Six Things We Learned From Week 6 of the 2020 NFL Season
A matchup between the NFC East’s New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles is what NFL fans have to look forward to on Thursday Night Football.
So while we wait for that game, which funnily enough could be an important game for the division standings, we should look back on what Week 6 had to offer.
Once again, here is a touchdowns worth of things we learned this past week of the NFL season.
Bucs brilliant in blowout
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed out on Sunday night against the Pack.
In the most anticipated game of the season so far, the Bucs embarrassed the Green Bay Packers on both sides of the ball and beat them 38-10.
The matchup was so hyped up throughout the week prior because of the quarterbacks of both teams, Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay and Tom Brady for Tampa. However, neither player impacted the game a whole lot.
Apart from a couple picks from Rodgers and a pair of TD’s from Brady, they just didn’t show out like they were predicted to. In fact, the two QB’’s only combined for a total 326 passing yards.
The game’s biggest factor was undoubtably the Tampa Bay defense who held the packers to a single touchdown and a field goal throughout the whole 60 minutes of game time.
Young cornerback Jamel Dean even picked off Rodgers and took it to the house to open the scoring for Tampa Bay, and after that the defense didn’t give up another point. They even managed to intercept Rodgers one more time.
Coming out of Sunday’s game people’s opinions of this Bucs team shifted.
A week prior they had lost to the Bears, Brady was being mocked in the media, and they didn’t look like a Super Bowl team.
But coming out of Week 6 after a beat down of the Packers, this squad looks legit. They look like a team that could make a run in the playoffs and maybe win it all.
The Bucs face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7 of the season. This matchup between two teams looking to prove their doubters wrong should be one to tune in for.
And if the Bucs manage to take care of the Raiders this week, who’s to say they aren’t the NFC favourites. They certainly have the players to do it, so we’ll just have to sit back and see if they fulfil their potential.
Texans two-point costs the game
The Houston Texans shadowed the ‘Week 5 Minnesota Vikings’ in Week 6.
They made a call to seal the game for their teams and ended up regretting it by the time the game was over.
Interim head coach for the Texans, Romeo Crenell, made the call to go for a two-point conversion after a late touchdown on Sunday in their game against the Vikings.
A successful attempt would have put his team up by nine and would have made it close to impossible for the Titans to win.
But that’s not what happened.
The Texans failed to convert for two. Keeping it as a seven-point game. Allowing the Titans to drive the field, score a last second touchdown, kick the extra-point and send the game to overtime.
The Titans won the coin toss in OT, and then drove down the field for the win, capping the game off with a Derrick Henry touchdown run after taking a direct snap.
Apart from the outstanding play by the Titans to get the victory, the biggest talking point post-game was the call from Crenell to go for two.
The head coach explained that he wanted to win the game then and there. A close explanation to that of Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer, who made a similar call in Week 5 against Seattle.
Taking the chance to put the game out of reach is a relatively new way of thinking thanks to the so-called ‘analytics’ which have affected the game.
Coaches in the league are put in a hard spot when making pivotal calls. The analytics often suggest different options to take, which may get in the way of their logic.
As always, the struggle to make the right call will continue.
In a different universe we’re probably praising Crenell for his gutsy call to go for two, but after Week 6 of the season, the blame for the loss is put on him.
The Bears won’t back down
How surprising have the Chicago Bears been this season?
Now if you tell me you expected them to be 5-1 after Week 6, then you are a liar.
No one expected this.
But to be honest, they’ve made a lot of changes and had a lot of luck to get into the position they’re currently in.
Remember when they benched Trubisky in Week 3 against the Lions after he stunk it up? Yeah, that led to Nick Foles coming out, working his magic, and stealing a win from the ever-suffering Detroit Lions.
There’s no doubt that Foles has helped the Bears tremendously since becoming the starter. Just having a slither of consistency at quarterback is helping Chicago so much because their defense can handle the majority of the workload.
Now they certainly don’t look like the Bears that shocked the football world a couple years back, but they don’t look like absolute scrubs either.
The final score against the Panthers in Week 6 was 23-16, but the team’s performance was more dominating than their result would suggest.
The Bears defense punished Teddy Bridgewater and his offensive weapons on Sunday, forcing a total of three interceptions, and sacking the young QB four times en route to their fifth win of the year.
Chicago will face the Rams, Saints and Titans in the next three weeks. A tough challenge for a team dying to prove themselves. But possibly one that they can step up to.
If the Bears manage to come out of the next few weeks with even a single win then they should count that as a success. But if they manage to pick up any more, then maybe we should look at them in a different light.
Maybe they’d even be on the radar as a Super Bowl contender.
Dolphins dare to shake things up
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins to a 24-0 blowout win against a pitiful New York Jets team.
But that could be his last game as Miami’s starting QB.
Before getting to that though, we should really appreciate the beating that the Dolphins gave the Jets on Sunday.
We all know this by now, but in case you don’t then let me explain, the New York Jets are by far and away the worst professional football team in the world.
Their coach should not be there, their players don’t care, and their fans just want the season to end already so that they can get the number one pick and draft Trevor Lawrence. It really is just a horrible situation.
The Dolphins future looks brighter though. And as mentioned before this could come through the replacement of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
‘Fitzmagic’ had been playing well for Miami up to this point, but recent news suggests that their first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa will take over as the team’s starting quarterback after their bye week.
This throws a spanner in the works for these Dolphins who have been playing good football lately.
Their division is wide open with the Bills and Patriots having down weeks and a quarterback change could be a move that lessens your chances of getting a potential playoff spot.
This move is for the future though, and although Fitzpatrick is upset by the move, along with so many fans, it will be the right one for the team in the long run.
The next few weeks are unclear for the Dolphins. But maybe Tua can be a success.
If he’s anything like these other rookie QB’s we’ve seen this year, then the Dolphins will be just fine.
Wentz works with what he has
They were so close to coming back on one of the league’s premiere teams in the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. But they fell a two-point conversion short of doing so.
The Ravens ultimately came away from Sunday’s matchup with a 30-28 win, but it was Wentz and co. who earned the respect of fans after their spirited comeback in the second half.
After Sunday’s game, people finally realised the issues that have been plaguing the Eagles and Carson Wentz this year.
In this game there were countless things that could have been turning points for Philly, could have took then on the path to victory. But bad luck and poor play meant that the Eagles ended up with another one in the loss column.
One of the game’s biggest ‘what if’ moments came when running back Miles Sanders dropped a wide-open pass in the endzone.
What if he caught it?
Well the Eagles still would’ve went into the half at a deficit but at least they would have had points on the board. And them points would have boosted their confidence going into the second half.
The Eagles O-line was also a point of contention against the Ravens. They just did not play well. And it doesn’t help that the position group is like a revolving door.
So what if the O-line was healthy?
Well, Wentz wouldn’t have been sacked seven times. He also wouldn’t have been hit an additional 17 times throughout the game. Maybe by the end of the game he wouldn’t have felt like he’d just finished 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
I think Sunday’s game showed Carson Wentz’s struggles to everyone watching.
The Eagles aren’t a healthy team, and they’re a team that makes too many mistakes.
That isn’t necessarily a combination to have if are looking to win in the NFL.
At least it isn’t all doom and gloom, they are in prime position to win the worst division in football after all.
Steelers as strong as anyone
Now I was someone who didn’t believe in the Pittsburgh Steelers before the season started. And because of that I will put my hands up and say that I was wrong.
Up until Week 6 I still wasn’t sure on them. They hadn’t really beat any good teams and there was still a seed of doubt in my mind that they were a force to be reckoned with.
But after they beat the brakes off of the Browns, I have changed my mind.
Their total annihilation of their division rivals was a sight to behold.
Yes, the Browns, like in recent years, are a mediocre-looking football team but the way that Pittsburgh was able to dominate a team with such star power in all facets of the game was just spectacular.
Since the rookie sensation Chase Claypool emerged on to the scene their offense has looked unstoppable. With Ben managing the game to perfection, James Conner running the ball efficiently and the O-line holding up well, this team can put up points at will.
I don’t know what to even say about the defense as it speaks for itself really.
Fitzpatrick, Dupree, Watt, Tuitt, Heyward, and so many others have been balling out all year for the black and gold. The defense has allowed the fewest points in the league so far, and is on track to be one of the best this year.
Now an injury to Devin Bush couldn’t come at a worse time considering how hot they have been looking, but these young Steelers on D will keep pushing on.
The Steelers will go into Week 7 as an undefeated team, and it is there where they will face another undefeated foe in the Tennesse Titans.
This will be Pittsburgh’s biggest test to date.
Come Sunday night we’ll see who the better of the two are, and if it turns out to be the Steelers, well then the rest of the NFL has a problem on its hands.