Zappe hour, Rodgers' ridicule and Matt Ryan's resurrection highlight this Sunday's recap from week 6 of the 2022 NFL season, as the Eagles remain unbeaten, and the Giants continue silencing the doubters. We also got our long-awaited dose of Mahomes-Allen magic, while two of the all-time greats added another loss to their disappointing seasons.
There's a lot to dissect from Sunday night's showdowns, so let's get into it.
Ravens 20 - 24 Giants
Lamar Jackson blows his 12-0 record against the NFC, as Baltimore's late game execution gets even worse.
All three of the Ravens losses this year have been blown double-digit leads in the fourth quarter. Although Jackson usually has the defense to blame, he decided to get involved this week...
Up 20-17, with under 3 minutes left, Lamar threw a pick to put the Giants in the red zone. A shocking decision from a reliable QB.
Baltimore could be 6-0, but the 3-3 disappointment may just be who they are this season.
In other news, the 5-1 Giants have completely reinvented themselves. In their 5 wins this year, they've outscored opponents 78-32 in the second half. I'm almost certain now - we're going to see Dan Jones in the playoffs...
Saquon Barkley mimics his performance last week, as the star RB gets a fourth-quarter touchdown to take the lead. But fantasy players (myself included) were left screaming at their TVs for this smart, but incredibly annoying move.
Jags 27 - 34 Colts
The Colts turn things around after one of the worst games in history against the Broncos last week.
Old man, Matt Ryan, put the team on his hunch-back to lead Indy back into the AFC South division race.
For a QB I considered well away from starting-spot quality, Ryan threw a franchise-record 42 completions to take the win over the Jags and prove me wrong - but I do wonder how long that will last.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville go from a 24-0 win over the Colts in Week 2, to allowing almost 400 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. The Jags defense could use some work, but I fear that Trevor Lawrence may never match the success of his college days in the NFL. Let's give him a few years.
Browns 15 - 38 Patriots
Is Mac Jones out of a job?
Now I know it's early days, but Bailey Zappe is the first rookie QB in 65 years to win and clock a 100+ passer rating in both of his first two starts. Have we got the next Brady on our hands in New England? Probably not, but either way, I know Jones is quaking in his boots right now.
Mac Jones going to the locker room after Bailey Zappe takes his job pic.twitter.com/xebTqmZMzA— kev 👻 (@KevinDLC50) October 9, 2022
This victory also ties Bill Belichick with George Halas for the second-most head-coach wins of all time and I'm expecting him to get another as the New England Patriots face the Bears next week.
Not much to say on the Cleveland Browns side of the ball... with three straight losses, I'm convinced they're back to their old, disappointing ways for good. So, I'm just going to let them die quietly from here on.
Bengals 30 - 26 Saints
New Orleans' Saints quarterback struggles continue.
Let's be honest, Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston will never be anywhere near the elite passer that was Drew Brees. But I truly believe the Saints could have a shot in the NFC south if they just put Taysom Hill at QB.
The one week they used Hill correctly, he put up 4 touchdowns and secured a 39-32 win over Seattle. I don't know what else they're looking for to finally realise just how special that guy is...
On a lighter note - Rashid Shaheed goes from practice squad to end zone in 24 hours. Not too shabby.
In other news, former LSU teammates Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase connected for a couple of touchdowns to secure the win in the same stadium they became National Champs. And the Cincinnati Bengals inch closer to the top spot in the AFC North.
Ja’marr Chase from Joe Burrow in New Orleans— Footballism™ (@FootbaIIism) October 16, 2022
Just like the LSU days ❄️pic.twitter.com/QwUcgi1xvA
Buccaneers 18 - 20 Steelers
Chase Claypool. That's the story here.
Sure, a depleted Steelers defense held the GOAT to just one touchdown. Sure, rookie QB Kenny Pickett deserves a shoutout for a good game. But Chase Claypool outshone any other highlight for me. He was doing this all game.
Chase Claypool's superb catch:pic.twitter.com/h4XvYUYGBp— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) October 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Tom Brady gives his O-line an absolute earful on the sideline. It wasn't a good day to be a Buccaneers lineman...
“I didn’t leave my wife and kids to be losing to Kenny Fucking Pickett at half” pic.twitter.com/RMmjMEFFLc— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2022
49ers 14 - 28 Falcons
Kyle Shanahan's first game back in Atlanta saw the 49ers top-ranked defense absolutely destroyed by Marcus Mariota.
He may only have passed for 129 yards, but quality is better than quantity when you're completing 93% of passes. Mariota connected on 13 of 14 attempts and rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby.
Marcus Mariota runs it in for the Falcons touchdown!! pic.twitter.com/UHHVD1C9rp— Brian Y (@byysports) October 16, 2022
In the wide-open division that is the NFC South, the Falcons could easily make a run for the title.
As for the 49ers, Jimmy G and company were having a pretty solid game early on, tied 14-14 late in the 2nd quarter. But from then on Garoppolo completely stalled, with 0 points and 2 interceptions to his name.
San Francisco are anything but safe atop the NFC West.
Vikings 24 - 16 Dolphins
The Minnesota Vikings have quietly gone 5-1 in one of the softest starts to the season I've ever seen. They may have a great record, but they're no Giants... (I can't believe I just said that)
Until they beat the likes of Buffalo and Dallas in November, I won't be taking the Vikings too seriously. Although only a mediocre Green Bay is nipping at their heels, so I'm almost certain they'll make the playoffs.
Anyway, I officially hate to see Mike Gesicki in the endzone. Someone stop this man...
Jets 27 - 10 Packers
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Aaron Rodgers won't see an MVP trophy ever again. And the way this season is going, I wouldn't be surprised to see him call it quits at the end of the year.
The Packers are off to their worst start since 2012 and this loss to the Jets really seals the deal.
The game began with 9 consecutive punts before just two field goals hit the scoreboard in the first half. New York's defense outlasted Green Bay in the second, but the big play came on special teams to put them two scores ahead in the 3rd quarter.
Zach Wilson threw for just 110 yards, while rookie running back Breece Hall gauged the Packers defense for 116 yards and a touchdown. Hall is a ROTY contender for sure.
Panthers 10 - 24 Rams
This may go down as a win, but LA won't get far if they keep playing the same way. (I'm talking to you Matthew)
The Rams are nowhere near the Super Bowl champs they were last season. The only things remaining consistent in LA are Cooper Kupp being wide open, and Stafford throwing as many interceptions as he can. As a Rams fan, I'm numb to it now...
The big news here though, is Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson being sent to the locker room by his own coach. He's already requested a trade, so we'll see how that plays out in the coming days.
Robbie Anderson has requested a trade on his way to the locker room in the midst of an emotional breakdown.— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2022
Cardinals 9 - 19 Seahawks
I say it every week, and it never gets less true... Russel who?
While Wilson must be dreaming of Seattle, Pete Carroll sleeps like a baby with Geno Smith at the helm. Besides a surprisingly solid QB, rookie Tariq Woolen has four interceptions in four consecutive games and back-up rookie RB Kenneth Walker III is looking like a starter for any squad. Nobody rebuilds like the Hawks.
The NFC West is as open as it gets, with 3 teams at 3-3. It's there for the taking if Seattle want it...
Meanwhile, Murray magic only seems to apply to his feet - throwing no touchdowns and 1 INT while he ran for 100 yards. While they're only one win behind, the Arizona schedule isn't getting any easier...
Bills 24 - 20 Chiefs
Well, we got what we wanted - four lead changes and a one score game throughout. It wasn't quite the TD-fest I was hoping for, but two of the best QBs in the league put on a great show.
Despite Mahomes making most of the plays he usually does, the Bills took this one home and here's why. Josh Allen just makes things happen.
Game on the line, 3 points down, 2 minutes left and your QB is doing this. Kansas City have a shot, but my bets are still on Buffalo.
Cowboys 17 - 26 Eagles
The Eagles remain undefeated, while Cooper Rush's winning streak as a starter is finally broken.
Jalen Hurts is now the third Philly QB to start a season 6-0 - joining Ron Jaworski and Donovan McNabb - both of whom made a trip to the Super Bowl, and it's starting to look like Hurts will do the same. A Bills-Eagles showdown is certainly on the cards.
In other news, Dallas could be longing for Dak's return sooner rather than later. Let's give Rush some credit, Philly are the toughest team in the league as records go so, I won't count him out just yet, but 3 INTs isn't great. This one is nowhere near...
So that's how October 16, 2022, wrapped up.
The Eagles remain top of the league and the Bills best the Chiefs. Below them lie the Giants and Vikings, then a sea of pretty average competitors. But it's only week 6, anything can happen - except the Panthers being good.
All eyes look to the Broncos-Chargers matchup for some thrilling action for Monday Night Football. Just kidding. Nobody cares about 'Russ the Bust' since his move to Denver - Herbert should bag this one nice and easy.
Still, why not join me for tomorrow's recap where I'll be talking about how Nathaniel Hackett spent $296 million on a few field goal drives.