Here are my top five takeaways from Week 6:
1. The Eagles will be NFC East champs
After watching the Dallas Cowboys lose badly at home to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, it’s clear they are not going to win their division. Both the Cowboys and Eagles have been devastated by offensive line injuries, but the Eagles have done a better job developing backup linemen. The Cowboys lost Tyron Smith and La’el Collins last night and they were awful protecting the edges. The Eagles have lost four o-line starters, left with just Jason Kelce as their only healthy starter, but they’ve done a much better job building depth on the line.
Defensively, Dallas looks terrible – allowing at least 34 points in each of their last five games. They’ve got poor discipline and poor fundamentals. They’re not setting the edge and just don’t have enough talent.
Lastly, despite his inconsistencies, Carson Wentz is the best QB in the division right now.
For these reasons, expect the Eagles to come out on top in a poor NFC East.
2. Will Tampa Bay host Super Bowl LV?
In what was billed as a battle between future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, it was the Tampa Bay defense that stole the show in the Buccaneers’ resounding 38-10 victory over the Packers. The previously undefeated Packers came into Sunday’s game with zero turnovers on the season, but Rodgers was intercepted on back-to-back drives in the second quarter – the first of which was a pick six for Jamel Dean. The Bucs added four sacks and pressured Rodgers all day.
The Buccaneers are now 4-2. Three teams in the NFC (Packers, Seahawks, Bears) have a better record, but Tampa Bay looks like the most complete team in the conference. We’re now seeing what Brady saw when he chose to sign with the Bucs in March. Tampa Bay has a championship defense. I see them as the clear favorite in the NFC.
3. Mike Vrabel is good
Along with talent on the field, the Tennessee Titans have a pretty sharp head coach. Late in Sunday’s overtime win against the Texans, Houston faced second-and-1 from the Titans’ 25-yard line. Rather than let Houston try to get the first down with a few running plays – killing valuable clock time – Mike Vrabel sent a 12th defensive player onto the field. The 5-yard penalty gave Houston a first down – but it also stopped the clock, saving at least 40 seconds. And since Tennessee was able to tie the game with 4 seconds left in regulation, Vrabel’s unorthodox clock management arguably saved the game. Expect coaches around the league to file this move away.
4. Did we mention Tennessee’s talented players?
The Tennessee Titans are starting to look like more than just a good team. They look like a great team. One of just three remaining unbeaten teams in the league, the Titans have not one but two legitimate MVP candidates in QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry. In the 42-36 overtime win against Houston, Tannehill passed for 364 yards and 4 TDs while Henry had 264 all-purpose yards and two scores. Tennessee will be right there with Kansas City in the battle for AFC supremacy.
5. Patriots need help
New England’s lack of offensive weapons really showed up in Sunday’s 18-12 loss to the Broncos, especially after Julian Edelman was hurt (he was targeted six times and had two catches). They have a total of just three touchdown passes all season, and only one of those has been to a wide receiver. Look for the Patriots to make a trade for a wideout before the trading deadline, similar to what they did last year when they traded for Mohamed Sanu. This time, New England should trade for the Bengals’ A.J. Green.