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    On the surface, the NFL is a pass-fail league. Teams pass when they win, fail when they lose and should probably get an “incomplete” when they squeeze out a tie.

    In reality, things aren’t that cut and dry. There is almost always a middle ground on the grading scale.

    In Week 6, for example, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a remarkable comeback victory, but their win wasn’t perfect. The Buffalo Bills lost a sloppy game, but there were still positives to take away from it.

    The Oakland Raiders… well, OK, the Raiders deserve a failing grade for their embarrassment against the Seattle Seahawks in London.

    How did your favorite team grade out in Week 6? Let’s take a look.


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    Week 6 Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

    Result: Lost 27-17

    Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen continues to show glimpses of promise. He and fellow rookie Christian Kirk (77 receiving yards) are building a rapport and giving fans a look at what the future might be. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough talent around Rosen for him to be successful now.

    Against the Minnesota Vikings, it was largely the run defense (6.1 yards per carry allowed) that let Arizona down. The Vikings were able to pull away in the second half after holding a 13-10 advantage at the break.

    While Rosen does have Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, he doesn’t have much else to work with. His offensive line, which allowed a ton of pressure and four sacks, saw Mike Iupati and Justin Pugh both leave the game with injuries. This only added to Rosen’s degree of difficulty.

    On a positive note, while the run defense struggled, Arizona was able to get after quarterback Kirk Cousins (four sacks) and create a couple of turnovers. Budda Baker even scored when Cousins fumbled.

    It’s the development of young talent like Rosen, Kirk and Baker—not the win-loss record—that will make the season fun for Cardinals fans.

    Week 6 Grade: C

    Season Grade: D+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Result: Won 34-29

    After falling flat in Week 5, the Atlanta Falcons offense rebounded in a big way against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Matt Ryan (354 passing yards, three touchdowns) and Julio Jones (10 catches for 143 yards) sliced the Buccaneers secondary apart.

    As has been the case with this team all season, the Falcons wouldn’t have won had their passing game not been on point.

    The Atlanta defense was once again a disaster. Jameis Winston threw for 395 yards in his first start of the season, and the Buccaneers rushing attack—which has been virtually nonexistent—averaged 6.2 yards per carry.

    The Falcons have lost key defenders like Keanu Neal and Deion Jones to injury, and the defense has been atrocious without them. Running back Devonta Freeman also missed Sunday’s game because of a foot injury, and the ground game (3.2 yards per carry) struggled without him.

    Atlanta is a one-dimensional team in its current state, and it isn’t likely to make a playoff push by only beating divisional opponents.

    Week 6 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: C-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Tennessee Titans

    Result: Won 21-0

    A few teams had bounce-back performances in Week 6, but the Baltimore Ravens may have had the biggest. A week after falling short in a defensive struggle that lasted into overtime, Baltimore got off to a fast offensive start against the Tennessee Titans.

    Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, and while the offense bogged down after that, it didn’t need to do much.

    This is because the Ravens had perhaps the best defensive performance we’ve seen this year. They held the Titans to just 106 yards of total offense and sacked Marcus Mariota a near-record 11 times. Tennessee punted on all nine possessions and only made it into Ravens territory once.

    “We believe we can be a special defense, and we took strides toward that today,” safety Eric Weddle said, via the team’s official website.

    If the Ravens defense can keep playing like this, Baltimore is going to be a feared force come January.

    Week 6 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: B

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    Week 6 Opponent: Houston Texans

    Result: Lost 20-13

    The Buffalo Bills defense deserves better. Head coach Sean McDermott has the unit playing at a high level, yet it often doesn’t matter. The Houston Texans came away victorious Sunday despite having only 216 yards of total offense.

    The Bills have two glaring issues right now: poor quarterback play and a laughable offensive line. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen was constantly harassed and took several hard shots, which eventually forced him out of the game.

    To be fair to the offensive line, Allen has to be smarter and stop causing some of those hits himself.

    Allen finished with only 84 passing yards, but Nathan Peterman wasn’t much better. He had 61 yards and a touchdown, but he also ended Buffalo’s final two drives with interceptions, the latter of which Houston returned for a game-winning score.

    The 2018 season was always going to be a rebuilding year for the Bills, and the two wins to this point have represented progress. However, games like Sunday’s show just how far Buffalo—and in particular, Allen—are from getting back to the postseason.

    Week 6 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Washington Redskins

    Result: Lost 23-17

    If the Carolina Panthers hope to win the NFC South in 2018, they’d better start playing more efficient football. Last week, it took a 63-yard field goal to beat the New York Giants. This week, it took a second-half comeback to even have a shot at beating the Washington Redskins.

    Carolina couldn’t recover from its 17-6 halftime deficit, though, and the team now sits at 3-2.

    The early hole largely came about because of mistakes. D.J. Moore fumbled twice in the first half, Cam Newton threw a pick, and Graham Gano missed an extra point. An inability to contain the Washington offense doomed the Panthers as they tried to climb out of it.

    Washington held the ball for nearly 18 minutes in the second half.

    Carolina has another NFC East opponent on tap for Week 7, and things aren’t going to get any easier. The Philadelphia Eagles will be coming off a 10-day break and riding the momentum of a dominant divisional win over the Giants.

    Week 6 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C

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    Week 6 Opponent: Miami Dolphins

    Result: Lost 31-28 (OT)

    At times this season, the Chicago Bears have looked like a surefire playoff team. However, they’re still a young, rebuilding team that needs to learn to win with consistency. Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins was proof of that.

    Chicago waltzed into the Week 5 bye after a dominant 48-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They tripped out of it, falling flat in one of the ugliest games of the week.

    Surprisingly, it was the usually stout Bears defense that struggled. It surrendered 380 yards passing to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, 541 yards of total offense and a pair of long (43 yards, 75 yards) touchdown receptions by Albert Wilson.

    The Bears did get another strong game out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (316 yards, three touchdowns, one pick), but this asking him to bail out the team should not be the game plan. Chicago better hope its defense can tighten up by next weekend when the New England Patriots come to town.

    Week 6 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Result: Lost 28-21

    As expected, Sunday’s battle between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers was close, physical and, yes, a bit dirty at times. It also ended in another heartbreaking loss for the Bengals.

    Give Cincinnati credit. The Bengals hung in with their hated rivals for the entire game, and they put themselves in position to win it late. Andy Dalton drove the Bengals down the field and threw the go-ahead touchdown pass with a little more than a minute remaining.

    Unfortunately, Cincinnati’s defense fell apart on the ensuing drive and allowed Antonio Brown to split the middle of the field on a game-winning touchdown.

    Games like this one make it hard to take the Bengals as serious Super Bowl contenders. The Steelers have now won seven in a row against the Bengals, and they’re only a half-game back in the division.

    Even if the Bengals do get to the postseason, they don’t seem likely to make much noise at the moment.

    Week 6 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: B

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    Week 6 Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

    Result: Lost 38-14

    After playing in five close games to start the season—and going 2-2-1 in the process—the Cleveland Browns had generated a ton of energy, momentum and promise. Against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, they gave fans a reminder that this is still a rebuilding team and not a top-tier contender.

    Philip Rivers, Tyrell Williams and Melvin Gordon shredded Cleveland’s defense, while rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield played almost the whole game with the Los Angeles pass rush in his face.

    It didn’t help that the Browns were without receivers Rashard Higgins and Derrick Willies. It helped even less that players like Antonio Callaway kept dropping would-be touchdowns.

    “We’ve got to have those,” Mayfield said of the missed scoring opportunities, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

    The future is still bright for the Browns. However, this one got ugly quickly, and what continues to look like an overwhelmed coaching staff had no answers for getting it back under control.

    Week 6 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

    Result: 40-7

    Maybe, just maybe, the Dallas Cowboys have figured out their formula for a powerful offense. For a week, anyway, it appears so.

    Dallas scored a mere 16 points through four quarters and most of overtime last week. The team scored 17 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars by the middle of the second quarter.

    The Cowboys defense did its part in holding the Jaguars to just 204 total yards, but it was a dedication to the run game that gave Dallas control. The Cowboys ran the ball 42 times and held the ball for just under 39 minutes of game time.

    Getting Dak Prescott (11 carries, 82 yards) involved in the running game was a smart decision. It kept Jacksonville’s defense off-balance, slowed the pass rush and helped save a little wear and tear on running back Ezekiel Elliott.

    Once Dallas got out to a 24-0 halftime lead, its defensive line was able to pin its ears back and get after Blake Bortles. Making the Jaguars offense one-dimensional allowed the Cowboys to easily close out the game.

    This is the Cowboys team fans have been waiting to see, and it’s one that can be a real threat in the division.

    Week 6 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

    Result: Lost 23-20

    Give the Denver Broncos credit for fighting back in the second half, but while the final score may make this game appear close, it’s a mirage. The Broncos scored their last touchdown on the wrong side of the two-minute warning, and when the onside kick failed, the Los Angeles Rams closed it out.

    The Rams had a 20-3 lead in the third quarter and were able to grind out the game from there.

    As good as Denver’s pass defense was against Jared Goff (one interception, five sacks), it was equally bad against the run. Todd Gurley rushed for 208 yards and two scores. By doing so, he became the second player in two weeks to rush for more than 200 yards against the Broncos.

    A subpar first half from quarterback Case Keenum (13-of-21 for 137 yards through two quarters) helped put Denver in a hole. And the Broncos’ fragility against the run prevented any realistic chance of a comeback.

    “Case is our quarterback,” head coach Vance Joseph said, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

    Sticking with Keenum is the right call, especially with a quick turnaround and a Thursday night game with Arizona upcoming. The trick will be fixing the defense by then.

    Week 6 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C-

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    Week 6 Bye

    The Detroit Lions are an intriguing team. They’ve beaten the New England Patriots and the rival Green Bay Packers. They’ve also lost to the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets. Detroit has looked like a dominant force in the wins and a marginal also-ran in the losses.

    Even though Detroit is sitting in the NFC North basement, though, the team is only a game back from the Bears. If the Lions can carry the momentum of last week’s win over Green Bay out of the bye week and into Miami, they can get right in the thick of the divisional race.

    Season Grade: C

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    Week 6 Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

    Result: Won 33-30

    Kicker Mason Crosby got a bit of redemption on Monday night when he kicked the game-winner as time expired. Still, the Packers are in some trouble. They’re still alive in the NFC North race, but they do not have the look of a team that can make any real noise in the postseason. The reason? Green Bay’s defense.

    This was a unit that looked to be turning the corner early in the season—it even pitched a shutout the last time the Packers were at home. Against the San Francisco 49ers, it more often appeared to be turning away from the ball-carrier.

    Yes, Clay Matthews had a key sack in the fourth quarter, and Kevin King snagged the interception that gave Green Bay life. However, there just weren’t many impact plays by Green Bay’s defense. It spent much of the rest of the game making C.J. Beathard comfortable and allowing Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida to run wild.

    It took absolute magic from Aaron Rodgers after the pick to set up Crosby’s kick, and this isn’t a formula the Packers can expect to follow every week and consistently win. Green Bay should feel good about Rodgers and Co. fighting back without wideouts Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, but it should hope it isn’t in that position again.

    Week 6 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: C+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Buffalo Bills

    Result: Won 20-13

    It wasn’t a pretty win for the Texans, but it was an important one for a team that remains in the AFC South race at 3-3.

    “I think that was an important win right there,” head coach Bill O’Brien said afterward. “As a team, this is a very tough and resilient football team. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

    It’s good that Houston continues to show a lot of fight, because this team isn’t playing a polished brand of football.

    Deshaun Watson (177 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) had a down day against Buffalo’s defense, and Houston’s running game was mostly ineffective. However, the Texans were able to lean on J.J. Watt—who appears to be all the way back—and the defense to get the win.

    A Johnathan Joseph pick-six in the fourth quarter proved to be the deciding score.

    The Texans are not Super Bowl contenders, but they’ll be firmly in the divisional race if they knock off the Jaguars next week.

    Week 6 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: C

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    Week 6 Opponent: New York Jets

    Result: Lost 42-34

    We saw an Andrew Luck who looked 100 percent healthy Sunday. However, we also saw an Indianapolis Colts team that doesn’t have enough talent around Luck to consistently compete.

    Seriously, Indianapolis’ receiving corps looks like it’s populated by AI-generated rookies in Madden franchise mode.

    Yes, Luck was responsible for three interceptions that ruined Indianapolis’ chances of keeping pace on the scoreboard. However, every bad decision he makes is amplified by the fact that he has to try doing too much for the Colts to have a chance.

    “Stupid is the only word that comes to mind,” Luck said of his team’s performance, per Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star.

    The Colts looked like the worst team in the league Sunday, and from a talent standpoint, they just might be. When Luck starts slipping up like he did against the Jets, they’re going to have a hard time beating anyone.

    Week 6 Grade: D

    Season Grade: D+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

    Result: Lost 40-7

    Last year, the Jaguars were the darlings of the NFL. Over the last couple of weeks, they’ve been no one’s darlings…they’ve been downright painful to watch.

    If you think the problem is as simple as missing Leonard Fournette and some poor play from Blake Bortles, you’re mistaken.

    Over the last two weeks, the Jaguars defense has underperformed. That may have been expected against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, but seeing the Jaguars get dismantled by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys was surprising.

    Dallas amassed 378 yards of total offense, with 206 of it on the ground.

    It didn’t help that the Jaguars were without Fournette and that Bortles (15-of-26, 149 yards) had another poor outing. However, this is a team built to win with defense, and right now, that doesn’t even feel possible.

    Perhaps the Jaguars can regain some dignity in a winnable game against Houston next week.

    Week 6 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C-

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    Week 6 Opponent: New England Patriots

    Result: Lost 43-40

    A suspect defense was eventually going to cost the Chiefs. It finally happened against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, though to be fair, Kansas City may well have won this game if it held the last possession.

    The Chiefs didn’t hold the last possession, though, because that poor defense allowed New England to move the ball at its own pace on the game-winning drive. It was one final collapse against a Patriots team that had 500 yards of offense, 31 first downs and never punted.

    The takeaway here is that Andy Reid needs to do a better job of managing the game against teams that can trade blows with his offense. There’s no question the Chiefs can strike quickly—Tyreek Hill had a 75-yard touchdown reception, and another score was set up by a 97-yard Tremon Smith kick return—but against the Patriots, they needed to control the clock.

    Only giving Kareem Hunt 10 carries was a mistake.

    If the Chiefs face New England again in the playoffs, they need to hold the ball longer…and hold it last.

    Week 6 Grade: C

    Season Grade: B+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Cleveland Browns

    Result: Won 38-14

    The Chargers came into the season as a trendy Super Bowl pick, and on Sunday, they finally looked like a team that could reach the big game. Cleveland’s mistakes and poor game-management helped L.A., but this was still a dominant win from start to finish.

    The Chargers defense pressured Mayfield early, limited the run game—Carlos Hyde averaged less than 2.5 yards per carry—and forced the Browns to lean on a depleted receiving corps.

    Offensively, Los Angeles leaned on Melvin Gordon, who averaged more than seven yards per rush while adding three touchdowns on the ground.

    Philip Rivers didn’t have to do a lot in this game, but when he did, he was mostly efficient. He had two big strikes to Tyrell Williams (three receptions, 118 yards, two touchdowns) that seemed to almost break Cleveland’s will.

    The Chargers faced a tough challenge heading east and playing in the early game. They responded with a nearly perfect performance. The Chargers are only going to get better as guys like Joey Bosa and Travis Benjamin get healthy and back into the lineup, which should concern the rest of the AFC.

    Week 6 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: B

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    Week 4 Opponent: Denver Broncos

    Result: Won 23-20

    In and of itself, the Rams’ win over the Broncos wasn’t overly impressive. It was a convincing victory, but it did come against an inferior opponent. What is impressive is that Los Angeles found yet another way to earn a victory.

    This time, the Rams had to overcome a pass rush that terrorized Jared Goff, the loss of wideout Cooper Kupp to injury and a defense that allowed Denver back in the game in the second half. They did so by riding Todd Gurley and the ground game.

    “He was outstanding, really throughout the whole day,” coach Sean McVay said, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com. “Made an impact in a variety of ways, ran hard.”

    Los Angeles has now won handily in games via defense, the pass and the run. This is a sign of a team that is both balanced and adaptable. It’s a big reason why the Rams remain the league’s lone unbeaten team and a Super Bowl favorite.

    Week 6 Grade: B

    Season Grade: A-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Chicago Bears

    Result: Won 31-28 (OT)

    It’s been a weird start to the season for the Dolphins. They started 3-0 and then got embarrassed by the Patriots and blew a 14-point lead to the Bengals. It’s hard to know exactly what this team is.

    Sunday’s game didn’t paint a clearer picture. Brock Osweiler made the surprise start in place of an injured Ryan Tannehill, Frank Gore (101 yards, 6.7 per carry) was the focus of the rushing attack, and Kenyan Drake fumbled at Chicago’s 1-yard line in overtime.

    Of course, Miami pulled out the win.

    We can’t possibly know which Dolphins team is going to show up next week against Detroit, and we don’t even know who will be under center. Head coach Adam Gase had little to say about Tannehill’s health.

    “The details of it, we’ll keep that to us,” Gase said, per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. “You guys don’t need to know that.”

    You can say the Dolphins got lucky to rebound from Drake’s fumble and still win in overtime, but you also have to admit Miami has played well enough to be sitting at 4-2.

    Week 6 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Week 6 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

    Result: Won 27-17

    The Vikings didn’t have the services of injured running back Dalvin Cook against the Cardinals, but it turns out they didn’t need him. Latavius Murray (155 yards rushing, one touchdown) carried the ground game, and Kirk Cousins made enough timely throws to pull out the win.

    The game got off to a rocky start, though, as the Vikings had one first-half drive end on a failed fourth-down attempt, one end in an interception and another end with a fumble-six.

    However, sticking with the run allowed Minnesota to pull away in the second half.

    “Sometimes you get a two-yard gain and you get frustrated,” head coach Mike Zimmer said, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “Might be two [yards] and two, and then it might be 22. So you just have to keep pounding away and pounding away.”

    The Vikings are beginning to look like a real threat in the NFC North. They also might just have the league’s best receiver in Adam Thielen, who now has six consecutive 100-yard games.

    Week 6 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: B-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

    Result: Won 43-40

    This was a coaching victory for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. The ever-adapting coach went run-heavy against a team he knew could win a shootout, and it paid off.

    The Patriots ran the ball 38 times for 173 yards, and this helped them control the tempo and limit Patrick Mahomes’ time with the ball. Most importantly, the run game allowed New England to bleed the final three minutes off the clock on its final drive.

    Kansas City had four touchdown drives in the second half that lasted four plays or fewer. Not giving the Chiefs one last shot was critical.

    Tom Brady was once again masterful (340 yards, one touchdown), and the defense deserves some credit for snagging two interceptions and forcing the Chiefs to settle for three first-half field goals. However, it was the game plan and the execution from running backs Sony Michel and James White that gave New England the win.

    Week 6 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

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    Week 6 Bye

    It’s hard to envision a team heading into the bye with more momentum than the New Orleans Saints did this week. Last Monday, Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time passing leader, and the Saints capped a four-game winning streak with a blowout victory over Washington.

    It’s also hard to envision a more interesting matchup than New Orleans’ offense against a dominant Ravens defense, which is what we’re going to get in Week 7.

    Season Grade: B

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    Week 6 Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

    Result: Lost 34-13

    New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was superb on Thursday night. He racked up 130 yards rushing, 99 yards receiving and essentially was New York’s entire offense against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Unfortunately, everything else about the Giants’ night was about as ugly as could be.

    Eli Manning had no time in the pocket. He consistently failed to get the ball to open receivers because of hurried throws, and the offense lacked energy all night.

    New York’s defense was equally apathetic. At times, Giants defenders looked like they didn’t even want to be on the field. When they did appear engaged, they often got lost in coverage.

    The Giants are underachieving on on offense—there’s no other way to view it when they have Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram—but this is a team falling short in all phases of the game.

    The Giants aren’t technically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but no one should be expecting a surprise run.

    Week 6 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

    Result: Won 42-34

    Since getting blown out by the Jaguars in Week 4, the Jets have won back-to-back games and returned themselves to AFC East relevance.

    Part of the turnaround has been more efficient play by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. He passed for 280 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Indianapolis. The bigger piece has been a defense that is finally starting to make the most of its opportunities.

    That defense picked off Andrew Luck three times, got another turnover via a fumble and put six points on the board on the second play from scrimmage.

    Oh, and kicker Jason Myers chipped in with a franchise-record seven field goals.

    New York will need to start finishing drives with touchdowns instead of three-point attempts. However, even an ugly win like this one is big for a franchise that hopes its latest rebuild can be a quick one.

    Week 6 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

    Result: Lost 27-3

    Regardless of whether you thought the officials handed the Oakland Raiders a shot a victory two weeks ago, one thing is clear: The Raiders were lucky to get it.

    This team is bad no matter what side of the Atlantic it’s playing on.

    Against the Seattle Seahawks in London, the Raiders played uninspired football. Not even Marshawn Lynch (45 yards, 3.5 yards per carry) looked like he wanted to be on the field against his former team. Derek Carr (142 yards passing) failed to stretch the field, although to be fair, he lost both Seth Roberts and Amari Cooper to concussions.

    Carr may soon lose Cooper to a trade. According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Raiders are shopping both him and safety Karl Joseph.

    Unfortunately, moving Cooper and Joseph won’t fix a defense that often looks like it isn’t even trying. Oakland amazingly improved on its season averages heading into Sunday (404.4 yards, 29.8 points per game) by allowing 369 yards of offense and 27 points to Seattle.

    Jon Gruden has clearly started the tearing down and rebuilding of the Raiders. The big-picture problem is that there doesn’t appear to be a definitive plan from here.

    Week 6 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D-

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    Week 6 Opponent: New York Giants

    Result: Won 34-13

    Giants fans will likely tell you that Thursday night was another chapter in the decline of Eli Manning. This may be true. But it was also another chapter in Carson Wentz’s return from a torn ACL.

    Although Wentz was under constant pressure early, he never got rattled. He kept his composure, glided around the pocket to avoid pressure and made some amazing throws with unconventional arm angles to cut through the collapsing pocket.

    Wentz got help from a backfield rotation proved functional even without Jay Ajayi, who is out for the year with a torn ACL. Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement combined for 94 yards on the ground, and while the rushing attack wasn’t spectacular, it was enough to keep New York’s defense honest in the second half.

    Philadelphia’s defense wasn’t perfect, but it stiffened significantly in the red zone and kept touchdowns off the board more often than not.

    The Eagles aren’t all the way back to championship form, but they’re well on their way.

    Week 6 Grade: A

    Season Grade: C+

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    Week 6 Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

    Result: Won 28-21

    The Steelers weren’t as dominant this week as they were against the Falcons in Week 5. However, their late comeback win over the rival Bengals may help them build even more momentum moving forward.

    The Steelers are now only a half-game behind the Bengals in the AFC North and have a head-to-head win.

    Pittsburgh also killed the momentum Cincinnati would have gotten from completing three consecutive fourth-quarter comebacks. The Bengals nearly did so after scoring a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining, but Ben Roethlisberger and Co. played spoiler.

    “With Ben, you always have a chance,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster said, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler.

    Pittsburgh got another strong game from running back James Conner (111 yards rushing, two touchdowns) and it’ll be worth watching how head coach Mike Tomlin handles his backfield with Le’Veon Bell reportedly on the verge of returning.

    This is still a flawed team, particularly on defense, but Pittsburgh has a lot to build on during the Week 7 bye.

    Week 6 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

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    Week 6 Opponent: Green Bay Packers

    Result: Lost 33-30

    Give 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback C.J. Beathard a lot of credit. Shanahan put together an offensive game plan to attack the Packers with his backup quarterback, and Beathard executed it to near perfection.

    Well, up until his fourth-quarter interception, anyway.

    This is a game the 49ers can build off of. Heck, this wasn’t a game many even expected San Francisco to be in; OddsShark had them as nine-point underdogs heading into Monday night.

    The 49ers controlled the game on the ground, allowed Beathard to make some downfield throws and limited Rodgers’ opportunities on the on the other side. Unfortunately, they did give him one last shot with just over a minute remaining, and it proved to be all he needed to steal the win.

    Of course, San Francisco isn’t going to face a quarterback who can pull the rabbit out of his hat the way Rodgers can every week. The 49es are going to win some games down the stretch and continue building for next season.

    Week 6 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: C-

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    Tim Ireland/Associated Press

    Week 6 Opponent: Oakland Raiders

    Result: Won 27-3

    For the first time all season, the Seahawks finally looked like the type of dominant playoff-bound team they were earlier in the decade. All it took was a trip to England and a matchup with the free-falling Raiders.

    Everything the Seahawks tried to do seemed to work. Russell Wilson completed 17 of his 23 pass attempts, the defense sacked Derek Carr six times and the running game (4.2 yards per carry) continued to show that it has a direction.

    Rookie Rashaad Penny even got in on the fun with nine carries for 43 yards.

    This easily could have been a trap game for the Seahawks. They were coming off a close, emotional loss to the rival Rams and made the long journey from the Seattle rain to the London fog. Instead, they remained focused, executed cleanly and dominated an opponent they were supposed to beat.

    Beating the lowly Raiders doesn’t cement the Seahawks back into the playoff race, but this win gives them momentum heading into their bye week.

    Week 6 Grade: A

    Season Grade: C+

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Week 6 Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

    Result: Lost 34-29

    The Buccaneers continue to be plagued by recurring issues. The defense remains a huge liability—it allowed 416 yards of offense—and quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be too careless with the football.

    Winston had two interceptions and two fumbles against the Falcons, although the Bucs recovered both of his fumbles. It’s hard to win when you cannot stop the opposing offense and also give them additional opportunities.

    Tampa’s promising 2-0 start now feels like a distant memory, and not only because Ryan Fitzpatrick is firmly affixed to the bench. This Bucs have a lot of firepower in the passing game but little else to hang their hat on.

    The Buccaneers could have won this game—and they nearly did, had DeSean Jackson been able to handle a lateral on the final play—but Tampa isn’t built to compete deep into the postseason.

    Week 6 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C-

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Week 6 Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Result: Lost 21-0

    So much for the feel-good Titans. After Mike Vrabel’s team found ways to win for three of the first four weeks, Tennessee has entered a downward spiral. The Titans lost a sloppy game to the Bills last week and just got demolished by the Ravens.

    No part of this game went right for the Titans. The offensive line couldn’t protect Marcus Mariota, and Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis combined for a mere 30 rushing yards. There was zero rhythm offensively.

    Mariota was 10-of-15, which doesn’t seem too bad until you realize he was sacked almost as often (11 times) as he got the ball away.

    Tennessee’s defense forced four punts and got an interception, and that’s about the only positive the Titans can take away from this game.

    Now Tennessee gets to travel to London to take on the surging Chargers.

    Week 6 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    Week 6 Opponent: Carolina Panthers

    Result: Won 23-17

    The Redskins looked lost against the Saints last Monday night, but they rebounded in a big way against the Panthers. While Washington didn’t dominate Carolina from start to finish, the team did everything it needed to do to knock off a quality, playoff-caliber opponent.

    Alex Smith led the offense efficiently, cornerback Josh Norman (two turnovers) had a bounce-back performance, and Adrian Peterson (5.7 yards per carry) ran like he was 10 years younger.

    A big reason why Washington was able to win was its ability to control tempo and play with fewer mistakes than the opposition. The Redskins jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and took a 17-6 margin into halftime.

    The Redskins then limited Carolina to a mere three second-half possessions. The last one didn’t come until 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Panthers had to have a touchdown on that drive, and the defense didn’t let them have it.

    This was a huge win for a Redskins team looking to emerge as the cream of the NFC East crop. Next week’s game against the Cowboys will be for first place in the division.

    Week 6 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: B-

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