As six weeks are in the books, teams are starting to hit their strides, or hit some bumps in the road. Let’s look at who’s hot and who’s not.
1. Panthers 4-2
Carolina is 4-0 since Kyle Allen took over at quarterback. He’s yet to throw an interception and has a rating of 106.6. The offense has been consistent thanks to Christian McCaffery. The Panthers running back 661 total yards of offense (453 rushing, 208 Receiving), and seven total touchdowns. Tampa Bay slowed him down, but he still found the endzone twice, and played such an important role in this offense.
Defensively, they currently are +9 in turnovers. This is also thanks to a five interception game by Jameis Winston. Overall, they have been allowing 21 points per game in this stretch. Their biggest win would be holding Deshaun Watson and the Texans to 10 points. It shows the capabilities of the Panthers defense. Mario Addison leads the team with 6.5 sacks.
The Panthers hope the bye doesn’t cool of this streak. After, they’ll be tested in San Francisco by a talented 49ers team.
2. Texans 4-2
Knocking off the Chiefs at Arrowhead gives anyone a chance to make the list. The Texans have won four of their last five games, and if it wasn’t for the team above, they would be on a five game winning streak. Deshaun Watson did throw two interceptions today, but credit needs to be given to the Texans defense because Pat Mahomes only completed 54 percent of his passes.
Watson has 17 total touchdowns this season. Five of them have came from with his feet, and his rushing touchdown against the Chiefs was the one that won them the game. He is starting to show how great of a quarterback he can be. The Texans offense is going to be very good if they can keep the pocket clean. Zero sack the last two games is a great sign.
The Texans find themselves on back to back roads games with the Colts next week, and will be coming off a bye. Are the Texans going to be able to compete with the Patriots for the AFC?
3. Saints 5-1
No Drew Brees? No problem. Teddy Bridgewater has revitalized his career in New Orleans, and San Payton has been a big part. The Saints are 4-0 since Bridgewater became a starter. New Orleans beat the Seahawks on the road, and the Cowboys at home with him. Two impressive wins shows he isn’t scared of the pressure. He’s been a starter before, and could possibly still be the quarterback in Minnesota if it wasn’t for his 2016 injury.
The Saints defense has only allowed 17 points per game and held teams to just over 300 yards per under Bridgewater. There’s been a few back QB’s to come in this season, and the teams that have been winning with them, have had strong play out of their defense. There probably isn’t a quarterback controversy here, but Bridgewater is making sure the Saints are still competing until Brees comes back.
New Orleans will be handed a tough test next week. They get the Bears off a bye as they are another team on back to back road games. Saints fans will get to see what Bridgewater can do against an elite defense.
1. Cowboys 3-3
After starting 3-0, the Cowboys find themselves 3-3. Sure, losing to the Saints and Packers is sort of understandable. If the Cowboys wanted to be serious contenders, they also needed to beat these teams. Losing to the Jets is unacceptable.
The biggest reason: turnovers. Dallas has turned the ball over six times during the losing streak. Dak Prescott completed 70 percent of his passes vs the Jets, and had worse numbers in the other two losses. There’s a reason why he wasn’t paid. It’s ludicrous to pay a running back in 2019, but Prescott shouldn’t have received the money for mediocre numbers either.
Next week doesn’t get much easier as they play the Eagles on Sunday Night.
2. Rams 3-3
The reigning NFC champions have hit a skid. Two of their recent losses have come from Seattle and San Francisco, both are fine opponents. The problem for the Rams is that they are divisional opponents. Jared Goff has also been apart of the struggle. Not to mention, they allowed 55 points to Tampa Bay at home. They haven’t played great, and their team is starting to show major flaws.
Jared Goff went 13-24 with 78 passing yards vs. San Francisco. Those numbers are horrible for a starting NFL quarterback. Goff was looking like he was on his way to becoming a top NFL QB. That has all quickly changed, and his numbers have shown his true ability this season. Goff has completed 62 percent of his passes, and has an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions. The Rams defense isn’t great either. If Goff can’t figure it out then they won’t be in the playoffs this season.
Los Angeles has Atlanta, Cincinnati, and then their bye week. This is the time of year for LA to refocus and get back on track.
3. Browns 2-4
The hype train is dead. After going up 20-6 early in the first half, Seattle clawed their way back in and eventually beat the Browns at home. Cleveland has lost three out of four, and if it wasn’t for a 15 point win over Baltimore, this season would already be a disaster. Not to mention, their week 1 home loss to Tennessee.
Baker Mayfield has been a big part of the Browns struggles. He threw one touchdown and three interceptions against Seattle, and has thrown 11 INT’s this year. Mayfield talked about his haters being his motivation this offseason, but right now, the haters are getting the last laugh. He has only complete 57 percent of his passes this season. Nick Chubb was featured more vs. the Seahawks, but it still wasn’t enough to get a win.
The Browns get New England next week, and then Denver and Buffalo after. Cleveland wasn’t for real this season, but it was nice to pretend they were in the preseason.