Week 6 in the NFL just wrapped up, and it didn’t take long for some of the early season NFL favorites to fall back to reality.
After the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens started 3-0, they have subsequently lost every game since. The Broncos started 4-0 and looked like the Super Bowl favorites, two losses later and the problems that everyone thought would arise have finally started to. Carson Wentz is no longer the next coming of Aaron Rodgers, and the Washington Redskins are right big in thick of it in the NFC after rattling off three straight wins after a pair of losses to start the season.
Now, let’s take a look at what event impressed, which event depressed, and which event should just be dismissed in the NFL:
IMPRESSED: LeSean McCoy
The Buffalo Bills running back McCoy is the most impressive running back in the AFC. After starting the season with two games with less than 60 yards rushing, McCoy has rattled off three games with at least 110 rushing yards in his next four games.
McCoy has showcased the elusiveness and vision that made him a star in Philadelphia. Behind a surprisingly good offensive line, McCoy has been given the space he needs to operate and make plays, which has led to plays like this:
McCoy’s short-area quickness, agility, ability to change direction, flexibility and balance have been full display and boy, are they impressive.
Furthermore, it is even more satisfying for McCoy because his latest performance came against his former head coach Chip Kelly.
While many thought McCoy was on the decline, he is proving that the end isn’t in sight yet. If it wasn’t for the stellar start of Ezekiel Elliott, everyone would be talking about how McCoy has looked like the best running back in the NFL.
DEPRESSED: The Baltimore Ravens
After starting the season with three wins, the Baltimore Ravens have proven to be false contenders. The Ravens have lost three straight games to the three most functional teams they’ve played all season.
While each loss has come down to less than a touchdown, the Ravens faults were thoroughly exposed against the Oakland Raiders, New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Joe Flacco hasn’t played up to his contract, and the Ravens’ lack of weapons hasn’t helped either.
Also, the Ravens haven’t been able to get their running game going, and their best defender, Terrell Suggs, just tore his biceps.
The fact remains that the Ravens are more like the team from the last three games rather than the first three. The Ravens aren’t going to be serious playoff contenders by season’s end.
DISMISSED: The Rams defense
The Rams defense was scorched by an underrated Detroit Lions offense Sunday. However, that will not be indicative of the defense’s performance going forward.
Los Angeles is dealing with a number of injuries on the defensive line, but they are still playing at a relatively high level.
Aaron Donald is as dominant as ever (as evidenced by his 35 total pressures which lead all interior defenders according to Pro Football Focus), and he still makes plays like this on a regular basis:
On top of Donald’s dominance, Robert Quinn has been effective when healthy, Michael Brockers has played well, Dominique Easley has been a great acquisition and the secondary has been relatively impressive.
While the Lions moved the ball throughout their win, the Rams should still feel good about their defense moving forward.
Once they get healthy on the defensive line, the Rams defense will get back to being one of the best units in the entire league, and the only reason Los Angeles has a glimmer of hope to make the playoffs.