Take a look at some of the top news stories in the NFL as we enter Week 6:
Battle of Two Powerhouses
The best matchup of week 6 will be the offensive juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs versus the ever steady and consistent New England Patriots. The Chiefs (5-0) have been led by quarterback sensation, Patrick Mahomes. On the season, Mahomes has 1,513 yards passing, 14 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions in 5 games. Mahomes and the Chiefs have been absolutely torching opponents, including a 30-14 win over the vaunted Jacksonville Jaguar defense last week.
This might be the real test, though, having to go into Gillette Stadium to take on the Patriots. While New England is just 3-2, they have shown signs of the same dominant team that has had them in the postseason conversation for years. Tom Brady has been steady this year, throwing for 1,259 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Regardless of the winner, one thing is for sure, Sunday night’s matchup should be a great one.
Trouble in the Big Apple?
It has not been a very good week if you are a fan of New York teams. First, the division rival Boston Red Sox knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs and now there appears to be turmoil with the New York Giants. First, Odell Beckham Jr. fired shots at quarterback Eli Manning during an ESPN interview (one in which he as fined for), and now, during Thursday night’s game, Beckham left the field early to head back to the locker room before halftime. The worst part was that the Giants got the ball back and had to run a play with Beckham absent.
Early reports indicate that he may have been going back to the locker room to get an IV for dehydration, but it still looks questionable at best with everything else that has been going on.
There have also been growing complaints out of the Giants’ locker room about Eli Manning and the offense as a whole. They are very one dimensional with their passing attack, rarely throwing the ball downfield; rather, they are much more content with short yardage passing (Eli is averaging 10.3 yards per completion, 32ndin the NFL). One thing that doesn’t help Manning’s cause is the fact that the offensive line is terrible. They have given up 20 sacks on the year after Thursday night and the quarterback is constantly feeling pressure. Still, if something doesn’t change for the Giants, they may implode in the locker room before imploding on the field.
Aaron Rodgers Knee Likely To Be An Issue All Season
In week one against the Chicago Bears, Aaron Rodgers suffered a pretty severe knee sprain. Remarkably, despite the injury, Rodgers returned to the game to lead the Packers to victory. Several weeks later, though, it is still an issue. Having to wear a sizeable brace in order to play, Rodgers is still hampered by the bum knee and even suffered a setback against the Lions.
While his availability to play doesn’t seem to be an issue right now, it will be interesting to see how the continued knee issues affect his mobility and effectiveness fro week to week. For the Packers, they also have to be holding their breaths every time that he is hit in a game, hoping that isn’t the one that knocks him out of the season for good.
Jay Ajayi To Injured Reserve
On Thursday night football, the Eagles had a good showing as they beat the New York Giants 34-13. One player who was not on the field for them, though, was Jay Ajayi. The number one running back has been placed on injured reserve and is out for the season following a torn ACL. This is a big blow for the defending Super Bowl champions, although they do have some serviceable backups in house.
Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood will be sharing the load at running back. On Thursday, Smallwood rushed for 51 yards on 18 carries while Clement rushed for 43 and a touchdown on 11 carries. Clement also had 3 catches for 26 yards.
While these two are serviceable, for a team that has aspirations of repeating as champions, there is some speculation that the Eagles might go outside of the organization to try to find a replacement. Two interesting names have surfaced. The first is former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. Slowed by injuries, McCoy has just 170 yards on 45 attempts this year with no touchdowns. He also has 10 receptions for 64 yards. Despite the down year, if healthy, he would still be an enticing upgrade for a team whose window to win is wide open.
The other interesting name is Le’Veon Bell. The disgruntled Steeler has been holding out this season in hopes of either a contract extension or a trade. Reports indicate that he could return to the squad during their week 7 bye, but with the emergence of James Conner, it will be interesting to see if they are more inclined to trade the All-Pro running back.
Jaguars Sign Jamaal Charles
With star running back Leonard Fournette out with a hamstring issue, the Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to give themselves as much security as possible at the running back position. The club has signed veteran Jamaal Charles to a deal. Despite the name recognition and successful career that Charles had, he will still likely be nothing more than a backup as T.J. Yeldon has performed well in Fournette’s absence. Still, with the depth chart relatively shallow at the running back position, Charles is a serviceable backup. His best season was all the way back in 2010 when he rushed for 1,467 yards.