The NFL season is full of surprises. The Falcons are struggling, the Rams have a new head coach, and the Vikings continue to prove they’re one of the best teams in football. It’s been an unpredictable start for most teams but it’s also given us some fun storylines that haven’t gotten enough attention yet like Jacksonville playing their first game under interim Head Coach Doug Marrone.
The “NFL Week 6 takeaways” is a recap of the week six games in the NFL. The article includes a look at the highlights from each game, as well as what to watch for next week.
5:00 p.m. ET
ESPN’s NFL Nation
The Ravens made a statement in Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season, blowing out the Chargers in a highly anticipated AFC clash. On offense, the Rams and Colts had strong days as well, with Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Cooper Kupp, and Jonathan Taylor all putting up large numbers. The Chiefs beat Washington to climb back to.500 on the season, while the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC North division.
The Jaguars ended their winless record with a last-second field goal in London, while the Lions dropped to 0-6 following a strong performance by Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. And with a two-TD performance from Leonard Fournette on Thursday night, the Buccaneers improved to 5-1.
The big takeaways and lingering issues from this week’s events are discussed by our NFL Nation correspondents. They also consider the broader picture with their present team confidence rating, which is a 0-10 evaluation of how they feel about the club’s prospects at the end of the week. Let’s get started.
Go to a specific matchup: MIA-JAX | TB-PHI
What you should know: Aaron Rodgers said it all when it came to the Packers-Bears rivalry – or lack thereof. Rodgers not only performed his championship-belt celebration after a 6-yard scamper for a score with 4:30 remaining in the game, but he also screamed to Bears supporters behind the end zone, “I still own you.” He is correct. Rodgers improved to 22-5 versus the Bears in his career as a starter, his most victories against any opponent. Since 1950, he currently has the third-best victory percentage of any starting quarterback versus a single opponent (with a minimum of 25 starts, including playoffs). In the Packers’ current five-game winning run versus the Bears, Rodgers has 12 touchdown passes and no turnovers. Give the NFC North title to the Packers right now. The Lions are winless, the Bears are offensively deficient, and the Vikings are underwhelming. The Packers moved to 13-1 in NFC North games since Matt LaFleur took over as coach in 2019, with Sunday’s victory against the Bears. — Demovsky, Rob
This week’s essentials include: • Check out the full schedule » | Check out the standings » • Every team’s depth chart » • Injuries » | Transactions » • Rankings of the Football Power Index » Additional NFL coverage »
Can the Packers afford to lose any more players? The Packers concluded the game without their two most key defensive players, CB Jaire Alexander and OLB Za’Darius Smith, who are both on injured reserve, as well as CB Kevin King (who was inactive due to a shoulder injury) (concussion). On offense, they’ve been missing LT David Bakhtiari (PUP, knee) and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring), while C Josh Myers (knee) was injured on the opening series of the game. On Sunday, they welcomed back fill-in LT Elgton Jenkins. MVS is also eligible to come off IR this week, and Bakhtiari may begin practicing at the same time. However, they’re starting to wear thin in certain important areas. Demovsky’s words
Demovsky’s confidence rating (0-10): 7.5, same from the previous rating of 7.5. Nothing has changed, for the better or for the worse. The Packers are still undefeated, having won five straight games. In addition, their defense continues to allow scores in the red zone. The Bears scored twice as many touchdowns in the red zone as the Packers, which means the Packers have allowed 15 touchdowns in 15 defensive red-zone drives. The Packers are the only club in at least the previous 40 years, according to ELIAS, to allow a score on every opponent red-zone drive through the first six games of the season.
The next game is against Washington (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Playing without their top two rushing backs (David Montgomery and Damien Williams), the Bears showed a lot of spirit, but the game followed a predictable script. The Bears defense held their own against Green Bay, but their offense failed to score enough points outside of two excellent drives. This wasn’t quite as terrible as the Bears’ catastrophe in Cleveland three weeks ago, but they kept failing on third down until Justin Fields ignited a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. In the end, the Bears demonstrated that they just lack the offensive firepower to compete with Green Bay. That does not bode well for the game against Tampa Bay next week. Dickerson, Jeff
Are the Bears serious NFC North contenders? Most likely not. The Bears held it close for the most of the day, driven by running back Khalil Herbert, who put in another strong showing, but they are no match for Green Bay. As is customary in the NFC North, the path to the championship passes via Lambeau Field. The Bears will never be serious division challengers until they can win these games. The Bears are in severe trouble as long as Aaron Rodgers is on the field for the Packers. There is a serious problem. In 2022, everyone in Chicago hopes Rodgers is playing somewhere else. Dickerson’s words
Dickerson’s confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is 4.8, down from 6. To be a man, you must first defeat the man.
Buccaneers’ next game is on the road (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
What you should know: Despite the fact that the Chiefs got away with it against Washington, Patrick Mahomes has to stop throwing terrible interceptions. On Sunday, he lost the Chiefs at least a field goal by throwing an interception while attempting to escape a sack, and he’s thrown far too many of these sorts of turnovers this season. The Chiefs aren’t good enough to recover from such errors on a weekly basis. Adam Teicher’s remark
Is the Chiefs’ turnover problem going to be a long-term issue? Turnovers are infamous for being difficult to forecast, but this does not have to be the case. Under pressure, Mahomes has to make better judgments, which addresses the majority of the problem. Yes, some deflected passes have harmed the Chiefs as well. Interceptions like those are usually a sign of poor luck, so the Chiefs may have reached the end of their luck in that regard. Teicher’s words
Teicher’s confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is now at 6, up from 4. The Chiefs’ outlook has brightened because to a stronger defensive game. Their greatest issue wasn’t their record or last-place AFC West position, but rather the manner they were playing.
The Titans host the next game (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What you should know: Washington had an opportunity to turn its season around, or at the very least gain a major victory, on Sunday, but they faltered in important areas. It reflects the team’s current situation. In the first half, Washington forced three turnovers but only managed to take a 13-10 lead. Dyami Brown, a rookie receiver, has been inconsistent and has yet to make a leaping grab in the end zone – a difficult but doable play. They don’t have a strong offensive identity — the run game should be their focus — and are forced to depend on quarterback Taylor Heinicke, which isn’t the formula they need. The defense was better and can improve on this performance, but to overcome a strong team, Washington must seize opportunities and take a few chances on fourth downs against a good offense. It didn’t work. ‘John Keim’
Taylor Heinicke has a limited amount of time left. Washington must decide whether to keep Heinicke on the field or bench him in favor of Kyle Allen, hoping to stay in competition if and when Ryan Fitzpatrick returns. Fitzpatrick is currently rehabilitating from a hip injury and has yet to return to the field; he is expected to be out for at least a few weeks. Heinicke isn’t solely to responsible for the offense’s woes — the club was without four starters — but defenses are doing enough to keep him in the pocket and force him to hold the ball longer than wanted. Allen has improved his mobility in practice after breaking his ankle last season and now has a stronger arm. The truth is that Washington is in a poor offensive situation. It can make a quarterback change, but the position won’t improve much until the offseason is properly handled. Keim’s words
Keim’s confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is 3.7, down from 4. The offense struggled to establish any consistency, despite the fact that Washington’s defense was superior and ran against some of Pat Mahomes’ magic at times. More firepower is needed, but with four starters absent, including receiver Curtis Samuel, it may be difficult to come by.
The next game will be against the Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Ravens made the season’s greatest statement. By beating the Chargers in a duel of first-place teams, Baltimore demonstrated it deserves to be recognized with the Buffalo Bills as the AFC’s elite. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens rolled over the NFL’s poorest run defense, and quarterback Justin Herbert was constantly agitated by the Baltimore defense. The Ravens had a season full of close calls, winning their first four games by an average of 6.3 points. At the start of the fourth quarter on Sunday, Baltimore led by four touchdowns. Jamison Hensley (Jamison Hensley)
It’s completely free to play! Pick NFL wins straight up or against the spread for a chance to win over $14,400 in cash and prizes!
Has the Ravens’ pass defense been improved? The Baltimore defense, which has had its share of setbacks this season, vented its frustrations on Herbert and the Chargers’ wideouts. The Ravens piled on the pressure on Herbert and went for his targets. As a consequence, Herbert was restricted to 195 passing yards by the NFL’s 28th-ranked pass defense. This demonstrates that the Ravens can stop one of the NFL’s greatest and hottest quarterbacks. However, before you can conclude that Baltimore’s pass defense has been fixed, it must react with another solid performance against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday. Hensley’s words
Hensley’s confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is now 9, up from 8.5. Baltimore responded to the situation, putting on its greatest performance of the season against its toughest opponent to date. With a 5-1 record, the Ravens hold the best record in the AFC (the Bills play on Monday night). This was the Ravens’ biggest victory over a team with a winning percentage of.800 or higher in franchise history.
The Bengals are the team’s next opponent (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Chargers’ run defense has to be re-evaluated or they’ll be in trouble. Last week, they gave up 230 running yards and three touchdowns to the Browns, and they were on the verge of losing after giving up 42 points. In a defeat to Baltimore on Sunday, they gave up 187 yards on the run and three more rushing scores in what was supposed to be a grueling battle to the finish. It wasn’t the case. Shelley Smith says:
Should Chargers coach Brandon Staley reconsider his fourth-down decisions? Certainly not. With fewer than six minutes left in the third quarter and the Chargers trailing 24-6, Justin Herbert heaved an incomplete throw to Josh Palmer on fourth-and-1 from their 19-yard line. So was it the choice to go for it or the decision to pass to the rookie Palmer that was the mistake? The Chargers went for it twice on fourth down in their own territory against the Ravens and were unsuccessful after converting 7-of-8 on fourth downs previous to Sunday (the one failure being a fake punt). They were, however, doing the math, since they had a 63 percent probability of converting the fourth-and-1 situation. As a result, expect Staley to maintain his aggressiveness. ‘Smith’
Smith’s confidence level (0-10) has dropped to 5.7 from 6.2. The defense continues to deteriorate.
The Patriots are the team’s next opponent (Sunday, Oct. 31, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What you should know: There will be no disappointment. The Rams are in the middle of a three-game run against teams with losing records, but they showed Sunday in a 38-11 demolition of the Giants that they weren’t swayed by their opponents’ struggles. That’s thanks to a lesson learned when they were caught off guard in a Week 4 setback to the Cardinals, a club they’d beaten in eight straight meetings. The defense came prepared to play in New York and forced a season-high four turnovers. Three of those takeaways were turned into scores by the offense. Lindsey Thiry (Lindsey Thiry)
Will the Rams be able to keep their winning streak going against the Lions and Texans? The Rams must retain their concentration after a convincing victory over the Giants in their next two games, which are against the Lions (0-6) at home and the Texans (1-5) on the road. Both opponents have the potential to be disregarded. However, these two games will give the offense more time to settle in and the defense, especially the secondary, which will be missing cornerback Darious Williams and starting rookie cornerback Robert Rochell, more time to gel. — Thirty
Thirty percent confidence (0-10): 8.4, up from 8. Sure, it was against a faltering Giants club, but the Rams receive a tiny boost after demonstrating that they can go to the Eastern time zone and overwhelm an opponent that, after a thriller against Tampa Bay and a pair of division games, may have been difficult to inspire for.
The next game will be against the Cardinals (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
What to know: Against the Rams, the Giants looked like a JV club. On a day when they were honoring the 2011 Super Bowl winner team, they were outmanned and blown off the field. It’s starting to look bad for the Giants (1-5). Quarterback Daniel Jones labored with three interceptions and a fumble loss, and the supporting cast around him never gave him a chance. Kadarius Toney (ankle) and Andrew Thomas (ankle), both rookies, could not make it out of the first quarter, adding to New York’s long list of injured players. And the defense is still having a difficult time. This club must soon get fit and improve, otherwise it will just get worse against a difficult schedule. Jordan Raanan is a writer.
What are the Giants’ options now? This group isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Is it necessary for the Giants to make any substantial changes in order to avoid another losing season? Is it necessary for them to tidy up after themselves? After squandering free agency funds, this is certainly not what ownership had hoped for this season. Before the season, co-owner John Mara predicted that the squad will be in contention for a playoff berth. That will not be the case. Mara’s absence at Sunday’s halftime ceremony was most likely not an accident. Raanan’s words
Raanan’s confidence level (0-10) is 1.8, down from 2.6 before. You can’t feel good about this team when they’re 0-5 and have so many injuries. The Giants are severely outmanned, and their defense is a major issue.
The Panthers are the team’s next opponent (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
In their victory against the Lions, the Bengals demonstrated why they may be a playoff club. They can thrash a poor squad even when they aren’t at their best. Cincinnati struggled to get going offensively in the first half, but they were able to get back on track in the second half. While it wasn’t always attractive, it’s the kind of victory that gives the Bengals hope that they’ll be able to hold their own when the schedule gets harder. – Ben Little
Compete for a chance to win up to $180,000 in prizes, including $10,000 each week! It’s completely free to play! Make your selections
Was it possible for the Bengals to answer long-term concerns about their offense? No, not at all. The Bengals’ offensive rhythm problem reared its head again in the first half. Cincinnati had a five-yard run on six plays in the second quarter after scoring on their opening possession. The offense didn’t get going until they converted a fourth-and-1 into a score. If it doesn’t happen, the game may not end in a blowout. That’s something Cincinnati can’t afford to do against stronger opponents. — Little one
Baby’s confidence level (on a scale of one to ten) is now at 7, up from 6.5. Despite the fact that Cincinnati scored 34 points and gained 398 yards, the offense’s first-half performance was concerning.
The Ravens are the team’s next opponent (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What you should know: The Detroit Lions, the NFL’s final winless club, continue to have slow beginnings. Detroit has gone four games without scoring a touchdown in the first half, the last time it did so against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. In addition, Detroit is the only club in the league that has trailed by double digits in every game this season. Despite the fact that the team has been severely hampered by injuries, they were not even competitive against Cincinnati. Eric Woodyard’s remark
Should the Lions contemplate a QB change? That’s just not possible. Goff’s performance against the Bengals on Sunday was perhaps his worst of the season, as quarterback completed 28 of 42 passes for 202 yards and an interception. The Lions did not choose a quarterback in the 2021 draft, leaving Goff in charge of the offense this season. Meanwhile, backup Tim Boyle is still out with an injury, while Detroit’s other backup, David Blough, was 0-5 in five starts as an undrafted rookie in 2019. — In the woods
The confidence rating of Woodyard (0-10) is 2.5, down from 3. With the Jaguars’ victory on Sunday, the Lions now hold the NFL’s longest current losing streak, which dates back to last season, at nine games. That pretty much sums it everything.
The next game will be against the Rams (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: A field goal by a kicker who was a free agent when the season began gave coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence their first NFL win. It ended a 20-game losing run that dated back to the 2020 season opening and was the second-longest in NFL history. It didn’t matter that the Dolphins were without their top two cornerbacks and top three receivers, and that the game was a slog from start to finish. This relieves Meyer and Lawrence of a significant amount of stress. Mike DiRocco’s remark
What does this imply for Josh Lambo, the kicker? After Matthew Wright’s two field goals, including the game winner, the Jaguars’ most accurate field goal kicker is likely out of a job. Lambo has struggled with confidence difficulties from the start of the season and has missed the last three games. Wright’s performance should ensure that he keeps his position indefinitely. DiRocco’s words
DiRocco’s confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is now 3, up from 2.5. At the conclusion of the game, the Jaguars got crafty and set up a field goal, overcoming Meyer’s dubious judgments throughout the day.
The Seahawks are the team’s next opponent (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, Oct. 31)
What to know: Coach Brian Flores said that righting the ship will take a collective effort and that Tua Tagovailoa would not be held responsible for the club’s four-game losing run. In his first game back from injured reserve, though, Miami placed the game in Tagovailoa’s hands. Tagovailoa completed 33 of his 47 throws for 329 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His brightest moment came on a seven-play, 91-yard go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter, during which he completed all six of his passes for 83 yards and a score — a drive that came after he threw a horrible interception. The Dolphins seemed to be counting on Tagovailoa’s left arm to save them, and he came close, but it wasn’t enough to overcome bad defensive play and coaching blunders late in the game. — Louis-Jacques Marcel
Can Miami find out how to play from a position of strength? The Dolphins haven’t led too frequently this season, but they’ve had two multiple-score leads that they couldn’t hold on to. Miami had a 13-3 lead against one of the poorest teams in the NFL, but they were unable to complete the task. If stringing together consistent drives is the first step toward resolving Miami’s difficulties on both sides of the ball, knowing how to finish is the second — particularly with another must-win game coming up in Week 7. Louis-Jacques –
Louis-Jacques’ confidence level (on a scale of one to ten) is 2, down from four. Tagovailoa’s comeback was impressive, but a loss to the Jaguars is unacceptable for a club that entered the season as a playoff contender. The Dolphins’ record now stands at 1-5; 111 teams have begun the season with the same record, with just three making the playoffs. Put a fork in the Dolphins’ playoff prospects if they don’t win the Falcons and Bills in their next two games.
The Falcons are the team’s next opponent (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)
What to know: On the road, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and running back Leonard Fournette handled the weight with a decimated defense already down four starters and cornerback Richard Sherman abandoning the game in the first quarter. Jenna Laine is a writer who lives in New York City.
Will the Bucs’ defense be able to withstand another another injury? On the first drive, Sherman tore his hamstring and was declared out for the rest of the game for the Bucs, who were already without Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Lavonte David. Winfield is close to passing the concussion protocol, according to coach Bruce Arians, but this pass defense was already harmed before Sherman’s injury. Jamel Dean, Ross Cockrell, Dee Delaney, Pierre Desir, and Rashard Robinson are now the Buccaneers’ only options. The pass rush has been really beneficial over the last two weeks. Laine –
Laine’s confidence level (on a scale of one to ten) is now at 8, up from 7.5. Despite being completely ravaged by injuries, the Buccaneers are 5-1, but can the offense be enough to carry them against stronger defenses? With the Bears and Saints up next, we’ll find out soon enough.
The Bears are the team’s next opponent (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Coach Nick Sirianni continues to put too much on on quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts had accounted for 87 percent of the Eagles’ offense by yards entering Week 6, the greatest percentage of any club in the NFL. Against Tampa Bay, it was the same thing. The Eagles’ running backs only had one carry in the first half and nine overall. Hurts has started 10 games in the NFL. At this moment, he isn’t a consistent enough passer to be carrying such a burden. Tim McManus, Ph.D.
What’s up with Hurts’ large swings in accuracy? Hurts completed 69 percent of his passes against the Falcons, Chiefs, and Cowboys, with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He completed 53 percent of his passes with a touchdown and two interceptions against the 49ers, Panthers, and Buccaneers. Hurts must improve his passing ability in order to establish himself as a great quarterback in the NFL. McManus remarked
McManus’ confidence rating (on a scale of one to ten) is 3.9, down from 4.5. The Eagles have lost four of their last five games and have an obvious identity crisis on offense. They’ve completed the most challenging part of their schedule. Perhaps they’ll find some answers on the road against the Raiders and Lions in the next two weeks.
The Raiders will host the next game (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)
The “nfl week 6 power rankings” is a weekly article that provides an overview of the NFL’s six best teams, six worst teams, and two wildcard teams.
- nfl week 7
- week 6 nfl scores
- nfl week 6 2021 scores
- nfl schedule
- nfl week 7 predictions