I joined an NFL pick ’em’ pool with some new friends I made in my sand volleyball league. On this week’s slate of games, I picked six of the 14 matchups correctly, which dropped me out of the Top 10. Honestly, I’m not even mad about it. This season is proving to be unpredictable, and it is nice for a change to see some notorious cellar dwellers rise out of perpetual mediocrity. Here’s what stood out most in Week 6:
– The Bills/Chiefs game did not disappoint as far as a tightly contested matchup goes but the offenses only combining for 44 combined points was a bit surprising to me. I think both defenses are overshadowed at times by their elite offenses. Both these defensive units are more than capable. Anyway, it appears the road to the AFC Championship will run through Buffalo this year. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are the best receiving duo in the league right now.
– The Eagles/ Cowboys matchup went from a blowout to a nailbiter (at least for Eagles fans) in a span of three quarters. Then Jalen Hurts delivered the dagger to put the game away in the 4th. I think both teams have positives to take away from this game. The Eagles took the ball away and showed that the Dallas defense can be scored on, and the Cowboys showed great resilience in climbing back in this game after falling 20-0. They also should be getting Dak back this week and sit nicely at 4-2. These are the two best teams in the NFC right now and I would not be shocked to find them facing off in a playoff matchup come January.
– How do the Giants keep doing it? In the past two weeks they have beaten the Packers and Ravens. I know both are struggling but it is still Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson led teams they are beating. Brian Daboll may have already clinched coach of the year in Week 6. Their next four games are Jags, Seahawks, Texans, and Lions. Could be looking at a 9-1 start that absolutely no one saw coming.
– Not to be outdone, the New York Jets went into Lambeau and disposed of the Packers and improved to 4-2. I’m not a big believer in Zach Wilson but the rest of this Jets roster is not terrible. Breece Hall is proving to be one of their better running backs in the league. The Packers meanwhile are in panic mode. The Vikings keep winning and the Packers offense looks abysmal. The good news for them is nearly the whole conference is 3-3 so a wild card spot is still attainable. They are going to have to figure it out on offense. Time for the MVP to do MVP things.
– What is going on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and why couldn’t this version of the Bucs have played the Eagles in the playoffs last year? Is the potential Giselle divorce a distraction for the GOAT? I don’t know but this team is not performing on offense. The Steelers are a well-coached team, but they are anemic on offense themselves. This is a game Tampa simply should not lose. Luckily for them their division is not great, so I expect this team to be hosting a playoff game in January. That said it could be one and done and possibly the last of Tom Brady.
– It was a disappointing weekend for one Atlanta team and this time it wasn’t the Falcons. The way the Bucs are sliding you must be encouraged if you support the Dirty Birds. If it weren’t for a bad roughing the passer call this team would be leading the NFC South. Marcus Mariota is not inspiring but capable of winning games. Drake London is on pace for 800 receiving yards and Kyle Pitts finally scored this game. I know the 49ers are dealing with some injuries, but this was a confusing result. I still think they are the team to beat in the West, but they appear to have regressed from the team that went to the NFC Championship last year.
A couple quick notes:
– Tough break for Carson Wentz. Pulls out a win in Chicago but goes down with a broken finger for 4-6 weeks. It looks like he will miss out on the warm reception he would have received at the Eagles in a month.
– Are the Vikings good? They have the talent on paper and the 5-1 record yet I am not sold. The Cowboys and Giants have more impressive wins.
– Mac Jones better watch his back. Zappe is coming for his job and suddenly, the Patriots are back in the playoff race.
– Deshaun Watson can’t save this Browns squad. Poor Nick Chubb is doing all he can.
– The Jags and Lions have come back down to earth. Still have some likeable head coaches though.
– In the battle of Who Dey vs Who Dat, the Bengals came out on top to keep pace in the NFC North. The Saints have a quick turnaround against Arizona on TNF.
– The Rams got back on track with a win against the worst team in the NFC. They still look very beatable.
– Will Bryce Young be a Panther or a Texan next year?
– Geno Smith is playing like the 3rd best QB in the NFC right now. You read that right.
– Hollywood Brown goes down. In comes Robby Anderson. Not a great trade-off for Murray and company.
– I don’t know what ancient burial ground Drew and Will disturbed but that is the only explanation I can think of with the string of luck the Dolphins are experiencing at QB. Tua can’t get back soon enough.
On to Week 7!