NFL Weekly Report: Week Six

Austin Cunningham, Tyler Forness, Anthony Smith | October 16th, 2019

We are already through about a third of the season! Before you know it, February will be upon us and Tom Brady will be winning his 15th Super Bowl or something like that. In this week’s edition, Austin, Tyler and Anthony hand out awards to a couple rookies, while also criticizing some veteran players.

Offensive Player of the Week

Austin: 

QB Kirk Cousins (22-29, 75.9%, 333 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 138.4 QBR)

Cousins has started to earn the trust of Vikings fans with his performance in the last couple of weeks. The play-calling has been a huge part of that because of the comments made by Adam Thielen, where he said the Vikings cannot be a one-dimensional type offense in the NFL. Since then, it has been bombs away from Cousins with great shots down the field. He made fantastic throws all over the field Sunday against the Eagles to multiple receivers. If Cousins can keep this up, he may be on this list again.

Tyler:

QB Deshaun Watson (30-42, 71.4%, 280 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 10 carries, 42 yards, 2 TD)

While not the best game statistically speaking, the performance that Watson had against the Chiefs at Arrowhead was incredible. After going down 17-3 early on in the game, Watson wasn’t phased and showed a lot of poise in bringing the team back to secure a 31-24 victory. The most impressive thing with his performance was securing the victory on 4th and 2 in the last two minutes of the game with a pump fake and completion to DeAndre Hopkins. Watson was described by his college coach Dabo Swinney as Michael Jordan and I think the comparison is spot on. Very talented, incredibly driven and cerebral in pressure situations. I am finally ready to say Watson is a better quarterback than Patrick Mahomes. RIP my mentions.

Anthony:

QB Kyler Murray (27-37, 72.9%, 340 yards, 3 TD, 128.2 QBR)

Murray is a delight to watch. Prior to the season getting underway, I listed in another article that Murray was a notable rookie name to pay attention to even on a poor roster, and it looks like I was right. Murray is a terror out in the open field, and his decision-making improves every week. Although the Cards are still in the NFC West cellar, for now, Murray looks like a true franchise piece to build around.

Defensive Player of the Week

Austin:

LB Devin Bush Jr. (7 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD)

Bush looked great on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers. Some may say he was in the right place at the right time, but in the last couple of weeks he has made his presence known. He was all over the field Sunday and helped the Steelers get the win in Los Angeles. This defense is starting to look really good and if they keep this up they will be putting themselves in a position to win the AFC North.

Tyler:

LB Devin Bush Jr. (7 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD)

Sunday Night Football was the coming out party for the rookie from Michigan. Bush, who seemed to be a perfect fit for the Steelers classic 3-4 defense, made an impact immediately by not only intercepting a pass but recovering a fumble and returning it for a touchdown in the first quarter alone. Bush has grown up on the fly for the Steelers, and they will need him to keep improving if they want to make a playoff run.

Anthony:

DE Cameron Jordan (4 solo tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks)

Jordan has consistently been a key cog in a talented New Orleans Saints defense, and this past weekend was no different. Jordan has a knack for disrupting passing lanes and getting into the backfield, and on Sunday he harassed Gardner Minshew into a tough outing. With the aid from Jordan’s impact on the defensive line, the Saints have stayed atop the NFC South, even without Drew Brees under center.

Breakout Player of the Week

Austin:

QB Kyler Murray (27-37, 72.9%, 340 yards, 3 TD, 128.2 QBR)

Murray is starting to adjust to the NFL. It is clear he looks more comfortable in the pocket and with his decision making. He is making plays in key points of the game to help his team win. Whether it was a deep throw along the sideline or running for the first down, Murray did it all against the Atlanta Falcons defense. It’s going to be awesome to watch him grow and develop the rest of the season.

Tyler:

QB Kyle Allen (20-32, 62.5%, 227 yards, 2 TD)

In his first start, Allen had his best game statistically, throwing for 261 yards and four touchdowns, but this game had a different feel to it. With star running back Christian McCaffrey only accumulating 36 yards on 22 carries, this was on Allen to lead the team to victory and he rose up to the challenge, in a foreign country no less. Not only that, but Allen has yet to throw an interception this season and in his career, spanning nine games and 153 attempts. The longer Allen plays well, the tougher the question will be for Ron Rivera and the Panthers on who plays quarterback once Cam Newton is healthy.

Anthony:

WR Terry McLaurin (7 targets, 4 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TD)

Honestly, this breakout listing might be a couple weeks too late. Week in and week out, “Scary Terry” is putting on a show on a Washington Redskins team that just hasn’t had much to write home about this season. McLaurin has been the far superior Ohio State product between he and fellow rookie Parris Campbell, though some of that is due to scheme. With 23 receptions, over 400 yards and five touchdowns through six weeks, McLaurin is a name to know.

Disappointing Performance of the Week

Austin:

QB Jameis Winston (30-54, 55.6%, 400 yards, 1TD, 5 INT, 2 fumbles)

This is the Winston we are all used to. He has a great week, makes a ton of plays and puts up numbers. Then the next week it’s an interception party as if Jameis is trying to be like Oprah Winfrey: “You get an INT, you get an INT, everyone gets an INT!”. This last week may be the game that costs him his job in Tampa Bay. He is too inconsistent and does not make good decisions with the ball. We all know Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball down the field and generate big plays,  but when the quarterback is forcing it and creating turnovers, it’s not a good combination.

Tyler:

QB Philip Rivers (26-44, 59.1%, 320 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 1 fumble)

A future Hall of Famer, Rivers is starting to show signs of being on the downside of his career. In the first quarter, Rivers was responsible for the two turnovers that led to the 14-0 deficit, with the backward pass being a really poor decision. The entire night, Rivers was very uncomfortable in the pocket and made a number of poor throws throughout the game. The longer the Chargers underperform, the more noise we will hear for the Chargers to draft a quarterback of the future in the upcoming draft.

Anthony:

QB Daniel Jones (15-31, 48.4%, 161 yards, 1TD, 3INT, 1 sack)

Daniel Jones has played just about as well as anybody could have expected given the circumstances, but on Thursday Night Football he ran into the buzz saw that is the New England Patriots defense. Bill Belichick and company made things incredibly difficult for Jones, and outside of his connection with Golden Tate, Jones couldn’t get much going. The absence of superstar running back Saquon Barkley certainly hurt, but plainly stated, Jones was in over his head against a calculated defense.

Under-the-Radar Storyline of the Week

Austin:

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings look like a new team in the last couple of weeks. Cousins is looking like a new man with the advancement in play calling. His receivers Thielen and Stefon Diggs seem to be happier now that they are not only throwing when they have to and are getting opportunities down the field. The running game is looking great as well with the passing attack being as dangerous as it is. As usual, the defense creates turnovers and puts pressure on the quarterback, showing that the Vikings could be a team to be reckoned with.

Tyler:

When Will the Cowboys Move On From Jason Garrett?

With the success of the Kellen Moore led offense during the first three weeks of the 2019 season, it looked like the Jason Garrett era might continue forever. Now that the Cowboys are 3-3 after week six, Garrett is right back on the hot seat. After a decade of relative mediocrity, Garrett has been able to hang on due solely to the fact that he takes a back seat to Jerry Jones. With Jerry’s outspoken desire to win a Super Bowl before his time is up, he is going to need to bring in a coach who has the cache and personality to be the face of the front office. Only time will tell, but his seat certainly seems to be getting hotter.

Anthony:

The MVP Race Begins to Heat Up

Through six weeks, we’ve seen an assortment of MVP worthy starts from the names you’d probably expect. Can McCaffrey sustain his incredible output on a surging Carolina Panthers team? We’ve seen what Mahomes can do, but will he provide an even better encore? Russell Wilson is absolutely in the conversation, as he shines week in and week out. Finally, for me, we have Watson. He has Houston atop the AFC South for now, with a huge week seven showdown looming with the Indianapolis Colts. Currently, I think the award belongs to Wilson, but this race has only just begun.

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