The 2017 NFL season is in full swing, and it has honestly been one of the craziest seasons in recent memory. Most of the preseason predictions have been thrown out of the window (i.e. the Patriots being undefeated and the Jets being winless), and the rest of this season seems to be unpredictable.
In Atlanta, the Falcons seemed to have the game on lock from the get-go, as the defending NFC Champions took a 17-0 lead into the locker room against the Miami Dolphins. Enter Jay Cutler, who lit up the Falcons secondary for 151 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. Running back Jay Ajayi took control of the game, rushing for 130 yards on 26 carries. The Dolphins came all the way back from 17 down to shock the Falcons, 20-17. A lot of people seem to be pressing the panic button on Atlanta, but there’s no need to. They still have an incredible roster and are poised to make a return to the playoffs.
Two of the most surprising teams so far this season sat in a tie for first place in the AFC East heading into Sunday. The Jets hosted Tom Brady and the defending champion Patriots, and they were looking for one hell of an upset. The Jets jumped out to a 14-0 lead early, but that is as easy as it gets for Tom Brady, as he and the Pats tied the game at 14 heading into halftime. New England then scored the next 10 points, and the Jets followed with what looked like the second touchdown of the day for tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Upon further review, it was determined that Seferian-Jenkins fumbled the ball out of the endzone, which turned the touchdown into a touchback and a turnover. A lot of fans were up in arms about the call. Whatever the case, it cost the Jets seven points and eventually the game, as they ended up falling to the Patriots 24-17. Here’s the play that was overturned. You be the judge.
It was touchdowns galore in the Big Easy, as the Lions and Saints combined to find the endzone 10 times in their 52-38 thriller. The Saints were in the driver’s seat all day, as they had a 31-10 halftime lead and never looked back. The offense ran through Mark Ingram, as the veteran halfback ran 25 times for 114 yards and two scores, while also adding 5 catches for 36 yards. Drew Brees had an off day for Drew Brees standards, but it looks like the future hall of famer still has some gas left in the tank.
The Texans easily handled the dismal Browns in Houston, as rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson continues to shine under center. His stats from Sunday don’t pop, just 225 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, but he has impressed so far and looks to be the QB of the future in Houston.
The Rams continue to surprise many, as they now sit at 4-2 following their 27-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushing for 130 yards, including a 75-yard score (highlight below), it wasn’t enough for the Jaguar offense. The Rams’ special teams scored 2 touchdowns, as Pharoh Cooper ran the opening kickoff back 103 yards for the score, and Malcolm Brown picked up a blocked punt in the endzone.
Two games with a short list of highlights were the Chargers’ 17-16 victory over the Raiders, and the Giants’ first win of the season in Denver on Sunday night. Nick Novak hit a game-winning 32-yard field goal as time expired to give LA its second win in a row, while the Broncos offense struggled to make big plays, and the defense couldn’t make stops when needed. Eli Manning and the G-Men survived their first game without Odell Beckham Jr., squeezing out a 23-10 victory.
The 49ers remain winless following a tough loss in Washington against the Redskins. Despite quarterback Kirk Cousins’ struggles, the Skins managed to put up 26 points, and were able to hold off rookie QB CJ Beathard and the Niners offense. Beathard replaced starter Brian Hoyer in the second quarter, and played ok in his debut. Following the loss, head coach Kyle Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Honestly not a bad move for the Niners, as they will just be playing for a draft pick the rest of the way following an 0-6 start. Might as well give the rookie a shot to impress before deciding on a future QB.
Adrian Peterson made his Cardinals debut, and he looked much like the old All Day from the start. On just his 4th carry in Arizona, Peterson took it 27 yards to the house, and jumpstarted the Cardinals offense. Arizona scored the first 31 points of the game, and following Jameis Winston’s first quarter exit, it looked like the Bucs were done for. In stepped backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he wasn’t about to let his team go down without a fight. The Harvard grad kept it interesting, but two key interceptions never gave Tampa Bay a shot at a winning drive, and they fell just short, as the game ended 38-33. Here’s Peterson’s first TD of the day. I think I can speak for all football fans when I say we are happy to at least see a glimpse of the old AP once again.
The lone undefeated team in the league finally fell, as the Kansas City Chiefs had a less than spectacular performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both quarterbacks played sloppily, but it was the running backs who stole the show. Le’Veon Bell exploded for 179 yards on 32 carries, and despite being held to just 21 yards on the ground, rookie Kareem Hunt managed to have 5 catches for 89 yards, becoming the first rookie to start his career with 100 yards from scrimmage in his first six games. The Steelers survived for the 19-13 win, thanks in part to this late 51-yard TD catch from Antonio Brown.
Two teams off to rocky starts actually played a pretty decent game, as the Bears traveled to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Chicago continued to pull off some trickery, as their first touchdown of the game come off of this trick play.
This game was nothing short of big plays, as in the 2nd half alone, there was a 96-yard kickoff return, a 90-yard pick six, and a 77-yard punt return that ended up sending the game to overtime. The game ended in a Bears victory, as Connor Barth hit a 40-yard field goal for the win. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky didn’t do much, but he is giving Bears fans some hope for the future.
The biggest news of the day came from Minnesota, as the Vikings hosted the 4-1 Packers. There weren’t many highlights from the Vikings’ 23-10 victory, but the main storyline was the injury to Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers broke his right collarbone on a hit from Anthony Barr, and will have surgery. Many believe his season is over, but he broke his left collarbone in 2013 and only missed 7 games. The big difference is this is his throwing arm, so recovery time could be longer than 7 weeks. This is obviously a crucial blow for the Packers, as they go from Super Bowl contenders to possibly missing the playoffs without Rodgers. His injury is also a huge blow for all football fans, as A-Rod is one of the most exciting players to watch on Sunday. Here’s the hit that could end his season.
Week 6 Awards:
MVP: Melvin Gordon – 25 carries for 83 yards, 9 catches for 67 yards, 2 touchdowns
Offensive Player of the Week: Antonio Brown – 8 catches for 155 yards, 1 touchdown
Defensive Player of the Week: New Orleans Saints defense – 5 turnovers, 3 touchdowns, 5 sacks
Week 6 Scores:
PHI 28 – CAR 23
MIA 20 – ATL 17
NE 24 – NYJ 17
MIN 23 – GB 10
NO 52 – DET 38
WSH 26 – SF 24
HOU 33 – CLE 17
CHI 27 – BAL 24 (OT)
ARZ 38 – TB 33
LAR 27 – JAX 17
PIT 19 – KC 13
LAC 17 – OAK 16
NYG 23 – DEN 10
Monday Night Prediction:
TEN over IND 20-14
Once again thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Peter Snyder’s college football recap as well as this NFL recap every Monday. Happy Fall.