NFL: Week 6

New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe lines up for a play during the Patriots’ huge win versus the Cleveland Browns

New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe lines up for a play during the Patriots’ huge win versus the Cleveland Browns

  • The New England Patriots had an away game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon. On the very first play of the game, Browns’ quarterback and ex-Patriot, Jacoby Brissett, threw an interception to Patriots’ defensive back Kyle Duggar. On the next drive, the Cleveland Browns scored a field goal off a thirty-nine yard kick by Browns’ kicker Cade York. At the end of the first quarter, Browns’ defensive lineman, Myles Garrett, strip-sacked Bailey Zappe, causing a fumble that was recovered by the Browns. After most of the second quarter went by without a score, Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson, ran the ball in for a touchdown, helping the Patriots get a lead over the Browns. Towards the end of the half, the Browns scored a forty-eight yard field goal. On the first drive of the third quarter, the Patriots scored a touchdown, once again increasing their lead. Soon after, Jacoby Brissett threw an interception to Patriots’ cornerback Jalen Mills, and two plays later, Bailey Zappe threw a long touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry. The Browns capped off their next drive with a field goal. On the next drive, Nick Folk missed a field goal attempt which was his first miss inside of the fifty since week one of the 2020 season. The Browns then scored their first touchdown of the game and attempted an onside kick to try and get possession of the ball. It looked like the Browns had recovered it. However, one of the Browns players touched the ball while out of bounds which is against the rules, giving the Patriots the ball. They weren’t able to do anything with their drive and had to punt. On the return, the Browns’ kick returner fumbled the ball, and the Patriots recovered it. The very next play, Patriots receiver Tyquan Thornton got a walk-in touchdown. Thornton was in his second NFL start after starting the season on injured reserve with a broken collarbone. The Patriots were able to score another touchdown on their next drive, and got a big win in Cleveland. 
  • Upset at Lambeau: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is one of the hardest stadiums for other teams to play in, not only because of frigid Wisconsin temperatures, but also because of the Packers’ passionate fans. The New York Jets had to play in these non-ideal conditions and were able to beat the Packers by a large margin, even with a second-year quarterback who is almost twenty years younger than the Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. 
  • The NFC East Conference, from the worst conference to the best: The NFC East, home to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Washington Commanders, has been home to the most dysfunctional teams over the past few years, that is, with the exception of the Dallas Cowboys, who have been solid for a while. However, this season, this division has won the most in the NFL, and for the first time in a while, three of the four teams of the conference (all except for the Washington Commanders) have a winning record. The NFC East is also home to the last remaining undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The top three teams in this conference: the Eagles, the Giants, and the Cowboys, all have potential to make it to the playoffs. However, it is VERY rare for three teams in one conference to get a slot in the playoff bracket as four of the seven spots per conference (AFC and NFC) are filled by the top team in each subdivision with the bottom three spots being filled by the teams with the best record who weren’t top in their subdivision. Since I’ve begun watching football at least, I’ve never seen three teams from one subdivision all make the playoffs, but this year may be the first, if these three teams in the NFC East continue to perform well.
  • America’s Game of the Week this week was a rematch of the AFC divisional round game from last season: the Buffalo Bills versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Just like Lambeau Field was described prior in this article, Arrowhead Stadium is very difficult to play at for the same reasons. Both teams came into this game 4-1, and the first half had loads of back-and-forth action, but overall, it was dominated by both team’s defenses. The final two minutes of the first half were the most climactic, though. First, the Bills’ offense had a ninety-nine yard-long drive, which ended with a long touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Allen to receiver Gabe Davis. With fifteen seconds left in the half, the Chiefs were able to run one play, before calling a timeout with one second left. They decided to attempt a sixty-two yard field goal into the raging wind, which kicker Harrison Butker made as the half expired after having not played in games since week one due to an ankle injury. After each of the first three quarters, the game was tied. The score was close right up to the final seconds, and the Bills only took the lead with a touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Allen to tight end Dawson Knox with just over a minute left. The next drive, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw an interception with fifty-one seconds left in the fourth quarter, ending his team’s campaign for a last-second victory
  • Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to The Steel City, better known as Pittsburgh, to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. One of Brady’s tight ends, Cameron Brate, suffered a head injury and had to be carted off of the field on a backboard before being taken to a local hospital. He flashed a thumbs up as he went off, signaling that he was alright. He was taken to a local hospital, where he had movement in all of his extremities and will be returning to Tampa soon. Also in this game, even in the same quarter as Brate, the Steelers’ rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett also went down with a concussion. He got drilled by Buccaneers’ linebacker Devin White, and hit his head on the turf before he went off to the medical tent. Then, he went off to the locker room. 
  • After an argument on the sidelines, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson was kicked out of the game and sent to the locker room by his head coach.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, and after a close win, they still remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. 

Final Scores

  • Note that the following teams are on their week off from gameplay (better known across the NFL as bye week) – the Detroit Lions, the Tennessee Titans, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Houston Texans
  • The New England Patriots versus the Cleveland Browns (played in Cleveland) – Patriots win 13-15
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers (played in Pittsburgh) – Steelers win 20-18
  • The Washington Commanders versus the Chicago Bears (played in Chicago) – Commanders win 12-7
  • The San Francisco 49ers versus the Atlanta Falcons (played in Atlanta) – Falcons win 28-14
  • The New York Jets versus the Green Bay Packers (played in Green Bay) – Jets win 27-10
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars versus the Indianapolis Colts (played in Indianapolis) – Colts win 34-27
  • The Minnesota Vikings versus the Miami Dolphins (played in Miami) – Vikings win 24-16
  • The Cincinnati Bengals versus the New Orleans Saints (played in New Orleans) – Bengals win 30-26
  • The Baltimore Ravens versus the New York Giants (played in New York) – Giants win 24-20
  • The Carolina Panthers versus the Los Angeles Rams (played in Los Angeles) – Rams win 24-10
  • The Arizona Cardinals versus the Seattle Seahawks (played in Seattle) – Seahawks win 19-9
  • The Buffalo Bills versus the Kansas City Chiefs (played in Kansas City) – Bills win 24-20
  • The Dallas Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles (played in Philadelphia) – Eagles win 17-26
  • The Denver Broncos versus the Los Angeles Rams (played in Los Angeles) – Chargers win 19-16


By Kristina Klauzinski ’24, Co-Sports Editor