Ian Evans’ NFL Week 6 Love/Hate Weekend Recap
Before I go into the list. I have to give credit where it’s due. The Chicago Bears are 5-1. It’s time to put some respect on their name. Sure they have had some easy breaks, gotten lucky, and played some teams that aren’t truly respected (Falcons, Giants). But they’re 5-1. They would be on my list but there were things I simply loved more. From another comeback victory, to defenses getting exposed or shutout, Week 6 was a rather interesting one. As always, it entertained and excited, but also incited some head-scratching moments as well.
Love: Matt Ryan
Photo Courtesy: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Falcons won their first game of the season on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings and most of it had to do with the play of Matt Ryan. Ryan threw for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns in a convincing 40-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He only missed 10 of his 40 passes on the day as he also achieved a 92.5 QBR for his incredible play. Ryan was able to connect with 9 receivers on the day as he picked apart a porous Vikings defense. The offense is clicking while the defense is starting to capitalize on the opportunities they are given as they picked Cousins off 3 times. Who knows? This could be the momentum and change the Falcons needed as for the first five weeks of the year were rather disappointing. They return home to Atlanta this upcoming Sunday to play the Detroit Lions and hopefully can turn the losing narrative attached to their name around.
Hate: Cam Newton
Photo Courtesy: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots basically had a week off from practice after the coronavirus hit the organization hard. And the lack of practice and workouts showed in their play against the Denver Broncos. The game was tough to watch on both sides. The Patriots lost 18-12 to the Broncos as only one touchdown was scored the entire game. Cam Newton did not have a great showing in the game, throwing for only 157 yards and 2 interceptions. Although he accounted for the game’s only touchdown, he could have thrown the ball better as the two interceptions he threw were costly. The Patriots next game will be against a surging 49ers team on Sunday. Hopefully the Patriots can comeback from this setback, hold off the virus to get some practice in, and bounce back. This was an unusual showing from New England as they are not under .500 for the first time since 2002.
Love: Deshaun Watson
Photo Courtesy: Steve Roberts/USA TODAY Sports
Although they ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in overtime 42-36, Deshaun Watson still had himself a day. Watson threw for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was one of the main reason why the Texans came back after being down 21-10 at halftime. Watson shined as he made magician-esque plays, scrambling for key first downs, and finding ways to make something out of nothing. Houston as actually done better since firing Bill O’Brien. Although they lost, this game is somewhat of a positive for the Texans. They took a great Titans team, who are one of the three undefeated teams left in the NFL, to overtime. This Sunday’s game shows that Houston can compete with the best of them and shouldn’t be taken lightly, even though their 1-5 record says otherwise.
Hate: Baker Mayfield
Photo Courtesy: Don Wright/Associated Press
I was never really high on Baker Mayfield even when he was drafted No. 1 overall. I always thought he was an average quarterback that had some slight potential. This past week against the Steelers was the week Mayfield could prove myself, his doubters, and those who believe that the Browns are only good because of their run game and defense wrong. Spoiler alert: he did not. Although he played with bruised ribs, Mayfield struggled has he only threw for 119 yards, a touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He was later pulled for backup quarterback Case Keenum as well. Ultimately, the Browns ended up getting blown out 38-7. It’s time to pull the plug on Mayfield. I have been saying it for a while, but I believe it is more pertinent now more than ever. He is not a franchise quarterback, he’s not elite. He has A LOT to improve on. Hopefully he can turn things around, because if he doesn’t this year, it could get ugly for him and his career quickly. It is unacceptable to have more commercials than career wins.
Love: Wide Receivers
Photo Courtesy: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune
A lot of wide receivers, and I cannot emphasize this enough, BALLED OUT this weekend. But three in particular caught my eye. Julio Jones, Will Fuller IV, and Justin Jefferson had tremendous games on Sunday. Jones against the Minnesota Vikings found his footing catching 8 passes for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Falcons cruised to a 40-23 victory, securing their first win of the season. Will Fuller IV caught 6 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown as the Titans struggled stopping him. Although they lost, Watson and Fuller IV was shredding the Titans secondary apart. And the rookie Justin Jefferson had the best game of his career catching 9 passes for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although they lost to Atlanta on Sunday, no fingers whatsoever should be pointed at Jefferson. It’s crazy and mind-boggling how the Philadelphia Eagles passed up on a talented wide receiver like Jefferson, as we have seen little to nothing from Jalen Reagor. These wide receivers put up NUMBERS in a week where defenses stepped up.
Hate: Kirk Cousins
Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports
YOU LIKE THAT?!?!?! We did not Kirk. We did not. After having a shootout game with the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5, you would think that the Vikings would beat the deflated Falcons at home. That was not the case. The Vikings did not score for the entirety of the first half, as their offense struggled. Mainly because of overpaid quarterback Kirk Cousins’ play. Cousins threw for 3 touchdowns but also countered that with 3 interceptions as well. Although he did throw for 343 yards, he missed 12 passes and looked off for the majority of the game. Cousins has to be more accurate with the ball and his decision-making must be sharper moving forward as the Falcons had a field day defensively. He had a relatively solid year with Minnesota last year, but is failing to show that they could capitalize off their success from last year. A lot of questions are starting to come about. At what point do you put Kirk Cousins on the hot seat? When do you move on from him? Do you keep him but restructure his contract?
Hmmm…much to think about.
Love: The Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo Courtesy: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
You can play “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa while reading this paragraph as it fits well with it. My goodness this team is for real. I personally had them in the wildcard going 9-7. However, they are already 5-0 after routing the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North “rivalry” game 38-7. The defense saw the Browns offense as barbeque chicken, picking off Mayfield twice, having the Browns score on only 1 of their 12 drives, and slowed a solid Browns rushing attack to a mere 75 rushing yards. This defense is electric, scary, and lethal while this offense is fluid and hitting on all cylinders. It’s tough to find weak spots in this team. James Conner played well as he rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown while the hidden gem Chase Claypool had 4 catches for 74 receiving yards on the day. James Washington also shined as he also caught 4 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown as well. This team is on a roll and is showing no signs of stopping. Their next, and intriguing test will be against the undefeated Tennessee Titans next Sunday. Don’t sleep on the 412.
Hate: The New York Jets
Photo Courtesy: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Well they still haven’t fired Adam Gase, so I already hate them for that. They could be on my hate list every week at this point and rightfully so. But this time it’s simply because they scored 0 points. Yes. 0. Nada. Zilch. Goose egg. The Jets lost to the Miami Dolphins 24-0 as the once “elite” quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 186 yards, an interception, and missed more passed than completed throws, as literally nothing was going for them offensively. The only positive in this game was a butt interception. The body language on the sidelines and in game is a mirror of how awful this season has been and probably will go. The 0-6 Jets will look to….you know what let me not kid myself. They’ll be 0-7 next week as they play the AFC East leading Bills, and then will proceed to go 0-8 after they play the Kansas City Chiefs in KC. If you’re a Jets fan I truly feel sorry for you and I hope your mental is intact wen the season is over.
Love: Derrick Henry
Photo Courtesy: George Walker IV/ Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC
KING HENRY IS A MAN AMONGST BOYS. I personally think he is the best running back in the game right now. The Titans won in overtime against the Houston Texans 42-36. Although Ryan Tannehill played well, Derrick Henry had a monster game. He pulled off a 94-yard rushing touchdown in which his top speed during that run was nearly at 22 miles per hour. Also on the day he had 212 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, one of them being the game winning score in overtime. It is no secret why the Titans are 5-0 and Henry is a main contributor to their record. It is incredibly tough stop Henry and it showed on Sunday. The man is 6’3” and weighs 238 pounds, but is surprisingly and frighteningly fast. As a defender it is almost impossible to tackle him individually in the run game. But he can also catch in the backfield so he always poses as an offensive threat no matter what. Defensive coordinators must have nightmares planning schemes against him. I CANNOT WAIT to see what he can do against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers team next Sunday.
Hate: Aaron Rodgers
Photo Courtesy: The Toronto Star
This is weird right? I’m putting the bad man himself Aaron Rodgers on the “Hate” list for this week? Sadly, yes, although it doesn’t seem right. The Packers came off an early bye week and were faced against a tough and furious Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. The Packers ultimately suffered their first loss of the season, getting blown out 38-10. Rodgers who is usually accurate throwing the ball and limiting turnovers, missed more passes than he completed, threw for only 160 yards, and was picked off twice. It was tough and rather unorthodox to watch as Rodgers has been dominating this year. After the Packers scored 10 in the first, which included a rather hilarious celebration from Rodgers who imitated Hingle McCringleberry from Key and Peele, everything went down from there. Green Bay will look to bounce back against the Texans on Sunday after a devastating defeat in Week 6. I, and every other NFL fan, knows Rodgers can play better than this. These games don’t happen often for Rodgers which is why his performance was puzzling. But as always, he’ll get back on track. Maybe I should take his advice and relax.