NFL Week 6 is in the books and several teams are looking at their season differently. Here are some of the big takeaways:
- The Green Bay Packers entered the weekend as favourites to land one of the top two seeds in the NFC (and definite Super Bowl contenders). But quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone now leaves the Packers fretting about even making the playoffs. More details on the severity of the injury will come this week but if Rodgers’ season is over, so is Green Bay’s.
- Atlanta Falcons fans had painful Super Bowl flashbacks on Sunday. The Falcons threw away a 17-0 lead to lose at home to the Miami Dolphins. Atlanta’s offense, so explosive last season, is sputtering. They are good enough to turn things around but are making life hard for themselves in the competitive NFC South.
- Speaking of the NFC South, we may have written off the New Orleans Saints too soon. Since being soundly beaten by the New England Patriots in Week 2, Drew Brees and company have won three straight and they scored 52 points at the weekend. They are back.
- So is Adrian Peterson, the former MVP who was traded by the Saints last week. After looking past his best in New Orleans, he hit back with 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns in his Arizona Cardinals debut. Don’t count out Arizona’s playoff chances just yet.
- In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense now officially runs through Le’Veon Bell. One week after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions, the Steelers gave Bell 32 rushing attempts. He turned those into 179 yards and a touchdown as Pittsburgh ended the Kansas City Chiefs’ unbeaten start. The Steelers and Patriots are now just a game behind the Chiefs.
- There are still issues to iron out in New England. The Patriots squeezed past the New York Jets at the weekend, with a controversial call going in their favour. A Super Bowl re-match with the Falcons in Week 7 will tell us more about how solid their 4-2 record is.
- Spare a thought for Cleveland Browns fans. The Browns fell to 0-6 on Sunday as they were blown out by the Houston Texans and dynamic rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. Cleveland had the chance to draft Watson but traded the pick to Houston.
- If the Jacksonville Jaguars thought they could edge into the playoffs without an upgrade at quarterback, Blake Bortles’ latest disappointing performance on Sunday may have told them otherwise. Keep an eye on the Jaguars exploring their options.
- NFL Week 6 was also notable for unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick filing a grievance for collusion against the NFL owners. That story will be front and centre in the weeks ahead.