Although the 2014 NFL season isn’t even half way over yet, numerous teams are beginning to emerge as serious playoff threats while others are falling off the map. After a week of blowouts, upsets, and even a tie, Fanatics Authentic recaps the biggest headlines from Week 6 in the NFL.
The Indianapolis Colts jumped out to an early 24-0 start against the Houston Texans in the first quarter, but that didn’t stop Ryan Fitzpatrick’s squad from making it a close one. JJ Watt scored his third touchdown of the season to put him ahead of consistent offensive threats LeSean McCoy and Calvin Johnson, but Indy still held off Houston to a 33-28 win. In what turned out to be a snoozer, rookie sensation Blake Bortles led Jacksonville in both passing in rushing despite a 2-point loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Jets could get nothing going on the ground as Geno Smith led Gang Green with 11 (yes, you read that right) yards on the ground behind a miserable loss to the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos. The Cleveland Browns got revenge on their archrival Pittsburgh Steelers after a Week 1 loss and took down the black and gold with a big 21-point victory at home. Just about every NFL fan would have predicted a San Diego romping of the Oakland Raiders before the game on Sunday. Considering the Chargers look like legitimate AFC West contenders and the Raiders hadn’t won a game, it was a perfectly respectable expectation, but Oakland gave the Chargers all they could handle and San Diego barely escaped with a last minute victory. Tom Brady looks to be back to his old tricks as he tallied 4 passing touchdowns with over 360 yards in the air, as he led New England to a commanding win over the Buffalo Bills. In what was the most intriguing result of the weekend, the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers ended their high scoring match-up in a 37-37 tie. For a match-up between one of the biggest players this season in the Bengals against a Panthers team that still struggles to find its rhythm, its bizarre result really threw NFL fans, and even the players, for a loop.
After coming off of three straight victories, the New York Giants were brought back down to Earth after getting shutout by the rolling Philadelphia Eagles 27-0. Packers fans may now finally be a little more relaxed after Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay to yet another big win, with a last-minute victory over the Miami Dolphins. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco put together a record-breaking performance in a 48-17 win against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as he threw 5 touchdown passes in a shorter amount of time than any other NFL quarterback in league history. Theo Riddick’s 75 receiving yards helped the Detroit Lions to a 17-3 win over Minnesota, while the Washington Redskins were no match for the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals. After back-to-back losses, the Chicago Bears were able to get back on track as they defeated the Atlanta Falcons behind nearly 400 yards in the air from quarterback Jay Cutler. The defending Super Bowl champions finally met their match as they went up against a hot Dallas Cowboys team on Sunday afternoon. Despite being favorites to win the game by over a touchdown, the Seattle Seahawks came up short as Dallas improved to a 5-1 record. To cap things off for Week 6, Monday Night Football featured an NFC West battle, in which Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers took down the Rams in St. Louis in an exciting 31-17 win.
NFL fans are in for a real treat with a slate of games headlined by some of the league’s best rivalries next weekend. The Jets will play the Patriots for a thrilling Thursday Night Football, the Giants and Cowboys will square off on Sunday, and the Bengals will face the Colts in what may be a preview for this year’s AFC Championship Game. Gear up to support for your favorite NFL players and your Super Bowl hopefuls every Sunday as the competition gets even closer and separates the pretenders from the contenders.