After the last two weeks of amazing games in London, the NFL returned home. So, what happened in Week 6?
Allen vs Mahomes
It is always entertaining when two young quarterbacks at the top of their game face off against each other. The last time Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills and Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs squared off, Kansas beat Buffalo in an overtime thriller, when both quarterbacks had days to remember, in a game that will go down in history. What could they come up with this time?
The Bills’ opening drive started well. They moved the ball up to the Chief 17-yard line and looked certain to convert the drive into points. Josh Allen then fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Chiefs. The Chiefs then, like the Bills on their opening drive, moved the ball into the Buffalo red zone. Then, again, just the like Bills, turned over the ball. On this occasion, Mahomes was intercepted in the end zone by Bills defender Kaiir Elam.
The first points came in the second quarter, with a 39-yard field goal scored by the Bills. Kansas would quickly strike back though, as Mahomes threw a 42-yard touchdown to JuJu Smith Schuster, the receiver’s first for the Chiefs. After the Bills again drove the ball down to the Kansas 3-yard line (albeit aided by a 23-yard penalty for defensive pass interference), they struggled to score, turning the ball over on downs after successive incompleted by Allen. Neither offensive could then get anything going for a while.
Buffalo would retake the lead with 23 seconds left before the half, as Allen threw a 34-yard touchdown to Davis, in a drive that started on their 2-yard line. But, the scoring would not finish there. In 3 rapid plays from their 28-yard line, Mahomes and company would move the ball to the edge of the Bills’ territory. A 62-yard field goal from the returning Harrison Butker would tie it all 10-10 at the half. Butker’s field goal is the longest field goal ever scored in Kansas City Chiefs history. The previous record was 59 yards and was set last week. Could we see a longer one next week? Butker would begin the third period by missing a 51-yard attempt which could have put the Chiefs into the lead. This gave Buffalo a decent field position to begin their drive.Embed from Getty Images
Butker would begin the third period by missing a 51-yard attempt which could have put the Chiefs into the lead. This gave Buffalo a decent field position to begin their drive. Buffalo took full advantage of this, and scored a 17-yard touchdown, with Diggs on the receiving end of the throw. The extra point, however, was missed. . Kansas tied it up again near the end of the third quarter after Mahomes found Hardman with almost lazer-like precision.
Kansas would take a 3-point in the middle of the fourth quarter after a 44-yard Butker field goal. After two drives that went nowhere, Allen and the Bills would offer something for the highlight reel. From the Chief’s 28-yard line, Allen would run with the ball, and jump over a defender, in a 16-yard run, bringing them to the Chief’s 12-yard line. Two plays later, Allen would throw to Knox, scoring a 14-yard touchdown and giving the lead back to Buffalo. However, for the second time in this game, the Bills’ extra point attempt was missed.Embed from Getty Images
With 1 minute left on the clock, the Chiefs were 4 points down. Recent history tells us that this is the point where Kansas will quickly move the ball up the field, score, and win the game. But this did not happen today. Mahomes was intercepted for the second time this game, to give the Buffalo Bills a 24-20 win, and go to 5-1 on the season.
Was this game as good as their encounter in last season’s playoffs? No. But was this game another interesting chapter in the battle between the two best quarterbacks in the league? Yes, it was. Both players again threw for over 300 yards (Allen had 329 yards, while Mahomes threw for 338), and both rushed for similar amounts. But Mahomes was intercepted twice. Those interceptions may have cost his Chiefs the game.
Next week, Allen and the Bills have a bye week, while Mahomes’s Chiefs head to San Francisco for a rematch of Superbowl LIV.
The Jets fly past the Packers
The Green Bay Packers have not had it all this year. An opening week loss against division rival the Minnesota Vikings, and last week’s collapse against the rejuvenated New York Giants side in London, put them at 3-2 going into their match against the green side of New York. The Jets were on a two-game winning streak, after demolishing the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. Could they continue this form?
It seems like Aaron Rodgers started this game as he finished the last. Rodgers struggled to get his offense going against the Jets’ defense. In one play, he was not only sacked but fumbled the ball. Luckily for the Packers, this was recovered by Arron Jones. It was not all roses for the Jets, however. Their offense failed to get anything going. Green Bay had a spark near the end of the first, moving the ball into field goal territory. A field goal they would not score, as a 47-yard attempt by Mason Crosby was blocked by the Jets’ defense.Embed from Getty Images
It was clear that in the first half, this was a game for the defenses. Both teams struggled to move the ball, resulting in many punts, and another packers fumble. This time they were not so lucky, and the Jets recovered the ball, What could they do with it? A 32-yard field goal is the best that they could do, but it was the first set of points on the board for the game. After Rodgers was turned over on downs, and another missed field goal, this time for the Jets, the Packers finally scored. It was a 29-yard field goal. At halftime, there were only 6 points on the board, spilt 3 each way. Would the second half be any better?
It didn’t start well for either offense, with the Jets punting after only gaining a yard, and Aaron Rodgers again getting sacked. The Jets then broke the pattern of defensive dominance, and the Jets moved the ball into the endzone with a 20-yard rush by Braxton Berrios to score the first touchdown of the game. This gave the Jets momentum, and on the next drive, the Jets’ defense sacked Aaron Rodgers and blocked the resulting punt. They recovered the ball and ran it into the endzone for a defensive touchdown. The Jets were now 17-3 up on the Packers. The Packers responded with a 25-yard touchdown of their own, the first touchdown they have scored in since the second quarter of the previous week, to bring it to within one score. Were the Packers coming back?Embed from Getty Images
Turns out they were not. On the next drive, the Jets scored another touchdown, to strengthen their surprising lead. The Packers were in free fall, and gave the ball away to the Jets on both their drives in the 4th quarter, while the Jets scored another field goal to widen their lead, and win the game 27 points to 10. The Jets are now 4-2, and visit the Denver Broncos next week, while the now 3-3 Packers go to Washington.
This week’s Sunday Night Football clash came from the NFC East, where the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles played the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys. With the Giants also being competitive this year, every divisional matchup in this tight division could be the difference between a playoff berth and spending January watching the games at home.
The game began with neither offense significantly moving up the field, with Dallas punting twice, and the Eagles once. The Eagles then broke this pattern, and drove the ball up the field, until running back Miles Sanders ran it in for a 5-yard touchdown. In the next play of the game, Cowboys Quarterback Cooper Rush’s pass was tipped by a defender and intercepted. Philly would take full advantage of this, and Jalen Hurts would throw to A.J Brown, who would score a 15-yard touchdown, increasing their lead.Embed from Getty Images
The Eagles would score again on their next play, after Jake Elliot kicked a 51-yard field goal, to give them a 17-0 lead. The Cowboys needed to respond to stay in the game. On their next drive, Cooper Rush was again intercepted, and the Eagles turned their gain in possession into another Jake Elliot field goal. The Cowboys had some success at the end of the half, with a 63-yard return from Turpin resulting in a 30-yard field goal. 20-3 to the Eagles at the half.
The second half was a lot better for the Cowboys. In their two drives in the third quarter, they scored 2 touchdowns, the first one being a 14-yard score by Ezekiel Elliot. These two scores brought it to within 3 points. But the Eagles struck back. A 7-yard touchdown to Devonta Smith widened their lead. Dallas needed a comeback. The comeback never came, as Cooper Rush, who had not been intercepted once this season, was intercepted a third time, destroying any chance of a comeback. The Eagles won, and remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. Next week, the Eagles have a bye week, while the now 4-2 Cowboys invite the Detroit Lions to Arlington.
So, what else happened this week?
Brady loses in the ‘Burgh
Pittsburgh came into this game 1-4, but the way the Steelers played today you would not think so. On their opening drive, the Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (who would later leave the game with a concussion) connected with Najee Harris for a 6-yard touchdown. Tampa Bay would respond with two Ryan Succop field goals. The teams would hit field goal after field goal, until the 4th quarter, when Trubisky would find Chase Claypool for a 6-yard touchdown. Tom Brady would finally score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, where his 11-yard pass found Lenard Fournette to reduce Pittsburgh’s lead to 2 points. The subsequent 2-point conversion pass would be incomplete, giving the Steelers a surprise win. Tampa Bay goes to a 3-3 record, and faces divisional rival the Carolina Panthers next week, while the Steelers improve to 2-4, and go to Miami next Sunday night.
The New York Giants: Worst 5-1 team ever?
The surprise of the year so far has been the Giants. Under new head coach Brian Daboll, the team is enjoying its best start to a season in more than a decade. They faced a tricky test in Lamar Jackson and his Baltimore Ravens.
In the first quarter, the normally reliable Ravens kicker Justin Tuck missed a 56-yard field goal attempt. This did not phase the Ravens, and on the next drive, Kenyan Drake scored a 30-yard touchdown, completely blitzing the Giants’ defense. Tuck’s bad luck would continue, as he missed the PAT attempt. The Giants would come back with a score of their own. A 5-yard Daniel Jones pass to Robinson found the endzone, giving the receiver his first touchdown with the Giants. It seemed to be a bad day for the kickers at the Meadowlands, as the usually reliable Graham Gano miss his PAT attempt. This bad kicking would not last, as Tuck would score a 34-yard attempt to return the lead to the Ravens. Tuck would strengthen the lead in the third, scoring a 23-yard attempt, and Gano would bring the Giants back to within 3, scoring a 34-yard attempt.
Lamarr Jackson threw a 12-yard touchdown to bring to lead to 10 points at the beginning of the 4th quarter. As we have seen throughout this season, it is at this point where the Giants begin the dominate their opponents. A Daniel Jones pass to tight end Daniel Bellinger reduced the Raven’s lead. On their next drive, Jackson was intercepted, allowing the Giants to win the game. At the Baltimore 6-yard line, Jones’s pass was intercepted. However, there was also a flag on the play for defensive pass interference, overruling the interception, and giving the in-form Jones the ball back.
Jones handed it to no other than Saquon Barkley, who leaped into the end zone, giving the Giants the lead. In their final drive, Jackson was sacked and fumbled by 1st round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, which sealed the Giants’ win, their 5th of the season, and Daniel Jones’s 4th game-winning drive on the season, a league-high. The Giants play the Jaguars next week, while the Ravens face the Cleveland Browns.Embed from Getty Images
Vikings slay the Dolphins
Like the Giants, the Minnesota Vikings are also playing extremely well this season. Their game against the Miami Dolphins started with 7 consecutive drives that ended with a punt, many of them ending with the team barely moving the ball. This monotony was broken soon in the second quarter, as Miami scored a 44-yard field goal to give them the lead. Minnesota struck back, with a 75-yard drive in 3 minutes, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown. The Dolphins would then miss a 52-yard field goal attempt before quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted. The resulting possession gave lead to the Vikings scoring a 34-yard field goal. Late in the third quarter, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins would find Adam Thielen in the endzone to widen their lead to 13 points.
The Dolphins would score a touchdown of their own, when Bridgewater found Mike Glesicki for a 4-yard touchdown, reducing the Vikings’ lead. This was short-lived, as, on their next drive, the Dolphins fumbled the ball, for it to be recovered by the Vikings. The resulting possession led to a Dalvin Cook touchdown, giving the Vikings the win and a 5-1 record. The Dolphins fall to 3-3, and face Pittsburgh next week, while the Vikings have a
Monday Night Boredom
There are 3 things that are certain in life. Death, Taxes, and the Denver Broncos playing in primetime. This week, the Broncos faced a Los Angeles Chargers side that had won their last two games.
The game’s first quarter was fairly strong. A 51-yard Brandon McManus field goal put the Broncos ahead of a Chargers offense that could not get going. The Broncos’ lead was increased soon after, as quarterback Russell Wilson found Dulcich for a 39 touchdown. The next drive resulted in another score, as the Chargers offense finally got going, with a 17-play drive ending with an Austin Ekeler rushing touchdown.
Then, it all just stopped. For the rest of the game, these teams put the “foot” in football, as field goals and punts ended the majority of plays between the teams. It is worth being reminded (as we are probably going to forget) that this game went to overtime. Could one of these teams pull something out of the bag and score anything but a field goal? No. Overtime was a punt-fest, ending in a 39-yard field goal for the Chargers, giving them a 19-16 win.
It is worth mentioning the performance of Chargers’ Quarterback Justin Herbert. His 57 passing attempts (37 completions for 238 yards) is the highest ever amount of passing attempts without scoring a touchdown during a team win. Let’s hope he can score something next week when the Chargers welcome the Seattle Seahawks to Inglewood, while the Broncos play the New York Jets, thankfully not in primetime.
In the other games
-The Washington Commanders beat the Chicago Bears 12-7, in another mediocre match on Thursday night. The Commander’s victory increases quarterback Carson Wentz’s Thursday night record to 7-0.
-Jimmy Garoppolo was intercepted twice, as his San Francisco 49ers lost to the Atlanta Falcons 28-14
-In a game that lasted a lot longer than all of the other 1ET kickoffs, backup quarterback Balley Zappe threw for 309 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, and wide receiver Rhamondre Stevenson scored two touchdowns for himself at the New England Patriots beat the Cleveland Browns 38-15
-The Indianapolis Colts left it late to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. A 32-yard Matt Ryan Touchdown and a subsequent Trevor Lawrence fumble on the last play of the game gave the Colts a 34-27 win over the Jags.
-On Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase’s return to New Orleans, the pair lead the Bengals to a win over the Saints. Burrow and Chase combined for a 60-yard touchdown, which sealed a 30-26 win for Cincinnati.
-The LA Rams returned to winning form as they comfortably beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10
-In a game full of turnovers and only one touchdown, the Seattle Seahawks beat divisional rival the Arizona Cardinals 19-9.