NFL Week 6 Recap
What did we learn after Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season? The three main lessons are pretty straightforward, actually:
The Good Teams Are Getting Things Together
What we’re seeing in October is why we shouldn’t be shouting hot takes or writing any team’s obituaries in September.
New England just beat the team that everyone thought was the best in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers just went into the home of the AFC North leaders (the Cincinnati Bengals) and beat them, picking up their third win in four games. Philadelphia just snapped their two-game losing streak with a beat down on national television of their division rivals. The Minnesota Vikings went down to Arizona and took care of business, winning by double-digits.
It’s getting to the point where September is basically just a glorified version of the preseason, and teams use the early part of the season to finish installing their schemes and building cohesion across their units. We don’t see the true potential of teams until several weeks into the year.
The Bad Teams Are Still Pretty Bad
Conversely, many of the teams that we concluded looked like “bad teams” haven’t done much to change that perception.
The king of all “bad” teams in the past, the Cleveland Browns couldn’t follow-up their win in Week 6 with another one in Week 7; instead, they were totally embarrassed at home by the Los Angeles Chargers. The Oakland Raiders, who look like they might take up the mantle of “worst an most dysfunctional team in the NFL,” were also embarrassed — only they were humiliated in another country. Tampa Bay has lost three straight after their 2-0 start. Denver has lost four straight after winning their first two to start the year. The Indianapolis Colts have lost four straight games after picking up a win in Week 2. The Arizona Cardinals might be scoring more points with a new quarterback, but it didn’t take long before they got another “L” in the standings; they’re now 1-5. And the New York Giants are in a “same quarterback, different year” situation, as it’s becoming more and more clear that Eli Manning is washed up.
We’re Still Figuring Out The Surprise Teams For 2018
After losing two straight games after their 3-0 start, we assumed the Miami Dolphins were a September flash in the pan, and thought there was no chance they’d win with Brock Osweiler at quarterback; we were clearly wrong. The Chicago Bears, which was the team that Miami defeated, had no business allowing Miami to score a season-high 31 points, especially with a backup quarterback under center.
This was supposed to be the year that Cincinnati challenged for the AFC North title, but they just blew a critical division game at home to Pittsburgh. The AFC South is wide open for the taking, but Tennessee’s offense still looks like it hasn’t shown up for the 2018 season. Baltimore shut out Tennessee on Sunday, but that’s only one week after losing to the Browns. The Los Angeles Chargers could be making a break towards the playoff race, but we know they’re a team with a propensity to choke it away come wintertime.
In other words: there’s still plenty of football left that needs watching, before the current NFL picture clears up.