NFL Week 6: Recap and Power Rankings

With a few exception, Week 6 when mostly how I thought it would as there were a number of straightforward matchups. If you followed my advice this week, you were in luck. I went 10-4 on straight picks this week, but only 8-6 against the spread and rebounded from a brutal Week 5 to go 10-4 on the over/under. Christen had a rough go of it but still went 7-7 this week. Overall, my record improved to 62-28-1, 59-39-1 Vs Spread, and 17-22-2 since I started tracking the O/U while Christen’s record is still a respectable 54-36-1. With those few surprises, the power structure in the league is beginning to solidify.

Chase Claypool feeling the Derrick Henry vibes

Both the Steelers (5-0) and Titans (5-0) extended their undefeated seasons and their claims as kings in the AFC. Pittsburgh got a lopsided 38-7 win over a surprisingly good Browns (4-2) team and made it look pretty effortless on both sides of the ball as Chase Claypool continues to break into stardom.

Derrick Henry scored the game-winner in overtime to cap off a thrilling game

Tennessee, on the other hand, won a nail-biter, 42-36, in overtime versus a Texans (1-5) team that really hasn’t played well all season. Titans’ Head Coach Mike Vrabel applied some Jedi-mind-trick level scenario-management by essentially baiting the Texans into accepting a 12-men on the field penalty to stop the clock as they were driving with the lead. Houston scored on the drive but the extra time allowed TEN plenty of time to tie the game and force overtime, where they went on to win on the back of Derrick Henry’s monster game. Fortunately for us, that Week 4 PIT/TEN game that was postponed is now back on track for Week 7.

This just about sums up the day for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers

Desperate teams are dangerous teams in the NFL and both the Packers and Rams fell victim on Sunday. Green Bay was cruisin’, up 10-0 with the ball, when the wheels came flying off. Aaron Rodgers threw a pick-six to get Tampa bay their first points and threw another interception a few plays later that led to another Bucs’ touchdown. Within the span of 90-seconds, Tampa had taken the lead and never looked back en route to a 38-10 smashing that ended the Packers’ (4-1) undefeated season and placed TB (4-2) atop the NFC South. Similarly, the Rams headed into Santa Clara to take on a 49ers team that was reeling after getting embarrassed 43-17 by the Dolphins. To their credit, the Niners played like their season was on the line and improved to 3-3 with a crucial 24-16 W over their division rival Rams (4-2).

Baltimore(5-1) and Indianapolis(4-2) both survived close games against sub .500 teams. The Ravens got up big against the Eagles(1-4-1), but Philly never goes quietly. They rallied to cut the lead to two but failed on the 2-point-conversion and couldn’t recover the onside kick. Unfortunately, in the process, they also lost tight end Zach Ertz and running back Miles Sanders to injury. The Colts are a mixed bag and haven’t shown much consistency week-to-week but they came back from an early 21-0 deficit against Cincinnati (1-4-1) to hang on to a 31-27 victory. If it weren’t for the Titans, Indy would be cruising in the AFC South. The same could be said for the Ravens, who are a half-game back of the Steelers in the AFC North. 

The Bears keep on rolling

The Chicago Bears (5-1) kept with their winning way as they held off the streaking Carolina Panthers (3-3). Thanks to the Packers’ stumble, the Bears now sit alone atop the NFC North. Their division rival Detroit Lions got a much-needed road win over the Jaguars who look to be the worst team in the league, having lost 5 in a row while two of the other winless teams picked up their first Ws. Under new leadership, Atlanta (1-5) got their first win with an impressive performance against a Vikings (1-5) team that had started to play pretty well. Julio Jones is healthy and it made a big difference, but the energy on defense was much improved too. The New York Giants (1-5) not only got their first win, but they also picked up a game in the division. The G-Men held on against Washington (1-5) who failed to complete the 2-pt conversion for the win rather than playing for the tie. 

The biggest surprise of the week came in the form of an 18-12 Denver (2-3) win over the Patriots (2-3). I fully expected a Pats’ team with extra prep time would be dialed in, but they looked like crap on both sides of the ball. The Broncos’ Vic Fangio completely shut down the New England running backs and got after Cam Newton all afternoon, who didn’t look good coming back off COVID-IR. Even with 100-yard days for the Broncos’ Tim Patrick and Phillip Lindsay, it was field goals all day and any fantasy owners who played Broncos’ kicker Brandon McManus were very happy. In less surprising news, the Jets (0-6) got shut out 24-0 by the Dolphins (3-3) and that win put Miami in second place in the AFC East over the Patriots. Surprisingly, the Fins announced that, after their bye week, rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa will take over for Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw for 191-yards, 3-TDs, and 2-INTs in Sunday’s win.

This happened to the Bills all night long as The Hyphen, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, racked up 161-yards on 26-carries

One team had to lose two in a row and, unfortunately, it was my Bills (4-2) who lost to the Chiefs (5-1) Monday night, 26-17. It was close and it wasn’t, as KC ran all over the Buffalo defense that was playing coverage to the tune of 245-yards. It wasn’t a good look for the Bills who’s offense hasn’t performed in back to back weeks either. In the “real” Monday Night Football, the Arizona Cardinals (4-2) whooped up on the Dallas Cowboys (2-4). Even without Chandler Jones, the Cards put consistent pressure on the rusty-rifle Andy Dalton and forced two fumbles from Ezekiel Elliot en route to a 38-10 win (the late garbage-time TD to Amari Cooper gutted me in fantasy). In most cases, the Boys would be completely out of playoff contention but their division is so bad that Dallas actually still has the lead with only two wins. 

The NFC East has been dreadful all season, with a combined record of 5-18 so far. Fortunately for those teams, none of them are out of it yet and one of these teams has to win the division and make playoffs. Unfortunately for us, we may have to see a team with a losing records take a precious playoff spot from a much more deserving team. Week 7 gets underway as the New York Giants (1-5) head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles (1-4-1) with the division lead potentially up for grabs on Thursday Night Football. Both teams have been playing better as of late, but Philly has the strength of schedule advantage and should take that game at home. 

The Steelers assume the top spot via dominance, Packers slide. Power Rankings:

1. Steelers 5-0 (5⬆)
2. Seahawks 5-0 (2=)
3. Titans 5-0 (4⬆)
4. Chiefs 5-1 (3⬇)
5. Ravens 5-1 (7⬆)
6. Bears 5-1 (8⬆)
7. Packers 4-1 (1⬇)
8. Buccaneers 4-2 (13⬆)
9. Bills 4-2 (6⬇)
10. Rams 4-2 (8⬇)
11. Browns 4-2 (10⬇)
12. Raiders 3-2 (12=)
13. Cardinals 4-2 (15⬆)
14. Colts 4-2 (17⬆)
15. Panthers 3-3 (14⬇)
16. Saints 3-2 (16=)
17. Dolphins 3-3 (17⬆)
18. 49ers 3-3 (19⬆)
19. Broncos 2-3 (29⬆)
20. Patriots 2-3 (11⬇)
21. Lions 2-3 (21=)
22. Chargers 1-4 (20=)
23. Cowboys 2-4 (20⬇)
24. Eagles 1-4-1 (23⬇)
25. Bengals 1-4-1 (24⬇)
26. Vikings 1-5 (25⬇)
27. Texans 1-5 (26⬇)
28. Falcons 1-5 (30⬆)
29. Giants 1-5 (32⬆)
30. Washington 1-5 (29⬇)
31. Jaguars 1-5 (28⬇)
32. Jets 0-6 (32=)

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