NFL Week 6 Recap: Elite Teams Begin to Emerge

Story posted October 20, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Chris Deptulski

As we conclude another eventful week in the NFL, we begin to see many of the top teams solidify their dominance and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Tennessee, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Kansas City are among these top teams, as all five were able to secure their fifth win through six weeks, joining the Seahawks (on bye this week) as the only six teams with five wins already.

Nick Foles and the Bears took a trip down to Carolina to face a revamped Panthers team that has found early-season success with the quarterbacking of Teddy Bridgewater. While they were able to hold the Super Bowl-winning quarterback to just 198 passing yards, they could not capitalize on offense, as Bridgewater recorded his worst passing game as a Panther, and running back Mike Davis was contained to just 52 yards on 18 attempts. The Bears improved to 5-1 with the 23-16 win.

The Steelers solidified their hold on the AFC North, as they dismantled division rival Cleveland 38-7. While the offense looked sharp, it was the defense that really rose to the occasion. The Steelers sacked Baker Mayfield four times and intercepted him twice, including a pick-six from star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The Eagles went into Sunday’s game against the Ravens without seven of their offensive starters and finished missing nine (Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz both leaving due to injury). The Ravens took a commanding 17-0 lead to open up the first half, but the Eagles clawed back in the second half thanks to a 74-yard run from Miles Sanders and a touchdown from Travis Fulgham. On the Eagles’ final drive, Carson Wentz was able to punch it in from the 1-yard line, narrowing the gap to just two. However, the Ravens’ front seven was able to make a stand, as it stuffed Wentz on the two-point conversion attempt, giving Baltimore the 30-28 victory.

In Music City, interim head coach Romeo Crennel of the Houston Texans looked to build on last week’s win. The Texans took a touchdown lead into the final minutes of regulation, but Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry proved why they are worth every dollar of their brand new contract extensions, driving the offense 76 yards downfield to tie it with just four seconds left. In overtime, it was all Henry. He began the extra period with a 53-yard reception and then sealed the victory with a 5-yard, direct-snap touchdown run. The Titans remain undefeated at 5-0, while the Texans have stumbled to 1-5.

Week 6’s Thursday Night Football game was played Monday night at 5 p.m. between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, pushed back due to COVID-19 rescheduling. It was a cold, rainy evening in Buffalo, resulting in both teams relying heavy on the run game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire performed just as a first-round running back should, rumbling for 161 yards on the ground and averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Patrick Mahomes was perfect when needed, passing for 225 yards on 21 completions. He linked up with Travis Kelce in the end zone twice, ultimately resulting in a Kansas City road victory. The Chiefs improve to 5-1, while the Bills, which have now dropped their second game in a row, fall to 4-2.

With the NFL season now entering its seventh week, it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if any other contenders will join the ranks of the elite made up by the aforementioned teams.

 

Chris Deptulski is a senior majoring in biorenewable systems. To contact him, email cgd5108@psu.edu.