NFL week six round-up
As the 2012 regular season nears its halfway point week six saw a few upsets and various tightly contested games. We take a look at the clash of the titans match-up in the NFC, Sunday night’s high scoring game and Mondays memorable clash between two AFC West rivals as well as a quick review of the other games that took place in the NFL this week.
New York Giants (4-2-0) 26-3 San Francisco 49ers (4-2-0)
In a repeat of last season’s NFC Championship game and quite possibly a preview of this year’s NFC Championship game the New York Giants walked into and all over the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
At the start of the second quarter San Francisco lead by three but then the nightmare day for quarterback Alex Smith started when he threw a pick to Prince Amukamara. The turnover resulted in a quick drive by the Giants which ended with Eli Manning throwing a six yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz.
New York only lead by seven at halftime but after Ahmad Bradshaw’s one yard touchdown run on a 3rd & goal there was no looking back by the Giants. The 49ers seemed to have the life sucked out of them after missing out on another key defensive redzone stop. Bradshaw was great for the Giants as he rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries for his one score.
So at 17-3 the 49ers looked to make it a one possession game but Alex Smith was picked off with just over ten minutes left in the third by Antrel Rolle. Rolle got two interceptions on the day for the Giants meaning that Smith threw three interceptions.
Smith came in to the game only throwing one pick on the year and on the back of a big win over Buffalo, the poor performance meant that he had his first three-interception game since 2009. His one highlight and one of the 49ers only positives was when Smith hooked up with Randy Moss downfield for a 55 yard catch.
On the other hand Eli Manning was very efficient for the Giants as he completed 15 out of 28 attempts for 193 yards and the one touchdown play. He managed the clock well and with the teams defense on top of their game everything clicked for New York. At 17-3 the next nine points came from three more Lawrence Tynes field goals which wrapped up the big 23 point victory.
After a slow start to the season the Giants are now top of the NFC East with a 4-2 record. Next week they face divisional rivals the Washington Redskins who are 3-3 in a big one as Manning faces an unfamiliar opponent in the shape of rookie RGIII who has looked impressive in his first season in the league.
As for the 49ers well their next opponents are the Seattle Seahawks meaning that it’s the clash of two of the NFL’s best defences and it is also a divisional matchup. Seattle got a big 24-23 win over the Patriots this week so the 49ers will need to bounce back and be at their best when they host them in a game which could have big playoff ramifications as the NFC West is tightly contested.
Green Bay Packers(3-3-0)42-24 Houston Texans(5-1-0)
Going in to week six only two teams were still undefeated but after Sunday night’s game the Houston Texans couldn’t boast anymore as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers looked like their old selves in a high scoring game at Reliant Stadium.
Aaron Rodgers put on a phenomenal display as the reigning league MVP tied a franchise record for the Packers by throwing six touchdown passes. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 337 yards as Green Bay bounced back from a tough loss to the Colts in week five.
The game started when Rodgers completed a 41 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson as the Packers got off to an explosive start. On the next possession Rodgers danced round the pocket to find Randall Cobb before finishing off the drive with a six yard touchdown play to James Jones who has seven TD receptions on the year.
Early in second Arian Foster cut the lead to seven with a one yard touchdown run but the 14 point lead was restored when Rodgers fired a 21 yard bullet in to the end zone for Nelson to haul in for the score. Shayne Graham kicked a field goal for Houston to leave the Texans down 21-10 at the half.
Any chance of a Houston comeback was cut short by the Green Bay’s opening second half drive as it took 6.44 off the clock. The 16 play, 80 yard march downfield ended with another Jordy Nelson touchdown reception but to make matters worse the drive could have resulted in just a field goal if the Texans were not penalised for unsportsmanlike conduct on a Green Bay field goal attempt.
Arian Foster got his second rushing touchdown to close the gap to 11 once again. Despite his two TD runs the running back only rushed for a disappointing 29 yards. The Texans didn’t turn the ball over early on but in the end it was as lacklustre for quarterback Matt Schaub as it was for his running back as he threw ywo picks and was sacked three times.
The game as a contest ended early in the fourth when Rodgers managed to throw to Tom Crabtree on a 48 yard touchdown play despite taking a big hit whilst throwing the ball. That put Green Bay up 35-17 and a couple of minutes later another touchdown was scored following a Sam Shields pick which set up Rodgers and co in good field position giving him the opportunity for his sixth touchdown pass; a 17 yard play to James Jones.
A late blocked punt return touchdown for the Texans meant that they lost by 18 when full-time came around. The defeat meant that only the Atlanta Falcons stayed unbeaten in the season following their victory earlier in the day against the Raiders taking them to 6-0.
As for the Packers well they were firing on all cylinders. The offense put in an extremely impressive performance and much like the many we saw during last year’s regular season. Aaron Rodgers monster throwing display meant that Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both racked up over 100 receiving yards.
Green Bay still sits third in the NFC North behind the Vikings and the Bears. They now look forward to a road game against the Rams who also hold a 3-3 record on the season. Meanwhile the Texans look to regroup as they have a huge match against AFC rivals the Baltimore Ravens who are also 5-1 meaning that the two teams in the AFC with the best records so far this season will play each other at Reliant Stadium in week seven.
Denver Broncos (3-3-0) 35-24 San Diego Chargers (3-3-0)
These two AFC West rivals did battle in a Monday Night classic. This game defined a tale of two halves with the Broncos being sluggish all throughout the first half before rallying from 24 points down to win the game by 11.
Denver’s comeback was mainly down to a bit of Manning magic as Peyton put on a master class by completing 24 of 30 passing attempts for 309 yards and three touchdown passes; one interception.
Some poor ball handling and special team plays cost Denver early on meaning that the Chargers led 10-0 at the end of the first thanks to a Nick Novak’s 32 yard field goal and a 15 yard touchdown pass from Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates.
Despite Rivers throwing an interception to Jim Leonard midway through the second quarter the Chargers returned an interception of their own when Quentin Jammer picked off Manning and got in to the end zone for an 80 yard play giving them a 17-0 lead with six minutes left in the half.
The Chargers completed an impressive first half when Rivers found Gates in the end zone again for an 11 yard touchdown play meaning that San Diego led 24-0 at the break leaving the Broncos to dwell on their mistakes.
But dwell for long they did not do, the Broncos received the ball to start the second half and got on the scoreboard with an eight play, 85 yard drive which resulted in a Demaryius Thomas 29 yard touchdown catch.
San Diego’s downfall started on its next drive. Rivers was sacked at midfield which resulted in a fumble that eventually found its way to Tony Carter who returned it 65 yards for a score bringing Denver within ten with 4.41 left in the third.
The fourth started with Denver in possession of the ball and still only down by just ten after the Chargers were forced to punt after their last drive. Manning found Jacob Tamme on a 3rd and 16 for a 25 yard gain to move the ball in to San Diego territory before capping the 9 play drive by hitting Eric Decker on a short 2nd and 3 pass for a 7 yard touchdown to make it a three point contest with plenty of time remaining.
Rivers threw his second interception of the game, this time to Tony Carter who had a big game for the Broncos and his 15 yard return following the pick put Denver at midfield to start their next drive. Manning took advantage of another favourable field position with a 21 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley on the right side of the end zone to put the Broncos on top 28-24.
San Diego looked to make it interesting and moved the ball to the Denver 41 yard line but the drive was cut short when Rivers threw his third pick of the game as Chris Harris made a diving catch to haul in the interception. The resulting drive ended in no score but then Harris got his second pick which meant Rivers threw four interceptions on the day and this time the Denver cornerback returned the ball in to the end zone for a 46 yard touchdown.
The memorable comeback was complete with Denver racking up 35 unanswered points in the second half and the win means that the Broncos are now tied with San Diego at the top of the division with both teams holding a 3-3 record after 6 games as they head in to their bye week.
Roundup of week 6’s other results:
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3-0) 23-26 Tennessee Titans (2-4-0) – The Titans grabbed a narrow win at LP Field when Rob Bironas kicked a 40 yard field goal as time expired.
Oakland Raiders (1-4-0) 20-23 Atlanta Falcons (6-0-0) – It was closer than many expected but the Falcons remained undefeated with a win at home over Oakland thanks to a 55 yard field goal by kicker Matt Bryant.
Dallas Cowboys (2-3-0) 29-31 Baltimore Ravens (5-1-0) – This win for the Ravens gave them control of the AFC North while defeat for the Cowboys leaves them bottom of the NFC East as they missed out on overtime by failing to convert a 2 point conversion late in the 4th to tie the game.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-3-0) 24-34 Cleveland Browns (1-5-0) – The Bengals had a shot to move to 4-2 but were brought back down to earth as Cleveland won their first game of the season by 10.
St. Louis Rams (3-3-0) 14-17 Miami Dolphins (3-3-0) – Both teams needed to win with both in tightly contested divisions and it was Miami who came out on top as rookie QB Ryan Tannehill stole the show.
Indianapolis Colts (2-3-0) 9-35 New York Jets (3-3-0) – The Colts were brought back down to earth following week 5’s emotional win over Green Bay as the Jets literally ran riot in a blowout.
Detroit Lions (2-3-0) 26-23 Philadelphia Eagles (3-3-0) – A late rally by Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions sent this game to overtime with Jason Hanson kicking the game winning field goal.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-5-0) 10-38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3-0) – The Chiefs’ tough start to the season continued as they lost heavily on the road to the Bucs by 28.
Buffalo Bills (3-3-0) 19-16 Arizona Cardinals (4-2-0) – This win for the Bills in overtime kept them on track with the other 3 teams in the AFC East as the Cardinals slipped to a second straight defeat.
New England Patriots (3-3-0) 23-24 Seattle Seahawks (3-3-0) – The best offense in the NFL met the best defense and defense prevailed as missed opportunities for the Patriots cost them meaning that a late touchdown for the Seahawks got them a big win leaving New England stunned.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2-0) 26-38 Washington Redskins (3-3-0) – RGIII’s spectacular 76 yard touchdown run late in the fourth killed the Vikings off as the Redskins got a huge home win ahead of a divisional week seven matchup vs the Giants.