Monday 21 August 2017 / 06:20 PM

Airing it Out: NFL Week 6

Everyone has got an underachieving mate in their stable of friends.

You know the guy: he’s plenty good-looking but can never get laid. Did fine in school but still works some dead-end job for minimum wage. Is 29 years old but still kicking it in his parents’ basement (brother’s garage if he’s lucky).

And every year you say the same thing. Dude’s got talent. Dude just needs to find himself. Dude will get his shit together.

Until one day you just kind of realize, “Nah, man, the guy’s just a loser.”

Well, this is the story of the 2015 Seahawks.

Following their latest collapse against Cam Newton and the Panthers, Seattle has now lost a 4th-quarter lead in all four of their losses (the first team to do this four times in six weeks in over 50 years) and it’s time to face the facts: this team isn’t as good as we think they are. At (2-4) we need to stop talking flukes and perhaps start talking draft picks.

According to Pete Carroll, “This season’s not over.” And it’s not. We may very well see the Hawks back in the Lombardi mix, even if it’s in 2016. But until further notice it’s time to stop talking about them.

The Panthers and Bengals have earned the right to have their teams thrust into the spotlight. Heck, even the (4-1) Jets can make a case for being a legitimate contender for the throne.

Tasty Tidbits from Week 6

OK, so seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. The worst play in the history of the NFL.

This is the kind of crap little kids try on the playground, and seeing as how the Pats only won this one 34-27, there’s no question that Pagano’s dumb decision to get wild and wacky had a huge impact on the game.

Six plays after the wonky fake punt, Brady connected with LeGarrette Blount for an 11-yard TD pass to give the Patriots a 34-21 lead early in the 4th quarter.

What might have been? What might have been?

But all up the rematch of last season’s AFC Championship was quite a bit more exciting than what Tommy Boy’s dad was hoping for. Don’t get greedy Brady Sr.

Every other undefeated team stayed that way but one, with Drew Brees rustling up a bit of the old Super Dome magic with 312 yards through the air, one touchdown and a 31-21 victory over the division rival Falcons.

Denver suffered a close call against the Browns with the D helping to overcome yet another pick-6 by Peyton Manning and the Bengals laid 34 points on the vaunted Bills defense in Buffalo.

And Green Bay? They staved off a strong come-from-behind rally by Philip Rivers. Rivers set career highs with 43 completions, 65 attempts and 503 yards but his short pass to Danny Woodhead in the waning moments of the game at the goal line was poked away to preserve the Packers’ perfect record.

Offensive Player of the Week

For much of this season John Brown has been a decoy, opening up opportunities for Larry Fitzgerald and the other Arizona receivers.

This week he went off in Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately he also lost a fumble and the Cardinals lost the game.

You win some you lose some.

Defensive Player of the Week

Remember when Cameron Wake was set to soon become a household name?

He finally came alive in 2015 and in a big way for the Miami Dolphins.

4 sacks. 2 forced fumbles.

So now that they fired their coach and beat the Titans, is there still time for the Fins to turn the season around?

Team on the Rise

There’s a strong case here, of course, for the Carolina Panthers. Just last week I (as well as many other sportswriters) labeled them the worst of the NFL’s undefeated teams – but after winning on the road in Seattle (a place where Russell Wilson had previously only lost twice) you can’t help but wonder if this team is better than we’ve given them credit for.

But – today I’m actually going to talk about the New York Jets.

This is a team that was an afterthought in the AFC East, particularly once they lost their starting QB to a sucker punch.

But here we are, 6 weeks into the season and Todd Bowles’ Jets are (4-1) and in sole possession of second place in the division – and while second place isn’t the end goal, it’s a formidable place to be in when the top club is the undefeated New England Patriots.

Time will tell how far the original ‘bearded wonder’ Ryan Fitzpatrick can carry them, but every once in a while those grizzled old vets pull out a ‘just good enough’ season to carry a defense-minded team into the Super Bowl.

Fitz’s numbers aren’t fabulous but he’s thrown more TDs (9) than picks (7) and maybe, just maybe, that will be good enough. Particular if Chris Ivory continues his torrid pace.

Ivory is third in the NFL with 460 yards and first in average yards per game by a long shot at 115.

Team on the Decline

Since we covered Seattle in this section last week, I’m going to pick on a team that didn’t even play.

When Dez Bryant and Tony Romo went down early in the season for Dallas the question everyone was asking was, “Can the Cowboys keep it together until their big dogs get back?”

After three straight losses the answer appears to be “no.”

And Brandon Weeden’s benching for Matt Cassel hardly inspires heaps of confidence in their ability to do any better next week on the road against the Giants.

But who knows, perhaps the ’Boys will prove me wrong – it’s happened before.

Just in Case You Missed It

  • Detroit wins! Woo-hoo. It wasn’t pretty but Matthew Stafford finally got going in a come-from-behind win over the Bears. The ex-fantasy superstar loaded up the stat sheet with 405 yards and 4 touchdowns to help get his team off the snide.
  • The Chiefs have now lost 5 straight. Expect more of the same.
  • Dez Bryant’s return is getting closer. Jerry’s talking Sunday but Week 8 is a more realistic timeframe.

Games to Look Forward to in Week 6

Jets at Patriots– Revis Island makes his first return to Foxborough. No need to hype this one up, a Jets win puts them in first place.

 

Eagles at Panthers –Philly’s Monday Night victory moved them back into a two-way tie for first place in the NFC East. Can they catch Carolina in a trap game following the big win out west?

 

Cowboys at Giants –With a Dallas win and a Philadelphia loss we could have a 3-way tie for first place in the East. Shit, if the Redskins knock off Tampa at home all four clubs could wind up at (2-4). What an ugly, ugly, ugly division. Good thing parity means down-to-the-wire finishes.

 

Texans at Dolphins –Two teams coming off a win and hoping to “save” their seasons. Despite their (2-4) record Houston is just one game behind the division-leading Colts and Miami, for all their early-season woes are still in the Wild Card hunt at (2-3). This could be one of the better games on this week’s slate despite it featuring two clubs with losing records.

 

[YouTube – Tiggy Do]

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Michael Airhart

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