JC’s Top Rope Report: NFL Week 6 Review

Another NFL Week in the books. Lets review it!

Team of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles
-I could have easily given this to the San Francisco 49ers for the third week in a row, but I figured I would let someone else share the spotlight of this esteemed honor. The Eagles put their critics to bed for at least one week with their big road win over Washington. It’s big for a couple reasons. First, the Eagles defense shut down what is one of the better running attacks in the league. They held Washington to 6 points. Second, the Eagles beat the Redskins coming off of their bye week. The Redskins had two weeks to prepare for this game and put up a stinker. The offense made plays and relied more on LeSean McCoy which is a good thing. People were quick to write off the Eagles, including myself, but we all may have spoke too quick. If the Eagles offense and defense played like they did Sunday, then they may start riding a hot streak that can’t be stopped.

Game of the Week: New England 20  Dallas 16
-There were a lot of close games this week that I could have went with, but I decided on this one for a few reasons. First it was a defensive battle which I like most of the time. If anyone ever wants to find out how to control Tom Brady, watch a game where Rex Ryan is the defensive coordinator opposite Brady. Ryan’s defense shut down Brady last year in Cleveland, and they did a pretty good job this week in Dallas. But then Tom Brady played like Tom Brady on the Patriots final drive, leading them down the field before finding Aaron Hernandez in the end zone with 20 seconds left to give the Patriots the lead. It was a big win for the Pats, who reclaimed the lead in the AFC East with Buffalo’s loss. Tom Brady has looked quite human in the last few weeks, throwing as many touchdowns as interceptions. The Patriots have a bye next week, but their next 3 games are no roll overs: at Pittsburgh, home to the NY Giants, and at the NY Jets. Could be tough sledding ahead.

Dogs of the Week: Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz
-I know lots of people are taking sides on this argument. But both guys are at fault here in my opinion. First off, Harbaugh was way too jumpy and excited when going for the handshake. He should have celebrated with his team after the game, or calmed himself down before going for the handshake. Schwartz also over-reacted to Harbaugh. Instead of practically challenging him to a fight, Schwartz should have either ignored him or just calmly said, “Hey, calm down.” Sure it isn’t the “manly” thing to do, but it’s better than taking the attention away from a great game played between both teams. It is part of the reason I didn’t give it my game of the week honors. I like both guys as coaches, but they both acted pretty immature Sunday.

Other Week 6 Notes
-It will be interesting to see how the Raiders handle Jason Campbell’s broken collarbone situation. Right now, they plan on going with Kyle Boller next week against Kansas City. The bye week is after that, and that is when they could add a QB to the roster. At 4-2, the Raiders are serious contenders in the AFC West. But I don’t know how much you can trust Kyle Boller to get you to the playoffs. Campbell is out a minimum of 6 weeks with his injury. Do they add a veteran back-up through trade or free agency? Do they lean on Boller? Do they dare call Brett Favre? My gut says they ride out Boller and hope he doesn’t lead them to 6 straight losses. Boller isn’t going to win them any games with his play, but he may lose them some.

-Can someone please explain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to me? They upset the Atlanta Falcons a few weeks ago, then last week they get demolished by San Francisco, and this week they upset the New Orleans Saints without star RB LaGarrette Blount. They held Drew Brees and company to 20 points, and forced an interception in the end zone to seal the game. Tampa has their good weeks and their bad weeks. There are times when they look like a young, up-and-coming team, then there are times where they look like division bottom dwellers like last week. But now they are tied for the division lead in a tight NFC South race. The Bucs go to London next week to play Chicago, a big game for both teams.

-See what happens when Good Eli Manning shows up? Eli didn’t throw any picks or make any bad plays in the Giants 27-24 win over Buffalo. Eli didn’t throw any touchdowns, but did have 292 yards passing and was not sacked once. And the much maligned Giants defense stepped up, getting two interceptions on two horribly underthrown passes by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Giants currently stand on top of the NFC East, but that spot changes almost weekly, and the Giants are known for some late season collapses. After the bye the Giants have an easy home game against Miami, but then two tough road games at New England then San Francisco. I still think the Eagles win the NFC East, but the Giants might give them the biggest challenge.

-I have to give some love to the Cincinnati Bengals. They are 4-2 right now and in the thick of things in the AFC. Because of Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green aren’t getting the rookie recognition that they deserve. Green looks like a future stud WR, and Dalton is playing perfectly fine at QB. Dalton isn’t making many mistakes. And the defense is one of the best put together units in the league. They haven’t allowed over 24 points in any games this year, which is really remarkable considering the amount of points some teams are putting up this year. But while the 4-2 start is nice, the Bengals still have to face the Steelers and Ravens twice, as well as go to Tennessee and host Houston. Not any easy tasks to say the least.

Hey I’m Just Sayin…
-Is that the last game Donovan McNabb starts at QB for his career?

-Rex Grossman or Jon Beck? I bet the Redskins wish they still had Donovan McNabb.

-What value does Brandon Lloyd have to the Rams at this point?

-Will poor Blaine Gabbert ever get a win?

-Only 24 points against St. Louis? Packers fans should be concerned. #sarcasm

-With Tim Tebow coming to town next week, should the Dolphins be considered the road team in Miami?

POWER RANKINGS
1. Green Bay Packers (6-0, #1 last week)- Win, Practice, Travel/Stay Home, Win, Repeat Next Week.

2. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, #4)- The Ravens early bye week didn’t stop them from their continued dominance.

3. New England Patriots (5-1, #6)- Tom Brady has looked human, but the defense has played well the last two weeks. Tough schedule ahead after the bye though.

4. San Francisco 49ers (5-1, #8)- Big jump for the 49ers this week. But Jim Harbaugh has some guys playing the best football of their career, and they have a 3 win lead in the pitiful NFC West.

5. Detroit Lions (5-1, #2)- Lions fans are now off of Cloud 9. This is still a good football team, but they have a tough test next week against Atlanta.

6. San Diego Chargers (4-1, #7)- They’ve has 2 weeks to get ready for the Jets. There’s no excuses if they don’t beat a down Jets team on a short week.

7. New Orleans Saints (4-2, #3)- This time, the Saints weren’t able to pull off a late victory. But Sean Payton is one tough S.O.B. after taking that hit.

8. New York Giants (4-2, #12)- That’s the Giants team their fans expected to see this year. Ahmad Bradshaw should be the featured back from here on out.

9. Buffalo Bills (4-2, #5)- That loss is on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Two badly underthrown balls for INTs. They should use the bye week to get healthy, and still have a good shot at the playoffs.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2, #10)- No second half points against Jacksonville has to be a concern. They almost let Jacksonville steal one.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2, #15)- They have taken advantage of a weak early schedule, but they have a brutal schedule coming after the bye week. Can the rookies hold up?

12. Oakland Raiders (4-2, #11)- I hate dropping teams even though they won, but the loss of Jason Campbell could be a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2, #16)- Hesitant to move them up because I’m still not sold on them. Need to put together a couple solid outings in a row.

14. Tennessee Titans (3-2, #14)- They’ve had 2 weeks to prepare for their big showdown against Houston. No excuses for a poor performance.

15. Chicago Bears (3-3, #18)- They took advantage of a bad Vikings team Sunday night. If that Bears team shows up more often they could compete for a Wild Card spot.

16. Atlanta Falcons (3-3, #17)- They pulled away late against Carolina. Now they have a big game against Detroit that could pave the road for the rest of their season.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4, #20)- That’s the Dream Team we’ve been expecting all year.

18. Washington Redskins (3-2, #9)- The impending QB controversy causes this drastic drop. They may be better off flipping a coin.

19. Houston Texans (3-3, #13)- What looked like their opportunity to win the division has stumbled into a road block. They need Andre Johnson back quickly.

20. New York Jets (3-3, #22)- It was an ugly win, but a win that the Jets needed to get some confidence back. Now back to real business against San Diego next week.

21. Seattle Seahawks (2-3, #20)- Could Charlie Whitehurst really be any worse than Tavaris Jackson?

22. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, #19)- It was a valiant fight against New England, but the defense couldn’t stop Brady on the last drive. At least it wasn’t Romo’s fault.

23. Cleveland Browns (2-3, #21)- This time it was Peyton Hills hamstring. What will it be next time? A hang nail?

24. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, #24)- Perfect opportunity for them to take advantage of a Jason Campbell-less Oakland Raiders team.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-5, #23)- Close but no cigar is only entertaining for so long.

26. Denver Broncos (1-4, #26)- Whatcha gonna do, when TEBOWMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU!

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5, #27)- The defense never gave up and held the Steelers scoreless in the second half. Too bad the offense couldn’t pull through.

28. Minnesota Vikings (1-5, #28)- Paging Christian Ponder. Christian Ponder under center please.

29. Arizona Cardinals (1-4, #29)- Hopefully they used the bye week to straighten out the offense.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-5, #30)- Moral Victory: Holding the Packers to 24 points.

31. Indianapolis Colts (0-6, #31)- Curtis Painter has the early lead for Thor in the 3rd movie.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-5, #32)- Dolphins fans waiting for Wrestlemania 28 in April, the next big event to be held in Sun Life Stadium.

Three Games I’d Like to See Next Week
San Diego Chargers vs New York Jets: Can the Chargers keep up their hot early start?
Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions: Falcons need this one, Lions can’t start a losing streak now.
Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans: Winner has early edge in the AFC South race.

That’s all from me today. Vengeance PPV Preview and NFL Week 7 Picks later in the week.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

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