By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
Before we get started, we here at BASN Newsroom give a final and heartfelt salute to one of the ultimate Field Generals, Mr. Colin Luther Powell. Born and raised in New York, Powell was an American statesman, diplomat, and four-star general who served as the 65th United States secretary of state from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African-American secretary of state.
Powell also served as the 16th United States national security advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. Powell, who was being treated for blood cancer, that affects the immune system, died from complications of COVID-19 on October 18th.
As for on the field, the first bye week of the season saw Field Generals Jameis Winston and Trey Lance take a collective breather through the early part of the season. However, it was business as usual for everyone else as the action stretched over from England to the States.
Let’s look back at Week Six.
LAST WEEK: 4-5 (overall 34-26)
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia (Loss vs. Tampa Bay)
With the loss, the Eagles (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni. They heard boos at halftime but fought back from a 28-7 deficit to make it close. Still, against a patchwork secondary, Hurts struggled throwing the ball. He was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD and one interception. Hurts also ran for 44 yards and two scores.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami (Loss vs. Jacksonville at London)
The Dolphins lost their fifth consecutive game, spoiling Tua’s first start in a month. The second-year quarterback threw two touchdown passes and finished 33 of 47 for 329 yards with the two TD passes and one interception in his return from fractured ribs. The Dolphins took a 20-17 lead when Tagovailoa finished a seven-play, 91-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle with 10:22 left in the game. Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense started hot, scoring on their first drive, but squandering two other chances from inside the Jacksonville 10, settling for field goals both times.
Justin Fields, Chicago (Loss vs. Green Bay)
The Packers (5-1) beat the Bears (3-3) for the 20th time in 23 games counting the playoffs and improved to 22-5 with Rodgers as the starter against Chicago. They also prevented their rivals from tying them for the NFC North lead. As for Mr. Fields, he led the Bears on an 80-yard touchdown drive on their first possession that ended with rookie Khalil Herbert scoring from the 1, only to cool off after that. The No. 11 overall draft pick was 16 for 27 for 174 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (Win at Washington)
After thowing two early picks, No. 15 found himself in the second half, engineering three touchdown drives to make up for the giveaways, leading the Chiefs to a comeback victory at Washington on Sunday that got them back to .500. The Chiefs flirted with disaster for much of the first half, turning the ball over three times. They trailed 13-10 at halftime before things clicked offensively. Mahomes was 32 of 47 through the air, rushed for 31 yards and led touchdown drives of 95, 68, 45 and 96 yards. However, Kansas City now has committed an NFL-worst 14 turnovers this season, a worrying trend for the defending AFC champion.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (Win vs. L.A. Chargers)
Monday Night hangover? Nope. The Ravens (5-1) have won five straight. They’ve already split two overtime games this season, and they needed a late fumble to hold off Kansas City and a 66-yard field goal to beat Detroit. Even in a convincing win at Denver, they had to fight to the finish to keep their streak of 100-yard rushing games alive. That streak ended a week ago, but Baltimore re-established its running game against the Chargers and never looked back after scoring the game’s first 17 points. No. 8 threw for 167 yards and a touchdown going 19 of 27 with two interceptions as the defense completely controlled this matchup of division leaders in a victory that should resonate throughout the AFC.
Kyler Murray, Arizona (Win at Cleveland)
Another week and another show of dominance from Murray and the Cards. No. 1 threw four touchdown passes as the Cardinals remained the NFL’s only unbeaten team and continued their best start since 1974 — without Coach Kingsbury on Sunday — with a 37-14 win over the battered, reeling Browns. The Cardinals (6-0) built a 20-0 lead in the first half and kept their perfect record intact despite not having Kingsbury or star linebacker Chandler Jones, who both tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Murray made sure the Cardinals didn’t miss a beat. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 229 yards and matched his career best with the four TDs.
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver (Loss vs. Las Vegas)
In a 34-24 loss in which the Broncos trailed by as many as 21 points, there was plenty that plagued Denver. Turnovers. The offensive line. The run defense. But the simple, unifying thread in Sunday’s loss that handed the Broncos their third consecutive loss and fifth straight division loss, the difference between a win and a loss was clear. The inability to go deep and stop the deep pass. On deep passing attempts, Bridgewater finished 2-of-7 for 52 yards and an interception. Denver had just two passes of 25 yards or longer all afternoon, though the team also drew one pass-interference penalty on a deep attempt. In all, Denver gave up seven throws of at least 25 yards and five passes of at least 30 yards. And perhaps most troubling is that Sunday’s struggles were a continuation of a trend.
Dak Prescott, Dallas (Win at New England)
Dallas hadn’t won at New England since 1987 and was 0-5 against Bill Belichick. With the win, the Cowboys (5-1) have won five straight, their longest winning streak since 2016. The Cowboys led 17-14 entering the fourth quarter, and that’s when the fun began. The teams traded five scores in the period, three in the final 2 1/2 minutes. But Prescott led the Cowboys on a 40-yard drive and Greg Zuerlein’s 49-yard field goal sent the game to overtime. Dallas ended it after New England punted on its first possession in OT as the Patriots dropped to 0-4 at home for the first time in Belichick’s 22 years as coach. Dak finished 35 of 51 for 445 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Geno Smith, Seattle (Loss at Pittsburgh)
For the second straight week, it close but no cigar for Smith and the Hawks. Geno’s fumble in overtime led to another hearbreaking loss for Seattle. Smith, starting in place of injured Russell Wilson, completed 23 of 32 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown in his first start in nearly four years. Seattle was trailed by three with time winding down in regulation when driving when Smith connected with D.K. Metcalfe near the Seahawks sideline. Rather than step out of bounds with his team out of timeouts, Metcalfe opted to turn upfield. He was stripped, but the ball was recovered by Seattle. Smith scrambled to get the Seahawks to the line of scrimmage and appeared to spike the ball with a second left. Officials, however, halted the game to review whether Metcalfe caught the pass inbounds. The call stood on review and the game clock was reset to 3 seconds, giving Smith enough time to spike it so Jason Myers could come on and pull the Seahawks even at the gun with a 43-yard field goal.
Bye Week: Saints (Winston), 49ers (Lance)
STAT OF THE WEEK
Making his 75th career start, Dallas’ Dak Prescott passed for 445 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 108.7 rating. Prescott has 39 games with passer rating of 100-or-higher and surpassed Philip Rivers (38 games) for the third-most such games by a player in his first 75 career starts in NFL history. Only Aaron Rodgers (43 games) and former Cowboy Tony Romo (41) had more.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.