Previewing NFL Week 6

After five weeks, it looks as if there are 24 teams fighting for 12 playoff spots. The four winless teams and the four one-win teams have only a remote shot. But the seven two wins teams can’t be ruled out. Last year, five of the 12 playoff teams had losing records after five games.Game of the Week: San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams.The Rams seem to be suffering a typical Super Bowl loss hangover with a 3-2 record after five games and they can’t afford to lose to the surprising unbeaten 49ers. If they fall to 3-3, they would have to climb out of a big hole to win the division because San Francisco would be 5-0 and 4-1 Seattle is likely to go to 5-1 at Cleveland. The problem for the Rams is that the line can’t protect Jared Goff after losing two starters in free agency. And a new problem is that Todd Gurley is suffering from a quad injury. A loss in this game and the Rams have to start thinking about getting a wild card spot.Game of the weak: Washington at Miami. Both teams are winless and the loser has the inside track on the first pick in the draft. Washington is favored as the Redskins have a new interim coach while Miami is rebuilding and/or tanking. Josh Rosen, who has been named the Dolphins starting quarterback, will be trying to convince the Dolphins he can be the team’s quarterback of the future but he doesn’t much of a supporting cast around him so he will have to carry the team.What to watch for:–Matthew Stafford tends to be underrated because he has mostly played for losing teams in Detroit. But he’s put up impressive numbers in his career. If he passes for 352 yards against the Packers Monday night, he will become the first player in history to pass for 40,000 yards in fewer than 150 games. He has 39,648 in 145 games. Matt Ryan did it in 151 and is the current leader. So if Stafford doesn’t become the fastest this week, he will do it next week.–Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the preseason, proving once again you can’t put too much stock in the preseason. He has led the 49ers to a 4-0 record and is 12-2 as a starter going into Sunday’s game against the Rams. He has seven touchdowns and a 99.4 passer rating. A victory will enable him to become the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win at least 13 games in his first 15 starts.–Only two players in NFL history have had at least a thousand scrimmage yards in the first six games of the season – Jim Brown and Marshall Faulk. Christian McCaffery can become third Sunday in London for the Panthers against the Bucs. He has 866 in five games.–Russell Wilson leads the NFL with a 126.3 passer rating and has had a passer rating of more than 100 in the first five games of the season. Against Cleveland, he can become just the fourth player to do it for the first six games. The other three are Aaron Rodgers (12), Tom Brady (8) and Carson Palmer (6).–Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, the 10th and 12th picks in the 2017 draft, will meet for the first time Sunday in Kansas City. It won’t be the last time. Every time they both win their divisions in future years, they will meet the following year and it will be no surprising if there are playoff meetings in their futures. It will be no surprise if Watson gets the nod in this one. Kansas City doesn’t have the defense to stop him while Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in his first loss last week.

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