Week 6: the week of the Toilet Bowl, Dolphins vs. Redskins, the game everyone wanted to see. Who would lose and win that first pick? That honour is currently going to the Dolphins. But for other teams that seemingly want to win, there was some great football on display. I loved the drama of the Texans’ win over the Chiefs. The Vikings looked great in dispatching the Eagles, and the 49ers won without starting tackles over the Rams.
1. New England Patriots 6-0
The Patriots train keeps rolling. A relentless team that finds a way to win. On a day when Tom Brady didn’t throw a TD, the Pats just leaned on their defense and running game and, as if by magic, another win.
2. New Orleans Saints 5-1
It was ugly but they won – surely the mark of a good team. There weren’t many highlights from the Jags game but they did enough. Dennis Allen has got the defense playing lights out. Cam Jordan is like a fine wine, getting better with age. The Saints come away from Jacksonville with a win, and Brees will be back soon.
3. Seattle Seahawks 5-1
Baker who? Seahawks came out Cleveland with a vital win. QB Russell Wilson chalked off more votes in the MVP race and hasn’t put a foot wrong all season; still no INTs and he’s calling plays himself. Will Dissly being out for the year is a massive loss, he’s been a massive weapon for Wilson. Seahawks just traded away other tight end Nick Vannett, leaving QB Wilson with tight end Willson (cut by Raiders) and Hollister (cut by Patriots and Seahawks). Neither of which are great blocking TEs, which have been a big part of the ground game for this season and last.
4. San Francisco 49ers 5-0
Beating the Rams at their place is a big deal. Beating them without starting tackles is a MASSIVE deal. The 49ers won in the trenches and have made massive strides this season, with Kyle Shanahan now able to utilise his full playbook. They are Dangerous with a capital D. Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh was entertaining enough to watch on his own, such was his excitement on the sidelines.
5. Kansas City Chiefs 4-2
They lost again. Two losses in a row – this season wasn’t meant to be like this. Superstar Pat Mahomes was going to lead the Chiefs to the Promised Land and Andy Reid was going to finally get his mitts on the ‘Bowl. Until the Chiefs start playing complementary football, that vision isn’t going to be a reality. They have to dominate time of possession and give their defense a chance, which is really struggling without defensive tackle Chris Jones.
6. Green Bay Packers 5-1
Green Bay got a bit lucky in MNF, with BIG calls going their way. The Lions just couldn’t finish in the red zone and it was the Packers who came away with a win. Rodgers is running out of people to throw to, which is a concern, and this offense is hardly firing on all cylinders. But they sit at 5-1 and when they do fully warm up and play consistently on offense and defense, this will be a playoff team that will scare some. But they lack the final pieces to go home with the trophy.
7. Houston Texans 4-2
I see you Deshaun Watson, you are rising in this week’s rankings. I’m overlooking lots of stuff but if you win in Arrowhead against Pat Mahomes, you’ve got cahones. They found a way to win in a tough environment. Jadeveon who? Coach Bill O’Brien should be lapping up the praise right now with Laremy Tunsil at left tackle and his team looking awesome.
8. Buffalo Bills 4-1
That defense doesn’t get enough love, it really is good. Coming out of a bye, it should be even harder to play against. Good luck Dolphins.
9. Minnesota Vikings 4-2
YOU LIKE THAT… Kirk Cousins will be eternally linked with those words in my mind, and the good Cousins turned up against the Eagles. Diggs added a pick or two to his trade value and the defense kept opposing QB Carson Wentz fairly quiet. A happy day for Vikes fans, but it probably doesn’t get better than this for you guys.
10. Dallas Cowboys 3-3
The Cowboys lost to the J-E-T-S, and because of that, they are plummeting in these rankings. They should and could have won, but they didn’t and that’s what counts. GetRidOfGarrettTober is becoming a fixture in the calendar. How patient will the Jones family be in a contract year for the maligned coach?
11. Carolina Panthers 4-2
Winston threw them five INTs but the defense brought the pressure. Christian McCaffrey looks great, and QB Allen looks poised but not amazing. They have a difficult decision to make between Allen and Cam Newton, when he returns. They are business-like, they are getting things done with an inventive offensive and an above-average defense but the Bucs made them look better than they are.
12. Detroit Lions 2-2-1
Jeez, how unlucky can you get: four refereeing calls went the Packers way. The Lions couldn’t get over the line, similar to their Chiefs game the week before, but they are close and that defense looks good. A dangerous team that’s hanging with the big boys but lack the knockout punch.
13. Philadelphia Eagles 3-3
UH OH – going back to where they won the Super Bowl was meant to bring happy memories, but they got trounced against the Vikings. The defense is not playing up to the standards of previous Eagles teams, and the Secondary was brutally exposed by the Vikings in their latest match-up. It would’ve been even worse for the Eagles if Dallas hadn’t lost.
14. Chicago Bears 3-2
This is a team that needed a timeout. They need to sit and stare at a wall and figure out who they want to be. They have an amazing defense so why not lean on that and maybe win a few games…
15. Los Angeles Rams 3-3
The Rams lose at home – does a third consecutive loss signal the end of the McVay love-in in LA? Struggling with injuries and an offensive line that is holding them back, they must still look at the trade market for some help. Austin Corbett has arrived from the Browns but if he couldn’t break into their starting line-up, it’s not going to be much of an upgrade. For the team to succeed, he needs to prove a success, not a flashy superstar like Jalen Ramsey.
16. Baltimore Ravens 4-2
Stupid penalties allowed the Bengals into their game and those pesky Bungles almost had the opportunity to win it but didn’t. The Ravens have some glaring issues in secondary and passing offense to solve but a win is a win. With Kenny Young out and Marcus Peters in, the secondary can’t get much worse – let’s see how this pans out but Peters has not played well in man-to-mn coverage concepts. Remember Michael Thomas last season…
17. Oakland Raiders 3-2
Do you think Jon Gruden has stopped dancing yet? I have this image of him jigging his way round England, having the time of his life following his victory over Mack’s Bears. They have a tough match-up against the Packers next, so let’s see what they are made of…
18. Indianapolis Colts 3-2
Not many teams needed a bye week as much as the walking wounded Colts side did. Indy continue to get better as the season progresses because of Frank Reich. They play the Texans on Sunday in the game of the weekend for me.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-4
Well they weren’t bad, but they weren’t good against the Saints and there weren’t many highlights. QB Garnder Minshew can only do so much with the Jags offense. And that defense isn’t as good as sum of parts and that’s a concern for a defense-orientated team. Ramsey is a loss but he hasn’t really been around this season.
20. Denver Broncos 2-4
With two wins in a row, this team is gathering some momentum. With a shutout for the defense, the Fangio effect is starting to have an impact. Watch out for a team that doesn’t ask much of its offense and has a defense getting better each week.
21. Los Angeles Chargers 2-4
The playoffs are now at risk, having lost to a Steelers defense in a Pittsburgh home game in their own stadium. Their O-line couldn’t protect QB Rivers who just isn’t playing at same level as last season.
22. Cleveland Browns 2-4
The Browns are finding their way. They started fast against Seattle, but crashed down to earth. There was some curious challenges and Kitchens did not manage the game well, so his coaching seat is gathering some heat. This is a team with too many stars to still be learning the basics of winning.
23. New York Giants 2-4
Thursday seems so long ago but Jones threw three INTs and looked like a rookie. The Jones hype has subsided but there are shoots of optimism if you look hard enough. The defense for one is starting to play better and their rookies in the defense look promising.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-4
The Steelers had another home game on Sunday, backed by a loud crowd. The defense turned up the heat on Rivers. Duck Hodges had a lovely time handing the ball off to the rushing game to drain the clock and move the chains.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-4
This is final call for a Bucs team. Anyone seen a Bucs team? Not sure who boarded their flight but this was a very sorry sight. Winston threw five INTs and it could’ve been more. The whole team looked out of sorts and Arians was furious and he had every reason to be. They need a bye like a fish needs water.
26. Arizona Cardinals 2-3-1
Second win in a row, and that running game is looking dangerous. When they figure out how to defend and how to score in the red zone, this will be a playoff team, but not this season. The NFC West is going to be even better next year!
27. Tennessee Titans 2-4
The Marcus Mariota era is over. He was dropped in the second half, but Ryan Tannehill didn’t look like an improvement. Where does this team go from here? Coach Vrabel came in to get rid of a team middling at 9-7, but a Week 1 win against Browns and playoffs dreams seem a million miles away in a tough division with Colts, Texans and Jags. No Dolphins or Bengals here!
28. New York Jets 1-4
Darnold is BACK, and back in a big way. The J-E-T-S won and that’s great, but let’s not get carried away. This was the Jets’ first win at MetLife for 364 days. They were outgained and outclassed by Dallas but they found a way to win. Well done JETS.
29. Atlanta Falcons 1-5
Dan Quin will have a lot of questions to answer following this defeat, and not just why he perseveres with a goatee. The defense is the fatal flaw of this team and that’s his area of expertise, there aren’t the injuries of last year and well they just look worse in defense. I think time is ticking for poor Dan. They have a tough game against a Rams team who are also desperate for a W.
30. Washington Redskins 1-5
Adrian Peterson looked pretty good in this game but Miami ran them pretty close; that’s a bit of a worry. But maybe now they’ve won, maybe it can bring some momentum? I’ve recently written an article on the state of the Redskins. Needless to say Callahan is on a hiding to nothing – they need a refresh and a new direction.
31. Cincinnati Bengals 0-6
They are trying but they just aren’t good enough on either side of the ball. The scoreboard flattered them and Ravens penalties kept them in it on Sunday. They have the look of Hue Jackson’s 0-16 Browns about them. They are trying hard but finding new ways to beat themselves each week.
32. Miami Dolphins 0-5
What’s this then: where did those second half points come from? Dolphins fans would’ve been furious if they had converted a two-point conversion at the end. Imagine the scenes in Miami if they had mucked up tanking. The good ship Tank4Tua remains on course, or is it now Bunk4Burrow or even Hide4Herbert? It certainly doesn’t seem Rosen is the long-term answer at QB on that poor display.