Tuesday Afternoon Football: Week Six
Week Six of the NFL season contained some of the most exciting games of the NFL season to this point. We got to witness the offensive juggernaut of Kansas City take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough, we saw the late-game greatness of Aaron Rodgers once more, and it was just a great week in the NFL from top-to-bottom. With that being said, let’s jump right into Thursday Night Football.
Game of the Year: Chiefs at Patriots
There is no doubt that the most exciting game of the weekend was the Sunday night matchup between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were undefeated heading into the game, and they were the talk of the league thanks to their explosive offense. The Patriots had turned a corner after their slow start, and they are still led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Heading into the game the storylines that were developing revolved around the idea that this game would be a passing of the torch from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. People thought that a win for the Chiefs would signify that it is now their time to reign in the AFC, their chance to become a champion or a dynasty.
That didn’t happen, the Patriots won the game 43-40. It was probably the best game of the season, and it featured the game’s most prominent figures. Tom Brady reminded us once again why he is the greatest quarterback of all time as he threw for 340 yards and a touchdown. He executed the two-minute drill perfectly at the end of the game to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a game-winning field goal.
Brady was impressive, but perhaps the more impressive quarterback was Patrick Mahomes. He finished with 352 yards, four touchdowns, and two picks. Despite the shortcomings (the two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six), he still went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady. Mahomes once again showed me that he is the future face of the NFL, and he will be headlining a group of elite quarterbacks in five years that will include players like Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, Sam Darnold, and others. He is here, the future is now in Kansas City.
The Chiefs lost this game 43-40, and this loss was their first of the season. They now sit at 5-1, but well positioned atop the AFC West. Despite getting outscored by the Patriots, there is still zero doubt about the fact that they have the most explosive offense in the NFL. They have the most weapons, which allows Patrick Mahomes to show off his world-class arm strength. Mahomes connected with the most explosive receiver in the league, Tyreek Hill, seven times this week for 142 yards and three touchdowns. While Hill is great and as explosive as anyone, that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this offense.
The Chiefs also still have Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Chris Conley, which is an elite receiving corps. Oh, and on top of all that, they still have Kareem Hunt who was the leading rusher in the NFL last year. He looked like he was ready to kick his season into the right gear on Sunday, rushing for 80 yards and catching five balls for 105 yards and a touchdown. This Chiefs offense is a versatile as ever.
The only thing standing in the way of the Chiefs greatness, is the New England Patriots, and that was proven on Sunday night.
Regardless of how good Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is, there is no denying that the Patriots are still the class of not only the AFC, but the entire NFL. Tom Brady has as a good of a compilation of offensive weapons as he has ever had, and who knows how close to the end he is, but if this is his last run at a Super Bowl...they look more than well positioned to do so.
Sunday marked the return of his favorite target, Julian Edelman, who caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. The thing with the Patriots is that they have enough weapons to be able to not lean too heavily on players like they have in the past. They have Edelman, Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski, Josh Gordon, James White, and even Sony Michel has come into his own in the last few weeks. Both these offenses are elite but somehow on completely different ends of the spectrum.
The Chiefs offense is elite because they can explode for 50+ yards on any play, while the Patriots offense can kill you in a thousand different ways (death by a thousand cuts, if you will).
The matchup between these two titans, these two offensive juggernauts, these two goliaths, is likely an early preview for the AFC Championship game. If that game is anything like this matchup from Week Six then I will be waiting on the edge of my seat until the postseason.
Aaron Rodgers is still relentless in the fourth quarter.
Aaron Rodgers is a bad man. People have been saying that for years in various different ways. He has often been labeled “the most talented quarterback in the NFL”, the best “pure quarterback in NFL history”, or, as Stephen A. Smith would put it, “he’s a baaaaaaaaaad man.”
He was up to his old tricks on Monday night against my beloved San Francisco 49ers. They went on to win the game 33-30, but the Packers scored 10 points in the last two minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
He was surprisingly mediocre throughout the majority of the game. He started off hot, just torching the 49ers defense, but he struggled for a long time in the middle of the game. When that fourth quarter hit though, there was no doubt in my mind, and I’m sure the thousands watching the game, that Aaron Rodgers would pull his team to victory.
The most impressive part of this game wasn’t that he won though. It was how he did it. Two of this three top receivers were out of the game. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison were both sidelined with injuries, but he still managed to connect with three different receivers enough times so they all had over 100 yards. Davante Adams had 10 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, Jimmy Graham had five for 104, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had 103.
No running back on their team had more than 41 yards, and his team’s defense wasn’t playing well. Rodgers simply willed the Packers to victory. Now he did win against a very bad 49ers team being quarterbacks by C.J. Beathard instead of Jimmy Garoppolo, but it was still impressive nonetheless.
Oh, and he’s also playing on one leg. He destroyed his knee in Week One but has somehow managed to lead his team to a 3-2-1 record despite the fact that he is very clearly limited. He is simply spectacular and the only real thoughts I have on him right now are the same that I had in Week One:
I have never seen a more impressive quarterback in my life than Aaron Rodgers.
This Jon Gruden Raiders team is a disaster.
After losing this week in London to the Seattle Seahawks, the Oakland Raiders now sit at 1-5. They managed to score just three points against the Seattle defense that gives up nearly 20 points per contest.
Jon Gruden traded away the franchise’s best player before Week One, and that player is now the runaway favorite for Defensive Player of the Year and in the running for NFL MVP. Khalil Mack has turned the Bears defense into nightmare fuel (unless the person dreaming is Brock Osweiler, but that’s a story for another time).
Derek Carr was supposed to be reinvigorated under Gruden, he was supposed to be back to his 2016 self, the version that almost won the NFL MVP award. That hasn’t happened. He’s 10th in the league in yards per game, 14th in yards per attempt, 23rd in touchdowns, and is 22nd in QB rating. He’s showing that he is really just a pumpkin, not the pumpkin carriage that the Raiders rode into the playoffs. Yeah, that’s a Cinderella analogy, deal with it.
Now that the team sits at 1-5, Gruden is reportedly shopping the team’s best wide receiver, Amari Cooper, as well as Karl Joseph, who is a former first-round draft pick at safety. This team is a disaster, and there’s no way around it.
Gruden was out of the league for 10 years, he was supposed to bring back old-school football while the league is going in a completely different direction. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if the had the ability to stop people on defense, but they can’t do that, so they can’t keep up with modern NFL offenses.
Don’t worry though Raiders fans, the best part of the whole situation is that Jon Gruden has a $100,000,000 contract for 10 years, and the team has 9.5 years left on that deal, so they’ll be out of this shitshow in no time.
I guess you could argue that what Gruden is doing is smart, he’s tearing the team down and rebuilding it the way he wants to. That being said, his team had the pieces to compete before he got there. Two years ago if you could pick any young core of players to build around, the Raiders looked like they had the best. Carr, Cooper, and Mack looked like the future of the NFL, but nope. Carr got hurt and checkdown prone, Cooper became less effective as a result of that, and the Raiders were unwilling to pay the best defensive player in football.
This team is a mess, Jon Gruden is at the center of it all, and there appears to be no real end in sight.
Update from the Jimmy G Hype Train:
The Good, The Bad, and The Odd:
The Good: Albert Wilson torched the mighty Chicago Bears defense on Sunday by catching six balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Dolphins to an improbable win. Wilson also helped me lose my fantasy game by letting my defense (Chicago Bears) score -1 points.
The Bad: The Tennessee Titans lost to the Baltimore Ravens 21-0. Marcus Mariota threw for only 117 yards, and the team combined to rush for 55 yards. That’s absolutely brutal.
The Odd: Brock Osweiler who somehow threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season. With each team that he won a game with (Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and now the Miami Dolphins) the first win was against the Chicago Bears each time.
CK Collusion QB of the Week:
Guess who’s baaaaaack...it’s Nathan Peterman! He took over for an injured Josh Allen against the Houston Texans and threw for just 61 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. This is seriously just pitiful at this point. Get this man out of the league. HE’S THROW THREE TIMES AS MANY INTERCEPTIONS AS HE HAS TOUCHDOWNS IN HIS CAREER.
Breakout Player of the Week:
Marquise Goodwin had the best game of his career against the Packers on MNF. He caught four passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and he absolutely torched several defenders on deep routes. He was great this week.
Loser of the Week:
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to an overwhelmingly-average Dallas Cowboys team by a final score of 40-7 on Sunday...that’s not great for what is supposed to be one of the best defenses in the NFL. Oh, and Blake Bortles was bad again, that’s not that much of a surprise.