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Handshake not the only interesting subplot to Week 6

Week 6 was full of interesting subplots. The battle of the Jims. Sean Payton making the injury report. The Eagles getting a win. The Lions getting a loss. The Bucs rebounding for a win a week after a 45-point drubbing. The Bears keeping Jay Cutler upright. And many more. Which Week 6 development was most surprising to you?

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  • Adam Rank
  • There's the Rex we all know and love

I am surprised that it took Rex Grossman this long to turn back into being, well, Rex Grossman. He had three good games to open the season, but showed some signs of returning back to Bad Rex against St. Louis in Week 4. He must have really taken the time in the bye week to rededicate himself to being truly mediocre. He succeeded and then some, throwing four interceptions before mercifully being pulled against the Eagles.

Add in the fact that the Cowboys lost on Sunday because Jason Garrett was too scared to allow Tony Romo to throw a real pass in the red zone, and even with all of the surprises out there, there are two quarterbacks who re-established some order to the NFL.

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  • Bucky Brooks
  • Bears finally play to their strengths

I was most surprised by Chicago's game plan against Minnesota. The Bears were committed to running the ball from the outset and used maximum protection in the passing game. These typically are not staples of a Mike Martz game plan, but it is the most effective approach considering the offensive line issues. If the Bears continue to adopt a more conservative offensive game plan going forward, they could be a more dangerous opponent for their NFC rivals.

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  • Steve Wyche
  • Schwartz's reaction was befuddling

The more I thought about this, the more I kept coming back to the reaction and behavior of Lions coach Jim Schwartz. To some degree, I shouldn't be that stunned based on Schwartz's occasional ramped up sideline behavior, such as taunting Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and repeatedly showing similar exuberance to that displayed by Jim Harbaugh after Sunday's game.

I guess Schwartz's reaction -- even if he felt Harbaugh dissed him -- is just befuddling because I couldn't imagine Mike McCarthy, Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton, Bill Belichick, Raheem Morris or just about any other coach chasing another one down the field to possibly throw down. I get that it was an emotional flash point but to engage like that isn't how coaches -- especially one who is gaining widespread credibility -- should behave.

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  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Something's off with the Steelers

Honestly, the Steelers game baffled me, and it keeps me wondering how good Pittsburgh really is.

They get up 17-3 early ... then don't score again and allow the Jags, behind rookie Blaine Gabbert, the chance for what could have been a huge drive at the end. Despite running the ball well and taking a commanding lead at home, something is still not quite right with the Steelers and this game was much closer than it should have been.

The killer instinct is missing and maybe that Super Bowl hangover is still lingering. But if you had told me the Steelers would get shut out at home by the Jags in the second half, and Pittsburgh would let Maurice Jones-Drew get loose despite really only having him to worry about defensively, I wouldn't have believed you.

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  • Pat Kirwan
  • Bengals' Dalton continues to surprise

The altercation between the coaches was disappointing, but I'm surprised it hasn't happened more often with the number of young, inexperienced head coaches that have entered the league in the past 10 years.

I continue to be impressed and probably a bit surprised at how well Andy Dalton is doing as the QB of the Bengals. He will live in the shadows of Cam Newton but he is really showing signs of being a terrific QB.

The Vikings looked like a team that forgot to set their alarm clock for the game and really face serious questions about what they should do with the rest of the season. I think it's time for Christian Ponder to join Gabbert, Newton and Dalton on the field.

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