What We Learned from Week 6: NFL Football


2013-2014 Season

Surprises

kansas city chiefs

Kansas City – Let me start by saying that no one is surprised that the Chiefs are good. Andy Reid is a great coach and the Kansas City Chiefs were a talented, but underachieving team last year. They had multiple Pro Bowlers on offense and defense. But, sports fans everywhere are shocked at how good Kansas City has become in such a short period. They have already won as may games as they did all of last season in Week 6 of this one. The additions of Alex Smith at QB and Reid’s playbook and.coaching acumen has resulted in an undefeated season so far. The Chiefs went from missing the playoffs to contending in a season.

New York Jets – The Jets were expected to be the laughing stock of the NFL this year. Honestly, I thought that Rex Ryan had run out of time in New York and would be fired by Week 6. He started the season with a quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, he let his best cornerback and arguably the best corner in the league, Darrel Revis, leave in free agency, and his tough defense had been in shreds for the last two years. However, an injury to Sanchez solved the quarterback controversy and Smith has been cool under pressure in the most difficult position in the NFL. Ryan found a player up front with defensive end Mike Wilkerson, and he has been able to get his defense back to the aggressive style of football that he likes to play. Surprisingly, the Jets have been competitive in every game and can challenge for playoff spot if they keep winning.

Denver Broncos – The stout defense that Denver had last year has not settled yet. Injuries to Champ Bailey and Von Miller slowed the defense and teams have scored against the Broncos. But, the Broncos are still undefeated this year because they are fielding a historically great offense every game. The Denver Broncos were expected to be good enough to contend this year, because they were one play away from a Super Bowl birth last year, and returning all the same players. But, the additions of tight end Julius Thomas from the bench and wide receiver Wes Welker from free agency has turned this squad into the best offense that the NFL has ever seen through the first six weeks of a season. Denver has scored more points than any other team in NFL history, and Peyton ManningĀ  scored more touchdowns in the first six weeks of this season than any other player in NFL history. Barring an injury to Manning or Welker this offense could score its way to the franchises’ third Super Bowl.

Cleveland Browns – The Browns started the season with Brandon Weeden at quarterback, but lost him due to injury. Then, Brian Hoyer, the back up, came in and revitalized the city of Cleveland. He stretches the field with the vertical pass in a way that Weeden seemed too limited to do. He has been very accurate on the intermediate passes and most of all he gave his team and the city a quarterback that they can believe in. With the defense that has been built slowly over the last few years, the Cleveland Browns are moving towards an unlikely playoff birth despite trading their best player, Trent Richardson, in week 4.

San Diego Chargers

What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Chargers were one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They were once again super talented, but underachieving. Phillip Rivers seemed to through as many passes to the defenses as he did to his receiving corp., the running game was nonexistent, and teams focused all of their attention on Antonio Gates. But, with Norv Turner out, and Ken Whisenhunt suited up as the offensive coordinator, the Charger offense looks formidable again. Eric Weddle continues to anchor the San Diego defense from the safety position with good football decisions and great open field tackling. And, the Chargers are in a position to challenge for their division.

Disappointments

jj watt - bloody nose

Houston Texans – Even after 4 losses including two blowouts, the Houston Texans still have the number one defense in the league. And except for the last game against the St. Louis Rams, the Texans have been stout against most teams’ offenses. However, the Texans have been historically bad at the quarterback position. Matt Schaub broke a National Football League record for consecutive games with an interception returned for a touchdown with 4 straight games.

Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers won their first game of the season last week. They have been terrible on offense, porous on defense, and have shown a break in the tough persona that has been their calling card for the last forty years. All of sudden, the famed Pittsburgh Steelers are a finesse team. Dick Labeau’s defense has given up two double digit leads in the fourth quarter for losses this season. He has made changes to his blitz heavy system to adjust to more intricate offenses, but the offense can not run the football, so opposing defenses gear up against Roethlisberger’s arm. And, with the offseason loss of Mike Wallace to Miami, he has no real weapons to throw the football to.

They Are Who We Thought They Were

And now, for the fastest minute in football commentary. The Jaguars are exactly who we thought they were. Almost every team that they have played this year has put up their best offensive output against them.The Patriots are exactly who we thought they were. Bill Belichick remains the best coach in the league at isolating and stopping the best player on any team, and they are overachieving again. The Dallas Cowboys are exactly who we thought they were. They are a extremely talented team who should challenge to win their division possibly contend for a championship. But, their inconsistency on defense and unstable quarterback play could derail the team for yet another season. In their game against the Denver Broncos, Tony Romo, the Cowboys QB, threw for over 500 yards – he is one of five players in NFL history to do so – and five touchdowns, but he also threw a costly turnover at the end of the game on Dallas’ last drive. The Seattle Seahawks are exactly who we thought they were. They are the most physical team in football and dominate through great play in the secondary and a physical running game. Plus, they are more resilient than most pundits believed because they fought back from a 20-3 lead against the Houston Texans, one of the most talented teams in the league.

ndamukong suh - illegal hit on weeden

Ndamukong Suh Is A Victim

Granted, Suh really brought all this negative attention on himself by stomping on players, continuously delivering late hits, and by being purposefully brutal on several different plays. However, he is now being bullied by the league for any hit that appears faintly excessive. Ndamukong Suh did not receive a flag for his hit against Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns. He actually the quarterback within the designated zone for quarterbacks, but was still fined $31,500 for the incident. To date, Suh has received $209,000 in fines for 7 different occurrences.

The Exciting Eagles Are Better with Foles

Sports authorities wondered aloud if the Philadelphia Eagles could revamp their offense under the former college coach and offensive genius, Chip Kelly. They released former head coach and offensive genius Andy Reid because of the underachieving team. Kelly took the same team and surprised a lot of teams with his fast paced, high scoring offense. Michael Vick seemed like the perfect fit for the offense. He was the most dynamic player on the team because he was as much of a threat to score with his feet as he was with his arm. He got the football out of the backfield quicker than he had with Reid, and the franchise was revitalized. Making plays with your feet also exposes you to more punishment, and Vick once again was injured. But, Nick Foles stepped in and replaced Vick with better pocket presence and the ability to get the football out of his hands even faster. The result has been two wins and evening the Eagles record at 3-3.

 

 


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