NFL Week 6 overreaction and reality check: Should the Patriots sit on the Mac Jones bench? Comma team planes?

The sixth week in the NFL was as unexpected as ever, as it seemed like a change of guard was upon us in the league. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are both 0.500 or worse late in the season for the first time since 2012, and the New York teams combined 9-3.

The Giants are 5-1 for the first time since 2009, while the Jets have their best start to a season since 2015. The Jets tied their win total from last season while the Giants surpassed it – at just six games. The Packers lost consecutive regular season games for the first time in four years and suffered their worst ever loss under Rodgers at Lambeau Field.

There is a lot of hyper-reaction in store for week 6. Let’s see if these are due or need to be called out for a bit.

The Bills will get a home advantage in the Asian Qualifiers

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

Sunday’s win over the Chiefs wasn’t much to determine the AFC’s favorite Super Bowl star, but the road to the Super Bowl likely continues despite Buffalo. The Bills defeated The Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and scored two straight games of one score, so that the Super Bowl contenders disappeared.

Buffalo is the only team to lose in the conference and have a head-to-head tiebreaker over Kansas City. The Bills are the favorites in the AFC East region and have a two-game lead over the Dolphins and a one-game lead over the emerging Jets. They also beat the Ravens earlier this year (and Baltimore 3-3 after six games).

It looks like the road to the AFC Super Bowl will pass through Orchard Park in January. This is a scary idea.

Injuries will cost 49ers playoff berth

Exaggeration or reality? exaggeration

Here’s the biggest problem with the 49ers. How many injuries can this team handle? On the San Francisco defense, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw are the only players who didn’t suffer an injury during Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, and did not sustain an injury prior to the game.

Charvarius Ward left the match with a groin injury. Talanoa Hufanga had to be evaluated for a concussion (but it came back), and Samson left Ebukam with a leg injury (also came back). Nick Bossa, Eric Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Emmanuel Mosley, Jimmy Ward and Aziz Al Shaer missed the match with various injuries.

The 49ers defense didn’t overcome their injuries in a loss to the Hawks, but this team has the depth to withstand injuries (and for most of the year). San Francisco will eventually get some of those players back and run a tour of NFC West.

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

Zappe made two starts with the Patriots, and New England averaged 33.5 points per game and 381.5 yards per game in that start. They are also 2-0 in the two games under Zappe. The Novice in the fourth round went 24 of 34 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and didn’t get in the way in Sunday’s win over Brown, actually finding his tight ends (Juno Smith and Hunter Henry) six times for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Not only did the Patriots throw for 301 yards, but they were 7 of 14 in third and 2 of 3 in goal situations. Zappe has four touchdown points for one interception and a pass rating of 111.4 this season, with a completion rate of 72.9%. He’s the first rising quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win and post over 100 passing ratings in each of his first two games.

Bottom line: Zappe did more than enough to warrant another start (at least). The Patriots attack better with him in the middle.

Airplanes pose a threat to qualifying

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

New York 4-2 and Green Bay delivered their biggest loss under Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field. Breece Hall already looks like one of the most explosive players in the NFL, and the defense is sparkling with DJ Reed, Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams up front.

The Jets have the look of an addon team, finding different ways to beat opponents every week. The offensive line does a good job of protecting Zach Wilson, and the defense continues to improve, allowing in less than 300 yards for the third week in a row.

If the AFC were to pick seven teams for the playoffs, Gates would be one of them.

Colts wide receivers are good enough to get them to the playoffs

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

Indianapolis got its best game from wide receivers in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville. Michael Bateman finished 13 catches for 134 yards to lead the way, but the biggest contribution came from rookie Alec Pierce. The second-round pick took a 32-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan with 17 seconds left to lift the Colts to 3-2-1 of the year, the fourth consecutive week he’s had a major contribution to attack.

Paris Campbell also had seven catches for 57 yards and touchdowns. Ryan’s chemistry is growing with him wide, throwing for 996 yards and five touchdowns over the past three weeks. If Sunday’s game continues, the Colts may not have to add another broad future in the trade deadline.

Pittman, Pierce, and Campbell are good enough.

Vikings are rivals in the Super Bowl

Exaggeration or reality? exaggeration

It’s hard not to be a supporter of a 5-1 start, especially since the Vikings have built a leadership lead in the NFC North. Minnesota is one of only three teams to have five wins in the NFC and four teams to have five wins in the entire NFL. The Vikings had lost to the Eagles, but that was over a month ago. They haven’t lost since.

Minnesota certainly benefited from Miami’s errors, with a Jaylen Waddle Bobbled ball leading to Harrison Smith’s interception and a final field goal. Waddle’s stumble after a long late catch led to another spin in Miami – taking more potential points off the board in the 17-16 game. The Vikings got 10 points from Waddle errors.

The Vikings are a good team, albeit in a mediocre category. They weren’t in the Super Bowl competition category yet.

Saints should stick to the running game more

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

What the saints were able to do on the ground against the Bengals was quite impressive. New Orleans rushed for 228 yards and averaged 6.7 yards per carry against the Bengals defense that allowed 99.6 dash yards per game and only one touchdown over the course of the year.

Without the top three wide receivers, the game plan should have been easy for the Bengals defense. A healthy Alvin Kamara ran for 99 yards while Mark Ingram added 46 on the floor and Tysom Hill had 39 yards.

Even when the playmaker’s pass users come back, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. must request the pass again and commit to running more. The Saints are a better running team than they could have imagined.

Brian Dabol is Coach of the Year

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

The Giants are 5-1 and they’ve already racked up more wins than they have in the whole of last year. A proper Saquon Barkley assists, but New York wins with Daniel Jones and a subpar offensive line. The win over the Ravens is another great win for the budding Giants who are beginning to believe it’s more than just a Cinderella story.

This is the first time since 2009 that the Giants have started 5-1 or better in a Super Bowl era. Daboll is the first Giants coach since Allie Sherman in 1961 to start his 5-1 career. Jones has four drives to win the game as New York are 5-1 in one game – the only team this season to have each of their games marked with eight points or less.

Daboll may not just be the coach of the year. He might be one of the best players in the league – indeed.

Mike Tomlin is still in the top five in this league

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

There’s a reason Tomlin has never had a losing season in his 15 seasons as head coach – harassment like Sunday on the Buccaneers is to blame. Tomlin lost quarterback Kenny Pickett (a concussion), but Mitchell Trubesky found a way to score 142.4 passes against a Buccaneers defense that only allowed 193.7 passes per game entry into the competition.

The Steelers High School didn’t have a top three cornerback and Minka Fitzpatrick, yet carried Tom Brady on only one touchdown. The Buccaneers also went 4 of 14 in third and 1 of 4 in the red.

Pittsburgh overtook Tampa Bay after it was blown away by Buffalo last week. That’s it Tomlin.

Cliff Kingsbury’s days in Arizona are numbered

Exaggeration or reality? exaggeration

Kingsbury hasn’t come close to being fired yet, but there’s something to be done with the offense. The Cardinals are 2-4, staying last in the NFC West, and held another slow start after scoring just three points and 142 yards in the first half. Arizona even stretched as it had 10 plays for 11 yards.

The Cardinal had only nine points against the league’s 31st-ranked scoring defense and had only 315 yards against the 32nd-ranked defense in yards per game. That’s unacceptable for a team with Kyler Murray—and he struggled after going 22 of 37 for 222 yards with an interception.

A hot seat is getting warmer for a Kingsbury, but it’s well worth the time to cool down.

Copper Cup is the best receiver in the NFL

Exaggeration or reality? Indeed

There’s no disrespect for Justin Jefferson, but Kupp continues to produce every week behind a crime that remains out of sync. Cobb finished seven catches for 80 yards to lead the Rams in Sunday’s win over the Panthers, giving him 56 hunts for 607 yards and four touchdowns over the course of the year.

With Allen Robinson starting to show some production sense, Kupp is still tasked with carrying a wide receiver range that is only through six games. The job isn’t easy, but Cobb is going in for 159 receptions this season – which is going to be an NFL record.

Cobb – the only 2,000-yard receiver in league history (regular season and post-season) – still deserves his due as the game’s best passing player. He’s carrying rams now.

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