Image courtesy of Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Jack Cherico
Weeks five and six of the NFL season have gone by and looking back, this has been the most surprising two week period yet.
After weeks of uncertainty, the Tennessee Titans played their first game in multiple weeks against the undefeated Buffalo Bills, and with two weeks of rest under their belts destroyed Josh Allen’s squad 42-16. On Sunday night, the Seattle Seahawks had a bit of a scare in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings, with MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson having almost more yards lost on sacks than passing yards. However, Seattle turned it around with a 27-26 win, scoring three times in one minute and six seconds of official game time.
Big surprises of week five; Steelers rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool announced his name to the world, catching three touchdown passes for 110 yards on seven receptions, and running for another touchdown in a 38-29 win against the Philadelphia eagles. Another rookie, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has been great for San Diego in losing efforts, putting up four touchdowns and 264 yards in week five, and looks good going into week seven. The final surprise of week five games was Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders beating Kansas City 40-32, bringing some intrigue into the AFC west playoff Implications.
For Jets, Cowboys, and Falcons fans, you may want to skip this paragraph. In their game against the Giants, Cowboys franchise quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a nasty ankle injury, breaking the ankle and dislocating it at the same time, which will put an end to his season, and quite possibly the end of his time in Dallas, as he is playing on the franchise tag, and hasn’t been able to put pen to paper on a contract agreement. In the dumpster fire that is the New York Jets, a release occurred, and it wasn’t head coach Adam Gase. Star running back Le’veon Bell was released after the Jets couldn’t find a trade partner for the Michigan State alum. Bell signed with the Chiefs on a one-year deal, adding to the NFL equivalent of the Golden State Warriors offensive Rolodex. Lastly, for week five, the Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn, after leading the team to a 0-5 start, blowing multiple leads in those games.
Week six was a continuation of its predecessor, but for a few teams, the end of a big skid. The New York Giants got their first win of the season, with a 20-19 win over the Washington Football Team. The Atlanta Falcons won their first game as well, with QB Matt Ryan throwing for 371 yards and four touchdowns. The San Francisco 49ers also stopped their slide with a win against the 4-1 LA rams, putting every team in the division in a position for a playoff spot down the road.
The Miami Dolphins followed their demolition of the Niners with a win against the New York Jets and put the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, in with two minutes to go in the game. This was a decision that they seemed to have planned because on Tuesday the team announced Tagovailoa would start their next games. Tagovailoa was projected to be the #1 overall pick going into the 2019 college season, but a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture against Mississippi State ended his season. The Dolphins had faith in the Hawaii-native though, and are making him their franchise quarterback. The former Alabama National championship winner will have his first start against the Buffalo Bills.
The best game of week six turned out to be Titans versus Texans, which was an overtime win for Tennessee. Running back Derrick Henry has shown he is arguably the most dominant player in the league, with more 200-yard rushing games since 2018 than the entire rest of the league combined. Henry had 212 yards against Houston, on only 22 rushing attempts, giving him almost 10 yards per carry. On average, every time Henry touches the ball, it’s a first down. Henry has shown he is the driving force of that team, something a running back hasn’t been in this league in a long time.