not a bad team, but they have looked that way at times since the 3-0 start. They need to get a lot of things together.
That will put Week Six to bed for now. Week Seven picks will be in on Friday.