NFL – 2016 WEEK 6 – STATS THAT STICK OUT
Drew Brees, QB (Saints)
CAR 38 at NO 41
Brees makes this list for the 2nd time in 6 weeks with his brilliant performance on Sunday. This time, he threw for 465 yards and 4 TDs. It becomes his 15th 400-yard game which breaks a tie with Peyton Manning for most all time in the regular season. Ironically, WR Brandin Cooks contributed to Brees’ success yet again with an 87-yard touchdown catch, making this duo one of the most vibrant tandems in the league. Interesting note: No team has gained more yards or allowed more yards than the Saints since the start of the 2012 season. This fact defines this team. Brees has to work hard just to keep them in the mix.
Jay Ajayi, RB (Dolphins)
PIT 15 at MIA 30
It’s too bad most of the buzz about this game was spent on news of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury and subsequent season-ending surgery when Miami RB Jay Ajayi was so outstanding. He ran for 204 yards which was the first 200-yard rushing game in the NFL this season and the first for the Dolphins since Reggie Bush did it in 2011. Ajayi also ran for 8.2 yards per carry and scored 2 TDs in 25 attempts including a 62-yard TD run up the right sideline in the 4Q. What’s even more amazing is the fact that he never had more than 13 carries in an NFL game. This talented 23-year-old sophomore from Boise State could be the answer to the struggling Dolphins prayers on offense.
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR (Giants)
BAL 23 at NYG 27
Well, well, well. Beckham makes this list in a legitimate way a week after I poked fun at him for having the best-selling jersey despite his overall poor performance this season and weird behaviors. But, in Week 6 he actually earns our respect for real having caught for 222 yards and 2 TDs including a 75-yard TD catch and another 66-yard game-winner. It wasn’t all good, however. Beckham’s antics on the field after catching the 66-yarder with just 1:24 left almost cost the Giants the game. Inexplicably, he yanked off his helmet during his TD celebration and it prompted a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. He’s lucky the Ravens were not able to capitalize on the violation and come back to win the game.
Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys)
DAL 30 at GB 16
Last week I praised Dallas’ rushing offense. This week my kudos go to the team’s rookie QB, Dak Prescott. But, who isn’t extoling their approval for this guy? Since he set foot on the field in the pre-season, he has wowed us with a surprising maturity and grace under pressure and has performed extremely well. During Week 6, Prescott broke Tom Brady’s record (162) for most pass attempts without an interception to begin a career, which also ended at 176. He earned a passer rating of 100+ in 5 of 6 starts, has completed 68.7 percent of his passes, has an 8.2 yard per attempt average and an impressive 7-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. The team has also rallied behind Prescott, and now the Cowboys stand at 5-1 and have a strong chance of winning the NFC East. This is a bye week for Dallas. All eyes will be on them Week 8. To bring in Romo or not to bring him in, that is the ultimate question for this team going forward.
Marcus Peters, CB (Chiefs)
KC 26 at OAK 10
It’s special when a player has the ability to create momentum and give others the confidence to win and Peters is one of those people. Entering Week 6, the 2nd year first-round pick from the 2015 draft was the NFL’s leader in interceptions with 4, but his 5th on Sunday did more than just let him keep that distinction. Early in the game when the Chiefs were down by 7 points, Peters used his instinctual ability to sense when Raiders QB Derek Carr would attempt a long pass that would carry, so he looked up and intercepted it. That was the spark the Chiefs needed to hold one of the top scoring passing offenses down and go on to win. Peters is known to be clutch in big moments and other team members have noticed like veteran LB Derrick Johnson. He said of Peters after the game: “He’s one of our great young players. When he got that pick, it kind of lifted the whole team.” Last year, Peters finished the regular season tied for 1st most interceptions (8), had the most defensive interception yards by far (280) and which included 2 TDs, one of which was a long 90-yard TD. Going forward, the Chiefs will need Peters to continue to inspire and help lift them to the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers
BUF 45 at SF 16
I hate to put my favorite team since childhood on this list for a dubious distinction, but it is a fact: The 49ers are the worst team in the NFL this year under new head coach Chip Kelly. They are rated in the following categories so far this season: Total Offense: LAST. Passing Offense: LAST. Total Defense: ONE OF THE LAST. Rush Defense: LAST. Ouch. I’ve written posts before about Kelly and don’t dislike his style, but his unwillingness to adjust away from the over-scouted spread offense and the reputed disconnect with past locker rooms is troubling. Still, I guess we should give him a chance in the new location away from Philadelphia, as he now has the 3rd youngest roster in the NFL. But, of course, we have to get through this season first. Week 6 was hard enough, as the Bills came to town and spanked the 49ers in every way. Not good when Buffalo has its own struggles this season. They also came away with terrible reviews of QB Colin Kaepernick. An anonymous Bills player said about him, “Done. Terrible.” Yeah, that sums up the season.
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