The Diary of an Illinois Boston Fan
NFL Week 6 Recap
The first great weekend since Week 1. We had a bunch of nailbiters, an OT prime time matchup, and exciting play after exciting play. As the meat of the NFL schedule occurs we should start seeing teams and playoff contenders rise up and validate or overcome their preseason predictors.
Even with the bad defense and shoddy offensive line play (again), the Sunday night matchup lived up to its billing. Two teams fighting for divisional control and both with QBs looking to prove themselves after constant dismal from fans and media alike. Luck put on another ho-hum day but — when it mattered most — led his Colts on a huge drive to take the lead in the middle of the 4th. It looked as if Luck and Indy would finally break free of their stranglehold but a surprising Brock Osweiler comeback put the game in overtime and officially deflated the Colts’ energy levels. Osweiler may not be worth the 75 million just yet (one good game against a lousy defense isn’t the greatest fame exuberance parade I’d march in) but he will get a chance next week to prove his merit against his old team.
Luck, on the other hand, is in as terrible a situation as a 100 million dollar QB can be. He’s making bank, sure, with gobs of guaranteed dollars…but for a guy so competitive is it really worth being on such a garbage team? The Colts are completely mismanaged, need new coaching (I like Pagano but it’s time to go), and have to find a way to either protect their QB or dump him off to a better suited team for draft picks. I’d be willing to bet that a team like Arizona, Miami, or Buffalo would give up a lot to get Luck. Ryan Grigson is already bound to lose his job within the next season or two so why not take a shot at making a giant splash with his last move?
Outside of Sunday night we got the annual Ben Roethlisberger injury, we saw Denver get eaten up by a supposedly inferior team, and the Ravens continued to slide while the Chiefs and Raiders duked it out for AFC West supremacy. The Chiefs are a far better team total team than the Broncos or Raiders are and I think they’re very dangerous at this point in the season. Andy Reid got his bye week and is ready to start rolling over the rest of his division. Alex Smith is still Alex Smith, but Jamaal Charles is finally healthy and their defense is locked and loaded to stop any high powered offense coming their way just like they did with Oakland. If KC could turn Charcandrick West and/or Derrick Johnson into another suitable receiver then this team could take another step towards the Super Bowl.
KINGS and JESTERS
6. Brock Osweiler: Give credit where it’s due. Osweiler’s comeback and OT victory was huge for Houston. They’re now sitting at 4–2 and a win Monday night can all but assure themselves a cushy position to win the south.
5. Dak Prescott: Prescott goes into Lambeau and beats the Packers on an efficient and great gameplan. Romo’s time in Dallas should essentially be over. That 40 second drive at the end of the first half should be cemented in his legacy as the time Prescott truly arrived.
4. Tom Brady: Another 350+ yard game with 3 more touchdowns in his return to Gillette…Brady is on a mission and has a slew of weapons available to him to finish it.
3. David Johnson: Johnson is maybe the best running back in the game…possibly best total player too…and the Cardinals should ride on his shoulders if they want to make it back to the playoffs in a suddenly tough NFC West.
2. Jay Ajayi: Our first 200 yard rusher of the year, hopefully Gase and the Dolphins will probably utilize him the way Philbin never did with Lamar Miller. Ajayi has quickness and burst that is highly valued in the NFL in 2016. The Dolphins aren’t good but they can at least find some hope in the future with Ajayi.
- OBJ: After nearly breaking down and seemingly on the verge of retiring early from football, Beckham scored his first two touchdowns of his 2016 campaign in style. Two catches over 60 yards and the second one to essentially win the game. Boneheaded penalties aside, it’s fun to watch such an exciting player really take over a game.
6. Defense in the Carolina and Saints game: Watching these games may seem exciting for all the points and yards they produce (which is the NFL’s goal as to replace the hard hits as highlights) but watching Carolina go from an absolutely amazing D to this garbage is unnerving for me at least. Also, it’s never fun to watch the Saints play defense. They’ve been good at it once in Sean Payton’s tenure.
5. Vontaze Burficit: The low hit on Bennett isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it still is a cheap and unnecessary shot and he needs to be made an example much like Ndamukong Suh has been. His attitude and disregard for the rules leaks over to his teammates — considering they see him as a leader — which causes discipline issues and helped New England come back in a game maybe they should have lost.
4. John Harbaugh: For a guy I consider to be a top 5 coach in this league, how can he so badly mismanage the clock at the end of the game? That and bad decisions (like randomly firing Marc Trestman when it’s clear this isn’t like Buffalo…the defense is the problem right now) have Baltimore on a 3 game skid.
3. Refs in the Seahawks and Falcons game: That’s pass interference and everyone watching at home knew it. Seattle’s D started getting carved up by the Falcons and their over aggressive nature should have gotten the best of them but they were saved by the worst no call of the year so far.
2. Aaron Rodgers: I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with Rodgers. I think he’s in a funk, which happens, and he ran into a much better than they’re credited for Dallas D. Still, that game was abysmal and he needs to come out firing Thursday night if he wants the critics to shut up for a week.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: Despite Todd Bowles’ adamant nature about it, Fitz is the problem and throwing him back out next week is a huge mistake especially when your season is practically over. Give Geno a shot or see what your young guys have.
Weekly Yearly Award Heat Index:
OROY: 3. Carson Wentz. 2. Ezekiel Elliott. 1. Dak Prescott
No change in players, just a change in their order. Right now, the value of Dak is what has the Cowboys winning. No other team has more scoring drives of over 10 plays and 6 minutes than Dallas. Their rookie QB has the benefit of Elliott as a weapon but his ability to read a defense, stay poised in the pocket, and make the smart play is a deadlier skill set than the discipline to patiently wait for a hole to open in the line.
DROY: 3. Vernon Hargreaves. 2. Jalen Ramsey. 1. Joey Bosa.
Ramsey was solid against the Bears this week but Bosa has absolutely reignited the Chargers on D and is making crucial play after crucial play. He looks like the 3rd overall draft pick they were expecting him to be.
OPOY: 3. Julio Jones. 2. Ezekiel Elliott 1. David Johnson.
The fact I ignored Johnson here last week was a gross oversight by me Johnson is so good and right now is going to have as many opportunities as anyone else to be a stud. He leads the league in touchdowns and has the most yards from scrimmage since he became a starter last season. Arizona may need to re-examine their offensive gameplan.
DPOY: 3. Von Miller. 2. Patrick Peterson. 1. Harrison Smith
Not much of a change except the addition of Peterson. Going back over the tape, he’s been superb this season and is without a doubt the top corner in the league this year. Miller drops slightly because he didn’t really show up like expected on Thursday night and let a battered SD line control him. Harrison Smith had a bye week so I can’t drop him because he didn’t play, he’s been at an elite level all year and I see no reason he shouldn’t hold this spot all year.
Comeback Player of the Year: 3. Martellus Bennett. 2. Andrew Luck. 1. Sam Bradford.
Again, another oversight by me. Bradford and Bennett are in the same role as players that played all last year but were underwhelming. I’m still not convinced a first rounder was worth trading for him, but Bradford has legitimate MVP candidacy on the table and is a huge reason the Vikings keep winning…it’s mostly the defense but he’s been more than serviceable and has built a report with Patterson, the oft-maligned speedster the Vikings want far more involved.
Coordinator of the Year: 3. Josh McDaniels, 2. Scott Linehan. 1. Kyle Shanahan
Just like Linehan was amazing two years ago for Dallas, he’s doing it again this year by turning his two rookies into stars. The line obviously helps but he’s putting them in the right positions to win. Shanahan had the Falcons moving up and down on Seattle in key moments. Idk how good that defense will be but Shanahan runs the offense and runs is perfectly.
COY: 3. Jason Garrett. 2. Bill Belichick. 1. Mike Zimmer
Bill and Mike have their teams rolling as the best in the league so no surprise to see them here. Garrett has unleashed his rookies and has helped build an out of nowhere good defense. The battle with Minnesota in a few weeks will probably flip this battle and might open the way for Bill.
MVP: 3. Derek Carr. 2. Dak Prescott. 1. Matt Ryan.
Matt Ryan played like an MVP and got screwed. Carr had the inevitable let down game after riding such a high. But I know that the key part of this is Prescott. I had Wentz as my quarter MVP and now a new rookie has scrapped his way to the top. He matters so much to this Dallas team and looks like the future in Big D. The last rookie that looked this poised running an offense was Russell Wilson in 2012. Dallas has a tougher than expected division to go through but I believe in them under Prescott…I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the top in Week 17.
Quote of the Week:
“Fitz will be back next week” — Todd Bowles making the dumbest quote of the year.
Random Thoughts only I have.
Are Thursday games getting better? They don’t seem nearly as sloppy or disheveled as in the past. Are coaches getting better at prep? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Thursday game this season so far.
When should we petition to get throwbacks back? The NFL Helmet rule is dumb and we deserve the Creamsicle Bucs jerseys back damn it! If you can’t tell I love jerseys and I will be ranking them soon.