Don’t underestimate the mediocrity of the NFL.
Just when you thought the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles were going to post a 6-0 record on Sunday, they both laid eggs against undermanned teams.
The 49ers entered Cleveland with an early 7-0 lead before getting stuck in neutral and falling to backup quarterback P.J. Walker. Meanwhile, the Eagles turned the ball over four times in a confusing loss to Zach Wilson and the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
The undefeated counter is now at zero.
Elsewhere, the Bills avoided disaster against the Giants, the Bengals got back to .500, the Lions dismantled the Bucs, and the Bears’ rebuilding trajectory was about to enter the realm of uncertainty with quarterback Justin Fields suffering a hand injury in a loss to Vikings.
This is the position of each team after the sixth week’s competitions on Sunday.
- San Francisco 49ers (5-1): A lucky loss on a rainy day in Cleveland is nothing more than a physical wound to the best team in the NFL. Now, the injuries to Christian McCaffrey and Deepo Samuel? This is a bit more dangerous.
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-1): The Chiefs’ lack of reliable receiving options (non-named Travis Kelce) will eventually bite them. But the Broncos were not a team that could capitalize on that weakness.
- Miami Dolphins (5-1): “Vending Machine” Chase Claypool was inactive on Sunday, and the Dolphins won by 21. If you needed any clearer indication of the gap between the cream of the crop and the Bears, I can’t provide it.
- Detroit Lions (5-1): It’s time to talk to your friends and family about the Detroit Lions being a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-1): Jalen Hurts hasn’t been sharp all season, and he finally cost the Eagles on Sunday against the Jets. Hurts now has more interceptions this season than he did in all of 2022. Something is wrong in Philadelphia.
- Buffalo Bills (4-2): Josh Allen unplugged and reconnected the controller at the end of the first half on Sunday, allowing the Bills to avoid an embarrassing loss to the Giants.
- Baltimore Ravens (4-2): The Ravens’ decision to travel to London early has paid off. The good organizations always seem to be the ones who make the easy decision.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2): Trevor Lawrence left the game with a knee injury but said he was “fine.” Assuming that’s true, the Jags finally look like the contender they were hyped to be this offseason.
- Dallas Cowboys (3-2): How many losses does the Cowboys have to have until the Lincoln Riley rumors start circulating?
- Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2): Hopefully the Steelers use the bye week to help Matt Canada find a playing card with good calls on it.
- Cleveland Browns (3-2): The Browns’ defense has given up the fewest yards through five games to any team in more than 50 years. All they need is for Deshaun Watson to not lose games once he returns.
- Los Angeles Chargers (2-2): Monday night will be a special edition of my favorite game: How will the Chargers fail with Justin Herbert this time?
- New York Jets (3-3): The Jets have “embarrassed” every quarterback they’ve played so far, Robert Saleh said. This is actually not far from the truth. The Jets defense is legit, and Aaron Rodgers somehow throws passes and walks without crutches. There’s a New York voodoo in the air.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2): Baker Mayfield’s career revival was put on hold Sunday when the Lions dominated the Bucs in Tampa. But hey, the cream outfit was a nice touch.
- Cincinnati Bengals (3-3): The NFL let the Bengals get off the mat. Here comes Joe Burrow.
- Seattle Seahawks (3-2): The Seahawks outgained the Bengals 381 to 214 on Sunday, but went just 5 for 12 on third downs and just 1 for 5 in the red zone. Woof.
- Los Angeles Rams (3-3): Leading by three points at halftime, the Rams went on a nine-run, 62-yard series to set up Cooper Kupp’s first touchdown of the season. Sean McVay is pushing the right buttons with a young, unproven group.
- New Orleans Saints (3-3): I see Derek Carr threw the sticks on fourth down again. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
- Indianapolis Colts (3-3): The Colts have a lot of potential, but Sunday was a reminder of how far they have to go.
- Washington Commanders (3-3): After a failed effort against the Bears, the Commanders did their job with an ugly win on the road in Atlanta. Ron Rivera is doing everything he can to keep the train on the tracks and keep his job.
- Houston Texans (3-3): I’m all DeMeco Ryans-CJ Stroud. This goes through the roof.
- Atlanta Falcons (3-3): Desmond Ridder is the definition of JAG. One day it might be JAG-plus. On Sunday, it was JAG-minus. It’s hard to win with those under center.
- Las Vegas Raiders (3-3): With Jimmy Garoppolo’s Week 7 status up in the air, we could be looking at Tyson Paygent vs. Brian Hoyer/Aidan O’Connell at Soldier Field. I think it could be worse. Not sure how, though.
- Green Bay Packers (2-2): The Packers are accustomed to having a quarterback who can overcome any problems the team faces and will bring them victory. Those days are long gone.
- Minnesota Vikings (2-4): The Vikings beat the Bears, which leaves you with no points in these rankings. From what I saw for three hours on Sunday, Minnesota is a bad football team that does very little right.
- Tennessee Titans (2-4): Malik Willis? Is it Levi’s? It doesn’t matter. This season is a wrap for the Titans.
- New York Giants (1-5): The Giants could end up in prime position to land Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. If only they hadn’t just signed Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million contract.
- Chicago Bears (1-5): After Justin Fields’ injury, The Good Shepherd (Tyson Baigent) may be all that stands between the Bears and a completely lost season.
- Arizona Cardinals (1-5): The Cardinals are well-coached, but the talent gap is difficult to overcome on a weekly basis.
- New England Patriots (1-5): I think it’s time for Mac Jones and the Patriots to agree to see other people.
- Denver Broncos (1-5): Fire sale in Denver starts at 3….2…..1….
- Carolina Panthers (0-6): People could point to trading DJ Moore as Scott Fitterer’s huge mistake. But I think hiring Frank Reich was the biggest mistake.
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