NFL Instant Reactions: Week 6 Edition


Now that week six of the NFL is all but wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at which teams impressed, or flopped. Much like last week’s article, I have separated the teams into four different categories: True Contenders, Playoff Bound Material, Mediocre at Best, and Dead in the Water.

True Contenders: Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots

Kansas City (5-1) finally lost their first game, in a surprise result at Arrowhead stadium against the Steelers (4-2).  Both the AFC and NFC seem like wide open races at this point in the season due to a few major injuries, none bigger than the Packers (4-2) losing Aaron Rodgers for possibly the entire 2017 season with a broken collarbone.  I dropped Atlanta (3-2) off the contender list due to their inability to hold onto a lead versus a bad Dolphins team. Another team losing their “mojo” was the Denver Broncos (3-2), who inexcusably lost to the previously winless NY Giants. The best “steady hands” in this category are the Eagles (5-1) and Chiefs (5-1), while I am re-gaining faith in the Steelers (4-2), and Patriots (4-2).

Playoff Bound Material: Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos.

Atlanta (3-2) is trending the wrong way, along with the reeling Packers (4-2) and Panthers (4-2) who are all coming off losses.  The Saints (3-2) seem to be figuring things out, with their third straight win. Elsewhere, the Redskins (3-2) got back to above .500 for the season with a nail-biter of a win against the winless 49ers.  As far as teams on the rise, look out for the Texans (3-3): Deshaun Watson looks every bit of the rookie of the year, and their defense is making enough plays to keep them in the game. The Vikings (4-2) also seem to be in the driver’s seat of the NFC North after delivering a significant knockout punch to the Packers’ season outlook.

Mediocre at Best:  Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, NY Jets, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals.

These teams continue to sputter in this category,  Some of these teams got off to great starts: Dallas Cowboys (2-3), Detroit Lions (3-3), Tennessee Titans (2-3), and Baltimore Ravens (3-3); while others have just been steadily inconsistent: Arizona Cardinals (3-3), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3), and Buffalo Bills (3-2).  The major new additions to this category are the Raiders (2-4) who have now lost four straight games, and the Ravens (3-3) who can’t seem to figure out their offensive issues.  I was impressed by the Chargers (2-4) for not giving up, and they were able to stay in contention, for now in the AFC West. Another key team to watch is the Arizona Cardinals (3-3) who look dangerous with their recent acquisition of an angry Adrian Peterson running the rock well.

Dead in the Water: Cleveland Browns, NY Giants, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers.

A lot of familiar faces down in the basement of the NFL. The Browns seem to be neck and neck with the 49ers for the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, as both have yet to win a game in the 2017 season. The Giants (1-5) got an impressive road win over the Broncos, while the Colts will play the Titans tonight in a pivotal AFC South contest.

Be sure to check back next week to see the movement in these categories, which teams should start to be taken seriously, and the others we wish would just get off our TV screens for good.

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