Week 6 winners and losers


Eight teams have a winning record in the NFC. None of the one-loss teams (Philadelphia, Arizona, Dallas) look like juggernauts. Welcome to the 2014 season, where plenty of fan bases can dream of earning home-field advantage.

Seattle is 5-2 in its last seven home games, including the playoffs. One of those wins came in overtime, while another win came on a brilliant last-second play. The Seahawks have earned the right to be the favorite in the NFC, but the air of invincibility in Seattle has been punctured. They haven't started their tough division schedule, not to mention some difficult road games in Carolina and Philadelphia.

The Seahawks are capable of ripping off a long winning streak and making this notion of a wide-open NFC race sound silly. But it's Week 7, and there should be a feeling this is anyone's year. Teams like Green Bay and Detroit should enjoy the notion that it probably won't take 13 wins to get a bye or home-field advantage this time around.

Let's look at a few more winners and losers from Week 6:

Going up

"Kissing your sister": This unfortunate phrase is trotted out every time there is a tie, like in Cincinnati on Sunday. We need to do better. A tie might be confusing, but it's not all bad. Wouldn't losing be more like "kissing your sister"?

The Panthers-Bengals game is the rare moment I didn't mind a tie. It was a wildly entertaining, back-and-forth affair where neither team deserved a loss. According to some confusing metric called the "excitement index," it was the sixth-most exciting game of the last 15 years. Just watch it on Game Rewind and see for yourself.

Baltimore Ravens' balance: John Harbaugh's crew quietly ranks in the top five of points allowed and yards allowed. That's an indication they are one of the best teams in the league. Justin Forsett has massive lanes to run through, and Joe Flacco is throwing the ball very well overall. The defense is solid, if unspectacular. Just a month removed from the Ray Rice fiasco, this looks like the best regular-season Ravens squad since 2011 when they finished 12-4.

Dallas Cowboys' offensive line: They deserve all the hype and are moving toward legendary status. The Seahawks entered Sunday as the best rush defense in the league by far, yet DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle rushed 34 times for nearly five yards per pop.

Moving Down

AFC East variance: So much for unpredictability. The Patriots are back in first place by their lonesome, and we haven't even hit mid-October. New England can all but eliminate the Jets on Thursday night. Miami needs to win in Chicago this week to avoid a 2-4 start. The Bills have enough talent to stay in the playoff mix all year, but they are playing catch-up after losing to the Patriots at home.

Joe Philbin's stomach: The Dolphins coach wanted to be gutsy, but he got queasy. The last five minutes against Green Bay felt like a defining moment for Philbin's tenure.

Michael Vick's agent: Will Vick be in the league next year? He seems a little too comfortable being a backup, and it's not a good sign the Jets don't believe he can make them better.

Kirk Cousins' agent: After eight starts, Cousins looks more like a quality backup than a future prospect to get excited about. He's hit plenty of big plays this season, yet falls apart when things go poorly. The turnovers are a serious trend, with 18 career picks in only 391 attempts.

Cordarrelle Patterson's fantasy owners: Stop blaming the Vikings for "not knowing how to use" Patterson. You made a bad fantasy pick and fell for the hype, just like we did. Patterson has a hard time getting open on his routes. The Vikings have thrown four interceptions when targeting Patterson with no touchdowns. They should throw to him more?

Pittsburgh Steelers: Something is amiss. Their talent and yardage aren't equaling points and wins. Even their victories feel incomplete and lacking. Mike Tomlin's tenure in Pittsburgh could hang in the balance over the next two months.

Atlanta Falcons' toughness: Despite all the Hard Knocks honking, this is possibly the least tough team in the league. Their offensive line can't protect or run block, there is no pass rush to speak of and Chicago gashed the Falcons' high-priced run-stoppers. They are losing the battle up front every week.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around the NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.