5 Lessons Learned – NFL Week 6


Don’t be too quick to declare a youth movement in the NFL, the established big guns aren’t going anywhere.

Sure it’s great seeing guys like Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garropolo and Lamar Jackson running wild but they still have to find a way past teams like the Patriots and Seahawks.

It was a big weekend of action across the league and our 5 Lessons Learned are back to look at some of the big storylines from the weekend that was.

1 – No Need to Panic Pats Fans

Whatever is a step above a first world problem is what is going on with New England right now.

Yes, they’ve had moments where they haven’t looked great but it takes a special kind of fan to be upset with a 21 point victory, like they put up against the Giants.

Not only are the defending champions 6-0, they’re also 4-2 against the spread, dealing with some pretty heavy lines.

Through six games, the spreads in their games have been: 5.5, 19, 22.5, 6.5, 15 & 16.5 for a total of 85 points and their overall points difference is +142, so they’re beating the teams they’re expected to beat by some considerable margins.

Yes there are some reasons to be a bit concerned when they face some better teams, especially if the only healthy receivers are Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski going forward and Marshall Newhouse is protecting Brady’s blindside.

They might even be in for a decent test with Sam Darnold back under centre for the Jets this coming weekend it only gets a lot more interesting from there with the Browns and Ravens coming up before the bye.

2 – The Chief Concern?

That’s not a misprint, the Chiefs really did lose two in a row for the first time since December.

Of course it’s one thing to lose back to back games to the playoff bound Chargers and Seahawks but they really should have found a way to beat at least one of the Colts and Texans.

The question here is what is the major cause for concern, is it Patrick Mahomes or the defence?

Mahomes definitely isn’t 100% and with limited mobility he isn’t quite the dynamic video game character we’re used to, but it’s still good enough.

Add in the fact that pretty much every quarterback’s post-breakout season sees some sort of correction as coordinators get used to their respective strengths and weaknesses.

What is the main cause for concern though is a defence that was supposed to be improved, really is not any better than the one that got shredded last year.

Instead of asking Mahomes to be Superman every week, if this side wants to go anywhere in January, they need to get that defence sorted out one way or another.

On the plus side, it does mean that backing the over in Chiefs games continues to be a decent option.

3 – Russel Wilson’s Middle Name is MVP

Wilson might not be the best quarterback from a statistical perspective but he is having the best season by a country mile and should be the leading contender for MVP this season.

After bringing Seattle back from a 20-6 deficit in Cleveland today (with a bit of help from his ground game, defence and… let’s be honest, the Browns themselves), we got to see exactly why he is so vital to what the Seahawks do with the ball.

He’s not running as much as he used to, but he is passing better than before, even with some receivers who are at best still establishing themselves in the league.

In fact, he is off to one of the best starts in NFL history, with 17 touchdowns and no interceptions and topping 100 for his quarterback rating in every game this season, the only other two guys to have done that are Tom Brady in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers in 2011, both won MVP that season.

When he is running things, Seattle is not out of any game and if you want a good futures bet to hop on, check out Wilson for MVP.

If he keeps up this pace he’ll be hard to ignore.

4 – Titan… Up?

It’s been speculated on for a while now, and if you had Week 6 as “when Ryan Tannehill replaces Marcus Mariota as the Titans QB” you’d have picked up a nice win.

Of course, it’s still up for debate whether or not the former Top 10 Pick of the Dolphins is a tangible upgrade over Mariota.

Based on the brief evidence put forward in Denver, he’s really not.

Don’t expect the Titans to suddenly turn into the 1999 Rams here, Tannehill has a lot of the same issues as Mariota.

For what it’s worth, that beatdown of Cleveland in Week 1 is looking less and less impressive for both teams the longer this season goes on.

5 – Phillip Rivers Might Be Next

Nobody can question the toughness of Phillip Rivers, the guy played in an AFC Championship with a torn ACL and played pretty well.

He’s one of the true ironmen of the league, playing through plenty of hits but it sure looks like they are starting to take their toll on him so far this season.

His struggles to stay off the ground have coincided with the Chargers struggles leading into their bye.

It was never more obvious on the primetime stage, at home (nominally anyway) against a Steelers defence that has been ok, but hardly the Steel Curtain of the 70’s.

The Chargers have a long way to go and it may be worth backing against them post bye week, especially if these hits lead to Rivers joining the likes of Newton, Roethlisberger and Brees on the sideline, even just temporarily.

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