*Results of NFL week seven not reflected in this article
November is approaching, and it’s at the point in the NFL season where teams start to evaluate their place in the league and make moves accordingly. Some teams are shifting towards rebuilding, while others are just a few key moves away from contention. Through six games, here are three major takeaways from the week and the start of the season at large.
Woes continue for the Pats
New England sports fans have not had much to complain about since the turn of the century, but this year’s New England Patriots’ squad is shaping up to be the worst in a long time. They’ve fallen to 1-5 in one of the league’s most competitive divisions, and their week seven matchup against the red-hot Bills does not smell like a win either. The Pats have the second-worst team passer rating in the league, and season-ending injuries to key defenders like Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez have crippled the defensive unit. It might be time to declare the Patriots dead for this year.
The hope for Pats fans now should be that they stumble into drafting USC quarterback Caleb Williams, much like the dynastic Chicago Blackhawks of the hockey world getting their hands on generational prospect Connor Bedard.
And then there were none. . .
Entering week six, only the Eagles and 49ers stood with perfect 5-0 records, with each team hungry to separate themselves from the other in the NFC playoff picture. As it turned out, each squad suffered an upset loss to an AFC opponent in week six. The Browns beat San Francisco on a last-second field goal, and the Jets defense intercepted Jalen Hurts three times as both undefeated teams fell. This opens the door for teams like the Lions and Cowboys, who had fallen a step off the race for top dog in the NFC.
Who can stop the Dolphins’ offense?
Many lethal team offenses have emerged throughout the season, but the Miami Dolphins have become the ultimate threat behind the league’s speediest roster. The Dolphins lead the NFL in passer rating and passing touchdowns as University of Alabama product Tua Tagovailoa continues to take steps in his young career. It helps that he has an extremely dangerous core to throw to. Jalen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are again in the top echelon of receiver duos and continue rendering defenses helpless.
Raheem Mostert and De’von Achane have had blinding speed out of the backfield, as Miami has led the league in yards per carry. Unfortunately, Achane has suffered a season-ending injury, which will set back the offense, but it’s still not advisable to bet against the Dolphins’ offense. This group hung an outlandish 70 points on Denver, who were among the top defenders in the league last year.