NFL Week 6 helped us level the playing field a little. We now have one less undefeated and one less winless team. One of the great things about the NFL is the level of parity and that any team can win any game on any given day. Unfortunately, if you’re a Giants fan, this does not apply. Moving on to the games…
St Louis 38 Houston 13 – Ouch. This one hurt, and I’m not talking about Matt Schaub getting hurt mid-game. This was a brutal wake up call for the Texans after a number of costly mistakes on multiple fronts led to the Rams absolutely humiliating the Texans by scoring a touchdown on offense, defense, and special teams. Houston largely outgained St. Louis 437-216, but the 4-0 turnover margin made the scoreboard very lopsided. The lowlight of this game was when Matt Schaub got hurt, fans were cheering. This was despicable and when asked about it, Andre Johnson called those fans classless. He’s right. There is no place for that in sports. Some fans even had the gall to confront Schaub at his own home. Houston, win with grace, and lose with some too.
Carolina 35 Minnesota 10 – Perhaps this is the moment Josh Freeman has been waiting for. After a good outing last week, Matt Cassel did not have nearly as strong of a game. While connecting on 72% of his passes, he did throw a pair of interceptions. Adrian Peterson did not have his usual awesome game, as his mind was understandably elsewhere. We can’t totally blame either of these guys as the defense was carved up by Cam Newton for 3 touchdown passes, including a 79 yard bomb to Brandon LaFell. Both teams entered the game with one win and not much going their way, but Carolina was able to pretty much do whatever they wanted on a hapless defense.
Pittsburgh 19 New York Jets 6 – The Steelers finally got a win. After starting 0-5, their chase for imperfection ended with Geno Smith playing like a rookie and Ben Roethlisberger having a solid day. Despite another ineffective rushing attack by Pittsburgh, Big Ben was able to pretty effective until he got deep into Jets territory. Both defenses did a great job getting to the quarterback with each starter getting sacked 3 times. The Jets also sacked receiver Antonio Brown as well. A 55 yard touchdown from Roethlisberger to Emanual Sanders in the 3rd was the only touchdown of the day and put the game out of reach.
Cincinnati 27 Buffalo 24 – Sometimes, 60 minutes just is not enough. I love overtime games, even more so since they tweaked the OT rules. I have to give Thad Lewis a lot of credit. He helped the Bills come back with two 4th including one with just over a minute left. He took 5 sacks, but let’s remember that this was a player that barely a third string quarterback not too long ago. Stepping in for an injured EJ Manuel and without receiver Stevie Johnson, he did not disappoint. He did get hurt with a sprained foot, but played on. What a trooper. Andy Dalton had a solid 300 yard day with 3 touchdown passes. With this win, the Bengals have sole possession of 1st place in the AFC North.
Green Bay 19 Baltimore 17 – Is Joe Flacco still worth that fat contract? Yes, I’m harping on it because they lost again in a situation that they should have won. Green Bay had to overcome the loss of Randall Cobb and James Jones. While Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards, his completion percentage was barely over 50%. Eddie Lacy picked up the slack with a big 120 yard game against a tough Baltimore defense. Scoring only 19 points should have given Flacco the opportunity to put a strong effort out there, but he took 5 sacks and Ray Rice’s game was nowhere to be found. Green Bay continues to try to keep up in a stacked NFC North division race while Baltimore still remains hot on Cincinnati’s heels.
New England 30 New Orleans 27 – Undefeated no more. Having the lead late against a savvy veteran like Tom Brady is no guarantee for victory. He got the ball with 73 seconds left and drove the team 70 yards downfield culminating with a great corner pass to Kenbrell Thomkins for the winning score. Brady largely continued to struggle during the majority of the game taking 5 sacks. Brees struggled even more with only completing 47% of his passes. I laugh at all those fans who left Gillette stadium early. You missed the best ending you’ll probably see this season for your Patriots. I have zero sympathy for fans who leave games early and miss the magic.
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