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Sunday, April 5, 2020

15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 6

Nathan Peterman

It was a rough week to be an NFL quarterback, as several defenses racked up big sack totals. Offenses struggled, with turnovers and missed opportunities becoming a big story of the week. A lot of units simply didn’t do themselves justice on Sunday, and a lot of quarterbacks struggled in major ways.

Here’s a look at 15 big disappointments from NFL Week 6.

Nathan Peterman, QB, Bills

Was anyone really expecting anything of Peterman when he took over for the injured Josh Allen in this one? He even threw a touchdown pass here and looked like he might just be able to get Buffalo over the line against the Houston Texans. Not so. He threw a brutal pick-six to put Houston in the lead, then followed it up with another interception to kill the game off. The guy simply isn’t an NFL starting quarterback, and hopefully the Bills are smart enough to realize that.

Tennessee Titans’ offense

To be clear, Marcus Mariota was very poor in this one, completing just ten passes for 117 yards. He was also sacked an astonishing 11 times, meaning Mariota took more sacks than he completed passes. That’s not just on the quarterback. There was no run game; Mariota was the team’s leading rusher with a paltry 25 yards. The team only had 106 total yards factoring in yards lost on sacks. The protection was bad, the skill players were bad, and the Titans looked worse than usual, which is saying a lot for one of the worst offenses in the league.

Breeland Speaks, LB, Chiefs

Few players are going to be kicking themselves more over a missed opportunity than Breeland Speaks. The Kansas City linebacker had Tom Brady wrapped up on a key 3rd-and-goal play from the 4-yard line, but he let Brady go. Brady then ran the ball in for a score to give the Pats a 37-33 lead. There is speculation that Speaks let Brady go because he thought the quarterback had thrown a pass and he wanted to avoid a roughing the passer penalty — he even appeared to roll on his side to avoid a body weight penalty. Had he stuck with the tackle and brought Brady down, the Patriots might have kicked a field goal to tie the game at 33. New England ended up winning 43-40 in a very close finish.

D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers

It’s probably not a stretch to say that Moore cost Carolina the game on Sunday. The first-round pick committed two first-half turnovers that directly led to ten Washington points, one on a muffed punt that the Redskins turned into a touchdown and the other a fumble to set up a field goal. The Panthers ended up losing by six. It’s a game the rookie will want to put behind him quickly, as he had a truly brutal time of it.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins

Drake might be the most relieved man in America on Sunday night. His numbers weren’t bad — 78 total yards, 57 of them on the ground. However, his fumble at the goal line in overtime was a near-disaster that looked like it would cost Miami the game. The defense got a stop and when the Dolphins got the ball back, Drake played a role in getting them into field goal range. Drake was lucky the team won the game despite his huge mistake.

Indianapolis Colts’ offense

The Colts picked a very bad day to be turnover-prone. It started immediately, with Andrew Luck throwing a pick-six on the very first drive. Running back Robert Turbin’s fumble in his own territory early in the second quarter was a key blow, as not only did it knock him out of the game with a shoulder injury, but it, too, led to a Jets touchdown. Luck added another interception late in the second that led to a field goal, and his third and final pick came about midway through the fourth and also led to a field goal. In total, that was 20 points off Indianapolis turnovers, which more than accounted for the Colts’ eight-point margin of victory.

Eli Manning, QB, Giants

You didn’t think we’d forget about Eli just because he played on Thursday, did you? Manning was nothing short of dreadful in a lopsided 34-13 loss to the Eagles. Though his final stats look OK — 24/43 for 281 yards and an interception — they don’t come close to telling the whole story. Manning struggled with accuracy, with his interception coming because he didn’t make a good enough throw. He was sacked four times and looked completely immobile. He struggled on any pass more than 10 yards down the field, which is why all his throws were short. Last year’s regime was onto something when they benched him.

Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense

The big question for the Jacksonville defense was whether they’d be able to handle Ezekiel Elliott. The answer was no, and to make matters worse, they couldn’t really shut down Dak Prescott either. Prescott had 183 yards passing plus another 82 yards rushing for three total touchdowns, and he didn’t turn over the ball once. In fact, the Jaguars as a whole didn’t force a single turnover, as Dallas put up 40 points on one of the most vaunted units in the sport. Jacksonville has fallen to 3-3 and they continue to struggle on the road.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

The Texans won, but Watson’s day was forgettable against a Buffalo Bills defense that caused him a multitude of problems. He only managed 15 completions and 177 yards, with one touchdown being marred by two interceptions. His third turnover came on a fumble, and it could have been much worse, as he coughed up the ball two more times where Houston managed to retain possession. In total, Watson was sacked seven times and ended up beaten up pretty good in what was a rough day overall for him, especially since he was already dealing with a chest injury coming into it.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Raiders

We may have already outlined the Raiders’ struggles, but Nelson’s bad day still deserves a mention of its own. With Amari Cooper going down early, the stage should have been set for Nelson to have a pretty big day as Derek Carr’s primary target. That didn’t happen. Nelson was targeted just three times, catching two of them for a total of six yards. Constantly under pressure, Carr was hesitant to do anything but make short throws, which stifled Oakland’s receivers, Nelson included, even as he was the best option on the field.

Chicago Bears’ offense

Chicago was yet another team to struggle mightily with missed opportunities. Despite facing a Dolphins team without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, they weren’t able to win the game. That was in large part due to red-zone turnovers. Chicago committed two of them, one on a Jordan Howard goal-line fumble late in the second and the other a Mitchell Trubisky interception on 1st-and-goal early in the fourth. Had Trubisky led them to a touchdown drive in the fourth, they’d have gone up 28-13 and likely killed off the game. Instead, the Dolphins marched downfield to tie it. It was all topped off by a Cody Parkey missed field goal from 53 yards that would have won the game in overtime, but instead gave the ball back to Miami, allowing them to win it as time expired.

Antonio Callaway, WR, Browns

The rookie receiver certainly can’t complain about a lack of opportunity after Sunday’s contest. Callaway was targeted ten times by Baker Mayfield, but he caught only two of them in Cleveland’s losing effort. One of his incompletions was a pass to the end zone that he couldn’t come down with that should have been a touchdown, and he dropped another opportunity for a long completion in the second half. Callaway is still only a rookie, and he’s shown a propensity for getting open, but he has to start making the most of his opportunities.

David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

Johnson continues to be a huge disappointment who looks nothing like the back who lit up the league in 2016. While he scored a touchdown, it came in a performance that netted him just 55 yards rushing and was riddled with errors, including a lost fumble and a stuff at the one-yard line on fourth down. Perhaps there’s still a usage issue here, or perhaps it’s a scheme problem, but whatever it is, Johnson simply is not producing.

Oakland Raiders’ offensive line

The entire Raiders offense struggled on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but the issues start with protection. In their defense, it’s a combination of players battling through injuries and young, inexperienced options, but they’re ultimately not getting the job done. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked six times and ultimately knocked out of the game thanks to the pressure. He and the Raiders are lucky that the injury does not appear serious. It won’t be the last time he’s put under pressure with protection like this.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns

Mayfield was finally made to look like a rookie by the Chargers defense. He completed fewer than half his passes and was picked off twice, outweighing his 238 yards and one touchdown. He struggled to connect with several of his receivers, as Jarvis Landry only had two catches. He, too, found himself under a lot of pressure, and it seemed to impact him a good bit. Brighter days are ahead, but for Sunday, Mayfield got a pretty significant learning experience.

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