It’s painful enough to be a Chicago Bears (1-5) fan these days after they blew another fourth-quarter lead and it’s no better in Cleveland, so we’re going to leave them out of this roundup of the Week 6 worst. Normally this introduction space would quickly recap the Monday night game but the Jets turned in such a heinous performance that they belong below. If you know a Jets fan, sit near one, or are married to one: tread carefully today.
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Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets offense ruin hopes and dreams
The Jets were the only team this week to score fewer than 10 points (they scored 3). Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career statistical year last season but here’s why the Jets were unwilling to sign him to a long-term deal: he’s just not very good and has played poorly against better competition. The Jets don’t have or don’t use a pass catching tight end so, especially with Eric Decker out, it’s Brandon Marshall or bust and defenses know it. On Monday night, the Jets couldn’t run, either, averaging just 2.4 yards per carry on 14 tries, mostly by Matt Forte.
Geno Smith was unspectacular in relief so we may soon find out whether the Jets are carrying four quarterbacks just for fun (2015 fourth-round draft pick Bryce Petty and 2016 second-round draft pick Christian Hackenberg).
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The San Francisco 49ers linebackers can’t stop anything
Credit a very creative Buffalo Bills offensive game plan and a strong performance from the O-line but phew, the 49ers got totally and completely gashed by Bills rushers to the tune of 312 yards allowed on 44 carries (7.1 average) and four rushing scores. The Niners are really, really missing inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Also, it doesn’t help that San Fran’s defense lives on the field due to Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
The league is reviewing both incidents. Burfict has long lost the benefit of the doubt. He was standing upright when a pass came Bennett’s way and went low, made contact at the knee, and didn’t attempt to wrap him up. If fines and suspensions don’t get through to him, maybe nothing will.
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The Indianapolis Colts defense plays 56 minutes but not the final four
The Colts defense and particularly the secondary is paper thin and after 3-and-a-half quarters of Brock Osweiler stinking, Indy melted down and did some of the work for the struggling Texans quarterback. Sloppy coverage, missed tackles, a little bit of everything as the Texans came back from 23-9 down and won in overtime. Here’s the touchdown by Lamar Miller when Indy got Yakety Saxed(also pictured) and drew within a touchdown.
Texans fans who had to go check their brisket
All 30,000 or so of them who emptied the stadium before the Texans mounted a comeback. Big Vince Wilfork, linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and Brock Osweiler noticed. “For all the fans who left, I hope their brisket turned out OK, they had to go home and check it,” Wilfork said. “It sucks, but it is what it is. At the end of the day we play for the guys that are in (the locker room) and the true fans, so to look up in the fourth quarter and still have a shot in the game and see half of the stadium empty it was surprising. I never encountered that before.”
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The Pittsburgh Steelers run defense gets ripped
The overall Steelers effort was fairly putrid as they turned in their annual playing-down-to-competition stinker but the defense deserves special recognition for getting pushed around and sealed off to the tune of 222 Dolphins rushing yards on 36 carries (6.2 average), most of them coming from Jay Ajayi. Meanwhile Ryan Tannehill hardly got pressured after spending much of the previous four weeks (albeit behind replacement linemen at times) on his back.
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The Eagles right tackle spot goes from strength to liability
Previously occupied by the suspended Lane Johnson (10 games), now belonging to rookie tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai or “Big V,” who made his first career start and struggled mightily. According to ProFootballFocus figures, Vaitai allowed five pressures in only 29 Carson Wentz dropbacks. “[Vaitai] gives us the best opportunity to win right now,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Monday, telling reporters that Big V will be back out there against the Vikings, which is going to pit him against Danielle Hunter and Brian Robinson.Vaitai is going to need some help if the Eagles want Wentz to survive.
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The Carolina Panthers secondary is… bad
Six weeks in, it’s apparent this is a lost season for the defending NFC Champion Panthers. There’s plenty of blame to go around from the front office to the offensive line to Cam Newton but the secondary, now starting three rookies, has been getting shredded week in and week out. Drew Brees is always a bit more lethal at home but giving up 465 passing yards and getting completely faked out on double moves is never acceptable. Perhaps this trial by fire will benefit them next year but tthe Panthers did not intend to be playing for next year.
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In which we wonder why Aaron Rodgers isn’t very Rodgers-like
With great talent comes heightened scrutiny. Sure, some QBs played worse than Rodgers in Week 6 but Rodgers is a former MVP winner. The box score lies (31-for-42 for 294 yards) because he played with a clean pocket on almost every play and didn’t face much pressure at all, but still missed throws, failed to find open receivers, fumble twice and threw a really bad interception when he flat-out didn’t see Cowboys safety Barry Church and threw it right to him. After a brutal home loss, the Packers and Rodgers probably will welcome the short week to turn the page against the Bears on Thursday night.
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The officials’ non-call on Richard Sherman’s late interference against Julio Jones
Football fans don't want to watch yellow flag fiesta but people do want to see the officials get it right. On the fateful fourth down play late in the Falcons-Seahawks game, when Julio Jones was streaking down the seam with under two minutes left in a 26-24 contest, Richard Sherman grabbed and locked Jones’ right arm leaving the big wideout with only his left side to try to bring the ball down.
From the viewer’s vantage on replay it was pretty blatant. But the nearest official must have been obstructed (view as pictured) by Sherman and interference calls aren’t reviewable. At least not now. Understandably, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn reacted like a child who simultaneously had his candy and video games taken away. The competition committee ought to consider allowing review on late-game calls or maybe coaches challenges because no one wants to see Dan Quinn without his candy or potential playoff tie-breakers decided in this fashion.