Matt Ryan threw another interception for the Falcons, and this one really hurt: It came on the Falcons final drive of the game, when they were trying to tie or take the lead over the Dolphins. It was Ryan’s six interception of the young season. So that’s six interceptions in just 170 pass attempts. Ryan won the MVP in 2017 while throwing just seven interceptions … but in 534 passes. It was pretty clear a regression was coming this season for Atlanta, something we alerted you to in August.
Interesting trend from Sunday: In a season with a lot of spotty QB play due to injuries, age and youth, I noticed that only three players caught over 100 yards worth of passes (before SNF and MNF). Antonio Brown (155), Larry Fitzgerald (138) and running back Chris Thompson (105) were the only players to top the century mark. It was a run-heavy, ball-control attack Sunday: Seven backs went over 100 yards, and six of them were victorious.
Last year, the Raiders lost four games. This year, through just six weeks, the Raiders have lost four games. If you want to chalk up last week’s to EJ Manuel starting for the injured Derek Carr, that’s fine. But there are real problems in Oakland, which has lost four straight games, and a showdown with the 1st place, 5-1 Kansas City Chiefs looms Thursday. It was a sloppy showing from the Raiders at home in a 17-16 loss to LA: Two interceptions by Carr, outgained 343-274 by the Chargers, and a missed extra point that ended up being the difference in the final score. The Raiders are now 0-2 in one-score games; they were 8-1 in such games last year. With the Patriots, Broncos, Chiefs, Cowboys (after Ezekiel Elliott is back) and a trip to Philadelphia still on the schedule, it’s fair to call Thursday must-win.
Kareem Hunt was bottled up through the first three quarters by the Steelers defense, but broke loose with a large 4th quarter and became the 1st rookie in the Super Bowl era to top 100 yards from scrimmage in his first six games. Hunt only had 21 yards rushing, but caught 89 yards worth of passes in a 19-13 loss to Pittsburgh.
Completions by Mitch Trubisky in Chicago’s overtime win in Baltimore. It was a fairly shocking result, given John Harbaugh’s success against rookie QBs at home, but the Bears got a complete performance: Forced three turnovers, running back Tarik Cohen threw a TD pass, and Jordan Howard rushed for 167 yards on 36 carries. The idea that Trubisky won that game was laughable. He did play error-free football, though.
The 49ers are 0-6, but after losing the season opener to Carolina 23-3, San Francisco has been very competitive. They’ve lost their last five games by a total of 13 points. None by more than three. It’s something to file away for next season. Teams that usually win or lose a lot of close games one year … do the opposite the next year. The 49ers lost to the Redskins 26-24, but put together a nice rally after being down 17-0.
Last year, Brock Osweiler threw 15 TD passes for the Texans. In only five and a half games this season, Houston rookie Deshaun Watson has matched that number: The former Clemson star has thrown 14 TD passes and rushed for one. He really is going to break all the rookie QB records.