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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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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