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2014 NFL Week 6 Game Recaps

Indianapolis Colts 3-2-0
Houston Texans 3-2-0

Game Recap: HOUSTON-Andrew Luck leads the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Colts should play big on offense. The biggest surprise in my opinion is starting guys like Barrett Jones and Xavier Su’a Filo at guard. Both NFL Draft prospects had potential to start, but entered training camp as backups. I like the move because Foster has been carrying Houston the first few games without quality play outside of left tackle Duane Brown on the offensive line. With Jones and Su’a Filo starting at guard, I think Houston has a chance to win the time of possession match up.

Houston got the ball first with a window of opportunity to get the crowd in the game. The Colts’ cornerbacks came to play on the opening series. Greg Toler did a fantastic job playing man coverage on Andre Johnson on the first play of the game. On third down, Fitzpatrick threw to the left once again by throwing to DeAndre Hopkins. Cornerback Vontae Davis gets pressure on Hopkins and breaks up the pass on a critical down.

Andrew Luck made two phenomenal throws on the Colts’ opening series that left Texan fans speechless. He threw one pass to Dwayne Allen for a first down after evading a sack by throwing on the run. Luck stayed in the pocket on third down as he fired a completion to T.Y. Hilton. The Texans’ defense got their act together following Luck’s spiral to Hilton. Houston did a good job with coverage on this first series. Luck made two excellent throws with outstanding coverage by this secondary which enabled the Colts to get the field goal.

The biggest surprise came when punter Pat McAfee recovered an onside kick after lining up for an onside kick. Andrew Luck fired a bomb to T.Y. Hilton. Kareem Jackson missed an easy tackle that nearly resulted in a Colts touchdown after Hilton fell to the ground as he caught a deep pass from Andrew Luck. You also have to question the coverage by strong safety D.J. Swearinger. Swearinger is supposed to play zone to prevent deep passes like that, and Luck caught Swearinger thinking blitz.

The officials made the wrong call following the touchdown review if you ask me. Even though Jackson had contact with Hilton, it was not contact above the waist with the body or the hands. The NFL needs to make a rule where it is not a tackle unless there is contact on the play with your body or hands. Contact where players knees, legs, or feet should not count as a tackle if the defensive player makes contact with an offensive player that is not ruled down by contact. Jackson bumped into Hilton by using his right knee to make contact with Hilton while he was down. It was a terrible call, but the call didn’ really matter since Trent Richardson ran it thanks to run blocking by right guard Hugh Thornton and right tackle Gosder Cherillus on the next play.

Houston was in for a long night on defense. Romeo Crenell needed to talk with the secondary coach to devise a game plan by communicating with him. Rather than talk things out with the rest of the defensive coaches, Crenell chose to yell at the defensive players like my old high school gym teacher Corky Semler. Probably didn’t even spell his name right, but that’t not the main idea. The bottom line is that Crenell went about disciplining this defense the wrong way. It clearly Crenell has always been an excellent defensive strategist, but he is a horrible motivator. You cannot be a head coach unless you motivate your players while keeping your emotions in check. Even J.J. Watt gave Crenell the silent treatment when he verbally yelled at his players by nodding his head up. Corky Semler would be proud of you J.J. Watt.

Luck continued to put up a clinic on the Texans’ secondary in the first quarter. Swearinger missed another zone coverage assignment at strong safety, and Jonathan Joseph got called for pass interference when lining up in zone. I thought the corners were supposed to play man while the safeties played zone.

Indianapolis took a 24-0 lead in the first quarter because the defense was that awful. It seems pretty evident that the Texans’ defense played like adopted orphans and J.J. Watt is the only player that is worth adopting. Andrew Luck used his arm strength to vandalize the orphanage that is the Houston Texans 3-4 defense in the first quarter.

The Texans got their act together by putting together an offensive drive that lasted 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Not sure if a new quarter was the wake up call Houston needed or if the Colts’ defense got careless like the PIttsburgh Steelers after their 27-3 lead over the Cleveland Browns in the first half. Either way, the Colts played careless in second quarter after such a brilliant first quarter.

Luck looked like he would move the ball downfield again before 3-4 right end Jared Crick tipped a pass that led to an interception which resulted in a Texans touchdown on the following series. Sometimes Luck gets careless and throws the ball in a random location without reading the defense. Sometimes the opposing defense capitalizes on this. Luck did made those kind of throws in week 2 versus the Eagles and week 5 against the Ravens. Houston responded by getting Arian Foster the ball as the Texans obtained a 12-yard rushing touchdown.

After Houston dropped 14 unanswered Pagano yelled expressing disappointment. He did not verbally abuse his players like Romeo Crennel, but showed some weakness when controlling his emotions. That may be what keeps Luck from winning a Super Bowl if the Colts struggle in the playoffs. Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was very calm. He channelled his emotions even after Luck threw the pick, and Luck rebounded to an extent after seeing Hamilton control his emotions. Hamilton began his coaching career as Luck’s quarterback coach at Stanford before becoming an offensive coordinator for David Shaw at Stanford after Jim Harbaugh left. Hamilton has the perfect job coaching Luck as an offensive coordinator. Hamilton will fail if he takes a head coaching gig, and I will lose all respect for him if Hamilton leaves a situation that is this perfect.

When it came to the Texans, one area that deserved mixed reviews was the offensive line. The pass blocking was inconsistent. There were plays where the Colts defense brought a barrage of blitzes. Hurries that made quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick fluster. Watching the Texans quarterback get sacked for a loss of downs was inevitable at times. The most obvious thing about the passing game was that Fitzpatrick completed passes when he had time in the pocket.

Barrett Jones and Xavier Su’a Filo have talent to be starters at guard. Both guys need to become more consistent at pass blocking as both guards lack experience as they are still transitioning to the NFL. These guards will be better in a few years with more experience and a better quarterback that is an upgrade over Fitzpatrick.

The one area this team did well in was run blocking. All of Arian Foster’s big gains came on blocks where the offensive tackle and offensive guard pushed forward giving Foster an open lane enabling Foster to rush for more yards on the ground.

Both teams needed to make adjustments on defense entering the second half. You saw sloppy defensive play by both squads because you had defensive players on both teams missing tackles. Five Texans defenders missed a tackle on one play where Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a first down following a completion. You knew that the Colts were likely to win. At the same time, the team that would execute their tackles by playing sound fundamental football would end up delivering in the second half.

Houston struggled to execute tackles to open up the second half. Keeping the Colts from expanding the lead gave the Texans confidence.

Indianapolis did a better job executing tackles. As the quarter progressed you saw the offensive line improve upon the promising run blocking in the first half. Running back Arian Foster blazed by the defense by using his speed on two incredible runs to the outside. His blockers, especially the guards deserve credit for making the adjustment. Foster deserves that much credit for using his speed to break by defenders. Foster got 44 yards on three rushes after being limited to 38 rushing yards on 11 carries.

T.Y. Hilton continues to play like an elite safety. Hilton is known for using his speed in the slot. On one touchdown, HIlton used crisp route running to beat both Texans safeties on a double team. Frees safety Kendrick Lewis fatigued due to the surreal speed of Hilton. Swearinger just got picked apart by Mr. Luck once again. The touchdown gave the Colts a 33 to 21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Texans showed some spunk as the fourth quarter began. Running back Arian Foster juked by the Colts defense on third down. Kicker Randy Bullock had a chance to make it a 9 point game. Instead, the Texans missed a 39-yard field goal. Instead of throwing the kicker under the bus, you have to question the Bill O’Brien for not attempting to keep the drive alive by setting up a touchdown. When you are down by 12 in the fourth quarter, you have to go for it. You can justify kicking a field goal if it is an 11 point game since you can always get the two point conversion later. Still, the Texans coaching staff has to be held accountable for that.

Andrew Luck got more protection following the missed field goal by the Texans. J.J. Watt can destroy interior offensive linemen and even right tackles. When Watt lined up against left tackle Anthony Costanzo, he got schooled by Costanzo. Crennell learned not to line Watt up against left tackles. What was even more incredible was the fact that Watt redeemed himself after lining up against Costanzo when moving back to the right side. Andrew Luck fumbled a shotgun play on third down and Watt recovered the ball and returned it for a touchdown.

Houston only trailed by 5 following the J.J. Watt touchdown. Luck needed to rebound following a Watt the fumble recovery that got the crowd back in the game.

Luck responded poorly following the Luck fumble. Indianapolis got free first downs due to penalties by the Texans. Clutch catches by T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne also allowed the Colts to gain momentum. The Texans challenged the Reggie Wayne catch and got the officials to reverse the call. Wayne caught the ball, but Luck tapped the NFL official on the butt leading up to the commercial. The officials get a hall pass for making a bad call because Luck put his hands on an official and nothing happened. If you want to high five an official after the game fine. Just keep your hands to yourself during the contest.

Houston had the ball, and moved the ball downfield. It looked like the Texans might win. Wide receiver Andre Johnson fumbled the ball. The play got reviewed and the call stood.

Luck got the ball back and both teams looked sluggish in the fourth quarter. Luck was able to move the chains when it mattered. The Texans burned their final timeout with 2:26 left in the game on third down. J.J. Watt batted a pass setting up a fourth down. Watt had 2 sacks, 7 tackles for a loss, 3 pass deflections, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Ryan Fitzpatrick had 2 minutes and 15 seconds to lead the Texans downfield. Houston fumbled the ball again as the Colts recovered the ball once again. Indianapolis got lucky. Both the Colts offense and Texans defense fatigued in the fourth quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick did not execute when it mattered. You did not expect Houston to win. Still, games like tonight make you want to question if Fitzpatrick is the long-term answer at quarterback for the Texans.

After five weeks of ruling the AFC South, Houston finally got the reality check many expected them to receive against the Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis is now 4-2 after an 0-2 start and Houston is now 3-3 after a 2-0 start to begin the season going 1-3 in their last four games.

Luck will win a Super Bowl at some point in his career. It may not happen this year unless Luck plays better in the fourth quarter while the coaches for both of these teams improve their ability to control themselves emotionally.

Luck finished the game going 25 for 44 with 370 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 1 interception. T.Y. Hilton looks like this weeks Fantasy Football stud. Hilton had 9 receptions, 223 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Both guys stepped up when it mattered. Neither offensive line stood out and it was evident that Luck took care of business early while making some big plays showcasing a lot of deep passes to move the chains.

Chicago Bears 3-3-0
Atlanta Falcons 2-4-0

Game Recap: ATLANTA-Jay Cutler is coming off two bad games. Matt Ryan is money at home. This game got pushed back to 4:25 PM Eastern.

Atlanta began the game 1 for 5 on third down conversions. What kept them in the contest was the fact that they led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter while keeping the Bears scoreless.

Chicago Bears made Atlanta look silly in the second quarter. Robbie Gould had an equalizer kick that tied the game at 3. Then you saw Cutler throw a touchdown pass to Josh Morgan before Robbie Gould kick one more field goal at halftime.

Atlanta made things interesting by making it a 13-10 game when he threw a 41-yard touchdown. Then, kicker Matt Bryant tied it up at 13.

The guy that stepped up when it mattered was Matt Forte. Forte had 17 carries for 80 rushing yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns. Chicago obtained a huge road win that put them back in the thick of the NFC North race. Chicago is at 3-3-0 as the Bears need to take it one game at a time.

Besides Forte you saw sluggish offensive line play from both teams. Chicago won because Cutler had the better game. Cutler played like Andrew Luck this week going 26 for 38 with 381 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both exceeded 100 receiving yards. Matt Forte caught 10 receptions out of the backfield. Martellus Bennett had 4 receptions for 52 receiving yards. Josh Morgan only had 1 reception, but it was Cutler’s only passing touchdown on the day.

Matt Ryan threw for 271 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Ryan delivered at home without Sam Baker and Jake Matthews in the past against New Orleans and Tampa Bay. With a Bears defensive line that had no starters except Willie Mitchell get to the quarterback you things would be the same. Jared Allen finally got his first sack and defensive tackle Stephen Paea also recorded a sack. Mitchell may be starting over Lamaar Houston, but you still expect Houston to step up.

Jacksonville Jaguars 0-6-0
Tennessee Titans 2-4-0

Game Recap: TENNESSEE-Tennessee Titans left tackle Michael Roos is on injured reserve for the Titans. Roos was in a contract year. This means 2014 first round pick Taylor Lewan and Michael Oher will start at offensive tackle from this point forward. Seeing Lewan play left tackle and 2014 second-round pick Bishop Sankey get the majority of carries may be the spark the Titans’ need. Jake Locker struggled in practice due to an excessive injury and was eventually ruled inactive for the second time in three weeks. Right before the game the winless Jaguars announced Storm Johnson as a starting running back. Johnson ran for a rushing touchdown that gave the Jaguars the first score.

How are the Jaguars playing this bad? Blake Bortles is played like crap today. Bortles failed to throw a touchdown in the first three quarters against the NFL’s worst front 7. Bortles former Central Florida teammate Storm Johnson. What makes it even worse is that the Jaguars played this bad after Jake Locker was ruled out.

Bortles got his act together in the 4th quarter. Unlike Charlie Whitehurst he threw a touchdown today. Bortles fired the ball to Cecil Shorts who had 10 receptions for 103 yards and tight end Clay Harbor who had 3 receptions for 91 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown that got Jacksonville back in the game. Jacksonville had a chance to win, but a blocked field goal by the Titans causes the Jaguars to remain winless.

The Jaguars offensive line was terrible on all cylinders which was why Bortles struggled early in the first three quarters today. Kamerion Wimbley got by Joeckel to record his first sack at 3-4 right outside linebacker. The defensive ends that played the five technique like 3-4 right end Jurrell Casey and 3-4 left end Karl Klug both had big games. Free safety Michael Huff also recorded a sack. Following the game, the Jaguars announced that Austin Pasztor will start week 7 at left tackle while Luke Joeckel moves back to right tackle after being drafted second overall because Joeckel gave up 3 sacks. Free agent left guard Zane Beadles also struggled in contest giving up 2 sacks. Pasztor held his own at right tackle today and the Jaguars want to swap offensive tackles hoping to get an answer.

Another player that deserves an honorable mention is field cornerback Jason McCourty. McCourty had 10 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, and 11 total tackles. McCourty also did an outstanding job blanketing different Jaguar receivers at times whether it be Robinson, Hurns, Lee, or even Shorts. Shorts had a big game, but he was blanketed when facing Jason McCourty.

Baltimore Ravens 4-2-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-5-0

Game Recap: TAMPA BAY-Mike Glennon is hoping to outplay the quarterback that he got compared to to in Joe Flacco. Former Buccaneers center Jeremy Zuttah returns to Raymond James Stadium

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw 5 touchdowns in 18 minutes going Jack Bauer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to give the Ravens a 35-0 lead after the Ravens led 28-0 in the first quarter. Baltimore led 38-0 at halftime.

Baltimore won 48 to 17. Last week the Jaguars mascot accused the Terrible Towel of having Ebola. At least the Buccaneers mascot didn’t accuse Joe Flacco about working for ISIS. ISIS and Ebola are no laughing matters yet I feel like the media is putting too much emphasis on both causes to make us feel fear. Ravens are now 4-2-0 as the Buccaneers fell to 1-5-0 on the season. After losing two in a row it is safe to say that Tampa Bay will go with a quarterback in the draft. When you consider that Todd Gurley got suspended that only reinforces the idea of Tampa Bay going with a quarterback in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Denver Broncos 4-1-0
New York Jets 1-5-0

Game Recap: NEW YORK-Peyton Manning returns to New York for the first time since Super Bowl 48. As long as Manning does not fumble the ball on the first play of the game, Denver should be fine.

Denver got the first points in the contest. After Brandon McManus kicked a field goal, cornerback Dee Milliner tore his achilles and will be out for the remainder of the 2014 NFL Season in his first game back from an injury. This is a huge blow and one that shows that the Jets need to take a cornerback in the 2015 NFL Draft if they do not land Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

First the Jets stuck with Smith which is the best move because Vick sucks and has no business starting. Second, Jace Amaro is a beast, I graded him as my best tight end in the 2014 NFL Draft and even called him better than Eric Ebron or Austin-Seferian Jenkins. Amaro led the Jets with 10 receptions, 68 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Amaro showed excellent instincts and route running today. While Amaro failed to get 100 receiving yards, he had 1 reception against each key player on the Broncos secondary by catching one pass against Talib, one pass against T.J. Ward, one pass against free safety Rahim Moore, 1 pass against Chris Harris, and 1 pass against Bradley Roby. I think Jace Amaro can be more reliable than Eric Decker because Decker has been a #2 receiver most of his career until this season and was a product of Peyton Manning in Denver. Glad the Jets finally realized that Amaro needed a majority of the receptions. Third and finally, the Jets actually led the Broncos after a quarter. That is something to be proud of and a sign that Geno is the right guy if you get him a wide receiver like Amari Cooper.

Whichever quarterback does not get Cooper whether it be Geno Smith or Derek Carr, then that quarterback will be out of the league by 2016. Aside from Amari Cooper, Peyton Manning had an excellent day.

Peyton Manning had an excellent day Manning buried the Jets by throwing three touchdowns in a row to give the Broncos a 24-7 lead. Manning had outstanding play from his offensive line as usual due to his quick release. Besides left guard Orlando Franklin everyone did their job up front in the trenches.

Demaryius Thomas had 10 receptions, 124 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Manning also threw 2 passing touchdowns to tight end Julius Thomas.

The New York Jets got a field goal late in the third quarter. Denver led 24 to 10 after 3 quarters. Geno Smith threw a second touchdown to make it 24 to 17, but Smith also threw a pick 6 to Denver which resulted in a 31 to 17 Broncos victory.

Detroit Lions 4-2-0
Minnesota Vikings 2-4-0

Game Recap: MINNESOTA-Teddy Bridgewater will make his second start today. He missed the week 5 game against the Green Bay Packers. Calvin Johnson is out at wide receiver for the Detroit Lions.

You have to credit the Lions defense today. The defensive line got to the quarterback. I said the only way the Lions would win is if Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley had their way against a weak guard unit without Brandon Fusco at right guard. That is exactly what happened. Suh and Fairley got by the guards without any effort what so ever. Center John Sullivan could not handle being double teamed by Suh and Fairley. Ziggy Ansah played left end and torched right tackle Phil Loadholt. It got so bad that Minnesota moved Kalil to right tackle to keep Ziggy Ansah in check. While Kalil kept Ansah in check, Fairley got by him allowing Suh to get to Teddy Bridgewater with ease. Other guys like Jason Jones, backup defensive ends, and right outside linebacker DeAndre Levy were able to sack Bridgewater without any effort from the offensive line. All these guys stepped up with Stephen Tulloch on injured reserve at middle linebacker.

The Lions had the top ranked defense with fewest yards allowed entering today. Bridgewater would have played much better with a healthy offensive line. Now Viking fans will hit the panic button by saying Bridgewater is another version of Christian Ponder.

Detroit did not score much because both playmakers Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush were out. This was a window of opportunity for Minnesota when you considered the fact that the Lions front 7 did squat leading up to this game. While Detroit had the #1 run defense and fewest yards allowed in the NFL heading into week 6, the Lions had no pass rush during their first five games when starting 3-2-0. That changed today as Suh and Fairley showed me that a team with no guards will have no chance against the Detroit Lions. Next week the Lions get the Saints at home in Ford Field. New Orleans is coming off a bye week plus they have two of the best guards with Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans. It will be harder for this defensive line to get pressure on Drew Brees considering that those guards are starting along with the quick release of Drew Brees.

New England Patriots 4-2-0
Buffalo Bills 3-3-0

Game Recap: BUFFALO-New England defeated Buffalo in Buffalo 18-17 last season. Now Kyle Orton starts for the Bills instead of E.J. Manuel.

Tom Brady was phenomenal today. Kyle Orton did better than I thought he would, but he never had a chance against Brady.

Brady dealt with immense pressure having hardly any time to throw the ball. Brady seems motivated for one more ring, yet it is too early to say if he is that guy. Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, and Rob Gronkowski all kicked ass for the Patriots as each receiver had 90 receiving yards. Brian Tyms caught a 43 yard touchdown. Brady had 6 other receivers catch a ball besides those four studs and tight end Tim Wright caught 1 reception for 1 yard, yet it was a play that resulted in a touchdown.

Both offensive lines struggled today, as both teams got to the quarterback while shutting down the run. With the front 7 for both teams playing so well, you would think that the secondary would do well. Everybody except Revis stunk on secondary for both teams. Revis limited Sammy Watkins to 27 receiving yards on 2 receptions. Scott Chandler and Robert Woods had success against Alfonzo Dennard and Patrick Chung. Chung still led the team in tackles despite his sloppy coverage, but he did prevent a receiving touchdown despite giving up 105 receiving yards to Chandler. Alfonzo Dennard needs to be in the nickel and Kyle Arrington has no business on the Patriots roster. Both Bills receivers torched the Patriots corners. Devin McCourty forced a fumble. Besides Revis he was the best player with a decent game.

With a victory over the Bills, the 4-2-0 Patriots move into first place in the AFC East. Buffalo drops to 3-3-0 with Miami getting a chance to even things up.

Carolina Panthers 3-2-1
Cincinnati Bengals 3-1-1

Game Recap: CINCINNATI-Cincinnati hosts the Carolina Panthers following a loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Star wide receiver A.J. Green was out.

Cam Newton had a big game. Newton threw for 284 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also ran for 107 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown leading the Panthers in rushing yards.

Despite Green’s absence two guys stepped up. Those guys were Giovanni Bernard who had 137 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on 18 carries along with Mohammed Sanu who had 10 receptions, 120 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown without Green. Sanu was lined up against the Panthers #2 corner despite Green’s absence.

Mike Nugent had a chance to win this game. The contest kept going back and forth in overtime. Cincinnati got a field goal. Carolina had a chance to win before they settled for a field goal. Then Mike Nugent missed the kick.

Tie games are as annoying as this Panthers fan. I think the fan from the Waterboy that touched his nipples in the Adam Sandler comedy bought a Panthers mask and pretends Cam Newton is Bobby Boucher by imitating Superman.

I want to see the Patriots or Colts to win the AFC. If neither one of those teams delivers it will be Denver or San Diego in Arizona where I believe the AFC Champion hoists the Lombardi Trophy this year. If none of those 4 teams goes to Arizona and Cincinnati does end up winning the AFC, it would be cool to see the Bengals and Panthers have a rematch for the Lombardi Trophy. At this point that sounds pointless.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3-3-0
Cleveland Browns 3-2-0

Game Recap: CLEVELAND-Pittsburgh took a 27-3 lead back in week 1 before Cleveland came back to tie the game. The rematch from week 1 in 2014 took place today.

Pittsburgh did well on the first series getting a field goal and the defense did their part in the first quarter. Cleveland dominated the rest of the contest. The Browns did a good job on run defense keeping Bell to under 100 yards, but at the same time the Steelers’ offensive line showed up to run block. Pass blocking was horrible at offensive tackle and guard today for the Steelers. Center Maurkice Pouncey was the only reliable lineman Ben Roethlisberger had on Sunday in Cleveland.

Hoyer went 8 for 17 with 217 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. The good news is the running game stepped up with 3 rushing touchdowns. The bad news is that center Alex Mack is out for the season. Last year Hoyer going on IR cost the Browns the division. Now it may be Alex Mack if they get back in the AFC North race.

Antonio Brown had 100 receiving yards once again, but Joe Haden kept him out of the end zone this time, unlike the last meeting. Buster Skrine is beginning to blossom after being a 2011 NFL Draft pick. He held Lance Moore in check. Justin Gilbert gave up a receiving touchdown, but improved upon the first game. Cleveland can make some noise if the pass defense finally clicks on secondary like it did today.

Thanks to todays topsy turvy, the AFC North is in a bit of a 4 way limbo. The Ravens are 4-2-0, the Bengals are 3-1-1, the Browns are 3-2-0, and the Steelers are 3-3-0. Baltimore looks like the team to beat right now in an intense AFC North race, but the Bengals beat the Ravens in heads up play back in week 1. The way things stand, I think only one AFC North team ends up getting in. Thanks to all the parody with losses today, having that tie gives the Bengals the final wild card spot assuming they trail the Ravens at this point.

Green Bay Packers 4-2-0
Miami Dolphins 2-3-0

Game Recap: MIAMI-Green Bay travels to Miami. Former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin hopes to out coach his old boss in Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.

Aaron Rogers had another awesome game or a typical day in the office if you are a Packers fan. Green Bay won as most expected even though I picked the Dolphins to pull the upset. Rodgers is an elite quarterback simply because he can overcome such a formidable defense that gave the Packers offensive line problems today.

Rodgers got everyone involved by throwing 24/42 with 264 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Jordy Nelson posted 9 receptions, 107 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Rookie DaVante Adams had 6 receptions for 77 receiving yards. Randall Cobb posted 5 receptions for 58 yards. Tight end Andrew Quarless had 2 receptions for 11 receiving yards including the 4 yard receiving touchdown that won the game for the Green Bay Packers.

Ryan Tannehill had good pass protection from his offensive line. The downside with Tannehill is that he threw 2 interceptions at home coming off a bye week. Green Bay had the worst run defense in the NFL, and Miami’s run blocking offensive line opened up 112 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown for the backfield. The zone blocking was good as well.

Aaron Rodgers playing turnover free football while helping the Packers have a better third down conversion percentage. Green Bay was 8/17 on third down conversions. Miami was 4/10 on third down conversions. Green Bay did a better job converting on third down conversions.

San Diego Chargers 5-1-0
Oakland Raiders 0-5-0

Game Recap: OAKLAND-A battle between two AFC West squads in the state of California took place today. The 4-1 San Diego Chargers battled to Oakland to face a winless Raiders squad.

Both quarterbacks had phenomenal games and perfect play by the offensive line. It was one of those games involving who had the ball last. Rivers had the ball last, and Carr and company fumbled it on the final series.

San Diego won 31 to 28 as Rivers went 22 for 34 with 313 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and no interceptions. Carr threw 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. His 282 passing yards were mediocre to Rivers in a tough defeat for Oakland in Tony Sparano’s first game as interim head coach after being the offensive line coach to begin the season.

Dallas Cowboys 5-1-0
Seattle Seahawks 3-2-0

Game Recap: SEATTLE-Remember Tony Romo’s fumble in the NFL Playoffs against Seattle back in 2007? Romo has to conquer that demon by beating the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks today.

Dallas won the time of possession battle despite trailing 10-0 early. If cornerback Byron Maxwell does not drop the easy pick six, Seattle goes up 17-0 and likely wins.

Romo throws to Gavin Escobar for a touchdown and Maxwell goes down with an injury a few plays later. Romo guided Dallas to a field goal following the Maxwell injury as the game was tied at 10. Late in the second quarter, Dez Bryant delivered a big catch against Richard Sherman that would have been a touchdown had Sherman not tripped Bryant. Sherman looked real sluggish missing the tackle. Romo was able to pick apart Chancellor and Thomas in coverage when he threw a pass to tight end Jason Witten in double coverage. The Seahawks’ secondary simply had no answer for Romo.

Romo threw for 250 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and no interceptions. DeMarco Murray ran the ball 29 times rushing for 115 yards on the ground along with 1 rushing touchdown. Murray had a 15 yard run late in the fourth quarter that put Dallas up 27 to 23, after the Cowboys tied it at 20.

The Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL. Jamie Dukes is absolutely right about that. The Cowboys do not have the best team in the league yet. San Diego had the best defense in the NFL up until today. I still think Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Andrew Luck will win the Super Bowl this year if any of those quarterbacks get to Arizona. There is no question the Cowboys are a team that will likely make the playoffs. Dallas needs to take it one game at a time. The fact that the media is building up the hype for the Cowboys while dismissing Philadelphia will only work in the Eagles favor.

Dallas converted 10 out of 17 third down conversion attempts. Russell Wilson did not throw a passing touchdown and Marshawn Lynch did not run for a rushing touchdown. Dallas deserved to win today because those guys did not step up. Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell both have to be held accountable. I am not ready to call the Cowboys that team. The Cowboys showed that they are no lightweight and that Romo will be fun to next week when the 5-1-0 Cowboys host the Giants. The defending Super Bowl 48 Champion Seahawks fall to 3-2-0 following todays loss.

Washington Redskins 1-5-0
Arizona Cardinals 4-1-0

Game Recap: ARIZONA-Kirk Cousins will start for the Redskins. Carson Palmer returned for Arizona on Sunday.

Carson Palmer played turnover free ball. The offensive line gave Palmer extra protection in his first return. Palmer like Romo threw for 250 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Palmer’s main guys were wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd were his primary targets. Fitzgerald had 6 receptions, 98 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Floyd had 4 receptions, 47 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Jonathan Brown the rookie form Pittsburgh State had another decent outing in the slot with 4 receptions for 43 receiving yards. Running back Andre Ellington had 6 receptions for 26 receiving yards. Tight ends Rob Housler and John Carlsson both made plays at tight end as well. Excellent job by Palmer by Sunday.

Kirk Cousins had 354 passing yards. The most disturbing stat is that Cousins had 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Washington could have won this game if Cousins did not throw many picks.

Floyd scored the first touchdown before DeSean Jackson tied it up at 7 by beating the safeties with his speed when Arizona was playing cover 2. You saw Larry Fitzgerald step up later in the second half. Arizona led 23 to 20 in the fourth quarter, before Kirk Cousins threw a pick 6 to Rashad Johnson. After Cousins threw the pick 6, you got a sense that some Redskin fans miss Robert Griffin III. For now Cousins is the guy.

New York Giants 3-3-0
Philadelphia Eagles 5-1-0

Game Recap: PHILADELPHIA-Eagles host the Giants on Sunday Night Football. Giants won 3 in a row leading up to Sundays game in Philadelphia. The 4-1 Eagles may have the best record in the NFC at 5-1 with a win tonight.

Philadelphia delivered a 27-0 shutout against the New York Giants. Left tackle Jason Peters kept Jason Pierre Paul in check. Basically everyone except left guard Evan Mathis is starting up front for the Eagles. The Eagles backup left guard let DaMontre Moore beat him on a play. Moore was the only player to sack Foles on Sunday.

The Eagles won this game with defense. Philadelphia sacked Eli Manning 8 times and got by every offensive lineman. Manning did not throw a passing touchdown, and the Eagles run defense limited the Giants’ backfield to 85 rushing yards. Starting running back Andre Williams had 58 rushing yards. The Boston College rookie struggled against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The biggest headline in this game was that Victor Cruz left the game with an injury. With Cruz gone, the Giants will have a hard time winning games. Cruz was the only reliable receiver on this roster. New York should finish 5-11, but they could easily keep winning games. If the Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys on the road they are right back in the NFC Playoff hunt. Philadelphia is 5-1-0 now. Being 5-1 is good, but the Dallas Cowboys are also 5-1 and Philadelphia may have to beat them out for the NFC East once again.

San Francisco 49ers 4-2-0
St. Louis Rams 1-4-0

Game Recap: ST LOUIS-The San Francisco 49ers travel to St. Louis to face the Rams. This will be the Rams first home meeting with San Francisco since the week 4 meeting in 2013 where Sam Bradford fore his ACL before re-tearing the ACL in the preseason. Also this will be Greg Robinson’s first start at left guard since he did not start on the Rams offensive line heading into the season. Robinson might be Jason Smith all over again. Also Robert Quinn has yet to record a sack at 4-3 right end for the Rams in 4 games after posting 19 sacks in 2013.

This can be a solid offensive line unit with Jake Long at left tackle, Robinson at left guard, Scott Wells at center, Phil Loadholt at right guard, and Joseph Barksdale at right tackle. Austin Davis has to make the right throws though.

Jared Cook Jr. broke free on third down after 2 stops by the 49ers. St. Louis did a good job on the opening drive if you consider the fact that they made Justin Smith take a play off. With Smith on the bench, you saw rookie Tre Mason get his first career catch which was a 12 yard reception.

One word to summarize this drive. Variety. The Rams first drive lasted 10 plays taking up 7 minutes and 5 seconds. I love the leadership Davis displayed on the opening drive. Seven different Rams made plays. The Rams got 6 first downs on the opening drive. Davis completed 4 for 4 passes for 56 passing yards by managing the game effectively. That is what you like to see from someone like Davis on the opening crowd.

The 49ers took the ball for the first time and there was a lot of pressure on Colin Kaepernick following an early Rams score that got the crowd in the game on Monday Night. He entered his opening drive with a 3-0 record on Monday Night Football with a 126.8 quarterback rating. With Robert Quinn having yet to record a sack, lots of 49ers’ fans expect Kaepernick to maintain those numbers.

E.J. Gaines, who emerged as a field cornerback was denied an interception as the officials called it an incompletion. Vernon Davis had a false start after opening the game with a bad route. The Rams’ linebackers were too obvious with their zone coverage. St. Louis made the stop and got the ball bak.

Austin Davis takes too long to throw sometimes. Jared Cook bailed out Davis on a critical third down.

San Francisco called a rare nickel rush with 3 rush linebackers in a 3-4 scheme. I never heard of that until now, but Aaron Lynch did a good job getting to the quarterback. Once Austin Davis got sacked, the Rams’ offensive line had trouble maintaining composure.

James Laurinaitus recovers a fumble for the Rams. That was a huge turnover by the Rams middle linebacker preventing the 49ers from getting on the scoreboard, while giving the offense a reason to be motivated. Colin Kaepernick played with a lot of confidence up until the fumble by Vance McDonald.

The Rams’ offensive line did an outstanding job opening up running lanes for rookie Trey Mason. Mason and Robinson are developing amazing chemistry in the pros after being teammates at Auburn.

Austin Davis threw a touchdown to Lance Kendricks on 3rd and 1 due to outstanding pass protection Kendricks ran the deep ball as Davis caught the 49ers napping playing cover 0 on 3rd and 1. Davis finished the first quarter 7/8 with 103 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 picks. Davis looks awesome so far. His only incompletion came on a play where he was forced out of the pocket. Rams had 9 1st downs the 49ers 2 in the first quarter. Rams had the ball for 11 minutes and 34 seconds in the first quarter with a 14-0 lead entering the second quarter.

San Francisco got the Rams to punt the ball. Davis went 1/2 following his 7/8 start.

Janoris Jenkins did a good job in coverage You saw other guys like nickel corner Lamarcus Joyner, rookie E.J. Gaines, free safety C.B. Bryant, and T.J. McDonald step up on the secondary. It was not just the offensive rookies from Auburn. You also had draft picks on the secondary deliver. Pittsburgh defensive tackle did good as well. You have to be optimistic about the Rams future when you consider what this draft class did in one half.

Center Scott Wells missed a block which led to an incompletion. Greg Robinson missed a block earlier in the first quarter when Davis threw an incompletion.

Austin Davis was 5 for 5 on his first 5 third down conversion attempts with 1 touchdown. He would have been 6 for 6 had it not been for a Jared Cook Jr. offensive pass interference penalty. You have to make stops on third down. That is something the 49ers failed to do in the first half of this contest. Good news is the Rams failed to score in the second quarter, and the 49ers cut the deficit to 4 as Colin Kaepernick threw a touchdown to Brandon Lloyd after Phil Dawson kicked a field goal.

The 49ers got the ball to start the second half. The 49ers had a 13 play 5 minutes and 2 second drive. Anquan Boldin made a remarkable catch for a touchdown that gave the 49ers a 17 to 14 lead.

St. Louis will have a good team in a few years. The reason the Rams went 3 and out is because the offensive line lacks confidence when trailing. Especially when you have a quarterback like Austin Davis that is an unknown in at quarterback.

This contest kept going back and forth in the third quarter before Kaepernick threw a 32-yard touchdown to Michael Crabtree. Kaepernick went 4/4 with 72 passing yards, and 3 first downs on his final drive in the 3rd quarter. 49ers took a 10 point lead after trailing by 4 at halftime.

The fourth quarter was a defensive contest. St. Louis had chances to get back in the game. The 49ers held their own and had a drive that lasted 6 minutes and 9 seconds and did not score any points off the drive. The Rams went 3 and out following a Jake Long false start penalty following the stop. Rams held the 49ers to a 3 and out before getting a field goal.

James Laurinaitus stopped the first down on third down after the Rams burned their final timeout and had the 2 minute warning to work with.

Austin Davis throws a pick to Dontae Johnson 49ers took a 31-17 lead as the 49ers won by two touchdowns. 49ers go to Denver next week while the 1-4 Rams host Seattle who is coming off a loss to Dallas.

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