Welcome to another instalment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.
Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…
This is what happened This Week in the NFL.
Game of the Week
If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:
Do you really need to ask?
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
I told you last week, this is a game you can’t miss.
Watched it yet?
Alright, let’s talk about this crazy game of football.
It was lower scoring than many expected – except for Tony Romo, somehow – but it was plenty entertaining.
Buffalo Bills 24 – 20 Kansas City Chiefs
The game started slowly – but only in the sense of scoring. There was drama way before there were points. A tense standoffish field-position battle, which involved both teams making good progress before turning the ball over.
Both teams scored on their second possession – Buffalo a field goal, Kansas City a touchdown – and then the tension built again. After the opening 15 minutes remaining 0-0, and then a quick burst of 10 points in 3 minutes, it went quiet again until the end of the half. Gabriel Davis scored an impressive TD with 16 seconds left to go – which we all know, is too long to leave Pat Mahomes at Arrowhead. They managed to get down the field and into long field goal range for Harrison Butker – who only came back from injury this week – to absolutely nail a 62-yarder into the wind.
The second half contained even more drama. The first drive ended in a Butker missed FG, and then we had a flurry of chaos – BUF TD, KC TD, Buffalo turnover on downs, KC FG… This game was just pure chaos. After that second FG, the Chiefs found themselves up 20-17, which put the pressure on Josh Allen and the Bills. Allen drove them down the field and found Dawson Knox for a TD with just 1 minute to go. But, as we know, the game isn’t over until it’s over. This time, though, Buffalo made the play.
On the first play of the drive, there was a defensive holding penalty and it felt like a ‘here we go again’ situation. Then on the second play, Taron Johnson made the play of his life, diving down onto a pass intended for rookie Sky Moore, beating him to the ball and ending the game with an incredible play out of his zone.
What a game.
Other games to watch back
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Giants
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Upset of the Week
Honestly, this is one of the biggest upsets I think you’ll see on year. It’s easy to just laugh and make jokes after this one, but this was a genuinely concerning result for an NFC favourite.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 – 20 Pittsburgh Steelers
Yeah, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to a Pittsburgh Steelers team who were without T.J Watt, and who lost their starting QB, rookie Kenny Pickett, in the early third. Tom Brady had a tame performance, with just 243 passing yards and a single TD. The running game didn’t have much more success, with only 75 yards total and no scores.
For what it’s worth, the Steelers offense wasn’t exactly dominant, either, but they got it done. When Kenny Pickett exited the game, it was by no means won, and midway through the third quarter, with the score at 13-12 in favour of PIT, it became clear that Mitch Trubisky would have to be the closer. Miraculously, that is exactly what happened. The Bears reject came in and threw 144 passing yards on 9 completions, attempting just 12 passes. He conjured up the game-winning touchdown to Chase Claypool. Trubisky also iced the game with a great throw – to Claypool again – after the Bucs’ failed to convert a 2-pt conversion that would have tied the game.
This was a story of a faltering Bucs offense, but credit is due to Mitch Trubisky and a resilient Steelers team who didn’t quit.
Honourable Mention: New York Jets 27 – 10 Green Bay Packers
If you looked at these results without any context before the season started, and didn’t know about the Steelers’ injuries or the Packers’ struggles thus far, you may have to switch these two, but I wouldn’t want to take credit away from this Jets team. They aren’t 4-2 by accident. The Packers are struggling and as they lose to the second New York team in back-to-back weeks, the Jets make a real statement.
The Jets pass rush was absolutely excellent, not letting Rodgers get comfortable. They also blocked a field goal and even returned a blocked punt for a TD. This performance was one to be very proud of, and I think it’s a statement win for them to build on next week in Denver.
Winners and Losers
Washington Commanders (2-4)
Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
New England Patriots (3-3)
New York Jets (4-2)
Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1)
Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
Cincinnati Bengals (3-3)
New York Giants (5-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4)
Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
Seattle Seahawks (3-3)
Buffalo Bills (5-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)
Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
Chicago Bears (2-4)
San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
Cleveland Browns (2-4)
Green Bay Packers (3-3)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
Miami Dolphins (3-3)
New Orleans Saints (2-4)
Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Arizona Cardinals (2-4)
Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)
Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
Denver Broncos (2-4)
Bye Week Teams
Detroit Lions (1-4)
Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)
Houston Texans (1-3-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)
As I said in the last column, this game was the Eagles toughest challenge for the next few weeks. Unfortunately, Dak Prescott and Dalton Schulz were unable to play, but Philadelphia dispatched Detroit in a 26-17 win. Now they prepare to host the Steelers. Pittsburgh surprised Tampa Bay this week so the Eagles can’t get complacent, but they’re in a good position to feature again next week.
Standout Individual Performers
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
93% completion rate, 129 passing yards and 2 TD’s, plus 6 carries for 50 rushing yards and a TD.
There’s no way I can ignore such a unique entry to start off this segment for the week. The Atlanta Falcons had a big upset win this week, as they sent the San Francisco 49ers home disappointed. The thing that makes this victory unique is that their QB, Marcus Mariota, only threw the ball 14 times. He completed 13 of them (93%) for 129 yards and scored 2 TD’s, which is incredibly efficient – earning himself a Passer Rating of 144.6. He also rushed 6 times for 50 yards and a TD of his own, showing his mastery of the zone read system.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
76% completion rate, 300 passing yards and 3 TD’s.
The Cincinnati Bengals struggled to start this year, but they’re starting to move in the right direction. Their third-year signal-caller, Joe Burrow had a brilliant game this week, as he and college teammate Ja’Marr Chase returned to the Superdome, where they led LSU to an iconic National Championship. That connection was incredibly strong this week, as Burrow had his best game of the season. He threw for a clean 300 yards, while tossing 3 TD’s, too. He showed up to the game in a Ja’Marr Chase LSU jersey, so it was pretty clear to me what was about to go down…
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
7 receptions on 10 targets for 132 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
In the 2020 National Championship game, Joe Burrow threw for 463 and 5 TD’s. Ja’Marr Chase caught 9 for 221 and 2 TD’s. Those numbers are pretty tough to put down in the NFL, but they still had a pretty good game, returning to Louisiana. Chase was targeted 10 times and hauled in 7 of them for 132 receiving yards, scoring twice – at least the TD’s lined up with his 2020 line. This performance was impressive and it was great to see the second-year wideout hit triple digits for the second time this season in a road win.
Alex Singleton, Denver Broncos
2 assists, 19 solo tackles!
If you don’t care that much about defense, you might not understand how impressive this is, and that’s not your fault. We have to highlight this, though. Alex Singleton, a linebacker for the every-week-primetime Denver Broncos put on a show worthy of the primetime spot. He recorded a league-high for the season 19 solo tackles, which is five more than the previous high, set in Week 1. That sounds pretty crazy, right? Or maybe it doesn’t. Let me put it another way then. On Monday night, Singleton recorded the tied second-highest number of solo tackles in an NFL regular season game ever, just one shy of the all-time record, held by David Harris. He tied Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, one of the best linebackers to ever do it.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
68% completion rate, 329 passing yards and 3 TD’s, plus 32 rushing yards.
After watching this game, or at the very least reading my synopsis, you should appreciate that Allen deserves some love just for being able to fight last year’s demons and win on the road in Kansas City. But, if you win at Arrowhead, you will usually make it onto this section automatically, because of what it takes. What it took in this case was 329 passing yards and 3 TD’s. The Bills are the real deal, and after winning this absolutely huge game, the number 1 seed – and therefore home advantage in the AFC Championship game should they make it there – is theirs to lose.
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
10 receptions on 13 targets for 148 receiving yards and a TD.
Every Buffalo Bills player who was in KC last postseason felt the loss, I’m sure, but Stefon Diggs was the last one stood on the field watching his opponents celebrate their victory. That moment clearly motivated him, as he was dominant this week. He saw a lot of attention from the safety help throughout the game, and was available for his QB in some tough situations, dealing with the blitz and high-pressure situations all game. Diggs caught 10 of his 13 targets and converted them into a very impressive 148 receiving yards, and a vital score in the third quarter.
Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots
71% completion rate, 309 passing yards and 2 TD’s.
Being a rookie QB for the New England Patriots isn’t easy. Their fans have pretty high expectations after the last 20 years, to say the least. This does, however, mean that you get more credit from me when you step up and play good football. The Patriots comfortably beat the Cleveland Browns in a professional 38-15 victory, with first-year signal-caller Bailey Zappe under center. The Western Kentucky prospect had the best game of his career so far, completing 70% of his pass attempts and throwing for 309 passing yards and a pair of TD’s, while managing the game.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens
10 carries for 119 rushing yards and a TD.
The Raiders might not be doing well, but they’re great at motivating RB’s. They didn’t extend Josh Jacobs’ contract and he’s running great, now they’re helping out Baltimore. Kenyan Drake, who Las Vegas cut toward the end of the preseason, ran with a chip on his shoulder this week. He was only afforded 10 carries, but he was incredibly efficient, turning them into 119 rushing yards and scoring. There isn’t a huge workload available in this crowded backfield – not to mention sharing the load with Lamar Jackson – but Kenyan Drake made great use of his touches this week.
Breece Hall, New York Jets
20 carries for 116 rushing yards and a TD.
It might not be on 10 carries, but New York Jets rookie Breece Hall looked really good this week. In a tough game, at a freezing cold Lambeau Field, Hall carried the ball really effectively, turning 20 carries into 116 yards. He also scored the touchdown that would prove to be the nail in the coffin of a disappointed Packers team.
Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
5 combined tackles, 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked FG.
That is quite the stat line, isn’t it. For the New York Jets to topple the Green Bay Packers, it took an outstanding effort from their defense – in particular, their pass rush. It would be fair to say that this was the best game the defensive line has had this year. Usually, they grab one or maybe two sacks a week, but this time out they got 4 sacks for 36 yards on a frustrated Aaron Rodgers. At the heart of this D-line, both literally and figuratively, is Quinnen Williams. He dominated this week, with 2.0 sacks, doubling his total, including a strip sack. He even blocked a field goal to start the second quarter.
Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
12 receptions on 15 targets, for 177 receiving yards.
The Dolphins were unsuccessful this week in defending their home field, but it’d be rude to ignore the performance put on by Tyreek Hill, who was able to put up an impressive 177 receiving yards, despite having to deal with an abrupt QB-switch, for the third time in as many weeks for the Dolphins. To keep making plays no matter who throws him the ball is impressive, but unsurprising, for one of the best wideouts in the league.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
6 receptions on 7 targets for 69 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
Cheetah had a solid outing but TE Mike Gesicki had a nice stat line of his own. He also gets my respect for adapting to the change of QB, but he was the one who found the end zone, doing so twice. He pulled down 6 of his 7 targets and had 69 receiving yards to go alongside his brace.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
8 receptions on 11 targets for 83 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
Another player who did everything they could in a losing effort, Brandon Aiyuk of the Niners, had a great day in an embarrassing loss to the Falcons. He was targeted 11 times, and caught 8 of them. Aiyuk turned his opportunities into 83 receiving yards, also scoring twice. The (sneakily 3-3) Falcons took the win, but it was great to see the San Francisco WR2 succeed is never a bad thing, as he has struggled at times, despite showing huge potential.
Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers
75% completion rate, 144 passing yards and a TD, coming in as the closer.
This is an unconventional entry, but I think it’s necessary. We’ve all laughed and pointed at Mitch Trubisky at one point or another throughout his career. However, this week he did a very very difficult thing. He came into the game and closed against Tom Brady. I know you don’t typically have a ‘closer’ in football, but it’s October, I’m in baseball playoff mode. When Trubisky entered the game, they were winning 13-12, but with more than a quarter and a half to play against the GOAT. He threw a TD to Chase Claypool as well as the game-icing first down conversion, also to Claypool. He had 144 yards and a TD. The most important thing, though, that W.
Stat Leaders Through Week 6
Passing Yards – Josh Allen BUF, 1980
Passing TD’s – Josh Allen BUF and Patrick Mahomes KC, 17
Rushing Yards – Nick Chubb CLE, 649
Rushing TD’s – Nick Chubb CLE, 7
Receiving Yards – Tyreek Hill MIA, 701
Receiving TD’s – Travis Kelce KC, 7
Total TD’s – Nick Chubb CLE and Travis Kelce KC, 7
Tackles (combined) – Zaire Franklin IND and Roquan Smith CHI, 66
Sacks – Alex Highsmith PIT, 6.5
Interceptions – Jordan Poyer BUF and Tariq Woolen SEA, 4
Week 7 Preview – What to watch
Teams on Bye
Los Angeles Rams
Week 7 Best Games
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers, 9:25pm
Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Chargers, 9:25pm
New York Giants @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 6pm
Tyler’s Bold Week 7 Prediction
Bounce back… Tom Brady will throw 300 yards and 3 TD’s at Carolina.
Week 7 Storylines
Will we get a good Thursday Night Football game? Saints @ Cardinals, TNF
Can a sneaky Atlanta team ruin Cincinnati’s good run of form? Falcons @ Bengals, 6pm
Will Dak Prescott and Dalton Schulz return in time to face a struggling Detroit? Lions @ Cowboys, 6pm
Two fairly unconvincing 3-win teams face off, Colts @ Titans, 6pm
Tampa Bay look to bounce back after an embarrassing loss. Buccaneers @ Panthers, 6pm
The New York Giants look to maintain their incredible start, Giants @ Jaguars, 6pm
Who will end Week 7 with the worst record in the NFL? Texans @ Raiders, 9:05 PM
Kansas City don’t lose often, and when they do, they often make a statement. Chiefs @ 49ers
The battle of the backups? Who will start at quarterback on prime time? Steelers @ Dolphins, SNF