Good, bad and ugly

NFL Week 6 observations by Jermaine Every

Mason Crosby came up big this time. Evan Siegle/packers.com

Week 6 saw some trends continue (the Rams remain undefeated) and some come to an end (the Falcons slide, maybe). We also saw a quarterback duel between a hot upstart and the grizzled G.O.A.T. Enough of the fluff, let’s get to the substance:

The Good

-The aforementioned quarterback duel was between the Chief’s Pat Mahomes and Pats’ Tom Brady. Brady’s side won 43-40 on a game winning field goal as time expired. Mahomes had 352 yards passing and four touchdowns, while Brady had 340 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes held up when most thought he would for sure crumble under the pressure of going against Brady and Bill Belichek.

-Chargers fourth year running back Melvin Gordon is having a good season. He had 150 yards on 20 touches and three touchdowns (all rushing) in Sunday’s 38-14 win over the Browns. He’s currently third in the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The Chargers are 4-2 and look like a contender partially due to Gordon’s breakout season.

-Jets’ rookie quarterback Sam Darnold outdueled his Colts counterpart Andrew Luck en route to his team’s 42-34 win. But this spot is reserved for the guys that often get overlooked unless they screw up. Jets’ kicker Jason Meyers made an NFL record seven field goals! Kickers deserve more love than what they normally get. Here’s to you, Jason Meyers.

The Bad

-The Jags dropped to 3-3 on the season after losing 40-7 to the Cowboys. They’ve gone from chic Super Bowl favorite, to in danger of not even making the playoffs. Their offense was so bad, they never reached the red zone. That vaunted defense gave up over 200 yards rushing. Trouble is brewing.

-Panthers rookie receiver DJ Moore’s two fumbles may have cost his team the game. Both led to Redskin scores in the 23-17 loss. The first came on a punt return that set up the Skins’ first touchdown. The second set up a field goal that gave the Skins a commanding 17-0 lead five minutes before halftime. Turnovers are one thing. But turnovers that lead to points are a killer.

-This portion of “The Bad” is brought to you by the Rams. Sure they won 23-20 over the Broncos, but the bad comes from all of us who lost because they allowed the Broncos a backdoor cover via a late touchdown. -7.5 was a safe bet, especially with them up 23-13 with about three minutes left…until it wasn’t. Stupid Rams.

The Ugly

-The Titans managed only 106 yards of offense against the Ravens in their 21-0 loss. When you look at the per play average (40 plays run), they averaged only 2.65 yards per play. The worst stat of all: they didn’t commit a single turnover! This was the kind of performance not even family members could stand to watch.

-The Bucs’ defense has been so putrid, they fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Their defense ranks last or near the bottom in several key defensive categories. Deserved? Maybe. But that offense has taken a step back as well. This won’t fix their defensive woes.

-The league lost one of the greatest owners, philanthropists, and one of the greatest people in Seahawks owner Paul Allen. Allen, 65, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The Seahawks have enjoyed their best success since Allen purchased them in 1997, including 12 playoff appearances, three Super Bowls and one Super Bowl victory. He will be truly missed.

Earlier, I gave Jets kicker Jason Meyers some love. On Monday Night Football, Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby went 4 for 4 including the game winner as time expired. After missing four field goals and an extra point last week, this was poetic justice. This kind of stuff makes the league so much fun to watch. Week after week, you never truly know what you’re going to get.

 

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TEXANS HAVE ZERO DEPTH AT CORNER

Here's what Davante Adams' big day against the Texans really proved

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Seven weeks into the season, Bradley Roby has been the sole bright spot playing for a secondary that has been subpar at best. He entered Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers trailing only Eric Murray for the most tackles as a defensive back, while owning the Houston Texans' only interception of the season.

During his media availability on Thursday, Roby spoke about having the Texans' confidence to trust him as the primary defender shadowing the opposing team's best receiver.

And with Davante Adams coming to NRG Stadium with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Roby had an opportunity to illustrate why Houston's coaching staff have so much faith in him.

Three plays into the game, Roby sustained a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the afternoon. In his absence, the Texans felt his importance competing with a depleted secondary.

Adams would go on to have a career day against the Texans. He recorded a career-best 196 receiving yards on 13-of-18 targets and two touchdowns — as the Packers handed the Texans a 35-20 loss on Sunday.

Had the Fort Worth native avoided the injury, would it have resulted in a victory for the Texans? Perhaps not. It is always hard for a team to come away victorious after going scoreless during the first half, but Roby would have limited the destruction caused by Adams. Rogers completed four deep passes where he recorded 28 or more yards, with Adams being the recipient of three.

Not only did Houston have to deal with the effects of not having their best corner shadow one of the league's premier receivers, but the team was not prepared to battle without Roby, according to Michael Thomas following the loss.

"When you lose your starting corner like that, it's going to affect [the team]," Thomas said. "Anytime you have to make adjustments. If you're not prepared, and you don't have the right mindset, then you're probably not going to get the right results you want. Maybe we could have done it a little sooner, but you definitely miss a guy like Roby. You plan on having your number one guy go against their number one guy all the time."

Roby's premature exit left the Texans with a gaping void to slowdown Rodgers and the Packers without two of their projected starting corners. Gareon Conley — who revived his career during the second half of last season — has yet to play a single snap for Houston in 2020 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery.

Their lackluster performance on Sunday showcased the lack of depth and talent the Texans have in the secondary. And with the trade deadline a week away, it may be in the Texans' best interest to invest in a young defensive back they can build around in the future — especially considering the timetable on Conley's return remains unknown.

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday that the team is hoping Roby's injury is short-term and hopes to have their top corner make his return following the bye.

At 1-6 on the year, all the Texans have left to play for is pride as they close out the remaining nine games of the season, and the best way is to prevent another receiver from recording nearly 200 yards in a single game.

For this vulnerable secondary, it is a feat easier said than done. And with the talents of Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, and A.J. Brown remaining on the schedule, it is only best for Roby to make his return to the field sooner rather than later.

"I take pride in it. It's an opportunity that not a lot of guys get throughout the league, and I'm thankful for that. Just to be able to go against the best and try my best for the team and see how I match up. I'm very thankful for that." — Roby.

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