NFL Week 6 included a number of close games involving playoff teams and mediocre squads. In the end, the favorites ended up winning, but the league reset the debate on so many different players, coaches, and teams. The league had a shake-up, in many ways.
The league was characterized by the number of key injuries which came about. An NFL coach made a stellar debut. A fantasy stud lost his starting job. Charcandrick West and Knile Davis were complete flops as fill-ins for Jamaal Charles. We saw arguably the worst fake punt in NFL history.
Meanwhile, players like Martavis Bryant and Alshon Jeffrey showed they had the talent to post huge numbers, if they got decent quarterback play and could stay on the field. The Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers both looked strong moving to 6-0. The Broncos looked significantly less strong pushing their record to 6-0. The Patriots were their old, characteristic self in moving their record to 5-0.
In this edition of SportsClash’s NFL coverage, we offer:
- A Snapshot Review of Week 6
- A Tecmo Bowl Parody from Colts/Patriots
- Injury Notes from Week 6
Parity seems to be out in the NFL. Five teams now hold unbeaten records. With no team sitting at a winless record, there are a lot of mediocre records in the NFL this year. The Patriots, Broncos, Bengals, Panthers, and Packers appear to be the class of the league. Two of those are big suprises.
Perfection can be boring, though, so let’s start with a few of the flawed teams.
Dan Campbell’s Debut
The Miami Dolphins blew out the Tennessee Titans, 38-10. It was the kind of game Dolphins fans might have expected when their team signed Ndamukong Suh in the offseason: dominating and a little nasty. The offense showed signs of life.
Overall, the Fins appeared to be a better collection of talent under new head coach Dan Campbell. I expect this coaching move to work, to a certain degree. While I’m not expecting Miami to make the playoffs, I do expect a better effort moving forward.
Chargers vs Packers Recap
The Chargers lost in dramatic fashion to the Packers, despite putting up a good effort at Lambeau Field. I wonder how long the San Diego coaching staff is going to put up with Melvin Gordon fumbling away the ball. This is becoming a pattern with the rookie.
Speaking of running back issues, the Packers benched Eddie Lacy early in the game and went with James Starks, who came through in flying colors. Suddenly, it’s an RBBC, which should be avoided in Week 8, until we known what is going on. Those taking the contrarian stance might find opportunity with Starks, but Eddie Lacy should be faded.
Denver Broncos Win in Overtime
The Denver Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns in overtime, though it was a costly victory for Gary Kubiak’s squad. Emmanuel Sanders suffered a shoulder injury late in the game. He may or may not be in the lineup come Week 8, when the Broncos come off their bye week.
The Browns looked good at times. Their three interceptions of Peyton Manning kept them in the game, while it kept the rumors swirling that Peyton Manning has lost it. NFL Tonight ran tape on the 3 INTs and they did not appear to be due to Manning’s arm strength. Instead, he made bad decisions.
While I still contend that Peyton Manning isn’t and won’t be the same fantasy stud he was for 15 seasons, I think he’s mainly struggling to pick up a new offense. That might be crazy talk in a world where he’s supposed to be a student of the game par excellence, but the team doesn’t have the proliferation of weapons it once had, while Manning seems to struggle with parts of the offense. It might not be made for him.
Chuck Pagano’s Fake Punt
Chuck Pagano’s decision to go for a fake punt in 4th down in a 27-21 game versus the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots was bizarre. No one can figure out why a player or a coach didn’t call timeout when 4 Patriots lined up over a single center and QB. On Monday, Chuck Pagano defended the call, then claimed players need to be better trained to execute such a call. The fact Pagano defended the call struck many as outrageous.
To make fun of the call, “The Cauldron” made a recreation of the play, but made to look like the classic Nintendo football video game, Tecmo Bowl. I bet 99% of all DFS fans who owned an old Nintendo game console loved Tecmo Bowl, so you should appreciate the reference.
Chuck Pagano entered the season as a so-called “coach on a hot seat”, and I thought that was outrageous. In my mind, Pagano had taken the Colts to the AFC Title Game last year and was beaten by one of the great dynasties in football history. After the “Chuck Strong” campaign a few years back, I figured Pagano had a fairly deep wellspring of support from Colts fans.
But there comes a moment in certain NFL tenures when fan discontent crystalizes around a single play or event. (“Playoffs? You’re asking about playoffs?!?”) After that time, a firing becomes inevitable. We’re likely to look back on the failed punt play as the moment it became inevitable that Chuch Pagano would be fired.
Eagles vs Giants on MNF
The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants looked awful on Monday Night Football. That’s saying something, since the Eagles blew out the Giants. I’m beginning to wonder if the Eagles won’t win the division by default, but Sam Bradford is not a good NFL quarterback. Had the Cowboys stayed healthy, this would have been a whole different picture. If they can put together a couple of wins over the next 4 games, the Boys might stay in the race. Otherwise, the Eagles are going to stumble to the NFC East Division crown.
Week 6 Injury News
Keenan Allen – Hip Strain
Keenan Allen had huge production yesterday, but suffered a hip strain late in the game. David Dodds of Football Guys says the injury looked like a groin injury to him, perhaps an abductor strain. He pointed to players like Jay Cutler, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, and Danny Amendola who have had them in the past. He also suggested a 3-4 week absence, if that’s the case.
I’m not so sure that’s the case. The team suggested a hip flexor strain, which would be less time missed. Perhaps the Chargers are trying to spin for morale purposes, but I wouldn’t assume a fantasy football expert knows more than the team trainer’s just yet.
Marcus Mariota – MCL Sprain
Marcus Mariota had an MCL sprain after a low hit from Olivier Vernon of the Miami Dolphins. This is the same injury suffered by Ben Roethlisberger and Tyrod Taylor, so it could be a significant injury. An MRI has been ordered for Monday. If it comes back as a minor MCL sprain, Mariota might not miss any time. Or it could keep him out as long as Big Ben.
After the game, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt was livid about the hit from the Dolphins defensive end. He said that kind of hit has “no place in football”. Several Tennessee players expressed a similar attitude about what they considered a cheap shot on their quarterback.
Allen Robinson – Leg Contusion
After receiving a direct blow to the shin, Allen Robinson walked off the field with a “mild hyperextension mechanism of the knee”. The knee appeared stable, so the key is to avoid swelling on the knee in the first night. If that goes well, he should not miss significant time, if he can stand the pain factor.
In his absence, Brian Walters had an 8-catch, 80+ yards game. If Robinson missed any time, the Brian Walters would be a potentially valuable pickup or start.
Jeremy Maclin – Concussion
Jeremy Maclin slammed his head into the turf and has a concussion. Apparently, he lost consciousness. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean a longer recovery time, the team is likely to be extra-careful.
Emmanuel Sanders – AC Sprain
Emmnauel Sanders is week-to-week with an AC sprain in his shoulder, suffered on the second-to-last play before overtime. The Broncos have a bye week, so this hopefully won’t cost him any time It could be a nagging injury for a wile and could hurt production. Think Randall Cobb’s start to the season to see what an AC sprain can do.
Sammy Watkins – Ankle Sprain
Sammy Watkins suffered an ankle sprain on a late-2nd Quarter touchdown. The ankle sprain is not characterized as a full-blown high ankle sprain, but it was high on the ankle and might be similar to a low-grade high ankle sprain. In the former case, it could take 3-4 weeks to heal. In the latter case, it could hamper Sammy Watkins or keep him out a shorter amount of time.
Take a look at the Paul Posluszny high ankle sprain recently. He was Out one week, but returned the second week and put up big numbers. Even though a wide receiver makes sharper cuts and might be more affected, middle linebackers have to roam sideline-to-sideline and have to drop back in coverage.
Either way, Sammy Watkins has a bye week, so this injury comes at a good time for Bills fans and fantasy owners. Keep an eye on the news when the team returns from bye. I’ll keep updating player news each week. Also keep reading for our Week 7 preview.